Friday Reading #25

Another working week draws to a close and it has been a pretty good one. I started a little Fintech roundup.  I am however struggling with some other writing at the moment so this Friday Reading has come as a welcome break. On the positive side things are moving along nicely with the War Cards project and next week scanning of them will take place. This is a nice little milestone and then the project can really begin and we can actually make something. I rarely get to make things and I am also not very good at it which is a constant source of disappointment.

To turn that round into joy this weeks roundup begins with an interview with Anne Holiday who has produced some lovely little films about some people that are very good at making. Read and watch. Other things that I liked this week include a great piece on making little ideas out of big ones, old ideas being better than new ones, a couple of articles on fiction as a driver for new ideas, can too much collaboration be detrimental and can spaces be designed to promote the greatest form of collaboration, Sex. Finally there is a wonderful oral history of one of the greatest banking films of all time, Trading Places. To begin we have a lovely letter from Dorothy Parker to her publisher when she was struggling with writers block. I might just send this letter to my boss.


I cant look you in the voice


The Makers of Things

What do you think the message of the series is, what story were you trying to tell with the films? If anything, it’s that we’re all makers of things. Sounds a bit cliched but the title The Makers of Things just came from something Norman said. He said that even when he was 14 and had a shed in his parents’ garden he made sawdust. I like the idea that whatever your discipline, your chosen material or intention, you can make stuff.


The Little, Big Idea

When you’ve got a Big Idea, you’re always thinking about it, and if you focus on just making that first step, you’re maximising on that passion and energy. It’s pointless trying to do a Big Idea when you’re not passionate about it, and the main problem I see with the “write it all down, spend a year getting lots of documents together” model is that your passion isn’t going to be in it. It’s a formula for making sure that you’re tired of it before you’ve even spoken to any users.


Old Ideas Are Better Than The Idea You Just Thought Of

Some ideas are stacked up on shelves because, for one reason or another, they’re just bad. Others are set aside because, while they might be good, they’re either really hard to execute or the team isn’t ready to pursue them. Or maybe the timing isn’t right or the person who had the idea doesn’t know how to convince others of its merit. Regardless, once an idea begins to age, it can be difficult to tell whether it has potential. All old ideas are then sullied with the bad-idea funk and people forget how promising those good ideas once were. After a while, it’s hard to tell them apart.


An Introduction To Infrastructure Fiction

The first assumption that needs to die: that infrastructure enables designed objects. As the old saying goes, the problem is that it’s not even wrong; it’s just one-sided. The relationship between infrastructure and designed objects is duplex, a synthesis. The multiplication of designed objects, of tools and machines and appliances, both necessitated and enabled the construction of infrastructure, which in turn enabled a further proliferation and multiplication of appliances.


Better Made Up:The Mutual Influence of Science Fiction and Innovation

Buzz Aldrin, who really did stand on the moon, recently offered a transporter to Mars to a Radio Four programme asking for donations to an imaginary museum. It was received as the first way to ‘hitch a ride into space’… ‘since science fiction’. Aldrin, who has criticized NASA’s priorities, who seeks a Mars programme, and who has been engaged in work on a Mars Cycler, intended this fictional gift to be a real world intervention. Science Fiction and Science ‘fact’ – science and technology innovation, policy, public knowledge, investment – are not two separate realities but are two entangled and overlapping fields.


Too much collaboration is hurting worker productivity

In the last few years, increased collaboration is both intentional, encouraged by managers intent on fostering innovation and shared resources, and unintentional, partly the result of corporate cutbacks in office space during the recession. Much of the reduced space affected collaboration areas, which pushed conversations and collaboration into the general work spaces, said Hoskins. “Everything was squeezed” and so workers felt less able to focus, the Gensler survey of 2,035 knowledge workers shows.


Room for sex

The sudden proliferation in the 2000s of National Lottery-funded public spaces in the UK seemed to be rooted in a longing to return to Edwardian times, with all the attendant anxieties about sex and class. This longing was abundantly clear in Foster and Partners’ redevelopment of Trafalgar Square (2003): a magnificent architectural project, but one that limited human behaviour to the polite promenade. Perel’s understanding of the limits of civility, from a sexual point of view, helped me to form a powerful critique of architecture. In sum, architecture was principally about order; sex was not.


It’s The 30-Year Anniversary Of The Greatest Wall Street Movie Ever Made: Here’s The Story Behind It

JOHN LANDIS: The script was developed for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. And when I was sent the script, Richard Pryor, unfortunately, had his accident where he burnt himself rather badly, and they sent it to me and said, ‘What do you think?’

‘48 Hours’ hadn’t come out yet, but they’d previewed it, and Eddie Murphy had previewed very well, and they thought, ‘Ah this kid’s going to be a star,’ So they said, ‘What do you think about Eddie Murphy playing the Billy Ray Valentine part?’ And I of course said, ‘Who’s Eddie Murphy?’


Was that a good bunch of little links? If you enjoyed them then why not subscribe via email if you don’t already or try subscribing to an RSS feed for more posts. Have a brilliant weekend.

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