Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Room Cleaning

I'm cleaning out my room and I found some notes from previous classes lying around. One particular set of notes from my VISA110 class in March of 06 had some interesting historical figures I'm looking into especially regarding perspective and visual theory.
(Alsom a web resource on the basics on the forms of perspective)

Edward Muybridge
Photographer who pioneered work on filming animal locomotion and who developed the projector technology of a Zoopraxiscope. This is THE precursor, and also the retro version of an animated GIF.

This reminds me of the zoetrope, more specifically a 3D zoetrope (where it spins and it looks like it's animating) and one of the most awesome ones that I had the luck of being able to see at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim last month.

Filippo Brunelleschi
Architect and engineer in the Italian Renaissance. Discovered and demonstrated one-point perspective, and the concept of linear perspective. He also designed the dome for the Duomo of Florence, Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral or Basilica di Santa Maria del Flore).

One of the first great painters of the Italian Renaissance and created the first one-point perspective painting (I think), the Holy Trinity in 1427.

Cibachrome / ilfochrome
Photographic process that reproduces large transparencies (film transparencies) on photographic paper

Monday, June 18, 2012

To do what you love

Motivational words from Michael Bierut, Graphic Designer. Partner at Pentagram.

On top of getting a great insight into the design process at a really high level of someone established in the industry. His words gave me motivation to continue my search to find what I love.

"If you do what you love and you find other people who do what they love, you'll be successful, you'll do great work, chances are you'll actually make money miraculously enough. If you combine that with a bit of egotism and a taste for the spotlight you could also become famous. But definitely I promise you'll be happy"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Psychological Books

I'm always interested in understanding perception and how people come to their decisions, rational or not. Having knowledge of how human psychology operates gives me a better perspective on addressing these needs. Also, it's just cool to understand how people tick. =D

I have recently read some books on the subject that have really helped me gain better insight into understanding the processes that our brain progresses through in making a decision, as well as how to create subtle cues in order to influence a person in making a choice.

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness
by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein

This book and website (nudges.org) is focused on behavioural economics. This topic is somewhat controversial when it is applied in practice, a recent example of this is the recent ban of soda drinks of over 16 ounces in New York City. This is related to the portion sizes that consumers are given. People behave in very odd ways when given options regarding food. The book has a chapter on mindless choosing that deals with the topic and specifically on a case where the size of the container of the food influences the behaviour of how much people will believe they should eat/drink, regardless of how hungry the person actually is. This is correlated to the option at any fast food outlet where having the option of having a larger sized meal is a small cost, and most people will tend to choose it just because the perceived value is too much of a deal to pass up.

I could go on regarding all the topics in this book, but I think you should read this book for yourself first.

A dive into the decision-making process and a dip into neuroscience to discern the processes and the differences between our emotional brain and our rational brain. I am really interested in Lehrer's theory of how the mind evolves from rationality when learning something and then when enough hours have been put in to become an "expert", then the mind changes gears and shifting that learned behaviour into instinct and modifies that learning it into the emotional brain so that the thought process takes shortcuts into feelings to provide a faster option for the brain.
There is also explanation into the perils of when our brain doesn't operate properly and is fooled into making poor decisions which is also highlighted in the book below by David McRaney.

This is a good book that goes through the popular economic studies but also goes into the neuroscience of explaining how the different parts of the brain behaves and how it processes information leading the person in ultimately making their decision. It gives a general overview of the sections of the brain that are the key parts in decision making without making it overly scientific.

by David McRaney

This book is a great crash course in understanding the pitfalls of human logic. The other books I'm writing about cite the same studies but this is a more succinct guide on understanding the tricks that fool the brain. 

Fast, and easy read and I recommend reading this book first to get familiar with a lot of the economic studies that most economics books reference.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stephen Colbert on Service

I'm on a commencement speech marathon right now and I stumbled on this one by one of my favourite comedians, Stephen Colbert.

"You will truly serve only what you love. Because service is love made visible. If you love friends you will serve your friends. If you love community you will serve your community. If you love money you will serve your money. And if you love only yourself you will serve only yourself. And you will have only yourself. So no winning. Instead, try to love others and serve others and hopefully find those who will love and serve you in return."

Very humble words to remember the important things of what we should truly focus on in our lives.


Saturday, June 09, 2012

Conan O'Brien's thoughts on failure

I recently watched a video of Conan O'Brien delivering a commencement speech at Dartmouth back in June 2011. He shared some inspirational ideas and of course coupled with his personal comedy, but his perspective of having suffered a very public failure gives him a very concrete basis of his authority on being able to honestly talk about the subject and how to overcome it.

I am thankful for him for sharing his inspirational words and hope to apply his knowledge to my own shortcomings and take his advice and try to re-invent myself through those disappointments to improve myself and figure out who I truly am.

"It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention."

"No specific job or career goal defines me, and it should not define you. In 2000, I told graduates not to be afraid to fail, and I still believe that. But today I tell you whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality"

"Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen"