Empathy in Comics

He touched millions of people and introduced empathy to comics, an important step in their transition from a mass medium to an artistic and literary one.

Chris Ware on Charles Schulz from an interview in the Fall 2014 issue of the Paris Review that my father shared with me adding, "Ware is always a revelation."

I came upon this realization...

I came upon this realization when listening to my cassette copy of Loveless. At that point in time, I wanted the album in every format I could get my hands on. To my surprise, I found I enjoyed the cassette version of the album the best (better than my CD and vinyl versions). I enjoyed it so much, that it became my favourite album all over again. On closer inspection, I found that what was giving me this new appreciation for the album was that the tape was being played slightly faster than normal. It gave the album a brighter, tighter, more embryonic sound. It was like I found another world within the world of Loveless.
—Ryan describing the philosophy behind his video of Loveless (Pitched One Semitone Up)

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Technologies of connection...

Technologies of connection constantly evolve, yet the older ones aren’t abandoned. Sometimes the evolution goes in reverse while going forward: I can now instantly pull up a lot about someone, read her words and see her face, and seem to hear her voice; but I can’t look up the number of the phone in her purse. In the past I could find her number in any phone booth or ask the operator in a distant city to find it, but anything much more took a private detective.
—John Crowley recalls his tenure as a telephone book proofreader in NYC 1968 in the most recent September issue of Harper’s.

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Wood Dimensional Changes ☞

An extraordinary d3.js-based data story with interactive visualizations. "Work developed with wood researcher Rafael Passarelli to visualise the wood dimensional changes due to moisture exchange in several cities."

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It will be either cheese or...

It will be either cheese or dessert, not both at once.
—A French commentator on France’s “anti-Amazon law, which says online sellers can’t offer free shipping on discounted books.” Quoted in a NY Times article on how the French “promote ‘biblio-diversity’ and help independent bookstores compete.” 

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Last year, out of the blue,...

Last year, out of the blue, he published a book of photographs of himself as a cross-dresser. He also wrote last year about getting his hands on his F.B.I. file and discovering that the United States government thought he might have been the Unabomber. These sorts of things never happen to Michael Chabon.
—From The NY Times review of William T. Vollman’s new book of ghost stories.

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In Martinique, I had visited...

In Martinique, I had visited rustic and neglected rum-distilleries where the equipment and the methods used had not changed since the eighteenth century. In Puerto Rico, on the other hand, in the factories of the company which enjoys a virtual monopoly over the whole of the sugar production, I was faced by a display of white enamel tanks and chromium piping. Yet the various kinds of Martinique rum, as I tasted them in front of ancient wooden vats thickly encrusted with waste matter, were mellow and scented, whereas those of Puerto Rico are coarse and harsh. We may suppose, then, that the subtlety of the Martinique rums is dependent on impurities the continuance of which is encouraged by the archaic method of production. To me, this contrast illustrates the paradox of civilization: its charms are due essentially to the various residues it carries along with it, although this does not absolve us of the obligation to purify the stream. By being doubly in the right, we are admitting our mistake. We are right to be rational and to try to increase our production and so keep manufacturing costs down. But we are also right to cherish those very imperfections we are endeavouring to eliminate. Social life consists in destroying that which gives it its savour.
—Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques. The underlying philosophy of liberalism, and the consumer culture it generates, condensed into nine sentences. (via ayjay)

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Meanwhile, we don’t need to...

Meanwhile, we don’t need to wait until a hypercapitalist techno-utopia emerges to do right by our struggling neighbors. We could make the choice to pay for universal health care, higher education, and a basic income tomorrow. Instead, you’re kicking the can down the road and hoping the can will turn into a robot with a market solution.
—Intelligently addressing claims of luddism when criticizing technology and capitalism from Alex Payne — Dear Marc Andreessen

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Ford eventually came around...

Ford eventually came around with the loan guarantees necessary to let the city borrow again, but only after intense pressure from Congress and European governments — and after his chief of staff’s assistant, an ambitious young draft dodger named Dick Cheney, made the city agree to end free tuition at the City University system — something it had provided through war, recession, and municipal malfeasance since 1847.
—Absolutely wow’d to read about Dick Cheney’s role in The Near-Death of Grand Central Terminal, by Kevin Baker from Harper’s Magazine

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Equally important, there are...

Equally important, there are plenty of them. Mr. Smith, for example, has produced as many as 300 of his paint-droplet “Rain” canvases, according to dealers. Mass production allows artists to make as much money as possible. It also enables contemporary art investors, nervous of notions of rarity, to buy multiple works and to track their price fluctuations, like a commodity, on databases such as Artnet. Flip Art, like Andy Warhol’s Factory-produced Pop Art, can be as reassuringly numerous and uniform as gambling chips.
—The new commodification, from Hot New Artists, Getting Hotter in the NY Times.

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