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by sounds_sound 81 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Economy: A thought experiment

I think kb is on the right track as far as collecting all the metrics on the site. But to spin it a different way, what if there was an actual real world cost given to the uses of the site. Say you take the cost of bandwidth and then you divide that by how much each individual user is drawing from the site. Then you take the cost of storage and you divide that by how much each individual adds to that storage by adding content, comments, etc. It would be interesting to see a little ticker on my feed somewhere that tells me, as close and specific as possible, how much I as one user costs the owner to keep the doors open. This info would only be visible to each person. No one could see other users usage and dollar draw. As a user that has been here for a while, I would love to know how much I am costing Hubski, and would definitely be more likely to give money - and likely even more than I cost. You could take this as far as you wanted. Say you took all the time that was spent to code the back end, upgrade hardware and what not, well that could be a line item too. The more users on the site, the more these costs are divided. The more active someone is, the more they cost. Payment would not have to be required, it would just be a "hey, fyi, your 50 posts today cost us $.00065 in storage.

Another idea is to have an actual page that you could go to with advertising on it. It wouldn't be on any other screen but one. It could look like "feed - chatter - global - tags - community - badges - accounting" or something. I click on accounting and it's just a stream of video ads or something. Also on that screen, there is another ticker that tells me how much the site is earning by me watching these ads. Say I wanted to earn Hubski 50 cents one day because I saw that that was how much my draw was that day for using the site, I could watch ten ads, or refresh my screen and get more ads or whatever. Mind you, I have no idea how ads work or give money.

Edit: My first point reminds me of the new Aphex Twin album cover, where he breaks down where all the costs of his album went to. I know for example that .00041 quid went to tracking and monitoring illegal download links and that .00113 quid went to advertising in Spain:

by sounds_sound 163 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Mid-2014 Hubski Sticker Vote Thread

by sounds_sound 406 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: TELL HUBSKI: Sticker Design Contestx 3

That was fun:

1. 2.

3. 4.

5. 6.

7. 8.

Edit: And just to scratch an itch, I thought I'd throw in a Frank Stella inspired version:

x.

by sounds_sound 548 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn: Why tipping should be outlawed

The author has some fair points. Better service doesn't actually beget better tips is pretty right on. When I started serving at Red Lobster - 16 years ago - I would make okay tips. Actually, I started out as a line cook. Throwing beer-battered shrimp into the fryer by the armful. Split and cleaning lobsters. That was on the daily for me. I was even an Alley Coordinator for a while. You know the little dishes of ketchup and tartar sauce that come on your plate at some places? Yeah. Getting them on there was my job. And I was an excellent server too. I deconstructed the process and turned it into a game. I was a ninja on the dining room floor. I'll never forget the time I served the fattest dude 15 cokes without letting him miss a sip. The service he told me was jaw-dropping. And BAM - 15 percent for that. 1 percent for each coke. Ultimately, I understood that the difficulty in breaking the 18% tip ceiling was simply a matter of perceived value. At that point, after two years of serving garlic-butter scampi, I realized my tips were so consistently tied to the bill amount that I thought it better to work in a place with pricier food and a decent wine list. Enter fine dining. Which I did for the better part of a decade. Paid my way through undergrad lickety-split. Thing is, the boss only chipped in $2.65 an hour for my effort. The rest I had to smile for. (and god I hate smiling). But $200 tabs were the regular at my new place and after all was said and done I walked out the door averaging $18 per hour. In cash and after tax. When I started bartending it went up to $28 per hour. Not too bad I thought for being 22 - where I would wake up at 11 to get to work at 4 - where I would eat and drink for free. I often made rent in one good weekend. Even got hit-on occasionally! No doubt I've benefited from the current tipping culture. My income and work allowed me an insanely flexible schedule. I made quick gobs of money, took weeks off at a time, traveled all over, and partied along the way.

I'm intrigued by the idea of outlawing tipping and am incidentally in complete support of it. Folding tipping into the general price of the menu is definitely the way to go as I see it. The only thing that would happen if the U.S. did it is the general level of service would decrease dramatically (and if you think you've had bad service, try living in Canada). By outlawing tipping, servers will stop working for people and start working for companies. And companies cut corners. Bottom line. It's the food or the service. Personally, I think it's not a bad trade off because I feel that the tipping culture in America has an odd kind of systemic oppression to it - not the typical - meat and potatoes - sexist or racist kind of oppression as the author wrongly indicated, but more a delineation of class that we all could use a good heaping less of. In fact, in the States these days, it seems like a little equality should be the main course.

by sounds_sound 576 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Wikihouse: The democratization of architecture

Rem Koolhaas had a great graph during the recent economic crash where he showed how creativity in architects increased in inverse proportion to the decline of the building industry. His argument is that architects are continually generating ideas regardless of whether or not they can make them, which in turn gives us a surplus of thought that could generate a future full in ingenuity. And the guy talking on stage here is right. Architecture isn't about building, it is about a way a thinking. A friend of mine abides by that rule. I have a different thought about what architecture is and all I can come up with is that it has to do with the practice of connecting something to something else. Preston Scott Cohen says that "architecture is a coincidence". Chew on that.

Typical North American building code has in place a division B part 9, designed specifically for small buildings. Small schools, churches, even tiny hotels, and homes are subject under this category. The idea behind this is that there are, and should be, a different set of standards to build these small typologies of necessity. The most paramount being that one does not need to be an architect to get a permit to build them. In some places still, one can go in with a series of hand drawn plans and be able to build. All that would be required is that you've demonstrated a proficient understanding of best building practices within that particular region - information that can easily be gleaned from a few google searches, a bit of reading, and an appreciation to detail. To zoom out for a second, I've always really liked the idea of this because it reminds me of a right to pursue happiness of sorts. The idea that any one can get a bit of land and build a life - literally - without needing specialization is a great thought. Building your own home is something you will always be able to do. Architecture is already democratized.

80% of the buildings around the world are still made from loam. Earth being the most readily available material, and quite literally the byproduct of excavation, it's quite easy to come by, let alone free. Add a bit of fire (free again) and bam - brick. With that in mind, building with plywood and a computer seems a bit of a non starter to me for most places. Plywood can only get wet 7 or 8 times before it's no good, so like he says, just add windows and some cladding. And metal flashing, and building paper, and footings, and hinged doors and and and. Try adding cladding with a mallet made of plywood. What he is essentially proposing here is something akin to a poorly considered first year design project. It isn't nearly as affective as this concrete tent. Waterproof, fireproof, and durable as all get out. Concrete as a matter of fact works pretty well in poor countries with little resource. Those favella towers? Concrete bones with a bit of re-bar, clay infill and a corrugated metal roof. No fifty year warranty needed. Oh, you didn't finish building before the rainy season? No problem. Concrete hardens underwater. Come back next summer and keep going.

Above all of this though, is how troubling I find it when a person says that they're giving design to the people and leaving it up to them even though what they've presented is an already intentioned and considered object. The fact that this thing has a gable roof is problematic as it is essentially a symbol of western colonization. There are examples of this all over the world. One that comes to mind is the First Nations people in western Canada. Forced to live in Queen Anne style homes designed by the British, their way of life was completely upended and thus began a string of social woes within the family and community fabric - all bubbling out of the spaces that defined them. Turns out, our buildings rely on us living in them a certain way. And really, just imagine seeing one of these sitting on an almost impossible to develop slope in Rio nestled between two 6 story masonry structures. Does that feel right to anybody? Exporting such a singular icon is not democratization, but homogenization that disregards cultural identity and creeps slow death. Architecture is most alive where regional materials and local social practices are represented in real space and created solely by the people who use them - not flat-packed in plywood and stored on a microchip.

by sounds_sound 788 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Detroit Rule

Chili? I'd eat Detroit Crackrock. I think that's what they put in their chili though. Btw, Did I ever tell you how cold it is in the D?

by sounds_sound 953 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: PBS Lists top 10 buildings that changed America...
That's exactly why this building is on the list, because the process is what matters. But not only did the process inform the building as to what it wanted to be, the building most definitely allowed that process to happen, evolve, and ultimately become extremely refined. Highland park was the real testing ground that allowed the River Rouge plant to even be conceived. Forget about the model T, it's all about the assembly line and Highland Park is where that all really took shape. So while I wouldn't say 'It's just a building', I do suggest that it is a really dumb building, but that's kind of the genius of it. It was flexible and open and adaptable. It was like a lab where things could be discovered. Say you need an extra man on the line for whatever reason. Well, you would need to stretch out the existing line to make room for that and the building was designed to let that happen. Say a car part doesn't fit through the door, well you take a wall out, since the concrete skeletal frame and thin glass facade lets you do that - in a few hours. This building is the place where the Model T went from like 20 hours to make to less than 2 minutes to make and it's no question that the building played a major role in letting that happen. And check this out. When they even needed more space than anticipated, they built scaffolding onto the side, essentially extending the machine onto the street. It worked and it was beautiful.

You have to remember that we're talking about 1908 here. Nobody was thinking about buildings in this way before. In a way, the fact that you find this building meaningless is even more telling of its complete ubiquitous power. These types of buildings and their way of thinking about space totally revolutionized manufacturing throughout the world and it happened in the matter of a few decades, which is why it feels so normal, but at the time this was really new and groundbreaking shit. Even Corb's manifesto which says that "Architecture is a machine for living in" wasn't published until 15 years later. And Corb was in fact greatly influenced by what he saw during his visit to industrial America. Architecture was starting to empathize with and incorporate the car. For me, the real interesting thing that this building talks about is how our lives were starting to become compartmentalized. Now (in 1910), you would GO to work, and GO on vacation, and GO to grandma's house. Our lives were exceedingly being dictated by the clock and reduced to schedules. You can read this in the elevation of the building. It's a grid of repetitive rectangles all working together to create the mass of a whole building. I mean, is it just a coincidence that the elevation of the building, as wholly dictated by it's functionality, looks exactly like a calendar? This was also happening in painting at the time too, which of course was equally revolutionary. Cubism was partly about deconstructing the body into parts and reassembling them. It was about, for me, the beginning of the lack of cohesiveness in our daily lives. Highland Park is where all of this started.

by sounds_sound 1061 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Why 3D Printing will go the way of VR
Bit of a rambler, but someone might find a useful moment or two -

I was a bit young during the time that I remember VR being hyped up so I can't really add to its discussion. I do however remember the Power Glove and Lawn Mower Man and I do remember thinking that VR was going to be everywhere in no time. If you asked people in the 50's what kind of personal vehicles we would have by the millennium they would tell you that we would all have flying cars. And when the hoverboard was featured in BTTF II, I could have sworn you would be able to buy one the week after. These days I'm not so easily cajoled. As someone who hears the words 'Master Plan' a lot in my profession, I have to say it's laughable. Predictions of the future rarely come true, yet I understand the temptation. So, in the spirit of argument (and in giving into temptations), let me declare - 3d printers will NEVER be in the AVERAGE middle-class home. The reason is simply because it will never be practical enough. This to me though this isn't even close to what is actually compelling about 3d printing because I do believe that they are revolutionizing the way we design and build and the way we think about design and build.

First off, coupling two technologies like VR and 3D Printing for a discussion is myopic at best and does neither of their virtues any service. I think that VR is WAY more complex than 3d printing in terms of mechanics. Fooling haptics is no easy task. But what is really interesting to me concerning 3d printing is the way is allows us to think about material differently. It's on par in this respect to the recent molecular gastronomy food movement in terms of a complete paradigm shift. I wouldn't really call this molecular gastronomy, but check out MIT's food printer: http://web.media.mit.edu/~marcelo/cornucopia/ as one example. Printing chicken nuggets at home is now a reality even if it it is quite silly. Printing in terms of its architectural merit is more realistic and what I want to focus on...

Printing lets us think of material in terms of its basic components and their propensity to amalgamate and that's really exciting. I once heard someone say that Legos are destroying design because they allow for only additive, i.e. tectonic, making which is the counterpoint to something like carving terracota which is subtractive making, or stereotomic. Printing makes us think about both simultaneously. As we discover ways to 'powderize' more materials, then our horizons will continually expand. Right now on Shapeways, we can order a print in plastic, metal, ceramic, and glass http://www.shapeways.com/materials/ and there are places that can fire or dip anything printed so the question of quality and durability is now irrelevant. Also, I can't believe that wood isn't being printed yet - think medium density fiberboard (MDF). The truth is, entire commodity chains will be affected by the way printing consumes material.

Another important aspect of printing is the way it grants people access to advanced design. I've been actually playing with 3d printing for about 10 years now myself and I can say first hand how incredibly liberating it is to send my rhino file to the printer and watch it bake. Try it and your mind will explode (just like the first time you used Napster) For me, printing allows us to create beautiful designs like people used to spend time doing. I think there is a direct lineage from Louis Sullivan's frieze: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zJpnTu57Koc/TF48wG6rkRI/AAAAAAAAVt... to Michael Hansmeyer's computational architecture: http://www.michael-hansmeyer.com/projects/columns.html#1 decoration is affordable again. And, oh shit, look at what's coming next: http://cosmopolitanscum.com/2011/09/23/the-worlds-first-prin.... In the future this will be no biggie.

by sounds_sound 1180 days ago  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Louis Khan - My Architectx 2
I visited the Exeter Library two years ago. Actually slept over night in my car in the parking lot because I didn't have money for a hotel. It's a pretty powerful building. The design is made from a series of concentric squares. The process? It's as different as each individual building and each individual architect. Ideally, there wouldn't be one starting point, but many co-existing starting points. To say that an architect works from the inside out or vice versa is too reductionist. One might typically start with a request of types of spaces needed, called the program. In the case of the Exeter, maybe a lobby, reception, reading kiosks, book stacks, etc. You can see some of his earlier sketches of these relationships here in the lower left http://jtpennington.com/italy/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/lib.... You can see him working out ideas in plan and elevation. Although he primarily works in plan (Le Corbusier famously said 'the plan is the ultimate generator') At the same time though, one should be thinking about procession, meaning how and when do we first arrive to view the building - walking to it from across the street, driving to the parking lot etc. then entering the building, seeing the lobby,and finally, maybe searching for a book on the fourth floor or something. This is all called the architectural 'promenade'. The architect at his/her fullest potential designs these environments - high low loud quiet light dark hard soft public private. The way the spaces work together, cohesively, often takes some massaging. Kahn was known for thinking of buildings in terms of serving and served spaces. The stair well is a serving space, the reading room is a served space. The janitors closet is a serving space, the covered entry is a served space. Really though there are a million ways to approach the design of a building - economic, environmental, political, functional, structural....