That taster was actually a bit of a coffee nerd and he made the acute observation that what Nespresso had really done was to look at the coffee-making process and systematically remove all that is problematic in it. The result is something flawless, but that is a particular and limited form of excellence or perfection.
Great lines to be found all over the place today; and the highlighted one here is no different. It’s the very essence of why I like seams in my interaction with services and products. It’s what gives it character and, dare I say, make it human.
Imagine going into an espresso bar, as I did in Tokyo, ordering a single shot, and being told that it’s not on offer. The counter at No. 8 Bear Pond may feature the shiniest, spiffiest, newest La Marzocco, as well as a Rube Goldberg–esque water-filtration system, but the menu, which lists lattes and Americanos, makes no mention of espresso or cappuccino.
“My boss won’t let me make espressos,” says the barista. “I need a year more, maybe two, before he’s ready to let customers drink my shots undiluted by milk. And I’ll need another whole year of practice after that if I want to be able to froth milk for cappuccinos.”
In watching Shut Up and Play the Hits, the documentary of LCD Soundsystem’s final show ever at Madison Square Garden, it is clear that James Murphy loves three things: music, his French bulldog, and coffee. He loves coffee with a passion unmatched by pretty much any somewhat famous person besides David Lynch — who has his own coffee line and has been known for putting rants about the virtues of coffee versus tea in movies like Inland Empire. When Stephen Colbert asked Murphy what he wanted to do now that he was retiring from rock stardom, he said, “I like to make coffee.” And much of the documentary’s footage of Murphy at home has him crouched by an espresso machine.
(Sometimes I feel arguing on Twitter is like doing surgery while wearing boxing gloves. It has to be swift and precise, but ends up being generalizing and messy.)
There was also a fantastic piece of reporting from New York Times on why Apple gets their products manufactored in China:
“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”
The speed and agility of mass-scale production is unprecendented, and can’t be done anywhere else. And yes, it hurts the American middle class who used to have jobs at plants like these. “Apple, America and a squeezed middle class” is this week’s by far best long-form article.
In geo-political news, “The Israeli-based company G-Max Security makes a “buried cable intrusion detection sensor” that is “totally concealed and operates effectively under any type of surface,” from open fields and highways to mountains, snow, and ice.”Security geotextile is the word we’re looking for.
If you’re working with internet-stuff and like to draw something up quickly in HTML and CSS, Twitter’s Bootstrap is pretty fucking cool. It helps me turn Fireworks comps into a clickable prototype in literally a day. Mark Otto from Twitter wrote a bit about how it came to be, and what to expect from the next edition.
“You, guy,” he said to my boyfriend across the table. “It’s not fair. You bring this girl here. It’s not fair.” We asked why not. “Because all women who come to conferences should be available,” he replied.
Because US politics isn’t nearly fucked up enough, Stephen Colbert is dragging its lifeless corpse through the streets for everyone to mock.
The most interesting thing I learned from my impromptou experience was the power of nonsense spoken with conviction. I found that with just 5-10 unique stories or data points on a category (e.g. “transportation”), I could string together a compelling argument for almost any question. It wasn’t important that I believed what I was saying, or even that my arguments were consistent across questions. In fact, I would frequently use a single anecdote or data point multiple times in a single day to argue completely opposite things–and as the judges were different for each question, my shifting opinions were no problem.
This might officially be one of the best blogs right now: You are not so smart.
Various topics are explored on the basis of a thesis that resembles the usual opinion on the matter with the “truth” being spelled out underneath it. The posts are based on scientific material and worth a read. Especially when difficult topics are handled (The Public Goods Game being one of them):
The Misconception: Memories are played back like recordings.
The Truth: Memories are constructed anew each time from whatever information is currently available, which makes things like eyewitness testimony unreliable.
The Misconception: People who are losing at the game of life must have done something to deserve it.
The Truth: The beneficiaries of good fortune often do nothing to earn it, and bad people often get away with their actions without consequences.
The Misconception: If everyone contributes to the good of society, everyone will benefit, and everyone will be happy.
The Truth: Without some form of regulation, slackers and cheaters will crash economic systems because people don’t want to feel like suckers.