The future of text, Gray Area, another VR headset, objects, Tijuana tech

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

People have been asking me: why does your newsletter show up at all different times of the day? Some have asked whether it is an engagement strategy or some kind of analytics-driven wizardy. And the answer is: no. Not even close. Really what it is is that I make this thing by hand every single day, so if I get really busy in the morning or I need to finish a story or have a meeting, the newsletter gets bumped later. On the fairly rare day when you don't receive one at all, trust that it's because I've been chasing something big down or traveling or binge watching House of Cards.


1. A survey of the many futures of text innovation.

"Text is the most socially useful communication technology. It works well in 1:1, 1:N, and M:N modes. It can be indexed and searched efficiently, even by hand. It can be translated. It can be produced and consumed at variable speeds. It is asynchronous. It can be compared, diffed, clustered, corrected, summarized and filtered algorithmically. It permits multiparty editing. It permits branching conversations, lurking, annotation, quoting, reviewing, summarizing, structured responses, exegesis, even fan fic. The breadth, scale and depth of ways people use text is unmatched by anything."


2. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts is raising funds to improve their building: Here's a profile of the founder, Josette Melchor.

"She’s been the one-woman force behind the creation of San Francisco’s Gray Area (also known as GAFFTA), a non-profit that has validated an emerging form of art called creative coding over the past decade. Creative coding is about programming expressive, rather than functional, work. It runs the gamut from data visualization, like this very early Gray Area-supported project from Stamen Design that made interactive maps of Tenderloin data on crime and cabs, to projection mapping, like this pretty astonishing video from Bot & Dolly in Potrero Hill. Gray Area has also pioneered urban prototyping, a movement to get city residents involved in trialling new ideas for city life through quick, inexpensive and temporary projects. The 'parklet,' first popularized in San Francisco, is a prime example."

+ And here's where you can go to support Gray Area's project.

3. My guess is that only one VR headset ends up actually working, and I'm guessing it is not HTC's, but you never know.


"Strange as this whole thing seems, it does sort of makes sense. HTC is nothing if not an expert in crafting handsome, high-end pieces of gear. The size constraints it's used to working with may have made it an attractive partner for a huge game developer/distributor who want to strap something onto our faces, too. And hey, this mashup has attracted the attention of some big-name partners: Google's on-board, as are HBO, Lionsgate, Owlchemy, Vertigo Games and Dovetail Games (to name a few). The ambition coursing through the air here is undeniable. Valve and HTC aren't just trying to change the way we game — they're itching to redefine the way we travel, shop, communicate and be productive. We've heard this sort of high-level bluster before, and the industry has made plenty of steps since the early days of the Oculus, but consider us skeptics until we see the Vive do its thing in person."

4. The sculptures of Carl Andre.

"Maybe objects are consoling. Old ones in particular, earth-textured, made by other-minded men. Objects are what we aren’t, what we can’t extend ourselves to be. Do people make things to define the boundaries of the self? Objects are the limits we desperately need. They show us where we end. They dispel our sadness, temporarily."


5. Meet the people rebuilding an old bus station into a tech hub in Tijuana.

"In spring 2014, it opened its doors as Hub Stn. It operates with the credence that like-minded entrepreneurs can benefit from working in proximity to one another. A collaborative workspace, Hub Stn caters to Tijuana’s thousands of tech workers, a bilingual workforce as fluent in database management and C++ as it is in English. Many more are set to arrive: More than 83,000 students in the city are enrolled across 35 public and private universities, 14 technical schools, and 57 high schools, and Tijuana has 13 nationally accredited university programs in engineering, information sciences, and business administration, according to a report by Creative Class Group."


Today's 1957 American English Usage Tip:

directress, -trix. See FEMININE DESIGNATIONS. As fem. of director-tress is better, but -trix has a use in geometry (pl. -trices, see -TRIX).


The Credits

1. / @alienated 2. 3. / @jrvolpe 4. / @placesjournal 5.


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