[from julienorvaisas] What the Luddites Really Fought Against [Smithsonian Magazine] – [Conniff re-contextualizes the term "Luddite" for the digital age. Rather than a rejection or ignorance of technology, being a Luddite is about deliberately and continuously questioning its role in our lives.] The original Luddites lived in an era of “reassuringly clear-cut targets—machines one could still destroy with a sledgehammer”, making them easy to romanticize. By contrast, our technology is as nebulous as “the cloud,” that Web-based limbo where our digital thoughts increasingly go to spend eternity. The original Luddites would answer that we are human. Getting past the myth and seeing their protest more clearly is a reminder that it’s possible to live well with technology, but only if we continually question the ways it shapes our lives. It’s about small things, like cutting the cord, shutting down the smartphone and going out for a walk. But it needs to be about big things, too, like standing up against technologies that put money or convenience above other human values.
[from julienorvaisas] Observed: The Death of the File System? [Johnny Holland] – [The question of digital file management and navigation is one we find ourselves pondering here from time to time. Our mobile lifestyle and shift to an app-oriented way of interfacing with devices suggests that a new vision for navigating files is in order. But in the end, is the staid but flexible file-folder metaphor holding up OK?] “Projects” are just one type of organizational scheme. As a user experience designer, I’ve seen a lot of professionals in other fields organizing a lot of stuff in a lot of different ways. So even attempts at inter-app organization around the concept of a project, such as Microsoft’s Project Center, are not effective replacements for an infinitely flexible organization scheme like simple folders. …We still need a high-level organization system of some kind. And that is the challenge. It’s a challenge because that problem has already been solved by the file system. The challenge is to solve it better.