Abstract: The Art of Design

Check this trailer:

This is one of the best documentary series I have ever seen. It is about a world that was (or still is) unknown to me: “design” as a profession. Of course, I was aware of “design” as an activity before watching, but not the depth and sophistication that goes into it.

The show explains why design is not just “applied art” but how it defines the way we feel about and interact with the world. It taught me not to think of product vs. experience: the product itself is the experience, the product creates its own world. Moreover, design is actually problem solving: good design is not only beauty but it solves problems, and bad design is not just a lack of beauty but it also creates problems.

Eight episode presents the life of eight very different personality. None of them seems to be driven by their ego but by their passion for their craft. They have an impact because their message is broader than themselves: they don’t want “my design” but “good design”.

Below are some of the words and ideas from the series that I found particularly interesting.

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365 Days of EDM on YouTube


While some say that electronic dance music is just a fad, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular music genres today.

Though I am kind of an older armchair EDM fan and not the young party animal, I was curious to see how the genre evolves over time and started brainstorming about a potential analysis, and so more than a year ago I’ve set up a small piece of software that started collecting data.

At the beginning I have asked fairly simple questions like “Which are the most popular songs?” and “How did they become popular: instantly or gradually?”, but as I was getting the answers, more and more questions have arisen and many unexpected patterns have been discovered.

In the following I present the results of my analysis and I hope you too will find some interesting bits and pieces about the worldwide EDM community.

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TV Show: The Science of Stupid

I rarely watch TV, but caught the trailer of a show and decided to binge watch all 14 episodes of it (each is about 20 minutes long). It showcases accidents and provides short, but insightful scientific explanations on why did they happen.

The Hungarian title is “Pedig jó ötletnek tűnt…”, which translates to “But it seemed to be a good idea…”. In Germany, it was aired with a title “Wissenschaft der Missgeschicke” which is “Science of the Unlucky”. I like both of these titles more than the original, because the word “stupid” is quite derogatory for people suffering accidents while trying to push the limits of human achievement or simply having fun.

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Book: Pitch Anything – Oren Klaff

I’m not sure that everything in this book is based on actual science, but the author creates a good-enough framework to talk about his main idea: “There is a fundamental disconnect between the way we pitch anything and the way it is received by our audience.”

Some parts are autobiographical, and as some reviewers at Amazon — who claim to know him in person —  has pointed out, the descriptions of the events are not always accurate, slight exaggerations are present. Despite of that, I think he writes about his own experiences in a friendly manner and I didn’t feel at any point that he was bragging about his achievements. The examples are used to illustrate his ideas, not show how great he is (or might be).

Another reviewer went as far as seeing a connection between his pitching techniques and the techniques used to seduce women. A connection which, I must admit, also come into my mind. And that shouldn’t surprise anyone: smooth social dynamics is essential to every kind of human relationship, be it with a friend, a business partner, a family member, or basically any other human being. This can be called small talk, chit-chat, flirting, etc. based on the participants of the situation (the author calls it push-pull), but the fundamentals are very much the same.

It’s a relatively short read (~65,000 words), but it took me a bit more time than usual. I had to continuously stop and evaluate what he says. Sometimes I wholeheartedly agreed with him, sometimes the exact opposite: the discrepancy between his and my experience is so big that I had to quit reading for some time to recover. I guarantee that will happen to you as well, but be skeptical: there’s no absolute truth to find here.

Some quotes from the book:

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