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Posts Tagged ‘guillotine

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”*…

 

simplicity

 

We are addicted to accumulation. The minimalist lifestyle seems like a conscientious way of approaching the world now that we have realised that materialism, accelerating since the industrial revolution, is literally destroying the planet…

Minimalism, I came to think, is not necessarily a voluntary personal choice, but an inevitable societal and cultural shift responding to the experience of living through the 2000s

The iPhone’s function depends on an enormous, complex, ugly superstructure of satellites and undersea cables that certainly are not designed in pristine whiteness. Minimalist design encourages us to forget everything a product relies on and imagine, in this case, that the internet consists of carefully shaped glass and steel alone…

The phrase describes the alienated presence that we feel when we are aware of both our individual physical bodies and our collective causation of environmental damage and climate change. While we calmly walk down the street, watch a film or go food shopping, we are also the source of pollution drifting across the Pacific or a tsunami in Indonesia. The second body is the source of an unplaceable anxiety: the problems are undeniably our fault, even though it feels as if we cannot do anything about them because of the sheer difference in scale

It is easy to feel like a minimalist when you can order food, summon a car or rent a room using a single brick of steel and silicon. But in reality, it is the opposite. We are taking advantage of a maximalist assemblage. Just because something looks simple does not mean it is; the aesthetics of simplicity cloak artifice, or even unsustainable excess.

This slickness is part of minimalism’s marketing pitch. According to one survey in a magazine called Minimalissimo, you can now buy minimalist coffee tables, water carafes, headphones, sneakers, wristwatches, speakers, scissors and bookends, each in the same monochromatic, severe style familiar from Instagram, and often with pricetags in the hundreds, if not thousands. What they all seem to offer is a kind of mythical just-rightness, the promise that if you just consume this one perfect thing, then you won’t need to buy anything else in the future – at least until the old thing is upgraded and some new level of possible perfection is found.

From the ‘KonMari method’ to Apple’s barely-there design philosophy, we are forever being urged to declutter and simplify our lives. But does minimalism really make us any happier? “The empty promises of Marie Kondo and the craze for minimalism.”

Via Patrick Tanguay’s Sentiers

* Albert Einstein

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As we cathect on curation, we might recall that it was on this date in 1790 that Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin demonstrated his invention, the guillotine, for the first time, in Paris.  An opponent of capital punishment, Guillotin believed his device, at least, the simplest, most elegant, and most humane way to dispatch the punished.  Exactly three years later, on this date in 1793, his device removed the head of King Louis the XVI.

The execution of Louis XVI (source)

 

Written by LW

January 21, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Happiness is not something ready made”*…

 

Hedonometer reading for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A collaboration of data scientists at the University of Vermont and the Mitre Corporation, the Hedonometer was created to gauge happiness by assessing word use.  It was first applied to Twitter, as readers can see here.  More lately, it has been turned on the repository at Project Gutenberg, so that users can test the “happiness” of thousands of classic books… as above.  The chart in the top left shows happiness metrics through the whole of the book; the chart on the right shows a comparison of book sections, which one can select in the first chart.

As our friends at Flowing Data observe, “I wish I could say this meant something to me…”  Still, it makes one happy to know that they’re on the case.

* Dalai Lama

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As we search for word replacements codes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1977 that Hamida Djandoubi became the last person to be legally executed in France by guillotine.

 source

 

Written by LW

September 10, 2014 at 1:01 am

For tonight’s debate…

Logical Fallacy Bingo

Definitions of each flavor of fallacy, and clean copies of the board at Lifesnow.com.

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As we overcome our wistfulness on remembering that this is Oscar Wilde’s birthday, we might recall that it was on this date in 1793, nine months after her husband, the former King Louis XVI of France, was beheaded, that Marie Antoinette followed him to the guillotine. (Readers who are parents– or collectors– can find commemorative dolls here.)

 source

Written by LW

October 16, 2012 at 1:01 am

Putting vegetables to exquisite use…

Long-time readers will know of your correspondent’s affection for Charles and Ray Eames, and especially for their cinematic meditation on scale,  Powers of Ten.  (See, e.g., here and here.)  It is a pleasure to report that there’s now a version available that is suitable for vegetarians…

click the image above, of here, for video

[TotH to Co-Design, where readers will find the backstory.]

As marvel at the menu, we might recall that it was on this date in 1790 that Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin demonstrated his invention, the guillotine, for the first time, in Paris.  An opponent of capital punishment, Guillotin believed his device, at least, the most humane way to dispatch the punished.  Exactly three years later, on this date in 1793, his device removed the head of King Louis the XVI.

The execution of Louis XVI (source)

 

Written by LW

January 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

What’s for dinner?…

source

…  that nagging question.  Now, from James Off, a way to be sure that each night’s repast is a fresh adventure: The Random Recipe Generator.  How about…

Essence Of Vanilla Mini Roasties
Serves 1
You will need:

* 1 spoons of mayonnaise
* 60ml essence of vanilla
* 5 red onions
* 30g muslei

Instructions:

1. pre-heat the oven to 180 C
2. eat the red onions
3. toast the muslei
4. fry the spoons of mayonnaise until browned
5. fry the essence of vanilla
6. bake for 40 minutes and serve hot

Or

Iceberg Lettuce Creme Brulee
Serves 5
You will need:

* 70g chicken
* 3 courgettes
* 110g iceberg lettuce
* 130g strawberries

Instructions:

1. pre-heat the oven to 190 C
2. stir-fry the courgettes
3. slice the chicken
4. heat the chicken in the saucepan
5. add the chicken
6. add one tablespoon of the courgettes
7. whisk the iceberg lettuce
8. flambe the courgettes
9. spoon the iceberg lettuce onto a warmed plate
10. throw the iceberg lettuce away
11. microwave the courgettes
12. sprinkle the chicken over the top
13. discard the strawberries
14. bake for 50 minutes and serve hot

As Mr. Off suggests, “Insufficiently delicious? Reload the page for another.”

As we loosen our belts, we might also loosen our neckties, as it was on this date in 1793 that Louis XVI was executed by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution in Paris, having been arrested the prior year by the Sans-Cullottes and imprisoned for treason. (Nine months later, Marie Antoinette was also convicted of treason by a tribunal, and on October 16 she followed her husband to the blade.)

Louis XVI in headier days…

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