“The Bleak Cycle”
I don’t usually think it’s fair to quote another blog post in its entirety, and I certainly won’t make a habit of it. With that out of the way, the always-interesting Pixel Envy, written by Nick Heer, hits us with a doozy — one that, due to its length and depth, requires the complete quote:
It’s a cycle. People create something, together, that reflects their energy and weird work; that thing becomes compelling as a result, and that makes it valuable, and at some point someone puts a price on it and someone else pays that price. It is at that moment that the thing begins to change. The new owner will almost always decide that what is most interesting about this thing is not the human essence that gave it value, but The Owner Himself, and will act accordingly. People will come back for the valuable stuff until the owner succeeds in crowding it out; when that crowding is done, the owned thing dies. Until then, what’s left is just what’s valuable—the humanity and brilliance and unpredictability and fun that all that cynical and idiotic and self-serving wealth is always and everywhere busy replacing with itself. There’s nothing to do but look for the good stuff until the looking becomes too challenging, or until it’s gone.David Roth, Defector
Heer writes in response: “You may disagree with Roth’s headline thesis — ‘everything is Silicon Valley now’ — or his tie-in with the story du jour, Twitter, or his analysis of baseball’s problems. But the paragraph above? That is something to keep pinned in your brain. For most of us, it is a reminder to be wary of how things are changed in exploitative ways; for those in power, it should be seen as a cautionary pattern.”
Kottke is Back!
After a few months off, Jason Kottke is back in the blogger’s seat to enrich all of our lives. As someone who’s been reading for years — he started in 1998, and I’m certain his site was in the blogroll of the old Foreword, back in the Aughts.
We might be waiting a while for his so-called “comically long what I did on sabbatical post,” but his Sabbatical Media Diet post is a gold mine of to-read and to-watch items.
Welcome back, sir. May you blog for many seasons more.
Stop Stealing [Free] Sheep
No, not that — the type book:
From Kottke, while we’re on the subject, one of his Quick Links from Dec 20th: “Google Fonts is offering a free download of the newly updated 4th edition of Erik Spiekermann’s Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works.” It’s a PDF, available now.
9th Annual Landscape Photography Awards
It’s fair criticism to say that I both decry photography contests and yet sometimes celebrate the results. But…:
Wow. I couldn’t not highlight that photograph.
Oldest Logos Still in Use
Image Relay has an interesting item showing how long some familiar logos have been used — and, yeah, there’s a reason they’re familiar!
That’s but a sample of the complete listing; shown are nos. 3–8. Coca-Cola, the company I’d probably name if asked for the oldest logo, is no. 12. Click through for the rest.
That’s it for this year
Foreword will be back in January with our annual first-of-the-year best-of: my favorite book covers of 2022. Happy holidays, everyone!
Top image: Tree Lights, December 2020, downtown Macon, Georgia.