In a moment, two snipped quotes, but first, a new tool.
I'm using NewsFire for tracking my websites these days. So far, it's proving to be a superb solution to a situation that had spiralled out of control. I was on the verge of un-subscribing from all but about ten feeds due to the impossibility of keeping up, but NewsFire's simple interface, with some clever complexity hidden away, is doing the trick. (Thanks to Nico Macdonald for the recommendation.)
The random collisions enabled by reading blogs in this stream of near-unconsciousness can reveal deep, otherwise hidden, patterns; indeed, sometimes about complexity and information density. It just happened. Just now.
First, Michal Migurski in a conversation with Peter Merholz and Fernando Viegas at the IDEA conference blog:
"I agree with Peter’s opinion about the relationship between complexity and popularity. It’s a lot like pop music in that way - provide a hook that can be hummed, and then backfill the complexity into the production and subtext for longevity. The KLF’s book “The Manual” articulates this more effectively than anything else I’ve seen, and has served as a foundation for most of my interests for the past 4 or 5 years. An effective visual interpretation of information hides the same kind of subtlety in a simple presentation."
I love that - "provide a hook that can be hummed, and then backfill the complexity into the production and subtext for longevity".
Then, next up, Emmet Connelly's Thoughtwax, with 'Local History' on a random encounter with an old feller outside a Blooming blue plaque on a Dublin street:
"We heard about how the area had once been a melting pot of cultures: a stronghold of the Jewish community in Ireland (the man, who had grown up in the area, used to earn money every Saturday evening for turning on the lights in their houses because they refused to work), the working class (at least until 1969, when they moved out to the newly-built suburbs and a Northside/Southside socioeconomic divide was created), settled British army officers and their families (who used to display a picture of a horse in their window to indicate their loyalty), and local tradesmen and shopkeepers (like the butcher who refused to remove the swastika, an ancient and beautiful symbol, from his van just because it had been hijacked by Adolf). We chatted about famous people in history and local literature, listened to some anecdotes, and heard about the architectural and cultural changes of the last fifty years. All of it about the road we were standing on, every story (to get a bit floaty about it all), invisibly woven into the fabric of the street. We walked back into the city centre as it got dark, enthused and fresh with one of those completely obvious but exciting realisations; there’s history everywhere."
Behind a simple facade, layered complexity.