Raw thoughts from Alex Dong

Teaching to see, Google's organic search, Anxiety vs. Creativity and Journalism vs. Activism

Inge Druckrey: Teaching to see: A beautiful crafted documentary on Inge Druckrey. 36 minutes long. Two things I particularly loved. First is the process of seeing objects and thinking of them in terms of abstract shapes. The process of allowing only two rounded shape and how different arts can be created. Second is the font design process and how iterative it is.

How Google is Killing Organic Search: The claim might be a bit hyperbole but I have been surprised by these changes recently. The perceived quality of Google search result is going down.

13%: That’s the amount of real estate given to true organic results in a search for “auto mechanic”

7%: That’s the amount of on page real estate that the newest iteration of Google gives to organic results on a search for “Italian Restaurant”

0%: Open your iPhone. Search for “Italian Food.“ What do you see? If you’re in NYC, you see 0 organic results. You see an ad unit taking half the page, and then a Google owned Zagat listing. Start scrolling, you’ll see a map, then Google local listings. After four full page scrolls, you’ll have the organic listings in front of you. (via: @garrytan)

Kierkegaard on Anxiety & Creativity. Søren Kierkegaard argues like anxiety comes naturally with the ability to create. Anxiety often triggers another emotion guilty.

anxiety is the dizziness of freedom, which emerges when the spirit wants to posit the synthesis and freedom looks down into its own possibility, laying hold of finiteness to support itself.

Rollo May dived into the guilty part deeper:

creating also means destroying the status quo of one’s environment, breaking the old forms; it means producing something new and original in human relations as well as in cultural forms (e.g., the creativity of the artist). Thus every experience of creativity has its potentiality of aggression or denial toward other persons in one’s environment or established patterns within one’s self. The more creative the person, he held, the more anxiety and guilt are potentially present.

Journalism, Even When It’s Tilted: So now I know that activist is another word that can be used to smear people.

And as a journalist and activist, Mr. Greenwald could not resist a jab. “I have seen all sorts of so-called objective journalists who have all kinds of assumptions in every sentence they write,” he said. “Rather than serve as an adversary of government, they want to bolster the credibility of those in power. That is a classic case of a certain kind of activism.”