aitor / Aitor García

There are no people in aitor’s collective.

Huffduffed (3)

  1. Oh God, It’s Full of Stars

    The relationship between digital and physical products is larger than if it exists on a hard drive or a shelf. It’s the tension between access and ownership, searching and finding, sharing and collecting. It’s a dance between the visible and the invisible, and what happens when we’re forced to remember versus when we are allowed to forget. How does this affect us—not just as makers, but as consumers of these products? Does collecting things matter if we don’t revisit them? We may download, bookmark, tag, organize, and star, but what then?

    A digital Zen master would say that if everything is starred, nothing is. We’ve optimized the system for getting things in, but how do we get something good out? How can we make meaningful connections between all of this stuff, and make constellations out of all these stars?

    http://2011.dconstruct.org/conference/frank-chimero

    Frank Chimero is a graphic designer and illustrator. He makes pictures about words and words about pictures. His fascination with the creative process, curiosity, and visual experience informs all of his work. Each piece is part of an exploration in finding wit, surprise, and joy in the world around us, then, trying to document those things with all deliberate speed.

    —Huffduffed by aitor

  2. The Island Of Stone Money

    There’s a tiny island called Yap out in the Pacific Ocean. Economists love it because it helps answer this really basic question: What is money?

    There’s no gold or silver on Yap. But hundreds of years ago, explorers from Yap found limestone deposits on an island hundreds of miles away. And they carved this limestone into huge stone discs, which they brought back across the sea on their small bamboo boats.

    It’s unclear if these stones started as money. But at some point the people on Yap realized what most societies realize. They needed something that everyone agrees you can use to pay for stuff.

    And like many societies, the people of Yap took the thing they had that was pretty — their version of gold — and decided that was money.

    A piece of stone money was really valuable; you wouldn’t use it for some everyday purchase. You’d use it for something big — a daughter’s dowry, say.

    "If somebody was in real dire straits, and something happened to their crop of food or they were running low on provisions and they had some stone money, they might trade," says Scott Fitzpatrick, an anthropologist at North Carolina State University who is an expert on Yap.

    One key thing about this money: It was really heavy. A big piece could weigh more than a car.

    As a result, this very concrete form of money quickly made the jump to being something very abstract.

    "They often talk about the stones themselves not changing hands at all," Fitzpatrick says. "In fact, most of the time they wouldn’t."

    So imagine there’s this great big stone disc sitting in a village. One person gives it to another person. But the stone doesn’t move. It’s just that everybody in the village knows the stone now has a new owner.

    In fact, the stone doesn’t even need to be on the island to count as money.

    One time, according to the island’s oral tradition, a work crew was bringing was bringing a giant stone coin back to yap on a boat. And just before they got back to the island, they hit a big storm. The stone wound up on the bottom of the ocean.

    The crew made it back to the island and told everybody what happened. And everybody decided that the piece of stone money was still good — even though it was on the bottom of the ocean.

    "So somebody today owns this piece of stone money, even though nobody’s seen it for over 100 years or more," Fitzgerald says.

    This system, in the end, feels really familiar. If you go online to pay your electric bill, what’s really changing in the world?

    Some digits in your bank account get shifted around, along with some digits in the power company’s bank account.

    In other words, that stone money on the bottom of the ocean that you used to own now belongs to the power company.

    For more:

    Our headline has been used before. It’s the name both of a book about Yap, written a century ago, and a 1991 paper by the economist Milton Friedman, who compared Yap’s monetary system to the gold standard.

    —Huffduffed by aitor

  3. AdVerve 52: American Typographica

    America-inspired graphic designer, compulsive truth-teller and typography stickler Aaron Draplin (@draplin) joins us to talk the real America. And when we say "the real America," we don’t just talk politics - although there’s a lot of that. We’re talking aesthetics. Stories and legends. Abandoned cities. Things we’ve forgotten. Vivid colours. Real typefaces that leap into your face and are visible from miles away. What a logo should look and feel like.

    Aaron even gives us a survey of his favourite state signs.

    We wrap with some really good talk about Field Notes, Draplin’s own little way of encouraging you to wrap those typing fingers back around a pen. GO GET SOME.

    It’s a wild ride, dames and gents. A wild, Technicolor ride into the past, and your future, and the past again.

    —Huffduffed by aitor