Premature burial; Safety coffins; how to survive being buried alive; Vestal virgins being buried alive for breaking their vows of celibacy; Immurement; George Washington’s taphephobia, Harry Houdini, The Nanking massacre; plus more! Music: "Diggin’ Up the World" by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
Kevin Eldon is one of the UK’s finest comedy actors. For this exclusive series Kevin has written a series of monologues, lectures, soliloquys. All of which, no doubt, squat toad-like upon the cusp of delerium.
Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling 4 million copies in 35 languages. Now, four years in the making, arrives the follow up: SuperFreakonomics. Steve Levitt and Stephen Dubner return with a book that is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first. Freakonomics made the world safe to discuss the economics of crack cocaine and the impact of baby names. SuperFreakonomics retains that off-kilter sensibility (comparing, for instance, the relative dangers of driving while drunk versus walking while drunk) but also tackles a host of issues at the very centre of modern society: terrorism, global warming, altruism, and more.
Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author and journalist who lives in New York City. In addition to Freakonomics, he is the author of Turbulent Souls (Choosing My Religion), Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper, and a children’s book, The Boy With Two Belly Buttons. His journalism has appeared primarily in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting, The Best American Crime Writing, and elsewhere. He has taught English at Columbia University (while receiving an M.F.A. there), played in a rock band (which was signed to Arista Records), and, as a writer, was first published at the age of 11, in Highlights for Children.
Steven D. Levitt is the Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he is also director of The Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory. In 2004, he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, which recognizes the most influential economist in America under the age of 40. More recently, he was named one of Time magazine’s "100 People Who Shape Our World." Levitt received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1989, his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1994, and has taught at Chicago since 1997.
As people have become more and more dependent on the Internet, some have concerns that all that information (and the devices that help us connect to it) could be doing seriously damage to the way we think, interact and learn. But Nick Bilton, lead writer for the New York Times Bits Blog, explains in his new book that he’s lived his whole life connected and managed to turn out just fine. He says scientific research backs up his experience.
The dumb get confident, while the intelligent get doubtful. That’s the conclusion that David Dunning and Justin Kruger came to when studying people’s perceptions of their own talents. What has now become known as the Dunning-Kruger effect helps describe why lay people often act as experts and inept pollies get our votes.
Dr. John Riolo, "The Insider" interviews Dr. Scott O. Lilienfeld, co-author of 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions About Human Behavior with Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and Barry Beyerstein published by Wiley-Blackwell.
Web typography has come a long way, but how do you find inspiration to push your designs forward online? Letters can say far more than the words they spell.
In her session, Samantha will look at the lettering surrounding us everyday, tapping into the way it makes us feel. If you don’t already get emotional about which font to use, you will, looking at letters in a whole new way and learning how to translate those feelings into your web designs.
Samantha Warren loves big concepts as much as she loves badass typography and thrives on telling interesting stories through usable interfaces. She has written articles for .net Magazine, regularly speaks at industry events and is on the Board of the Art Directors Club of Washington DC. When she is not doing any of the above you can find her enthusiastically teaching typography and web design at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University.
Freud popularised the term, “The Narcissism of Minor Differences”, to describe how adjacent villages—identical for all practical purposes—would struggle to amplify their tiniest distinctions in order to justify how much they despised one other. So you have to guess how much he would have enjoyed design mailing lists. And, Perl.
Truth is, to the untrained (un-washed, un-nuanced, un-Paul-Rand’d, and un-Helvetica’d) outsider, discourse in the design community can sometimes look a lot like a cluster of tightly-wound Freudian villages.
So, how is the role of design perceived by the people who are using the stuff you make? What role (if any) should users expect in the process of how their world is made and remade? What contexts might be useful in helping us turn all of our obsessions into useful and beautiful work?
Can an Aeron chair ever be truly ‘Black’? Will there ever be a way to get Marketing people to stop calling typefaces ‘fonts’? And, when, at last, will the international community finally speak as one regarding the overuse of Mistral and stock photos of foreshortened Asian women?
By leveraging his uniquely unqualified understanding of design, Merlin will propose some promising patterns for fording the gap between end-users and the unhappy-looking people in costly European eyeglasses who are designing their world.
Is there hope? Come to Brighton, pull up a flawlessly-executed mid-century-Modern seating affordance, and we’ll see what we can figure out together. One village to another.
Merlin Mann is best known as the creator of 43folders.com, a popular American website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.