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When Pixels Collide

Each pixel you see was placed by hand. Each icon, each flag, each meme created painstakingly by millions of people who had nothing in common except an Internet connection. Somehow, someway, what happened in Reddit over those 72 hours was the birth of Art.

How the brain maintains useful memories -- ScienceDaily

there are specific groups of neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of a rat's brain -- the region most associated with long-term memory. These neurons develop codes to help store relevant, general information from multiple experiences while, over time, losing the more irrelevant, minor details unique to each experience. The findings provide new insight into how the brain collects and stores useful knowledge about the world that can be adapted and applied to new experiences. "Memories of recent experiences are rich in incidental detail but, with time, the brain is thought to extract important information that is common across various past experiences," says Kaori Takehara-Nishiuchi, senior author and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. "We predicted that groups of neurons in the mPFC build representations of this information over the period when long-term memory consolidation is known to take place, and that this information has a larger representation in the brain than the smaller details."

» The Collapse of Complex Business Models Clay Shirky

When ecosystems change and inflexible institutions collapse, their members disperse, abandoning old beliefs, trying new things, making their living in different ways than they used to. It’s easy to see the ways in which collapse to simplicity wrecks the glories of old. But there is one compensating advantage for the people who escape the old system: when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future.

Consumers don't know themselves

Consumers, as it turns out, are not so easy to figure out. If you ask customers if they think stores are too cluttered, the answer is a predictable yes. The problem is with the research methodology. Rather than just ask shoppers what they think they would like, I can follow someone through their shopping trip in a grocery or mass merchandise store like Walmart and Sam’s Club and then interview them as they load their bags into the car. Continue reading the main story Recent Comments Indrid Cold Just now I've written a little diddy to the tune of "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire"Hot dogs roasting on an open fire.They say daddy's plant is... Lola 1 minute ago The price of everything the value of nothing.The problem is not quantity it's quality. Shoppers want something that has true value and... Bob Dobbs 1 minute ago To my mind, it's not the clutter but the scattered organizationd. Go to a department store looking for men's shirts and you might have to... See All Comments Write a comment What is striking is the wide gap between what they say they did, and what I observed. I can ask them how long they spent in-store and the answer is again different from the one on the stopwatch in my pocket. I found that consumers generally reported that time spent in-store was roughly twice that on our stopwatch. One consumer reported the in-store time as approximately one hour; our stopwatch read 28 minutes. Ask them what they bought, and often the throw-ins I saw them buy are somehow forgotten.

How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name

Apple: Please learn about the power of signifiers, visible indicators that help the poor, befuddled user. And make them unambiguous. Here is an example of what not to do: The icon for "rotation of the screen is locked" is either grayed or not. But is it locked when it is gray or when it is not gray? Turns out that Apple uses text to say which, but in tiny little letters somewhat removed from the icon itself. One of us, who spent five minutes searching for information on how to disable the lock, finally discovered the text—why does it take five minutes to learn what should be a frequent operation?

Apple's design workshop: simple is as simple does.

Samsung Electronics sells vacuum cleaners as well as phones, and employs a thousand designers. Apple’s intentions can be revealed in one room. Each table serves a single product, or product part, or product concept; some of these objects are scheduled for manufacture; others might come to market in three or five years, or never. “A table can get crowded with a lot of different ideas, maybe problem-solving for one particular feature,” Hönig, the former Lamborghini designer, later told me. Then, one day, all the clutter is gone. He laughed: “It’s just the winner, basically. What we collectively decided is the best.” The designers spend much of their time handling models and materials, sometimes alongside visiting Apple engineers. Jobs used to come by almost every day. Had I somehow intruded an hour earlier, I would have seen an exhibition of the likely future. Now all but a few tables were covered in sheets of gray silk, and I knew only that that future would be no taller than an electric kettle.