If you are looking for some enlightening reads, check out the following essays from The New Yorker:
A Lovely Letter From Susan
This letter from Susan made my day:
I’m Susan and I’m a college student from Louisiana. I’m emailing you to give you my thanks for creating your online book, Vietnamese Typography.
How I found your webpage was accidental so I’ll explain it to you. I’m a Vietnamese-American and my parents were refugees from Vietnam. They worked hard for me in so many ways, one of them being providing me with the tools to learn Vietnamese from a young age so I could be as fluent as possible. Watching educational videos from Thế Hệ Trẻ, going to Sunday School at my Vietnamese church, attending summer school for even further learning, and talking with my extended family are some examples of how I learned to read, write, and speak so much Vietnamese as an American-born.
Now fast forward to June 2019. My boyfriend, a Filipino-Canadian, has requested that I teach him how to read Vietnamese. He searched up some alphabet charts while I went to find some sort of guide to teach him about dấu. Your website appeared first on my Google search. Initially, I was completely unaware that this site was meant to help typographers, as the Google search only directed me towards the “Tone Marks” page. Upon further reading though, I can see that this site offers the utmost respect to our language and simultaneously teaches typographers how to create optimum designs for its use on the screen. My boyfriend casually remarked that he wanted to know the history of the Vietnamese language. I couldn’t impart such knowledge because I was never taught about it, and yet, there is a chapter dedicated to this subject readily available on your website. This is a wholesome page.
I’ve also reviewed your portfolio website. Your work is beautiful and your passion for our language is quite inspiring. I have never seen this sort of appreciation for Vietnamese by a Vietnamese person before. I’m glad to have found Vietnamese Typography and I’ve donated $5 via the support page. I wish you all the best, Donny.
Keep up the good work,
My response to Susan:
Thank you for supporting my Vietnamese Typography book. Furthermore, I appreciate your wonderful story. I am glad that your boyfriend wanted to learn about our beautiful language. When someone is willing to go that far for you, it’s true love. Congratulations!
My hat off to your parents. You probably didn’t appreciate their effort then, but you must be pleased now that they had instilled Vietnamese into you. I am encouraging my kids to learn Vietnamese as well and it is not easy; therefore, I understand and respect what they had done for you.
Reading your letter has confirmed that I made the right decision, which was to make this publication online for free. I am happy that it has reached you.
Can “Indie” Social Media Save Us?
Cal Newport writes in The New Yorker:
Despite its advantages, however, I suspect that the IndieWeb will not succeed in replacing existing social-media platforms at their current scale. For one thing, the IndieWeb lacks the carefully engineered addictiveness that helped fuel the rise of services like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This addictiveness has kept people returning to their devices even when they know there are better uses for their time; remove the addiction, and you might lose the users.
I have not tried out any new IndieWeb social media platform simply because I still can’t get rid of Facebook. Twitter I can control, but Facebook is still addictive. I do lots of cross-posting on here and Facebook as well.
My friend Jim Van Meer started Thinkpoint Creative, the intersection of design thinking and design doing. I am proud to be part of the talented team as Web & UI/UX Director. We just launched the website. Read more about it on my professional portfolio.
Jia Tolentino writes in The New Yorker:
I also found myself feeling more grateful for my phone than ever. I had become more conscious of why I use technology, and how it meets my needs, as Newport recommended. It’s not nothing that I can text my friends whenever I think about them, or get on Viber and talk to my grandmother in the Philippines, or sit on the B54 bus and distract myself from the standstill traffic by looking up the Fermi paradox and listening to any A Tribe Called Quest song that I want to hear. All these capacities still feel like the stuff of science fiction, and none of them involve Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. It occurred to me that two of the most straightforwardly beloved digital technologies—podcasts and group texts—push against the attention economy’s worst characteristics. Podcasts often demand sustained listening, across hours and weeks, to a few human voices. Group texts are effectively the last noncommercialized social spaces on many millennials’ phones.
Good for her.
HTML & CSS Are All You Need
Meagan Fisher talked to Dan Cederholm on “Over Time” about her website and front-end development. She said:
Jeffrey Zeldman calls for action on A List Apart:
On an individual and small collective basis, the IndieWeb already works. But does an IndieWeb approach scale to the general public? If it doesn’t scale yet, can we, who envision and design and build, create a new generation of tools that will help give birth to a flourishing, independent web? One that is as accessible to ordinary internet users as Twitter and Facebook and Instagram?
Nhạc sĩ Quốc Bảo viết trên trang blog của anh:
Thật sự thì blogging tự do và dễ chịu hơn mạng xã hội. Tự nhiên tôi lại thích viết blog, có thể vì đã ngấy Facebook, cũng có thể vì lâu nay tôi bỏ bê website/blog này, nay viết lại thấy vui. Một cái gì rất lạ lẫm, không chỉ do giao diện Dashboard đã đổi mà vì lâu nay có viết gì đâu. Bên Facebook không thể gọi là viết. Chỉ là gõ vài dòng, có khi chưa đầy một dòng, tức thời, thậm chí chưa kịp suy nghĩ.
Blogging thì khác. Dù vụn vặt, nó cũng phải được tổ chức đâu ra đó, chủ đề nào nằm ở đâu, cả lối viết cũng khác. Ôi sao tôi nhớ những năm tháng Yahoo! 360 thế nhỉ. Nó gọn gàng, nó thân mật, nó có tình. Thì cũng như ăn mặn bỗng thèm chay vậy mà.
Tôi thích đọc blog của anh. Hy vọng anh sẽ blog trên trang web của anh nhiều hơn viết trên Facebook.
Michael Luo writes in The New Yorker:
Could journalism in general get slower? As I read about the Slow Media movement—which, so far, seems to be a mostly European phenomenon—I inevitably thought about trends in the magazine industry in the United States, where publications are experimenting with paywalls and churning out digital content. The appeal of Slow Media is that it pushes back against the technological pressures that are shaping journalism more broadly. (Newport advocates Slow Media in a section of his book, urging readers to join “the attention resistance.”) It is an attempt to take back control of the way we experience the news. It is also about relinquishing the illusion of knowledge that the passive consumption of news on social media facilitates and bringing our best selves to the act of becoming informed.
Reading printed books have helped me stayed away from online news. I am heading toward that direction.
Writing About Your Own Death
Anne Boyer writes in The New Yorker:
In a note about prospective titles for what would become “Illness as Metaphor,” Susan Sontag wrote, “To think only about oneself is to think of death.” Being a writer makes me a servant of sensory details, issuing forth page after page. I am certain that my illness would make a better story if it were someone else’s. Who would want to hear the hammer always complaining about its meeting with the nail? The slightly ill but undiagnosed are better narrators than the truly ill. Their suffering is not so overdetermined. They can be lavishly self-defined, poetic with the glamour of the sick person’s proximity to finality.
To write about oneself may be to write of death, but to write about death is to write of everyone. As Audre Lorde wrote, in “The Cancer Journals,” after she was given a diagnosis of breast cancer, at the age of forty-four, “I carry tattooed upon my heart a list of names of women who did not survive, and there is always a space left for one more, my own.”
Love this passage.