With effort and cost excised from the equation, photos have become too plentiful. And at the same time — as more and more pictures are taken on smartphones, “shared” on social media if at all, then lost to the cacophony of the digital universe — meaningful images have become too scarce. Many of my friends, forever switching among their laptops, tablets and smartphones, can no longer even say where their photo files are located.
Ultimately, the loss is maybe less about numbers than about quality and permanence. Printed images are crisper than pixelated ones. They are also tangible: material objects that can be grasped, pasted, or leaned against a dresser mirror. Digital images have a distant, once-removed quality — kind of like dead fathers, come to think of it. In any case, many of us no longer look to print photos to safekeep our memories. In some respects, maybe it’s for the best. When you gaze at the same snapshots over and over again during the course of a lifetime, the images become part of the recollection itself until the two are interchangeable, and it’s hard to say what you remember at all.”
“i got this new strategy: it’s called no strategy. i got an idea how to sell more music: it’s called make better music.”
“The generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.”
“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think that you would have the courage to write it?
What is true for writing and for love relationships is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as we don’t know where it will end.”
“The biggest mistake a product designer can make is to dismiss any behavior performed by a significant number of people as fad, vanity, immaturity, etc. (selfies, oversharing, digital hoarding, even *sexting). There is always more there there.”
“‘The right to privacy is often understood as an essential requirement for the realization of the right to freedom of expression. Undue interference with individuals’ privacy can both directly and indirectly limit the free development and exchange of ideas. An infringement upon one right can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon the other.’”
“Some of the start-ups being created are designed for people who have rung the cash register already…They are not necessarily bad ideas but they are not the ideas the world needs more.”
“Data is something we create, but it’s also something we imagine.”
Like Slow Food, Slow Web is concerned as much with production as it is with consumption. We as individuals can always set our own guidelines and curb the effect of the Fast Web, but as I hope I’ve illustrated, there are a number of considerations the creators of web-connected products can make to help us along. And maybe the Slow Web isn’t quite a movement yet. Maybe it’s still simmering. But I do think there is something distinctly different about the feeling that some of these products impart on their users, and that feeling manifests from the intent of their makers.
Fast Web companies want to be our lovers, they want to be by our sides at all times, want us to spend every moment of our waking lives with them, when sometimes that’s not what we really need. Sometimes what we really need are friends we can meet once every few months for a bowl of ramen noodles at a restaurant in the East Village. Friends with whom we can sit and talk and eat and drink and maybe learn a little about ourselves in the process. And at the end of the night get up and go our separate ways, until next time.”