The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend


Mark Lamster on Gerd Arntz, designer of the Isotype pictographs, at Design Observer.

A new book on Arntz — Gerd Arntz: Graphic Designer — has just been published by Dutch publisher 010. A preview of the book can be seen here. (And, yes, my Twitter avatar is a Gerd Arntz Isotype. #nerd)

Barnes & Noble: The Last, Best Hope for American Bookselling? — Editor Edward Nawotka in Publishing Perspectives:

B&N still has enough consolidated power to “make” books. Its buying power makes it indispensable to publishers who need advance orders to justify print runs and the various other knock on effects that entails. They are providing –- via their Nook device –- the biggest rival to Amazon’s e-reader hegemony. And, let’s face it, if they –- along with Borders -– disappeared, how many communities would suddenly be underserved or not served at all? This is the reason small towns lobby B&N to open stores in their community: people are now, like it or not, accustomed to the selection available at big box retailers. True, perhaps half of those who shop at B&N’s aren’t there for the books, but what better chance is there to entice a not-so-avid reader into picking up a book?

The Man with Two Brains — Psychiatrist and author Iain McGilchrist talks about his book The Master and His Emissary with Natasha Mitchell for ABC radio show All in the Mind:

[T]he idea was that the brain was like a machine that carried out certain functions, and because there were two hemispheres there was twice as much computing power as it were, but we would compartmentalise things. So there was a story that language was in the left hemisphere, reason was in the left hemisphere and something like creativity and emotion were in the right hemisphere. That’s a complete and utter….misconception of things. Every single brain function is carried out by both hemispheres. Reason and emotion and imagination depend on the coming together of what both hemispheres contribute. So that particular dichotomy is incredibly unhelpful and misleading and I keep trying to steer away from it, but there is still, nonetheless, fairly obviously a dichotomy.

(If, like me, you completely missed this book when it was published, author A.C. Grayling reviewed it for the Literary Review).

Jason Kernevich and Dustin Summers of The Heads of State interviewed at From the Desks Of

And finally…

The Gamification of Everything — NPR’s On The Media looks at the future of gaming and creating social change through game design:

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  1. Tasty stuff here as usual. You da man. You da man. You da man. Happy Friday!

  2. As always, thanks Dan.

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