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Predictions for the Kinfolk Winter Issue

I had written this as an e-mail to my girlfriend Kait. Time and again, we noticed that our conversation would be right in sync with each new issue of the Kinfolk magazine. I wanted to put it to the test and write up my predictions for the next issue.

Hey,

Sending this kind of like when you would send yourself registered mail to safeguard your intellectual property, only I’m sending it to you, and only to maybe give myself a pat on the back.

I was looking at patterns in our conversations over the past year because our thoughts often seem to align with issues of Kinfolk. I thought I would give it a shot and write my predictions for the upcoming Winter issue.

A

 

Kinfolk-Winter-2015-3

Volume Eighteen – The Authenticity Issue

We are growing older, but not only in our legs and arms and eyes, we also grow old in our hearts, as we fail to see the world like we did when we were little. As children, we had this incredible ability to believe, to imagine first and to reason after – maybe. The younger the child, the less concerned they are about facts, explanations and opinions.

As we grow older, we develop an insatiable need for explanations and reasons. We look for black or white truths that our minds can settle on and be – for as long as possible – content with. When uncertainty arises, the norm calls for reason, to explain and tame it. In our grown-ups society there is a sort of consensus, or conspiracy rather, that the explainable is the socially acceptable.

In between the black and white, however, there is an appealing, lush range of greys. It can be an uneasy fit, but the important piece is that there may not be a clear answer and that’s okay. The Authenticity Issue of Kinfolk will explore this in-between, seek out that which makes us distinctly ourselves, and embrace the here and now that makes us so unique. We want to uncover a new sense of truth that lies singularly off the beaten path.

The path ahead is not well known, but you are free to set your own track. If you escape the black or white answers, you can let your imagination run wild and make your path your own. And if you truly, really believe in it, it will come true. You can be who you are, your true, quirky, peculiar self.

The inherent guttural feeling of vulnerability—like the feeling of wetting your underpants during recess—is only fair, we have all been there. We can learn to hide or ignore it, but this feeling is the foundation of human connection. It is a reflection of our common humanity; we all experience it, and we are all in it together.

On this season’s snowy days, it may be time to bring out the old sled and hockey sticks, let ourselves find the forgotten child in each one of us; spend some time outside and outside our comfort zones, and warm up to some hot chocolate and good company after long days of childish play.

Weird

It may be a bit odd or weird. I may change, I may not. For now, as long as weirdo wants to be weird, I’ll keep going that way, oscillating between being the odd self and a functional member of society.

On the one end is the dysfunctional, self-indulged and absorbed individual. In tune with an inner world and absolved from the outer, marginally capable to survive as a human being. On the other end are the homogeneous expectations of society, ever so rapidly generalized and standardized by newsfeeds and instagrams. A handful of cherry-picked bits; stories full of gaps to fill with your imagination and insecurities, a moving target you’ll fail to fulfill time and again.

Somewhere in between, the weird is free from judgment and expectations, tracing its own path in the in-between. The weird is a perpetual balancing act between the self and society, choosing the tradeoffs, and choosing, time and again, to be oneself.

Weird to others, but true to oneself, perhaps then being weird is not all that ‘weird’. And aren’t we all a little weird, odd, different and unique in our own way? 

How an Advertisment is Made

Pooh-Tree

They know what people want to see. When you can’t quite reach it, nothing sweeter than the fruit up on the tree.

Some folks are gullible and some need work, but all they need is a little poke. Give them something they can’t resist, in spite of all dislike, distaste, disgust that may persist.

When they’re in, they may want out. Good, “this way for the way out”.

And here you’ll see them slipping up. Hold out your hand, “I’ll prop you up”.

To seal it off, you close the loop. When round you go about the tree, “here, follow these steps ahead of thee”.

And now, the guiding hand removed itself from around the loop. The message made its way and done its feat. You are convinced with no retreat.

Don’t follow them, follow your heart. Don’t let them take you around the tree.

Don’t Tell Me What You Do: You May Have Been Mislabeled

The labels we have to categorize the work creatives do are antiquated, but it’s not the labels that need to be modernized, but our understanding of the roles we play in our work.

IMG_2733-Edited

Working as a creative, I have a hard time explaining what I do when the omnipresent “what do you do for work?” comes up in conversation. Part of the issue is that the labels we have to categorize vocations are outdated and their realities have changed since they were first coined. The other part is that the different lines of work are increasingly overlapping and it is nearly impossible to successfully categorize oneself any single one of them. It is not, however, the labels that need to be updated to accommodate the change, but our framing of the concept of work as a whole. 

Job postings typically focus on tasks and inputs, though employers’ expectations are increasingly focused around the outputs and what contribution the employee can have towards the success of the project, company or organization as a whole. In the realm of freelance work, fewer clients seek technical solutions (e.g. someone to build a website), as they are looking for someone who can invest into their business (e.g. someone who can help them grow their business online). As such, it is equally as hard for a business to hire a “good” web designer, as it is for a freelancer to sell oneself as merely a web designer.

Those who find themselves in this awkward place of overlapping disciplines are, I think, actually in a very good place to be. Not only you have a unique value proposition, but you are also in a position to explore uncharted territories and come up with solutions that are significantly better. You are in a unique place to make a big contribution and a big difference, be it for your employer, your client or your own project.

How can we make this big contribution? I don’t expect there to be an answer. There is no set course, no recipe book — no label. It sounds awful and futile, but I think overcoming this discomfort is key. By nature, we dislike uncertainty and questions that don’t have answers. We want a label, a label to put on a person, so we can safely put her away on her respective shelf, among the dusty preconceptions and prejudice. We need to resist the temptation, both as an employer and an employee.

But, what do you do for work? I will still have to answer the question, but I will try to not think about what I know how to do, but what I can do for this person, this company, this world. I help companies grow their business, I am passionate about creating things, I believe technology can help people reach their full potential, and so on. If you are talking to a potential client, how can you help them grow their business? To someone in a related field, how can you collaborate? To a friend, where do your common interests lie?

Let’s think about the value and ideas we can bring and not have labels dictate what we chose to do. Do what you want to do, not what your business card or diploma says you should. It’s scary to follow your gut, to do what you want to do, to dive into unusual overlaps and uncharted territory, but it’s simply not worth doing otherwise.

Raptorize for Chrome

A plugin that unleashes a Raptor on to any page. Make every page you visit slightly more awesome with some extra RAWWR.

Raptorize

Here is a Chrome extension that unleashes a Raptor on to any page. Make every page you visit slightly more awesome with some extra RAWWR.

The script was adapted from the Raptroize Kit by Zurb’s Playground

 

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Click here to get the extension on the Chrome Webstore

 

Update June 16, 2015:

This is probably the best extension review I’ve ever seen. Thanks Finbarr!

Without a doubt the dumbest thing in the entire store. I love it!

Save yourself from Facebook – A Chrome extension to hide your feed

Screenshot
I do not use Facebook much and I check my news feed very seldom. Giving up completely on my Facebook account is difficult, because a lot of friends and connections use Facebook (and often only Facebook!) to send messages, share photos and even to send out event invites.

Here is my struggle: every time I would open Facebook to reply to a message or look someone up, I would get distracted by the news feed. I try to stay focused, but the Facebook team is working hard to make it difficult!

So I wrote a very simple Chrome Extension this morning. It hides your news feed as soon you open Facebook. You can open your feed back up by clicking the “Show Facebook Feed” button.

I have to admit I had not looked into other options before starting to code, I did it for the challenge sake (I had never written a Chrome Extension before). There are a few other excellent plug-ins on the store already, but surprisingly mine seems to be the only with a button to show the feed without disabling the plugin.

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Click here to get the extension on the Chrome Webstore

Updates:

  • Update Jan. 2, 2015 (v1.4): The extension now hides the “Trending” and “Suggested Groups” side bars too!
  • Update Dec. 30, 2014 (v1.3): Fixed minor bug that made Facebook continuously show the loading logo.

Paste as plain text: Shift+Option+Cmd+V. You’re welcome.

Some golden shortcuts:

  • Paste as plain text without formatting: Shift + Option + Cmd + V (Ctrl + Shift + V on Windows)
  • Kill the rest of the paragraph Ctrl+K
  • …To paste that part back: Ctrl+Y
  • Close all application windows (alternatively, option-click the close button): Cmd+Option+W
  • Redo: Shift+Cmd+Z
  • Silent volume change (no clicking sound): Shift+Volume Key
  • Precise volume change (quarter-step): Shift+Alt+Volume Key
  • Hide window: Cmd+H, you can also hit ‘H’ when you’re in Cmd+Tab switching

Kill that Element

Use this small JavaScript bookmarklet to remove any element on a web page with a single click. Gone annoying pop-up overlays and ads!

I have been playing around with bookmarklets and here is a handy one I made. If you come across and an element on the page you want to remove (e.g. an annoying overlay box) and you don’t want to bother removing it with the code inspector, add this code to your bookmarks bar to easily remove any HTML element with one click.

Try it out! Click the button below and then click on this text.

To add it as a bookmarklet, drag the below button into your bookmarks bar or copy paste the javascript into a bookmark’s URL and add “javascript:” before it.

Kill Element

Here is the code:

for(var i=0; i<(document.getElementsByTagName("a")).length; i++) {
(document.getElementsByTagName("a")[i]).style.pointerEvents = "none";
}
function handler(e) {
e = e || window.event;
var target = e.target || e.srcElement;
target.style.display = "none";

document.removeEventListener('click', handler, false);
cursor("default");

for(var i=0; i<(document.getElementsByTagName("a")).length; i++) {
(document.getElementsByTagName("a")[i]).style.pointerEvents = "initial";
}
}
document.addEventListener('click', handler, false);
cursor("crosshair");
function cursor(cur) { document.body.style.cursor = cur; }