I had a bad service experience today.
I rushed to my next meeting, burning with righteous fury and started telling the first person I saw about it. And the then I saw the look on their face; 90% terror and 10% sympathetic boredom. And I realised that telling someone your bad service experience is maybe even worse than telling them your dreams.
It made me wonder why service experiences and dreams are so conversationally poisonous.
I think it's for similar reasons.
There's a sense that absolutely anything can happen, there are no logical boundaries, so there's no narrative constraint. But the experience is flooded with emotion, emotion that seems vastly out of proportion to what actually happened.
It's all in the past and there's nothing that anyone can do about any of it anyway, so there's no point thinking about it.
And, somehow, bad service experiences and dreams always seem hallucinatory in the telling - and this happened, then this happened, then this - like someone's just making things up. They're literally unbelievable.
So I've resolved not to tell you about it. But, still, grrrrr.
Just finished reading Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia. Very good.
This was a good little bit of jargon/usage/language.
"My first boyfriend. Back home in Donbas. That was love. He was a local authority.’ Authority is a nice word for gangster."
This feels true:
"And the new Kremlin won’t make the same mistake the old Soviet Union did: it will never let TV become dull. The task is to synthesise Soviet control with Western entertainment. Twenty-first-century Ostankino mixes show business and propaganda, ratings with authoritarianism."
"Everyone here drove the latest models. They might have their toilets in wooden outhouses, and their flats might be yellowing, but the big, black cars were always shining with a TV-commercial sparkle. Stas took us to a meet at which locals showed off how they’d upgraded their automobiles. One guy had installed a jacuzzi in the back; another had a movie theatre. There was tenderness in how they showed off their prized possessions. These heavy men touched their cars so delicately. Stas took out a little toothbrush to clean the headlights on his Land Cruiser: he scrubbed it softly, patiently, as if he was washing a toddler."
"The governor himself was large and bald and always sweating. ‘I went to Poland recently,’ he told Benedict the only time they met. ‘I saw them making ketchup in cement mixers. That’s the sort of innovation we need here."
More good jargon:
"Political technologists are the new Russian name for a very old profession: viziers, grey cardinals, Wizards of Oz."
There's a persistent whiny noise in the air near us. It comes and goes but it's more coming than going at the moment.
It's only mildly annoying in our flat, the sort of noise that bugs you when you can't sleep but doesn't wake you up.
It's hard to record, but here's a stab done with my phone. It's very quiet on the recording. Louder in real life. It's a fairly pure sounding A♭. Pretty sinewavey.
It's been around for several months now. We assumed, when it started, that it was coming from the roof of our building. But, the Council Noise Team having been called, it turns out that it can't be pinpointed. Everyone thinks it's coming from the roof of their building. And there are so many buildings and echoes round here that it can't be traced. Which is just weird. You'd think that it was close enough to someone that they'd be complaining extra hard and it would be tracked down, but apparently not.
(All the info above, by the way, I'm basing on what I've heard from Anne about what the residents association mailing list rumours say, so it might not actually be true.)
I went to visit Aaron and Seb at the Cooper Hewitt on Monday. Their pen is up and running and it's a thing of genius.
You get this pen thing when you buy your ticket - it's nice and hefty, feels good to carry around - it's linked to a URL on your ticket. As you go around the museum you touch it to the signs next to any objects you're interested in and it 'collects' them for you.
Then, when you've finished your visit, you check out by touching your pen on another sign and hand it back. And then when you get home, or as you walk out the door, you type in the URL from your ticket and there they all are. Dead simple. And because it's open and webby you can then do all the social collecting things you might want to do - pinterest etc.
I guess they could have automated that, got you logging in to all sorts of things to do that 'automagically', I bet that was suggested, but why would they? They've done the hard bit, the basics, you can do the rest yourself. And, if you want to know just how hard the hard bit is, Aaron's written about it.
This feels like a prototype for a lot of future behaviour. It's not just the practical stuff of it, the way you don't have to take notes, or photograph the things you want to remember. It's the way that it gives you something to do other than stand and stare. Not a typical museum 'interactive' thing, but an act that feels appropriate to the reason for your visit, an act of collection and discrimination. 'This' you're saying, 'I'm paying attention to this thing here'.
In fact, I went to MoMA before that, to visit their show This Is For Everyone, Design Experiments for the Common Good and see The Big Red Button. I took photos of interesting things there, things I wanted to remember, but already I'm not sure I can be bothered to look through my photostream to find them.
The Pen has considerably enhanced the 'post-experience design' of the Cooper Hewitt versus MoMA.
March 20, 2015 | Permalink