At least he’s trying. You don’t get nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by sitting around making comments in a type forum.
You might if you know a professor friend...
I'll wear a Gap shirt if I find it at Goodwill. But does someone in the third world get a choice? Doubtful. Since we DO have a choice as fat Americans/Canadians/Western Europeans, we should by all means make that choice that benefits not only ourselves, but those that have no choice.
This conversation has strayed far from defining the influence that designers actually hold. But it does illustrate a point. Most people who "want to change the world" don't know "how" it should change. Or worse, they know the changes they want to see, but can't see the side effects of said changes.
Most people who “want to change the world” don’t know “how” it should change. Or worse, they know the changes they want to see, but can’t see the side effects of said changes.
Agreed. That's why all that can be asked of anyone is to do what you can— that is if you choose to.
I’ll wear a Gap shirt if I find it at Goodwill. But does someone in the third world get a choice? Doubtful. Since we DO have a choice as fat Americans/Canadians/Western Europeans, we should by all means make that choice that benefits not only ourselves, but those that have no choice.
While I agree with this to a point, it illustrates the code of ethics point I was trying to make. There's a trail of blood leading from many things...more than we all know. I highly doubt there's not at least one item in our closet, apartment or home that doesn't. I can own up to liking and wanting material posessions and I don't think I have to apologize for it. (BTW, Dan the tone of that reads WAY harsher than it is intended to be. I'm not making accusations because I refuse to purchase certain things for similar reasons.)
I just think it is almost pointless to pick and choose how far to go with it. We can only do what we can all live with, and we can't ask people to research every decision they choose to make. How each of us choose to help society or help ourselves is only up to us as individuals.
I should have put a smiley :)
Most people who “want to change the world” don’t know “how” it should change.
We all know how we want things to BE, the answer if you will, we just don't know the questions to ask to get there...
And by the way, the answer is 42 :)
> Most people who “want to change the world” don’t know “how” it should change.
The Experts who “want to change the world” don’t know “how” it should change.
> Or worse, they know the changes they want to see, but can’t see the side effects of said changes.
Of course, they need the changes to be mouse-experimented to see the side effects of said changes.
How ignorant and unjust Man is?!
>This conversation has strayed far from defining the influence that designers actually hold.
Good point Christian. Someone said (did I read it here?) that artists and poets can't make society more just, but they can make it worth living in. I think this is the case also with designers. In their work, designers can make our world more agreeable to live in, and that's pretty wonderful in itself.
Here is AC
In need of PC+WC
But wanted to be DC!
There is DC
In need of PC+WC
But wanted to be AC!
AC or DC?
Just want to see
For those who know ABC
Where is the fallacy?
Aziz: compared to you, Eminem is a charlatan.
Aziz? I think I understand roughly 23% of your posts. Whatever you're smoking, at least be kind and pass it along to the rest of us. :)
> Whatever you’re smoking, at least be kind and pass it along to the rest of us.
Well Biddy , do you suspect what DanGayle has said earlier:
> But does someone in the third world get a choice? Doubtful.
Agreeing wholeheartedly with this addition:
As long as the Heads of the third world Governments are backed by the FirstClass world.
Backed? You mean created.
Biddy - I'm impressed you understand 23%...
Charitably, I suppose that if my city was having the bejesus bombed out of it like Baghdad I might retreat into a fantasy world myself. Or smoke something strong (perhaps imported from Afghanistan?)
Created, bankrolled and sustained.
Nah, the Afghan stuff is meant for the West. When the papers said "Anti-Taleban forces advance in Afghanistan" back in 2001, what they really meant was "Poppy seed fields advance in Afghanistan".
Aziz, that butterfly is still flying in that other page !
> Biddy - I’m impressed you understand 23%…
Charitably, I suppose that if my city was having the bejesus bombed out of it like Baghdad I might retreat into a fantasy world myself. Or smoke something strong (perhaps imported from Afghanistan?)
Short-circuiting the system,
Who supplied Saddam with the weapons of mass destruction?
Why did the West cover up Saddam's crimes when he used them?
Why was Saddam endlessly assisted when he suppressed his own people and invaded Iran, but crushed when invaded Kuwait?
Advanced Weapons from US, UK and France were brought generously to Iraq and the Iraqi engineers were sent east and west to go under Technical training. Advanced Communication Systems were supplied to the Iraqi army just days before the war started. I was doing my National service then.
Almost all the so called Muslim and Arab countries stood by saddam. I counted more than 100 advanced Russian Tanks entering Ar-Rasheed Military Camp (now in ruins) which were gifted by KING(?) Fahad of Arab Saudi to the Iraqi army as they considered Saddam was fighting the Fire-Worshippers! on behalf of the Muslim and Arab world. That was just few days before the Iraq-Iran war.... I will never forget as long as I live what I had eyewitnessed.
Is Bush a Christian or Saddam a Muslim?
Religion was and is always exploited by the Crooks to justify their crimes.
I was granted a visa early 1986 to enter Malaysia. But when I applied for a residence there, I was asked to go and fight Iran first. One year before the invasion of Kuwait, I reported to the UNHCR in Malaysia to protect me from Saddam Intelligence following my unsuccessful assassination, but they replied that they would sponsor my trip to Iraq and take me out of Iraq if I could not make it there. When Saddam invaded Kuwait, I wrote to the News Straits times(Malaysia) to publish my Article "Fighting among the Crooks", they rejected it saying that they would publish any article that defends Saddam or Bush, the father, i.e I had to take side. When I told them that one had taken the right step in the wrong direction and the other the wrong step in the right direction, they laughed at me...
When I was jailed for overstaying, prisoners from all Malaysian races (Malay, Chinees, Indians) and religions (Islam, Buddisim, Hindu, and Seikh) used to shout at me alternately "Saddam" and "Bush". My thumb was always pointing down. Police as well prisoners were confused.
For your information, US invaded Iraq only when it made sure that Saddam was completely stripped off weapons of mass destruction and even off guns capable of hitting more than 50 Kilometers target. Rules of the Jungle: The lion does not attack save the weak or sick.
You will see the end of Saddam-Makers and Breakers.
Still have questions? All are welcome!
Aziz, I wish more of your posts were as interesting and thought-provoking as this one.
I hate this war. And I don't even like to call it a war because there is in fact no 'enemy'. It's an invasion, an occupation. But it looks like things are changing - slowly -here in the U.S. and maybe a little reality is creeping in. Progress perhaps?
Damn. Makes me think twice about complaining about my latté in the morning.
But seriously, do you recall how the graphic designers for newspapers, magazines, etc., reacted? In Seattle, the graphic designers at the Times call themselves "Visual Journalists," basically implying that they have some say in the content. But do they really?
Your comments about the Maylasian newspaper hit the mark. Many newspapers pander to what their audience wants to hear, tickling their ears so to speak.
As cynical as this sounds, no matter how "open minded" or "objective" a publication is, nine times out of ten it ends up pushing some form of government supported propaganda. As a matter of conscience, I have the choice of refusing, but I'm in a posh American city. How about Iraq? Do they, or did they, have a choice?
Here is the truth that will set you free and endanger my life.
It seems that it is time to leave this worthless world.
It should be noted that:
Inspite of the unsuccessful attempt on my life by agents of Saddam, I did not go to the UNHCR AGAIN to protect me after Saddam suppression to the Shia uprising (which I disapproved). Iraqis were and are still confused. They relied on America to solve their problems not on themselves. Most Iraqi freedom-fighters were happy when they were taken and looked after by the UNHCR to Arabia Saudi, but they soon realized that they were taken Prisoners of War?! Some were taken as refugees to countries like Australia, Canada and some spent more than more than 14 Years.
> Will the Americans get their way in the long run, and establish a fully democratic Iraq?
First, is democracy what the Americans and/or Iraqis are after?
Today, there are more than three hundred (300) parties in Iraq. More than 20 parties are Islamic!!! Every party is happy with its centres,
publications and free-thinkers. As long as America is in Power...
Is this Democracy? We need Managers and Engineers to build Iraq, not useless quarrelling power thirsty parties...
Believe me or not, the American will try to destroy God when the Sincere Iraqis (excluding all the parties on the surface now) begin to emphasize this point:
• Since God creates us, then He better knows our ins and outs. Consequently, He Alone does set laws and rules for us to run smoothly on earth. Man knows save little. Otherwise, He is unjust to create and leave us unguided or to be misguided by Capitalism, Communism,
Socialism or Democracy. UnGodly systems are the fruits of unGodly men. To Him we belong and to Him We return...
The Americans wanted a similar situation to be carried out in Iran with the help of ex-president Khatami. Fortunately, the true Shia Scholars tackle this problem intelligently without bloodshed. However, Slow Development was the high price the Iranians paid.
> Will I have the option of returning to Basra?
Will the Americans let me live there? By now, I have so many Iraqi enemies, because I stood from the very beginning against them including Abdul Aziz Al-Hakeem, Ibraheem Ja'fari and those of the same length. These so-called Shia are brought by the very smart Americans... Why? Remember that the Shia of Iraq fought the Shia of Iran under Saddam leadership for eight, emphasizing for 8 years,
with the (proof) of the American-made Grand Ayatollah Khoi(before Sestani). These 2 Ayatollah are Iranians, nevertheless, they were allowed to practice their activities when Saddam was in power whereas the first Iraqi scholar As-Sadr was executed and many Iraqis (of Iraqi Grandfathers) were deported to Iran on the pretext that they were Iranians after executeing their men. My family was imprisoned for one year including my little brother Firas (9 years old then) after my escape, then deported sick and empty-handed to Iran. Why were my brothers not excueted? Saddam wanted me to be in a suspicious position in the eyes of the Iranians who never stopped questioning me
because of that...
I hope you come to understand why Bush thanked Ali Sestani and how the Christians Top Leaders in Vatican/Italy have recently discovered that the Jews were not responsible for Jesus crossing!
I went to my home town beginning of 2005 to get the documents I was stripped off. There, I was introduced by my cousin who was a high-rank military officer in the Iraqi army to a British of Indian Origin named Shindi in charge of recruiting Iraqi Engineers to the American Company "Floor". He proudly showed me his diary book that was carrying the signatures of Margret Tacher and Others. When I asked him what for he came to Iraq. He answered that he came to further his study on Gilgamish 7000-years old Manuscripts! To make him understand to which place he has come, I gifted him the translation of the book "Peak of Eloquence" comprising the words of our Prophet
Successor Who ruled Iraq for 4 years 1400 years ago, ... It is a comprehensive book about the Iraqi People (rich of embarrassments)...
My next step was "Twist" and turn back to Iran after spending 3 months in the hell of Democracy...
Third, will the Americans get out of Iraq???
In short, it is not Democracy what the Americans want, but smashing the Head in Iran with the head here!
This is the lesson they cunningly input and fedback by Saddam.
As the American capitalized on the Iranian MKO to topple the Iranian government, they are capitalizing on their tools there.
As I see it, God has dragged the Americans to a place where they can neither make it nor leave...
That's how God destroys the Arrogants...
>Will the end result be a good one, despite the undesirable means by which it came to be?<
Well-established countries are complaining with rising economic and social and other problems.
How to build a country with thousands of war-disabled and mentally off (my brother Ahmad included), and millions left without education.
40% of Iraqis do not know even how to read or write their own language. Iraqis had no choice but to fix Saddam's picture on their chests and carry guns in one hand and Saddam's publications in the other. From Cradle to mass graves....
Philippine and Cuba in the time of their Dictators are paradises of freedom when compared to the Republic of fear.
The destruction was not the result of Gulf-warII only but if it was systematic and long. So, it takes more than 2 generations to recover, if the Americans allow...
Undesirable means end up with Undesirable results. Miscalculations?! God never stops calculations.
> What do you get from the media?
Gulf war I and II were fighting among the Crooks, as I clarified in my earlier email. Here I would like to add that the book tilted " The Republic of fear" which was written in the eighties by the Sameer Al-khalili was allowed to be circulated only in the state where he was living (in US) but this very book was sponsored by the Pentagon and Arabia Saudi to be translated into Arabic and circulated free of charge even in the far east. I got my Arabic copy in Malaysia!
Thanks for sharing your expriences, Aziz.
> it looks like things are changing
Part of the illusion - a leveraging of the cult of personality that allows the choice of replacing puppets to replace real choices for change. As long as the following story doesn't REALLY sink in, the future will remain one where the richer peons vote for systems to rape, pillage and murder the poorer peons, but of course not show any of that on TV.
Note: not too long ago it was 5%. So don't give us this bullshit about the West improving the world, not least gradually through democracy. In fact, replacing Rumsfeld with Robert Gates only makes your game harder to expose and defeat.
China has now become the world's main hope, and ironically
only because of the centrality of materialism in the West.
>centrality of materialism in the West
So the Chinese are not materialistic. Good joke, Hrant.
Every human is materialistic. But when you make materialism the driving force of a political system (as in the US) you become vulnerable to anybody who becomes richer than you (China). Basically China will own you, because you're for sale.
Furthermore: every society has a materialistic element, but the ones (like China) that reserve their highest and deepest pride for their history and culture are more in tune with what humanity needs, I feel. When people point out the rampant materialism in China's new middle class, it is because it's such a contrast to the rest of the Chinese mindframe. In the West in general and the US in particular, there's nothing to contrast materialism against - everything else has been made secondary, and in fact subservient.
The fact that China is not democratic is what makes it so promising.
Contrast it to India, the other Eastern giant, which is falling behind.
Re: the original questions
Designers (graphic and industrial) have a large impact in a few specific ways, but I would hardly hold us up as a bastion of the greater good. These ways are:
1) Our ability to communicate informtion and ideas effectively, speak to the world via the mouth of large institutions, and to use visual voice to cajole, deceive, encourage, and perhaps inform people without their conscious understanding. For good or ill.
2) We are often directing the actions of mass production. If I choose to use soy ink on a run of 100,000 brochures, my tiny decision is multiplied outward. Now apply that to, say, the designer of the iPod or its packaging. I wouldn't say that we're masters of industry, but we do shape large-scale consumption to a point. But we're often focused on the appearance and the client's opinion, so we rarely fight for the larger picture.
3) Our role in moving popular visual culture. Trends in design are often reflections of other practices, but also influence them. But we're hardly at the top of the food chain.
I agree with Terry's original post. It's easy to be high-minded, but that usually comes from being middle-class and ignorant (I include myself in this group). Not buying Nike is a statement, but it's hardly the pinnacle of social responsibility. Try not buying anything from Procter & Gamble, or Monsanto. It's nearly impossible and those companies have their hands in far more questionable endeavours than Nike. Wage slaves in your sweatshops is a pretty minor offense in the grand scheme. Unfortunately.
I believe that we, as designers, should strive to keep our own houses in order and tell each other to do so. I find that trying to design The Poster That Changed the World is pretty ridiculous, as it usually takes a large institution behind it to make any difference. Designers are usually too cute/witty for their own good to be real movers of social change. Though there are certainly exceptions. Real change is typically unglamorous and unlauded. Few make it big in design being either of those things.
Having now caught up with the posts, I'm finding the discussions of the Middle East by those who live(d) there fascinating. It's no wonder that most Americans cannot understand the Middle East. Americans have such a hard time reconciling long-standing, pervasive, intense, violent conflict and the presence of human beings with minds, hearts, and modernity. There's a tendency to diminish the people of a region to a caricature of their government and extremists. Then just throw the word "tribal" in there...such a mental disconnect for people in over here.
AzizMostafa - Thank you so much for posting your point of view.
Hrant - I agree that China is next in line but do not agree with your rosy assessment of that fact. Homogenous nations have scary track records as super powers.
>Homogenous nations have scary track records as super powers.
China is less homogenous than many think. It is autocratic in structure, though, which is dangerous. The future of the world will depend a lot on the wisdom of US and Chinese leaders in creating effective cooperation rather than conflict. I wonder whether both sides will be up to the challenge.
"The Poster That Changed the World"
Interesting phrase in this typophile blogging environment!
Here are some quotations and phrases from Abraham A. Moles, "The Legibility of the World: A Project of Graphic Design," (Design Discourse: History / Theory / Criticism:
"Humans wander through space-time whether of the city or the printed page--where the graphic messages of the visualist appear. They encounter them, accept them, or reject them. On that contingency is based all the talent of the creative person, the user of fleeting moments, salvager of an interstitial availability of the individual in the spaces and times in which he or she acts and lives."
"…strategist of the miniscule in our relationship with things…"
"…graphic design acts as a social amplifier of the messages, attempting to tell well what someone has to say: "go to such and such a place," "do such and such," "understand such and such a process," "accept such and such a value."
"…the world is a labyrinth that must be unravelled, a text that must be deciphered […] The function of the designer is to increase the legibility of the world…"
"Graphic design […] adresses itself to the glance the individual casts on the world, a glance that precedes the action performed…"
"…the languages of writing […] are indefinitely sequential and present themselves as a series of signs on a line, instead of a heirarchy of elements on an ideogram or on the surface of the page. […] It is by the ability to master this (heirarchical) language that the graphic designer can impose on the world an educational value."
Paul, I don't see China's impending domination as rosy. It is simply a desire, in fact a need, for change, for a correction of this horrible, precipitous downward spiral engineered by the West, where the spiritual (by which I categorically don't mean religious) half of the human reality has been subverted to the material half*. You know, I wouldn't even half mind that if everybody would simply admit it. All I'm really professing is awareness. With awareness, things become as good as possible.
* To draw a typographic parallel, I would say it's
like only having display fonts and no text fonts.
And China, just like the US now, will be in no mood for negotiation when the time comes. Things happen in cycles, and one day, yes, we will need to get rid of China too. William's view: now that's rosy!
Manufacturing #16, Bird Mobile, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China; photo by Edward Burtynsky.
And who's paying for it?
BTW, does Burtynsky have any photos of New Orleans?
Or maybe democratic India?http://www.voanews.com/armenian/images/nunan_india_slums_children_210.jpg
Aziz, now that I understood, and in the process I also understand you much better.
This thread has taken a very interesting turn, and inadvertently illustrated my original point. What some of us consider pressing matters, may not be to another.
Take note people, and I will highlight this so an administrator sees this:
There needs to be a printed record of this thread. Many if possible.
What has been written here is unprecedented (at least to me). I have found out more here today than I have in any of the news media for several years. I expect this thread to disappear in the not too distant future.
Shipbreaking #49, Chittagong, Bangladesh; photo by Edward Burtynsky.
India + Ship = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4796221.stm _
Poor peon health for sale.
Change is inevitable Hrant.
One day you and I will be living in the Peoples Republic of California (I hope).
It will be very interesting when this empire finally falls.
Will it go relatively quietly, like Russian communism?
Or will it be catastrophic, like German national socialism?
I suspect the latter.
I don't think people will easily give up the economic system that is closest to human nature.
If humans are not just animals, materialism cannot be enough. It can even be argued that animals aren't that simple either. Consider for example that a Dalmatian will physically go berserk if it's the only pet in the household, no matter how good the food and shelter that it has. Anyway, no matter what we're really made of, awareness is our best hope, and we have very little of it now. We have tons of information, but clearly that's not translating to awareness. In fact maybe the deluge of information is meant to impede awareness.
Yes, it is interesting to speculate how the current empire will go. Will it implode gracefully and be left with a viable core, or will it be another Rome? I think it's dependent mostly on age, on heritage. China for example I can picture imploding gracefully when the time comes (in fact one could argue it's already done that once) but Rome was apparently too young, too arrogant, to really survive at all; and the US is even younger, and almost as arrogant.
I fully agree.
Materialism does not fulfill, yet we have seen a serious rise in it, especially amongst the young, who are supposed to be our idealists. That has been my experience at least.
The flood of information is carefully constructed, one pitch at a time, by the millions of PT Barnums that marketing has unleashed. That's why I was so negative about the original question, because I know that designers at this point are underlings of the marketing department.
And if your stream of information is constructed by marketers, then what other conclusion can you come to?
Nick, I have that photo too - I loved that show!
Right Patty, I bought the poster, cut out the picture and framed it. Bit of a cheat, but I was more into enjoying the shot than making an investment.
You're one up on me, I just have the postcard!
Out of What Politicians take advantage?!
A 3rd world PM listening to VIP in his middle age:
In politics, I am not supposed to engage
Though everything in wreckage+garbage
Never stop giving you White Image
— President: Have you received the Package?
More important now is to whiten my image!
— President: Any Leakage?
Have been re-flipping the Same Books page by page
Mine, I am supposed to suppress to a single usage
But, thanks to the free time and high wage
mmmmm, I have been trapped by Underage
Next morning, this story on every Frontpage
The Opposition has taken Underage hostage!
And the people stage a protest of Outrage
Day after next, 3 images on every Frontpage
The hostage in bandage!
A Deaf and Dumb in cage!
VIP waving to huge Crowd down the stage!
Just a lesson from the Dark Age!
Maybe it's just me but I don't mind Aziz's poetry every now and then, if that's Aziz's way of expressing himself, so be it. Diversity is a good thing and in my opinion it should be welcomed. As far as animated gifs are concerned they are annoying, especially animated avatars (although some of them are brilliant).
I certainly don't think Aziz's poems are a waste of bandwidth. Speaking of bandwidth...it's the 2nd time this week people have been calling others a "a waste of bandwidth". It's becoming a very trendy insult! "Look at you! You are such a waste of bandwidth!".
I remember at school we had a friend who was a pain in the arse, he always had this silly wolly hat on so we called him a waste of wool. Sorry for the digression.
Another cool insult is "you are such a Renuisance!". We should definetely keep a printed record of that one!
Ah, the good old days when you could just call someone an SOB and be done with it :-)
Ofcourse in the good old days, you had to be a King to invade a country, now any idiot can do it.
Some of Aziz's poetry is quite good. The rest may be as well but I don't understand enough of it to say.
Here is one of my experiences that I would like to share here:
In 1987, Henry Kesenger visited Malaysia for 2 weeks to meet the 9 Sultans (Kings)... Needless to say, the visit could outrage Malays. On that day, to divert the Malays attention, "Berita Harian" — the Ruling Party newspaper— came out reading:
"Kesenger in Malaysia" in a dying font inside a small square at the top left hand corner, and the lower half of the frontpage and in eye-catching font was covered with what translates into "Disappearance of the Verses of the Holy Book".
The newspaper claimed that one of the religious teacher in one of the villages eyewitnessed the lines of the Holy Book flying away (never explained how) as she was scan-reading them.
And the Opposition Muslim Party began their Religious/Political campaign...
For 14 successive days, newspapers were pouring oil on fire...
Was teaching Arabic Language then at Al-Taufiqqya Private School in a village in Kedah/North.
A member of the State Assembly named Ustaz (Scholar) Zahari came to see me in companion with a number of PAS Islamic Party followers...
Ustaz asked: "Do you see what happened a sign of the ereafter?" "What is your opinion?"
He reiterated verses of the Holy Book and began interpreting them as he (mis)understood and insisted on reply.
• Has All the 30-parts of Holy Book disappeared or a part of it?
• Have the same pages disappeared from the same edition or different editions?
• Is there any possibility of misprinting?
• How many countries witnessed this Miracle beside Malaysia?
• What is God's Wisdom behind taking the Holy Book back to him?
• Why this happens now, not before? What is special in this day?
Before finishing my last question, one of Scholar's followers jumped to finish me for being ungodly. Fortunately, I was saved in time by other followers.
Afterwards, when Henry Kesenger finished his task with the 9 Malaysia Kings and the issue went out of control, the PM, Mahateer Mohammed, ordered an investigating committee to be formed for the matter...
Two months later, the committee discovered the Misprinting!!!
Interesting? Or should I stop posting out-of-question matters.
"Two months later, the committee discovered the Misprinting!!!"
Amazing how a printing mistake can be used in a crisis. In your case the price for such a mistake could have been higher than what a reprint would cost.
The World is an insane place to search for sanity.
This kind of slight of hand is disgusting. It's a disgrace.
Do we as designers have a role to play in society? I think Bringhurst said it better than I ever could:
Elements of Typographic StyleFirst Principles § 1.1.3The same alphabets and page designs can be used for a biography of Mohandas Gandhi and for a manual on the use and deployment of biological weapons. Writing can be used both for love letters and for hate mail, and love letters themselves can be used for manipulation and extortion as well as to bring delight to body and soul. Evidently there is nothing inherently noble and trustworthy in the written or printed word. Yet generations of men and women have turned to writing and printing to house and share their deepest hopes, perceptions, dreams and fears. It is to them, not the extortionist – nor to the opportunist or the profiteer – that the typographer must answer.
I have found out more here today than I have in any of the news media for several years.
Terry, you may like Cold Type.
> ... and love letters themselves can be used for manipulation and extortion as well as to bring delight to body and soul.
Love-making letters themselves can also be used for manipulation and extortion as well as to bring delight to body and soul?