1. Steve Jobs’s “spiritual partner”
Let’s face it: Jony Ive is ubiquitous. We’ve all seen him waxing poetic about Apple’s newest products against a white backdrop, most recently describing the iPhone 5C, for example, as “beautifully, unapologetically plastic.” He’s also known to get philosophical, by the way. (And then, of course, there’s this Tumblr that reimagines the whole world through his eyes, from the cover of Abbey Road to Windows 8 to freeway signage to the very flag of the United States.) Charlie Rose recently interviewed him, along with acclaimed designer Marc Newson, about a design collection they’ve curated to be auctioned off in support of Bono’s (RED) organization. I found the conversation really interesting, largely because of the fact that as Charlie Rose says, Ive’s “aesthetic has shaped our modern digital age.”
2. I was just trying to help
Thanks to Rebecca Gant for sharing this episode of This American Life, and particularly Act 1: “Money For Nothing and Your Cows for Free,” which highlights a controversial trend that, for better or worse, has important implications for aid and development. Here’s the blurb:
Planet Money reporters David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein went to Kenya to see the work of a charity called GiveDirectly in action. Instead of funding schools or wells or livestock, GiveDirectly has decided to just give money directly to the poor people who need it, and let them decide how to spend it. David and Jacob explain whether this method of charity works, and why some people think it’s a terrible idea.
3. Glimmers of hope in Guatemala
Stephen Kinzer, the co-author of Bitter Fruit, a landmark book about a troubling chapter of Guatemalan history, has a piece in the New York Review of Books, reviewing the new book From Silence to Memory:
Yet as the civil war fades into history—peace accords were signed in 1996—Guatemala’s old power structure is losing its grip. All three of the institutions that have run the country as a virtual triumvirate for most of its existence—the army, the wealthy elite, and the Catholic Church—are weaker than at any time in the last half-century. Revelations about the army’s crimes have cost it much of its political prestige. The traditional ruling class, dominated by old coffee-farming families, is being challenged by new groups that have become rich through drug trafficking or by winning Internet and cell phone contracts. Catholicism is weakening as evangelical sects grow in size and influence. In this fluid environment, new social forces are emerging.
Alan Jacobs has written a biography of the Book of Common Prayer, and in good ancient-future form he is curating a Tumblr with anecdotes and images of a variety of editions of the BCP throughout history and around the world.
[Image: Mavericks wallpaper via jonyiveredesignsthings.tumblr.com]