Choicelessness

D-D-D-David Helfgott

Posted in fashion, personal, technology by johnsnavely on June 16, 2008

I’ve had a dreamy weekend.

It was sunny here in Seattle, which doesn’t happen often. And although I’ve been living in this house for over a week, I haven’t really gotten a chance to explore Fremont (my neighborhood in Seattle).

Well, I did this weekend and it was freaking sweet. There’s a canal connecting Salmon Bay to Lake Union 3 blocks away where I can take Mattie swimming. We watched a tug pull a house boat into the city and were wierded out by some really aggro birds. (I’ll have to take some pictures… it’s Hitchcockian.) Along the canal is the Burke Gilman trail which has super running paths along the water.

In town, there’s a bunch of great bars, restuarants, and little shops. On Sundays there’s a market that takes over a street next to the canal.

And get this, 2 blocks away there’s a chocolate factory, that has free tours… with samples. A Chocolate Factory.

Anyway, today I feel like I won the golden ticket.


Even though I was out-of-doors I spent a lot of time on my computer. (Nerd-ho). I played a bunch of chess. (I had been trying to quit- ha) I came across this great site which has videos of chessgames narrated by FIDE masters. It’s really amazing stuff to hear someone who knows how to play talk about what they were thinking. This video, in particular, was great. (It’s an hour long, so not for the faint of heart.) It wasn’t an amazing game by any means, but to hear explain their decisions and show the lines they considered relevant that didn’t make it into the game is really fascinating. At one point, the narrator, Dennis Monokroussos, describes the board as being still “in theory” and shows a Karpov game in the 90’s from the position (15:30). Amazing.

I’ve never really though of chess as a spectator sport, although I know in some countries/tournaments it is, but I’ve actually thought of it more as an annotated sport. And with digital tools and digital games becoming more the norm. I’d like to see more of these annotated events, but perhaps for content you wouldn’t ordinarily expect.

For example, I’m a big fan of facehunter, a “street fashion” blog. Think the Sartorialist, but for hipsters. Now that they’ve got a facehunter show, I can get my fix all the time. But it’s a tragedy that there’s not annotation or commentary that shows how they made their decisions (which aren’t random… look at the men’s pants on the facehunter blog).

A playback that included commentary on a shopping trip may seem like retail pr0n, but shopping is precisely one of those activities that has a hundred tiny decisions that, here and there, could be made explicit. Although, a call for annotation is not to say that we should be all academic about it, S,M,L,XL and Cathy Horyn (ty, Adrian) have done and are doing that just swimmingly.

Informal annotation and augmentation could be really helpful and even entertaining; for shopping online, the best we have right now is the rating, recommendation and reputation systems of ebay,amazon,etc; wouldn’t it be great if those systems could be read in a more narrative fashion?

Kanye’s blog is pretty much a shopping blog, informality check (He’s such a style monger that he’s even started “shopping” for women. Seriously, he’s a cultural force, but like P-Diddy before him– I’m not a fan.) But no narrative.

There’s thingsI’veboughtthatIlove, with Mindy Chockalingham of Dartmouth and The Office fame contributing. Some narrative, but not from experts and not really a good choose-your-own-adventure type story.

The closest thing I saw was on America’s Next Top model, where the models go look at Japanese street fashion, then have to paraphrase it with purchases at select businesses all around Tokyo.

I’m getting off topic. Time to sleep.

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