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Consequences of the Rise of Design

On Tynan

I was walking through the mall a couple days ago. My path took me past a bunch of stores and kiosks, including the Nike Store. I walked past it and looked at their window display. They had a really nicely photographed poster and some cool looking shoes in a bunch of different colors. The store was beautiful and looked like a fun place to be. At the same time, their shoes aren't particularly great, they aren't actually innovative, and they're made of cheap materials. There are many shoe companies that are way lower quality than Nike, but I don't know if there are any with such a disparity between their presentation and the actual product.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this isn't just nike or most of the clothes in the mall-- it's how our culture works now. Back in the day, if you wanted a pair of shoes you'd go to a cobbler. He would design a pair for you, or use one of his existing designs, pick out some nice leather, and make you a pair of shoes. His design work, his execution, and his materials could all be leveraged about equally, so I'd guess that you'd tend to have either poorly designed shoes that are poorly executed and made of poor materials, or well designed shoes that were well executed and used good materials.

These days, things have changed. Design can be leveraged almost infinitely, which has changed the whole equation. Mass manufacturing ensures decent execution, but supplying top quality materials is difficult. A cobbler who makes a hundred pairs of shoes a year can take the time to pick out the best hides to get the best leather. That doesn't scale to making thousands of shoes a day, so material quality drops. Execution has become more consistent, but the benefits of cutting corners is magnified. Saving a penny on making a pair of shoes didn't matter to the cobblers, but it matters to Nike.

So these days, most of what people buy is well designed, decently and consistently executed, and uses relatively poor quality materials. In the mall I walked past a kiosk of phone cases. There were some that were blinged out. Pretty good design in that they fit perfectly on the phone the're meant for, the rows of fake diamonds are all uniform, etc.. Each one looks the same and is okay quality. But the materials are crap-- cheap plastic painted to look like metal covered in lackluster plastic "gems".

What Happens in the Ukraine, Should Not Stay in the Ukraine

On Flower Power

In a nutshell, this is what happened:

The amount of UNH students who are unaware of what is going on in the Ukraine is too damn high. While sipping on $1 beers and munching on $0.25 wings Thursday night, I explained to my friends what is happening in the Ukraine. With the aid of plenty body movement and letting my hands speak too, I was able to not lose their interest within the first minute. It’s important to know what happens around you, even if you’re not in near proximity of events with an impact. For instance, the situation in the Ukraine doesn’t only affect Ukrainians. As you read on, you will realize that global political relations, international laws and economy are influenced as well.

Plus, it’ll make you sounds smart when you talk to people older than you. Knowing about current events can help you form your own, polarized opinions that set you apart from the rest. Here’s what you need to know about the Ukrainian revolution.

The Ukraine had been under Soviet control back in the glory days of the Soviet Union. Ever since the union didn’t work out, the country had been trying to get back on its financial feet but struggled. For a while now, many Ukrainians aspired to join the European Union in order to prosper its economy and take advantage of other benefits of being a member. Imagine the anger felt by these people when President Yanukovych rejected a far-reaching accord with the EU in November 2013 because of his strong ties with Russia. Overnight, protests broke out into the Independence Square, known as the Maidan, in the capital of Kiev. The BBC reports that since it began, developments include, “police attacks on student protesters, severe new anti-protest laws, and the abduction and beating of opposition activists – caused the demonstrations spread and intensify.”

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