Idiot with a Tripod

Idiot with a Tripod, above, filmed during New York City’s recent blizzard. Referencing Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent movie Man with a Movie Camera, below.

Amazing craft. Loved the scoring in both. Caught the eye of Roger Ebert, who thinks Jamie Stuart’s Idiot with a Tripod is Oscar-worthy. Ebert shared an email exchange with Stuart about how he made the short. The conversation reveals the power of persistence—simply sticking with something, doing instead of prejudging the outcome, and seeing how it all turns out.

The funny thing is, for the first part of the shoot I felt [really] uninspired and almost stopped. But I kept going. And it ultimately turned out really nice.

Really nice, indeed.

[via Good]

Conformity and the Decline Effect

Be aware of groupthink—especially in groups you’re already affiliated with. Question the group, so that false majorities don’t arise from default. Here is an interesting video that sums up past research on conformity. (via Brainpicker)

Although I guess we should also question the findings of lots of quantitative scientific research, according to this New Yorker article explaining the decline effect—seemingly significant research data tends to fade over time yet scientists, journals, and the general public tend to uphold the previous data and publish new research that reconfirm old findings.

Some thoughts on how these might also apply to qualitative research as well.

  • it’s hard to prove anything.
  • we seek out significance and difference and insight, even in single stories and incidences,
  • & we look further for things that reconfirm our initial hypotheses and insights…
  • therefore, when we are researching people, we have to be careful to not let the archetypal stories become the only stories. we have to design for the complexity/variety of individuals even as we look for patterns among many and find focus in an opportunity area.
  • the way research is presented is as important as the research itself.
  • more transparency about methods and processes is crucial to the industry(s).
  • if we’re doing design research & synthesis in a group, simple ideas tend to stick. once a strong story is told or a catchy phrase is hatched, it gets repeated over and over again, and the nuances of the initial research data may get lost.
  • luckily, the empathetic insights gained from design and other kinds qualitative research have already resonated and can inform future creative work.