Last night we welcomed a small group of new and old friends to West Bank Social Center for dinner. The menu was simple: we ate soup that had been made the day before by five of our friends, and leftover focaccia that Miranda had brought from work. The soup-makers had designed an activity to place us at the table next to people we didn’t know, and as you might expect, the conversations meandered.
I was seated across from a woman named Amanda who works for KFAI and produces a podcast about local food issues. By the end of our conversation we were swapping thoughts about the future of agriculture, and the world-changing possibilities of cookbooks. Next to me were two professors from the University who teach a course about art spaces and community engagement. We talked about food and politics, food and art, about the simple pleasures of cooking together, and strange fruits from faraway places.
At one point, I was asked why we decided to do this project, to have this soup dinner in this space we’d created?
I didn’t have a definitive answer, in part because I have had no time to think of one. I realized as I meandered my way through the idea that we’d never really thought about soup as a project so much as an anti-project, that one day each month when we would simply share the company of interesting people.
“Because we’re hungry.” I told her. “And because we like to spend time with other people.”
In some ways, West Bank Social Center is the same story. We never really talk about it as a project so much as a space for things to happen. Since we began last summer it’s been a laboratory and a retreat, a noisy mess and a conversation. We struggle to pay the rent, we swap a lot of big and small ideas, but at the end of the day, it’s really about being hungry and being together.
WBSC is taking November off to reflect, rest, and re-energize.* I can’t think of a better way to kick that off then Shanai's thoughts on dinner last night. Also, a big thank you to Sara, Chris, Paul, Stephanie, and Nate for making soup. It warmed me up and made me feel good.
Freedom is an application that disables networking on an Apple computer for up to eight hours at a time. Freedom will free you from the distractions of the internet, allowing you time to code, write, or create. At the end of your selected offline period, Freedom re-enables your network, restoring everything as normal.
Here’s a possibility to turn around in your head: print isn’t dying, so much as it’s becoming much less interesting and useful. Buying a magazine that’s two-thirds ads is not interesting, nor it is often terribly useful. Buying a magazine that’s two months behind the internet is neither interesting nor useful. Buying a magazine that is simply shitfuck ugly is neither interesting nor useful. Buying a magazine so bereft of content that it doesn’t outlive a single sitting on the bog is neither interesting nor useful. Right there, I’ve tagged a lot of magazines on your local newsagent’s shelf. But that does not eliminate all magazines.
If the magazine is dying, but there is yet this lovely and efficient service that lets you make your own magazines, perhaps the onus is there to rethink what the magazine does and can do. I mean, think about that for a minute: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to re-invent the magazine.
Atlanta, the capital of the US state of Georgia will soon be the world’s most digitally mapped city, according to organisers of a massive “mapathon”.
OpenStreetMap, or OSM, is behind the effort to produce a map more accurate than anything else on the market.
In addition, all the data will be given away free for others to use.
“We aim to map everything from bike paths to emergency phones and police precincts,” said Frank Howell from the Office of Research and Policy Analysis.