Tag: Fast Company (page 2 of 8)

Digital fashion is another example of a nascent industry beset with inequalities

As the conclusion to this article states, if digital fashion industry doesn’t differentiate itself from IRL fashion now, it’s storing up problems for the future.

If one of the main arguments in support of digital fashion is its ability to serve the marginalized, what happens when its development is in the hands of those with overwhelmingly socio-economically privileged backgrounds? The Institute of Digital Fashion (IoDF), a digital fashion studio and retailer, weighed in on why these issues are major obstacles to the healthy advancement of the industry in an online interview. “The industry’s biggest challenges are the current traps of the IRL fashion industry. In brief, if we mirror these, we are lost!” its founders state. Recognizing these issues, founders Cattytay and Leanne Elliott Young are taking steps to help it develop on a socially conscious path.

Source: Everyone from Gucci to Louis Vuitton is betting on digital fashion. Here’s why they should proceed with caution | Fast Company

Mastering a 5,400-character typewriter

I can’t even imagine how difficult this must have been to type on!

The IBM Chinese typewriter was a formidable machine—not something just anyone could handle with the aplomb of the young typist in the film. On the keyboard affixed to the hulking, gunmetal gray chassis, 36 keys were divided into four banks: 0 through 5; 0 through 9; 0 through 9; and 0 through 9. With just these 36 keys, the machine was capable of producing up to 5,400 Chinese characters in all, wielding a language that was infinitely more difficult to mechanize than English or other Western writing systems.

To type a Chinese character, one depressed a total of 4 keys—one from each bank—more or less simultaneously, compared by one observer to playing a chord on the piano. Just as the film explained, “if you want to type word number 4862 you would press 4-8-6-2 and the machine would type the right character.⁠”

Each four-digit code corresponded with a character etched on a revolving drum inside the typewriter. Spinning continuously at a speed of 60 revolutions per minute, or once per second, the drum measured 7 inches in diameter, and 11 inches in length. Its surface was etched with 5,400 Chinese characters,⁠ letters of the English alphabet, punctuation marks, numerals, and a handful of other symbols.

Source: How Lois Lew mastered IBM’s 1940s Chinese typewriter

Pandemic microaggressions

This article primarily focuses on racism and intolerance to gender differences, but even as a “white, male… heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied, wealthy, and educated” man, I recognise some of what it describes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has opened much of our workforce to a new surge of microaggressions by making coworkers as unwelcome guests in their homes through video meetings. Bosses and coworkers can see our families and furniture. They can hear the background noise from our neighborhoods. They see us with our hair, faces, and clothes less put together than usual due to the closure of the shops and salons that help us assimilate into the mainstream world.

Sarah Morgan, How microaggressions look different when we’re working remotely (Fast Company)

There’s a line, I think between friendly banter and curiosity and, for example, being reminded on a daily basis that I’m getting ever more grey, that I’m looking tired, and my forehead is shinier than a billiard ball.

Microaggressions? Perhaps. But on days when I’m not feeling 100%, it sure does grind me down.