What’s your prism?

 

Mark Alexander’s daily round-up of Internet pictures had this image:

Aside from the joke, does this make you think of anything else? Depends if you’re interested in vehicles, desert plants, the various shades of green, highway signage. For me it’s typefaces.

At first I thought this might be a photoshop, but if so, it’s a better job than most – including the one on the company’s website. The font on the back matches the font on the side of the tank, and few random meme dudes would worry about that.

It’s Windsor, aka the “Woody Allen Typeface.” He’s used it for the credits of his movies since the 70s. It’s an odd choice for a septic firm, but it’s not wrong; it lends a self-deprecating note of style and elegance, like an aristocrat sniffing a perfumed hanky to stave off the BO of the rest of the court.

Initially I thought it might be one of Nick’s Fonts, as he had a series of Windsor-adjacent fonts with names relating to the Wizard of Oz. Nick Curtis is a matchless fontagrapher who’s translated hundreds of 20th century typefaces into digital form, reviving the work of  countless anonymous letterers whose work defined the look of their times. I remember sitting in the theater, years ago, watching the opening credits of the rebooted Oz movie, and realizing that they’d used many of his fonts. I knew those fonts; they were like friends, or at least pen-pals. I wrote him and asked if he’d seen the movie, whether he’d gotten a nice fat Disney check. Nope. They just bought them for ten bucks a throw.

Anyway. The septic-tank picture reminded me that I often see the world through the prism of typefaces, as well as signage and architecture – those are my primary overlays. They’re utterly different from an engineer or a fireman or a grocer or a cop or a woodworker or a house painter. Everyone has their own prism.

What’s yours?

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Mine is cracked and throws light in all different directions, some never to be seen by a human eye.

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I see the world as a series of connections, between people, between things, and events. The world is a vast web, where it seems everything interacts to a degree. I remember bits of data because I can fit them into a greater tapestry of organization. 

    While this seems natural to me, I find that others often do not share this sort of view. What seems obvious to me might be a haze to others. It can be disconcerting. 

    But, things make sense. 

    • #2
  3. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Unfortunately for me in our current climate, mine is Boolean logic.

    • #3
  4. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    When things don’t make sense to you, look for the hidden assumption. That is the one you made that seems so obvious you never thought to question it. Sometimes that assumption is wrong. 

    • #4
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Engineer. Life is a collection of puzzles to be solved.

    • #5
  6. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    The saying on the truck reminds me of another old saying:

    Politicians are like a baby’s diaper.  They should be changed often, and for the same reason.

    • #6
  7. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Holy esoterica, Batman! Definitely a post worthy to take up space on the Main Feed…uh…sure…

    • #7
  8. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Meta-prism: a realization that each person’s prism is their language, their understanding of the elephant and – yes – their truth.

    • #8
  9. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    Ebonics.

    • #9
  10. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Fonts are interesting. I worked for a gaming company and we had standard fonts, but also a lot of custom fonts. The standard fonts were upgraded once and the customer base went crazy — we changed it back. We changed a color once and same result.  Each game had color palettes too. One standard font had an error where a pixel was green, i.e. indicating it was transparent, and the overlay font graphic didn’t place a color pixel over it. I fixed it one day and a few weeks later the sky fell in. Or you would have thought — No Changing Fonts. Period.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Unfortunately for me in our current climate, mine is Boolean logic.

    Even the non symbolic variety has taken a beating of late.

    when Donald Rumsfeld held forth on “unknown unknowns,” I recognized it for what it was: the first concept in almost any textbook on elementary information theory. That so many paid communicators found that so very funny was … edifying.

    • #11
  12. Max Knots Member
    Max Knots
    @MaxKnots

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Engineer. Life is a collection of puzzles to be solved.

    So right! We apply this to all aspects of our lives until we learn that it’s the wrong screwdriver for some screws. I think it represents a natural optimism that if you can break a problem down into its constituent parts, those smaller parts will be solvable. But an annoying side effect is the need to constantly tinker with things that are good enough,  trying to improve them. With age comes the wisdom that there are a few things that cannot or should not be improved. Their imperfections are what makes them interesting. Or maybe that’s merely an old engineer’s acceptance that he at least cannot fix all?

    • #12
  13. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Funny, but my answer would be essentially the same as Bryan’s in #2. I say “funny” because, with all due respect to Bryan, he and I are often at odds on matters of style, if not substance (though perhaps that, too).

    Which might tell us something about what’s important (and I suspect that Bryan and I agree about the vast majority of truly important things) and what’s incidental. I’m sure a good analogy could be made to prisms and their function, but the analogy that immediately leaps to mind is as regards fonts. We have a lot of different typefaces here on Ricochet, some easy to read and some less so, some that jump out of the page and some that put you to sleep. But, to a great extent, most of us are saying the same kinds of things, once we get past the typography.

    Incidentally, I have often described my perspective in very much the words Bryan uses, emphasizing the interconnectedness of things, my need to fit things into relationship with other things, the network/mesh/tapestry quality of it. I think of it as breadth-first learning. It pleases me to hear someone else express a similar perspective.

    • #13
  14. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    James Lileks:

    Everyone has their own prism.

    What’s yours?

    Spiritual warfare.

    • #14
  15. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Funny, but my answer would be essentially the same as Bryan’s in #2. I say “funny” because, with all due respect to Bryan, he and I are often at odds on matters of style, if not substance (though perhaps that, too).

    Which might tell us something about what’s important (and I suspect that Bryan and I agree about the vast majority of truly important things) and what’s incidental. I’m sure a good analogy could be made to prisms and their function, but the analogy that immediately leaps to mind is as regards fonts. We have a lot of different typefaces here on Ricochet, some easy to read and some less so, some that jump out of the page and some that put you to sleep. But, to a great extent, most of us are saying the same kinds of things, once we get past the typography.

    Incidentally, I have often described my perspective in very much the words Bryan uses, emphasizing the interconnectedness of things, my need to fit things into relationship with other things, the network/mesh/tapestry quality of it. I think of it as breadth-first learning. It pleases me to hear someone else express a similar perspective.

    I think styles are functions of personality more than how we think about the world, and clearly we think in similar ways. 

    • #15
  16. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Engineer. Life is a collection of puzzles to be solved.

    Another Mechanical Engineer here, however I tend to view the world thru the prism of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    Even our social organized paradigms can be shoehorned into the basic theorems per the late Mr Ginsberg.

    0 There is a game….

    1 You are not going to win…..

    2 You are not going to break even….

    3 You cannot leave the table.

    • #16
  17. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    You knew it had to be an LLC. No big corporate types would sign on to that font. 

    • #17
  18. Psmith Coolidge
    Psmith
    @KarenZiminski

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Engineer. Life is a collection of puzzles to be solved.

    Another Mechanical Engineer here, however I tend to view the world thru the prism of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    Even our social organized paradigms can be shoehorned into the basic theorems per the late Mr Ginsberg.

    0 There is a game….

    1 You are not going to win…..

    2 You are not going to break even….

    3 You cannot leave the table.

    Entropy wins again.

    • #18
  19. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    My prism is time, and my frame of reference is how long it takes to come up with the idea for a movie, write it, sell it, film and release it–usually, about two to three years. We’re far from the glory days of Roger Corman and the speedy schlock merchants of the 50s, and films are vastly more expensive, so the rush-to-production is lessened. TV still responds more quickly to the headlines. 

    That means that there’s always a time lag, and often a cultural one, too. The TV you see today was put into motion a year ago, at the height of national hysteria over race. The movies you’ve been seeing since about 2019 were set in motion in reaction to #metoo, which is why so many quasi-feminist flops arrived at more or less the same time. “Charlie’s Angels. Sworn to Secrecy. Bound by Sisterhood”. They represent Hollywood’s attempt at reparations and affirmative action. 

    • #19
  20. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    My prism is time, and my frame of reference is how long it takes to come up with the idea for a movie, write it, sell it, film and release it–usually, about two to three years. We’re far from the glory days of Roger Corman and the speedy schlock merchants of the 50s, and films are vastly more expensive, so the rush-to-production is lessened. TV still responds more quickly to the headlines.

    That means that there’s always a time lag, and often a cultural one, too. The TV you see today was put into motion a year ago, at the height of national hysteria over race. The movies you’ve been seeing since about 2019 were set in motion in reaction to #metoo, which is why so many quasi-feminist flops arrived at more or less the same time. “Charlie’s Angels. Sworn to Secrecy. Bound by Sisterhood”. They represent Hollywood’s attempt at reparations and affirmative action.

    Word around the water cooler is that the villain in Black Widow is Harvey Weinstein.

    • #20
  21. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Then-Oscar host Robin Williams was hilarious. “I see we have a nominee this year called “Monsters, Inc”. I gather that this is a documentary about the Weinstein brothers”. 

    • #21
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Engineer. Life is a collection of puzzles to be solved.

    Another Mechanical Engineer here, however I tend to view the world thru the prism of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    Even our social organized paradigms can be shoehorned into the basic theorems per the late Mr Ginsberg.

    0 There is a game….

    1 You are not going to win…..

    So much for Capitalism

    2 You are not going to break even….

    So much for Socialism

    3 You cannot leave the table.

    So much for mysticism.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Engineer. Life is a collection of puzzles to be solved.

    Another Mechanical Engineer here, however I tend to view the world thru the prism of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    Even our social organized paradigms can be shoehorned into the basic theorems per the late Mr Ginsberg.

    0 There is a game….

    1 You are not going to win…..

    2 You are not going to break even….

    3 You cannot leave the table.

    Hmph. One of those people who starts his numbered list with zero.

    • #23
  24. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Engineer. Life is a collection of puzzles to be solved.

    Another Mechanical Engineer here, however I tend to view the world thru the prism of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    Even our social organized paradigms can be shoehorned into the basic theorems per the late Mr Ginsberg.

    0 There is a game….

    1 You are not going to win…..

    2 You are not going to break even….

    3 You cannot leave the table.

    Hmph. One of those people who starts his numbered list with zero.

    Right? But the fault lies neither with Ginsberg nor our own GLDIII, but rather with Ralph Fowler, the late and relatively uncelebrated polymath, who gave us the “Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics” about 90 years ago. (And choosing zero was probably better than trying to rename one through three.)

    • #24
  25. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    My prism is time, and my frame of reference is how long it takes to come up with the idea for a movie, write it, sell it, film and release it–usually, about two to three years. We’re far from the glory days of Roger Corman and the speedy schlock merchants of the 50s, and films are vastly more expensive, so the rush-to-production is lessened. TV still responds more quickly to the headlines.

    That means that there’s always a time lag, and often a cultural one, too. The TV you see today was put into motion a year ago, at the height of national hysteria over race. The movies you’ve been seeing since about 2019 were set in motion in reaction to #metoo, which is why so many quasi-feminist flops arrived at more or less the same time. “Charlie’s Angels. Sworn to Secrecy. Bound by Sisterhood”. They represent Hollywood’s attempt at reparations and affirmative action.

    Accelerate the Schlock!

    • #25
  26. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    My prism is time, and my frame of reference is how long it takes to come up with the idea for a movie, write it, sell it, film and release it–usually, about two to three years. We’re far from the glory days of Roger Corman and the speedy schlock merchants of the 50s, and films are vastly more expensive, so the rush-to-production is lessened. TV still responds more quickly to the headlines.

    That means that there’s always a time lag, and often a cultural one, too. The TV you see today was put into motion a year ago, at the height of national hysteria over race. The movies you’ve been seeing since about 2019 were set in motion in reaction to #metoo, which is why so many quasi-feminist flops arrived at more or less the same time. “Charlie’s Angels. Sworn to Secrecy. Bound by Sisterhood”. They represent Hollywood’s attempt at reparations and affirmative action.

    It’s sort of like the U.S. Senate, then. It’s supposed to be a slower and more deliberate body than the House of Representatives, which tends to act according to the popular whims and passions of the moment.

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    “Big Bad Mama” with Angie Dickinson is better.  For a few reasons…

    • #27
  28. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Right? But the fault lies neither with Ginsberg nor our own GLDIII, but rather with Ralph Fowler, the late and relatively uncelebrated polymath, who gave us the “Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics” about 90 years ago. (And choosing zero was probably better than trying to rename one through three.)

    There is also a zeroth moral for one of my favorite stories, about the sparrow who hated flying south for the winter (not CoC compliant). It was appended to a photocopy of this story taped to the office door of an engineer whom I deeply respected (back in the day when posting a story like this would not get you fired or sent to a re-education camp). It read:

    The Zeroth Moral: When it comes time to fly south for the winter, don’t [CoC violation] around for another four weeks. GO!

    I’m sure if you read the story, you will agree.

    • #28
  29. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “Big Bad Mama” with Angie Dickinson is better. For a few reasons…

    Big Bad Mama doesn’t have Pat Hingle, Bruce Dern, or that DeNiro feller in it does it? Does it???

    • #29
  30. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    Percival (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    “Big Bad Mama” with Angie Dickinson is better. For a few reasons…

    Big Bad Mama doesn’t have Pat Hingle, Bruce Dern, or that DeNiro feller in it does it? Does it???

    It has Shatner.  And his butt.

    • #30