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The Next Time, Mark Strand

                   I

Nobody sees it happening, but the architecture of our time
Is becoming the architecture of the next time. And the dazzle

Of light upon the waters is as nothing beside the changes
Wrought therein, just as our waywardness means

Nothing against the steady pull of things over the edge.
Nobody can stop the flow, but nobody can start it either.

Time slips by; our sorrows do not turn into poems,
And what is invisible stays that way. Desire has fled,

Leaving only a trace of perfume in its wake,
And so many people we loved have gone,

And no voice comes from outer space, from the folds
Of dust and carpets of wind to tell us that this

Is the way it was meant to happen, that if only we knew
How long the ruins would last we would never complain.

                   II

Perfection is out of the question for people like us,
So why plug away at the same old self when the landscape

Has opened its arms and given us marvelous shrines
To flock towards? The great motels to the west are waiting,

In somebody’s yard a pristine dog is hoping that we’ll drive by,
And on the rubber surface of a lake people bobbing up and down

Will wave. The highway comes right to the door, so let’s
Take off before the world out there burns up. Life should be more

Than the body’s weight working itself from room to room.
A turn through the forest will do us good, so will a spin

Among the farms. Just think of the chickens strutting,
The cows swinging their udders, and flicking their tails at flies.

And one can imagine prisms of summer light breaking against
The silent, haze-filled sleep of the farmer and his wife.

                   III

It could have been another story, the one that was meant
Instead of the one that happened. Living like this,

Hoping to revise what has been false or rendered unreadable
Is not what we wanted. Believing that the intended story

Would have been like a day in the west when everything
Is tirelessly present—the mountains casting their long shadow

Over the valley where the wind sings its circular tune
And trees respond with a dry clapping of leaves—was overly

Simple no doubt, and short-sighted. For soon the leaves,
Having gone black, would fall, and the annulling snow

Would pillow the walk, and we, with shovels in hand, would meet,
Bow, and scrape the sidewalk clean. What else would there be

This late in the day for us but desire to make amends
And start again, the sun’s compassion as it disappears.

Poetry permits us to live in ourselves as if we were just out of reach of ourselves.

Mark Strand, On Becoming a Poet from The Weather of Words

(Source: metaphorformetaphor, via queuea)

parislemon:

Fine, I’m excited.

I’m down.

Hilton Is Making The Invisible Traveler — Like Me — Happy

Hilton is about to earn my loyalty again. I had a Hilton Gold for a few years back in the ’90s when I was traveling quite a lot, and had a corporate expense account to lean on. But now, Hilton is catching my attention for another reason than frequent stay rewards: the company is investing huge in a ne mobile tech infrastructure:

Craig Karmin, Hilton Books Upgraded Technology

Guests already can check in and check out with a few punches on a smartphone or tablet-computer screen at all of Hilton’s hotels in the U.S., the company said. By the end of summer, travelers will be able to see the location of and select their own rooms by mobile phone at six brands, from the midscale Hilton Garden Inn to the luxury Waldorf Astoria.

Next year, Hilton says, arriving guests can begin using their smartphones to unlock the doors to their rooms, rather than waiting on any lines clogging the front desk to pick up a key. That feature will be available at most of the company’s hotels world-wide by the end of 2016.

To make this real, Hilton is dropping $550 million in an arms race with other chains, like Starwood, Marriott, and Intercontinental Hotel Group.

I am the quintessential example of the silent or invisible traveler. I’d rather channel all interaction with a hotel via smartphone app — to the extent possible — without waiting in a line at reception. 

I really want to be able to choose my room, to make sure it’s quiet and has a desk, and to simply walk to the room and open the door. All without the smiling faces in the cheesy uniforms. No offense.

But the big breakthrough is yet to happen, which is unbundling the hotel. Instead of a monolithically controlled experience, an interesting future hotel would be more like a city, with shops and cafes, coworking and cohabitation working areas, and a diverse range of spaces to hang, eat, talk, and work. This is something like the unbundling of work spaces (see yesterday’s  Beyond The Office: Workplace As A Service). 

Beyond The Office: Workplace As A Service

Diversity in top editorial spots is nearly non-existent. 

Introduction by Manjula Martin, Data visualization and research by Vijith Assar, Interactive Graphic: Diversity in Journalism - Scratch Magazine

As it turns out, there isn’t really enough data to make an interactive graphic about diversity among top newsroom editorial positions that doesn’t make you have to squint to see the racial breakdown in the first place—because there isn’t really any racial diversity at all. The results are barely improved when it comes to gender. Any way you click it, of the 183 top editors of mainstream English-language media outlets Assar counted here, one is a black man. Nine are white women (and two of them are Tina Brown). Parity ticks slightly upward after the 1980s. But that’s it.

All in all, this chart covers approximately 1500 combined “man-years” of top editorial positions (and that’s not a gender-neutral pronoun). Of those years, ~1486 were led by men and ~36 were led by women. All were led by white people except for the months since Dean Baquet, who is African American, took over the New York Times in May 2014.

Explanation is where the mind comes to rest.

Michael Lewis, Moneyball

Looks like I am the tipping point on another piece at Techmeme, this one by Ben Thompson.

Looks like I am the tipping point on another piece at Techmeme, this one by Ben Thompson.

In Print: A Panel Session For EVEN Hotels

I participated as the official mutant futurist at a panel session a few weeks ago in NYC, at an event by InterContinental Hotel Group launching the new EVEN Hotel brand.

The panel: Michele Promaulayko, editor in chief, Women’s Health magazine; Stowe Boyd, lead researcher for the Future of Work at Gigaom; moderator Barbara DeLollis; David Kirsch, fitness & wellness expert and founder of David Kirsch Wellness Co.; Jim Anhut, SVP, Americas Design & Quality, IHG Americas region; Becky Worley, ABC News technology contributor and technology host for the Travel Channel.

Meagan Drillinger, IHG’s new wellness brand

IHG’s 2014 trends report surveyed more than 7,000 international travelers and showed that 21st-century consumers want reliability, safety and authority of global brands, but with the reflection of their local and regional values. U.S. travelers expect global brands to deliver a high degree of innovative features and services. For example, Even Hotels gives guests the option of a “standing desk.” Fitness-conscious adults do not want to have to sit down when working.

“Sitting is the new smoking,” said Boyd. His number one requirement when staying at a hotel is to have the option of a standing desk. Even has him covered.

I thought the discussion about the silent/invisible traveler was more interesting, but not as quotable, I guess.