black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.


“’I DON’T LIKE SCREENS very much,’ says David Karp, founder and chief executive officer of Tumblr, the popular microblogging platform. ‘Big bright monitors drive me nuts’; screens in the bedroom are ‘gross.’ He takes his rule seriously, for in Karp’s newly renovated loft, in south Williamsburg, Brooklyn, screens are scarce, as is, for that matter, anything particularly shiny or smooth. It is, instead, a dedication to all that is aged, rough or both: ancient bricks, weathered concrete, blackened steel and reclaimed oak. While Karp designs the future, his personal aesthetic is worlds apart from the Star Trek flight deck or the Google campus that form our usual idea of what is to come. Karp doesn’t believe, he says, that the next century is necessarily about ‘more screens covering more surface area.’

He is an apparent paradox: a high-tech design leader with a home and possessions that display little affection for anything postwar; frankly, most of the 20th century seems suspect to him. Nothing in his home looks particularly futuristic, or technological, at least as we’ve usually understood those terms. A house may be a machine for living, but Karp says, ‘I don’t want our house doing very much.’ It’s a quiet space, with few distractions; one feels that stone tablets might not be entirely out of place. The newest-looking machine in the house is the metal carcass of a classic 1969 Honda CB160 motorcycle, apparently in the midst of a living-room repair job.”

David Karp Is Tumblr’s Reluctant Technologist | NYT 

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