Vitaly Kolesnik's Personal Website

Prose Poem: The Spring of Life

pic

The fields are sown, and green sprouts stretch towards sunlight.
Crosses mark trees to be cut down this year.
A gentle-gray overtone of warmth pervades the sky.
A few more twilight chords, and the May song of love and roses will begin.

I bow before the mystery of life
filled with light and shadow, like a sunny forest,
like a sparkling pond where nothing happens,
with the overturned sky shivering in it, and a merman smoking his pipe.

Things are good the way they are.
The gods live here, in the ordinary world,
and the stories our grandchildren will retell are rooted here.
The fields are sown, and the invisible work progresses underground.

A paradise garden where songs, games, and dances fill the time.
A boundless womb of ​​the possible,
where whales and dragons, mermaids and monsters
are performing their eternal play.

When stories are born into the world, they flare with glory,
and one small deed becomes a miracle bigger than all things possible.
And yet the everyday life is still the Mother of all
I bow before.

First published on Steemit

Visual Literacy Part 1: The Language of Visual Design

pic

With this post I begin a series of posts dedicated to the language of visual design. I believe it could prove helpful to visual designers of all kinds.

The series will combine my 20+ years experience as a graphic designer, later web designer and now frontend developer, my design school studies, my own learning and my experience as a teacher of Design Director online course.

In this first post, we will start our design journey by talking about what design is not. My point here is that good visual design couldn’t be reduced to any single aspect of it, be it illustrative art, decoration, composition, or anything else.

Design ≠ Layout

A mere organisation of information isn’t yet visual design in a modern sense as it lacks emotional impact. Nevertheless, the art of giving the information a correct structure is the basis of good design (while not the substitute of it). The information structured correctly and using other elements of the language of visual design, like space and typography, becomes a masterpiece even without using imagery. Klassegrafik website is a brilliant example of it:

http://klassegrafik.de/

Design ≠ Illustration

This one is harder to accept but still easy enough. A quality illustration adds a lot to a good design but again isn’t the substitute of it… Even if it’s a pretty girl 🙂

http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/8199966989

Design ≠ Decoration

This is the trap many unexperienced designers fall victim of most often. Randomly adding decorative elements to a design doesn’t make it any better, quite the contrary.

http://thegraphicsfairy.com/free-victorian-clip-art-advertising-with-pretty-girl/

Summary

Quality visual design in modern sense of the word is a play of many single design elements. I selected seven elements of the language of visual design for this post series: space, form, color, type, imagery, composition, and logic.

In the next post you will learn about how they were introduced to the graphic design scene and what impact they have on a good design. Stay tuned!

First published on Steemit

Facebook, Steemit and Social Media’s Decentralized Future

pic

A thoughtful article mentioning Steemit has recently appeared at CoinDesk. The author reflects on how social media can be transformed for good from their current state which he describes very vividly with the words I can only agree with:

The platform he [Zuckerberg] oversaw has killed inquisitiveness and open-mindedness, promoted form over substance, undermined the journalistic pursuit of facts and damaged our democracy — all in the interest of gathering and organizing our data so that we could be sold off as packages to platform advertisers.

Blockchain can be part of the solution by fixing the problems of centralised online media, such as the unashamed exploitation of user content and personal data with zero reward.

In my modest opinion, sometimes things are even better than the author supposes. He says:

Any truly decentralized blockchain won’t have the on-chain capacity to handle the masses of data and billions of posts that any large-scale system would run.

EOS claims it has this capacity. In fact, it’s being built with Facebook-size apps in mind. In its recent release, Dawn 3.0, they have moved from a Steem-like 3 second block interval to a 0.5 second interval, and announced that «Dawn 3.0 only implements a fraction of the potential optimizations that will allow EOSIO to scale.» So, in my view, scaling is only a short-term problem.

Another point I don’t fully agree with is related to Steemit’s «Trending» tab:

One limitation can be seen with the upvoting model in Steemit, which rewards top voted stories with steem tokens and which invariably results in posts about Steemit itself rising to the top of the trending ranks.

My point of view is that Steemit (as well as Facebook by the way) isn’t a «best content first» platform at all, unlike Medium for instance. Steemit’s «Trending» tab shows the balance of powers inside the community, as well as our Facebook feed shows the «balance of powers» in our friend list (which also includes Facebook itself). Don’t forget that one of Steemit’s core ideas had once been one of a Mutual Aid Society. With the coming of paid voting bots things have changed, but not towards displaying best content anyway. But that’s another story.

I deeply recommend to read the article to discover many important questions with no evident answers that need our thinking.

First published on Steemit

How to Succeed on a Content Platform: Enter a Community, not a Talent Show

pic

The path to success is like a road with an unknown destination hidden behind a turn. Our typical behaviour is to try guessing the destination and then deduct the road. We want maps, instructions, recipes, or even enlightening, but not the work with unpredictable results. When there are no maps, we are often driven by myths and illusions.

My biggest illusion back when I joined Steemit was that authors are rewarded for their literary talent in the first place. But then my eyes opened on how things really work.

A community rewards its members in accordance with the role played and the value produced by them. Authors are rewarded not for their content itself, as if in a talent show, but for being useful to the community, for taking a specific role and offering a needed service.

Sometimes being useful really means producing quality literature, but more often than not it answers other community needs, like for example the need to see how others cope with the difficulties of life, or the need to connect to an expert, or the need for optimism, or the need to get feedback on their writing, and so on.

Everyone is entitled to perform a role, to offer a service and to get a reward. The size of which depends on one’s fortune, on what the performed role is, and, first of all, on what resources the community has available.

Don’t think by the way that it’s easy to be a millionaire, or a YouTube star, or a community leader. Focus on this: your role should fit you. Sometimes people mistakenly take high roles without having the resources, and it hurts back. You will pay a dear price for every incompatibility between the actual you and the role you perform, and if the role doesn’t really fit you, you will fail.

Or, as Plutarch put it,

We do not expect a vine to bear figs, nor an olive grapes, yet now-a-days, with regard to ourselves, if we have not at one and the same time the privilege of being accounted rich and learned, generals and philosophers, flatterers and outspoken, stingy and extravagant, we slander ourselves and are dissatisfied, and despise ourselves as living a maimed and imperfect life.

My approach is:

  1. Be yourself. Don’t try to figure out what they want, just be authentic.
  2. Find a community you really like and make connections with interesting people. And yes, be interesting, too.
  3. Take a role you’re capable of and offer a useful community service, however small.
  4. Be consistent. Someone once wisely said that the path to success is like a snowball, small in the beginning but growing steadily if enough effort is constantly applied.

First published on Steemit

Prose poem: Sunbeam

pic

On the snowy horizon, a sunlight stripe is glowing, contrasting sharply with the black edge of the forest and dark thick clouds in the sky. Unstable, like an early waking, it now appears, then disappears, until dissolving in the sunshine that floods all around.

Life is a sequence of awakenings, a blinking of light on a forest road, a break in the clouds reminiscent of clean sky, a quiet sleep of grass under the snow ready to sprout, a forgotten thought hidden in a secret place where all are alive.

The bones of peoples who inhabited this land before us lie in these fields the sun gleams over, on the slopes of the hills where sprouts of spring slumber, in valleys where cities spread out, shrouded in fog.

The word collects together what is alive, and even when it dies down, it’s still here, hidden under the snow of nonexistence, silently waiting for a spring sunbeam.

First published on Steemit

Prose Poem: Spring in the Air

pic

The spring is in the air, still imperceptible, like a subtle smile, like a fresh young voice barely audible above the buzz of the crowd.

We don’t know what we’re asking for, but the Spirit himself pleads for us silently, in a breath which has yet to find the right words, as the soul finding the body.

The voice of the Spirit is heard from afar, a song with only scraps guessed: the time has come to heal the brokenhearted, to set free the oppressed, to return sight to the blind.

Just as mountains rise on the horizon at a sudden turn of the road, so too a time comes in life when the hidden becomes manifest.

First published on Steemit

Free Verse: The Power of Words

pic

Just as a key matches a lock,
so too the right word reveals your truth.
After this word sounds, there are no doubts.

As a boat slides over the water’s expanse,
as a river flows, embraced by a bank,
as a moonlit path trembles on a clear night,
so freely the spirit breathes in truthful lines.

As fallen leaves die to feed the earth,
as seeds sprout to become bread,
as vines stretch to the sun to bring a feast,
so gently a sequence of insights
changes a human being,
intangible, like a bird’s line of flight.

First published on Steemit

Prose Poem: The Day of Possible

pic

I’m staring into the new day, boundless, impenetrable, unpredictable, like the clouds of fog crawling across ground, snatching out and hiding again the most diverse landscapes. All therein is still hidden at the roots of the Earth, behind the veil of haze, beyond the known.

My train is waiting for something, and waiting am I, and waiting are the endless foggy fields where everything is possible. The fog gives birth to giants and gnomes, opening countless doors to the dungeons of the soul. The gnomes know where the gold is, but to hear them, I need to unlearn knowing.

The day when everything is possible. Do not know, do not judge, do not believe the customary. See the invisible: a glare of light hiding in the blackness of a roadside cross, a brilliance of diamonds dancing in the depths of the Earth, a blue gleam shining through a heap of clouds, a way out of the circle.

The day when everything is possible.

First published on Steemit.

Prose Poem: The Hidden World

pic

In the past I liked heavy snowfalls, but now I yearn for the sun. Even noonday heat wouldn’t feel unpleasant to me. How amazing it is, that there’s pleasure hiding behind the negation in the word «unpleasant».

Isn’t this the light born in the darkness, the light that the darkness cannot overcome? Isn’t longing for joy hidden in suffering, freedom in restraint, health in sickness? Hasn’t it been said: «I am come to heal the sick and deliver the captives»? So summer is hiding in winter, sunshine in a gray sky, miracle in everyday life.

The question: why is the miraculous invisible, truth unobvious, God hiding himself?

Perhaps, this world is not the final point of evolution yet, but is a still moment of another world emerging, one where miracles and truth will no longer be hidden from our eyes? What we see with our inner vision and feel with our heart becomes visible, and this transition to the new world takes place here and now, in every single moment, between inhale and exhale, between life, death, and new life shining through it again. Shadow, suffering, and pain are only mother’s dark void the new world is born from to become pure light.

Everipedia: a Decentralized Wiki Based on EOS, IQ Token Airdropping Soon!

pic

Everipedia is a modern and more inclusive alternative to Wikipedia with a slick interface and less bureaucracy. The big news is that Everipedia is going to be decentralized and will become the first app based on EOS blockchain, with IQ, their internal points, becoming a cryptocurrency token. Moreover, every EOS holder will soon be airdropped with some IQ!

Knowledge and crypto both being my passions, I couldn’t resist but asked for an invite, and thanks to the responsiveness of Everipedia team I’m already an editor.

How Everipedia is different from Wikipedia and other wikis?

  • Basically every single thing can have its page on Everipedia (that’s why the name I guess).
  • Every English page from Wikipedia is already on Everipedia to build on top of and improve. (This doesn’t mean it’s ok for users to copy content from other wikis as this has been made not by users and no IQ has been acquired through the import).
  • Everipedia has a modern look and is visually appealing. And you don’t need to use awkward formatting symbols. That said, not every functionality works as expected yet as the transition to the EOS blockchain is in progress.
  • Instead of talk pages, there are discussion threads where editors can continuously discuss news about their favorite topics.
  • Celebrities have verified accounts and can have conversations with their fans on their own page.
  • After Everipedia is hosted on EOS, countries that block Wikipedia (like Turkey or Iran) will no longer be able to block it.

This will be big and I think there are chances Everipedia will become one of the three EOS supported community benefit apps to receive a percentage from new annual token supply. Brock Pierce, Block.One’s Head of Strategy, has recently twitted that

Everipedia is my favorite consumer DAPP coming to market.

With EOS.IO Dawn 2.0 public test network released and venture capital coming, chances are high that other new exciting dapps follow Everipedia example and choose EOS and maybe also use their airdropping model.

If you wish to contribute to Everipedia, ask for an invite in Everipedia Telegram group. The IQ airdropping details will be announced there, too.

Links

My Related Posts