Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Outlier, Safety and Motion

My buddy Colin recently interviewed Abe Burmeister about his new clothing line for bikers called Outlier. Abe and I have known each other for awhile (since he killed on something I wrote I believe) and he’s a very smart dude. Anyway, I found two ideas especially appealing from the article. The first is about Hans Monderman, a traffic engineer who believed “that a lot of the traffic infrastructure we have is designed not to actually make streets safer and more usable, but to make us *feel* safer.” (I remember reading that more people are hit by cars when they have a walk sign than a don’t walk sign because they are paying less attention to the world around them.)

The second idea is about different types of motion: “What I set out to design, and what Tyler [Clemens] was working on before we linked up, is clothing that gives the complete freedom to move through the city on a bike. But my moving we don’t just in the traditional physical sense, but instead we deal with three very different vectors of motion: physical or mechanical motion, liquid motion and social motion. … [Ultimately] we really are focused on social mobility. People need to feel comfortable where ever they show up, and that means wearing clothing that matches the setting. Living in the city puts you in an extraordinary range of social situations and we wanted to make clothing that allowed you to travel between as many of them as possible on a bicycle. From home to work and then out a restaurant and then perhaps the club, after party and hotel lobby. You need to feel clean and fresh and be confident you look good. Riding a bike makes that a challenge and we aim to solve that.” Go read the whole thing.

December 10, 2008