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Shirts of Peter Norvig (charlesbroskoski.com)
216 points by reikonomusha on May 15, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 62 comments



One of the tricks I was told, in public speaking, was to have an eye-catching shirt.

That's one reason so many public speakers have Hawai'ian shirts. Women can also wear monster-high heels, as it makes them easier to see (It's not a "sexy" thing; it's a "see me" thing. There are some very conservative women's shoes, with very high heels).

I'm not a particularly good public speaker (but I've done a fair bit -why is everyone asleep?), so I need all the help I can get. I have a number of them.

I have a friend that has a .sig that says "Speak softly, and wear a loud shirt."

He has a lot of loud shirts.


My favorite is Philip Wadler - during a Strange Loop talk[0], all of a sudden he tore his shirt, showing his "lambda man" suit underneath.

[0] https://youtu.be/IOiZatlZtGU?t=2014


Let's not dismiss a more humane explanation: if you know someone likes to wear fantasy shirts, every birthday present is easy to choose!


Brightly colored shirts also show up better on video. It's quite surprising how drab normal shirts look on Youtube.

Pro tip: Never wear a grey sweater.


I always wear gray sweatpants, a gray hoodie (you might call it a "jumper") with the hood up, and dark sunglasses for the sketch creeper Unabomber look.

Colors show up on video much differently than real life, so it's good to see how it looks on screen.


my problem with that is that some speakers pick distracting shirts (the worst offenders have text on their shirt which I cannot help but try to read instead of listening to them).


how long does it take to read a shirt?


Pretty long if it's just too far or too small to read. :)


> One of the tricks I was told, in public speaking, was to have an eye-catching shirt.

Why though?


Keeps your attention on the speaker. It's helpful for speakers that don't have "presence" on stage. Content alone is not enough.


It's always infotainment. Jokes, personality, energy, looks, and maybe content.

Interestingly, I was in The Wine Room, Palo Alto about 2011 hanging out with a business partner. I see this dude who's drunk af leaning against the window. He gets up, stumbles over to me, and says "Tell me a joke." I gave him the worst joke I could think of recycled from a girl I met the day before. The reasons is it was Guy Kawasaki and he always needs fresh jokes for public speaking, so crowdsourcing is one way to accumulate them. Oddly enough, Garage Ventures used to be above Nola's across the street from The Wine Room before it went over to 1 First St 2nd floor above my client's office in Los Altos.


> speakers that don't have "presence" on stage

That's me!


Nawh, you can learn it all. It's a skill. Join Toastmasters and they'll help you develop it.


Well, I’ve been involved with an outfit that involves fairly regular speaking gigs (from just a couple, to a couple hundred) for 40 years.

I’m not consistent, so I’m not on anyone’s shortlist for keynote speaker, which is fine by me.

For classes, though, I practice for hours. It seems to satisfy people.


I understand. If it's mandatory informational or community volunteering, there's not much drive to invest heavily in a particular skill like make speaking production value into quality infotainment.

When it's a skill interesting or essential enough to improve it might be worth for speakers to move around trying different support organizations to get new perspectives, and different techniques and feedback.


If they are too stupid or lazy to pay attention based on what the person is saying..


Heels can affect how your body proportions are perceived.


Shirts definitely can is well. This is one reason aloha shirts become a go-to choice for some men as they get older — the cut can help hide an expanding waistline.


Oh yeah. Horizontal lines look wider, vertical lines look taller, dark shirts hide flubber, and form-fitting shirts when you're overweight look bad.

Speaking of which, I need to lose 40 lbs. to get from a size 40" waist back to 32-34". I wear bright, geometric or paisley button shirts unbuttoned over interesting t-shirts.


Side note it’s so frustrating that larger shirts are cut “slim fit”

If I’m buying a xxl from target I ain’t slim. They do the same with jeans too.


This trick didn't work out so well for the ESA Rosetta scientist guy publicly speaking to the press.


That ridiculous flogging prompted me to reach out to the lady who made that shirt for him and buy one just like it. It is one of my favorite shirts and I get a lot of compliments on it. Support sexy science!


Love it! Do they have a meaning?

Like, I've made different generative art that hangs on my walls. This one is a random blobs, colored based on 4 color theorem using a constraint solver. https://imgur.com/a/TKPnvVx I feel him wearing shirts of these kind of ideas/patterns would be cool/fitting.


He said in his (EXCELLENT) Udacity course that these were made by his wife. That's the meaning behind him wearing it.


Thanks for this. It seemed like they were all cut about the same. At first I thought they might all be from the same brand, but the picture with the background using the same fabric as his shirt squashed that theory. They had to be hand-made by a family member or himself.


I love that picture so much it's sent me on a deep rabbit hole into the world of generative art, and I'm now reading a book about generative art with Processing. Thanks for expanding my world!

Is your art published anywhere online?


Wow, cool to hear!

I can really recommend this video as a primer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4Se0_w0ISYk Tim Holman goes through various simple techniques. You can see my picture starts with the circles+tiling combination, for instance. Fascinating how simple stuff can become cool pictures.

I've only dabbled a few evenings here and there, so don't have too much else to show, really. But this is what me and some coworkers made after a workshop: https://i.imgur.com/NJbjcgD.jpg

But someone I used to work with does this semi professionally, take a look at his cool stuff: https://generated.space/

And some friends made this for generating demos in little code: https://www.dwitter.net/top/all


Lol. I'm wearing a geometric insanely colorful shirt right now that random women tell me they like all the time.

You need colorful shirts to distract people from their dopamine time-suck glowing screen notification video games.



Someone should do "Shirts of Karl Kruszelnicki" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Kruszelnicki he always wears amazing shirts which I believe are made by his wife.


Apparently you have buy the magazine issue to get the full story, but there's some of it here: https://www.frankie.com.au/article/dr-karl-is-a-little-bit-s...


I have an Sony TV and it runs Android. Recently I saw a screen saver contributed by Peter Norvig. I told my kids that he made important contributions as an engineer. And my mind immediately wandered to remember the Hawaiian psychedelic shirts! I am glad someone has made a scrollable photo album out it. Really cool!


I used to think these are terrible, but they are a lot more interesting than the blandness of the near identical clothes that everyone everywhere in the world wears. My mother bought a crazy dress especially for her standards a while ago, and people were making fun of her, but I don't think she cared. That she did that after fighting cancer is I think related. A lot of the times we present ourselves by removing all of the things that people might frown upon, but what's left is something nobody cares about.

But regardless of the reasons, the last one done from a subway map is awesome on its own :-).


Okay, I need the last one (the transport map one). Anyone have a source?



For some reason it reminded me of Simon Peyton Jones using Comic Sans in presentation slides. Is there a correlation between playful aesthetics and computer science expertise?


Well, Comic Sans is like the Hawaiian shirt of fonts—they both feel like the weekend, relaxation, fun. The opposite of boring, grey, work.

There is a correlation between playful and expertise in many fields. I keep noticing that the greats are often surprisingly light-hearted and playful, with an ever-present sense of humour. A twinkle in the eye belongs to both joyous playfulness and inspired genius, and (relaxed) creativity is a part of both.


Had a few courses at Uni with Comic Sans in the slides. So apparently Comic Sand is a very legible font. Maybe that’s the reason so many people choose it or they just like it.


There was an idea going around education circles that type in comic sans was easier or even easiest for those with dyslexia to read.

The claims struck me as a bit unlikely, but helped explain its widespread adoption in higher education beyond differences in taste. A quick searching suggests that there is little evidence for the claims made about it, but I can see why some would still use it.

Still, at least it’s not Papyrus.


There isn't. But it's always fun to trigger the comic sans haters and reveal how little they care about actual content.


Maybe it's the laziest option.



Not judging (I think he’s great!) but this is probably some mixture of 1) social signaling (here’s how much I care about old fashioned traditional dress codes, and, look, I have the sufficient status that I can get away with wearing this) and 2) just plain fun. Maybe heavily weighted on #2, but #1 is also fun.


I think his wife makes them.

Check out Erik Meijer https://duckduckgo.com/?q=erik+meijer&t=fpas&iax=images&ia=i...


Ha! I took that one of him with the Reddit bobblehead. I thought that shirt looked familiar. :)


His shirt at PyBay 2019 had little bicycles on it: https://miro.medium.com/max/1000/1*L4ZC352k5K5A9Q3OSChnzQ.jp...


Of all the people at Google, I practically saw him all the time (pre-pandemic). I guess it's the shirts. He seemed to really like Yoshka's cafe, and the ice cream ;).


This exceeded my expectations. Thanks for sharing.


A man and a wardrobe after my own heart, although it must be noted that one does not tuck in Hawaiian shirts...


the green one that looks like chips on a circuit board is pretty cool, any idea where that's from



He wore it to DEFCON so he could stand out*

*Kidding


Oh man, I want that subway shirt


But where does he get them ? He must buy every patterned shirt he ever sees.


A lot of small clothing makers use unique patterns to stand out. And there are lots of places that make bespoke shirts from a huge catalog of cloths.

One recent place I found is made in the USA and ready to wear https://www.bladeandblue.com/collections/short-sleeve-shirts


The suit of a guy who doesn't need to answer to anyone.


He is a very brave man.


Knuth also has a great shirt lineup. Anybody have pictures?


Larry Wall has some pretty strong Hawaiian shirts.


I like the "MiniMetro" one.


Reminds me of Nelson Mandela


Are they Indonesian Batiks? These shirts are the national dress of Indonesia.




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