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Thursday March 30, 2023.

MudCorp is the studio of Takashi Okamoto specializing in graphic design, web design, technology art and software & hardware implementation. Our services include website designing and programming, custom e-commerce and content management systems, hardware and software solutions for interactive kiosks, signage design for electronic displays, technology consulting and any other project that involves both design and technology.
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Takashi Okamoto is a graphic designer, programmer and technology artist living and working in North America. His illustrations have appeared in magazines and newspapers including: The New York Times, The National Post and Shift Magazine. As a graphic designer, he has worked with studios including 2x4, Stiletto, Village and artists Ben Rubin and Natalie Jeremijenko. His technology based art has been exhibited in Canada and Mexico. He holds a (Hons) BSc in astrophysics from the University of Toronto, a MFA in graphic design from Yale University and a SM from the MIT Media Lab, where he studied under Professor John Maeda in the Physical Language Workshop. Currently, he is a partner at BuzaMoto.


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Cookie Freedom: It’s Hard Being an Adult
Takashi Okamoto (09/30/05)

cookie cover
I’m addicted to watching Seinfeld re-runs. Since I started high school in Canada in 1994, at least 6 episodes air each day, sometimes on two channels at the same time. Because of this fruitful opportunity to watch the re-runs of Seinfeld, I’m sure I have watched every episode at least three times. I’m only guessing three times, it’s probably more -- every time I channel surf through an episode, within that split second I can tell which episode it is. It’s purely instinctive and completely uncontrollable, I can’t not think about it. I take comfort by telling myself it’s okay, every other TV watching North American has the same problem, whether they want to admit it or not. At least it’s not Melrose Place.

There’s one Seinfeld opening bit that I particularly like. It’s about how when you’re an adult, you can eat a cookie...damn it, I’m just going to google it.

But I have to say I enjoy adulthood. I enjoy the fact that now, if I want a cookie, I have a cookie. Okay? I have three cookies or four cookies or eleven cookies if I want. What was the big deal with the cookies? “Not before dinner.” “Not too many.” “You’ve had enough.” “Not now.” Well, now I’m a grown-up, give me the cookies! Many times I will intentionally ruin my entire appetite. Beyond recognition. Then I call my mother up right after it to tell her. “Hello Mom? I just ruined my entire appetite. ... Cookies.” So what if I ruin it? See, as adults we understand, even if you ruin an appetite, there’s another appetite coming right behind it. I see no danger in running out of appetites.

My mom used to tell me that when I was a kid, I was in a hurry to become a grown-up. Now that I am a grown-up, I take it all back. It’s hard being an adult. I don’t see how people do it. I think there’s too much freedom. I get out of bed whenever I feel like and I stay in my pajama’s for as long as I want (some days I don’t even bother changing.) If I want that cookie, even at 2am after brushing my teeth; I have that cookie...and I wash it down with a beer before I burp my way to bed.

The bed...it’s not really a bed. I sleep on a fold out futon, which is one step up since graduate school when I slept on the floor for two years. Just to note, currently I live out of one suitcase and I have enough clothes for a seven day wash cycle. I’ve been living like this for the past year. Why? It’s caused by the dark side of the Cookie Freedom.

When you study physics, you quickly realize that in this universe everything comes in polar pairs. Particles/anti-particles, love/hate, nerd/jock; we can go on and on. The Cookie Freedom is a type of force, and we learned from Star Wars that forces have a “dark side,” which I think was Yoda’s way of telling us about the polaring force of...the force.

So what is the dark side of the Cookie Freedom? It’s the non-existence of restriction (which ironically is also the good side of the Cookie Freedom.) You need restrictions to the freedom so you don’t have to make every single decision yourself, and to stop you from doing stupid things like start drinking at 9am. On its own the Cookie Freedom is anarchy. You’re your own dictator, so you better set responsible policies.

Now I know why people get 9-5 jobs, move to the upper west side, get married and have kids. They inherit restrictions through newfound responsibilities. I find it so ironic that as a kid, you’re told to study hard and get good grades so that you can go to a good college, which will expand your choices and opportunities (or in our current context, expand your Cookie Freedom.) I feel like I got bad advice. I studied sort of hard, and got two degrees from decent schools and it led me to a future where I can go to work in my underwear, three steps from where I sleep. Now I find myself not knowing what to do. Sometimes I play video games for 18 hours straight or reading random books I don’t even care about. Then I work 4 days without sleep.

Why am I complaining about all of this? It’s because I’m still a kid, and kids complain...a lot — and I’m sick of making decisions all the time. As adults we know we can get a ruined appetite back, but we also know we can't get certain things back as easily. So don't ruin it! Man-child.