Without fail, when you tell me about a new productivity system, editor, or typeface, I will drop everything I am doing and give your new productivity system, editor, or typeface a whirl. This happens weekly. It’s a problem. The majority of these excursions are brief and can be summarized thusly: Install the thing. Use the… More
MIT has a storied history regarding hacking where the act is viewed as a “clever, benign, and ethical prank or practical joke” at the University. Hack is also defined as the act of breaking into computers or computer networks. My definition is a combination of both. To me, a hack is a clever or unexpectedly… More
What social networks like Facebook really offer is empathy in the aggregate — an illusion of having captured the mood of entire families and friend networks from a safe, neutral distance. Then they turn around and offer advertisers a read on more than a billion users at once. Buzz Andersen — a tech veteran who has worked for Apple, Tumblr and Square — told me that in Silicon Valley, “empathy is basically a more altruistic-sounding way of saying ‘market research.’ ”
Whoooooooooo. You looked stressed. I know, right? First, it was a joke. Then it was unimaginable. Then unthinkable. Improbable. Unlikely. Then it happened and now we’re are all wondering, “When will it get worse?” Still not sleeping well? Me either. Are you reading the news? Me either. I’m 165 pages into the history of the… More
For years, the numbers of comments on articles here have decreased. Comment-worthy articles from five years ago would get dozens and sometimes hundreds of comments. Similarly trafficked articles from the past few years get a handful. It is not without pain, but I believe open comments are part of the deal with running a weblog.… More
Our actions or inaction help determine the direction the world takes. If we quickly accept a new normalized state of being in order to avoid the discomfort of being frustrated or angry, we put ourselves in a dangerous position of inaction. If you let your mind say that everything will be okay, tune out, and coast back to a relaxed state of mind, no change is ever going to come of the world.
Quattrociocchi has published a series of papers (awaiting peer-review) that analyze the rigidity of “echo chambers.” His findings suggest that people, not social networks, have been their driving force. We commonly sort ourselves into rigidly like-minded groups—and stay there.
Everyone is just… sitting there. Six of you. All managers who report up to Evan, your boss, who decided two weeks ago that “it’s probably a good idea for this leadership team to get together on a regular basis and talk about what is up.” He dropped an agenda-less, sixty-minute recurring meeting on everyone’s calendar… More
Eagle-eyed readers noticed resting on the best couch ever that there was an orange octopus. His name and how he ended up there is a great story. When my daughter was in elementary school, we participated in a program called Indian Princesses that started in kindergarten with graduation in 5th grade. Each month there were… More
A third reason for the prevalence of conformity is that we tend to prioritize information that supports our existing beliefs and to ignore information that challenges them, so we overlook things that could spur positive change. Complicating matters, we also tend to view unexpected or unpleasant information as a threat and to shun it — a phenomenon psychologists call motivated skepticism.