Good reads from the week of 1/11/2021

I started this week reading about technology drama: Section 230, social media gripes, and the performance problems that arise when you use Chrome as a base for everything. The last piece is off-topic for this blog, but is a very well-written, thoroughly enjoyable non-fiction mystery read—a good reminder that the craft of writing is still alive in some corners of the internet.

Continue reading Good reads from the week of 1/11/2021

A short reading list from the first full week of 2021

Wow. What a week. 

In the time that I wasn’t glued to the news (for obvious reasons), I found some really good reads! Continue for links to: the personal blog of a devoted data nerd; the funniest Wikipedia entry I’ve read in a long time; and contemplation on the mindsets that lead to a good life, courtesy of literary genius whose 1,000-page “tragi-comedy” I enjoy but have never managed to finish, David Foster Wallace.

Continue reading A short reading list from the first full week of 2021

The best things I read during the final week of 2020

The best things I read this week were completely unrelated to the change of calendar… but if you’re a software geek or a manga nerd, you might enjoy this. 🙂

Continue reading The best things I read during the final week of 2020

2020: My year in numbers

The maxim to “know thyself” is a bit of a game to me. Every day, I use a series of apps, scripts, and spreadsheets to keep track of metrics that are important to me—the numbers that illustrate what my life looks like as a whole. I like to think that it helps me frame a more objective picture of my behavior, absent (or at least somewhat removed from) the wishing and romanticism that we tend to weave into our personal narratives as humans.

In this post, I’ll take a glance at some of my metrics from 2020. I’ll explain how I use these numbers to set my expectations and goals for the year ahead. And hopefully I’ll give you some ideas for using technology in your own quest for self-knowledge. 🙂

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Neat stuff I found online during the week of 12/21/2020

A collection of stuff worth reading, including:

Why profit-driven tech companies contribute to open-source, problems with advertising on Facebook, and (to kick off your new year) life advice in spades.

My favorite quote from the bunch:

62. “If they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you” and “those who live by the sword die by the sword” mean the same thing. Viciousness you excuse in yourself, friends, or teammates will one day return to you, and then you won’t have an excuse.

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/7hFeMWC6Y5eaSixbD/100-tips-for-a-better-life
Continue reading Neat stuff I found online during the week of 12/21/2020

Neat stuff I found online during the week of 12/14/2020

A collection of stuff worth reading, including: midlife crises, user-friendly web browsers, my favorite open-source blogging platform, and the death of the craft of writing on the Internet.

My favorite quote from the lot:

Here are some things I learned in the first five paragraphs of “Can Cats Eat Blueberries?”: 

• Blueberries are considered a superfood.

• You can eat blueberries with yogurt.

• Blueberries have lots of antioxidants.

• Some foods that are good for humans are not so good for cats.

• Antioxidants help fight aging and cancer. 

Here is what I did not learn:

• Whether cats can eat blueberries.

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/12/how-seo-is-gentrifying-the-internet
Continue reading Neat stuff I found online during the week of 12/14/2020

TIF elaboration (and advice) on “technical debt” from the man who coined the term

I find it interesting the distinction drawn between the popular conception of what incurring technical debt allows you to do, versus the intent…

Continue reading TIF elaboration (and advice) on “technical debt” from the man who coined the term

TIF the unspoken and unexpected rules of complexity

We in technology sometimes fall prey to the assumption that simpler is always better, that revealing complexity to a user will always turn them away from your product. I posted a link a while ago to a great think-piece on why “intuitive” UI/UX might not be as effective for users. The following piece echoes some of the same sentiments, and approaches it from some new angles. It makes me wonder if, when I attempt to simplify the user experience in my own builds, might I be shifting complexity to the wrong places?

Some of my favorite lines from the piece…

Our perception of a product or service as simple or complex has its basis in the conceptual model we have of it.

Continue reading TIF the unspoken and unexpected rules of complexity

TIF a virtual duck to talk to, in case you don’t have your own

Working on a difficult problem that has you all turned around? You should try the “rubber duck” method of problem-solving. Don’t have a rubber duck on hand? Use the one I found today:

http://quackoverflow.com

I found this after finally reaching an epiphany with a solution I’ve been working on for… far too long. Sometimes, something as silly as a talking to a rubber duckie can help you work out tough problems.

Continue reading TIF a virtual duck to talk to, in case you don’t have your own

TIF some thoughtful commentary on browser diversity

Though most of us take them for granted, web browsers are the foundation of our experience of the web. If the tools you use prioritize privacy, give you personalization/customization options, and allow for extensions and plugins, you could be experiencing the internet in a completely different fashion from anyone you know. And if you subscribe to “nudge theory,” there’s a good chance the (seemingly) slight variation between browsers could influence the type of content you find, share, and are influenced by.

This essay offers some thoughts on what would be lost if web browsers abandoned their individuality. Some of my favorite lines from the piece are below…

web platform features have to run the gauntlet and more thinking is applied over time: robustness, naming, internationalization, accessibility, security, etc. all have proper time for consideration and aren’t rushed through like it’s a product sprint.

Continue reading TIF some thoughtful commentary on browser diversity