How Mobile Devices Could Lead to More City Living

Living in an urban area with public transportation beats driving in from suburbia. Productivity can start once you leave the house:

That first hour of the day, Apple and Google employees are banging out emails and getting ready for the day, not sitting in traffic carrying out a set of repetitive, low-level, and occasionally dangerous tasks to maneuver their exoskeletons southward…in the broadcast world, being in your car wasn’t so bad: you listened to the radio for fun at home, so the car was kind of a couch on wheels.

Function Vs. Form

Finding happiness in a world teeming with information and products:

Happiness is easier to find when you don’t fill your life with all that clutter and that is the reason I have been thinking about all of this lately. It feels all too daunting to live a life so crammed full with information and constantly changing standards to keep track of. I search for ways to find a balancing point, a calm among the madness of life spinning around me. Its strange to think that the products we create and consume are becoming as much a part of us as the real world experiences they were built to aid us in.

Quote from Function Vs. Form by John Carey.

Clouds and coins

A bit about school from an excellent short essay by Jonathan Harris:

The class was a crash course in things that are usually picked up slowly and by accident, like lost coins, over the course of your life. This class was so memorable because it was so little like school, and so much like life. School is basically a way of keeping people occupied — a theatrical set piece designed to take up time and spit out consenting consumers.

Any adult knows that what he really knows he did not learn in school. The gradual accumulation of experience is really how we learn. But unlike school, life is unpredictable, so it would be dangerous to leave the teaching of life to life. Just think how much would get left out of the curriculum, and how hard it would be to standardize tests!

Talking Tools: Shawn Blanc

Excerpted from an interview with Shawn Blanc on Bridging the Nerd Gap. Pretty cool anecdotes throughout.

I hate to just waste away an hour especially as a daily habit just vegging out for no reason. Writing is entertainment for me, although sometimes it takes on the shape of grueling and frustrating entertainment. So if I can’t get myself to focus on writing then I am likely to read or just go to bed.

Making Lunch a Social Networking Game

Combining fast food with social gaming is fascinating, particularly giving restaurant credit as a measure of successful burger ideas. The Bits Blog explains 4Food:

Here’s how it works: I create a burger, call it “The Bits Burger” and broadcast it to Twitter or Facebook. Each time someone orders my special creation, I get 25 cents credit in the restaurant and my burger rises up the leaderboard. The more customers order my burger, the higher it goes and the more credits I get, until I’m eating free.

Paperworks / Padworks

Difficult to pull just one quote from the recent Mark Pesce article but this is my favorite:

we need to think of every educator in Australia as a contributor of value.  More than that, we need to think of every student in Australia as a contributor of value.  That’s the vital gap that must be crossed.

The article is one of the clearer statements of what we can do in education by incrementally changing ourselves.