The prob­lem with Jonah Lehrer, like the prob­lem with Zach Kouwe, is not that he was hum­bled by the insa­tiable demands of Blog. Instead, it’s that he made a cat­e­gory error, and tried to use a reg­u­lar blog as a vehi­cle for the kind of writ­ing that should not be done in blog for­mat. Lehrer shouldn’t shut down Frontal Cortex; he should sim­ply change it to become a real blog. And if he does that, he’s likely to find that blogs in fact are won­der­ful tools for gen­er­at­ing ideas, rather than being places where your pre­cious store of ideas gets used up in record-quick time.

Felix Salmon - How Jonah Lehrer should blog.

Most peo­ple mea­sure pro­duc­tiv­ity in terms of work, what they’re paid to do.

I pre­fer a dif­fer­ent measure.

Productivity is the mea­sure of how effec­tively you get done the things you ratio­nally, explic­itly want to do (includ­ing work when nec­es­sary). Productivity is the out­put of the exer­cise of free will. This isn’t a new gen­er­al­iza­tion, adher­ents of GTD and other pro­duc­tiv­ity sys­tems know that pro­duc­tiv­ity is about your life, not just your work.

Tantek Çelik — The Acceleration of Addictiveness vs Willpower, Productivity, and Flow.

Sometimes our lizard brains build moun­tains where only roads exist — mainly so we have an excuse not to ven­ture down them. One side of our brain is nat­u­rally built to warn of dan­ger and the other is all too apt to believe it. It is in this ten­sion that even fic­tion can become fric­tion that slows us down and keeps us from tack­ling the task at hand. Overcoming the chal­lenges of our lives often comes from star­ing this fric­tion in its face and see­ing it for what it really is — the fear of what we are fully capa­ble of…

Patrick Rhone — When Friction is Fiction.

If dig­i­tal cov­ers as we know them are so ‘dead,’ why do we hold them so gin­gerly? Treat them like print cov­ers? We can’t hurt them. They’re dead. So let’s start hack­ing. Pull them apart, cut them into bits and see what we come up with.

This is an essay for book lovers and design­ers curi­ous about where the cover has been, where it’s going, and what the ethos of cov­ers means for dig­i­tal book design. It’s for those of us dis­sat­is­fied with thought­lessly trans­fer­ring print assets to dig­i­tal and clos­ing our eyes.

The cover as we know it really is — gasp — ‘dead.’ But it’s dead because the way we touch dig­i­tal books is dif­fer­ent than the way we touch phys­i­cal books. And once you acknowl­edge that, use­ful corol­lar­ies emerge.

Craig Mod — Hack the Cover.

Do our read­ing envi­ron­ments encour­age active read­ing? Or do they utterly oppose it? A typ­i­cal read­ing tool, such as a book or web­site, dis­plays the author’s argu­ment, and noth­ing else. The reader’s line of thought remains inter­nal and invis­i­ble, vague and spec­u­la­tive. We form ques­tions, but can’t answer them. We con­sider alter­na­tives, but can’t explore them. We ques­tion assump­tions, but can’t ver­ify them. And so, in the end, we blindly trust, or blindly don’t, and we miss the deep under­stand­ing that comes from dia­logue and exploration.

Explorable Explanations is my umbrella project for ideas that enable and encour­age truly active read­ing. The goal is to change people’s rela­tion­ship with text. People cur­rently think of text as infor­ma­tion to be con­sumed. I want text to be used as an envi­ron­ment to think in.

Bret Victor - Explorable Explanations.

It’s your job as a designer, and a com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­fes­sional, to find the right lan­guage to com­mu­ni­cate with your client. When you say a client doesn’t “get it” you might as well be say­ing, “I couldn’t fig­ure out how to get my point across. I am a lazy designer. Please take all my clients from me.”

Remember, a small job for you is not nec­es­sar­ily a small job for the client.

Mike Monteiro — Design Is a Job.

But for me, the cabin was as nec­es­sary as it was pre­pos­ter­ous. Enormously far away, these wide-open lands, which share a lonely vigil in the deep­est realms of the world’s emp­ti­est hemi­sphere, had long ago infused me with their clean skies, eerily pure water, and deep forests.

Patrick Symmes - Building a Cabin.

This farmer real­izes that the rela­tion­ship with her work, like any good rela­tion­ship is, and should be, rec­i­p­ro­cal. That the work, the land, would not be as good with­out her com­mit­ment to it. And, in turn, it returns that com­mit­ment to her. And, because of her inti­macy with it, it returns that much more.

This. This pas­sion. This love for what we are born to do. Whatever that is for each of us. Like her, our days should be filled with it. Every moment. We should wake up each day inch­ing to get up to our necks in it. To be cov­ered with it. To be a part of it. To be inti­mate with it.

Patrick Rhone — The Farmer.