What if we designed a social network to be small, self-supporting, and independent from the outset? How would it look, work, and feel? I bet it would come out looking nothing like the ones we’ve got now, the ones still trying to turn water into gold.
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.
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.
We so quickly forget that people, especially children, will not willingly do what we teach them unless they are shown the joys of doing so.
Frank Chimero — The Shape of Design.
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.