Earlier today I started Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I’m already half-way through reading it. A fantastic read with the right mix of tech, books, and intrigue.
With the craziness of running a WordCamp last week I didn’t have much time to read through my Instapaper queue. Thankfully, I had some extra time to catch up on things tonight. Interestingly I had a lot of articles that hit on similar themes. Last week seemed to be the week to publish pieces about publishing.
Scott Hanselman’s Your words are wasted was first up. It speaks to my belief in the importance of open source software and owning what you publish. As he says, “I control this domain, this software and this content.”
It’s been a while since I’ve read something from the Nieman Lab but I think I need to start following them more closely again. 13 ways of looking at Medium was well done. They save the critical questions for the end and there could have been more of those, but it’s an interesting look at Ev Williams’ new publishing tool.
The Dangers of Being a Product Instead of a Customer was another good post. As Diego writes there, “I’d much rather be a customer of web services than a product.”
Anil Dash’s musing on streams was interesting as a somewhat higher level piece. People do read on the internet, they just require content to be presented in the right way.
Interesting stuff going on.
I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to read Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. One of the more interesting non-fiction things I’ve read in a while.
Tap Left Margin -> Next Page; my favorite feature of the iPad. This means I can comfortably read while drinking tea and not worry about which hand holds my iPad.
The majority of the time I’m reading a book I just want to go forward. It always felt clumsy to swipe with my left thumb. Advancing with just a tap means the device never breaks my flow.
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.
Continuing in the style of last week I spent most of today reading my Instapaper backlog and listening to podcasts. Good day. Here are the highlights:
- Happiness Takes (A Little) Magic
- All aboard the Cocaine Express
- The Devastating Costs of the Amazon Gold Rush
- The New French Hacker-Artist Underground
- Lockdown: The coming war on general-purpose computing
- Back to Work episodes #48 and #46
- Seminars About Long-Term Thinking: Universal Access to All Knowledge
Spent the evening with my Kindle, a few cups of tea, and my most recent items from Instapaper. The highlights of my reading list for the night:
- The History, and Future, of Web Protest — Anil Dash
- The next SOPA — Marco Arment
- A Word to the Resourceful — Paul Graham
- How I Test Ideas — Shawn Blanc
- The Greatest Running Shoe Never Sold — Bob Parks
- The Boy Who Heard Too Much — David Kushner
- A completely arbitrary list of takeaways from two unconferences - Matt Waite