Dumb — Shawn Blanc

Posted on March 21st, 2014

My analog watches are my reminder that utility exists apart from an internet connection & usefulness doesn’t require the latest software.

via Dumb — Shawn Blanc.

Twitter is making me dumber | 52 Tiger

Posted on January 15th, 2013

Twitter is making me dumber | 52 Tiger.

Social media allows people to reach out and distract each other. The immediacy of the Internet is a benefit and a hindrance, reducing thoughts and stories to virtual Tic Tacs that we mindlessly pop into our mouths.

One thing I will say is that I find many of the things mentioned are also dependent on the quality of information that you allow in. If you follow a small number of people who are careful about the things they wish to share and set a high quality bar themselves, then the experience will be different.

That said, I’ve quite been enjoying the quality of posts and conversations I have on app.net and find the additional post length and general population makes even the global stream a rewarding experience more often than not.

Shining A Light

Posted on January 1st, 2013

This post will be appearing on every website I have. If you subscribe to one or more please forgive the redundancy.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about patronage lately. Specifically, I’ve been kicking around ways to further increase my support of those who produce the things I love and derive value from online. It is a belief I put strongly into practice this past year. I did this various ways: Through membership programs, through buying their books and other works, through donation, and through purchase of their products.

I plan to increase that in the coming year. I also am in the process of creating a fund that will directly patronize up-and-coming and lesser known writers who I think deserve support, promotion, and attention.

Yet, this got me thinking about those who directly support my work through my irregular subscription based newsletter. Those people who I call “my patrons”. I suspected that many of them are writing or creating things that deserve such promotion.

Therefore, I put out a call to them all to see if there was something they were doing that they wanted me to share with my audience. Here is me, shining a light on those that responded:

  • Caesura Letters — James Shelly writes the Caesura Letters newsletter. It remains the first thing I read every day and the best thing I read most days. It’s almost become like a little morning devotional. Like, my first cup of coffee does not taste the same without it.
  • Writing Assignments — If you want to become a better writer, it takes practice. Randy Murray’s excellent book is some of the best practice you can get. Buy it.
  • Nic Lake — Nick is putting together an EP of instrumental/ambient music. You can check it out so far right now on on SoundCloud, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Frictionless Freelancing is a book for anyone brave enough to pour time and energy into building their own business. Author Aaron Mahnke shares from his long history of building and growing a successful freelance design business to expose all of the secrets, lessons and tips that he’s figured out along the way. Whether you’ve been freelancing for years or are brand new to the challenge of running your own business, this book is an absolute essential resource. I wish I had it when I first started out.
  • Unretrofied — by Chris Gonzales is a blog about the intersection of technology and life. He recently activated a membership subscription program there, and hopes to take the site full-time someday. I signed up to show my support. You should too.
  • A Lesser Photographer — Written by CJ Chilvers, it helps you become a more creative photographer. CJ brings a refreshing honesty to the subject that applies to more than just photography. It’s been one of my favorites for a long time.
  • James Gowan — Tells stories about what’s happening as he attempts to swing the pendulum from “consuming” to “creating”. James is a real up-and-coming voice in this space and worth of your attention.
  • Studies in Semicolons. — This site explores technology and habits of effective work that we love so much and molds them specifically for people like the author, Chase Nordengren – academics, researchers or people who just like ideas and want to take on a life immersed in them as much as possible. I started following a few weeks back and have not regretted it.
  • Andrew Carroll — Andrew demystifies the complexities of running a business on his site. Andrew is very smart, sensible, and approachable.
  • The Hales — Simple, vocally-driven acoustic recordings. They are very literally trying to find their voices together doing something they love. Beautiful work.
  • Pipe Redirect — Basically your generic tech blog with links and articles, although the goal is to focus on the nerdier side of things (Unix, Python, AppleScript, etc.). Tony also tries to occasionally post some more thoughtful pieces on how our digital world impacts our lives.
  • Math Is Hard — A new podcast network featuring a podcast called Remakers Mark. Four best friends and film nerds discuss how they would remake our favorite movies today. Thus far they’ve discussed Ghostbusters and Top Gun, with each movie discussion split into two episodes; the first discussing casting, and the second discussing plot, filmmaking, and technology changes they would consider. Lots of fun.

1922: Why I Quit Being So Accommodating | Mike Cane’s xBlog

Posted on December 30th, 2012

“You are thirty-five years old,” I said to myself. “More than half of your life has already been spent. Who is living your life, anyway? Is it actually yours? Or is it a kind of public storehouse of odd jobs? A pile of days and hours put on the counter of the world with a sign inviting every Tom, Dick, and Harry to take one?”

via 1922: Why I Quit Being So Accommodating | Mike Cane’s xBlog.

Yep, you read that right. This was written in 1922. Very long read but well worth the time.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The future will not be cool – Salon.com

Posted on December 21st, 2012

To understand the future, you do not need techno-autistic jargon, obsession with “killer apps,” these sort of things. You just need the following: some respect for the past, some curiosity about the historical record, a hunger for the wisdom of the elders, and a grasp of the notion of “heuristics,” these often unwritten rules of thumb that are so determining of survival. In other words, you will be forced to give weight to things that have been around, things that have survived.

via Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The future will not be cool – Salon.com.

The little camera that could | Tom Perry | Writing & Photography

Posted on December 18th, 2012

Despite that relationship between photographer and subject being the bread and butter of what photographers should do, too often we get obsessed with lighting, composition and lenses and forget that the relationship between photographer and subject is very much two-way. Even the language we often use for photography – we ‘take’ photos – demonstrates this. But photography shouldn’t be about ‘taking’; it should be about learning a bit more from each other and sharing in an experience. And the images, if done respectfully, should reflect this.

via The little camera that could | Tom Perry | Writing & Photography.

Good photography is often more about what is happening outside of the camera.