Category Archives: hypotheses

Experience Design: Reasonable Conclusions

[Note: I have tried to distill a set of ideas about the kind of design that I am most used to doing. Much of these ideas are based on other smarter people’s work. This is more of an exercise in putting down what makes sense to me than advocating for a particular approach, which depends, […]

why make pictures?

Top: Tricycle, Memphis, 1969-71 William Eggleston, Dye transfer print Over the last twenty-five years, I went to school to be an artist, abandoned that, became a designer, married, and had a daughter. After many life changes, I think about almost everything differently. But I still have this incoherent desire to make pictures, not much different […]

David Foster Wallace and the Failure of Zen

David Foster Wallace, giving the commencement address at Kenyon College in 2005, among many other things, said: I submit that this is what the real, no-bullshit value of your liberal-arts education is supposed to be about: How to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head […]

design and agile

New methods for managing people making Web sites are big these days, with the most popular being Agile. Basically it boils down to making a small team of builders completely responsible for a project, and enforcing constant communication as people work on it in well-defined chunks. There are many engineer/programmer proponents for this, but few […]

Republican House Districts Emit More Carbon per Capita

Shown are U.S. House districts (average population of 650,000 people), red for Republican and blue for Democrats, with districts that emitted more carbon per capita last year shown in darker colors. I discovered project “Vulcan” at Purdue University, which is mapping carbon emissions on a detailed level in the US; very cool. I wondered whether […]

data as interface: flow

I believe that there are two kinds of ideas in the world: those that divide things into two types, and those that don’t… and then there’s a third, which tries to wriggle out of either. This is one of those. The basic idea: a better interface to data would be to turn the data itself […]

Generation M: an Unmanifesto

The below is my attempt to remove the frothy and breathless tone from “Generation M manifesto” by Umair Haque, because I liked it in many ways. It is definitely more boring, but I hope more real as well. I don’t believe any manifesto can express the right amount of humility towards these questions, but it […]

make news like the cable tv business, please

It seems like there is a fairly straightforward deal possible to save the business of putting out newspapers (the news is fine, doesn’t need to change!). Make it a much cheaper version of the cable business, where subscribers buy into a much-enhanced version of something they get a basic version of for free. Major ISPs […]

snark: too big to fail?

Walter Kirn’s review of David Denby’s book Snark is pretty fun reading: He wants to correct and restrain, using scholarship and logic, perhaps the keenest, most reflexive, prehistoric and anarchic of simple human pleasures, short of eating or achieving orgasm. The act of laughter, this would be. Or, for Denby, the act of low, illicit […]

some feedback for a K-8 school’s technology plan

A schooI’s technology plan I read is mostly about computers for students and teachers, other equipment, and goals for integrating equipment use into the classrooms and professional development plans, without describing what students would do with the computers. Some feedback I gave: I like the quote from John See’s on the cover of the plan, […]