I like Gaping Void a lot, so last November I followed Hugh's recommendation and subscribed to these ten blogs in NetNewsWire. This morning I decided to delete nine of them. I've been leaving the “Hugh says” folder for last, and I zip through the posts like they're old e-mail. Maybe I'm tired of blogging about blogging. Brief reviews:
Have you ever met a group of people who are already best friends? You might get along well, but there's a whole web of shared something that you missed out on. These blogs might have been awesome a year or two ago, but they seem like rehash and reflection now. All together, they felt too much like fluorescent lights and MBAs. I wanna run around outside and eat Chick-o-sticks and listen to Afrirampo.
Technorati Tags: business
I was just saying last week that I'm still completely happy with my three-year-old titanium PowerBook. Ashley asked how much I'm going to ask for it when I get a new computer, and I didn't know what to say. I hadn't even thought about it.
Normally, three years into a computer, I'm figuring out which credit card can be maxed out. My iBook's pokeyness sent me into deep spirals of depression every time it choked on an .avi. This PowerBook, which was top of the line when I got it from MacConnection in early 2003, has felt peppy every day since. I normally don't notice it; it's like water.
This design freelance gig might have changed that. I spend my days crunching 600MB Photoshop files on a dual G5 desktop with a gig and a half of RAM, which can be maddeningly slow. When I opened a project file at home this week, I realized my PowerBook is showing its age. The crunching! The swapping! Must… drag… layer!
So, anybody wanna buy a perfectly fine 1GHz TiBook? Only one dead pixel. C'mon. Daddy needs an iMac Core Duo.
Technorati Tags: apple
I've been on a freelance design gig for five weeks now. It's nice to have reliable money, but after a week or two you feel like a bedouin, being shuttled from desk to desk and Mac to Mac. I don't want to spend too much time tweaking System Preferences, since there's a good chance I'll have to do it all over when the regular user gets back from vacation and bumps me.
I decided to go geeky and do all my personal work in a terminal
session. Now, every morning, I
ssh into my PowerBook, which
stays at home. From there, I use
screen to open instances
vim. That's right, this post is being written in
nano, and when I'm done,
mutt will send it to
a seekrit TypePad address and posted here (I hope).
With this setup, I don't have to worry about leaving bits of personal
data on a strange PowerMac. My timesheet is part of
hftf.txt, my Huge F***ing Text File. Bloglines mobile feeds me RSS.
Good ol' Usenet has endless Kibo to read.
…and it looks like I'm typing some weird computerey stuff. Awesome.
On Warren's recommendation, I'm reading Ian Pearson's thoughts on the future. In his musings on advertising from five years ago, Ian is annoyed that tech companies still try to advertise today's crap like it's a special offer that will disappear soon, rather than a gadget that will be replaced by a better, cheaper gadget:
They probably think they are forcing me to buy the current offer and gain an earlier sale. In fact, they have managed to postpone my purchase for well over a year through this fear, uncertainty and doubt that is so prevalent in the PC industry. I want to make a bid, £1500 some time in the next 3 months - what will you offer me?
I don't have the money to make a lot of tech purchases myself, but I end up advising others on when to buy an iBook or TV, and I have a hard time convincing people to get over this fear and uncertainty. Everyone I know is paralyzed by doubt in gadgetry, and many of them are depressed when their iMac/phone/printer is replaced by a fancier model at the same price.
Tech companies are breeding despair in their customers, rather than elation. I don't think product cycles need to be longer, but I do think gadget makers would do well to teach customers that there will always be something better just around the bend. You can't wait forever. Or, if you do, you'll be behind the curve, and that's where we leave the incontinent and elderly.
If I can't be a brain in a pan, how am I ever going to know what the astronomers finally figure out? People are turned off by astronomy and physics, it seems, because they think it's all decided. Well, as Philip W. Anderson points out, it's not. At all.
We don't even know how many types of stuff there are! Or how many basic forces! We just know the math looks funny from here. Those dudes better get cracking on observing this flat universe. I'm impatient.
Alun Anderson, senior consultant to New Scientist, says brains cannot become minds without bodies. So much of your brain is wired to physical coordination, analysis, and response that separating the “thinking” part from the part that makes your legs go is pointless.
It's funny, but this destroys my rationale for cryonic preservation: maybe they'll have to throw away my liver and skin and stuff, but they might be able to upload my brain somewhere. Well, to take what Anderson says a little further, if my brain was in a computer or robot or whatever, there's a good chance I wouldn't be me. This whole experience of “me-ness” is tied to the neurons and whooshing liquids and dangly bits that are further from my head.
What would Ray Kurzweil say?
Technorati Tags: mind
Kathy Sierra asks how to direct young people to find later career success. As I read her piece, I realize that I was supported in the important skills she lists:
the most important preparation skills/orientations today are:
- Metacognition (thinking about thinking)
but where I still get stuck today is followthrough. I didn't get enough pressure to finish things, or I learned to slip around that pressure. So, these days, I'm eager to learn new things, and I can see how my creativity could be used in the world, but I never get around to actually doing anything, and I can't figure out how to discipline myself. It's meta-laziness.
So how do you develop a young'un's work ethic? I dunno. It's one of the things that most worries me about raising kids, though.
Listening to: another day in the life from the album “hippocamp ruins sgt peppers” by autistici
In Organization Strategies, David Kadavy debates the merits of “Google-style” organization, in which you can search through piles quickly, versus “Yahoo-style” organization, in which you put things in a rigid directory. I need to embrace the Google approach more, since I often use the detailed implementation of the Yahoo! approach to procrastinate.
Seth Godin points to a marketing stunt that brings us one step closer to The Running Man. It's "buy this magazine or the baby seal gets it," only real...ish. Internet real, anyway. Even if every net-pedant points to this site's entry on Snopes in five years when he gets a post about it, the world is warmed just a little bit to a guy saying "I'll cut off my finger if you don't send more eyeballs." Bear v. Shark is next!