“I began to wonder if the data itself didn’t have some sort of survival instinct”


"So I made some carnivorous mammals.”

"Uh huh."

"And I made some carnivorous birds.”

"You did indeed."

"And I made some carnivorous fishes, and carnivorous reptiles, and even carnivorous bog plants.”

"I know, evolution. Those were nice."

"Well, I’ve got a new one."


"Carnivorous… potatoes!”

"I’m sorry?"

"Carnivorous potatoes! They’ll have, like, tiny, sticky hairs to trap the little mites that crawl by underground. Then the mites die, and the potato can absorb their nutrients.”

"Are you serious?"

"Of course I’m serious." 

"Death by potato?" 

"That’s the idea." 

"I’m… not really sure what to say to that."

"Sometimes inspiration just strikes me, you know?"

Source: Wikimedia Commons / Bmerva / licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

“Much as I am a fan of work like Egger’s and Doctorow’s it is almost too easy to write a dystopia these days. The real challenge, it seems to me, is to write a new utopia.”

Blindly chasing the likes on social media (via Colossal).

My iOS 8 wish list

  1. A completely revamped homescreen.  Taking cues from Microsoft 8.1 phone screens.
  2. A redo of the quick access menu, to declutter and make more contextual.
  3. The ability to remove any pre-installed app (goodbye GameCenter).
  4. A consistent way to share data and actions between apps.
  5. Developer SDK to hook into Siri.
  6. Group video chat in Facetime.
  7. Synchronous cellular/wifi connections, allowing 4G to be used when you’re on the edge of a wifi connection.
  8. Content pre-load strategies, to get data to the app at the same time that the app itself is loaded.

Unrelated mess

Several items that are on my mind, that just need to be regurgitated onto the web:

  • Who knew that dumpster was a trademarked name?
  • I cringe every time I see someone making fun of GWB’s paintings.  I generally hated his policies, but dissecting his artwork feels like folks are poking someone’s grandpa with a stick.
  • Famo.us is one of the most interesting tech frameworks around, but hearing the leaders and followers discuss it feels like a promo for HBO’s Silicon Valley. 
  • The rate that I purchase music has consistently been dropping year-over-year.  Can’t figure out if I’m getting old, or if the game has changed. 

Accuracy as the ultimate goal

Umpires want to make the right call, but they also don’t want to make the wrong call at the wrong time. Ironically, this prompts them to make bad calls more often.


This argument has also been made for on-air meteorologists erring on the side of predicting severe weather and the reluctance of teachers to give a failing grade.

The biggest problem that I see in these arguments is they imply that these experts are always optimizing towards a single point…accuracy.  Instead, I always tell folks that on-air weather personalities optimize towards comfort and safety (edging towards safety).  Hitting the precise temperature is less important than the audience not being in danger.

I imagine the same goes for your average umpire.  Instead of optimizing towards perfection, I see their role as holding the game together.  Keeping arguments from forming and spinning out of control.  Calling a ball vs. strike perfectly is less important than respecting the players and the game.

It boils down to the consequences of making a judgement call.  When all of the tools available are subjective, with plenty of grey areas, those judgement calls create trust and perceived wisdom.  

As precision increases there is a perception that the measurable element also increases in importance.  That is rarely true.

Precise tools are best used to support humane/subjective goals, rather than supercede them.

The concept of “actualities” or news events that allow media organizations to form a story around are key to understanding why some topics go under reported.

Government waste, homelessness, racism, etc are rarely brought up in the media on their own terms.  Instead, they need to be attached to a fact-based event that can be defended as news.  Once that event is established, the core concepts can be brought forth and debated publicly.


Tweetbot 3 - when adding a photo to a tweet “Use Last Photo Taken” is an option.

/via @nippr

Really a feature that takes into account how real-world phones are used. Can’t wait for it to become the standard.

1. Frictionless content creation
2. Communication rather than publishing
3. Replying is easier than creating
4. Make casual content OK by reducing the variance in effort