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.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/four-strikes-and-youre-out/

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.

littlebigdetails:

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

“A priority is observed, not manufactured or assigned. Otherwise, it’s necessarily not a priority.”
“People don’t want to be told how to feel but they do want to be told what to pay attention to.”
“Our reflections are imprisoned slaves, desperate for freedom — and perhaps this is true too of our smartphones, filled with smiling ducklipped images of ourselves that long to escape and fight us to the death.”

Chill dude

To date, the pc + web world has been one of obsessive activity.  Tools and services where users actively seek out information and websites compete for which can be the most thorough and interactive.  Google the king of this game, giving seekers access to the deepest trove of human knowledge ever collected.

The mobile world changed this, and the “internet of things” hardware trend is further reshaping our expectations.  Rather than active users seeking, the game is won by active services predicting and assuming.  ”I see you’re in a different city, let me change the time”, “You’re near a great new restaurant and it is lunchtime, here’s a suggestion”, “When you’re not home, do you mind if I turn down the temperature and save some money?”.

When I see Google purchasing Nest, what I see is a company that is trying to learn how to relax.  Google Glass is poised to be a grotesque failure, largely due to its active state.  It is constantly putting pressure on the wearer and those around them to interact with it (directly or indirectly).

Wearables will succeed as they are forgotten.  People don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves.  Google’s push into connected hardware will depend largely on their ability to sit back, chill, and just let people enjoy their newfound superpowers.

One thing is becoming clear, the future is going to be messy.  Quantum computing, folksonomy, healing algorithms, etc.  All built upon the premise that perfection is fragile and hard to keep stable, but to begin with the idea that if you can have some understanding/control of imperfection that it can adapt itself around any new condition.