Christopher Hitchens Lived

I always knew there was a risk in the bohemian lifestyle… I decided to take it because it helped my concentration, it stopped me being bored — it stopped other people being boring. It would make me want to prolong the conversation and enhance the moment. If you ask: would I do it again? I would probably say yes. But I would have quit earlier hoping to get away with the whole thing. I decided all of life is a wager [...]

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Scale and Perspective

 

“It takes these very simple-minded instructions—’Go fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if it’s greater than this other number’––but executes them at a rate of, let’s say, 1,000,000 per second. At 1,000,000 per second, the results appear to be magic.”

— Steve Jobs

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PHP Gravatar Class

I was recently working on a small side project when I ran across a need for a php implementation of a class that would produce Gravatar urls.

Generating Gravatar urls is not a complicated affair. In fact, it’s not out of the question to write a one-off gravatar function as needed. I wanted something slightly more robust and reuseable. I was surprised as I surveyed the php gravatar classes in github to find a morass of over engineered solutions that were [...]

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Occupy The Future

Police in riot gear protecting a bank

We need a course correction. The world is changing and technology is introducing new ways of distributing power and ideas. In some ways a correction is inevitable. Then only question is what direction we’re going to pick.

In times of great technological change options become available that simply weren’t possible before. Fortunes are made and lost, businesses pivot and react, politicians opine, preachers stir up anxiety and the clever take advantage of the shifting situation.

It is unlikely that extant systems of [...]

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falling back

Head of a Ruler Third Dynasty of Ur Bismaya Temple Gypsum bitumen 2000-2050 BCE

 

 

I like daylight savings time because it reminds me that my perception of time is a completely arbitrary abstraction based on the base 60 / 12 number system of a dead civilization which I have to translate into base 10 numerals in my head because my ancestors never thought to use their closed hand as one and six, but that’s ok because they are both, in turn, just arbitrary abstractions.

 

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Why Start Up In Saint Louis?

Traditionally, St. Louis has made its fortune on the rivers. It’s easy to see why. Sitting at the confluence of the two largest rivers in North America, during the height of the river trade, St. Louis attracted immigrants from all over, new businesses and even a shady scheme or two.

However, as America has moved to over the road trucking and air cargo, the leverage that St. Louis’ location afforded the city began to wane. Since then, the city has used [...]

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Débrouillard

Débrouillard is what every plongeur wants to be called. A débrouillard is a man who, even when he is told to do the impossible, will se débrouiller — get it done somehow. — George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

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How To Stand Out

Adam Lisagor as Photographed by Noe Montes

“At each creative decision, ask whether you’re doing it a certain way because that’s the way you’ve seen it done before. If the answer is yes, then figure out if there’s a better way. You’ll stand apart from the rest, and we’ll love you for it.”

From a profile of Adam Lisagor in Fast Company

As a designer or developer, it’s easy to get intimidated by the work of your peers. In this age [...]

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How To Find New Customers Online

How do you get your product or pitch in front of potential customers online? It comes down to “Where are your users?” and for each answer to that question “Can I afford to reach out to them here?”

Most people who know the gist of online marketing, but haven’t tried it, will say “Google Adwords!” Unfortunately Google ads are priced at exactly what companies bigger than yours with more cash to use can afford. Google is as close to the definition of [...]

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Explanations are a UX Smell

Have you ever added someone as a “Contact” on Flickr? It’s a confusing experience. The core of the problem is the word “contact.” When I call someone a “contact” I assume that I’m going to… well, “contact” them at some point.

That’s not at all what a contact is for on flickr, though. It’s really more like becoming a fan or a follower on other services. It’s probably most like adding someone to a circle on google +.

At the time that [...]

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