Books and Links: JulyEvan Travers
As this month wound to a close, my wife and have been awaiting our second child, so there wasn’t too much in the way of reading on either side for me.
I had bought a synology, so I spent a lot of time making sure our family data is backed up properly.
I’ve been listening to a bunch of podcasts to catch up… here’s some of the ones I’ve been enjoying.
The Intentional Family
Sarah and I have been slowly listening to these together… I think it’s a good touch point to hear another couple with similar dynamics share some of their strengths and struggles.
I really got a lot out of #6, which showed me that my overly complicated and frustrating family meeting plan was all about “stuff done” and not enough about loving Sarah.
I do not agree with everything discussed on this podcast, but I keep listening because that even when adversarial the host and his guests are genuinely trying to persuade the other… rather than grandstanding to their respective and polarized audiences. It is refreshing to hear a long conversation about important things between two passionate but respectful people.
- JD Vance discussing America falling out of love with the traditional family
- James O'Keefe and Eric getting fighting mad while staying civil and discussing ethics in journalism.
- Bret Weinstein sharing a tale of frustrated research and an assumption that imperils a slew of modern medical research.
- Garry Kasparov discussing chess, AI, and the immoral russian state that is willing to drown the truth in memes.
Cortex has been a big influence on some of the decisions I’ve made personally for my own productivity, and is a good way for me to stay distantly interested in technology without drinking from the firehose.
If nothing else, it’s made me more respectful of the different ways that other people work, instead of being as opinionated about “best practices” as I have been in the past.
Another super influential one for me. Really grateful that I found this podcast when I did. It’s really helped me return my attention to what’s important, rather than just trying to do everything faster.
Another lovely one that has just been a quick refresher. I would now point to this one - (especially the episodes that are now going through the basics of the GTD system!) - as a great starting point for someone who is getting tired of being overwhelmed and unorganized and wants a place to start.
I love this one… while my music theory is rusty, the host’s love for music is infectious. I love re-discovering a song, learning all about the story, and finding new depths as Kirk dissects and reassembles the song from scratch.
I think one of the strongest episodes is for Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, which is a song I love, but he shows the careful orchestration and beauty behind the blaring and furious rock guitars.
I read Christian Living in the Home by Jay Adams. It was a good and quick refresher, and very convicting for a family man about to welcome a new little one.
Look Who’s Talking — Real Life
This is a chilling warning about the power and threat of choosing tone for UX microcopy. Very good read.
To UX writing teams, “clarity” often means making what the company wants you to do the clear choice for you.
How to get the best design feedback from your team || Matthew Ström: designer & developer
The feedback process is a design tool, like Sketch or Micron pens. The best part about the feedback process is that it is, by nature, a team activity. Anyone can take part, and everyone benefits.
Like any tool, the feedback process gets better with practice. At Planetary, we’ve been running short feedback cycles for 6 months or so, and we’re still working to improve (this article is part of that work).
Overall, shifting focus away from the language of feedback and towards the process of feedback has allowed us to be more inclusive, work faster, and design better.
Bonus: Weird links from Wikipedia
I had a folder of weird Wikipedia articles that I was saving… I pruned them and added some commentary. Enjoy!
Wikipedia:Vital articles - Wikipedia
I first encountered this as a “curriculum” and starting place for expanding on your education using a curious mind. Very interesting.
Vital articles are lists of subjects for which the English Wikipedia should have corresponding featured-class articles. They serve as centralized watchlists to track the status of Wikipedia’s most important articles. The very most important articles are in Level 1.
List of lists of lists - Wikipedia
When I first saved this link, it was the List of Lists. Wise information architect recognized that there were lists of lists that contained lists, so now there is this page.
This is a list of lists of lists, a list of list articles that contain other list articles on the English Wikipedia. In other words, each of the articles linked here is an index to multiple lists on a topic. Some of the linked articles contain lists of lists, too.
List of Crayola crayon colors - Wikipedia
Wikipedia’s greatest secret is the glory of the “Talk” pages… I have never seen such hateful, ardent, and passionate argumentation as to what is the precise correct color codes and name on this page.
Since the introduction of Crayola drawing crayons by Binney & Smith in 1903, more than two hundred distinctive colors have been produced in a wide variety of assortments. The table below represents all of the colors found in regular Crayola assortments from 1903 to the present.[a] Since the introduction of fluorescent crayons in the 1970s, the standard colors have been complemented by a number of specialty crayon assortments, represented in subsequent tables.
Wikipedia:List of hoaxes on Wikipedia - Wikipedia
This is a list of known historical hoaxes created on Wikipedia. It is not for known hoaxes which are notable in their own right, such as Piltdown Man. Its purpose is to document hoaxes on Wikipedia, in order to improve our understanding of them and our ability to detect them. For the purpose of this list, a hoax is defined as a clear and deliberate attempt to deceptively present false information as fact. Libel, vandalism, and honest factual errors are not considered hoaxes. A hoax is considered notable enough for inclusion in this list if it evaded detection for more than one month or was discussed by reliable sources in the media. This list is incomplete, as many hoaxes remain undiscovered.
While this is a fascinating read, this is also a good reason to not trust anything you read on wikipedia 100%.
Wikipedia:Unusual articles - Wikipedia
Of the over six million articles in the English Wikipedia there are some articles that Wikipedians have identified as being somewhat unusual. These articles are verifiable, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia, but are a bit odd, whimsical, or something one would not expect to find in Encyclopædia Britannica.
I love both the list of qualities required to be on this page, and the pages that this links to.
As with anything on the internet, there are some links to less than moral things on this page.
List of inventors killed by their own inventions - Wikipedia
Closely linked to the Darwin Awards… but distinctly sad.
This is a list of inventors whose deaths were in some manner caused by or related to a product, process, procedure, or other innovation that they invented or designed.
Mid-Atlantic accent - Wikipedia
I forgot where I first learned of this phenomena: a completely fictional accent that became relatively well-known.
The Mid-Atlantic accent, or Transatlantic accent, is a purposefully cultivated accent of English that blends together the most prestigious features of American and British English (specifically Received Pronunciation for the latter). Adopted in the early 20th century mostly by American aristocrats and Hollywood actors, it is not a native or regional accent; instead, according to voice and drama professor Dudley Knight, it is an affected set of speech patterns “whose chief quality was that no Americans actually spoke it unless educated to do so”.
Talk:Quantum suicide and immortality: Difference between revisions - Wikipedia
This one is just weird, and largely persuaded me that taking ethics/morality into the quantum really befuddles the linear mind.
Thinking themselves wise…
Just imagine all of the possible universes in your past in which you made a different decision and would still be alive and well today (although in different universes). The “you” that exists now is just one of infinitely possible copies of “you”. The “me” that is typing right now shares exactly the same history and continuity with the “me” that isn’t typing this. At the same time, if it were ever possible for both copies to confront one another, I would not be able to get inside the head of my alternate self any more than I’d be able to get inside the head of any other being sharing a seperate existance in my reality (though my “double” would be a little more predictable).
Great Soviet Encyclopedia - Wikipedia
I first learned of this while learning about all the heroes of the defense of Leningrad who were later struck from this record. While a whimsical (and dark!) chapter of history, it’s also a stark reminder of being careful who controls your source of truth. * cough * wikipedia moderators * cough *
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (GSE; Russian: Большая советская энциклопедия, БСЭ, Bolshaya sovetskaya entsiklopediya) is one of the largest Russian-language encyclopedias, published by the Soviet Union from 1926 to 1990. After 2002, the encyclopedia’s data was partially included into the later Bolshaya Rossiyskaya entsiklopediya (or Great Russian Encyclopedia) in an updated and revised form. The GSE claimed to be “the first Marxist–Leninist general-purpose encyclopedia”.
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Books and Links: July