Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
The 1953 Bergren Residence, on the market for $2m, is a pretty Wrightian Lautner, especially around the fireplace.
Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
itshello.co — clientless, open-source video chat in the browser.
Sunday, October 14th, 2018
Saturday, October 13th, 2018
Friday, October 12th, 2018
Hussein Agha, senior Fatah member, discusses at some length — and it seems to me with honesty — the prospects of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
When Palestinians are close to reaching an agreement and are genuinely faced with giving up 78 per cent of their homeland, they feel surrender, so they recoil. Whenever Israelis find themselves at a similar point and try to justify giving up material assets in return for mere words, i.e. promises about future conduct, they recoil.
An interview at the impressive Fathom Journal with Lyn Julius, author of Uprooted.
The Jews were intrinsic to the rhythm of life in the Middle East. It all ended in the space of a generation. Some 850,000 Jews fled 10 Arab countries; most found refuge in Israel, where over half the Jewish population has roots in Arab or Muslim lands.
Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
Now that’s a web site: New York City tree map — every last one, including street view, species, diameter. [via Kottke]
Monday, October 8th, 2018
Friday, October 5th, 2018
The Power of Pull
John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, Lang Davison
The core ideas are repeated so unabashedly often that distaste for the repetition makes me want to reject the ideas. Perhaps though repetition is deliberate, like in television commercials, working under the rhetorical theory that the reader will be irritated into remembering the message?
At any rate, the book posits three steps to getting anywhere: find the resources you need, attract others to your vision, and move at the appropriate pace to implement it. Crossing these three steps is the idea that innovation tends to occur not at the heart of things but at the edge, and so there must be an interplay between the incumbents and the hungry marginal outsiders. And the current business paradigm of digital transformation pumps up these perennial dynamics to where they must now be utilized as a framework.
The book’s blurbs are so hyperbolic and from such high-powered people, perhaps its simplicity is its power and the repetition worked on me: I dismiss the book merely because I understand it, and I understand it due to the repetition. And my understanding the book proves it a good one.
Since a few years have now passed since publication, some of the enterprises cited as exemplary wonders in the making, like Shai Agassi’s Better Places, have collapsed, giving further if unintentional insight into the topic.
You could argue that I missed the point entirely, in that I don’t even mention here the concept of “pull”. But that’s because to me it gradually lost any meaning, they used the term so often, and became a stand-in for “good”.
Saturday, September 29th, 2018
Tim Berners-Lee announces his startup Inrupt to support and popularize Solid, a platform to enable people to regain control of their own data.
Thursday, September 27th, 2018
In case anyone else was mildly traumatized by the way fonts appear on MacOS Mojave due to the disabling of subpixel antialiasing, here’s the solution by Github user alexanderyakusik:
defaults write -g CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled -bool NO
Also, in System Preferences > General, check Use font smoothing when available.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2018
More incredibleness: sefaria.org, a beautiful bountiful platform of the Jewish texts. What an accomplishment.
Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
John Gruber’s Daringfireball reviews — no, essays — on The iPhones XS and Apple Watch Series 4 are a pleasure worthy of their subject matter. They feel informed, informal, thoughtful. “Series 4 is to Apple Watch what iPhone 4 was to iPhone,” Gruber writes. “The model that takes the original design to a new level.”
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
How did I not know about ribbonfarm all these years; truly I’ve been living under a rock for ages. Thoughtful, concise, erudite, relevant: Tendrils of Mess in our Brains by Sarah Perry.
Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Million Dollar Consulting
This most renowned book by the engaging Alan Weiss has a tone of practical, optimistic advice. Its title however is unfortunate as the first part may come off as cheesy while the second part comes off as only applying to consultants. Its subtitle, “The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice”, is more accurate; I was talking with an old friend who now has his own one-man legal practice and realized that pretty much all the book’s advice applies to him.
Although famous for advocating value billing rather than hourly, perhaps the book’s dominant concept is that you should invest your marketing energy in becoming a thought leader — in speaking and writing.
Weiss is a bit of a minor national treasure (despite hovering sometimes on the edge of bad taste — and I believe he is way sophisticated enough to understand exactly what he’s doing) and despite becoming slightly cranky in his more recent musings (not that I disagree with where he’s coming from, but political musings may be off-putting to others). He is a gifted writer in that having read his book you feel he is your friend looking out for you.
Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
Premieres for the Rams doc by Gary Hustwit (of Helvetica) are being held all around America. The only cities where it’s sold out are: NY, LA and SF.
Monday, September 10th, 2018
Saturday, September 8th, 2018
Never mind it being yet another acronym, this method humanizes selecting colors for the web: On Switching from HEX & RGB to HSL by CoDrops explainer extraordinaire Sara Soueidan.
Thursday, September 6th, 2018
Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
I miss the days of forums, when any issue about a product was discussed on its own site and nowhere else. I do believe issues are better resolved online with posts, not chats.
Inappropriate use of chat software erodes mental health, at least, mine. Here’s a fun articulate essay on why the author hates Slack (and you should too).
And Slack is proprietory. I just scrolled up and was stopped and told I need a paid plan! And Discord: why?! Trendiness happens.
Monday, September 3rd, 2018
Thursday, August 30th, 2018
“Breaking Smart” by Venkatesh Rao. This is the first collection, “Software is Eating the World”, inspired by a residency at Andreessen/Horowitz.
Wednesday, August 29th, 2018
Spotting the Golden Ratio in the wild: At the end of their hairbrained Federation Plan for Israel and the Palestinians (minus Gaza, which would spoil the math), the authors state: “Jews and relatives of Jews, in this estimate, would comprise 62% of the population, while Muslim and Christian Arabs would total 37%.”
Monday, August 27th, 2018
Adventures of a Bystander
Peter F. Drucker
Beloved creator of management, recipient of 25 honorary doctorates, Peter F. Drucker wrote his autobiography in the form of vignettes of spectacular individuals whom he encountered throughout his fabulous life from privileged childhood in Vienna, through journalism in Germany, banking in London, and over to America. It’s a book of overflowing humanity.
Friday, August 24th, 2018
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018
Pinhas Inbari sheds new (to me) light on the roots of Palestinian nationalism, arguing that the similarities to Syria’s schisms are more than parallels but in fact the same issue: pan-Arabism (Fatah, Ba’athists) vs pan-Islamism (Hamas, ISIS).
Tuesday, August 21st, 2018
Monday, August 20th, 2018
David P. Goldman has been predicting this for years, and now it is happening (nudged along by Trump’s new steel tariffs): Turkey is in a horrible mess and likely to become a Chinese satrapy.
Contrast with George Friedman’s notion that Turkey will become a superpower, which to me seems comically misguided.
That said, Turkey does seem a fulcrum power, a bellweather of who dominates global affairs; if it falls to China’s influence, this is not great for the West.
To me, with my papercut exposure to Turkey, the fundamental problem is this: they are unsatisfied with being a nationstate. Instead, they want to be the local imperium, which cannot be. Turks, I say: apply your justified satisfaction with quotidian life to the national level. That way you will indeed make friends and influence peoples.
Perhaps Look to Britain for this, which once ruled much more than the Ottomans, but harbors no hopeless dreams to revive a moment in history.
Perhaps not coincidentally, both states are currently in some danger of a secessionist crack-up.
Sunday, August 19th, 2018
Friday, August 17th, 2018
Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
Sunday, August 5th, 2018
Thursday, August 2nd, 2018
Tuesday, July 31st, 2018
“Shouting ‘Peace, peace’ may actually push peace away,” argues game theorist and Nobel Economics laureate Prof. Yisrael Aumann, New York-born head of the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at Hebrew University.
This is just about common sense — by that I mean it’s only a single twist of what Edward Luttwak calls the paradoxical logic of strategy. Yet perhaps there are further twists; I suggested one back in 2003 in “Allah Help the Jackals”:
Perhaps Israel is following a subconscious national strategy of the strong, in which it behaves too meekly for a decade or so, emboldens its vicious but feeble enemies until they go too far, then lashes out in a now-obviously-justifiable response and gains untold assets in the process.
Not to mention that the more time goes by, the more Israel strengthens and the Palestinians weaken.
This subconscious national strategy of delay by dint of wanting too hard, if it ever were effective, seems to have played itself out now, as demonstrated by Israel’s shift of focus towards undermining UNWRA, which plays such an underlying role in prolonging the conflict.
What with the Sunni warming to Israel and the supremely sympathetic Trump Administration, Israel it seems believes that allowing the conflict to fester for gradual gain has now become counterproductive, and so seeks a new path to end it.
All that notwithstanding, nothing ends until the Palestinians begin educating their children towards co-existence alongside Israel.
Saturday, July 21st, 2018
Friday, July 20th, 2018
We have a bunch of companies that are comprised of a sales department and a tech department, because every other job has been outsourced to a website run by another company composed of a sales department and a tech department.
Peter Welch, “How to Worry Less About Being a Bad Programmer”
Programming Sucks is some cynical cuteness on coding by Peter Welch.
Doing this all day leaves you in a state of mild aphasia as you look at people’s faces while they’re speaking and you don’t know they’ve finished because there’s no semicolon.
Wednesday, July 18th, 2018
Saturday, July 14th, 2018
Friday, July 13th, 2018
Nicely done on the semi-colon. Besides, anything that gets in Moby Dick‘s chapter 42 is alright.