Old year’s resolutions

What can you tick off already? Good work on those. What do you need to quit – stop doing, stop trying to do, draw a line under, declare an amnesty for yourself, admit that it won’t get done, and let…

Compound interest

We all know about compound interest in the world of money. Save £100 a month for thirty years at one percent interest** and you’ll have a little under £42,000 by the end of that time (compared to £36,000 at zero-percent).…

Governor Jerry Brown, c1976: an approach to protest

I would be part of the entourage and we’d go to some public event… and there outside the event would be the usual protesters about one thing or another. And I’d find myself trying to get Jerry [Brown, Governor of…

Expectations: tell us what you do

We’re staying at a simple hotel in North Sulawesi. The setting is idyllic. Our hosts are unfailingly pleasant and helpful. Good food is served three times a day, at regular times… plus or minus an hour. Our room is cleaned……

Expectations: flaw to feature

We decided to explore the garden before we ordered our food. The manager caught us just as we were starting down the path. He was apologetic: “Excuse me… sorry… the food can take a long time to come at the…

Peter Morville on Category and Taxonomy (1)

While findability comes first, we must also remember that categories are about more than retrieval. Classification helps our users to understand. Through splitting, lumping and labeling, we reveal choices and invite questions. … Of course, all taxonomies are imperfect, as…

The Gift

Everything changes if you can see the thing you’re doing as a gift. Doing it as a gift transforms the thing you don’t want to do, or don’t want to do right now; the thing you don’t want to do…

The new possible

My sister (let’s call her Sharky) bought me a book for Christmas. Sharky lives in Argentina. She bought the book from a shop in the UK. I’m on holiday in a remote part of Indonesia. She bought the book, told…

Scrapbook: Niall Ferguson on culture, text-for-profit, libraries, search and literacy

Niall Ferguson was speaking at the Long Now Foundation, responding to a question from Stewart Brand about how ads and the profit-motive influenced the nature of search and the internet echo-chamber. Google and Facebook in particular are platforms driven by…

Deep literacy: Kevin Kelly on more than reading

… producing books with ease on Gutenberg’s press did not fully unleash text. Real literacy also required a long list of innovations and techniques that permitted ordinary readers and writers to manipulate text in ways that made it useful. For…