Reframing "tools for thought"

I love this one from Linus on how we might create more of a community or field of research in the “tools for thought” space… I too dislike the phrase and framing of “tools for thought” but don’t have something better. Wouldn’t it be neat to make a hub for this research? Like an RSS feed aggregator and links out to various projects…? Something kind of like
I didn’t realize you could turn a static site into a PWA - thought you needed a server for the serviceworker… Bookmarking this for later…
“Urgently patient” - management needs to be urgently defining direction, and patient in realizing progress, projects towards them…. credit: Brian Dell

On Enchantment in Modernity

“I would like to tackle the term “enchantment” head-on, expand its definition, and provide a sense of where it exists in modern life without relying on these historical forms or terminology. My working definition: “enchantment” is a property of experience where the subject projects a fantasy, in the broad sense, onto the experience itself. Enchantment as such elevates the experience beyond its mere factual or physical essence, and brings it into a “super-sensible” relation with the actor.

A lifetime of worlding

What a stunning, heartfelt and insightful piece from Chia: When there is a desire to invent a world:… Damn I relate to so much of this - how deeply rooted that desire is to create worlds. With and for people.
A Great Diversity of Relationships “Tugging on the thread of digital bricolage brought me to a wonderful paper by Seymour Papert & Sherry Turkle called “Epistemological Pluralism.””…

Twitter is non stop interesting dense things

This is a lovely meditation on balanced social media use - while also accepting that social media (Twitter) is deeply enjoyable and valuable…… Worth reflecting on more mindful ways of engaging that don’t require deleting apps or withdrawing…
“Soft skills” and power inside organizations. Two great reads: Firstly this on “how to be strategic” - think “one level up the food chain”… And then this on “know how your org works”:…
Whoah 365 Computer-Generated Books: A Thread On each day of 2022, we will tweet out an example from our growing collection of computer-generated books. And in this thread, we will gradually compile these tweets in order. 🧵 — Aleator Press (@aleatorpress) January 2, 2022
The geography of a program: “Does each place have a climate, perhaps, too? Is there an aroma to the fresh code as it blossoms in the spring of a sprint? Do the leaves fallen from aging syntax trees rustle and crunch underfoot as I traipse through a code path?”… “They even brought in a professional aura expert to help execute the idea.”

Creature Cities

This book looks wonderful: Creatures Are Stirring is a book about how to be friends with buildings. Through a collection of flash fictions (written from buildings’ points-of-view), creative essays, and case studies, the book re-conceptualizes buildings as our intimate companions by amplifying architecture’s creaturely qualities—formal embellishments, fictional enhancements, and organizational strategies that suggest animal-like agency. In an unsettled world, such qualities may initiate more companionable relationships between humans and the built environment, and ultimately foster greater solidarity with other human and nonhuman lifeform https://mailchi.
Yass “The point is this – it’s past time to take responsibility for finding the stuff we write, and if we do it well, and Daytona does, all of a sudden blogging works so much better, and the incentive to write stuff, to document, to narrate our work, to index everything you can, makes total sense.”…
So now I’ve rolled out my new site design I want to generate some new open graph images (the old white/green sqaure is a bit out of date)… This looks like a very promising approach: Ah sorry to be clear I built that site and the screenshot service. internal-api-screenshot is a fork of this project Though you could just use this existing instance <a href=""></a>, production usage is sponsored by Netlify.
It’s interesting seeing Dave Winer playing with search as a new primitive on his “blog” (I put it in quotes because his blog is a mega-archive and leviathan body of work)… A new dimension has opened up. Until now writing has been more or less Of The Moment. As Google has punished me for not supporting their various hijacks of the web, the writing has become more ephemeral, kind of like Twitter – once written – hard to find again.
It’s a short post and I’m not going to ruin it by quoting it but this is a lovely meditation:…
Not hard to see a link between these two pieces… Summary This report argues that consumer technology reviewers have failed their basic nominal purpose of critiquing tools. Instead, inspired by values introduced by Apple in the late 1990s, the tech review industry prioritizes aesthetic lust as the primary critical factor for evaluating objects. The reification of these values in their scoring system is transmitted to consumers and manufacturers alike. Like other prurient things, the objects designed within this paradigm are optimized not for usefulness but for photogenic and telegenic properties, a framework that finds its fullest realization in YouTube reviews and unboxing videos.
What a lovely meditation on blogging: And in that one post, there is a triple-whammy of all my favourite things. An excuse for not writing. An announcement of a new blog design.2 And a promise of loads of posts to come, which never happen. Most people only manage two of those things in any given blog entry, so that’s quite an impressive achievement.       * OK, enough of all that. There is a particular reason why I didn’t link to the actual blog posts which I quote above.
The Scale of the Web, the Authority of Print. What a lovely idea Today, effective strategic publishing depends on two key channels: the scale of the web, and the authority of print. What does that look like in practice, and what’s involved in actually doing it? In this article, I’ll cover some concrete issues in strategic publishing:
Love this from Simon - his stream is the primary inspiration for this notes microblog… It’s two years since I started my Stream, a channel for quickfire posts alongside my more glacial blog, and I recently posted my 250th note. That’s 250 thoughts that would otherwise have gone undocumented or evaporated elsewhere. It’s not lost on me that I am writing an Article about my Stream. But, as you will read, this isn’t a short post, and my Articles section is here when I need more depth.
Oh neat, Microblog has a little JS snippet to pull in the latest posts. This will let me integrate these notes into nice and easily! <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Notes on Small Grant Programs

Lots of energy right now around grants. Growing up, I’ve always been mesmerized by people I perceived to be “moths” — humans fluttering around just outside of the bright glow of the traditional spotlight. While “butterflies” sparkled within traditional systems, moths seemed to be playing games entirely of their own making. I believe both human and insect moths are frequently underestimated. They’re just as smart as butterflies (or an AI, for that matter), beautifully complex up-close, and driven by a magical intrinsic force: agency.
Uh oh. I see troubles like this in my future…. Is there really no POD service that actually works well? There was a long dark evening of the soul where I toyed with the thought of ploughing on regardless. Amy and Sonia put me right and made me see sense: there was no point doing all this work for an end result that may or may not be a decent printed product.
Writing all this down, you know what? I’m kind of mad about it too. Not so mad that I’ll go chasing obviously-ill-fated scurrilous rainbow financial instruments. But there’s something here that needs solving. If I’m not solving it, or part of it, or at least trying, then I’m… wasting my time. Who cares about money? This is a systemic train wreck, well underway. We have, in Western society, managed to simultaneously botch the dreams of democracy, capitalism, social coherence, and techno-utopianism, all at once.

Writing Cultures & Work

Love this piece from Johannes about writing cultures, async work and the tools we use:… And in our Twitter exchange he links to this piece that I need to read that has some juicy details about Amazon’s 6-page memo culture:…

"That's the thing with anger, it begs to stick around"

From the great album by Sam Fender. This lyric has crushed me recently - I keep seeing this idea everywhere. From yelling at my kids to watching people behave angrily on the subway… Anger is such an insidious force that just destroys people from the inside out. There’s always room to breathe. Don’t pay your anger forward.
Parking this thread and article here to read later…