Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:25:22 +0000
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:16:29 +0000I’ve read Orwell’s Animal Farm three times now: once was in high school when I wasn’t paying attention, another was in my 20s when I felt I owed it a second chance and then again this week as part of an inquiry into what’s happening in the world. While it’s well known that the context Orwell
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 18:22:06 +0000There is a viral video making the rounds of several donkeys at an animal sanctuary trying to work their way out of a pen. Most people, including a writer at the Huffington Post, focus on the superior problem solving skills of the third donkey, named Oreste, who took a novel approach to finding his way
Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:42:07 +0000For three weeks I worked hard to put the 2016 election in some kind of context. I read selections from history. I worked through all the commentary. I even went back and read some of the Constitution. The result is this carefully researched 10 minute read that explains what happened, what it means and what you
Tue, 22 Nov 2016 17:18:25 +0000On my way through Austin, Texas last week I had a free afternoon and on a whim went to the Bullock museum of Texas History. To my surprise there was an entire exhibition about Nazi Propaganda, called State of Deception. It seemed timely somehow, so I bought a ticket and stepped inside. Here is what I
Tue, 01 Nov 2016 20:07:03 +0000I’m proud to announce the new edition of The Ghost of My Father, with a new epilogue, is now on sale. The book was first released October 2014, and a year later my father died. The new epilogue explains what happened between these two pivotal moments in my life. It shares what he thought of
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:45:57 +0000I gave the opening talk at the first Leading Design event in London, hosted by Clearleft. I spoke about the challenges of being a designer in the real world, and you can grab the slides here: Design vs. The World (PDF). I stayed for both days of the event and took notes for every session I
Thu, 13 Oct 2016 14:33:08 +0000I’m the I was the closing speaker today yesterday at Digital PM Summit in San Antonio, TX, and I’ll be taking notes (or in fancy terms, liveblogging) for every session that I sit in until it’s my turn. I’ll be following the basic rules of Min/Max note taking and will update this post as the day goes on.
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:03:18 +0000Last week I saw Ian Bogost speak at Town Hall Seattle about his new book, Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games. Of the many ideas he offered about how to think about fun, he shared three stories that stayed with me more than anything else he said.
Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:42:36 +0000A tradition is simply a custom that has been passed down from one generation to another. Their longevity can have many reasons, some good and some bad. We can not assume that persistence alone provides moral justification. Instead we must ask better questions about traditions before we judge their value. The problem is we instinctively defend
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 15:02:04 +0000Despite our cultural obsession with new technology, we forget that the idea of new technology is old. We also overlook that there are patterns for how new technologies impact cultures and societies that technologists are often ignorant of. Without understanding the social impact of past technologies, we’re more likely to repeat mistakes, since we don’t
Mon, 08 Aug 2016 15:27:59 +0000From Neil Postman’s lecture On Culture’s Surrender to Technology: What is the problem that this new technology solves? Whose problem is it? What new problems do we create by solving this problem? Which people and institutions will be most impacted by a technological solution? What changes in language occur as the result of technological change?
Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:12:52 +0000How would you explain the events of 2016 to someone from the year 2050 who time traveled to visit us? Many adjectives come quickly to mind: turmoil, danger, violence, drama, unrest, uncertainty. But if you think deeper about trying to explain what it all means, you’d realize this challenge is impossible. We couldn’t tell someone
Wed, 20 Jul 2016 17:33:08 +0000One of my favorite podcasts is Here’s the Thing, and on a recent episode host Alec Baldwin interviewed Viggo Mortensen about his latest film, Captain Fantastic. Towards the end he mentioned this: “By taking the risk of trying hard means you are going to make mistakes, and then the most important thing is hopefully realizing that and
Thu, 16 Jun 2016 19:12:43 +0000Father’s Day is always a tricky time for me. I had a tough relationship with my father, and the day has often made me sad. I’d see friends celebrate and think of what I wish I had experienced, but never will. Many people have similiar stories to mine, or their father’s are no long alive, making the
Tue, 24 May 2016 15:15:12 +0000For any skill, the only way to improve is through practice. Reading about that skill is not practice. Watching other people do something is not practice. Reading and watching can only help you develop a skill if you apply what you learn while you are practicing. Most people do not practice, which is why most
Wed, 11 May 2016 21:16:22 +0000[This is an excerpt from chapter 12, of the bestseller, The Myths of Innovation] The Simple Plan If you want to make progress happen, or be someone who brings good ideas into the world, this is for you. It’s the simplest, easiest, most straightforward way to convert your ambition into action. When I’m asked to give
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 15:56:37 +0000We take great works for granted. We forget, but the fate of even our most famous ideas and creations was far from certain at the time they were proposed. A powerful exercise anyone can do is to pick a famous creation and go back in history to the days before it was made. Only then can
Fri, 04 Mar 2016 19:06:11 +0000We all tend to think our own political views are sound, but that it’s “the others” that are crazy, dumb or both. To get some perspective this election season, I recently read Political Animals: How Our Stone Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics, by Rick Shenkman. It’s a good and important book.
Tue, 01 Mar 2016 23:25:48 +0000On Tuesdays I often write about the top voted question on Ask Berkun (see the archive). This week’s question is from C. with 101 votes] is Why Do Idiots Get Ahead? I’m a diligent individual, but find it frustrating to continually clean up after the mess “idiots” create – but yet the “idiots” cannot be stopped.
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 18:32:35 +0000I am a heavy podcast listener. It’s a primary source of news, entertainment and education for me. Between daily workouts at the gym and frequent bus rides, I go through 10 to 20 hours of podcasts every week. I love audio only media as it frees me to listen while I’m cooking, running or doing