The Empathy Gap →

April 03, 2015 |

Richard J. Anderson pens a brilliant piece on the relationship between empathy and technology:

I wonder if it’s possibly that over a certain limit, perhaps Dunbar’s Number, the human capacity not only for stable relationships, but for empathy, decreases. The human mind is a hodgepodge of cognitive shortcuts that make it easy for us—all of us—to lump people into categories of who deserves, or doesn’t, our empathy and understanding. I can only speak for myself, with no research to draw on, but I know it’s incredibly difficult for me to empathize with a person who has ended up in the category I’ll call my “shit list.” It’s true that nobody thinks they’re stupid, and everybody has their reasons. That doesn’t mean that I understand. My inability to do so, or even try, for those on the outs with me, is a major shortcoming. My hope is that I share it with others, who seek to overcome.

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Car Industry Strikes Back - Volvo Paints a Grim Picture →

March 31, 2015 |

I was this close to linking to another article on this topic a couple days ago, but I trusted Mikael Colville-Andersen to drive the point home much better than I ever could:

The latest piece in our ongoing Car Industry Strikes Back series writes itself. This time it’s Volvo doing its best to draw your attention to the fact that motorists kill obscene amounts of people - including themselves - by placing the responsibility on cyclists and pedestrians. It’s a smoke screen and this time it’s sprayed on. It is Ignoring the Bull in Society’s China Shop taken to the next level.

Volvo Life Paint. Seriously. Life paint.

But hey… it’s not for the 35,000+ people killed by or in cars in the EU alone by Volvo and their Big Auto homies (around the same in the US and 1.2 million worldwide - not to mention the tenfold more killed by pollution from cars and trucks or the hundreds and hundreds of thousands more injured…).

And no, it’s not rational ideas like helmets for motorists or making motorists responsible by forcing them to have external airbags.

It’s spray on paint.

The worst part is that I’ve already seen plenty of cyclists that are actually happy this product exists. I mean, how ridiculous is this? A car manufacturer developing — and selling — a special reflective paint for cyclists to spray on themselves — all with the noble goal of not getting themselves killed by the very cars Volvo makes.


UPDATE: There’s a follow-up article on They’ve created a petition on to get Volvo to offer free Life Paint for every Volvo car on the roads today. I just signed it.

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Made by: Chris Coyier →

March 31, 2015 |

The “Made by” video series by Envato takes a brief look at the life of some creative professionals around the world, and it’s just fantastic. I can identify with pretty much every word in their last episode with Chris Coyier of CodePen:

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Lost Boys →

March 31, 2015 |

Duncan Fyfe pens a great piece on why GamerGaters need not apply at Campo Santo, the video game studio currently hard at work on finishing their much-awaited upcoming game, Firewatch:

The whole idea that Campo Santo has a GamerGate blacklist, then—that’s imaginary? I asked Ng and Vanaman to explain. “Let’s say [you] want to work here in the future, when, hopefully, we’re looking to add one or two people to the team in the coming years,” Vanaman says. “Let’s say you think the gaming press should do a better job in informing consumers about what’s going on in the industry and what’s in a particular game. Great. Articulate your opinions and be thoughtful. Let’s say you think the harassment, doxxing and hate brought onto others under the umbrella of GG is awful and don’t associate with that part of the hashtag. Let’s say you’re able to articulate that very clearly. The problem is, your stalwart association with a hashtag shows a glaring blind spot in your ability to understand and empathize with other people. It shows you don’t get that labelling your opinions with something so compromised makes you careless at best and an asshole at worst.”

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Nintendo’s 1-Up →

March 31, 2015 |

M.G. Siegler:

At first, I thought it was kudos-worthy to realize they couldn’t do this alone. But thinking about it a bit more, it’s ridiculous that they aren’t doing this themselves. This segment of the market isn’t going away, and Nintendo should be taking it far more seriously than they are.

In a way, it reminds me of Apple’s partnership with Motorola on the ROKR iTunes-enabled phone. How well did that work out? A couple years later, we had the iPhone.

Agreed. As excited as some folks seem to be about the recently-announced licensing agreement, it’s hard to see it as little more than a half-hearted effort on Nintendo’s part. If they really cared about this, they’s do it themselves, as they’ve always done.

If Siegler’s correct, though — and I believe he is — it won’t be long before some of the higher ups at Nintendo start seeing things for what they really are.

Here’s hoping.

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The secret tunnels below the Playboy Mansion that led to the homes of some Hollywood celebrities →

March 31, 2015 |

Amazing story over at

When you work at Playboy, you hear a lot of stories. Some of them are true: The Playboy Mansion is, in fact, the only private residence in LA with a fireworks license and one of the few with a zookeeping permit. Some of them — such as whether there’s a secret room in the house that lets you see into the Grotto pool — we can’t verify because we’ve never actually seen that room in The Mansion. But we’d never heard anything about a tunnel (…).

So, according this blueprint, tunnels were built to the homes of “Mr. J. Nicholson,” “Mr. W. Beatty,” “Mr. K. Douglas” and “Mr. J. Caan.” We’ll go ahead and assume they’re talking about Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Kirk Douglas and James Caan – all of whom lived near the Playboy Mansion during the late 1970s and early 1980s. There are no dates on the architectural schematics, but the dates on the Polaroids were from 1977.

You can’t make this stuff up. Via Messy Nessy Chic.

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‘The Art of Learning Street Photography’, by Eric Kim →

March 31, 2015 |

Eric Kim:

However the truth is that there are no limits for human excellence. At the end of the day, nobody has really figured out the limits of the human mind or the body. Every year in memory championships, the competitors are able to memorize more digits in their head. Every year in sprinting competitions, there is always a new world-record. There was a long time in which people thought that a 4-minute mile was almost impossible to achieve. Now there are high schoolers who are able to easily achieve a 4-minute mile.

What are your limits as a photographer? How good can you get? There really are no limits— so try to keep pushing yourself to see how good you can truly become. Growth is barrier-less.

Solid gold.

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Tim Cook: Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous →

March 30, 2015 |

Tim Cook, writing on The Washington Post:

Legislation being considered in Texas would strip the salaries and pensions of clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — even if the Supreme Court strikes down Texas’ marriage ban later this year. In total, there are nearly 100 bills designed to enshrine discrimination in state law.

These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.

It takes courage to speak up like this. Even more so when you’re CEO of the most valuable company in the world.

Say what you will about Tim Cook’s leadership of Apple but one thing is clear: he does not shy away from a fight.

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Jon Hamm reflects on Don Draper →

March 30, 2015 |

As the final season of Mad Men approaches, Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times sits down with Jon Hamm to reminisce about Don Draper. Via Stephen Hackett:

How this years-in-the-making narrative ends for Draper — conclusively or ambiguously; with his redemption or his demise — remains a secret that Mr. Hamm isn’t sharing. He has, however, managed to portray a character that has grown over seven seasons while nonetheless remaining trapped in an existential loop. In a recent interview, he spoke about some of the moments — triumphant and otherwise — that made Don Draper who he was. In these excerpts from that conversation, he recalls how these scenes were created and shares some final insights about the man they reveal.

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