God, Darwin and my college Biology class | The New York Times →

October 02, 2014 |

David P. Barash:

I’m a biologist, in fact an evolutionary biologist, although no biologist, and no biology course, can help being “evolutionary.” My animal behavior class, with 200 undergraduates, is built on a scaffolding of evolutionary biology.

And that’s where The Talk comes in. It’s irresponsible to teach biology without evolution, and yet many students worry about reconciling their beliefs with evolutionary science. Just as many Americans don’t grasp the fact that evolution is not merely a “theory,” but the underpinning of all biological science, a substantial minority of my students are troubled to discover that their beliefs conflict with the course material.

It’s really difficult for me to accept that Evolution vs. Creation is still an actual debate today.

Via Kottke.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢
♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Little things that improve the way Shawn Blanc works on a Mac →

October 02, 2014 |

Plenty of useful tips from Shawn here on how to use automation tasks as part of your workflow to improve daily productivity:

Computers are great at doing the boring, automated stuff we don’t like to do. So why not automate common tasks (like performing backups of your computer), pre-make decisions for your computer to carry out on your behalf (such as auto-filing certain email newsletters), and generally just find ways to make yourself more efficient?

Good stuff. He makes an interesting point towards the end:

It can be easy to get hyper nerdy about this stuff, and to spend forever and a day tinkering and fiddling and “optimizing”. I listed out the above things not to say that you should be utilizing them as well, but instead to give you an idea of perhaps one or two ways that you could work smarter.

He’s right on the money here, and it made me think of this wonderful xkcd comic from last year:

Is It Worth the Time?

That could very well serve as a rough guideline, to keep things in perspective before you start going crazy with the automation scripts.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Ben Brooks on newsletters and magazine apps →

October 02, 2014 |

Speaking of Ben Brooks, this is a great essay:

I could have a magazine, but what do I decide to publish in the magazine versus here? And when someone asks me to define my rules, and I cannot define them, that’s how and when I know there are no rules and thus no need for two publishing platforms.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Can we trust Uber? →

October 02, 2014 |

Peter Sims:

Then, a funny thing happened. One night, a couple of years ago, I was in an Uber SUV in NYC, headed to Penn Station to catch the train to Washington DC when I got a text message from a tech socialite of sorts (I’ll spare her name because Gawker has already parodied her enough), but she’s someone I hardly know, asking me if I was in an Uber car at 33th and 5th (or, something like that). I replied that I was indeed, thinking that she must be in an adjacent car. Looking around, she continued to text with updates of my car’s whereabouts, so much so that I asked the driver if others could see my Uber location profile? “No,” he replied, “that’s not possible.”

Of course, Betteridge’s Law of Headlines applies. Shameful.

Via Ben Brooks.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Matt Gemmell on the Apple Watch →

October 02, 2014 |

There are already smartwatches available, and they’re all also gadgets. They live in the tech sector too, and they’ve been designed and marketed as such, to the same old crowd of consumers. They are geek toys, without exception.

Apple doesn’t care about that market, because it’s a tiny segment of an industry they already dominate. What Apple cares about is the wristwatch market.

Excellent piece, and I’m largely in agreement. There’s no doubt that the Apple Watch will be extremely popular among geeks, and even mainstream consumers. What’s not so clear is whether it will succeed in charming users of traditional, mechanical watches. Those are a different kind of customer altogether, one that Apple has never courted before.

That is what may ultimately make or break the Apple Watch’s case as a timeless, iconic device, and take it beyond the space occupied by typical tech gadgets in people’s minds. Judging from Apple’s marketing strategy thus far, it looks like they’re keenly aware of that, and are acting accordingly.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Hamster Wheel Standing Desk →

October 01, 2014 |

Rise up, sedentary sentients, and unleash that untapped potential within by marching endlessly towards a brilliant future of focused work. Step forward into a world of infinite potential, bounded only by the smooth arcs of a wheel. Step forward into the Hamster Wheel Standing Desk that will usher in a new era of unprecedented productivity.

I need to get me one of these.

Via Coudal Partners.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

The Gentleman's Wager →

October 01, 2014 |

Amazing commercial for Johnnie Walker Blue Label, starring Jude Law and Giancarlo Giannini, and directed by Jake Scott.

It’s stuff like this that makes me wish I liked scotch.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Vogue magazine profiles Jony Ive →

October 01, 2014 |

Robert Sullivan:

Noticeably, his phone neither rings nor vibrates; he has designed the moment for concentration. He nurses a white mug of tea, and the only thing in the room besides an iPhone is the pair of reading glasses designed by his friend Marc Newson and tucked into the front of his T-shirt: simple, delicate, but clear and strong. “I wish I could articulate this more effectively,” he continues, addressing his ambitions as a designer. “But it is to have that sense that you know there couldn’t possibly be a sane or rational alternative.”

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

A Dead World at Sunset | The Last Word on Nothing →

October 01, 2014 |

Jessa Gamble:

In mid-bound, the dog’s head swings up and his eyes lock onto me. Halting on a dime, he stares at me, and I at him. Very close. If he were a car, I could read his license plate. After an interminable five seconds, he turns and trots along at ninety degrees.

Then I see the others: first two, then three more. All huge, white-grey, stunning. I finally map their features onto what I know only from David Attenborough films.



♤ ♧ ♡ ♢