A speech called “The Nontrepreneurial Spirit” about the benefits of working for companies, the crappy side of being an entrepreneur, and how to do what you want while getting paid vacations and not having to deal with accounting etc.
A prime-time sitcom where one of the minor characters is bitterly aware they are fictional but hides it from the others to not seem crazy.
A game where you hunt animals, then you hunt people, then you are hunted. For mobile phones.
Poison as a Service – firefox and chrome extensions that instead of hiding your actions on the web the perform more background noise type actions. Perhaps they swap your tracking ids with those of other users. For systems where there are insufficient penalties for putting in bad claims, make it much much easier to submit claims.
Key idea: When you are faced with an all consuming monster, you don’t fight it, you feed it more than it can handle. Let its strength become its weakness.
I had an idea a while back that WordPress is missing a good built in feed reader. Seems to me that Blog+Microblog+Image Gallery + feedreader + email – Freedom = Facebook. WordPress has built up the ability to do a blog, a microblog, and post your pictures. Everybody already has email, Facebook just has your contact list more than everything else does. What you need is a good feed reader where your write – for inspiration, and because the web is a conversation, natch.
Here’s a quick mockup, mainly coming from my experiences with TT-RSS and Google Reader. Now, I’d really appreciate some help here – the idea is that this would something for more than just me. So, if you want, you can download Pencil Sketching – the wireframe app that I’ve used to make these wireframes. It is free and open source! You can then open up this file with all the sketch information – or clone it on github!
Cinemagraphs are beautiful little pictures where most of it is still and some of it is moving.
Let me show, not tell:
Yes, this one is moving. Patience.
Our vision works by making comparisons to what it last saw. This is why we are best at seeing things that are in motion. This is why advertisements always have things zooming at us and flashing. Your whole visual system is designed to detect big differences and motion. They are what prey and predator look like.
This is why the best cinemagraphs are subtle, so very subtle.
My first thought was: Oh, like Harry Potter.
And then I thought – wouldn’t that be so boss to write a story and have these little gems in it?
So far, I’ve written a story that illustrates itself anew every viewing by grabbing pics from flickr and a poem with moving tentacles. If I have another story, and it fits, I’d like to illustrate it with something still and small and wonderful like these.
Some places I’ve seen great cinemagraphs:From Me To You and If We Don’t, Remember Me.
Steven Johnson writes about great subjects. “Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation” is a very good subject as it is about the patterns that underlie greatness.
Steven identifies a few key patterns that come up again and again with good ideas.
The adjacent possible – Good ideas are of their time, not ahead of their time. They are an extension of what is already around us. You see this in how great ideas seem to spring up from multiple people all at the same time in simultaneous invention. The example of a great idea failing because it is too far ahead of its time is Lord Babbage’s Analytical Engine – the idea was sound, but the technology of the world couldn’t put it into place.
The Liquid network. Ideas get better when they rub against each other – the reason so many good ideas come out of places like NYC and SF and the coffee houses of the renaissance isn’t that these places are magical or that the people there are smarter. People are talking to each other more in those places. There are more informal networks and ideas being passed back and forth among multiple disciplines.
The Slow Hunch: Sometimes ideas have to bake. We all applaud the dream that James Watson of the double helix structure of DNA. It fits our Romantic notion of great discovery happening as a flash of genius. The reality is that you need to study for ten years, immersing yourself in a subject, nursing along a hunch, before the flash of insight can come. You don’t know what is important until later, so it is important to keep track of those little hunches for later – revisiting them with new information can help them bear sudden fruit.
Now, the book contains more patterns, but the meat is all there in the first three. The idea of exaption is contained within the adjacent possible, serendipity and error are contained in the liquid network. What this book is good for – it contains some good description of the real history of ideas and idea making, dispels some of the romantic and disruptive myths of ideation, and prescribes a few practices that make good ideas more likely.
“If there is a single maxim that runs through this book’s arguments, it is that we are often better served by connecting ideas than we are by protecting them”
It is, as are most books these days, overlong. Brevity is still a good idea, but I think the market demands that books be a certain size.
The place where you speak should be the place where you listen.
Continue reading Project Idea: WordpRSS
Blame Carly for bringing this up.
I’m terrible at color schemes. I have a coder’s idea of color. Sure, people have written careful articles explaining how to pick a color scheme. Sure there’s even a website that helps you pick color schemes.
But why not make it easier, and have a wordpress plugin that does it for me? Continue reading Project Idea: AutoThemer
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