Taking Things Apart

That's Called Design

Where is the evidence that Apple’s control-freak/perfectionist nature has hurt Apple in the market — for phones, for iPods, or for computers? “We’re going to make these decisions for you and offer a limited number of choices” is indeed the company’s philosophy. That’s called design.

Nothing fundamentally wrong here, just bring me a couple of rock stars

I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple shipped a cheap iPhone. And there’s nothing fundamental in Android that would get in the way of a industrial-design and user-experience rock-star team, whether at Google or one of the handset makers, testing the hypothesis that these things are central to Apple’s success.

Isn’t google the king of spending millions to test a hypothesis? If all it takes is a few Rock Stars of industrial-design and user-experience then surely that’s cheap enough for Google to test.

I’m pretty sure it is something fundamental but even if that’s not the case I just can’t see how anyone can think it’s as easy for Google (or a 3rd party) to develop and sell a high-priced handset with good industrial-design and user-experience as it is for Apple to get the costs down on one of their handsets that is already well designed and provides an excellent user-experience.

The Most Wrong Anyone Has Ever Been

Note that someone just gave a confidence level of 10^4478296 to one and was wrong. This is the sort of thing that should never ever happen. This is possibly the most wrong anyone has ever been.

Obviously the author has never worked in internet advertising

Die XML. Die

Disagree with author that “how to make HTML5 play more nicely with XML” is something a modern web developer should more than a second thinking about but I wholy agree with this statement:

In particular, JSON shines as a programming language-independent representation of typical programming language data structures. This is an incredibly important use case and it would be hard to overstate how appallingly bad XML is for this.

This is my favorite thing about JSON. I think it’s something Crockford has a rare skill for. When most programmers look at something, their first thought is often “What should I add to make this thing more powerful?” Doug took the JavaScript language and extracted out of it a thing that is arguably as useful as the language itself.

Group problem solving

Norman R. F. Maier noted that when a group faces a problem, the natural tendency of its members is to propose possible solutions as they begin to discuss the problem.  Consequently, the group interaction focuses on the merits and problems of the proposed solutions, people become emotionally attached to the ones they have suggested, and superior solutions are not suggested.  Maier enacted an edict to enhance group problem solving: "Do not propose solutions until the problem has been discussed as thoroughly as possible without suggesting any."


I pause. “Well…” I say slowly. “Frankly, I’m not entirely sure myself where this ‘reality’ business comes from. I can’t create my own reality in the lab, so I must not understand it yet. But occasionally I believe strongly that something is going to happen, and then something else happens instead. I need a name for whatever-it-is that determines my experimental results, so I call it ‘reality’. This ‘reality’ is somehow separate from even my very best hypotheses. Even when I have a simple hypothesis, strongly supported by all the evidence I know, sometimes I’m still surprised. So I need different names for the thingies that determine my predictions and the thingy that determines my experimental results. I call the former thingies ‘belief’, and the latter thingy ‘reality’.”

”- I said that ‘truth’ is an excuse used by some cultures to enforce their beliefs on others. So when you say something is ‘true’, you mean only that it would be advantageous to your own social group to have it believed.”

“And this that you have said,” I say, “is it true?”

“Absolutely, positively true!” says Mark emphatically. “People create their own realities.”

Freedom is kind of a hobby with me

Penn Jillette back in ‘02 on the TSA

She said, “Well, you know a LOT about this.” I said, “Well, it’s not really the right word, but freedom is kind of a hobby with me, and I have disposable income that I’ll spend to find out how to get people more of it.”

Here’s hoping he’s doing what he can to help the TSA “meet resistance” with their new procedures.

"Is this an episode of the twilight zone?"

Creativity & Mistakes

If you do creative work, there’s a sense that inspiration is this fairy dust that gets dropped on you, when in fact you can just manufacture inspiration through sheer brute force. You can simply produce enough material that the thing will arrive that seems inspired.

Last year or the year before, two stories of ours won awards at the Third Coast International Audio Festival, and both of them were stories that I thought we shouldn’t do. I was adamant about it. My senior producer was totally for these stories and totally saw the potential in them, and I was like, “Look, sure, go ahead, but there’s no way. These aren’t even interesting to me.” And they turned out to be really great stories. I was totally wrong. That happens a lot.