“But circumstances in the Tenderloin are not normal. And San Francisco is not a normal city. Barring a seismic shift in city politics, the TL is not going to gentrify the way that similar neighborhoods have in other cities. Not next year. Not in five years. Maybe never. For better or worse, it will likely remain a sanctuary for the poor, the vulnerable, and the damaged—and the violence and disorder that inevitably comes with them. The thousands of working people, seniors, and families, including many Southeast Asians, who make up a silent two-thirds majority of the Tenderloin’s 30,000 residents will remain there. And so will the thousands of not-so-silent mentally ill people, addicts, drunks, and ex-cons who share the streets with them—as well as the predators who come in from the outside to exploit them. The Tenderloin will remain the great anomaly of neighborhoods: a source of stubborn pride for San Francisco, or an acute embarrassment—or both.”—
“The third-party tools Twitter gave to developers were being harnessed by hundreds of companies and apps that used Twitter’s content (Twitterrific, Twitteroo, Twitterholic, Tweetbar, Twittervision, and Twadget, to name a few).”—
“Rabble often sat programming with one hand, scratching his testicles with the other.”—Highlighted by Rod Begbie in Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton
“With colleagues at Harvard Business School and The Wharton School, I recently conducted a study that involved video pitches for new companies that used slides, an identical script, and a voice-over from either a male or female “founder.” It turned out that companies pitched by men were about 40 percent more likely to receive funding than those led by women. In a follow-up experiment, we found that evaluators particularly favor pitches from attractive men, and that attractive women do worse than unattractive men and women.”—
“One Saturday morning, Jim asked Kenworthy to join him for a meeting with a Swedish filmmaker who hoped to hire the Creature Shop to construct realistic-looking animals for a foreign film called Animal Farm—though as the pitch unfolded, and the director described a story of a nubile young girl who spent her summer tending to animals on a farm in the country, it was clear the filmmaker was not planning to film the George Orwell novel. Kenworthy was ready to dismiss the project outright, but noticed Jim listening with real interest. “Why not just use real animals?” Jim asked earnestly. The foreign filmmaker shrugged. “The sex scenes will be more difficult to do with real animals,” he explained. A horrified Kenworthy nearly erupted in outrage at the idea of building creatures for an X-rated film, but Jim merely kept nodding and hmmming. “It sounds like an art film,” said Jim to Kenworthy, “and I think it could be interesting. Besides, don’t we need the money for the Creature Shop?” Kenworthy blanched. “It all sounds tawdry to me,” he finally spluttered—and Jim exploded into his high-pitched giggle, unable to contain himself any longer. Laughter erupted from just outside the room, where Muppet performers had been hidden just out of sight, witness to—and videotaping—the entire elaborate prank.”—Highlighted by Rod Begbie in Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones
“One early Twitter employee used to say that the company succeeded in spite of itself, and in some ways, that’s true. While it was clear for years that Twitter was going to be huge, it wasn’t clear until very recently — as many Twitter employees privately confessed to me — that it wasn’t going to be the next Myspace or Friendster: great ideas that became great failures on account of bad management. For many, that only began to change when the company felt like just that, a company. It’s unclear what responsibility Dorsey can take for this. As one former Twitter employee has said, “The greatest product Jack Dorsey ever made was Jack Dorsey.”—
It stuck with me, and one of the reasons it did is because I had been evaluating all these different investment opportunities, and what I realized, in researching and learning what “rich” people did with their money, that many of the investment opportunities they consider do almost nothing putting that capital back to work in jobs. Simply put, the whole notion that rich people create jobs is pretty much a lie. I’m greatly simplifying, but most of their time, energy and money is spent plotting how to make slightly more time, money and energy, without risking too much of a loss. And rarely, if ever, does job creation enter into it. It is almost NEVER discussed or viewed as a benefit, except when Republicans get on the teevee and tell people about the wealthy creating jobs. It is a flat out lie. I’m telling you, they don’t care, it doesn’t figure into their considerations at all.
1Password 4.0 got released today. I’m a passionate advocate of using it to manage your passwords.
Using the same password on every site is a horribly broken idea, and trying to remember a gajillion different passwords is impossible. Using 1Password on Mac and syncing with iPhone means you can move to a compromised state where you remember one master password, but every site has something different. Highly, _highly_ recommended.
“The current freneticism is a very different animal from the original dot-com boom. For one thing, the companies racing to go public this September actually have revenues and what passes for real business models, something that was very often simply not the case in 1999 and early 2000. For another, 60 percent of the U.S. population is walking around with networked supercomputers in their pockets that they are constantly using for all kinds of commercial purposes. That’s not hype — that is the essence of 2013.”—
“Shit needs to work! Delight means testing your code like an adult rather than moving fast and breaking things like an energetic, baby hippo. Baby hippos are cute but you don’t want one holding your credit card is what I am saying.”—How About Some Fucking Whimsy?
And, even today, I love @Horse_Ebooks. A lot. Every day it was a gift. There were some days—thankfully not all that many—where it was the only thing I looked forward to. I know that that was true for others as well. The absurd beauty. The stars-stars-stars of it all. Whatever the province. Whatever the backstory. Whether it was code-driven, or all hand-made artisanal. It was wonderful.
“Now, I like to think that we have a clever group of people. We stay on top of technological advances. We have good imaginations and read comic books and speculative fiction. We have well-considered opinions about monorails, vat-grown meats, and how to defend a space station from a zombie attack. (Lure zombies into the air lock with vat-grown meat while escaping on a monorail.)”—Highlighted by Rod Begbie in Just Enough Research by Erika Hall
I’m seeing a bunch of friends backing a Kickstarter project for an “ice kit”. For $50, you get a silicone mould, a sack, a chisel and a wooden club. It’s a beautifully designed kit, and the sort of thing that would sell handily on the shelves of Williams-Sonoma.
I’m not paying $50 to back it. I urge you not to either.
The guys who are making this have run several previous Kickstarters. It’s already met almost double its funding goal. It will be made. Save your $50 now and wait for the online store in a year where you can get overnight shipping.
Instead, inspired by the lovely Robin Sloan, I’m backing it for $1.
I often find myself spending a dollar just to “subscribe” to a Kickstarter project—to get access to the updates & see how it plays out. — @robinsloan
This way, I get to see the story of the production, but can wait and see how the production turns out and choose in the future if I want to drop fifty bucks on the product. I can see my friends’ reviews. Maybe the clear cubes don’t really work. Maybe the silicone mould breaks after 3 uses. Maybe they get it and never use it because it’s a hassle. I can be an informed consumer.
Instead of making purchases of products that may never exist (See the current disaster of the Instacube where thousands of people paid $150 for a product that realistically will probably never be produced), I’m choosing to throw small ($10-ish) donations to projects I just want to see happen.
I’m incredibly weary of Kickstarter-as-preorder. All too often, the items in the “product design” categories feel like the “As Seen On TV” ads of the internet, except without any guarantee that something will show up on your doorstep, no matter how cheap, shitty or plasticky.
Try backing the weird stuff. The creative projects that should exist. Throwing $10 to a project that might not make it is far more rewarding a “reward” than buying the crap-that-you’ll-never-really-use of the future.
“I know: it’s hard to accept that a single squirrel can disrupt and frustrate thousands of people at a time, switching off our electrified lives for hours. But since Memorial Day, I’ve cataloged reports of 50 power outages caused by squirrels in 24 states. (And these, of course, are only those power outages severe enough to make the news.)”—Squirrel Power! - NYTimes.com