→ You’re doing your weekend wrong

In other words, getting self-actualized is the whole point of life, and passive, hedonistic leisure (fun and occasionally necessary as it might be) won’t get you there.

TL;DR: Plan fulfilling weekends, don’t just Netflix binge for short dopamine hits.

If you find this article interesting, I recommend reading Dan Pink’s book ‘Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us’. Motivational psychology is fascinating, it’s like reading the cheat sheet to life.

→ In a few years, no investors are going to be looking for AI startups

Frank Chen, Andreessen Horowitz:

Not having state-of-the-art AI techniques powering their software would be like not having a relational database in their tech stack in 1980 or not having a rich Windows client in 1987 or not having a Web-based front end in 1995 or not being cloud native in 2004 or not having a mobile app in 2009. In other words, in a small handful of years, software without AI will be unthinkable.

So ambitious founders will need to invest some other way to differentiate themselves from the crowd — and investors will be looking for other ways to decide whether to fund a startup. And investors will stop looking for AI-powered startups in exactly the same way they don’t look for database-inside or cloud-native or mobile-first startups anymore. All those things are just assumed.

It’s remarkable how fast you find yourself with shifting baselines.

→ Do schools kill creativity?

I’ve been thinking about education recently, so this video has been on my mind. I know there’s lots of different schools of thought (pun unintended) on the best methods for teaching the minds of tomorrow, but this video from 2006 definitely raises some intriguing points for discussion.

→ Stop hating everything new

David Chartier, writing for Finer Things in Tech:

But frankly I’m sick of it. Why was the old new stuff any better or more amazing than the new new stuff? I can’t find a legitimate reason for it. Snapchat isn’t terrible and you aren’t old. There are a thousand guides out there to explain how Snapchat works. It won’t kill you to look one up. I’ve seen all ages of people have to teach each other. You’re not inherent old, and no I don’t care what your age is.

Know what makes you old? Getting so insistently stuck in your ways that you shit on everything new just because it might not make immediate sense to you, or it might require effort or a change of habit.

Computers were originally dubbed a fad. So was the internet. Get some fucking perspective and join us. This stuff is fun and amazing and the world is still changing for the better. Otherwise get out of the way.

Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.

→ Do not buy or keep a Vizio TV

Federal Trade Commission:

Starting in 2014, Vizio made TVs that automatically tracked what consumers were watching and transmitted that data back to its servers. Vizio even retrofitted older models by installing its tracking software remotely. All of this, the FTC and AG allege, was done without clearly telling consumers or getting their consent.

What did Vizio know about what was going on in the privacy of consumers’ homes? On a second-by-second basis, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the screen that it matched to a database of TV, movie, and commercial content. What’s more, Vizio identified viewing data from cable or broadband service providers, set-top boxes, streaming devices, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Add it all up and Vizio captured as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs.

Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal. The company provided consumers’ IP addresses to data aggregators, who then matched the address with an individual consumer or household. Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification of consumers and households by name, but allowed a host of other personal details – for example, sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership. And Vizio permitted these companies to track and target its consumers across devices.

And here I thought it was bad enough that ultrasonic ad tracking was a thing.

→ On hiding vs encapsulating complexity

John Gruber discussing Twitter’s experimental reply interface.

The fundamental problem with most designers of complex systems intended for mass market use is that they decide to hide complexity. They won’t admit it — they’ll deny it even — but it’s because they’re disdainful of their users. They think their users are stupid, so they need to present them with a design for stupid people. If they weren’t stupid they wouldn’t be confused, right?

That’s fundamentally wrong. If people are confused with a design, the problem is with the design, not with the users. It’s Twitter’s designers who aren’t smart enough, not Twitter’s users, because if Twitter’s designers were smart enough, they’d come up with a design that wasn’t confusing by encapsulating rather than merely hiding complexity. It’s the difference between actually cleaning up a mess versus just sweeping the mess under a rug. This new Twitter reply interface is a “sweep it under the rug” design.

A good “simple” design will help users to understand what is actually going on, how a thing actually works. A bad “simple” design will leave users just as confused as ever with even less chance of figuring it out, because what they need to see to understand it is hidden.

→ The PowerPoint slide that brought down a space shuttle

Looked this up after seeing it mentioned in The Sizzle, a newsletter I highly recommend signing up for.

Tufte’s point is that PowerPoint mimics the hierarchical structure of big business organisations, which is a bad way to communicate. Information is sliced into logical bits and truncated to the point of unclarity; as the information is passed up through an org structure, slides are deleted until only a brief summary remains. Context is lost; key points disappear; the narrative is destroyed. Or in this case, the astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia died.

What does Tufte recommend? Give people in meetings a short written report, that they digest as the meeting begins. Then talk, talk, about the real issues.

→ Print parts first

The first thing you should print after purchasing a 3D printer is replacement parts for said printer

That way if one piece breaks, you can easily swap it out without having to order a part. Most 3D printers have at least a half dozen parts built from 3D printed parts. Also, make sure that the first thing you print after replacing a part is another one of those parts.

Woah, what a concept.