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Archive for the ‘craft’ Category

The Batch

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The Batch:

I won’t bore you or your readers with the technical details on how I built the Batch. What interests me more is the design process. I find detailed accounts of nailing boards together tedious. When you build by eye like me and every other garden variety savage, you measure with your heart, lengths of string and arm spans. Sort of like a bird that has access to power tools. Plans would be useless. CAD even worse. I’ve learned that. Get my drift?

home for the winter

Home for the winter. The Batch sends a plume of smoke over the shed, thorugh the chestnut tree and down the valley.

Your creative process may vary but mine works like this. Doodle on receipts. Write your friends a letter. Send ‘em a sketch of your notion. Drink some whiskey. Smoke your pipe. At least that’s what I do. Napping is good for inspiration. Smart phones aren’t. First thing you should do when tackling a project like this is stomp on your iPhone. All they do is connect you to ideas that have already been built. So you end up cloning what’s been done before. Maybe that doesn’t bother you. It does me.

[I hope I can get to a place like this.]

Source: Tiny House Blog

Written by Daniel

September 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

Posted in craft, design, personal

Why We Should Care About 4,000th Ichiro Pro Hit

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Why We Should Care About 4,000th Ichiro Pro Hit — Daily Intelligencer:

But in at least one way, it doesn’t matter whether 4,000 professional hits is exactly as impressive as we’re trained to think it is because a lot of them came in Japan. Sports fans love round numbers, and we especially love large round numbers — the kind that take a career to accumulate. We make a big deal when a pitcher gets to 300 wins, or a slugger hits his 500th home run, or a hitter gets his 3,000th (or 4,000th) hit, and the main reason we do so is because it allows us a natural opportunity to reflect on the player’s career, which almost by definition is an impressive one. All-time greats like Ichiro deserve this sort of treatment; he and players like him ought to be celebrated as their careers wind down. New York fans have been through this a lot lately, with future Hall of Famers Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera reaching significant milestones in recent years. The prime of Ichiro’s career happened outside of New York, of course, but he’s in that class of player.

And so too much debate about the legitimacy of Ichiro’s 4,000 hits would obscure what should be (and for the most part is) happening now: a celebration of one of the most iconic baseball players ever. Yankee fans are watching an Ichiro whose best days are behind him, but even if we focus just on his American career, his time in Seattle was incredible. (At least his unorthodox-but-effective slap-swing — the one that helped him pick up an insane 262 hits in 2004 — still remains.) Ichiro’s American numbers are plenty good enough for induction into Cooperstown — he has a .320 career average thanks to a steady stream of singles — but it’s possible he won’t reach any major round-number milestones. (He’s 278 major-league hits away from 3,000, but he turns 40 this fall.) Which means this might be our best opportunity to collectively celebrate his career before it ends. Let’s be sure to take it.

[Let’s not forget this article that says a lot about how he went about this. With the recent debate over 10,000 hours (genetics vs. practice) let’s not forget that there’s always a practice component. There’s always relentless, focused, efficient practice involved.]

Source: Gruber

Written by Daniel

August 23, 2013 at 7:43 am

Posted in advocacy, commentary, craft, news

Sports, Complexity, and the Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule : The New Yorker

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Sports, Complexity, and the Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule : The New Yorker:

As it happens, I have been a runner and a serious track-and-field fan my entire life, and I have never seen a boy who was slow become fast either. For that matter, I’ve never met someone who thinks a boy who was slow can become fast. Epstein has written a wonderful book. But I wonder if, in his zeal to stake out a provocative claim on this one matter, he has built himself a straw man. The point of Simon and Chase’s paper years ago was that cognitively complex activities take many years to master because they require that a very long list of situations and possibilities and scenarios be experienced and processed. There’s a reason the Beatles didn’t give us “The White Album” when they were teen-agers. And if the surgeon who wants to fuse your spinal cord did some newfangled online accelerated residency, you should probably tell him no. It does not invalidate the ten-thousand-hour principle, however, to point out that in instances where there are not a long list of situations and scenarios and possibilities to master—like jumping really high, running as fast as you can in a straight line, or directing a sharp object at a large, round piece of cork—expertise can be attained a whole lot more quickly. What Simon and Chase wrote forty years ago remains true today. In cognitively demanding fields, there are no naturals.

[Gladwell and Epstein go at it. Looking forward to reading the book. And don’t miss this either.]

Written by Daniel

August 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Looking good while changing a flat

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Anatomy of a Photo: Rules Pioneer:

flat changing

[Some people can look good even while changing a flat.]

Source: Velominati

Written by Daniel

August 20, 2013 at 11:46 am

Posted in advocacy, craft, cycling


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My friends Matt and Christine got married today. Yesterday in…:

I have never ridden a segment in my life. I ride rides. To feel and fall into and be a celebrant of a road’s rhythm is better to me than to be a king of a thing that does not exist on that road. Someone read from The Song of Songs at Christine and Matt’s wedding, and Linus said, “Those of you who titter about the Song of Songs have no imagination.”

[I find both statement spectacularly true.]

Source: True BS

Written by Daniel

July 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Posted in craft, cycling, rides

→ Tail wagging

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→ Tail wagging:

Matt Gemmell on skeuomorphism and intuitive design:

Matt, a programmer by trade, addresses the skeuomorphism debate more effectively than most designers I’ve heard arguing about it.

[Here’s my pull quote:]

Children don’t seem to be having problems grasping those concepts, even if Jakob Neilsen thinks they should. They’re not confused by interactive data-surfaces; they’re frustrated when actual, printed content in the physical world doesn’t respond the way they now expect it to.

Intuitiveness has become unhelpfully conflated with familiarity. The reasoning is simple enough: things that are already familiar don’t have to be re-learned, so we assume that they’re more “intuitive”. That’s a big assumption, but we treat it as if it’s fact.

Sometimes, familiar things aren’t as intuitive as they could be, and a new, unfamiliar thing might be more so. Another possibility is that a new thing might be equally intuitive, but also have other benefits which justify its initial unfamiliarity. In either case, intuitiveness cannot be divorced from context.

∞ Permalink

[Spot on.]

Source: Marco.org

Written by Daniel

May 13, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Posted in craft, design, tech

Michael, Steve, & Lance

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OTL: Michael Jordan Has Not Left The Building – ESPN:

THE OPPOSITE OF this creeping nostalgia is the way Jordan has always collected slights, inventing them — nurturing them. He can be a breathtaking asshole: self-centered, bullying and cruel. That’s the ugly side of greatness. He’s a killer, in the Darwinian sense of the word, immediately sensing and attacking someone’s weakest spot.

[Same thing about Jobs. Same things about Lance. There are certain types of greatness that make it easy to, maybe nearly demand this behavior. I don’t think it’s required. I think it’s a flaw. But possibly one that keeps them human in the face of the searing burn they demanded of themselves.]

Written by Daniel

March 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Posted in advocacy, commentary, craft


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