The Age of Mechanical Reproduction

The Age of Mechanical Reproduction:

Paul Ford, back in July, a lovely gut-wrenching piece for The Morning News. Read it, you won’t regret it. Then, when you’re done, read today’s postscript.

[Many years ago I had a discussion with Lisa about “how far to go” to have a baby. What interventions were cool, and what was “it wasn’t meant to be” for us. This brought all of it back… and 6 years of incredible joy. I wonder if my answer would be different knowing what I know…]
Source: Daring Fireball

I am a job creator who creates no jobs

I am a job creator who creates no jobs: I should add that I am in no danger of being caught in the net of President Obama’s proposed millionaires’ tax. I pay the accountants a few thousand dollars, and they make sure I am not paying more in taxes than I should be. (Note to the IRS: They do this in ways that are conservative, entirely above-board and so innocuous that they should not attract your interest in the slightest.)

While there is something absurd about being a one-man corporation, it’s a rational response to an irrational tax code. If lawmakers got serious about tax reform that removed loopholes, the money spent on accountants and actuaries (valuable though they are) could instead be used to grow the economy or to pay the federal debt. But that’s a matter for another day.

At the moment, the Ink-Stained Inc. case study, should the Harvard Business School wish to study it, is a reminder to be skeptical of the “job creator” argument in the tax debate. “It’s a good example of the murkiness of what we mean by small business and the connection to jobs,” William Gale, co-director of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center, told me. “There’s sort of this notion of small-business innovation and job creation that just doesn’t necessarily hold.”

That’s even more so with Obama’s “Buffett Rule,” under which millionaires would have to pay a higher tax rate than a typical middle-class worker. As a practical matter, most already do. Gale said the rule would raise the taxes on only a few thousand people, perhaps as few as 1,000.

In a nation of more than 300 million, that’s not going to make a dent in job creation. Even the data analysts at Ink-Stained Inc. could figure out that one — that is, if we had any data analysts.

[It comes down to… if politicians are talking… they’re lying.]

You Have Every Right to Photograph That Cop

You Have Every Right to Photograph That Cop: “Taking photographs and video of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right — and that includes the outside of federal buildings, as well as transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties.

However, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs or video in public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply. The ACLU, photographer’s groups, and others have been complaining about such incidents for years — and consistently winning in court. Yet, a continuing stream of incidents of illegal harassment of photographers and videographers makes it clear that the problem is not going away.”

[It’s a huge mess. From my perspective this problem has grown greatly over the years…]



I had fallen out of love with LinkedIn a long time ago, but last week’s sneaky move (read about it here) pushed me over the edge. What a lost opportunity. LinkedIn was built on such a fantastic core idea. And then they tried to be twitter-and-facebook-and-everything-else at once. Bummer.

But don’t worry, here’s a new service that seems to be getting it right: Zerply is a beautifully designed service that let’s you find like minded people by tags, skills, location and let’s you set up a public profile themed by world class designers.

You’re dreading entering all your information again? No worries, you can import all of your information directly from LinkedIn during the setup. Easy peasy.

I hope that Behance will strike a deal with them and let us display our portfolios on Zerply as well.

Hat tip to the team behind Zerply. They site is beautifully designed and well considered. Here’s my public Zerply my profile.

[Seems like a good idea… but I haven’t tried it yet…]
Source: swissmiss


ConvertMyFlash: Flash sites don’t show up well on the 5 BILLION smartphones and don’t show up at all on 200 Million iPads + iPhones out there. By magically setting you up with an HTML5 version of your site (powered by WordPress), the web wizards over at ConvertMyFlash make your site accessible on the mini screen and infectiously shareable on all social media sites. PLUS: the process can turn your site into a rankings queen on Google. With CMF, your site hits soar (learn more). [Slowly the wheels grind…]
Source: swissmiss

Sitting and Standing at Work

Sitting and Standing at Work:

Ergonomic experts at Cornell don’t recommend standing desks, instead:

Sit to do computer work. Sit using a height-adjustable, downward
titling keyboard tray for the best work posture, then every 20
minutes stand for 2 minutes AND MOVE. The absolute time isn’t
critical but about every 20-30 minutes take a posture break and
move for a couple of minutes. Simply standing is insufficient.

[A big problem at work, we talk and work on these skills quite a bit. We’ve sat on exercise balls, we’ve changed positions, we stand. We’ll keep trying to make this healthier for ourselves.]
Source: Daring Fireball

upgrading pie from rails 3.0 to 3.1

upgrading pie from rails 3.0 to 3.1: Whenever I upgrade Rails, I always start with “rails new” so that I get all the new config file goodness — I want to start fresh with whatever the new defaults are and then only make the modifications that I really want in my app. Here’s the process I went through upgrading the pie “bakery” (a relative simple Rails 3.0 app) to Rails 3.1. [ok]
Source: the evolving ultrasaurus

A Pattern Language

"When I was a child, I thought
God was disappointed
whenever some distraction interrupted...
Now I know that God expects such interruptions,
for He knows our frailty.
It is completion that surprises Him."

--From the God Whispers of Han Qing-jao

Noah loves playing with patterns. Colors, shapes, letters, lego pieces, alternation, similarity… the whole gamut.

But he also gets upset when for one reason or another he can’t complete a pattern the way he’d like. Lack of resources, lack of concentration. What have you. He likes a nice tidy world from that perspective (although not from many others…)

There’s much yet to teach.

On Pacifism (Part of what I wrote on 9/14/2001)

A moment form my personal Wayback Machine: On Pacifism: “I hate war. I hate destruction. I cry my way through the reports of those who cannot yet release the hope that their loved ones will return despite what they have seen. You can feel the disturbance in the City. Not just in the quiet, or the change in rhythm, but in the disruption of lives. Those “lost” are present, infused with the anguish of those they left behind.”

There’s some more with emergency information and quotes and pictures lost in the transition from one bit of software to another. The release of anxiety I felt when all the first responder folks I know had checked in with their families. But I can still feel the changes from back then if I care to.

We avoided the coverage this weekend as the 10th anniversary passed. I didn’t want to relive those moments. But I did the love the story of Camp America, which now closed it doors, its goal accomplished, and of the flag that has been mended and patched by folks all over… and then part of me wondered what I wrote…


I pray for peace.