Bookmarks – Milk it

Loving amateurs. (No, not like that.)

I want to take readers through some of my previous writing on ideology and character, and how they help form the societies we live in.  Taking the time to read these articles (a short book’s worth), should vastly improve your understanding of the world and the articles to come. It should be worth your time even if you read the articles when they were published, as, at the time, they lacked both context and commentary, and were not collated to be read together so that the connections were obvious.

The Role of Character and Ideology in Prosperity by Ian Welsh (1357 words).

So, let’s hear it for the amateurs. Be proud of your independence, your passion and your creativity. Just because you’re not being paid doesn’t mean you’re any less smart, appreciated or talented. Any job can earn money. (Besides, even professional writers are generally poorly-paid.) But it’s a rare and precious thing to find work that satisfies heart and soul. So if you love it, do it.

On Amateurs, and Why I Love Them. by Joanne Harris (854 words).


Without the logos, could you tell which companies own which screenshots? Does it matter? The pattern’s become its own trademark. Just one of the popular yet mediocre ones plaguing modern screen-based design.

What’s wrong?

Design machines by Travis Gertz.

We can’t trust the data. And those who do will always be stuck chasing a robotic approach to human connection.

Whether it’s a lack of our own critical thinking or external pressure clamping down, we shy away from carving our own path. Originality is risky. It’s difficult to quantify and defend. Why try something new when someone else has already tested it for us?

Content on the web is not king. Half the time it’s barely the jester. Unless created by an individual or one of the dwindling sources of legitimate journalism, it’s rarely produced for noble intentions like education or entertainment. It’s a tool with an agenda manufactured to drive business interests.

So ads are out of control even for sites. That’s so removed from the world of print, where an editor could veto or move an ad, that it’s boggling.

It’s this lack of control – the mad desire and demand by advertisers to get everything, indifferent to the effect of the user experience on the reader – that is driving people to adblockers. It’s a variant of the tragedy of the commons.

The adblocking revolution is months away (with iOS 9) – with trouble for advertisers, publishers and Google by charlesarthur (2559 words).

It strikes me as an inferior design decision, arising from inattention. It’s a minor problem, sure, and there are more pressing ones in the software. I have seen Apple Music streams drop mid-play; other users have lost music with iTunes Match.

iTunes Really Is That Bad by Robinson Meyer (1111 words).