Bookmarks – What Would Kamala Khan Do?

Something awesome for sure.




The science industry suffers in immeasurable ways from not recognizing the potential of actively working with people outside of the science community. By having a fresh set of eyes from those who solve different types of problems across a variety of industries, new concepts often emerge and go on to influence scientific processes, communication and discoveries in unexpected ways. Ivory towers can absolutely get by in continuing to stay tunnel-focused, but the forfeiture of countless clever approaches made by maintaining such a narrow path is reckless.

Adults Are The Future by Ariel Waldman (1504 words).





The panel’s condescending description and its all-male lineup concerned us, but Gen Con responded quickly. In addition to finding female creators to join the discussion, Gen Con (and panelists like Gene Ha and Jim Zub) were vocal in their relief that a panel about women would now include some women’s voices.

Being an ally can be complicated, but it’s not hard to not be an asshole; although I appreciated that Gen Con and its panelists were so reasonable in addressing our concerns, I wasn’t surprised. Why shouldn’t they be reasonable? Of all the “radical” things feminists can be accused of, asking for at least one woman to be included in a discussion about women hardly seems extreme.

Unless you ask Bill Willingham, I guess.

[UPDATED] Dissenting Opinions May Occur: Some Thoughts on Yesterday’s Troubling “Writing Women Friendly Comics” Panel by Carolyn Cox (3103 words).



Just go there and read it (gif form only, I’m afraid). Salma Hayek is awesome.


I was surprised by two things: how readily most of the kids understood what design was for, and how they can express things through it; and also, for someone who specialises in explaining things to a target audience, how it took me doing a talk to children, to force me to confront my own profession, and explain its value in clear terms.

Explaining graphic design to four-year-olds by Dean Vipond (1221 words).


Gender is not a clearly defined ‘female’ or ‘male’ construct. It can include a range of identities in-between, and labels identifying these identities are still in a state of flux.

Some people may also be in transition, or move between different genders frequently. This makes it difficult to provide sensible options on a form.

For a few people, being forced to declare themselves as ‘female’ or ‘male’ may lead to dropping out of a form.

Government Service Design Manual by Nameless Government Lackey (540 words).

Good advice from the UK government service design manual.


Screenshot from Wikipedia


Part of the problem is, of course, straight-up misogyny (not to mention unfounded fears about Fake Geek Girls co-opting everything nerdy men love), but it’s also the fact that men are genuinely unaccustomed to seeing women in films. In a 2013 interview with NPR, Geena Davis discussed how the under-representation of women both onscreen and off leads men to have a skewed sense of what gender parity looks like.

Davis cited a recent study that examined the ratio of men and women in groups, explaining that researchers “found that if there's 17 percent women, the men in the group think it's 50-50. And if there's 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.”

The real reason some men still can’t handle the all-female ‘Ghostbusters’ by Anne Thériault (1159 words).


As platforms become publishers, in other words, controversial content becomes the platforms’ fight. And while platforms are new and rich and incentivized to remain as independent as possible from external pressure—tech companies hate outside meddling!—this says nothing about the meddling they might do in their spaces: They make their money by placing ads in front of, beside, and between content. What they’ll find worth defending against the objections of their own advertisers is neither settled nor obvious. Some platforms might rise to the challenge, and will be better equipped to do, given their size and resources, than any publication alone. It doesn’t help that some of our most recent precedents for these types of arrangements read like satire of automated bureaucracy.

Mutually Assured Content by John Herrman (3410 words).


In short, reading is no way to learn. Increasingly I’m thinking reading is about pleasure. Yes, ideas are good. But seriously, we do not need to know what Pluto looks like in order to survive. We are curious. We like learning. But that doesn’t mean we have to read to learn.

Stop shaming people who don’t like to read by Penelope Trunk (563 words).

This cause a bit of a negative reaction when I originally shared it on Twitter (“The barbarians are at the gates! The barbarians are at the gates!”) but the unfortunate fact is that reading is a horrible horrible way to learn, acquire and retain new information, and develop skills. It only works for a small minority of learners.

Books have, so far, been chosen by the education system because it’s the only way they could industrialise the process. We don’t use books because they are a good way to learn.

Reading is fun, though, and that’s what keeps books alive.



Yesterday I wrote about games as pleasurable learning engines that offer up skills to master, and reward you with ever-greater challenges & opportunities. Progress metrics like points, badges, and levels are icing on this learning/mastery cake. They help you gauge where you stand, and how far you’ve come - but they’re meaningless as a stand-alone system without an underlying learning engine to keep you truly engaged.

The Player’s Journey by Amy Jo Kim (364 words).

Amy Jo Kim always speaks eminent sense. And another one of hers:

Games are pleasurable learning engines. It feels good  to engage our brains and get better at something. Think about the series of experiences you have while learning, playing and mastering a game (or game-like service). Over time you absorb the rules, build your skills, tackle ever-greater challenges - and if the game is deep and interesting, you're transformed in some way by playing.

To make your product or service truly compelling and game-like, forget points - think character transformation. Try sketching out how you’ll deliver a transformative Player Journey using onboarding, habit-building and mastery. Once you know the skill you're building, and the overall shape of the journey, you can confidently light your player's path to mastery - and deliver a truly compelling experience.

What makes games compelling? by Amy Jo Kim (287 words).


I confided to one of my coworkers that I was worried about people keeping this “weak” image of me in mind even after I returned to full health after seeing me so many times on VC calls lying in bed. I told him how I would try to hide my emergency trips to the hospital, so people didn’t think I was unreliable. But to my surprise, he told me that most people in the office were impressed by how strong they thought I was throughout all this — both for continuing to care about my team and their efforts, and for my outlook and positivity. It was the last sentiment I would have imagined.

What a leader looks like by Fidji Simo (900 words).




According to a recent report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, of the 1000 most popular Facebook videos of Q1 2015, 725 were stolen re-uploads. Just these 725 “freebooted” videos were responsible for around 17 BILLION views last quarter. This is not insignificant, it’s the vast majority of Facebook’s high volume traffic. And no wonder, when embedding a YouTube video on your company’s Facebook page is a sure way to see it die a sudden death, we shouldn’t be surprised when they rip it off YouTube and upload it natively. Facebook’s algorithms encourage this theft.

Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video by Hank Green (1346 words).




WoC in particular need to organise because our voices are often erased in wider liberation movements. Mainstream feminism usually fails to include WoC, instead centring the experiences of white (often middle-class) women as if they were universal. Campaigns for racial equality also exclude WoC. It is men of colour that are the focus of such campaigns, which means they are permeated with patriarchal norms that value the lives of men above those of women thereby withholding total equality from WoC. Thus, in choosing to tend to our own needs when they are not being met by others we are not segregating ourselves. Rather, we are showing how much we value our wellbeing and our liberation. These experiences of erasure mean that FLY aims to be inclusive in every way: the space belongs to all WoC, be they also queer, trans, disabled, working-class, foreign, or all or none of these things. That the group is open not only to black women but to all non-white women contributes to its openness. FLY draws a lot of its strength from the diversity of its members, and we actively strive to keep it a safe space for women of a number of different identities. In spite of this, it’s my opinion that the ultimate aim should be to be fully included in wider liberation movements, while also maintaining our safe space, thereby benefiting from the support of a larger number of people. Certainly in the context of feminism, FLY has been trying to increase awareness in the student union Women’s Campaign of the issues faced by WoC at our university.

On The Necessity Of Safe Spaces And Why We Don’t Have To Apologise by NoFlyontheWALL (1547 words).