Random links that catch my fancy, part one of ∞

Part one of this week’s epic bookmark dump.


Moving to a new code editor is kinda like moving houses: At first it just doesn’t feel like home, but you persevere and hope it gets better. (@LeaVerou)


Star Wars is better when you realize everything Chewbacca says translates to ”this is why I drink” (@rstevens)


I can’t function in the morning without first having a big, hot, delicious cup of interesting URLs and GIFs fed into my gaping maw. (@flyosity)


The way to advance science is not to find a series of Einsteins & worship their brilliance. Science is collaborative & takes hard work. (@AstroKatie)


In barbaric societies that practice tipping, the bulk of a woman’s income may well depend on her ability to smile through sexual harassment (@pookleblinky)


In case of emergency: 1) Break glass 2) Break all available glass 3) Proceed to porcelain (@VikramParalkar)


should be wary of these engagement or retention claims. Measurements shouldn’t be about solely bounce rate, and minor jumps in engagement time are also a poor proxy. Perhaps a bounce should count unless the user makes it to the end of the next article. Perhaps retention should only count if the user’s time on the site equals or exceeds twice the average time it takes to read an article.

For Infinite Scroll, Bounce Rate Is a Vanity Stat by Adrian Roselli (551 words).


Why is it that the people most doubtful of rape victims seem to be same people who say rape is necessary in bks/film/TV b/c “realism”? (@thatlauraruby)


By analogy with cats: did velociraptors wiggle their butts before they pounce? (@cstross)


When a massive earthquake struck Nepal 3 weeks ago, people around the world flooded the country with donations and other offers of support. Humans are among the most cooperative animals on the planet, yet scientists are unclear about how we got this way. A new study suggests the answer may be gender equality: When men and women have equal say in who they associate with, our social networks get larger.

Did sexual equality fuel the evolution of human cooperation? by Michael Balter (757 words).


Yes, I AM saying that it’s in your personal and commercial interest to pay knowledge-work folks to just play around. (@flowchainsensei)


You can always tell when someone is talking to impress rather than inform. They speak a great many sentences but keep the point elusive. (@DouglasCrets)


the goal of sales isn’t to get those dolla dolla bills, it’s to assist your customer in making a choice that gives them great results. (@amyhoy)




I thought I'd quickly share some of the responses here as a virtual wall of shame—something you can print out and tack to your office refrigerator. In a future post, I'll get into strategies for overcoming these objections, starting with considering research as a set of activities you can do quickly, inexpensively, and incrementally.

Excuses, Excuses by Erika Hall (465 words).


What Campbell also states in this principle is that "achievement tests may well be valuable indicators of general school achievement under conditions of normal teaching aimed at general competence. But when test scores become the goal of the teaching process, they both lose their value as indicators of educational status and distort the educational process in undesirable ways. (Similar biases of course surround the use of objective tests in courses or as entrance examinations.)"[1]

Campbell’s law (306 words).


The figure drawing school may be said to have reached its apogee in the early 1970s in Neal Adams, whose skill and subtlety in rendering the human form in action was extraordinary.  Kirby and Adams set the mold for house styles:  those who began drawing for comic books after them were often directed to imitate their styles.  Bill Sienkiewicz and John Byrne were, for a time, Adams clones.  And to a lesser extent so were George Perez and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. Sienkiewicz eventually changed his style radically; Byrne didn’t, but when he began writing his own stories, he stepped from the figure drawing tradition into the storytelling tradition and stood there, a formidable foot in each camp.  The figure drawing tradition would culminate in the poster pages of Image Comics, where, for a time, picture reigned supreme almost to the complete exclusion of story.  But Image Comics would not have been possible without the effusions of the more individualistic storytelling tradition.

I put Will Eisner and Kurtzman at the headwaters of the storytelling tradition.  Their preoccupation was less with drawing and more with story, with content.  Their drawings were composed to serve the narrative, to time its events for dramatic effect; similarly, panel composition aimed at intensifying the impact of aspects of the story.  

From Figure Drawing to Storytelling by R.C. Harvey (4277 words).



This is a really basic distinction, but it’s useful because it’s already able to make motivations (and incentives to elicit them) clearer. For example, the Candle Experiment explained quite clearly how a monetary compensation practically kills any creativity, while at the same time makes mechanical tasks faster.

The double pyramid of a successful social business by Davide ‘Folletto’ Casali (1264 words).



A few years ago, I was telling some friends about an experiment I would love to run.  I’d like to have code base where every line of code written disappears exactly three months after it is written.  If you were able to get past people gaming the system by copying code someplace else and then copying it back in when it was deleted, you’d have a very interesting set of constraints.  Developers would be rewriting code constantly and they’d develop insights into ways to rewrite the code more compactly and (hopefully) more understandably.

The Carrying-Cost of Code: Taking Lean Seriously by Michael Feathers (841 words).


So will awareness and education efforts such as today’s Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated by organizations around the world to break the silence around women’s hygiene needs. Menstrual hygiene advocacy is critical not only because women in the U.S. and abroad are shamed for having their periods but also because many lack access to the necessary products to manage them

Menstruation stigma is a form of misogyny by Erika L. Sánchez (1034 words).


The claim that technology can solve any problem is the high point of Act One of a Greek tragedy — and we know how Greek tragedies end.

Geo-Engineering Doesn’t Reduce Long-Term Risk by James Kwak (502 words).





Michael Barr, a well-respected embedded software specialist, spent more than 20 months reviewing Toyota’s source code at one of five cubicles in a hotel-sized room, supervised by security guards, who ensured that entrants brought no paper in or out, and wore no belts or watches. Barr testified about the specifics of Toyota’s source code, based on his 800-page report. Phillip Koopman, a Carnegie Mellon University professor in computer engineering, a safety critical embedded systems specialist, authored a textbook, Better Embedded System Software, and performs private industry embedded software design reviews – including in the automotive industry – testified about Toyota’s engineering safety process. Both used a programmer’s derisive term for what they saw: spaghetti code – badly written and badly structured source code.

Toyota Unintended Acceleration and the Big Bowl of “Spaghetti” Code by Somebody Who Doesn’t Put Their Name in an Obvious Place on Their Website (2183 words).




I’m not apologizing, mind you, just explaining. I’m very tired of writing subtle, balanced articles that contain (to my mind) important questions and observations only to see them ignored completely. This year I’m trying a new tactic. I make bold statements in the headlines, attract a lot of visitors, and some of them will read some of what I have to say and think about it. In this day and age that’s the most efficient way of getting your ideas out there. Just ask the news sites.

Web vs. native redux by Peter-Paul Koch (949 words).


The age of pixel perfect design for a fixed size is over. The number of devices and sizes our designs will live on will continue to expand, and so too should our tools.

Modern Design Tools: Adaptive Layouts by Josh Puckett (1125 words).






it frustrating sometimes to not know what Medium wants to be, or how it plans to get there? Sure it is (and I have also written posts about how Medium needs to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up). But if Williams has decided that he’s more interested in experimenting with interactivity and less in becoming a stable of magazine-style sites publishing fairly traditional magazine-style content, then I can’t say I blame him.

Looks like Medium isn’t going to save the media industry after all, and that’s okay by Mathew Ingram (860 words).