When My Parents Separated

in Ghost

This is a brief excerpt from a draft of my next book, a memoir about my family. When I was 8 years old my parents separated. While cleaning out my father’s car, My Mom discovered movie stubs for a film she hadn’t seen. He left a few days later. When he left, much of the […]

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I believe in first impressions, especially if you’re asking someone else for something. When you make a connection to another person, even on the interwebs, please take 60 seconds to say something personal about why you’re making the connection. If you’re not willing to take 60 seconds to write something personal, and explain why you […]

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Noah: movie review (Spoiler Free)

in General, movies
noah

I’m fascinated by religious history and love movies, so it’s no surprise I’ve seen many films with religious themes. Even when I’m familiar with the texts they refer to, I often go back to reread and compare how the filmmakers handled the many challenges of trying to make a narrative movie about texts written for […]

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It’s wise to read books with points of view you don’t share. It’s the only way you get exposed to ideas with the power to change your mind. For a long time I’ve been a techno-neutralist. I’m not convinced technology is good or bad, it depends. I know from history how many unintended consequences our inventions […]

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Yesterday I gave the closing talk, How To Champion Ideas, at An Event Apart Seattle (If you saw me at AEA Boston, those slides are here) . It was a new talk, requested by organizers Marci Eversole, Jeffrey Zeldman & Toby Malina. From their observations and attendee feedback they knew one big challenge for all events is how to help […]

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I’m finishing up work on a talk for An Event Apart Seattle about what happens after the conference is over [update: that presentation is here]. At first this might seem like an odd session to have, but it’s reflective of a fundamental problem of all events: events are intense short term experiences that people attended […]

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What does a good father do?

in Ghost, projects in progress
Father_and_son_27

What does a good parent do for their children? What specifically, if anything, can only a father do for a child? It’s an easy question to ask, but complex to answer. Much of what we have in our minds about what good parents do, or don’t do, is based on our own experiences. Since we […]

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How do *you* eat Pho?

in Pop Culture
IMG_9809

I rarely write about food here, but eating and cooking are two of my favorite things. Pho, Vietnamese rice noodle soup, is a pleasure I discovered more than a decade ago, when I went gluten-free for a time and struggled to eat anything anywhere. I’ve always loved noodles and it was a perfect match. I’ve […]

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A good question about The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com & The Future of Work from Sibylle, in a comment: I was wondering how you think Automattic’s model would work for a more diverse workforce. The culture you describe in the book is very much centered on young, male, tech-savvy, western-socialised software developers. I was envisioning myself […]

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In honor of the 25th anniversary of the web, here’s my story. I was a senior at CMU in ’93/’94 and for my computer science classes I spent many long hours in the computer labs, called clusters, working on programming projects or doing other schoolwork. Many of my friends hung out in clusters and it […]

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The Three Writing Mindsets

in Writing Well
writing

I write nearly every day and I have the hypothesis that there are three writing mindsets. Put simply: Raw. When I wake up from a dream, or share a meal with someone interesting, I have a surplus of ideas in my head. Often they’re strange, sometimes they’re interesting, occasionally they’re brilliant. In all cases they […]

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[Update: I learned a lesson about infographic spam after posting this] Here’s a quick visual rundown on remote work and WordPress. They got a handful of things wrong: P2 and IRC should have been listed as communication tools WordPress is not strictly owned by Automattic (the company that runs WordPress.com) to call it part of the same empire […]

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Yahoo is a curious poster child for banning remote work, as they’re not a company that’s doing very well. Yet Google has strict policies against it too, as the recent post by famous programmer Tim Bray explained: As of March 17th I’ll be an ex-employee. It’s an amicable separation in the face of irreconcilable differences: […]

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