A Miserable, Beautiful Siberian Adventure

Fascinating story by Hampton Sides for Outside Online. As I have said before, Russia has always held a great deal of interest for me; with this article, Hampton lifts that near-impermeable veil — even if only a little bit.  

50 Cent Is My Life Coach

When Adam and Nathan talked about this article during episode seventeen of their podcast Five More Things, 50 Cent is Actually Brilliant, I recognized its potential value but dismissed it as largely uninteresting, and sent it away to Instapaper. Now, however, a few weeks later, I wish I had sat down and read it as soon as it came to my attention. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer: 50 Cent had some fantastic advice and shared a number of very interesting insights that I wish GQ had given Zach more time to expand upon, and perhaps even search for more of; fascinating and highly-recommended.  

Infrared Iceland

Beautiful pictures from a remarkable place; I would love to take a long trip out here someday.  

Economic Power in the Age of Abundance

A more apropos title, I feel, might read something along the lines of “Entitlement in the Age of Abundance”. Between that, and Ben’s actual title, I’m sure you can get a fair idea as to the subject matter of his article. And his closing point: the clich├ęd “you never know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone”. I find it remarkable how many love to hate companies like Google, yet have no problem crawling back to them when they finally realize how instrumental the “evil overlord” was to their daily operations. Whether an individual whining about the company’s privacy practices or, as is the case here, a publisher acting on a misplaced sense of entitlement, the outcome is the same.

Stick to your high-brow morals if you must, but if you must, actually stick to them.  

The Precipice

It’s no secret that I harbor a strong dislike of The Verge: perpetually vying with public radio for the title of my most hated news institution, I make no bones about sharing this disgust with others. And so, because of that, when the news first broke that Josh Topolsky — a writer I have no great love for — was leaving Vox for Bloomberg, I barely took notice; however, a lot of other people have, and this has since become quite the news story for many. To each their own, I suppose.

Until this morning, I had not planned to write anything about this event: I just don’t care. But then Daniel Ignacio sent me a link to a conversation between him and Mathew Conto, and I just couldn’t resist sharing the link here: this is everything you need to know about The Verge and Josh Topolsky’s move both. Welcome to The Precipice.  

This Week in Podcasts

This week, thanks to Carl Holscher and Daniel Ignacio, I have discovered two great new podcasts. Alongside these two shows, I once again present my list of the best podcasts I have had the privilege to hear over the past seven days. These are the best of the best, folks, and as such I hope you will spend some time checkout out each and every one of them. I promise: it will be worth your time.  

How I See Money Differently

Sam Dogen had another thought-provoking post over at Financial Samurai recently, this time looking at the very interesting difference between the way that Americans and Europeans in particular view money. I encourage you to read the entire thing: How Europeans See Money Differently From Americans. Most interesting out of this entire piece, though, and definitely the most impactful statement for me, was that of his conclusion: “Remember that money is only a means to an end. What is your end?"  

One-Way Ticket to Ride

Worth linking to again, courtesy of Dave Pell’s The Next Draft this time around on the forty-fifth anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic mission: the speech President Nixon plan to give in the event of a moon disaster. Incredible, and remarkable chilling:

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace."  

The 30 CSS Selectors You Must Memorize

I don’t do this often, but for all the help Tuts+ gave me as I worked to expand the functionality of this design over the past few weeks, I can’t let it slip by without note. When I build a site, I prefer to do everything humanely possible with CSS rather than outsourcing it to JavaScript. Due to this perhaps irrational desire, everything — including device detection — but the ability to enter dark mode and save that preference across multiple sessions is managed strictly using CSS. As I’m sure you web developers out there can understand, this led to some sticky situations in which I almost resorted to a quick and dirty script. Thanks to resources like this one though, I managed to keep my use of JavaScript down to a minimum, and continue to ship a speedy site for you all to read. Next time you import jQuery out of habit, think back to this and ask yourself, “Can I do this with CSS?" Because after seeing tutorials like this, I bet you can.  

Seemed So Sensible

Regardless of your own personal opinions regarding Christianity and religion in general, I think we can all get behind Sid’s overarching sentiment: it is important to remain true to yourself even when doing so means standing alone alongside an unpopular opinion. For in the end, with what will we find ourselves left? It is to these convictions we hold and must hold strongly that we will return; without them, we have nothing.

Stick to your guns. Be yourself. At the end of the day, I promise: you will be glad that you did.  

The Daily Show on Glassholes

Absolutely hilarious video, courtesy of John Gruber — with the choice line taken as an excerpt: “Magellan Was an Explorer. Chuck Yeager Was an Explorer. You Guys Have a Fucking Camera on Your Face.” I was rather bullish on the widespread reaction to Google Glass the other day when I wrote Thoughts on Glass, but I can still appreciate some great humor when I see it. Very well done.  

This Week in Podcasts

Yet another week has come and gone, and here at the end we once again find ourselves with a collection of fantastic podcasts; some new and only just published, while others now have one more chance at enamoring a pair of fresh ears. Some new, some old, and all equally excellent.  

Amazon's Whale Strategy

You cannot — ought not — judge the Fire phone by the traditional standards against which we have come to judge all devices these days, but rather from the perspective of a goods and services company that seeks to facilitate streamlined access to its storefront for its most loyal and devoted customers by offering them a device integrated with its own services to a degree made impossible through third-party integration alone on another device maker’s platform. When considered in this light, the Fire Phone is, inarguably, an interesting proposition that more than merits the considerable number of think-pieces that have been devoted to it since its announcement. This is the point Ben Thompson makes here, and makes so, so very well.  

The Future of Computing

In a style made popular by Benedict Evans in his hallmark Twitter postulations, posit: computers were created for writers. As such, the next iteration of computing devices will cater to the needs of others: creators and designers will have Jarvis-like artificial intelligence systems to converse with and holographic interfaces to involve their entire bodies in the creation process. The current model involves the two tools of the writer’s trade: their hands and their minds. Future implementations will go beyond those unnecessary restrictions that don’t apply in other fields in order to provide a richer, more productive computing experience.  

I'd Drive That

Every so often an article crosses my path wherein the author drools over a custom shop’s awesome modifications to an already awesome vehicle, and then I invariably spend a good long while extricating myself from the inevitable rabbit hole that ensues. As of this writing, nearly four months have passed since I have gone down that path, continuing my trend of leaving roughly three months between each of these articles. Today, I’m back for another round: thanks to the rediscovery of three monsters I squirreled away in my Instapaper queue a number of weeks ago, and only just recently rediscovered, I finally have cause to once again spend time appreciating these mechanical marvels at the intersection of industrial design and raw power.  

First Crack 1.0

Since starting this website nearly two years ago, I have written specifically about the engine that runs it exactly four times: in Introducing First Crack, I detailed my long journey to the realization that I needed to build something completely my own, from the ground up; later, I talked about some of my creation’s niceties in First Crack in Practice, before outlining the changes an innocuous redesign brought about in First Crack’s Complete Overhaul. Finally, some eleven months later, I returned to once again briefly run down my latest updates in Changes to First Crack. Since then, however, for the last six months, I have not said a peep. Today, that changes with the release of First Crack 1.0 to the public.  

Disrupting Disruption Theory

Very interesting take on the recent flare up around Disruption Theory, and how Lepore was not necessarily wrong to criticize Christenson and his theory, but that she did point to the wrong permutation of it: it is not necessarily the base theory that is flawed, but rather the watered-down version we find in use so often today. John Kirk then proceeded to delve further into the theory in a great follow up to Ben Thompson’s recent piece, Critiquing Disruption Theory.  

Critiquing Disruption Theory

I linked to this piece by Ben Thompson in the title only because it is his most recent on the topic of disruption theory; I strongly encourage you to start with his earlier piece from last year titled "What Clayton Christenson Got Wrong", where he more fully explains the theory and further expands upon some of its flaws. Especially if you — like me until now — only know of Disruption Theory in the abstract as explained in passing here and there, these two articles from Ben are a fantastic place to start.  

This Week in Podcasts

I am considering using a boilerplate for the introduction to this article, and keeping the actual noteworthy content the dynamic aspect going forward. So, let’s give it a try with last week’s opening: “Another week, another set of great podcasts for your listening pleasure. Enjoy.”  

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