Category Archives: craft

‘hello world’ on the Replicator 2

20 minutes set up, 10 minutes to print. A whole new world, endless itches to be scratched, and lots of extruded, environmentally safe (comparative), plastic gewgaws, tools, parts, and maybe even inventions to come. (This is a print that comes pre-installed with the SD card you use to load files into the Replicator. The chains […]

Arduino Weekend: Freaks in Garages Working together

Several years ago, when I took off a month between jobs, I spent a week geeking out on the Arduino. This weekend, I’m geeking out with my niece – who is a geologist – soldering a bunch of Mintyboost kits for Christmas, mastering the Arduino, and doing some LCD stuff. As a geologist, my niece […]

Design Moments & Techno Flashbacks from All the President’s Men

As a kid, I wanted to be Woodward and Bernstein (both of them, yes). I could barely tell you what Watergate was about, or where they followed the money to, but I read the book in my tent in the backyard at age 10 and was absorbed – by their investigative intensity, the puzzle-solving, the […]

Bill Evans on Craft, Ideas, Creativity, and bottom of the T

This is fantastic. Bill Evans talks about the importance of quality and accuracy in musical invention. In this four minute clip, Evans illustrates one point: doing a specific thing well is the key to great creativity, doing a broad thing vaguely OK isn’t close. He points to mediocre art coming from people who “would rather […]

New Year, New Job, New Project

In a couple weeks, I’ll be starting a new job (deets later) and thought it was time to clean the rust off the tools in my toolbox. I’m starting an ugly little blog called “Learn to Code Already (and while you’re at it, learn some data, too)”. During my union organizing days, I wrote code […]

Practice, Craft, In Your Blood: “Man in a Blizzard”

Roger Ebert blogs, rather gushes on his blog about “Man In a Blizzard”: This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject. (1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage. It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent classic “Man With a Movie Camera.” (3) […]

Cleese’s creativity tips: sleep, avoid interruption

Nice talk by John Cleese about creativity. Things that emerge for me: 1) sleep on it — he has a great story about losing a killer first draft of a sketch, forcing himself to re-write it from memory a day later, finding the first draft and discovering that the second draft was quite a bit […]

For the electronics plateau, a boost from MAKE

When I was learning to program in C/C++, for several days/weeks and on several attempts I hit the pointers plateau — that thing which, conceptually, I couldn’t get my head around sufficiently to really grok the damn things. I eventually took a class that spent three weeks on it and now I understand them — […]

Virtual shrug: Adobe’s upcoming ‘museum’

GS&P just put out a gorgeous and inviting teaser/trailer for the Adobe Museum of Digital Media. It’s a beautiful, well executed virtual museum. The creatives have done some interesting things around conceiving of a virtual building that could live in any real city (or virtual rendering of a real city), and how to move about […]

Beer Mats, HBR, and a book or two will make you an expert

After my TEDx Kent talk — a delightful romp though kipbot’s pissiness at how kids today don’t respect the amount of craft and expertise needed to do digital — someone recommended I read Rethinking Expertise, by Harry Collins and Robert Evans. Collins and Evans are sociologists at Cardiff University who specialize in the acquisition and […]