Best blog blurb evah?

My favourite group blog, 3 Quarks Daily got a ‘blurb’ from Stephen Pinker!

“I couldn’t tear myself away [from 3 Quarks Daily], to the point of neglecting my work. I’ve already bookmarked it for times when I don’t want to work. Congratulations on this superb site. Best wishes.”

—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Blank Slate, How the Mind Works, Words and Rules, and The Language Instinct.”



This week marks four years of this weblog. I started in June 2000, while working still at Sapient’s London office, using blogger. The longest I have been in a job has been around 2 years, my architectural education was 5 years; so this weblog is one of the things I have stuck at the longest.

It’s been useful, it’s been fun, it’s given me opportunities and problems (sometimes at the same time) and for not much effort. It’s a testament to the tools that make such a rewarding format so low effort: I’ve progressed over the 4 years from Blogger, Greymatter, Moveabletype to Typepad.

While I’ve had a procession of tools, in review, I’ve come full circle from posting links and effectively establishing a commonplace for notes and bookmarks using Blogger, through writing more and more discursive and long-form stuff about design for technology, to publishing experiments like warchalking and back again now to mainly links, notes and social bookmark hoarding using

It seems that the “outboard brain” model is the one I’m most comfortable with, and get most utility from, and now this memory prosthesis is becoming more mobile and less textual. I’ve been trialling Nokia Lifeblog for the last month or so, and along with I’m finding that it’s filling many of the roles of memory prosthesis that this blog used to.

So, the question is what to do here other than to write more self-indulgent bitkipple about design and social technology and comics and science and cities and games and most importantly, magic for another four years?

Wait a minute. I like doing that…

Hume truths

Two from Tom Hume:

On how creativity is often shaped by ones tools:

“When I first moved my weblog over to MovableType from Radio Userland, I wondered what difference a new tool would make. Nearly 6 months on, I think I know.”

And a great post on mobile application design:

“Interaction design for mobiles is IMHO more like appliance design than web, or even application, design. Focus on core tasks, simplicity, and elegance… try to avoid forcing the end-user to think more about interfaces than getting the job done.”


I have moved over to Typepad, as my MT installation was getting broken, complicated and onerous to fix.

It means I have lost the design temporarily that Tom coded for me, but I’ll try and edge back towards that as time and Typepad’s training-wheels allow.

Comments should work again now, although I’m a little wary of the lack of comment-spam control that Typepad has, and the reports of deeply unpleasant amounts of deeply unpleasant comment-spam that friends have gotten, so we’ll see how we go.

The RSS feed for this site is now

Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for reading.

New reading

  • Kobot: “News on interaction design, HCI, mobile internet, robots, and much more.”
  • Standanddeliver:

    “Meanwhile, a lot of other music lovers have subsequently started to come to their senses, realising that there is more to recorded music than just the music: there is also the packaging, and the sentimental value invested in it. While Japan has begun to reissue CDs in miniature replica album sleeves, complete with facsimile inner sleeves and posters, there are people who are keen to just own their favourite records again, with the cover art and sleevenotes they don’t have to go blind trying to enjoy, and – if pressed to admit it – the ‘warm’ sound.”


Gene has a skatelog:

“A nice long run, marred by an inglorious crash. No heroic high speed downhill flameouts for me, just a stupid crack in a flat stretch of pavement, trippedfellslidstopped. A nasty bit of road rash, and some ugly thrashed spots on my skates and pads.”

The skated city has been the subject of study and system-building for a decade or so, but accesibile personal sensors and mapping tools could generate great new art, complementary experiences and stolen knowledge.

Emergent Quokka?!?

» Fredshouse: Skatelog

John Harris on Vannevar Bush

and technology prediction / futurism:

“At the time of writing his essay Bush knew more about the state of technology development in the US than almost any other person. During the war, he was Roosevelt’s chief adviser on military research. He was responsible for many war time research projects including Radar, the Atomic Bomb, and the development of early Computers. If anyone should ever have been capable of predicting the future it was Vannevar Bush in 1945. He is an almost unprecedented test case for the art of prediction. Unlike almost anyone else before or since Bush was actually in possession of ALL the facts – as only the head of technology research in a country at war could be.”

» VirtualTravelog: Vannevar Bush and The Limits of Prescience

The sound of one hand clapping

…because the other one is holding an ebook.

Russell Beattie seems to have outed Christian Lindholm from Nokia’s blog, which is a relief as I can start pointing to it too. A nice little observation here around e-books. Maybe he should go to Cory Doctorow’s Etech session.

“I believe that Smartphones have a good chance of evolving into reading devices. The Series 60 screen is now big and bright enough for rather comprehensive reading. Many users have read e-books on their Palms and I used to do it on my Newton back in 1993. One of the things that attract me with mobile e-books is making book/document reading one-hand operated, which books typically aren’t.”

I’m not sure it’s impossible to read a book one handed, but it’s neither that confortable for you or the book’s spine. I’m not sure either it’s that comfortable to read a book on a phone just yet, but I’ve never tried it.

I guess I was holding out for the nice, crisp, rollable eInk displays.