Things I Think About Often
I originally planned to call this page “Things I Care About”, but soon realised that the things that crossed my mind frequently were not necessarily things I intended to think about, let alone care for. Egregores are rarely considerate enough to request permission.
If you see a common thread running through all of these things, please let me know, because I sure don’t.
Most other things come second.
Ways of creating information, and how they influence the content itself.
There was a praticular type of idea I’ve been trying to point at for a while, but couldn’t find the right name for. The closest I’d got was “marginal revolution”, but that wasn’t quite it.
Then I found Aaron’s post on incremental moonshots and was gifted the perfect term.
Markets & Distribution
I’ve written before on the many limits of markets , as seen in the real world.
And it goes by many names:
- Ben Thompson calls it aggregation theory,
Work is too big a part of life for anyone to not give up a bunch of brainspace to it. These are some of the questions I keep coming back to:
- Why are job markets so damn inefficient ?
Mediums & Constraints
There are mediums that shape the very forms of our thoughts and ideas everyday, but are simply taken for granted. Things like sentences, subtitles, tweets, and literacy itself. I find this shit fascinating.
I get unreasonably excited every time I come across a new one, or when I get to experiment with particularly fun constraints.
You could doubt the trustworthiness of the data, or even the effectiveness of survey methodologies, but that feels a little like burying one’s head in the sand.
My current hypothesis is a combination of “people don’t do enough things together anymore” and the death of stories.
Software That Is Good
We can do better. Here are some concrete ways.
How do we design software that depends less on the cloud and gives ownership + control back to users? As a further benefit, apps also get more robust to network failures and collaboration glitches.
The folks at Ink & Switch seem to be working at the forefront of this niche. I’d like to know who else is interested in similar ideas.
- Local-first Software — You own your data, in spite of the cloud.
- Building a BFT JSON CRDT
- Offline First
- Magic Ink – Information Software and the Graphical Interface.
Sharing data across apps
Modern data silos are artifacts of the SaaS approach of creating and selling products.
I’m not a big fan of pain-free hedonic utopias, but I do think we should do what we can to make chronic, debilitating pain a thing of the past. Some kinds of suffering are much, much worse than others.