How I Wrote Arrival (and What I Learned Doing It) - Talkhouse
My mother read to me when I was young, like mothers do. But instead of Dr. Seuss or Betsy Byars, it was Heinlein. Bradbury. Asimov. Stories of new worlds, new…
arrival  movies 
Get Out: the film that dares to reveal the horror of liberal racism in America | Film | The Guardian
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out. ‘The villains here aren’t southern rednecks or neo-Nazi skinheads, or the so-called “alt-right”. They’re middle-class white…
getout  movies 
2 days ago
How speakers went from statement furniture to unseen tech - Curbed
In today’s wireless age, most want their sound system to be out of sight and out of mind. “If interior designers had their way,” says Scott Orth, director of…
audio  design 
2 days ago
Obamacare: The Republican Waterloo - The Atlantic
In that third week in March in 2010, America committed itself for the first time to the principle of universal (or near universal) health-care coverage. That principle has had seven years to work its way into American life and into the public sense of right and wrong. It’s not yet unanimously accepted. But it’s accepted by enough voters—and especially by enough Republican voters—to render impossible the seven-year Republican vision of removing that coverage from those who have gained it under the Affordable Care Act. Paul Ryan still upholds the right of Americans to “choose” to go uninsured if they cannot afford to pay the cost of their insurance on their own. His country no longer agrees.
healthcare  politics 
2 days ago
Trolling Scholars Debunk the Idea That the Alt-Right’s Shitposters Have Magic Powers - Motherboard
A terrific analysis of what alt-right memesters did, and didn't do, to help Trump win: https://t.co/yeVVdTBZdp (via @boingboing)
trolls  meme 
3 days ago
The logistics and ethics of colonizing the red planet.
Mars: better red than dead What a joy and a relief that we're back on Mars. The fourth stone from the sun has taunted us for centuries with shifting but…
mars  space  interstellar 
4 days ago
Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds - The New Yorker
The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight. Credit Illustration by Gérard DuBois In 1975,…
4 days ago
Improve Your Billing Form’s UX In One Day – Smashing Magazine
The checkout page is the last page a user visits before finally decide to complete a purchase on your website. It’s where window shoppers turn into paying…
checkout  billing 
4 days ago
The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death - The New Yorker
At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink in our thinking especially clear.
blog  gigeconomy 
4 days ago
Rogue One: an ‘Engineering Ethics’ Story — SciFi Policy
What Galen Erso does is not simply watch a system be built and then whistleblow; he actively shaped the design from its earliest stages considering its ultimate societal impacts.  These early design decisions are proactive rather than reactive, which is part of the broader engineering ethics lesson of Rogue One.
starwars  engineering  ethics  blog 
7 days ago
Escape to another world | 1843
A life spent buried in video games, scraping by on meagre pay from irregular work or dependent on others, might seem empty and sad. Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while neglecting other aspects of life, is a matter of perspective. But what does seem clear is that the choices we make in life are shaped by the options available to us. A society that dislikes the idea of young men gaming their days away should perhaps invest in more dynamic difficulty adjustment in real life. And a society which regards such adjustments as fundamentally unfair should be more tolerant of those who choose to spend their time in an alternate reality, enjoying the distractions and the succour it provides to those who feel that the outside world is more rigged than the game.
games  society  culture  blog 
7 days ago
How to get the most value out of remote user research (without breaking the bank) | Wildbit
Improve our products iteratively through research without slowing down our development process or increasing our stress levels at work.
research  blog 
11 days ago
The Yin and Yang of Product and Engineering – AVC
As the company scales the yin and yang of product and engineering often gets out of whack. What typically happens is that the engineering team scales and the engineering leader either scales with the team or hands over the job of managing engineering to a seasoned executive. But the product side often does not scale in the same way. Many founding CEOs who are also acting in the VP Product role attempt to do that job for too long. Or they bring in product managers but don't build a highly functioning product organization. And hiring a really strong VP Product is often an afterthought.
prdmgmt  engineering 
4 weeks ago
When Robots Take All of Our Jobs, Remember the Luddites | Innovation | Smithsonian
At heart, the fight was not really about technology. The Luddites were happy to use machinery—indeed, weavers had used smaller frames for decades. What galled them was the new logic of industrial capitalism, where the productivity gains from new technology enriched only the machines’ owners and weren’t shared with the workers.

The Luddites were often careful to spare employers who they felt dealt fairly. During one attack, Luddites broke into a house and destroyed four frames—but left two intact after determining that their owner hadn’t lowered wages for his weavers. (Some masters began posting signs on their machines, hoping to avoid destruction: “This Frame Is Making Full Fashioned Work, at the Full Price.”)
automation  work  ai  blog 
6 weeks ago
Hacking the Attention Economy
Those who produced meme-like images quickly realized that they could spread like wildfire thanks to new types of social media (as well as older tools like blogging). People began producing memes just for fun. But for a group of hacker-minded teenagers who were born a decade after I was, a new practice emerged. Rather than trying to hack the security infrastructure, they wanted to attack the emergent attention economy. They wanted to show that they could manipulate the media narrative, just to show that they could. This was happening at a moment when social media sites were skyrocketing, YouTube and blogs were challenging mainstream media, and pundits were pushing the idea that anyone could control the narrative by being their own media channel. Hell, “You” was TIME Magazine’s person of the year in 2006.
technology  society 
6 weeks ago
How We Use Data to Inspire Design – Design x Data – Medium
In our traditional human-centered design process, we empathize by going where people live and work. We talk with extreme users. We immerse ourselves in their lives. We explore the tension between what people say versus what they do. We prototype. As the world becomes increasingly digital, data becomes a natural byproduct of people’s lives. We’ve learned that the qualitative process we traditionally use cannot only be strengthened by this quantitative data, but can also uncover insights that qualitative data alone cannot. Quantitative data is a rich, ripe source for design research that IDEO is using (and you should too!) to get inspired by users.
triangulation  data  blog 
6 weeks ago
Position, Position, Position!
A product’s position is a “location” in a more abstract space — the space of trade-offs. The decisions you make about which features to build and how to integrate them places you “closer” or “further” from other products.

When you know your position, you can say “no.” When you don’t know, you say “yes” out of fear. You build a feature because you’re afraid of what will happen if you don’t. That’s not a strong place to be competitively and it’s not a coherent place to be in terms of your product design.
jtbd  blog  prdmgmt 
9 weeks ago
Turn Customer Input into Innovation
After the moderator captures a handful of these statements and adjectives, he or she translates each one into a desired outcome. A well-formatted outcome contains both the type of improvement required (minimize, increase) and a unit of measure (time, number, frequency) so that the outcome statement can be used later in benchmarking, competitive analysis, and concept evaluation. The moderator addresses one statement at a time, rephrasing it to be free from solutions—words that inherently describe specifications or constraints—or ambiguities (words such as “easy,” “reliable,” and “comfortable”). Then the moderator confirms the translations with the participants to eliminate guesswork after the interview ends.

The Cordis moderator, for instance, asked cardiologists why they wanted the device to be “easy to maneuver.” Cardiologists replied that they wanted to move quickly through tortuous vessels; the moderator then documented the outcome as “minimize the time it takes to maneuver through a winding vessel.” The moderator then asked the cardiologists to confirm that this wording accurately represented the desired outcome. Similarly, when asked to describe why they wanted a balloon to be “smooth,” cardiologists explained that they wanted to prevent it from inadvertently dissecting the vessel or from entering side vessels. The moderator then translated the desired outcomes as “minimize the risk of dissecting a vessel” and “reduce the number of side vessels that are inadvertently entered.” Again, the cardiologists confirmed these desired outcomes.
research  jtbd  wildbit_link 
december 2016
The difference between a journey map and a service blueprint
What journey maps and customer narratives don’t show is the internal workings of the organization. The service blueprint seeks to uncover and document (often for the first time!) all the things that go on beneath the surface and the internal makeup of the organization that creates it. It is data visualization of how your company works; the deep, dark inner workings of how the things a customer experiences are actually produced.
There are huge complexities that go unseen that are the support structures beneath every journey — the responsibilities of the internal actors, the systems that support those actors, all the processes and policies that dictate what can and cannot be done. Service blueprinting shows you a picture that not only includes the breadth of what happens along the journey, but all the depth that makes up the substance that the journey traverses across.
journey  blueprint 
december 2016
Optimize for Return Visits, not Bounce Rate
In A/B testing, don’t use bounce rate as an indicator of quality and usability. Instead, optimize for the conversions that happen lower in the funnel, and are much more closely linked to revenue or to your main business goals. Ask: how does each of the design variations contribute toward that deep-end goal? Don’t lose sight of these meaningful conversions by getting caught up in a shallow metric that happens to be easy to measure.
november 2016
How Meetup Ditched Its Boys Club
Three years later, Heiferman has transformed his leadership team. Three of the company’s seven senior executives are women, including the chief product officer and the chief technology officer. Five of Meetup’s 11 directors are women — meaning that eight of the 18 most senior executives at Meetup are women. It’s not perfect: Meetup still has a long way to go in recruiting minorities. But this new leadership has had a powerful effect on corporate culture, adding, Heiferman believes, a sense of urgency that has spurred a new direction for the company.
october 2016
The Internet of Things Is Taking Over Cities
If you want smart cities to serve public values, you have to ask questions such as: What societal problem does this technology solve (hunger, health, education)? Does the planned application, and the sharing or exploitation of data concerning it, pose ethical or inequality issues? How will this technology improve the quality of life in the city? How was the public involved in consideration of this technology? How can the technology be abandoned or changed in later years as public understanding of it changes? Public values are difficult to quantify: It’s far easier to gather and report on improvements in efficiency and economic benefits.
october 2016
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