Commonplace

A space to log interesting quotes, notes on books and other things:

    16th Nov, 2021

    From Essentialism by Greg McKeown :

    The word priority came into the English Language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next 500 years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralise the term and start talking about priorities.

    Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple first things. People and companies routinely try to do just that.

    14th Oct, 2021

    From Subprime Attention Crisis by Tim Hwang :

    In 2014, Google released a report suggesting that 56.1 percent of all ads displayed on the internet are never seen by a human.

    14th Oct, 2021

    From Subprime Attention Crisis by Tim Hwang :

    ...the accuracy [of data profiles used for advertising] was often extremely poor. The most accurate sets still featured inaccuracies about 10% of consumers, with the worst having nearly 85% of the data about consumers wrong.

    24th Aug, 2021

    From Permanent Record by Edward Snowden :

    Still, if we don’t act to reclaim our data now, our children might not be able to do so. Then they, and their children, will be trapped too—each successive generation forced to live under the data specter of the previous one, subject to a mass aggregation of information whose potential for societal control and human manipulation exceeds not just the restraints of the law but the limits of the imagination.

    Once you go digging into the actual technical mechanisms by which predictability is calculated, you come to understand that its science is, in fact, anti-scientific, and fatally misnamed: predictability is actually manipulation. A website that tells you that because you liked this book you might also like books by James Clapper or Michael Hayden isn’t offering an educated guess as much as a mechanism of subtle coercion.

    We can’t allow ourselves to be used in this way, to be used against the future. We can’t permit our data to be used to sell us the very things that must not be sold, such as journalism. If we do, the journalism we get will be merely the journalism we want, or the journalism that the powerful want us to have, not the honest collective conversation that’s necessary.

    24th Aug, 2021

    From Permanent Record by Edward Snowden :

    Ultimately, saying you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say.

    23rd Mar, 2021

    From A World Without Email by Cal Newport :

    If you have the luxury to organise your schedule, realise you don't have to suffer overload.

    16th Dec, 2019

    From Inclusive Design Patterns by Heydon Pickering :

    Desktop browsers tend to render fonts at 16px by default. There is a rationale for reasonably large defaults: anything else risks alienating a huge swath of users, many from older populations whose eyesight has deteriorated. “But my audience is young and hip!” I hear you say. Sure, but generous font sizes don’t offend young, keen-eyed folks. The key to inclusive design isn’t to target specific groups, it’s to not exclude groups arbitrarily — there’s nothing to gain.

    16th Dec, 2019

    From Inclusive Design Patterns by Heydon Pickering :

    The key to inclusive design isn’t to target specific groups, it’s to not exclude groups arbitrarily — there’s nothing to gain.

    25th May, 2014

    From Know Your Onions: Web Design by Drew de Soto :

    There is no equation which shows that an increase in creativity is a direct cause of the time spent.