week weekend book

The week is for sitting, slouching with horrible posture in a chair, trying to find the motivation to get some work done

The weekend is for reconstituting who you are and doing what you want, even if that means doing nothing

A book is for taking you away to far away places and forgetting where you are

The Wild West Internet is now Little Boxes on a Hillside

Back in the day, the internet was all open. You could write your own HTML, and do whatever you wanted. The only limit was how fast your modem was. Then along came AOL, and all the tech nerds decried it as the death of the Internet. It was a walled garden that treated users like idiots, sending them down prearranged paths to the world wide web. But those prearranged paths were guideposts for people who could not comprehend, never mind figure out how to navigate the world wide web. AOL is (mostly) gone today, but many many things have taken its place.

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Because phone calls are rude, emails are never answered, and twitter is too short

I wrote yesterday (here) how I quit Instagram because Facebook took it over and ruined Instagram’s privacy. I also mentioned that I was a Facebook user. How can I reconcile those two? How can I say I hate Facebook’s privacy concerns enough to delete an app they own, and yet use Facebook itself? It’s simple: Because phone calls are rude, emails are never answered, and twitter is too short

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Network effect, a.k.a. narcissism

Network Effect (definition shamelessly copied from Wikipedia): A network effect is the effect that one user of a good or service has on the value of that product to other people. When network effect is present, the value of a product or service is dependent on the number of others using it. The classic example is the telephone. The more people who own telephones, the more valuable the telephone is to each owner.

A year or so ago, there was some hubbub when Facebook bought Instagram and started to change its privacy settings. Instagram had been a small private company that did nothing except let you take pictures and post them. The app was (and still is) well done, easy to use, and easy to love. A large number of people I knew were on Instagram, and I enjoyed Instagram “likes” (I forget what they were called) and comments. It had been a decent, innocent company, until Facebook came along.

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East vs West: “why” vs “why not”

A friend of mine grew up in the PNW, but went to college in Maine. We were talking about the East vs the West, and she said she did not like that the East coast follows tradition for tradition’s sake. I found that very interesting, and upon reflection, I somewhat agree with her.

In the Northeast, guys wear a suit and tie to (most) job interviews. On the highway, you keep right, except to pass. Well, most people keep right except to pass. The ones that don’t are honked at. There is a system, and there is order. In the PNW, if you wear a suit and tie to a job interview, you will most likely be looked at strangely. On the highway, people drive wherever they want.

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The three things I do on Super Bowl Sunday

Like a majority of Americans, I will be watching the Super Bowl today, albeit with my own twist. For the block of time that the Super Bowl is on, I split my attention into three things.

First, the Super Bowl of course. My team (Patriots) isn’t playing, but I live in Seattle, so I am rooting for the Seahawks.

Second, the commercials. This is a given. Depending on how the game goes, the commercials might be more exciting. The Oreos “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet was all I honestly remember from last year’s game (read about it here).

The third thing is the Puppy Bowl. If you have not yet watched the Puppy Bowl, you are seriously missing out. When you get tired of watching men in tight pants, or you get stressed out by something your team is doing wrong, just switch to Animal Planet and watch puppies play. It’s cathartic and cute as heck.

East vs West: Dear Seattle, I don’t like your buildings

A few years ago, a coworker and I found common ground in photography, and talked about it a number of times. He would do things like get up very early and use his huge telephoto lens to take beautiful pictures of birds at sunrise. One thing he said really struck me was this – he said he didn’t like taking pictures of buildings or looking at pictures of buildings. He said they were boring. Pictures of animals or flowers or other organic things were much more interesting to him. In that moment, I realized something. I loved architecture, and pictures of architecture.

I should have known that architecture was one of my great loves. Wherever I go, one of the first things I look at is architecture. I scan the houses or buildings or highrises and look for telltale signs of what style a building is, which will tell me around what year it was built. Then I file that information away. I have favorite building styles and periods, and of course have negative opinions of some architecture. For example, I don’t particulary enjoy brutalist, but I don’t dislike brutalist buildings nearly as much as I hate Jetsons style Googie. Something about Googie just ugh gets to me. On the flip side, 1880-1920 brick buildings are almost always beautiful and wonderful, in my eye.

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East vs West: False familiarity

“This. Is. Not. Target.”

My wife and I were both thinking the same thing as we stood in the entrance to the Target in the Factoria part of Bellevue. We had only been in the PNW for a few days, and needed the usual house supplies. Google led us to Target, but what we found was not the Target we knew and loved. It was small, and attached to a mall. It had neon light designs on the walls, old dirty shelves, and lacked many of the brands we would buy at our Target in PA.

We later found out that this is one of the older Targets in the area. When we later visited the Renton Target, we were relieved to find something more familiar. We had been prepared for a lack of brands like Dunkin Donuts and Cracker Barrel. What we had not been prepared for was such disparate experiences within the same brand.

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