The da Vinci Delay

“How to Procrastinate Like Leonardo da Vinci”:

If there is one conclusion to be drawn from the life of Leonardo, it is that procrastination reveals the things at which we are most gifted — the things we truly want to do. Procrastination is a calling away from something that we do against our desires toward something that we do for pleasure, in that joyful state of self-forgetful inspiration that we call genius.

From the February 20 Chronicle of Higher Education

Somewhat related: Elizabeth Gilbert’s excellent TED talk, “A different way to think about creative genius


Big Brother gets Big Shoulders

Mayor Daley has argued that security and terrorism won’t be an issue if his Olympic dreams come true because, by 2016, there will be a surveillance camera on every street corner in Chicago.


During a December test, live video was used to catch a petty thief in the act of sticking his hand in a Salvation Army kettle outside Macy’s on State Street.

I would respectfully suggest that Chicago would do better to install monitoring cameras in the offices of politicians.

Mayor Daley needs to think beyond his next law-and-order bumper sticker. The experience in London is nothing we should seek to imitate. As Timothy Garton Ash writes in The Guardian, Liberty in Britain is facing death by a thousand cuts.

The East Germans are now more free than we are, at least in terms of law and administrative practice in such areas as surveillance and data collection. Thirty years ago, they had the Stasi. Today, Britain has such broadly drawn and elastic surveillance laws that Poole borough council could exploit them to spend two weeks spying on a family wrongly accused of lying on a school application form.

Why I’m not worried about Apple’s Succession plans

No one disputes Steve Jobs’ talent for conveying information to an audience. His understanding/prediction of Apple’s customer base and business environment is legendary.

He’s a public relations wizard. He communicates brilliantly with his audience. (and please note that Pundits are just not his audience.)

Consider: The next person to lead Apple will be Steve Jobs’ final product rollout.

Steve Jobs’ Final Product Rollout.

Do people really think he hasn’t thought about that? Do people really think he would be ok with, “Yes, Steve was great, but he really borked that succession thing.”

Be serious now.

I hope Steve Jobs has a chance to relax and recover on his sabbatical, and comes back healthy, happy, and brimming with new energy and new ideas. But when he is ready to retire, or is hit by a truck, I fully expect that a detailed set of plans, scripts, and storyboards will magically appear on the iPhones of Apple Board Members. I expect his final show for Apple to be expertly produced.

“Go Thee Forth and Spread The Word.”

(Use Thee Only Fonts From The List On Page 57)

New Jott for iPhone

Pretty sweet update to the initial client. The web services integration is a win.

How to talk to a friend who’s been laid off

Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist:

Today there is a generation of us in the workforce, totally familiar with layoffs, and totally unfamiliar with the idea that a job is secure. Ever. The good news about this is that there is not a huge difference between someone laid off and someone not laid off in that all of us feel vulnerable and scared.

Which means the etiquette is different than it used to be for talking to someone who’s been laid off.

Serious Interestingness

Barcinski & Jeanjean are an interactive design duo based in Amsterdam. Their main site/portfolio has one of the coolest user interfaces I’ve ever seen. (I really gotta get me some 3-D glasses)

They created a very cool visualization of photos on flickr having high “interestingness“.
It’s interesting, so don’t even look if you are facing any deadlines.
(note: both of these take some time to load, but it’s worth the wait.)


Paul Ohm in Freedom to Tinker:

With this post, I’m launching a new, (very) occasional series I’m calling YANAL, for “You Are Not A Lawyer.” In this series, I will try to disabuse computer scientists and other technically minded people of some commonly held misconceptions about the law (and the legal system).

I’ve worked with law enforcement folks on a number of occasions, and have generally been surprised/impressed at the level of concern for civil rights, and appreciation of wider societal issues. Government abuse of civil rights absolutely happens, without any question. But as an ornery civil rights advocate, I have to say I’ve met mostly good people, who are trying to do a difficult and complex job as well as possible.

That said, you should expect the cops to understand the rules of engagement very well (i.e., almost certainly better than you), and to aggressively use the tools available to them in building cases that prosecutors can turn into convictions.

See also “Eight reasons even the innocent shouldn’t talk to the police“, which should be mandatory viewing in high school social studies classes.