Recent Notes

These are my musings on web design, development, productivity, and life as a digital knowledge worker.

The public to private bridge

Writing online is scary. I remember my high school AP English courses. I would turn in a writing assignment and pray that Mrs. Bernstein would not torture me by choosing my essay as a personal example of what NOT to do. I feel the same way about posting essays online. It’s even scarier broadcasting to…

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Everyone’s an expert

I often compare myself to my heroes. I’m thinking here of folks like Austin Kleon or Tiago Forte. I would love to be doing what they’re doing. They have massive subscribers on Twitter and to their newsletters. They are writing about super interesting topics and teaching others along the way. Do you do this too?…

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The Five Whys for Personal Development

The Five Whys was initially developed as part of the Toyota Production System in the 1950s. The idea behind the process is that the nature of a problem and its solution are not always immediately visible. Sometimes probing is required to see the thing behind the thing. I learned in a recent course that this…

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What I talk about when I talk about web design

Web design is a term that gets thrown around a lot but is not clearly defined. I have had several jobs as a “Web Designer”, yet each job had wildly different responsibilities (some solely focused on visual design, while others were mostly development). In this article, I want to clarify what I am talking about…

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The day the magic died

When I was five years old, I decided that I was going to prove the existence of Santa. I pulled out my Crime Catchers Science Kit on Christmas Eve and sprinkled invisible powder all over the fireplace. When I woke up the following day, I fully believed in my heart that when I shined the…

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What do you do for a living?

When others ask this question, they usually want to know what my day job is. What do I do each day after I punch my time card? I usually oblige and give a brief answer. I am a web designer.  But inside, I immediately revert to my Sesame Street watching self and hear Elmo ask…

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Books don’t work

Books and lectures don’t work. We can know this anecdotally because of the many books and lectures we read or attend that fly out the window of our memory immediately. Research also backs this up. These medium don’t work because they do not take into account any theory of learning. It takes more than a…

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The Seventy Faces

In the Jewish rabbinic tradition, the rabbis talk about how the Torah has seventy faces. This means there are a plurality of different interpretations. So reading the scripture might require multiple readings to discover all of the various faces, or perspectives. Often within the Jewish commentary, commentators might even hold opposing views on the same…

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DIY grad school

I have wanted to go to some form of Grad school for a while now. The biggest challenge is that it is obviously fairly cost prohibitive to pay for the schooling. I’m also not sure that grad school would pay a big enough return on investment. Particularly, it could take a while to pay off…

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Edit vs Flow

When starting out with any creative endeavor (whether it’s writing, designing, songwriting, etc) it can save a lot of time to be mindful of the difference between Edit and Flow states. The more technical terms for these states of mind are divergent and convergent thinking. When I first started writing I struggled with my inner…

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