Refactoring Aesthetics

John Dewey, the 20th Century educational philosopher, wrote a book called ‘Art as Experience,’ which has been largely forgotten by history. It happens to contain a more-or-less complete philosophy of aesthetics, the comprehensiveness and usefulness of which has never been matched. Dewey’s writing can be somewhat dense to newcomers,…

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Details don't matter*

In a recent post, Mills Baker argues that there’s been a dangerous tide of well-funded startups with prominent designer input that have put out apps that are at best useless. While I’m slightly more optimistic about Paper than Baker is, I’ll go further than him on Jelly…

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25 Things Better than a Buzzfeed Listicle

People occasionally ask me about things to read, so I made a list of things that have had a huge influence on me. Update 2017: while all of these were influential, and many remain some of the best things I've ever read, they're no longer an exactly accurate picture of…

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The Madness of MOOCs

There's a lot of excitement about online learning, and rightly so. Online courses could increase access to education and quality of instruction. Unfortunately, today's “Massive Open Online Courses,” and similar offerings have been massively successful only in raising media attention. San Jose State's remedial MOOC offerings got axed after their…

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Subjectivity & Design

“On the Web, design has become much more of a science than an art. Because you can iterate so quickly, because you can measure so precisely, you can actually find small differences and mathematically learn which one is right.” - Marissa Mayer. That quote makes my skin crawl. Design as…

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