Links, page 4

  1. Reluctant Gatekeeping: The Problem With Full Stack
    heydonworks.com

    Heydon Pickering:

    By assuming the role of the Full Stack Developer (which is, in practice, a computer scientist who also writes HTML and CSS), one takes responsibility for all the code, in spite of its radical variance in syntax and purpose, and becomes the gatekeeper of at least some kinds of code one simply doesn’t care about writing well. This has two adverse effects:

    1. Poor quality code
    2. A bunch of people who can (and would enjoy!) expertly writing that code, standing unemployed on the sidelines muttering “WTF”

    I so very much agree with everything Heydon says here. And that agreement comes from the experience of trying to become a full stack dev myself (though going at it from an HTML/CSS-first perspective).

  2. Why are tech companies making custom typefaces?
    arun.is

    Arun Venkatesan:

    During my research process, I noted down the keywords used to describe some of the typefaces. As I read through the list, the same words kept coming up over and over: friendly, modern, clean, simple, human. It’s like everyone wants something that they can use to define their brand, yet they really just want a slightly different version of what everyone has.

  3. It’s not about the device.
    ethanmarcotte.com

    Ethan Marcotte:

    Let me start by saying I generally avoid terms like “mobile,” “tablet,” and “desktop” in my work. It’s not that they’re bad; it’s because they’re broad. In my experience, terms like these confuse more than they clarify. Ask a roomful of clients or stakeholders to define “mobile,” and you’ll get a roomful of slightly different responses.

    What I think is helpful, though, is breaking down the specific conditions or features that’ll cause our designs to adapt.

  4. Warp and Weft
    paulrobertlloyd.com

    Paul Robert Lloyd:

    Such notions of craftsmanship can soon lead us down a dangerous path, raising questions around elitism and discrimination. These are accusations you could level towards the IndieWeb. For all its promise of giving people the tools to regain ownership of their online identity and content, to do so fully and effectively requires a proficiency for coding and familiarity with an endless barrage of acronyms. Encouraging participants to selfdogfood only exacerbates the near-impenetrability and narrowness of this movement.

    Rob Weychert chimes in and gets a strong +1 from me:

    If even web people find it difficult, how can we ever manage to empower non-web people to produce web-like content?

  5. This Is All Donald Trump Has Left
    theconcourse.deadspin.com

    David Roth, writing for Deadspin; this paragraph is so good:

    Presidents exert a kind of ambient influence on the culture, but as Trump is different than previous presidents his influence necessarily feels different. Barack Obama wanted to be a cosmopolitan leader who brought people together and into a deeper empathy through a mastery of reason and rules; the country he governed doesn’t work like that, though, and the tension between that cool vision and this seething reality grew and grew. By the end, his presidency had the feeling of a prestige television show in its fifth season—handsomely produced and reliably well-performed but ultimately not really as sure what it was about as it first appeared to be. Trump has no such pretense or noble aspiration, and has only made the country more like himself; living in his America feels like being trapped in a garish casino that is filling with seawater, because that is what it is.

  6. Earth and Moon Puzzles
    n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com

    Jessica Rosenkrantz of Nervous System design studio:

    This puzzle is based on an icosahedral map projection and has the topology of a sphere. This means it has no edges, no North and South, and no fixed shape. Try to get the landmasses together or see how the oceans are connected. Make your own maps of the earth!

    Super clever and cool design.

  7. Now You See It: The Art of Overanalyzing Movies
    youtube.com

    This is packed with great quotes from filmmakers that I hadn’t heard before.

    David Lynch:

    I never talk about themes. It’s a very big shame when something is finished and then people want you to translate it back into words. It never will work. It never will go back into words and be what the film is. It’s like describing a piece of music; you don’t hear the music, you just see the words. It’s better to let people conjure up their own ideas, having seen and experienced the film.

    Kubrick on explaining the ending of 2001:

    I tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out because when you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if they’re dramatized one feels it.

  8. Innuendo Studios: You Go High, We Go Low
    youtube.com

    Great perspective on the current political situation in the United States.

    Most people would say that “the ends justify the means” is a crap moral philosophy. Democrats would agree. But liberals often overcorrect to the point where thinking about the ends at all is thought of as - in a vague, reflexive kind of way - innately immoral. There’s a very Enlightenment way of thinking that implies that, with the right means, the ends take care of themselves, and immoral behavior becomes functionally impossible.

    We can call this Values-Neutral Governance, and you can see why it would appeal when you’re trying to sum all the demands placed on a politician. Under this thinking, you don’t need to engage with the needs and desires of your constituency, your donors, or even your opposition, because, if democracy is working, everyone deserving will get what they need as a matter of course.

    And you can see how utterly paralyzing it can be when half the participants of the system refuse to play by those rules. Values-Neutral Governance is an engine that only runs by mutual consent.