Mental Time Travel

I enjoyed these two Ribbonfarm pieces about human perception of time and how we use it to inform our actions and justify the consequences. After Temporality I think it’s interesting how much mental time travel is involved in crushingly mundane activities. As I became a better cook, I noticed that when I got a food idea (a new dish or way of cooking), I would spend a great deal of time mentally simulating the process of slicing, sautéing, whisking, sprinkling, baking.

Zen and the Art of Appreciating Beer Link

This article is about more than beer: The true apex of appreciation is the ability to locate the sublime in any style (not, of course, any beer). This means being able to pick up a glass of helles–or English mild or Belgian bière de table or even a characterful mass market lager (of which, admittedly, there are not a great number)–and find the flavors as pleasant and satisfying as when you heft a barrel-aged imperial stout.

The Psychology of App Pricing

Lex Friedman and Dave Addey both have thoughtful articles about app pricing. Go ahead, you really should go read them if you care about apps or developers. I can’t disagree with their premise. There’s a common perception that apps should cost next to nothing.1 The low cost of software is changing the traditional business model of software.2 While I don’t disagree with Lex and Dave’s fundamental premise, I think that neither article recognizes a basic sea change taking place in software: The average computer user is losing their fear of software and that means a bigger market for everyone.

The Modern Physics of Play

At first I learned about physics the hard way. I learned through dodgeball, rope swings and lawn darts. These were the educational toys of my day and experimentation inevitably led to painful repercussions. Later, I learned through coursework and controlled small-scale experimentation. I built pendulums and trebuchets. I made mousetrap-powered cars and suspension bridges of toothpicks. But I was in high school before I began to internalize the basic principles of physics.

Cracks in the World

Often I write about technology or curiosities. Occasionally I write about comedy or politics. Rarely I write other things. On those rare occasions, I press a publish button that hurts just a little. I put skin in the game. Sometimes I ask myself why. It hurts to write things down that matter. It hurts more to pull back the skin to reveal the tissue and sinew to the world. Why do I do it?