🔖 John Locke’s Method for Common-Place Books (archive)

Make an index page that has all the alphabets listed, with sub-divisions for each alphabet+vowel combination. When a new item is added add the page number it was added on in the corresponding row.

Since its not just alphabetical there are fewer pages you need to check to find what you’re looking for. And, since its not purely chronological there is a higher chance that items with the same prefix are closer together.

Index in one of John Locke’s commonplace books, based on his “new method” (Bodleian Library, Oxford, Ms. Locke f. 18, 110-111).

Looking at this image I see that a single page isn’t dedicated to an alphabet+vowel combination and that it would have a variety of combinations, and thus a variety of topics.

🔖 Understanding implications of Hong Kong’s tech ecosystem changes for India (archive) by Rohan Seth & Manoj Kewalramani

The new National Security Law was added to Annex III of the Basic Law, the de facto constitution of Honk Kong. It grants law enforcement agencies the power to censor speech, and track citizens online for a broad set of reasons. It has been used as a justification to arrest protestors.

After the new law was put in place companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft have paused data requests coming from Hong Kong authorities. China has been an ethical gray-area and different tech companies have reacted to it differently — Google Search has exited, while Apple continues to comply to app removal requests.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is in the process of updating the Intermediary Guidelines. If these guidelines don’t include sufficient procedural safeguards and oversight, it too will become a draconian law, a tool for the State to regulate and track speech.

🔖 Tech Culture Can Change (archive) by Danah Boyd

The normalization of atrocious behavior is the first step of, and makes room for, more serious inappropriate actions like sexual harassment and assault. This needs to stop. Guys who replicate this culture to fit in and get status continue to perpetuate this behavior even after receiving power in a group.

Men in tech need to:

  1. Recognize how a culture of sexism makes tech inhospitable for women. This reduces the quality of innovation and creates societal harm.
  2. Repent our actions that have hurt others and actively and voluntarily apologize for them.
  3. Respect others struggles, strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Enable repartition of power — support, fund and empower women and people of color.

🔖 Overthinking “likes” (archive) by Ana Rodrigues

Likes have layers of meanings. They can mean many different things:

  • A metric of popularity
  • A way to show people that you see them and you care
  • A bookmark for yourself
  • A channel to show (or hide) your tastes, particularly on platforms like Twitter that sometimes share what others have liked)

With the IndieWeb you’re in control. You can decide what you want likes to be and whether or not you even want them to be on your site at all.

🔖 Research by the developed on the developing (archive) by Themrise Khan

Research into the issues of the “global south” is dominated by institutions and researches of the “global south”. This research isn’t balanced with an equal voice and perspective from the “global south”. For example:

  • Migration: Issues like border control are looked at from the point of view of preventing illegal migration to the “north” rather than on the reasons why those from the “south” are forced to migrate.
  • Gender: Terms used in the “north” are applied to the “south” without taking into account the different cultures, religions and patriarchal structures. For example, ‘Unpaid care economy’ might mean walking miles to fetch water in rural areas, or access to child-care assistance in urban areas.

The decisions of how the studies are conducted aren’t being developed in the “south”. The hurdles of being published in the “north” means researchers in the “south” don’t have the liberty to develop their own research agendas and methodologies.

🔖 Designing in the open (archive) by Kjell Reigstad

When participating in conversations on open source project your technical background or history in the company doesn’t matter as much as how you conduct yourself and the value you provide in the discussion.

With open source work you have to let strangers look at your initial sketches. This forces you to articulate and present your work better — clearly explaining ideas and anticipating questions.

By designing in the open you expose yourself to multiple perspectives and ultimately the work is better for it.

🔖 Design Tip: Never Use Black (archive) by Ian Storm Taylor

We often see things like the road, our office chair or a shadow and assume they’re black, when in fact they’re not. As seen in Wayne Thiebaud’s work, shadows are some of the most saturated part of a work. Most blacks we see in our lives are a colored-dark-gray.

An example of saturating grays
An example of saturating grays

Stay away from #000000 pure black, add a bit of color to it. More saturation for darker colors and much lesser for light ones.

🔖 How the Web Became Unreadable (archive) by Kevin Marks

There has been a trend to reduce the color contrast of text on the web. As screens have improved, designers have started using lighter typefaces and lower contrast ratios. But, as more people use devices in outdoor environments where screens aren’t as clear to look at, there is a need for text to be be better legible for everyone. The physical screen and the context it is used in should be considered when picking colors.

Color contrast explained

The baseline typography and colors should work for most users regardless of their eyesight. Contrast ratios between two colors are:

  • 1:1 when the background and text are the same color
  • 21:1 when its black text on a white background
  • 4.5:1 is the minimum ratio for clear type
  • 7:1 is the recommended contrast to aid those with impaired vision

Note that the recommendations are minimums and shouldn’t be treated as starting points.

🔖 Why messiness is a good thing for product teams (archive) by Brian Donohue

Sometimes it feels like a waterfall process is what is required to build product, but in reality, it is a mythical place of calm and clarity. Creativity in inherently uncertain, and so it needs space to be uncertain.

More experience should mean that you know what you’re doing but, Ed Catmull, President at Pixar explains, “What we’re doing is inherently messy. The goal isn’t to prevent the mess, the goal is to ensure it doesn’t get too messy.”

The chaos of creativity can be tamed by working principles. Intercom has three:

  1. Think from first principles
  2. Ship to learn
  3. Think big, start small