Entries by matt

The Boss as a creator of meaning

I caught up on the first three episodes of The Newsroom over the weekend and it has been fertile ground for reflection (which, besides strict entertainment, is the thing I love most about good stories).  But one theme has preoccupied me more than most: Newsroom’s reflections on the modern American working relationship. I don’t mean the […]

The strange joy of getting not quite what you wanted

Recently, a friend was in town with his new girlfriend and she was particularly interested in locally-sourced, organic, vegan food.  Since I care about none of those three things, I didn’t readily know of any options and so hopped on Yelp to guide me. Alas, the best option near us didn’t take reservations and so […]

Engineers: Premiums or Prima Donnas?

I love building things. Teams, products, solutions, meals: if there is a way to see it as construction, that is almost certainly the perspective I’ll take. And given that love, I spend a tremendous amount of time working directly with engineers, both to build my own projects and helping with others. As a whole, I […]

How many in-jokes is too many in-jokes?

So after I wrote about the in-group references in Diablo III, Melissa Anderson asked my opinion about “aggressive” in-groupness and how it turns off new members.  Which then got me thinking about what makes some in-groupness awesome and some dramatically less awesome. When we think of in-groupness as “aggressive”, I think it is actually behavior […]

Titling blog posts is the hardest thing about them

Though I suspect few people actually stop to think about it, titling blog posts is actually quite a bit harder than writing them.  In reality, most of what is interesting about a post boils down to a few words: NYC soda ban is not an issue of freedom pretty much says it all.  But you want people […]

In-group identity and Diablo III

I finally got around to buying Diablo III (which really does have some serious connection issues) and the first hour made me feel all warm and geeky, mostly because of references that reinforce in-group identity. Teaching in-group identity is fun, because everybody gets it at an instinctive level: competing against the desire to be a […]

TEDActive 2012: Atul Gawande, Jonathan Haidt

Though I was a bit distracted by the Hackathon, I still managed to listen to and watch several talks from TED while out in Palm Springs.  Here are a couple of brief notes and opinions, and links to the talks themselves from TED.com when available. Atul Gawande: So I probably took the dramatically wrong message from […]

I like the Dutch (and why I'm in Holland to begin with)

I like the Dutch.  They’re blunt, practical, and have remarkably low ego.  Sure, they may be a little fatalistic (they recently played in the Euro Football Championship and despite being tapped to win the whole thing, everyone was convinced they would lose, which, predictably, they then did), but their low-stress, high-progress approach to life is […]

European ads are gay (and do they work?)

In an attempt to stay awake on my first day in Holland and conquer jetlag, I spent several hours today watching television. The shows themselves are the same, because I was really just flipping back and forth between the Discovery Channel and Comedy Central, (though I did notice that MythBusters has a different guy doing […]