Entries by matt

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 […]

Education from scratch

I spent the day working on tech/ed mashups and surveying the space, and two things are painfully true. First, far too many companies are focused on supporting an educational system that is crumbling.  If it isn’t abundantly clear at this point, the classroom model of education isn’t going to be around for all that incredibly […]

More investors need to watch Any Given Sunday

You know that moment in every sports movie where the hero, who has achieved success through ability but not personality, has to be reminded of the importance of effort? Whether it is going back to the ghetto to watch kids play in an empty lot or a raging girlfriend who finds him in bed with […]

Are games the new education?

Finally.  I’ve been trying to write this post for days, but keep getting distracted by current events. This isn’t another Google Glasses post, but they do make a handy example of my basic premise: that information recall has, and is going to continue to, become easier and easier to supplement with technology.  If you don’t […]