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Matt Haughey on Twitter: "My favorite grad school geography/history tidbit came from a Soils professor that worked around mining. It goes like this: In the American West and Midwest you can tell who settled a city by how it looks on a map. Let me explain
"My favorite grad school geography/history tidbit came from a Soils professor that worked around mining. It goes like this: In the American West and Midwest you can tell who settled a city by how it looks on a map. Let me explain…

A town settled by miners or lumberjacks is interested in making money FAST. Roads go from mountains to town centers where the sawmill or assay office is. Adding switchbacks takes too much time & money. On maps, these cities typically follow a star pattern from above.

Farmers have time. Crops follow seasons, year after year, over decades. Making money is slow. Their cities follow grid patterns where the streets are 1st, 2nd, 3rd going one direction and A Street, B Street, C Street the other. On maps, farmer towns look like logical squares.

Here are two towns in South Dakota: one settled by farmers, one by miners. Spot the difference.

From now on, whenever you look at a map of the American West, you’ll know something about each town’s history in an instant.:"
matthaughey  geography  cities  towns  architecture  culture  design  environment  history  farming  time  mining  lumber  speed  money  americanwest  maps  mapping  patterns  midwest  settlement 
june 2018 by robertogreco
15min in the morning: Homework is Bullshit — Technology Musings
"One of the pain points of parenthood is knowing that every choice I have for sending my daughter into school is likely going to grind out much of her enthusiasm for learning, bit by bit, through shitloads of homework.

The phrase you often see is that schools have an “academic focus.” Avoid those like the plague.

All of it is total fucking bullshit.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” — Pablo Picasso

My gut feeling is this started sometime in the late 1990s, as the quest for higher academics was misconstrued by parents and schools into “giving the kids lots of homework will equal mastery in every subject.”

I still remember the news stories from the early 2000s, about gradeschool kids taking home backpacks so filled with books for completing homework that they were developing back troubles. By the mid-2000s my first friends with kids entered schools and talked about two to three hours of nightly homework at the “academic” schools. My own child hit kindergarten around 2010 and I hoped the thirst for mindless drudgery had dissipated but sadly, it did not.

Looking back (and acknowledging it’s through deep shades of nostalgia), I loved my childhood including school. I grew up in Southern California, so weather wasn’t a variable in my life and I could work all day at school and play all evening at home. I didn’t have nightly homework until high school, and it was fucking grand. I rode my bike for hours every night, visited local parks, played in the woods, played Atari 2600 at home, ran on cross country teams, and generally had a good time palling around my neighborhood with friends for hour after mindless hour. In my younger days, I spent as much time behind a desk at home as I was in the community pool, and I think I turned out alright.

College is mostly about the work you do outside the classroom lectures, so homework is required and expected, but we’ve lost sight of high school serving as college prep, which is a good time to teach study skills and introduce homework to students. But asking 8 year olds to spend two hours every night doing repetitive math worksheets? What the fuck is the point of that?

Kids today only have time for one or two sporadic hobbies. I know more than one twelve year old that can’t play guitar because of homework loads. Sports require huge blocks of time that are hard to work into after school schedules, despite our pushes to get kids moving and be less sedentary.

We’ve spent the last 15 years pushing kids through punishing homework regimens which would mean those young kids of the early 2000s are entering college now. Did we raise an entire generation of math super students crushing standards at levels never seen before? Or did we pulverize most kids’ curiosity and love for learning along the way? A high homework load seems like we’re preparing kids for boring, repetitive behavior, like those found in many factory jobs. Will there be any factory jobs ten years from now?

Kids need downtime. Play is important. Kids can love learning, pursue any hobby they like, and fill idle time with their imagination. These are the things I fear we lose every time we ask children to spend hours every night on what basically amounts to busywork."
homework  sfsh  schools  matthaughey  2016  parenting  children  hobbies  academics  education  learning  busywork  play  downtime  howwelearn  howwelern  curiosity  loveoflearning  deschooling  unschooling 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Your Internet Friends Are Real: A Defense of Online Intimacy | The New Republic
"Online friendships make it clear—and forgive the debt to Facebook—that the way we friend now has changed. Intimacy now develops in both digital and physical realms, often crossing freely between the two. If we accept the equal value of virtual friendships to their IRL analogues (perhaps even doing away with the pejorative acronym), we open ourselves up to a range of new possibilities for connection.

“The Internet represents a broadening of the spectrum of relationships we can have,” Jenna Wortham, a New York Times Magazine writer known for the prolificacy of her online social life, told me. “I have lots of online-, Gchat-only friendships and I love them. I’m very comfortable with the fact that I don’t know [these people] in real life and I don’t have any plans to.” The merit of these friendships lies in their mutability—in your pocket, on your screen, in your living room. Discarding the distinction between real and virtual friendship does not doom us to a society in which tweets, chat, and e-mail are our only points of contact. It just means that the stranger we meet every day on the other side of our screens will no longer be a stranger, but someone that we know and trust."
communication  friendship  irl  digital  internet  web  online  jennawortham  socialmedia  johnsuler  kylechayka  nathanjurgenson  paulford  metafilter  matthaughey  meetups  meetup 
march 2015 by robertogreco
How do blogs need to evolve?
[some seem to think "innovation" comes from the people who make the tools and that whatever business model works for the tool makers will determine the tools' "evolution".]

The whole idea of comments is based on the assumption that most people reading won't have their own platform to respond with. So you need to provide some temporary shanty town for these folks to take up residence for a day or two [...]

Maybe this is something that doesn't have a technical solution [***]

[My phone] call is ephemeral, and it's about conversation and communication, not content [...]
media  Internet  infrastructure  A_Return  blogs  blogging  2012  anildash  paulbausch  evanwilliams  meghourihan  matthaughey  via:Taryn 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Webstock '12: Matt Haughey - Lessons from a 40 year old on Vimeo
"Matt will cover a bunch of lessons he’s learned in the past decade of life as he embarks on turning 40. They eschew much of the Techcrunch/ReadWriteWeb/Mashable world by focusing on taking a longer term view of your work and focusing on life/work balance and having a happy life as well as a fulfilling career."

["Semi-transcript": http://a.wholelottanothing.org/2012/03/my-webstock-talk.html
community  portability  backup  platformagnostic  urls  permanence  simple  attention  time  relationships  cv  metafilter  longterm  37signals  small  slow  bootstrap  lifestylebusiness  aging  wisdom  lifelessons  startups  webstock12  webstock  longnow  meaning  purpose  work  happiness  fulfillment  life  matthaughey  work-lifebalance 
march 2012 by robertogreco
A Whole Lotta Nothing: SendTab: a great simple app for managing screens
"Sendtab is a pretty simple thing, you just click a bookmarklet or copy a URL to an iOS app and you can save a URL to your pile to view later on other devices… Why is this useful? For me, I can move anything interesting from my iPhone to my desktop computer and view it hours later. I've also got a GoogleTV attached to my living room TV so when someone points out an hour long lecture worth watching or a hilarious YouTube video I want to show my family, I save those to SendTab as well, pulling them up on my TV via GoogleTV's home screen bookmarks.

I know Instapaper is a good app for tracking articles among many devices, and Boxee enables you to "watch later" any video you find online, but I find SendTab is a nice simple silo for tossing everything interesting I want to check out on some other device. It's also handy for "I'm going out the door to the airport and want to keep reading that NYT article I'm halfway through" by letting you send links to specific named devices."
matthaughey  sendtab  ios  iphone  applications  bookmarks  syncing  bookmarking  extensions  plugins  browsers  watchlater  readlater  seelater  bookmarklets  browser 
october 2011 by robertogreco
The Blogfather
"I’m OK with this lifestyle business. It’s a put-down for a lot of people, especially in Silicon Valley. I think it’s the best thing in the world. You don’t have to kill yourself…

I never got that message anywhere in the tech community. Like, what is wrong with making a decent living in doing something you love forever? And then people put that down as a “lifestyle business.” Or ask, “How are you going to change the world or make the next Facebook?”

It’s like nobody sings unless they want to be Britney Spears. That’s stupid—we should all sing in bars three nights a week if we like it and get paid as professional musicians. Who says you have to be a superstar? I hate the whole “rock-star programmer” thing where you have to make the next Facebook. 

It’s very Portland to do sustainable things that are here for a long time. You can do sustainable things and not have to slash and burn and sell."
sustainability  blogs  blogging  matthaughey  portland  oregon  business  glvo  lifestyle  lifestylebusiness  2011 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Delicious II - Preoccupations
"So a little while ago…I moved over to Pinboard, decoupling, at last, the feeds for my Delicious account & this blog. Maybe Delicious will gain a good new owner & there’ll be life after Yahoo!. But I’m not banking on it.<br />
<br />
Pinboard is reliable, fast and lithe. It’s incredibly easy to use & responsive to search. I’m using it far more than I had been Delicious — because it’s so quick to come back at me with the goods. But I miss the social, the enhanced chance of discovery.…as Matt Haughey put it, ‘my Pinboard feed is personally useful, but socially uninteresting. And therein lies the rub…As a personal archive tool, it’s pretty impressive, as a shared space to find interesting bookmarks, it’s problematic. In the end, I’ll likely continue using Delicious to track bookmarks with Pinboard as a backup/archive tool that I’ll gladly continue to pay for’.<br />
<br />
Well, time came to move on. & in truth, my network had mostly migrated to a number of other scattered sites, services and feeds."
del.icio.us  pinboard  davidsmith  social  matthaughey  2011  migration 
april 2011 by robertogreco
A Whole Lotta Nothing: Quick thoughts on Pinboard
Comparing my own Delicious feed to my own Pinboard feed I see this theme repeated: my Pinboard feed is personally useful, but socially uninteresting.

& therein lies the rub: Pinboard extends the functionality of Delicious to any links you drop in Twitter, sites you choose at Instapaper, & interesting things at Google Reader, but like Instapaper, that works best as a personal archiving appliance that you use personally to dig up a story about raising kids you read 6 months ago at NYTimes. But when you combine extensive personal archiving w/ a public view mixed into a network of shared links from dozens of friends, you get a mish-mash of bookmarks, jokes from twitter, & wacky sites someone liked in Google Reader. As a personal archive tool, it's pretty impressive, as a shared space to find interesting bookmarks, it's problematic.

In the end, I'll likely continue using Delicious to track bookmarks w/ Pinboard as a backup/archive…[and] continue to hit my Delicious network page…"
bookmarking  social  pinboard  twitter  2010  matthaughey  del.icio.us  socialbookmarking  cv  socialboomarks  reading  discovery 
december 2010 by robertogreco
A Whole Lotta Nothing: Why everyone loves coming up with ideas in the shower
"A shower is great for coming up with ideas because it's essentially a sensory deprivation chamber in your very own home. Lots of white noise from the water, coupled with all white walls and obscured glass means there are no auditory or visual outside distractions to hinder thinking."
showers  brainstorming  psychology  cv  matthaughey  thinking 
august 2010 by robertogreco
A Whole Lotta Nothing: My personal feedback loops
"As a sort of companion piece to the previous entry, I figured it might help other web writers to know what tools are available to them, as well as to possibly fill in some gaps I have in my own process (I bet someone reading this knows how to find info on the things I'm blanking on).

So there are several communities I'm familiar with that might republish or comment on something I've created and they are as follows:"
blogging  socialmedia  twitter  tumblr  friendfeed  del.icio.us  googlereader  facebook  flickr  buzz  search  feedback  matthaughey 
february 2010 by robertogreco
A Whole Lotta Nothing: Broken feedback loops
"when there are 1/2 dozen places someone can hit like button, mark favorite or leave a comment I have no knowledge of, the feedback loop is broken.

When I think about the years I've learned to become a more concise writer & better photographer by throwing shit online & gathering feedback, then repeating the cycle again, I'm dismayed to see all these new tools that lack appropriate feedback mechanisms that can relay information back to the original authors.

So to future application creators I ask that you simply respect the creators of content & help them improve by offering notification, search, &/or backlink capabilities so it's possible for someone to see where their creations end up. I know it's a lot easier to just consider it all "output" within your application, but the internet is a great communication medium not just for relaying information from anyone to anywhere on earth, but for also making it a dialogue between reader & writer.

Don't break the feedback loop."
internet  twitter  blogging  socialmedia  facebook  remix  socialnetworking  feedback  communication  trends  software  blogs  social  interface  buzz  matthaughey 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Facebook is Worse than AOL | Tomorrow Museum
"Facebook is worse than AOL. It’s like a neverending digital teambuilding exercise. But instead of trailing a rope course or catching blindfolded people leaning backward, participants post pictures of doppelgangers and list “25 things” about themselves.
facebook  society  internet  culture  socialnetworking  walledgardens  matthaughey  jasonkottke  aol 
february 2010 by robertogreco
A Whole Lotta Nothing: The mobile design cargo cult
"The iPhone has done very well, outselling expectations and overall giving every user a good experience. I have to say it's the most exciting and useful gadget I've bought in many years, to the point where I don't know what I'd do without it, given that it offers stuff like knowlege of traffic ahead of me, every contact from my computer, can pinpoint my location almost anywhere on earth, and is easily upgradable and endlessly extensible through third party apps. Like Matt Jones said, it makes me feel like I have superhero powers (at least for information)."
matthaughey  iphone  mobile  computing  design  mattjones 
february 2009 by robertogreco
A Whole Lotta Nothing: How to get my nerd vote
"Broadband Everywhere, Universal Healthcare, No federal taxes on internet purchases, Renew a commitment to Education, Renew a commitment to Science, Real changes to transportation, Allow early voting by mail, Revamp Copyright/IP law, Fund the patent office so it can do a better job, Open government"
politics  us  change  reform  healthcare  broadband  internet  taxes  science  matthaughey  education  bikes  transportation  business  smallbusiness  entrepreneurship  voting  elections  copyright  ip  open  opengovernment  patents 
october 2008 by robertogreco

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