• "You know, maybe aliens know all this, and we’re come-latelies to the whole comprehending-everything thing, but there isn’t really any more you can do in our current Universe than this. It’s the top thing. It is everything. This makes us amazing." James has basically said everything about our trip to CERN that is worth saying. This is all true. It was great and humbling. I'd also point out that every time you step out, you're under the Alps, and they're also phenomenal and humbling.
  • "Fountain is a plain text markup language for screenwriting." More plaintext formats for writing in. This is good.
  • "When I'm evaluating entrepreneurs and their ideas, I look for "innovation bipolarity," a version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's first-rate intelligence: "the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." Entrepreneurs should be able to argue passionately that their idea will change the world, and then, without skipping a beat, honestly assess the risks standing in the way of its success and describe what they are doing to mitigate them."
  • "I wanted to make the ship move, and I wanted to make it speak, and I wanted to speak back to it, with it, together. To make something." The poetry of creation is important. Also, @shipadrift is lovely, but you already knew that.
  • More useful vim stuff.
  • "In my forthcoming book Alien Phenomenology, at the start of the chapter on Carpentry (my name for making things that do philosophy), I talk about the chasm between academic writing (writing to have written) and authorship (writing to have produced something worth reading). But there's another aspect to being an author, one that goes beyond writing at all: book-making. Creating the object that is a book, that will have a role in someone's life—in their hands or their purses, around their mail, in between their fingers. Now, in this age of lowest common denominator digital and POD editions, it's time to stop writing books and to start making them." I am not totally sure I buy all of Bogost's argument, but I like his points explaining the role of artefacts. However, POD is weirder than he gives it credit.
  • "[Was shooting The Artist very different to making a 'regular' movie?] No, it’s a regular picture. The only difference is, there is no boom mic. And the story is not being told by what comes out of your mouth. If you want to tell the story, the story being the narrative, not the plot—the plot’s fairly simple—but if you want to tell the narrative, then you have to be concise with your reaction, and let the reaction get into your body and your face in a way you don’t necessarily do when you have dialogue, because the dialogue takes care of that." James Cromwell interview by the AV Club. I enjoyed this line especially.
  • "I've now stopped accumulating stuff. Except books—but books are different. Books are more like a fluid than individual objects. It's not especially inconvenient to own several thousand books, whereas if you owned several thousand random possessions you'd be a local celebrity." Books as a fluid!
  • "…one of the things I learned in attempting to produce 50 interesting variants on the text is that it is very, very hard. Whatever is done to the text, it is virtually impossible to extinguish Dickens’ intention without extinguishing the whole work (as in the case of the copies which read simply “Fancy fancy fancy fancy…” or “Facts facts facts…” for 300-odd pages). The text stands; it is greater than paper." This is brilliant.
  • "ClickToPlugin is a lightweight and highly customizable extension that prevents Safari from launching plug-ins automatically, resulting in faster browsing, reduced fan usage, and increased battery life. It replaces every plug-in object by an unobtrusive placeholder that can be clicked to load the embedded content. Further, it can replace many plug-in-based media players by Safari’s native HTML5 media player." Installed.
  • Cape solves a surprisingly common problem: I have this big bunch of rake tasks; I'd like them to run on the server, which tends to mean writing cap tasks just to run the rake tasks. Cape makes it easy to just mirror them.
  • "Sitting quietly on my kitchen table, it has already changed my radio behaviour: instead of sticking one channel on and leaving it for hours, I surf—but intelligently, discovering things I actually want to hear. Adding pictures to the radio: but just a single, little, useful one." Nice.
  • "Rorschmap is cartographic navel-gazing, a reframing of the map. It will not help you find anything. We are bored with your squares and your margins. We want new shapes and new dimensions, the unicode snowmen of visual representation. †‡†, as the man said." I am wearing out the "James is brilliant" button on my keyboard, but I will keep pressing it as long as he does this sort of thing.
  • "Both within the academy and within tech startups, we’ve been hearing some similar questions lately: Where can I find a good data scientist? What do I need to learn to become a data scientist? Or more succinctly: What is data science?" Great starting point; looking forward to more from the blog.
  • "When someone with a bad case fails to finish a book, they don’t start a new one; they go into a holding pattern, crippled by guilt over their failure and unable to let go and start over. All reading stops. People have confessed to me that it’s been months since they last picked up a book, because they still haven’t finished the last one." Yup. We really don't have to finish this book, sometimes.