I didn’t go to university. I learned from Linux instead. 

TOUGH CHOICES When I chose to forego college, preferring instead to join the working world confident that doors would open, there were a lot of the kinds of reactions one might expect. Most asked things like: “what are you thinking?” “why would you do such a thing?” “what are you planning to do instead?” My…

Changing without changing

Many of us make great sacrifice to avoid it. Laws are written and put into place to stymy it. Large, expensive buildings are built to protect against it. Minds are made up against it and reject ideas that even hint at it. Blockades of all sorts are built against potential outcomes that may lead to…

Blending: Building A New World Family

This is the first time I’ve ever done this and, since I’ve spent seemingly countless middle-of-the-night hours reading everyone else’s opinion about it on the Internet, I will offer my own out of respect for others – now knowing just what it feels like, having only imagined it up until now. If you are like…

“Daddy, what’s ergonomy?”

Whether for work or play, we are all spending more and more time than ever in front of our various devices: desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. Computer-related injuries due to prolonged use of computers are very real and are risks. Some of us experience occasional soreness in our hands or wrists, mostly after marathon binges…

Perspective

The first time I saw this was sometime in May of 2011 while flying across the US inside a Boeing 737. I was commuting back and forth between the Midwest and West Coast on a weekly basis. I was uncertain about a lot of things. Specifically, in addition to my dad’s health failing and wanting…

Parallel Parenting: A Strategy for Acceptance

Divorces are snow-flakey, meaning each one is different. Some people are able to be grown-ups about it and be respectful, friendly enough to co-parent but, honestly, this is the exception rather than the rule. Everyone has to move on, eventually. Acceptance is not always easy, though. Not everyone is good at accepting new paradigms, especially…

The unswerving punctuality of chance (Part II)

There are some things that happen, happy accidents, that could not have been planned. Like stumbling on the carpet, catching yourself on the the edge of a shelf where, looking behind a small picture frame there, you find a key you lost seemingly years ago that unlocks that bike lock you have lived without all…

Questions as the new answers?

How to ask questions A new hotness in traditional education cultures started a few years back and was called “inquiry-based learning“. It meant just what it was called: learning based on inquiry, on motivating students to ask questions about whatever was being presented to them. It was about starting a conversation. The trouble with asking…

R2 me, too

I was 5 years old when my parents took me to my first movie. It wasn’t just a movie. It was a drive-in movie. It wasn’t just a drive-in movie. It was Star Wars. Needless to say, it flipped me right out. Unlike most of my pals at the time, though, who called out “I’m…

Does empathy bridge art + engineering?

It takes a special something, a combination of unique experience and compatible disposition, to effectively temper hard sciences with soft ones in practice. Everything may very well come back to user experience, not only in the product (the outcome) but also in the process (the story). Empathy is arguably a key component of both hard…

All in the telling

The latest technologies, including cloud, social, anything mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have and will continue to transform business, especially the customer experience, which still revolves around the story. Storytelling is still the centerpiece. Nothing new there. Storytelling has been the centerpiece since before anyone could even write….

On overcoming adversity

Having gone through a particularly trying time over the past couple of years or so, involving pretty much every type of major life-changing event (moving, career changes, divorce, child-custody battle, loss of parents, etc), I made some time to write down my thoughts about it, to write the whole story from my perspective, what it…

Telling stories

We can’t throw a rock across the Web without hitting one of the many articles, posts, books, podcasts or interviews focused on the use of storytelling in business. Arguably kicking the magic out of the hat, most of them address the way stories are used in marketing goods and services (yawn). We need to think…

Gratitude is Noticing

It is not easy to notice progress. As a carpenter might build a house, it is not always easy to see construction moving forward. It is only after some time has passed, days and weeks of seemingly endless labor, and only then climbing to the top of a hill in the distance to reach a…

The Future of UI

Human interface devices are keyboards, mice and screens, things that allow us to give and get information to and from computers. Combined with how software allows us to interact with machines, this is known as User Interface. For the last 70 years or so, User Interfaces have stayed more or less the same. That is…

Cutting through the jargon

There is a lot of jargon out there. Technology, by itself, is another language, full of the complexities of any culture. It has its own nuances, postures, protocols and fashions. Couple the jargon of technology with the cultures of sales and marketing and what we get is an utter flurry of buzzwords and motivational phrases,…

Creating Meaning in the New Media Ecology

Neil Postman wrote 18 books and more than 200 magazine and newspaper articles for major publications in both the U.S. and Europe. His best known book is Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), about mass media’s inability to share serious ideas. Television turns real, complex issues into superficial images, he argues, less about ideas and thoughts…

Memorial

Right before you got very ill, Mom, you had already made up your mind. You wanted no funeral. No wake. No trace left behind but the memories you built yourself with each of us. You wrote letters to us to be read after you were gone. You made every consideration to make sure we knew…

“Wock, papa?”

Lately, right after dinner time, the little boy will stand there, look up at me and say, “wock, papa?”. Now, this word, ‘wock’ is a thoughtful piece of communication. Your first impression may be that it is simply a two-year-old’s version of the word “walk” or perhaps the word “rock” – but the truth behind…

The unseen upside to donating our bodies to science

“Donating your body to science” is a well-known but poorly understood concept, at least, according to my own experience in helping my own Mom accomplish her last wish. It is important to know there are a lot of options out there for donating but there is little, if anything, written about the process and true…