Link: So You Want to be a Writer?

So You Want to Be a Writer? Essential tips for aspiring novelists over at the Guardian, by Colum McCann, who also has a book on the topic. It’s an enjoyable read, and has some good advice without being a shill or clickbait-y.

The only true way to expand your world is to inhabit an otherness beyond ourselves. There is one simple word for this: empathy. Don’t let them fool you. Empathy is violent. Empathy is tough. Empathy can rip you open. Once you go there, you can be changed. Get ready: they will label you sentimental. But the truth is that the cynics are the sentimental ones. They live in a cloud of their own limited nostalgia. They have no muscularity at all. Remember, the world is so much more than one story. We find in others the ongoing of ourselves.

Link: 24 Ways to Look Like an Awesome UX Designer

24 Ways to Look Like an Awesome UX Designer. 🤣

24. Tap your Macbook keys hard when in a meeting

While in a meeting and everyone has their Macbooks open. When you’re typing and have completed a sentence, whack your return key like you’re a bloody Pianist. It’s make a good noise and sounds like you’ve just finished an important sentence, to an important person. If someone comments laugh that you’ve broken a few keys in the past.

Link: The Poverty State of Mind

The Poverty State of Mind by John Scalzi. I feel like he really nails the reality of social and economic mobility in the United States these days (namely: while it’s still possible enough to feed lots of anecdotal “I made it, so can you!” stories, the reality is that it gets more difficult and less likely daily). I could rant about this for a while, but I think John addresses it far more clearly and cleverly than I.

Link: Guide to Being an Introvert

The Ultimate Guide to Being an Introvert, by James Altucher. There are a lot of things I identify with in this post (surprise surprise, I’m also an introvert), and I appreciate that he calls out a common misconception about introversion: “Being an introvert has nothing to do with being shy. Or being outgoing or not outgoing. Or being socially awkward. All it means is that some people recharge when they are by themselves (introverts).

Found via kottke.org. As Jason points out, I think a lot of us can sympathize with that desire to connect and socialize with others, but getting drained to the point of being at a loss for words.

Link: The Oral History of Halo

Vice has managed to put together an astounding oral history of the making of Halo, a seminal and iconic first person shooter that helped cement the success of the Xbox and (one of) the first to really master first person shooter controls on a console.

I’ve been a big fan of Bungie since the days of playing , and I’m excited to do with their next project, Destiny 2.

Link: Advice about Writing

25 habits that will make you a writer by Shaunta Grimes — ignore the terribly clickbait-y title, the advice is actually pretty good. A lot of it may come off as pretty obvious (write every day), but I think it’s still worth a read, and includes some links to some other good books and resources. (Also, pretty relevant regardless of whether your chosen medium is writing or painting or sculpting, or any number of other creative outlets.)

Link: Jobs are for Machines

Deep Learning Is Going to Teach Us All the Lesson of Our Lives: Jobs Are for Machines, by Scott Santens.

Advances in technology are now so visibly exponential in nature that we can expect to see a lot more milestones being crossed long before we would otherwise expect. These exponential advances, most notably in forms of artificial intelligence limited to specific tasks, we are entirely unprepared for as long as we continue to insist upon employment as our primary source of income.

Scott Santens

There’s been talk about this coming in varying degrees for years (and the idea of a universal basic income has been tossed around for decades — it was a central idea in For Us, The Living, Heinlein’s first [unpublished at the time] novel back in 1938), but this article does a solid job of summing up the state of where things are NOW, and why we’re out of time to put off thinking seriously about what’s coming.