Link: Silicon Valley is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear

Ted Chiang has a quick but worthwhile read over at Buzzfeed about how Silicon Valley is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear:

The ethos of startup culture could serve as a blueprint for civilization-destroying AIs. “Move fast and break things” was once Facebook’s motto; they later changed it to “Move fast with stable infrastructure,” but they were talking about preserving what they had built, not what anyone else had. This attitude of treating the rest of the world as eggs to be broken for one’s own omelet could be the prime directive for an AI bringing about the apocalypse.

It’s a lot to chew on, but gets at something we should be seriously considering more than we are.

Wil Summarizes Where I’ve Been

Every day, I open up this editor.

Every day, I sit here at my desk, and stare at the empty space.

Every day I struggle to find something to put into the empty space.

And every day, after hours of frustration and false starts that lead nowhere, I close it.
Wil Wheaton, This is Stupid

Yep, that pretty much sums up what’s been going on. Hi.

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.)