The Crisis of Love in America

There’s a song that came out back in the 1980s. Maybe some of you remember it, but most of you have probably never heard of it—or of the man who sang it. (He is still alive, so perhaps I should say “sings” it.) The title of the song is “Love Is Not a Feeling.” I grew up listening to this song, and it continues to influence me. 

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Everyday Writing with WriteGoods and RealManners

We are beginning a series that we call *Everyday Writing.* Throughout the series we will be talking about the importance of sound research, critical analysis, and quality composition in everyday writing, including the all-important writing that we do for our own personal development, but also including personal and business communications.

We will be partnering with our friends at WriteGoods.com and RealManners.Work.

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WitGlass Original Poetry: “Every Day on Earth—Draft One”

It’s been fifteen months since I posted my last original poetry. It hasn’t been fifteen months since I wrote my last poem, but a lot has happened in the last fifteen months and WitGlass posts and podcasts took a backseat. This poem was one of the poems I wrote in response to our family dog’s recent death.

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In the category of “The New iTunes is Here” . . .

The new macOS High Sierra has arrived and brought with it a new iTunes. People have long asked Apple to reduce the bloat of the iTunes app on macOS, and this new version does that. Whether it does that well or not is a matter for discussion.

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Troubling Things about the Las Vegas Shooting

This headline probably already generated a half-dozen ideas in your mind, with one or two standing out from the rest. If you started a list, you could probably come up with a full dozen or more things about the Las Vegas mass shooting that are troubling.

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In the category of “UI design has a new solution” . . .

“The Airbnb Tool That’s Changing UI Design”

Mark Wilson, writing for Fast Company:

There’s a hot new design software being used today by major tech companies like Airbnb and Google to build new apps. But the tool, called Lottie, wasn’t born from your typical designer.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Frustrated by the same design-to-development bottleneck experienced across the industry, Abdul-Karim began to think. If he could use After Effects to build an app interface simulation or prototype, why couldn’t he just use After Effects to just make the real app itself? Now he can, thanks to Lottie–Airbnb’s own UX prototyping tool, developed by Abdul-Karim and a pair of engineers at the company.

This is the sort of creative problem-solving I love to see.

Lottie’s technical prowess is outpacing its user friendliness. And the Airbnb team needs to figure out how to translate complicated animation-meets-code capabilities into turnkey features inside the software.

This is the common progression in creative problem-solving: the more powerful the tool becomes and the more tasks it is capable of completing, the more difficult it becomes to keep it simple for the user. This is one of the things that has always set the iPhone and its iOS user-interface apart from its competitors; in general, the iPhone is easier to use, even for—perhaps especially for—the uninitiated. iOS itself has shown the truth of this, though, as the number of functions and the number of apps has increased. This is why there are so many new single-purpose apps in spaces where the established players’ apps were becoming too complex.

One of my favorite apps—and a great example of this—is iA Writer. It’s a brilliant piece of simplicity, originally created over five years ago as a single-purpose writing app. Originally, all you could do with the app was write and edit, but the stated purpose was to create a distraction-free writing environment. It does that very well and is still my favorite writing app. iA Writer has continued to add functionality, including a type of versioning, embedding or file-linking, and other design features. I don’t use most of these newer features, because I’m not yet convinced that the time and effort to learn them would be sufficiently rewarded. Another way of saying this is that iA Writer has either (a) not convincingly described the benefits of these new features or (b) not designed them in a sufficiently user-friendly way. I’m not picking on iA Writer. I think it’s a wonderful app. I’ve tried many writing apps, and in my opinion, iA Writer is the best app available for the act of writing. It is a perfect example of the principle I’ve described, though, because as it has added features, it has also added complexity, some of which now demands improved design to restore simplicity for the user. It wouldn’t be a good example if it were not such a brilliant design to begin with.

Our digital tools were constructed for another era, one that is fading away to obsolescence even faster than your current smartphone.

Indeed.

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Thoughts on the Advancement of Civilization

All advancement of civilization, society, and culture depends on the consolidation of knowledge (cognition, apprehension, tuition), insight (*re*-cognition, understanding, comprehension, intuition), and skill (wisdom, application).

 

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Two Final Thoughts Before WWDC 2017

Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference begins today (5 June 2017), kicking off as always with the Keynote at 10 a.m. Pacific Time / 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

This article started out this morning as a list of five things to look for at this year’s WWDC, but time constraints have reduced it to just two. So here are the two I think most significant.

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WitGlass Original Poetry: “Shards of Memory”

This is my second original poem posted here on Wit.Glass. This one originated nearly two-and-a-half years ago as a poem, but the story it tells is more than twenty years old. It is a true story—as well as I am able to re-member the fragments that remain in my memory. I have also live-recorded a spoken word performance of the poem.

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The Mega ShowNotes for WitGlass Unfiltered Episode 25

The show notes I assembled for Episode 25 of WitGlass Unfiltered are so detailed that I thought I’d offer them as their own WitGlass Drafts post, as well.

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What I’m Listening to Now: Thursday, 25 May 2017, 3:29 p.m.

James Blunt’s music has been an irregular yet frequent feature of my playlists for the past ten years, starting with his album *All the Lost Souls,* released in 2007. That album was not my introduction to James Blunt—I was familiar already with his previous radio releases—but it was my introduction to his albums as whole units. 

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In the category of “nice little article on the history of Apple’s Newton PDA” . . .

Twenty years ago, I was deep in pursuit of my undergraduate degree, and as much as I loved technology, my budget for technology was $0, so I didn’t spend much time thinking about technology except for what I perceived to be of immediate use to me.

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WitGlass Original Poetry: “Long Ago”

I’ve been promising poetry, and here is your first original poem introduced exclusively on WitGlass. This poem is the longest poem I’ve written to date, and because of its length, it seemed the perfect way to introduce poetry here on WitGlass, not just in written form but in spoken form, as well. So I live-recorded a spoken word performance of the poem, as well, and broadcast it is part of an episode of my podcast *WitGlass Unfiltered.*

 

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*WitGlass Unfiltered* Show Notes are Now Fixed

I don’t know exactly what caused the problem to start with, but the complete show notes for *WitGlass Unfiltered* Episode 16 and Episode 17 were not there in the iTunes Podcast list. 

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Tired of losing arguments about politics and culture because you’re arguing with people who are scatter-brained and illogical but you don’t have enough specific facts in your arsenal to be able to silence their silliness? Well, look no further than Liberty Classroom. It’s a great way to learn the most important facts to help make a difference for the cause of liberty in your community.

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In the category of “I love it when the same people shower praise on immigrants and then turn around and assume they’re stupid” . . .

The hysteria surrounding vaccines and scheduled vaccinations is well-documented. The term “fever-pitch” comes to mind after reading this article.

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In the categories of “sad day for America” and “@CNN gets the tone of this article right” . . .

The sun is setting on one of the great Southern cities.

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