Hate Mowing Your Lawn? Good! Don’t Do It – The Nib

Ted Steinberg and Shannon Wright:

It’s environmentally destructive and a huge waste of time. Let it go brown.

I would love to either not have a lawn or be able to completely ignore it. The compromise so far has been paying too much money for someone else to deal with it. Our obsession with having a perfect lawn and landscaping is ridiculous.

Having a brown lawn would be totally fine with me. Having the only brown lawn in the neighborhood is something I’m not prepared to tackle yet.

Back to the Apple Watch for a Week – The Brooks Review

Ben Brooks:

Whereas, when I look at one of my traditional watches on my wrist, I get joy from looking at them

I wear my Apple Watch most days, but I do it begrudgingly. I like that it unlocks my computer. I like that it shows me the weather, and I like that sometimes it conveniently notifies me about important things. I don’t mind that it tracks my steps, event though I don’t get any real value from that.

Most of the time it’s nothing more than a tiny annoying iPhone on my wrist.

And I’ll never love it as much as I love my real, automatic watches.

Dave Winer on JSON Feed

Dave Winer:

“If developers have a hard time using XML in their apps, if that’s the problem, why not attack it right there? Work to make it easier. I work in Node and the browser, and in both places XML and JSON are equally easy to use. The same could be done for any environment. In fact in the browser, XML is integrated deeply into the programming model, because the web is made out of XML.”

I’m with Dave. Even though I’m sure it’ll make some developers happy, JSON feed feels like it’s solving a problem we don’t have.

UPDATE: I hadn’t considered the idea that even though XML/RSS is pretty well-supported, parsing JSON is somehow more fun. That alone should spur some innovation or at least get people talking about feeds again. Maybe JSON Feed is solving a problem we didn’t know we had.

Kottke’s social media fast

Kottke:

“Mostly, I’ve resolved to use my phone less. Being on my phone was my fidget spinner…this thing that I would do when there was nothing else to do or that I would use to delay going to bed or delay getting out of bed in the morning. Going forward, I’m going to be more mindful about its use. If nothing else, my hands and thumbs might start feeling better.”

Kottke joins the list of people quitting social media and writing about it. He left social media for a week, and the above quote is where he landed. Pretty much the same ending as the others. I’m not sure a week without social media is enough to have any determinable effect, but still.

Spending less time with our phones would be good for everyone.

No one really notices if a particular person goes missing because they’re just one interchangeable node in a network.

That’s not my worry. I don’t interact much on social media, so I wouldn’t expect anyone to miss me. I’d sure miss them, though.

Silicon Valley: A Reality Check – Slate Star Codex

Scott Alexander:

“Here’s my theory. If you’re an average well-off person, leading your average well-off life, consuming average well-off media and seeing ads targeted at the average well-off demographic, and going over to your average well-off friends’ houses and seeing their average well-off products, which are you more likely to hear about? A structured-light optical engine for cytological research? Or a juicer?”

Everyone piled on the Juicero thing, including me. The fiasco became a poster child of Silicon Valley vapidness. Alexander reminds us that there’s usually more going on than what we are exposed to in our little social network bubbles.

I Don’t Believe in Blockchain – Tim Bray

Tim Bray

“First off, I should say that I like blockchain, conceptually. Provably-immutable append-only data log with transaction validation based on asymmetric crypto, and (optionally) a Byzantine-generals solution too! What’s not to like? But I still don’t think the world needs it.”

I don’t know enough about blockchain to have a valid opinion, but I dismissed it outright anyway.