I worry for the country.

If I didn’t have the experiences I’ve had, it would be easy for me to believe everything is fine. In Silicon Valley, most employers pay for health insurance. Many of us eat three meals a day for free at work. Pretty much everyone here plans to vote for Hillary because the system we have is […]

Why the Something Feels the way it Does

A just-so story. At first, there was nothing. This was very confusing. “Why is there nothing?” Everyone asked. “Wait — who is doing the asking?” Clearly, this wasn’t going to work. So we decided that there would be something. We called the something a game, because we were playing at creation. The first game wasn’t all that interesting. […]

How to Be Happier

Put down that selfie stick, and get on your hoverboard! Consumer culture has produced two perfect metaphors, which will allow me to illustrate a great approach to better happiness. Consider: The World as a Selfie Stick Some people treat the world like a selfie stick. They keep it at arm’s length, and use it to create […]

Your House is On Fire!

You thought you smelled smoke, so you went to investigate. The kitchen was hot. It was flickering, too. Kitchens shouldn’t flicker. But yours was. You called to your wife, and the two of you ran out the front door. You fumbled for your phone to dial 911. As you passed the threshold, you thought, briefly, […]

Self Driving Cars: Bigger Than You Think

Check out this map of Target locations in the area around San Jose. There’s a roughly uniform density of Targets. Nobody is more than 3 miles or so from a Target. This map is roughly 9 miles on a side. Screenshotted from Google Maps. We Care About Travel Time, not Distance Target consumers don’t care how geographically […]

The Power of “Thank You”

I spent a few months in Ukraine, working with an outsourcing team there. Before the trip, I downloaded an app to help me learn some Ukrainian. After eating in a restaurant with a friend, I told the waitress “Дякую,” (Dya-kyoo), which is Ukrainian for “Thank you.” My friend told me, No no, don’t say that. […]

I just took a Time Machine to 1996.

Here’s what happened: Most people were excited to talk about the future of the internet. I showed them a machine from my pocket more powerful than machines costing them thousands of dollars. They loved it! Then we got to talking about politics. 1996 was an election year, too. Bob Dole had just put up a […]

Fairy Tales, Adapted For a Modern Audience

The following fairy tales have been adapted from their original format, to fit your modern perspective. The Boy who Cried Wolf Sheep image from pixabay. There once was a young shepherd boy whose job was to watch the sheep and make sure they didn’t run off. He cared about his job, and he loved the sheep. The […]