Category Archives: College Humor

On the Complicated Economics of Attention Capital

A Serious Consideration In recent years, I’ve occasionally tackled an intriguing question: are distracting technologies partially to blame for our economy’s sluggish productivity numbers? I’m often tentative about addressing this topic because I’m not an economist, and serious economists seem

The Woodworker Who Quit Email

The Disconnected Craftsman Christopher Schwarz is a master furniture maker. In addition to working on commissioned pieces in his Kentucky storefront, he’s the editor of a press that publishes books on hand tool woodworking. In his spare time, he researchers

The da Vinci Pause

Leonardo’s Life Hack Last month, Walter Isaacson released his big new biography of Leonardo da Vinci. I haven’t read it yet (though it’s inevitable I will). In the meantime, I listened to Brett McKay’s sharp podcast interview with Isaacson. As

Sean Parker on Facebook’s Brain Hacking

A Conscientious Objection  Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, was interviewed onstage yesterday at an event held by Axios at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The topic was cancer innovation, but the conversation turned at some point to Parker’s

Arnold Bennett’s Fight Against Steampunk Social Media

How to Live In 1910, Arnold Bennett published a short volume titled How to Live on 24 Hours a Day. He was alarmed with the way the newly emergent British middle class seemed to waste their time outside of work.

Segment’s Systematic Quest for Depth

Segment’s Focus Problem Segment is a typical Silicon Valley success story. It’s a data analytics software company started by three MIT dropouts in 2011. Last year it raised $ 64 million in its Series C funding round. Things at Segment,

Andrew Wiles on the State of Being Stuck

A Persistent Answer Ben Orlin is a math teacher who publishes the clever essay blog, Math with Bad Drawings. Last year, Orlin had the opportunity, during a press conference at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, to ask a question of Andrew

Jony Ive’s iConcern

Ive’s iConcern At last week’s New Yorker TechFest conference, superstar Apple designer Jony Ive took the stage. At some point during the presentation, Ive was offered a softball question about the ways the iPhone has changed the world. Ive’s response

Are You Using Social Media or Being Used By It?

A Social Experiment If you, like many people, use social media and generally agree that it’s an important technology, try the following experiment. Take out a piece of paper and list your most important uses for these services — the

Spend More Time Alone

A Lonely Binge I recently read three books on the topic of solitude. Two were actually titled Solitude, while the third, and most recently published, was titled Lead Yourself First — which is pitched as a leadership guide, but is actually a