One day, we will all be programmers#

Speaking of the programming everyman...

How, then, will the computer revolution change the world's economic profile? During the industrial revolution, the appearance of new tools of automation demanded workers with the skills to use those tools. The skills required for the computer revolution will involve the use of software and, increasingly, the creation of new software. We're already flying down this road. One day, we will all be programmers.

Why everyone should learn to program#

We passively receive ALL the various interfaces that we deploy to manipulate our environment: the stove top you use to cook your food, the knife you use to cut your meat, the piano on which you play your music, the steering wheel you use to drive your car.

Just think about that for a moment and let it sink in. EVERY interface you employ on a day to day basis is likely created by someone else. And since our own creativity is necessarily constrained by the various interfaces we employ then an absolutely crucial dimension of creativity is denied to us. [...]

If you use a computer in your day to day work - it's very likely that your processes have developed to a point where they could benefit from some degree of automation. And the only person really qualified to provide that automation ultimately will be you and YOU alone - because you may well be the only person who knows the process. [...]

I now feel cured of an affliction I never realised I had. If I had to name this affliction, I'd call it - defaultism. Always did I just default to the way of things as it was handed to me. Now I look at every aspect of my life with a hacker's eye.

Welcome, Dan, to the good life.

Evolution of intelligence and larger brain sizes can be driven by cooperation and teamwork#

By allowing the brains of these digital organisms to evolve freely in their model the researchers were able to show that the transition to cooperative society leads to the strongest selection for bigger brains. Bigger brains essentially did better as cooperation increased.

The social strategies that emerge spontaneously in these bigger, more intelligent brains show complex memory and decision making. Behaviours like forgiveness, patience, deceit and Machiavellian trickery all evolve within the game as individuals try to adapt to their social environment.

Biegert & Funk's QLOCKTWO watch#

A couple of years ago I linked to the original QLOCKTWO wall "clock," and now they've gone and shrunk the damn thing down into a stunning wristwatch.

I'm not one to wear a non-mechanical watch, but I'm probably going to make an exception for this beauty. I'm a bit concerned about its size (35mm is awfully small for a watch case these days, even when we're talking about my girly wrists), though its symmetrical shape and relatively wide strap may offset that a bit.

Trials Evolution for Xbox 360#

Trials Evolution (watch the launch trailer) is the successor to the incredible Trials HD. When Trials HD came out in 2009, I said:

A ridiculously fun, slightly-more-than-"casual" game from RedLynx and Microsoft. The physics, and consequently the gameplay, are spot-on.

Surprise, this latest version is even better. I know, you kind of expected that, but really, it is. I've put a ton of hours into it since I downloaded it yesterday, and when I'm not playing it, I'm thinking about playing it.

I've yet to see a review that's worse than 9/10, and most are closer to 9.5/10. Joystiq gave it a 10/10 and concluded their review with:

In short, every addition RedLynx has made to Evolution serves to bolster the offerings of Trials HD, while continuing to highlight the game's base: a fantastic physics engine that drives a flow that is simultaneously simple, addictive and frantic.

I couldn't agree more. It's a fantastic, fun game that's worth every penny of its $15 cost.

Within 20 seconds you can tell whether a stranger is trustworthy#

New research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests it can take just 20 seconds to detect whether a stranger is genetically inclined to being trustworthy, kind or compassionate.

I'm reading Jonah Lehrer's How We Decide (which I'll finish today), and am at a point in the book where he's touching on similar concepts (with respect to the ability to empathize, oxytocin, etc.). (Unrelated: How We Decide probably is the first book I've read this year that I'm going to give a five-star rating. It's fantastic.)

Read It Later now known as Pocket#

I'm giving Pocket a shot as my one and only "read later" service. Early last year I explained why and how I use both Instapaper and Read It Later, the gist of which is that I use Instapaper for articles and Read It Later for videos. It seems that Pocket--which attempts to auto-categorize articles, videos and images--may be a simple way for me to consolidate the services.

To that end, I just imported all of my Instapaper items into Pocket, installed the Pocket iOS apps and reconfigured all of my other apps to talk to Pocket instead of Instapaper. We'll see how it goes.

Initially I was a bit worried about the service using tags instead of folders (I use folders a fair amount in Instapaper, and during the import these were converted into tags without issue), because it seemed there was no way to view only the items with no tags (i.e., the majority of my items). However, after some farting around I noticed the "view untagged items" filter and my fears were allayed.

I've some niggles already, but won't mention them now because I'm sure they'll be resolved shortly.

Finally, I think the new name is perfect.

Dark Sky iOS app released#

I've been waiting (not so) patiently for this app to be released ever since I first wrote about it last November. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I'm genuinely excited to play around with it. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm kind of hoping for some inclement weather this week.

iOS Text Editor roundup#

My buddy, Brett Terpstra, really outdid himself with this one. If you're on the fence about which text editor to buy, or just want to get the lay of the land, there is no better resource out there. Also, the ability to filter by feature(s) is fantastic. Awesome work, Brett. Thank you.

(For what it's worth, I've tried nearly every (potentially great) editor on this list, and have stuck mostly with Notesy since it debuted. That said, I'm jumping into iA Writer quite a lot since they released their iPhone app.) turns 10#

Carving out a space for yourself online, somewhere where you can express yourself and share your work, is still one of the best possible investments you can make with your time. It's why, after ten years, my first response to anyone just getting started online is to start, and maintain, a blog.

Truth. Here's to 10 more years, Andy!

A veteran's death, the nation's shame#

An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year -- more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began. [...]

[B]eing a veteran now roughly doubles one's risk of suicide. For young men ages 17 to 24, being a veteran almost quadruples the risk of suicide.