The E-Mail Larry Page Should Have Written to James Damore

The Economist:

Your interpretation is wrong. Your memo was a great example of what’s called “motivated reasoning”—seeking out only the information that supports what you already believe. It was derogatory to women in our industry and elsewhere. Despite your stated support for diversity and fairness, it demonstrated profound prejudice. Your chain of reasoning had so many missing links that it hardly mattered what your argument was based on. We try to hire people who are willing to follow where the facts lead, whatever their preconceptions. In your case we clearly made a mistake.

Have you ever noticed how no one takes sentences that start “I’m not a racist, but…” at face value? Here’s why, in the words of Jon Snow in “Game of Thrones” (season 7, episode 1). When Sansa Stark tells him: “They respect you, they really do, but…,” Snow laughs and comes back with: “What did father used to say? Everything before the word ‘but’ is horseshit.”

On Subscription Software

Matt Gemmell:

My favourite writing app, Ulysses, recently went subscription-only. I signed up. Subscriptions always court controversy, understandably. Here are a few thoughts.

I believe in the argument that developers need sustainable income. Paying once and then getting free updates for years isn’t reasonable. Paid upgrades can help, but subscriptions are probably a more stable business model. I can see the attraction. Beyond that, who knows?

And:

If it’s something I rarely use, I’ll probably just pick another app. If I’m not invested in it (in terms of its specific workflow, features, user experience and such), it’s even easier for me to just move away.

But if I can truthfully answer yes to one or more of those questions, and the subscription isn’t extortionate on a monthly basis, then I’ll sign up and see how I feel about it later. If I’m strongly committed, I’ll sign up for a year. If I’m less sure, one month. I’ll review it before renewal, in either case — and again, I only even reach this stage for apps which pass the above test; a tiny minority. If the apps don’t see timely updates and bug-fixes during the subscription period, obviously I’d be motivated to quit. I think that’s reasonable.

That’s what it all boils down to for me. Am I super-comfortable with subscription software? Nope. I doubt I’ll ever love the idea. But I can deal with it, if it keeps the handful of apps I really, really need updated and available.

Basically how I feel about the whole thing. And yes, I also subscribed to Ulysses. I use the app every single day.

How “Nice White People” Benefit from Charlottesville and White Supremacy

Lauren Duca, writing for Teen Vogue:

For white people who don’t self-identify as disciples of Richard Spencer, David Duke, and/or the ancient demon Beelzebub, there is extreme anxiety around the accusation of racism. We see this fear of blame in Trump’s statement. “Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama” seems to say, ‘Hey, there’s been a tense racial climate in this country forever. It’s not anyone’s fault!’ Except the opposite is true. American white supremacy has been a problem forever, and it is all of our fault, fellow white people.

White people benefit from white supremacy. Period. Peggy McIntosh spelled this out for us in 1989, but apparently we’re still not quite getting it. Her famous piece, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” lays out undeniable ways that it is simply easier to be white in this country, like always having a boss who is a fellow white person, or, you know, being able to eat Skittles at night without getting shot. Most white people didn’t ask for this privilege. Actually, that’s the whole idea. White privilege is an inherent advantage that easily goes unnoticed and unacknowledged. Rather than stuffing down the sense of shame associated with this obvious unfairness, why not work to even the playing field?

Lauren Duca’s column has become a must read for me.

Is Social Media Making You Miserable?

Markham Heid, writing at Time:

One recent study examined the links between Facebook use and wellbeing. “We found that the more you use Facebook over time, the more likely you are to experience negative physical health, negative mental health and negative life satisfaction,” says study author Holly Shakya, assistant professor and social media researcher at the University of California, San Diego.

Taking One Discography to a Desert Island

Last night, while listening to some music and having a beer, I tossed out a question on Twitter that I’ve always found fascinating:

Desert island game, but you have one band’s full discography only, who do you go with? I’m thinking I’d have to pick Jimmy Eat World.

What I’ve always liked about this question is that it forces you to make decisions beyond just thinking about a favorite band. If your favorite band doesn’t have a large catalog then you’re stuck for a while with only three albums. And if you are looking for diversity in music styles, or strength in numbers, then there’s another way you can go. The idea of a band’s entire body of work, and looking at it as a whole, has been a long running theme of mine. After asking the question, and getting promptly dunked on by none other than Mark Hoppus,1 the answers started coming in.

At first it was a bunch of what I expected from our little music scene. Lots of Brand New, Blink-182, Yellowcard, and Thrice. And then all of sudden the answers started to change. I’m not sure how or where it started,2 but the tweet ended up going a little viral and spreading way further than the small group of followers that know me and the kind of music I have written about on a daily basis for years. The replies started coming faster and it was way more Billie Joel, Rush, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, and Barbra Streisand. It was funny to watch the conversation completely change from the kind of music I’ve been listening to and writing about over the course of a few hours. And, because it’s the damn internet, that also meant I now had quite a few people that really didn’t like my pick (or some of the early replies).

Those that have read my writing for years know how much I like Jimmy Eat World. I’ve talked before about how I think they have one of the best catalogs in our little scene and they just keep putting out great music. My thought process is that I love the band, there’s a lot of music in that catalog, and there’s enough style changes so I’d have something for every mood while I’m sitting on island. Now, after getting a few snarky tweets about how could I not pick The Beatles or The Rolling Stones,3 I kinda wish I went with something even more out there: A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi, Strung Out? Might as well earn the snark.

All-in-all it was a pretty hilarious evening, and I’m curious to see how our community would answer this question. So, if you wanna hit the comments I’d love to see what the prevailing artist and catalog in our forums ends up being.


  1. I need to make this tweet a mug so I can drink tea out of it.

  2. I think somehow it got passed around a few sports writer circles.

  3. Definitely sports circle.

Andrew Belle – “When the End Comes” (Song Premiere)

Andrew Belle will release his new album, Dive Deep, on August 25th. Today I’m excited to bring you the premiere of the new song “When the End Comes.” When describing the song, Andrew said:

“When the End Comes” is about just that – it’s about how on one hand I can know that at the end of my time here I won’t care about much else besides the people that I love and who love me back; and yet I get so distracted and caught up in my own head with everything going on these days that I need reminding of that on a daily basis. At the end of my life there will only be a handful of things that mean anything to me and so I wrote this song about keeping those things close and putting everything else in the background.

Pre-orders for the album are now up and ticket packages for the upcoming tour are also available. I’ve been looking forward to this album for a while, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to disappoint.

Scott Belsky Interview on Startups

Business Insider:

Scott Belsky is an early investor in startups such as Uber, Pinterest, and Warby Parker who began his career at Goldman Sachs.

He realized quickly that Goldman wasn’t for him, so he spent the next four years saving $18,000. He used the money and some help from those close to him to quit and bootstrap a startup called Behance. Belsky didn’t take a paycheck for the next two years.

In the end, the hard work paid off. Adobe purchased Behance for a reported $150 million, and Belsky went out of his way to turn half of his employees into millionaires from the sale.

This was a really good interview.

Cool App: Streaks

After reading the MacStories review of the Streaks app, I decided to give it a shot:

Streaks helps you set personal goals and stick to them using a combination of reminders and tracking. One of the hallmarks of the app, and what undoubtedly won it an Apple Design Award in 2016, is its obsessive attention to ease-of-use. By the very nature of its mission, Streaks is an app in which you shouldn’t spend a lot of time. Whether it’s in the main app, widget, or Apple Watch app, Streaks is designed to remove the friction of turning goals into habits by tracking tasks in a way that doesn’t become tedious, which makes it important to be able to mark items as completed quickly and easily.

I’ve only been using it for three days so far, but I think this will be something I stick with for a while. I like the idea of having a few (currently only four) streaks set up to help form some habits I’ve been having trouble with.

Transmit 5 Released

Panic at have released a great update to my favorite file transfer app:

Seven years after the first release of Transmit 4, our well-loved and widely-used macOS file transfer app, we sat down with an incredibly exhaustive list of ideas, and — this’ll sound like I’m exaggerating but I’m mostly sure I’m not — we did it all.

With one massive update we’ve brought everyone’s favorite file-transferring truck into the future with more speed, more servers, more features, more fixes, a better UI, and even Panic Sync. Everything from the core file transfer engine to the “Get Info” experience was rethought, overhauled, and improved.

It’s ten bucks off this week only.

A Black Mile to the Surface (Encore Episode 151)

Encore 151

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Drew Beringer. This week we are doing a deep dive on the new album from Manchester Orchestra. The album, A Black Mile to the Surface, comes out on July 28th, so you can decide if you wanna hear all our thoughts on the album now or wait until you’ve heard it for the first time. We walk through each song on the album, so expect “spoilers.” And, we’re both pretty excited about this one.

The Best of 2017 … So Far (Encore Episode 150)

Encore 150

On this week’s episode of Encore I am joined once again by special guest Craig Manning. This week our main topic is all about the best albums released in 2017 … so far. As we hit the midway mark of the year, it’s time for our annual tradition of discussing what albums we’ve fallen in love with during the first six months, what didn’t make the list, what we were anticipating and how those stacked up, and all that jazz. (There’s also a rant about movie theaters at the beginning because some people can’t put their phones away.)

What albums have you loved this year so far? We’d love to hear from you and see if there’s something new for us to discover as well. As always, thanks for listening.

MarsEdit 4 Beta

Daniel Jalkut has announced the beta for MarsEdit 4:

It’s been over 7 years since MarsEdit 3 was released. Typically I would like to maintain a schedule of releasing major upgrades every two to three years. This time, a variety of unexpected challenges led to a longer and longer delay.

The good news? MarsEdit 4 is finally shaping up. I plan to release the update later this year.

I’ve used MarsEdit for quite a while and I used to use it to publish to my original Chorus.fm Tumblr blog. Once I moved to WordPress for Chorus, I’d made so many minor tweaks to the system and my workflow that it didn’t quite do all I needed to anymore. However, this update looks like it’ll be adding in a bunch of features that may let me use it again for posting. That’d be exciting.

Bringing First Impressions to the Main Site

For as long as I can remember I’ve been doing some version of “first impression” blogs about music on the internet. It started back on AbsolutePunk.net in my blog as I’ve always loved being able to offer some thoughts on an album without the full pressure of an official “review.” My original idea was a more free flowing and less structured way to comment on music usually after having only heard an album one or two times. Today we’ve got things like our forums and social media to serve as a similar medium for putting together opinions on something without it needing to feel too official. I like that. It’s freeing.

One of the things I’ve been doing for supporters in our supporter forum is these first listen/first impression live blogs for certain albums. The basic idea is the same as always: I listen to an album and I do a little live blogging of my thoughts, impressions, and feelings as I listen to it. It started out as a fun little way to talk about music and once again helped me feel free from some of the pressures of “official” reviews on music. It’s been a lot of fun and it seems like everyone really enjoys reading them. Now, one of the downfalls of using the forum for this is that it’s not as easy to archive and save these pieces for posterity. And they’re behind the community package paywall and therefore unaccessible to patrons of the main website. Today, I’m fixing both of those problems.

Kill Sticky Headers

Alisdair McDiarmid:

There is currently a trend for using sticky headers on websites. There’s even a sticky header web startup.

I hate sticky headers. I want to kill sticky headers.

So I made this bookmarklet.

I, also, hate sticky headers/footers/most fixed position elements on websites. It’s why Chorus doesn’t have any.

Panobook: A Notebook for Your Desk

Kickstarter:

It all started with an insight about how we use notebooks. Even though we spend 8 hours a day doing digital work on a computer, notebooks are an essential analogue tool. We noticed, while sitting at a computer, it would be great to have a notebook directly in front of us. But that would require a different type of notebook, one with more of a panoramic ratio. So that’s what we made.

Panobook works great on a desk, either in front of, behind, or to the side of your keyboard. We wanted to create a notebook that was always open and always within arm’s reach.

I think this is a great idea, but this review sold me.

American Opera – “Sidewalks” (Song Premiere)

Today we have the premiere of American Opera’s new song “Sidewalks” for you. The track comes from the upcoming album, Small Victories, which is due out on Spartan Records on June 30th. Pre-orders are now up.

Vocalist John Bee, described the song:

“Sidewalks” is about two lost souls fumbling their way through life. Two complete strangers who walk the same streets, looking for the same thing, but they never find it because they are too scared, too lost, too hurt, too far gone. The help they need, the people they need, everything they need is right there in front of them. They just can’t see it because they are blinded by life. They live in their own worlds that are the result of every moment, every interaction, every fleeting thought they have ever had. They are blinded by their own shit. They can’t see each other.

I loved working with Meeko on “Sidewalks.” We’ve worked together in the past and it was a real privilege to work with her again. She’s one of those people who doesn’t seem to understand how truly talented she is and it’s a bit maddening. It’s as if it’s effortless for her. She flew in to Atlanta on no sleep and completely knocked it out of the park. She makes another appearance later on in the album which is probably my favorite part of the record.

Settling All Family Business (Encore Episode 149)

Encore 149

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Deanna Chapman. This week it’s all about a whole bunch of new music that’s been recently released. We talk about new music from Manchester Orchestra, Bleachers, Rise Against, and All Time Low. We also give some thoughts on Apple’s WWDC and their new products, and answer a question about creating playlists and when and how we listen to them. There’s also some comic book talk, and the usual discussion of there being too much new stuff to consume.

Hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend.