Dan Philibin

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Designing Defaults

Added on Nov 20, 2022  ·  Filed under favorites

One of the most practical life skills that no one talks about is turning discipline into consistency. Discipline will only take you so far. It’s hard to be consistently disciplined.

Relying on discipline to do what you know you should do requires a lot of effort. But what if you could take that discipline and turn it into something that happens without much effort? 

Patina and Intimacy

Added on Oct 30, 2022  ·  Filed under favorites

Certain surroundings seem to dispel enchantment, and others encourage it. We take consolation in a good landscape. Architecture, good or bad, twists and turns our moods. Do our homes and public spaces resemble places of enchantment? [...]

[...] the trend is trying to make environments that could be called open, uncluttered, free of distraction, easy to clean, and low-maintenance. These are often benefits, but we should never lose sight of the tradeoffs made in their deference. And we should ask ourselves, very carefully, if they are really the tradeoffs we want to make. [...]

Handcrafted objects, textured colors, unpainted and unpolished surfaces (my walls show their raw plaster), natural materials, sunlight and shadow—all of these are signs of life. Life accepts the imperfect and the changing.

World Building

Added on Oct 30, 2022  ·  Filed under favorites

Alex Danco:

The more complex or valuable is whatever you’re trying to sell, the more important it is for you to build a world around that idea, where other people can walk in, explore, and hang out – without you having to be there with them the whole time. You need to build a world so rich and captivating that others will want to spend time in it, even if you’re not there.

The housing theory of everything

Added on Oct 23, 2022  ·  Filed under favorites, urbanism

Try listing every problem the Western world has at the moment. Along with Covid, you might include slow growth, climate change, poor health, financial instability, economic inequality, and falling fertility. These longer-term trends [...] may seem loosely related, but there is one big thing that makes them all worse. That thing is a shortage of housing: too few homes being built where people want to live. And if we fix those shortages, we will help to solve many of the other, seemingly unrelated problems that we face as well.

A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden

Added on Oct 23, 2022  ·  Filed under favorites

Maggie Appleton's definitive guide on 'digital gardens' - a sort of antidote to the one-track blogs, timelines, and feeds that now dominate the web.

In a digital garden, content is organized and linked together by topics and themes rather than published dates, giving thoughts & ideas room to grow over time (think Wikipedia). Pages are "constantly growing, evolving, and changing" alongside your thoughts.

Gardens present information in a richly linked landscape that grows slowly over time. Everything is arranged and connected in ways that allow you to explore. [...] You get to actively choose which curiosity trail to follow, rather than defaulting to the algorithmically-filtered ephemeral stream. The garden helps us move away from time-bound streams and into contextual knowledge spaces.

In performance-blog-land you do that thinking and researching privately, then shove it out at the final moment. A grand flourish that hides the process.

In garden-land, that process of researching and refining happens on the open internet. You post ideas while they're still "seedlings,” and tend them regularly until they're fully grown, respectable opinions. [...] Gardens are imperfect by design.

Some of my favorite gardens I've stumbled upon: