A few of his fans were unhappy that I said I thought Donaldson was an algorthimically-optimized charisma void that looks like someone who would wear pants that zip off into shorts.

Ryan Broderick on a certain YouTuber

February 2, 2023

Weeknote CW04 (S4E2)

As we say at my house, there was too much week in this week!

Personal, home and family life needed to be prioritised so I took leave on Wednesday and Thursday to create some space for it.

Company names are always made up and change week to week.

Monday: Another typical Monday. Reviewed a proposal from late last year for Padlock Microsystems seem to be ready to commit. Continued grinding my way through onboarding for a relationship with a SaaS provider in our space. It’s a lot. Also chatted to someone who’s looking to escape academia and pivot into UX.

Tuesday: A brief business development chat for a fun project for Boarstar who do something fun but have a tiny budget. The sort of projects that we do for a treat in between working for the banks. Ongoing project for Forest Electronics is gathering steam and the team on that are doing great work herding the client cats. Ended the day with a call with Padlock Microsystems who are super keen to start in the coming week. Relied on a jargon-free Cynefin-style replay to them of what they were talking about and I think I won them over.

Wednesday: Home stuff.

Thursday: Exhausted from Wednesday.

Friday: Still exhausted from Wednesday. Spent the afternoon finishing writing up case studies for the new company website.

January 23, 2023 weeknote

Weeknote CW05 (S4E3)

No weeknote this week. I was on leave.

January 15, 2023 weeknote

Weeknote CW03 (S4E1)

Oh, yeah. We’re back.

This season in Weeknotes:

The week

Company names are always made up and change week to week.

Monday: typical Monday. A few internal meetings, checked in with the Bear Paw Systems project team. A slow-ish start there, unsurprising because we started in the week before we broke for Xmas and most people client side are still on holidays.

Tuesday: An out of the blue call with a senior consultant in my team who has a challenging client. We talked about how to think about exerting some more influence. Helped a some new consultants who bring a new capability set the firm get a better handle on some tools we use. Actually worked on writing some case studies so we can get in to a government panel.

Wednesday: Casual 1:1 with a very dynamic colleague. Between us we could go down so many rabbit holes. I’ve started making light agendas so we actually get through what we need to. Mapped out the projects I worked on last year so I can update my client-facing CV — 22! Also mapped out times, dates and locations that Mrs K will be travelling this year.

Thursday: In the office with the crew. Bagels for brunch (7/10, too much like bread, not enough like bagels). Delivered the second of four internal capability sessions. The first two were based on the ResearchSkills.net capability framework with some Maturity Mapping layered in.

Friday: Checked in again with the Bear Paw Systems team, and 1:1’d with the project lead. Everything is under control. Also spend most of the day chasing why Ms 14’s new bank account was semi-borked which involved three branch visits and 30 minutes on hold with the bank’s helpdesk.

January 15, 2023 weeknote

The End of Programming

Matt Welsh in CACM

The engineers of the future will, in a few keystrokes, fire up an instance of a four-quintillion-parameter model that already encodes the full extent of human knowledge (and then some), ready to be given any task required of the machine

I can’t get over this bit: The full extent of human knowledge (and then some)”

January 9, 2023 WhatIsWorkAnyway

Star Trek is just staff meetings in space, right?

Via JWZ, via a tumblr thread:

Klingons: Okay we don’t get it

Vulcan Science Academy: Get what

Klingons: You Vulcans are a bunch of stuffy prisses but you’re also tougher, stronger, and smarter than Humans in every single way

Klingons: Why do you let them run your Federation

Vulcan Science Academy: Look

Vulcan Science Academy: This is a species where if you give them two warp cores they don’t do experiments on one and save the other for if the first one blows up

Vulcan Science Academy: This is a species where if you give them two warp cores, they will ask for a third one, immediately plug all three into each other, punch a hole into an alternate universe where humans subscribe to an even more destructive ideological system, fight everyone in it because they’re offended by that, steal their warp cores, plug those together, punch their way back here, then try to turn a nearby sun into a torus because that was what their initial scientific experiment was for and they didn’t want to waste a trip.

Vulcan Science Academy: They did that last week. We have the write-up right here. it’s getting published in about six hundred scientific journals across two hundred different disciplines because of how many established theories their ridiculous little expedition has just called into question. Also, they did turn that sun into a torus, and no one actually knows how.

Vulcan Science Academy: This is why we let them do whatever the hell they want.

Klingons: …. Can we be a part of your Federation

January 9, 2023

our desire to post and create content is way higher than it is to seek out additional context or admit we just don’t and won’t ever have it”

— Ryan Broderick in Garbage day

I think this also applies more generally: our desire to have an opinion is higher than it is to seek out additional context, or simply admit we don’t know enough to have an opinion.

January 1, 2023

The Application of Materials

Every designer should know the application of materials 1.

As a UX designer, this is tricky. What is the material of UX? Or rather, what is UX manipulating?

People will say that the material of UX is behaviour, but I find that reductive. And inaccurate as changing thoughts and actions is the point of all design.

I don’t have a good answer.


  1. I’m following Danah Abdulla’s Designerly Ways of Knowing↩︎

January 1, 2023 designerlywaysofknowing

No one knows how work works

Attributed to Patrick S Tomlinson:

1960’s Futurists: Automation will free mankind from meaningless tedium to focus on creative pursuits only human beings can master.

2020’s Techbros: We’re building AI to write all your books, music, and TV so you can focus on the meaningless tedium of your cubicle job.

December 27, 2022 WhatIsWorkAnyway

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