Loud Thinking: Broadcasting Brain
Wednesday, October 31, 2001 @ 23:32 | | Challenge?

Pointless soundbytes no one would oppose

Denmark is 20 days from having an election for government. That's 20 days of meaningless soundbytes delivered in vague words followed by empty smiles. My head hurts in mere anticipation.

"We want to improve health care, the waiting lists are unacceptable long", "We want help the elders, they deserve better".

Statements no one would oppose are pointless. Pointless statements wrapped in the language of politics are annoying. Stop annoying me!

Monday, October 29, 2001 @ 23:03 | | Challenge?

List lovers and outliners

I love lists, especially when prioritized. They empower good thoughts to become great concepts. And in doing so, moves the brain out of the silo and into the command center, where action supersedes storage. The power of association is unleased, connections appear, and redundancy is eliminated.

Being a list lover, however, isn't made easy when your tool is a text editors or a word processor. They require too much manual fiddling to perform the basics, like moving items up and down lists, and hiding details to reveal the big picture. Some list lovers accept this fiddling tax, others experiment with spreadsheets, but these are just bumps on the road to list loving Mecca: The outliner.

Outliners are built to make the life of a list lover easy. They can move items up and down and in and out of a hierarchy, and abstract to a higher level of thinking by collapsing details with the push of a hot key. The fiddling is replaced with enjoyment, as your thoughts are organized faster than you can type them.

Enticed? Then I recommend NoteMap. It's one of the few outliners benifiting from active development (most of the famous outliners are from the 80'ies), has familiar Word-styled formatting, and a nice feel to it. If you want to try something more net-integrated there's UserLand's Radio. The former is unfortunatly quite expesive at $99 after the 30 days trial expire (it's aimed at lawyers), while the later is free. But do give them both a try.

I love lists, especially when outlined.

Sunday, October 21, 2001 @ 18:37 | | Challenge?

Download the new Jewel single on Winamp.com

Speaking of WinAmp, they have the new Jewel single "Standing Still" for free download on their web site. Full length, 96kbps, WMA format. It's a very nice track; I can't wait for the full album.

BTW: Looking over the track list for the new album, I noticed that Jewel has a song called "Grey Matter" on as a bonus track. Noah must feel flattered :)

Sunday, October 21, 2001 @ 18:04 | | 2 challenges

Taking a detour from the play list, easily

My play list in WinAmp contains 1.953 songs from Nirvana to Sound of Seduction to Jewel. A diverse selection I usually let the random mode decide how to navigate -- with occasionally intervention of the next button when I differ on the chosen path.

This works fine, most of the time. Except when I want to take a short detour, like sticking around in the Red Hot Chili Peppers section for Otherside and Road Tripping, when Mr. Random picks Californication.

Taking such a detour requires tedious steps of manual interaction:

  1. Take WinAmp out of random mode
  2. Move Californication down five steps the play list to hover right above Otherside.
  3. Move Road Tripping up four steps to wait just below Otherside.
  4. Remember to revert to random mode before Parallel Universe hijacks the gentle mode I'm left in coming out of Road Tripping.
  5. Move all tracks back to their original positions, so I don't disturb the flow when wanting to hear the entire album. (I usually skip this step out of laziness).

This is just enough work to break my concentration on whatever I was really spending my time on.

Enter Detour Flags (TM?): Users could plant these on any number of songs in their play list, and when the playing song stops, WinAmp takes a detour from current play list and mode of playing to following the flags, before returning to the original course.

In my case, all I would have to do is give Otherside flag 1 and Road Tripping flag 2 when reaching Californication. WinAmp would follow the flags, giving me the best of Red Hot, before handing the direction back to Mr. Random.

My musical adventures would be enriched. Would yours?

Monday, October 15, 2001 @ 00:47 | | Challenge?

Turning another year

I'm 22 now. Not a major deal, the earth didn't move, I don't feel older. Turning 21 was more of an event. I guess it won't be until I hit 25 that it'll matter much.

Saturday, October 13, 2001 @ 15:09 | | Challenge?

UPS package tracking omits delivery time

I've recently ordered a Sony laptop from a German shop, and UPS is now responsible for bringing it to my door. Like FedEx, UPS lets me track the package online, but won't tell me when it'll arrive. I spent 10 minutes refusing to believe that fact yesterday in a frantic search around the site.

How can they forget to answer the single most important question package recipients have? Knowing when I need to be home to get my package is pretty important. Everything else, like knowing my laptop spends the weekend in Hanover, is a distant second.

The failure of their tracking site prompted a call to their hotline service this morning That wasn't much of a success either. I got hold of a Swedish woman who thrice tried to get me to state the tracking number one digit at a time, before I acknowledged that it wasn't because I couldn't hear her, but because I couldn't understand her. We switched to speaking English for the rest of the conversation. Awkward.

All this to learn that I'll have my Vaio Monday between 9 and 17.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 @ 22:47 | | 1 challenge

Amazon.com keeps impressing while depressing

I envy American book shoppers. Besides getting most books faster, they also get all the Amazon improvements first. Take this wonderful new look with sample pages. I bet it'll be months before Amazon.co.uk, where I do my shopping, get this. Back to browsing on the American site, and swapping for the buy to the UK site.

To Amazon: Thanks for the continous improvements, but could you please boost tickle down time on improvements a tad?

Tuesday, October 9, 2001 @ 22:20 | | Challenge?

AMD picks a better bat for winning the match

Without AMD nipping Intels heels, corporate strategy would reign supremely in deciding the pace of the PC evolution. New processors would patiently wait for older models to complete their tour of duty before being introduced. The state of the art would carry a $1000 price tag.

We've been there, we don't want to go back. Certainly not because the average consumer holds a (largely) meaningless number as the sole point of comparison between processors.

Intel still owns the PC market. AMD has to play their game if they want to survive. Having the megahertz count disappear from AMD's marketing material will make the rules slightly less biased. It won't be free homeruns, but a better bat.

Sunday, October 7, 2001 @ 19:54 | | Challenge?

Selective drumming of worldly freedom

I just heard the president of the United States speak to the world about freedom on a backdrop of a foreign capital under attack. The words came across perfectly, but the meaning less so. A strange sight indeed.

The bombs are meant to be the first step in overthrowing the Taliban, weaken the terrorists network of Al-Queda, and supposedly help the people of Afghanistan.

Say the Taliban rulers are replaced by someone else, like the Northern Alliance. Why should we think replacing one set of guerilla warriors for another is the answer? There's plenty of historic evidence to the contrary.

We've heard suprisingly little about these Northern Alliance warriors. Might that be because they wouldn't look like such a glorious set of allies on closer inspection? Probably.

Where replacing the Taliban like this is open for discussion, there's no question that Bin Ladin is set to benefit. His cause just got another boost, a whole new roster of candidates for suicide bombs are ready to sign up. Bombs that doesn't take Bin Ladin out only makes him stronger.

The people of Afghanistan will be left with the city of Kabul in ruins, and a weak promise of help from the west (where was the help before september 11th?). I doubt they have very high hopes for the promises coming out of the White House.

Saturday, October 6, 2001 @ 17:43 | | Challenge?

Removing doubts by enjoying benefits

The past month of exposure to the world of economics have been mind altering. My information processing and building skills have increased immensely, and not just in the area of economics, but all areas of systematic thinking.

Understanding the motivations of businesses and governments reduce the complexities of absorbing the daily flow of worldly changes. Economic patterns and theories makes comprehending society easier. They're tools for filtering out noise and focussing on the signal.

Concerns on whether these tools will be directly applicable to the job of my dreams shouldn't be allowed to hog brain cycles. They're easing life in a commercial world, revealing connections previously hidden, and jump-starting great thinking.

That's plenty of justification for pushing further.

Want more loud thinking? Check the archives
Got love or hate to share? Write me!

- Danish Design of '79
- Biz/CS student
- Web developer

- Dave Winer
- John Robb
- Michael Barrish
- Mark Pilgrim
- Evan Williams
- Joel Spolsky
- Glenn Fleishman
- Cameron Barrett
- Zimran Ahmed
- Phill Wolff
- Robert Scoble
- JD Lasica
- Gail Armstrong
- Malthe Sigurdsson
- Jeppe Kruse
- Jakob Skjerning
- Tinka
- Yami
- Thomas Madsen-Mygdal

- Becky (Emailer)
- The Brain (?)
- NoteMap (Outliner)
- UltraEdit (Editor)
- NetCaptor (Browser)
- WebDrive (FTP)
- Gamespy 3D (Gaming)

Utada Hikaru / Red Hot Ch P / Beth Orton / Sade / Jewel / Randi Laubek