Issue #415
Thought Shrapnel logo
a project of Dynamic Skillset Ltd.

Hello!

This has been a busy week, as my weeknote will attest.
Train moving fast and laying track in front of it as it goes
One source of pleasure recently has been reading The Jeeves Omnibus, Vol.1 by P.G. Wodehouse. I was fully expecting to hate it, given my stated disdain for privilege. However, so many people have recommended it over the years that I thought I'd give it a go. Turns out that it's hilarious and exactly what I needed to take my mind of this pandemic.

Anyway... I've had a right old rummage around the internet this week and found articles, tools, and resources that you might find useful, provoke your thinking, or just make you smile.
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Life is a great bundle of little things

As I'm catching up with news from various sources and bookmarking articles to come back and share via Thought Shrapnel, I also come across interesting tools and resources.

Here are some of them that I thought were interesting enough to share.
Bundles of different colour of flowers
ArchiveWeb.page is "the latest tool from Webrecorder to turn your browser into a full-featured interactive web archiving system!"

Bookfeed.io is "a simple tool that allows you to specify a list of authors, and generates an RSS feed with each author’s most recently released book."

Loudreader is "the world's only ebook reader that can open .azw3  .mobi files in a browser!"

NES.css is "a NES style (8bit-like) CSS framework." (also see Simple.css)

novelWriter is "a markdown-like text editor designed for writing novels and larger projects of many smaller plain text documents."

Open Peeps is a hand-drawn illustration library. "You can use Open Peeps in product illustration, marketing imagery, comics, product states, user flows, personas, storyboarding, invitations for your quinceañera...or anything else not on this list."

Pattern Generator provides you with a way to "create unique, seamless, royalty-free patterns".

Same Energy is "a visual search engine. You can use it to find beautiful art, photography, decoration ideas, or anything else."

Screenstab allows you to "cut down on time and effort by auto-generating appealing graphics for marketing materials, social media posts, illustrations & presentation slides."

Quotation-as-title by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Image by Jessica Lee.

Criticism, like lightning, strikes the highest peaks

Work of Vera Shimunia, Russian textile artist
🙏 Blogging as a forgiving medium — "The ability to “move it around for a long time” is what I’m looking for in a writing medium — I want words and images to be movable, I want to switch them out, copy and cut and paste them, let them mutate. "

I love the few minutes after I press publish on a post, which feels like a race against time between me and the first readers of it. Who will spot the typos and grammatical errors first?

📝 Open working blog and weeknotes templates — "We wrote a guide on how to write weeknotes for Catalyst projects. It is based on Sam Villis’ guide and the templates here are based on Sam’s guide too."

This is useful, especially if you're not blogging yet (or haven't for a while!)

How to be more productive without forcing yourself — "Basically, if you’re addicted to any of the high-dopamine, low-effort activity, please quit it. At least temporarily so you can reestablish a healthy relationship to work. The more experienced we’re about the topic, the more obvious this is. There is no other way than to temporarily quit the addiction."

I like the practical advice in this article. Too many people do stuff that's too low-value, thus squandering their talent and ability to take on more important stuff.

🤔 Objective or Biased — "This type of analysis software is not widely used in recruiting in Germany and Europe right now. However, large companies are definitely interested in the technology, as we learn during off-the-record conversations. What seems to be attractive: A shorter application process which can save a lot of resources and money."

This is kind of laughable and serious at the same time. I've felt the pain of hiring but, as this research shows, automating the hard parts doesn't lead to awesome results.

📱 Contact-tracing apps were the biggest tech failure of the COVID-19 pandemic — "The system itself, on a technical level, is the root of the problem. In an effort to provide something that could be used universally, while also protecting users’ privacy, Google and Apple came up with a system that was doomed to be useless."

My concern here is that the fault for the failure will be placed at the door of privacy activists.

Quotation-as-title by Baltasar Gracián. Images by Vera Shimunia, Russian textile artist via #WOMENSART


Until next week!

Doug
Thought Shrapnel Weekly is published by Dr. Doug Belshaw. You can connect with him by replying to this email, or via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Mastodon.


Some say he's got a bad back. Others think he's on the right track. No-one is likely to find him on horseback.


PS I'm booking in work for May at the moment, so get in touch if you fancy a free, no-strings chat. It would be nice to hear from you anyway, to be honest.

- hello@dynamicskillset.com (digital literacies, critical friend & coaching)
- doug@weareopen.coop (everything else)
Many thanks to Bryan Mathers of Visual Thinkery for the Thought Shrapnel logo.

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