Future Building

We Need Public Spaces Online

Replied to To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks by Eli Pariser (WIRED)
We need public spaces, built in the spirit of Walt Whitman, that allow us to gather, communicate, and share in something bigger than ourselves.

To Mend a Broken Internet, Create Online Parks in Wired by Eli Pariser

What would an online park look like?

I could see an online space with different rooms you can interact with in different ways, like chat rooms and message boards you can join in conversation.

You could let users indicate when they join that they’re open to connecting and could have like a double opt in (hot or not style swiping on profiles, and ability to rate or flag other users who are problematic).

There could also be some geographic limitations, whether the whole “park” or just certain areas that might be IP based (yeah you can spoof it but most people wouldn’t). Reminds me of that decentralized social network Scuttlebutt that only syncs when you come in physical proximity to other users.

I think there’s also a value to public spaces of sharing art and political speech temporarily, like hanging up a poster. Could have a fun community angle where all the art is only up for a week to start but people who want to keep it around could pitch in a buck or two a day to license it, with the money going to the artist (or donated to charity or paying for server upkeep).

I feel like space itself, interacting with it and moving through it, is a valuable aspect of parks and public spaces that could be interesting to replicate in a virtual format. A lot of public spaces are designed spaces, and I think there could be some cool partnerships with designers and artists and creative people to create spaces that prompt a certain type of interaction or thinking (prompts or visuals). I’m reminded of Meow Wolf.

To keep it a safe space you can either have verified users or paid users. Paying even a dollar for membership would deter a lot of bad actors. You could let the community pay it forward by covering memberships for students and those who can’t afford it for greater inclusivity but those members not paying their own way would have a one strike and you’re out policy for bad action to prevent abuse.

Hmm, did I just reinvent Minecraft?


360 Degree Panoramic Drone Footage of Mount Everest

See what the summit of Mount Everest looks like in 360 degrees

Aerial drone photography by Renan Ozturk.

pyramidal chunks of ice 10 stories tall fill a glacial valley beside a "miracle highway" of moraine till sunrise behind mount everest from the north side with the north col visible


Kayaking through the Fjords of Norway


Nicely edited to cut from scene to scene on the paddle stroke. Lots of beautiful places to see in Norway. Especially stricken by the clear water on one river where you can see the rocks on the river bed. Poor music choice IMO.

Mental Health

Watched The UX of Burnout

Watched The UX of Burnout: There and Back Again by Thorsten Jonas from Adobe Max

Join this session to hear one strategic UX consultant’s personal journey through a burn-out and the changes he made to work life as a creative person and leader.

At Adobe Max 2020 virtual conference.

Presented by Thorsten Jonas.

Related to this personal talk. He makes a good point that we can still be creative even while we are burned out but that we can’t use that as an excuse not to deal with problems.

He described a familiar pattern of having trouble, taking a break, then returning without changing anything (which lets the problem return).

His approach to recovering from burnout:

  1. Use your tools (things you know help you)
  2. Focus on things besides work / strengthen your personal life
  3. Reevaluate work
  4. Start new things, connect with new people, try new directions

“The key to healing is the confrontation with yourself.”


Watched Banff Film Festival 2019 World Tour

Watched Banff Film Festival from

Blue track including:

  • Charge – 4 min – people having a hoot skiing
  • Bayandalai – Lord of the Taiga – 11 min – spiritual BS from a Mongolian herder
  • The Imaginary Line – 10 min – fun weekend masquerading as meaningful protest
  • Deer 139 – 44 min – ridiculous hijinks from lady scientists backpacking along the path of a radio collared deer – good soundtrack
  • Billder – 6 min – Canadian dude self finances building mountain bike trails on Vancouver Island by firefighting – could have been longer, enjoyed it but wanted a bit more
  • HUNZA ski and culture in Pakistan – 33 min – three French skiers climb remote mountains all over the Hunza valley and ski down them – had 5 min talking with the first recognized Pakistani climber, maybe shoulda made it more about him
  • Circle of the Sun – 5 min – woman surfs and skis in the midnight sun – bad poetry – needed more time for message to come through
  • REEL ROCK 13: Up To Speed – 20 min – entertaining documentary about speed climbing, a new Olympic sport – of course the Russians are hardcore into it

There’s something about the homemade films that has an extra charm and reality. They’re put together by a handful of friends, by appearances, and honor simple experiences and good people.

Unfortunately the film fest doesn’t work on smart TVs so we spent like half an hour connecting a series of cables trying to get it to play from a laptop.

Food Outdoors

Watched Gordon Ramsay’s Uncharted: Norway

Watched Gordon Ramsay Braves Norway’s Winter Viking Season by Gordon Ramsay from National Geographic

From herding reindeer to scuba diving in wintry waters, Gordon gets to the heart of traditional Norwegian cuisine and where it’s headed.

Future Building

A Surveillance Free Public

In another angle of how government should work differently than businesses, here’s one that should have occurred to me: government websites should be surveillance free.

I removed analytics from my personal blog a little over a year ago. But it didn’t occur to me that I could do anything about the local government where I work.

As a public servant, I need to try to push my city to think about what is best for our residents. The City is redoing its website right now and I’d bet we’re continuing to use Google Analytics on the new platform. I can plant a seed of thought at the least.

Does the value staff and Council get in knowing how many people visit a page or which pages see the most traffic outweigh the cost to our residents in providing that data to Google? I’d argue no. Analytics do help staff improve the usability of our website but probably not enough to justify the cost of being surveilled on a government website.

Would many people in my tech-sector town (which houses a Google office) bat an eye that their data were being collected on the city website? Probably not, but that doesn’t give us a pass. And those who don’t want to share their data shouldn’t have limited access to government services. We have an opportunity to do better by our residents, to be leaders in protecting our residents’ privacy.

Cool Future Building History

Persian Desert Ice Storage Structure

Liked Yakhchāl (
Yakhchal of Yazd province

“A yakhchāl is an ancient type of evaporative cooler. Above ground, the structure had a domed shape, but had a subterranean storage space. It was often used to store ice, but sometimes was used to store food as well. The subterranean space coupled with the thick heat-resistant construction material insulated the storage space year round.” Wikipedia

“In most yakhchāls, the ice is created by itself during the cold seasons of the year; the water is channeled from the qanat (Iranian aqueduct) to the yakhchāl and it freezes upon resting inside the structure.”

“Sometimes equipped with a system of bâdgirs (ancient design of windcatchers or wind towers) that could easily bring temperatures inside the space down to frigid levels even in summer days… Bâdgirs catch the slightest breeze by the vents at the top and funnel the cooling air down through internal, vertically-placed wooded slats to the water or structure below. Alternately, the bâdgir can function as a chimney, expelling warm air upward to pull cool air in from a base opening…”

Resources and Reference Science Science Fiction

Minimum Population for a Self-Sustaining Space Colony

Bookmarked Minimum Number of Settlers for Survival on Another Planet (

Salotti, J. Minimum Number of Settlers for Survival on Another Planet. Sci Rep 10, 9700 (2020).

110 people

Calculations based on Mars using mathematical models

Sharing labor is key to balancing output needs with input capabilities

Art and Design Resources and Reference

Text for Testing Typefaces from Hoefler and Co

Bookmarked Text for Proofing Fonts (

Text for proofing typefaces. Give this a try for body type on longform document design, in place of lorem ipsum.

H&Co Lowercase 1.0

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