All posts by Ryan Roser

Speaker Quotes from XOXO 2016

The speakers at the XOXO 2016 Conference were amazing and covered a huge range of topics. Here is a collection of quotes from the talks. I jotted these down as I heard them, while trying to follow the talk, so there may be some transcription errors.

What is work? – David Rees

Your ideas might be smarter than you – Simone Giertz

Follow your dreams right up to the point where they become your job, and then run the opposite way – David Rees

I believed in the myth of no effort – John Roderick

OOPS! I made something people are using – Leaf Corcoran

People who succeed lose the right to ask for help – Lucy Bellwood

Platitudes are designed to be told to people who have talent but don’t work hard – John Roderick

Theres an inscrutability to being kind and bubbly all the time – Lucy Bellwood

Emotional control is the ability to resist the urge to appear put together – Sammus

When you’re building things as a kid, no one expects you to build useful things – Simone Giertz

Kids today are born into a recording device, the internet – Neil Cicierega

Where there is surveillance, power imbalances will be exploited in an unethical way – Sarah Jeong

You work so hard. You should be making more – Lucy Bellwood

It is okay to keep the money people give you to because they like the things you make – David Rees

[On the internet today,] eyeballs are an encroachment that have to be paid for – Sarah Jeong

1995, a time before content – Neil Cicierega

You are allowed to want the stability of an income – Lucy Bellwood

So I just quit . . . making an effort – John Roderick

Ideas first, tools later – Simone Giertz

Things on radio are often disappointing when you see them in real life – Starlee Kine

The computer as a glowing box of secrets – Neil Cicierega

When it comes to satire, always read the comments – Jenn Schiffer

I made [the circuit board] blue because green is scary – Star Simpson

I wanted them to succeed – Leaf Corcoran

I want to impress Tokyo – John Roderick

Concurrency, Complexity, and Composability

Who should and should not be talking to your fridge? by Gilad Rosner
The dream of the IoT becomes a dystopian nightmare if anyone can mine your IoT data exhaust.

Why is Concurrent Programming Hard? by Stefan Marr
Try summarizing the article while reading all its sentences at the same time.

The 30,000 futures of the brain by Adam J Calhoun
A long, fascinating read on advances in neuroscience research.

The ‘Metaform’ – The Platform of Everything by Jonathan Murray 
Great word. It’s services all the way down.

The Crummy Pillow Paradigm

Bob Borson writes

If you think that you can’t be a part of the solution, you never will be. In fact – and possible even worse – you stop seeing the problems.

Mindset is everything.

I’ll add that I am always saddened when I work hard to find a solution to problem only to learn that the problem was ill-defined. What a waste!

A clearly articulated problem liberates the mind.

Image via

The Rise of Distributed Autonomous Companies

David Morris has a thought provoking post about Distributed Autonomous Corporations (DACs) on Aeon:

When everything from your alarm clock to your car is managed remotely through the global network, autonomous cloud robots will run free.

DACs should make us think about the immediate consequences of the rapidly accelerating automation of our economic system.

They sound like science fiction, but we may all have DACs soon due to an increasingly complex legal and regulatory environment.

Continue reading The Rise of Distributed Autonomous Companies

Sharing Means Sharing Risk

Catherine Rampell writes about the dark side of the sharing-economy:

It’s true that, in many ways, sharing-economy jobs can offer more autonomy than traditional employer-employee relationships. But there’s a dark side to these work arrangements that gets considerably less press: the shifting of risk off corporate balance sheets and onto the shoulders of individual Americans, who may not even realize what kinds of liabilities they’re taking on.

Celebration of these riskier arrangements can seem especially strange when you consider that society’s ability to better manage risk, and spread it over larger pools of people, is considered by many historians to be one of the great advances of 20th-century finance.

I’ve often thought of the sharing-economy as an example of making lemonade out of lemons.

In the churn of the Great Recession, consumers turned to less expensive sharing services to maintain their quality of life, and workers took sharing-economy jobs out of desperation. I have no doubt that companies like Airbnb or Uber are innovative, but I don’t think the sharing-economy will be put to the test until we see a more substantial improvement in the broader economy.