Jay Hoffmann

Books, movies, and code


  • #30: Folding a Project

    One of the reasons that Japanese katana’s are such strong blades is the technique used to make them called folding. A swordsmith will forge and hammer out a long blade, and then fold the steel onto itself, repeating the process dozens of time, if not more. This technique has an advantage. Each time the blade… Continue reading

  • #29: I think I’m using AI wrong

    I think I’m using AI wrong. Not wrong, obviously. There’s no right way to use AI. In fact, there may not be an ideal use case and if there is we certainly haven’t found it yet. And, as Molly White pointed out, maybe we shouldn’t be using it all. What I mean is that I… Continue reading

  • #27: I’m just an inefficient sorting algorithm

    When we first bought our house, I remember that one of my cousins (still a teenager at time) told us that when he finally had enough money to buy us a housewarming present, they surely will have figured out how to make a washing machine and dryer that folds clothes by itself, so he would… Continue reading

  • Weeknotes #2

    Reading Articles I struggle a bit with what to read and when. My reading list is getting bigger and there’s no way I’ll ever get to it all. So I found some comfort in Tracey Durnell’s Reading Philosophy in 17 Guidelines. Especially this bit: Read fiction in as few sittings as possible, but take my… Continue reading

  • This used to be our playground

    Design got its seat at the table, developed a business mindset, became increasingly inclusive, and finally grew up. So much to celebrate and so much distance travelled, and yet design seems relatively passive and polite; acquiescent in a build-by-numbers assembly process. I find myself returning to the same bit of circular thinking that Simon Collison… Continue reading

  • WordPess.com Launches New Website Service

    Mullenweg responded to them, saying he is “100% certain this will drive more up-market consulting in the future” to consultants who handle larger projects and potentially bring more business to plugin and theme developers. He also noted that Bluehost’s full service product is a similar solution and that services like Web.com have been competing in… Continue reading

  • Interview with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

    And we did a lot of work — Stacey Abrams, Latosha Brown, so many activists across the country in Arizona, Georgia, who built infrastructure — to convince people that they should give us one more shot to trust that the government will step in and do something that matters. We’ve got to deliver. As I… Continue reading

  • Death of an Open Source Business Model

    Mapbox found themselves in a similar position to Mongo and Redis: they were subsidizing R&D for a handful of trillion-dollar tech giants. In the Death of an Open Source Business Model, Joe Morrison laments at the new licensing restrictions of Mapbox, a reversal from the company’s previous business model, which he labels as “open core”… Continue reading

  • The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done

    The knowledge sector’s insistence that productivity is a personal issue seems to have created a so-called “tragedy of the commons” scenario, in which individuals making reasonable decisions for themselves insure a negative group outcome. An office worker’s life is dramatically easier, in the moment, if she can send messages that demand immediate responses from her… Continue reading

  • The Education of David Stockman

    He didn’t much care for Pickle’s proposals, because the impact of the reforms stretched out over some years, whereas Stockman was looking for immediate relief. “I’m just not going to spend a lot of political capital solving some other guy’s problem in 2010″ Greider takes us through the story of David Stockman, and the at-the-time-still-recent… Continue reading

  • Big Lessons from History

    Part of what’s made Covid dangerous is that we got so good at preventing pandemics in the last century that few people before January assumed an infectious disease would ever impact their lives. It was hard to even comprehend. The irony of good times is that they breed complacency and skepticism of warnings. Morgan Housel… Continue reading

  • Taking Back Our Privacy

    There’s a lot I like about Anna Wiener’s look at Moxie Marlinspike and Signal, and she frames it in a modern context couched in the beliefs of Marlinspike, who has done some great things. There’s a lot of strong assertions about privacy which are needed. But I was struck by this passage, which is kind… Continue reading

  • The Hidden Power

    I recently had a chance to go back and read Jane Mayer’s incredible profile on David Addigton, Cheney’s right-hand man during the Bush years. She outlines the power-play that Cheney and Addington engaged in, pulling from a Reagan era playbook to expand the powers of the Presidency to extralegal judicial rulings and commissions, and even… Continue reading

  • Force Maejure (2014)

    A fantastic distillation of the male ego, picked apart and dissected in a way that’s visceral and real. They really make you feel it, the arguments and the embarrassment, and the intimacy of the use of visuals and sounds adds to that. Details Continue reading

  • Reply to Tantek.com

    In reply to http://tantek.com/2019/171/t1/happy-14th-microformats-org. Finally converted my site (https://jayhoffmann.com/) to microformats in celebration! Next step, POSSE 🙂 Continue reading