All posts filed under: Essays

My Consulting Wisdom and Platitudes


I get asked every now and again about how to operate a services business offering my skills for hire. I’d like to share some lessons learned the hard (and expensive) way primarily earning income from clients for the past 15 yrs. I just got into the MIT Media Lab and am hibernating my business, so this post serves as a reference for others who might consider getting into the consulting game sometime in the future.

dorkbot diyCHI


Tonight there is a dorkbot-boston as part of the CHI2009 conference. “What do glitter and glue, needles and thread, batteries and wires have to do with Human Computer Interaction? What can makers and crafters teach technology researchers and designers about the world and technology? How can CHI researchers engage with Do-It-Yourself communities? This session will be a dialogue about the relationships between academia and DIY communities. It will include presentations from the workshop organizers and […]

Speculative Producing – Building Artifacts as Practical Futurism


I just listened to Eurydice Aroney’s radio piece, “The Dribble Down Effect” – (listen at – Re:Sound #44) The story is a “mockumentary” done in the style of a radio documentary you might hear as a 30-minute special on NPR. While parts were definitely funny, it didn’t seem to be presented as a slapstick humorous production (a la Chris Guest’s movies). Instead, this was speculative fiction reported on in a very serious manner, peppered […]

Observations at Dev House


This Sunday I participated in DevHouse Boston. It was fantastic, exhausting, and maybe even inspiring. Dev House convenes a group of people who all are working on or wanting to work on interesting projects for one, short day. At a strict time after the hack session, everyone shows off what they’ve finished. The scope of each project is necessarily small since the emphasis is on completing something. Mac demo’ing the project we worked on There […]

lifecasting as a digital notebook


I had a meeting this morning which I think will help seed a nice, grand project over the next year. We discussed creating an augmented workspace to be used in a laboratory setting. This is the brainchild of Jason Morrison and Mac Cowell of (see the Seed Magazine article featuring Mac and his work) The concept, called SmartLab, looks to be a fun way to reapply and improve on some work I have done […]

My grand project

Essays / Personal

I moved to Boston right after July 4th of this year and have had the opportunity to introduce myself to lots and lots of new faces. I took for granted that Austin was a relatively smaller town and that I could go to just about any tech-related meetup and find at least one person that I knew. So the question, “what do you do?” has had me stumped for a while now. When most people […]

Medical Hacking


PBS Frontline did a moving story about ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). It followed Stephen Heywood’s 5 year, rapid descent into the physically paralyzing effects of the condition — the horror of the disease is that you maintain full mental capacity as your body’s muscles cease to work. This is the same disease that put Stephen Hawkin in his much-lampooned wheelchair and robot voice. There is no cure. There are very few treatments that help the […]

Get a little anxious, information overload, tagging

Essays / Opinion

This is a braindump of something I would like to think about and possibly approach some solutions this year. Information overload makes me more than a little anxious. I find it amusing and also sad that a search for “information overload” on google yields over 11.2 million results. The problem is that there is so much good stuff out there but no really useful tools to help sift through this meme avalanche. How does one […]



Last night, I was watching something on the Discovery channel called “Motorcycle Mania.”It was a thinly veiled marketing vehicle for the Discover Channel’s version of Emeril: Jesse James. The show (two different ones, actually) was a biography / documentary of how Jesse takes a custom-built motorcycle from wild concept through to production (and throws in some docudrama involving his split-up with his wife and also some VERY weak adventure/survivor flair with an “impossible” long distance […]

Laurie Anderson Concert Wrapup


Let me go ahead and talk about the concert I went to last night while it’s still fresh in my mind.I was reasonably pleased with my seat. I had a good enough view from the very back. The Paramount is a very tall theatre (in that the seats are very steep). So even though I was “far back,” I really wasn’t that far at all and could see over the person in front of me […]