Browser Tabs No. 11

nps-future

This week, among other things, I fell back in love with the folks at 37signals Basecamp.

What are questions?

“Questions are places in your mind where answers fit. If you haven’t asked the question, the answer has nowhere to go. It hits your mind and bounces right off. You have to ask the question — you have to want to know — in order to open up the space for the answer to fit.”

Jason Fried paraphrasing Clay Christensen on Medium.

A 200-year transformation: How the Mall became what it is today

washington-post-mall

This is an utterly awesome piece by the Washington Post. Growing up in Northern Virginia, the Mall was essentially how I perceived Washington, DC. Then, as a student living downtown, I would walk past the White House on my way to class, or take a late night bike ride around the museums. Yes, tourist season never stops — but you can’t help but appreciate the fact that, like Paris or Rome, people from all over the world come to Washington, DC, just to see what’s there.

It Makes No Sense That Word Processors Are Still Designed for the Printed Page

The thing we’ve lost with modern word processors is simplicity. There are more layers between us and the page than ever, and the story barely even has room to breathe. I want as little between me and the article I’m writing as possible, and I’m sure other writers have to feel the same way.

This article from Motherboard is just my type of clickbait. I believe that clunky tools like Microsoft Word have done irrepairable damage to the way people think about communicating. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the features and widgets of Word that we forget how to formalize our thoughts for other humans. When was the last time you knowingly used a legitimate heading in your document and not just a bold line of text? (Yes, there is a meaningful difference between the two.)

The beautiful thing about Markdown is that, free from the distraction of visual formatting, you can seriously focus on the structure and subject of whatever you’re trying to say. The syntax is 100% platform agnostic and doesn’t require any special apps (though there are many out there). Just open up TextEdit or Notepad and formalize your thoughts.