Rob Knight

This is my list of things I’ve found (articles, videos, presentations) that struck a chord with me. You can see all of my things on Pinboard.

  • September 07, 2018

    Something to look forward to

    Austin Kleon on striving and goals. I love the guidance to have something to look forward to. As many things change unexpectedly in my life, I have found comfort in my Saturday morning hikes. By Wednesday, I usually have a thought about where I'd like to go. By Friday evening, I have a plan. I don't give it too much thought. I just let myself be drawn to an area, then I plan a hike. That is my Arbitrary Stupid Goal: a weekly hike, usually early on Saturday morning. Having something to look forward to gives me hope during a challenging period of my life.

  • September 05, 2018

    The #1 Office Perk? Natural Light

    Forget treadmill desks and free food. Employees want to see the sun.

  • September 05, 2018

    20,000 Hertz: Jingles

    This is the story of the rise, fall, and brain science of the jingle.

  • August 27, 2018

    In the event of a nuclear explosion

    This is...horrifying, yes. But also quite practical and possibly life-saving. So there. Be scared, and know how to save yourself.

  • August 06, 2018

    Intelligent Assistants: Users’ Attitudes Toward Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

    "Some said that the assistant was like a young child who could not understand complicated things; others compared it with an old person who did not hear very well. One noted that you cannot “speak for too long, because [the assistant] gets distracted,” while a different participant said that the queries should be shorter than 10 words."

  • July 25, 2018

    Maurice Sendak: On Life, Death And Children's Lit

    "I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more."

  • May 02, 2018

    Scheduling Slack messages using AWS Lambda

    One of those keystone tutorials that helps bring together important concepts for both serverless and Slack API development.

  • February 21, 2018

    Some ideas on how to make social change

  • February 12, 2018

    Everything Easy is Hard Again

    Lovely essay by Frank Chimero about being a person who builds things on the web.

  • February 09, 2018

    'I Hope This Is an Instance of Fake News': FBI Messages Show the Bureau's Real Reaction to Trump Firing James Comey

    What more than 100 pages of internal FBI communications after Comey's dismissal show about the bureau.

  • February 09, 2018

    The Follower Factory

    Everyone wants to be popular online. Some even pay for suspicious companies for followers. Inside social media’s black market.

  • February 07, 2018

    FBI Messages Show the Bureau's Real Reaction to Trump Firing James Comey

    Quite a stark contrast between the thoughtfulness of the leaders within the FBI and the feckless lying from the White House.

  • February 05, 2018

    Advice from young terminally-ill patients

    Be kind. Read more books. Spend time with your family. Crack jokes. Go to the beach. Hug your dog. Tell that special person you love them.

  • January 07, 2018

    Sarah Silverman's response to a Twitter troll is a master class in compassion

  • January 02, 2018

    Rachel Andrew and the Smashing community on being productive

    We asked the community on Twitter and Facebook to share their best productivity tips, and in this article I’m going to round these up alongside some things I’ve learned that work well for me.

  • December 06, 2017

    Cory Doctorow on Russian election meddling

    "The most disturbing thing about a foreign power playing a dispositive role in a US election is that it implies that the US's own political apparatus is as brittle as, say, the Allende-era Chile, a country that had been looted for decades."

  • December 05, 2017

    Awesome List: Leading and managing

    Awesome List of resources on leading people and being a manager. Geared toward tech, but potentially useful to anyone.

  • December 03, 2017

    Hayley Webster on Twitter: "I'm going to write a thread about the nicest Christmas gift I ever received."

  • November 27, 2017

    In-depth critique of the NYT profile of a Nazi

    "The NYTimes is densely defending their article by claiming it was intended to shed light on the normalcy of racism in American society. I agree this is a worthy topic of discussion. So, let’s talk about all the things the Times could have *actually* achieved this."

  • November 10, 2017

    Fuck Twitter

    "Twitter is far from a magnifying lens. It’s more like a kaleidoscope or a fun mirror. It’s showing what humans pretend to be when we perform for each other."

  • October 26, 2017

    'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

  • October 07, 2017

    Five Minutes to Better Typography

    A lovely and easy tutorial on typography by Pierrick Calvez.

  • September 25, 2017

    Short Trip - Alexander Perrin

    Beautiful digital illustration.

  • September 24, 2017

    How I got to 200 productive hours a month

    "But you are not your thoughts, and they have no power over you until you feed them with attention."

  • July 30, 2017

    Do you want to be known for your writing, or for your swift email responses?

    Perfect advice for prioritizing real work over your fear of disappointing people. "You are not saying no to an event where you might make an important connection, you are saying yes to your work."

  • July 26, 2017

    The Oatmeal: creativity and working for yourself

    A rather lengthy comic about being a content creator.

  • July 09, 2017

    I don't think there has been a better account of the Trump presidency than this.

  • June 29, 2017

    I don't know how to explain to you that you should care about other people

    Our disagreement is not merely political, but a fundamental divide on what it means to live in a society.

  • February 22, 2017

    Making news great again, a tweetlist by @noahpinion

  • February 20, 2017

    FIRE: Disinvitation Database

    A database of incidents where a speaker was disinvited from speaking at a college or university in the United States between 2000-present.

  • February 01, 2017

    The data that turned the world upside down

    Seventy "likes" were enough to outdo what a person's friends knew, 150 what their parents knew, and 300 "likes" what their partner knew. More "likes" could even surpass what a person thought they knew about themselves. On the day that Kosinski published these findings, he received two phone calls. The threat of a lawsuit and a job offer. Both from Facebook.

  • January 27, 2017

    The true, correct story of what happened at Donald Trump’s inauguration

    "When the floor is lava, Donald Trump can walk on it, but only Donald Trump."

  • January 24, 2017

    You are not equal. I’m sorry.

    An essay about equality and why it's important for women to continue to push for it.

  • January 19, 2017

    This guy tricked Infowars into publishing a completely fake report On Trump

    "There's no level of judgement from these people claiming to be journalists, there is no rigour whatsoever and they're the first people to see an article from The New York Times or CNN or BuzzFeed and call it fake news."

  • January 19, 2017

    The Rebel Journalist Manifesto

    I think these rules should extend to all of us, in all online forums.

  • January 17, 2017

    Shut up about connecting with Trump's middle America

    "It should be clear by now that a lot people voted for Trump as an act of irrational hostility. I think a lot of these supposedly poor, misunderstood souls in the hinterlands knew damn well that Donald Trump wasn’t gonna bring their jobs back. They just didn’t like the fact that OTHER people are now prospering. Their Trump vote was an act of aggression, a stamp of tacit approval for his campaign of hatred."

  • January 17, 2017

    What is the one thing that vastly improved the way you work?

    Wake up early and block distracting websites.

  • January 08, 2017

    Understanding Rural America isn’t the problem

    "For us “coastal elites” who understand evolution, genetics, science…nothing we say to those in fly-over country is going to be listened to because not only are we fighting against an anti-education belief system, we are arguing against God. You aren’t winning a battle of beliefs with these people if you are on one side of the argument and God is on the other. No degree of understanding this is going to suddenly make them less racist, more open to reason and facts. Telling “urban elites” they need to understand rural Americans isn’t going to lead to a damn thing because it misses the causes of the problem."

  • December 14, 2016

    Five Leadership Hacks – Rands in Repose

    These are good. And small. And easy to make into habits.

  • December 11, 2016

    10 Font pairing resources

    Sites that recommend font pairings and font stacks.

  • November 15, 2016

    How we broke democracy

    Tips for ideological isolation in social media.

  • October 14, 2016

    Be kind

    "Be kind and see the potential in people. Give them a break."

  • June 23, 2016

    Don't scar on the first cut

    Great advice for organizations, period.

  • May 29, 2016

    Insights into managing software developers

    Aimed at software development, but really this is excellent advice for anyone who manages a team. In particular, I like his point that management of software developers is not a step up from development, it's just another job that anyone may or may not be good at.

  • May 22, 2016

    Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer

    Waving goodbye to the flawed metaphor that our brains are computers, storing copies of experiences and processing information the same way every time.

  • May 21, 2016

    How technology hijacks people’s minds

    The kind of design essay we need more of. A tour of how technology is designed to draw you in to spending more time using technology. And some ideas for how technology could do better.

  • May 14, 2016

    How typography can save your life

    The implications of typographic choices in critical user interfaces. This is a must-read for designers.

  • May 08, 2016

    Being A Developer After 40

    Excellent career and life advice from a developer who has reached that dinosaur level of 40. I think as the field matures, so will it's workforce. There is a place for experience in this career path, and it will compliment the youthful energy that dominates start-up land today.

  • May 01, 2016

    Casey Gerald: The gospel of doubt

    A simply marvelous and thoughtful talk by Casey Gerald, who urges us all to question our beliefs and embrace uncertainty. There is plenty to ponder in this talk--about religion, capitalism, inequality, and empathy. I loved this talk for how uncomfortable it made me feel about some of my assumptions.

  • April 21, 2016

    How to Explain Mansplaining

    "The manologue takes many forms, but is characterized by the proffering of words not asked for, of views not solicited and of arguments unsought. It is underwritten by the doubtful assumption that the audience will naturally be interested, and that this interest will not flag. And that when it comes to speeches or commentary, longer is better."

  • April 16, 2016

    The sugar conspiracy

    Exceptional article from The Guardian: In 1972, a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar – and not fat – was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and his reputation ruined. How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get it so wrong for so long?

  • April 15, 2016

    For Good Men To See Nothing

  • April 10, 2016

    A simple guide to color

    Excellent Smashing Magazine article shows you a simple color selection workflow.

  • February 01, 2016

    The “Star Wars” kids aren’t alright

    A fabulous read on the symbolism of The Force Awakens and a great take down of some of the disturbing elements of internet culture over the past couple of years.

  • January 06, 2016

    Content and Display Patterns by Dan Mall

  • December 19, 2015

    Why are projects always behind schedule?

    "Planners tend to neglect their full experience of how much time similar tasks require, and focus on an idealized projection of how the task might go."

  • December 12, 2015

    Take your conscience to work

    A thoughtful essay about bringing empathy and idealism to work. Offscreen magazine is one of the best magazines I've ever subscribed too. This essay makes me even more glad I support Kai and his work.

  • November 28, 2015

    Forget about the mobile internet

    "There is not the 'mobile internet' and the internet. Rather, if anything, it's the internet and the 'desktop internet'."

  • November 22, 2015

    People who spend money on experiences instead of things are much happier

    "We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them."

  • November 22, 2015

    Clearing your desk, clearing your mind

    "Just removing stuff, ruthlessly, with no remorse, no looking back, no what-if's can sometimes be the best way to clear one's life and mind."

  • November 12, 2015

    It's going to be OK

    A lovely tribute to Gene Roddenberry.

  • November 05, 2015

    Lightroom post-production workflow

    This is an excellent description of what a photographer does after a shoot.

  • September 24, 2015

    Interviewing advice from Dylan Wilbanks

    "I ask for frontiers because I want to know if the interviewee feels like they have more to learn. We can rest on our laurels and coast, or feel like we've "arrived." I haven't found people who think they are a "finished product" to be great hires."

  • August 06, 2015

    Be Unfailingly Kind

    Great advice and proof once again that there is always more to learn about leadership.

  • July 27, 2015

    The full stackoverflow developer

    "Full Stack Overflow developers work almost entirely by copying and pasting code from Stack Overflow instead of understanding what they are doing. Instead of researching a topic, they go there first to ask a question hoping people will just give them the result."

  • July 26, 2015

    Web Design - The First 100 Years

    "Let's reclaim the web from technologists who tell us that the future they've imagined is inevitable, and that our role in it is as consumers."

  • July 26, 2015

    Design machines

    "For the record, I’m a strong advocate of testing, research, and using data to learn from design—in moderation, and under no illusion of scientific integrity. Unfortunately, the majority of those designing tests, interpreting statistics, doling out design criticism, and making design revisions are not exactly scientifically literate. [...] We’re merely substituting design assumptions with arguably more nefarious scientific assumptions."

  • July 12, 2015

    For A More Ordered Life, Organize Like A Chef

    "The system that makes kitchens go is called mise-en-place, or, literally, "put in place." It's a French phrase that means to gather and arrange the ingredients and tools needed for cooking. But for many culinary professionals, the phrase connotes something deeper. Some cooks call it their religion. It helps them coordinate vast amounts of labor and material, and transforms the lives of its practitioners through focus and self-discipline."

  • June 30, 2015

    What This Cruel War Was Over

    "The Confederate flag is directly tied to the Confederate cause, and the Confederate cause was white supremacy. This claim is not the result of revisionism. It does not require reading between the lines. It is the plain meaning of the words of those who bore the Confederate flag across history. These words must never be forgotten."

  • June 13, 2015

    Optical adjustment in visual design

    A lovely introduction to making small changes in visual design to account for how we perceive the size of two objects near each other: "The irrational mind of a human needs to decide whether something looks optically correct or not, because we can see and understand a context when a computer can’t. Understanding these subtle differences and knowing how to adjust them is what makes a good designer even better — few will notice if it has been considered, but many will notice if it hasn’t."