I'm sitting at a table listening to someone standing next to me

A product and design leader interested in how systems shape our work and our world.

Howdy friend, great to meet you. I'm an economist-turned-designer-turned product person who spends a lot of time thinking about incentives, human behavior, invisible systems, institutions, big technology, and the future of work.

March 7, 2022

Two poems, one perspective

I’ve struggled to process my emotional response to the Russian-driven war in Ukraine. Both of these poems were republished in The New York Times this month, and both capture some piece of my emotional puzzle: the relative privilege of observing a war up close but from afar. It will be many years until we can […]

March 6, 2022

Scientific American: Examining unconscious bias in engineering

When we design and build with equity and justice in mind, we craft better solutions that respond to the complexities of entrenched systemic problems. I imagine a better future where we claim our subjectivity by sharing and celebrating our lived experience and how that motivates our work—and hold ourselves accountable to making engineering work for […]

Greenlights

Matthew McConaughey

★★

I listened to this book which allowed me to get through it in only 5 hours or so on 1.5x speed–Greenlight. In short, meh. It was entertaining enough to listen to while I worked in the garden but I would not have finished it as a primary task.

Hood Feminism

Mikki Kendall

★★★★

Kendall presents a ferocious challenge to the tropes of white feminism that is timely and necessary. At times the book is uncomfortable, but never cruel or dismissive so long as the (white, female) reader is open to expanding their lens of what a successful feminist movement looks like. This book deserves to be included alongside Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists and Bell Hook’s Ain’t I a Woman as a foundational text for rethinking the feminism movement for the 21st century.

October 1, 2021

Book notes: Anxious People

Longer notes and quotes from the book Anxious People, an insightful commentary on the hardships and complicated human experience that step from living in a computational world, masked as a tragic comedy.

Anxious People

Fredrik Backman

★★★★★

Sometimes I read a book and I know that I’m enjoying it but I can’t explain why until the very end. That was the case with this book. I spent the first 80% unsure, the last 20% convinced it was one of the best books I have ever read, and then immediately sent copies to three people because I wanted to share it so badly. Backman purely captures the melancholy beauty of existing in our modern world. I’ve described the book as reading like a Neil Simon play, and the text is hyper quotable so keep a notepad near. And tissues–I happy-ugly-cried through the last 30 pages.

More notes here

October 1, 2021

I love a good story-behind-the-story thread

Here’s a great example from Figma: This is a story of a Figma bug that wasn’t a bug at all.⁰ In November of 2019, one of our users reported this: ⁝ MW pic.twitter.com/eoWGYRRvoq — Figma (@figmadesign) May 20, 2021

October 1, 2021

The Anxiety of Influencers

Via Harpers So the truth is that the influencer economy is just a garish accentuation of the economy writ large. As our culture continues to conflate the private and public realms—as the pandemic has transformed our homes into offices and our bedrooms into backdrops, as public institutions increasingly fall prey to the mandates of the […]