A Three Part Series with Tim Ferriss

Kevin Kelly is a man after my own heart: A lover of technology who spent years traveling around Asia as a photographer, Kevin was one of the founding members of WIRED magazine and still spends a good deal of time trying to visualize what the future wants from all of us.

But part of why I really enjoyed Kevin’s three-part interview with Tim Ferriss is that it wasn’t strictly conceptual: Tim let Kelly talk, but did a good job of steering things back around to some very practical questions about how he got his start. Not to get all Upworthy about it, but the answers may surprise you.

Part One should be all queued up for you and ready to go in the player above… Give it a listen if you’re interested in hearing the personal history of one of our best-known futurists.


Is it true that you dropped out of college after one year?


Yeah… I’m a college dropout. And actually, my one regret in life is that one year I gave.


Oh… no kidding?


Yeah… I wish I had even skipped that. But I do understand how college can be useful to people and my own children have gone through. But for me, it was just not the right thing and I went to Asia instead. I like to tell myself that I gave my own self a PhD in East Asian Studies by traveling around and photographing very remote parts of Asia at a time when it was in transition from the ancient world to the modern world. I did many other things as well and, for me, it was a very formative time because I did enough things that when I finally got my first real job at age 35…


[LAUGHS] Wow! Which job was that?


I worked for a non-profit at $10/hour which was the Whole Earth Catalog, which had been kind of a life-long dream… I said if I’m going to have a job, that is the job I want. Took me a long time to get it. But in between that, I did many things including starting businesses and selling businesses and doing other kinds of things (and more adventures). I highly recommend it.

Four Macworld contributors share their tips for easier file management. I especially like Brett Terpstra‘s flagging rule for Hazel – I’ve seen how these types of visual prompts can help people create better habits and I’m a big fan of the concept of training your computer to gently nudge you into doing the right thing.

This is a link post – You can visit the site mentioned by clicking the main link above (or just click here).
One can live magnificently in this world if one knows how to work and how to love, to work for the person one loves and to love one’s work.
Leo Tolstoy
'Tolstoy' by Henri Troyat

A New Look for Veritrope.com

Today is the Labor Day holiday in the United States and, as I see it, the perfect occasion to share some of what I’ve been working on with you.

If you’ve been to Veritrope before, you’ve probably noticed that things look a bit brighter around here. Yes – After many years of rocking a green and black color scheme inspired by a 1980s monochrome computer monitor, I’ve flipped the polarity. Night is day, dark is light. Hope you all brought your sunglasses.

I also hope you brought your hard-hats: This is still very much a construction zone, which is why I’m not making any big announcements about the new look. Please bear with me in the weeks ahead as I work to fix glitches, update the existing content to work with the new plumbing, tighten up the visual design, and put the new site through its paces. New content and new features are in the pipeline and, once the basics feel solid to me, I’ll be rolling it all out a bit at a time.

Also as a part of these changes, I’ve disabled all comments. If you need to send me a message, feel free to use the contact form, Twitter, Facebook, or a passenger pigeon.

A Small Favor

If you find things that seem broken or look weird, could you please let me know via the site’s Bug Reporter?

More to Come…


The Big Switchover…

The drastic change in color was deliberate: It is my signal to you that there is something new happening around here. Veritrope is changing – and not just cosmetically. I have a new focus for the site and I’ll be making posts about that soon, So, consider today’s visual change the “soft launch” of a new era1.

Thank You

I also wanted to publicly acknowledge some of my collaborators and early testers – people like (but not limited to) Nick Wynja, Erik Hess, Dan Byler, Brandon Pittman, and Edi Venturin. If this change wasn’t a totally shambolic experience for you, it is due to their kind comments and helpful suggestions. I can assure you that anything here which is ugly or broken is totally my fault, not theirs.

I also want to take this moment to thank you – all my readers and friends – for your support for Veritrope over the years. I’m really excited about what’s coming and I can’t wait to share it with you.

  1. And as my friend Nick says, “Soft Launch” is just another way of saying “Please don’t out me on Twitter until I get my shit together!” []

When I read Melissa Dahl’s piece for New York Magazine a few days ago, I had a strong sense of recognition.

Not only do I often feel the same way as she does but, in over a decade of working as a Technologist-for-Hire, I’ve also met so many people like her who feel totally overwhelmed by their digital workspaces. When I sit down in front their computers, I find that they – almost invariably – have a web browser with dozens of tabs open. Sometimes it’s so bad that not even a single character of the title bar is able to be displayed.

“Why don’t you bookmark these pages or, you know, just come back to them from your browser history?”, I’ll ask. “I’m afraid I’ll lose track of where I was!“, they’ll say.

Now keep in mind – they’re telling me this while we’re both sitting there, watching that rainbow pinwheel spin around and hoping that it stops without the browser crashing.

I understand their anxiety: After all, they’re using Safari or Chrome as their To-Do lists, their Outlines, and their Notepads. Each open tab is a reminder of something that needs to be done: A bill to be paid, a gift that they need to buy, an article they need to read. At the pace of modern working life, it isn’t always easy to clean up the mess you’re making… and browsers crash all the time.

So – What should we do?
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