I’m such a huge fan of tutorials which take the time to explain why to do something a certain way, not just how. Today’s shining example: ‘Building OS X Apps with JavaScript’ by the talented, Brooklyn-based designer/developer Tyler Gaw.

Tackling a subject which I’ve been giving a lot of thought to recently as I plan future scripting projects, Tyler documents some of OS X’s new JavaScript automation possibilities with this very thoughtful primer. Not only has he created an additional page of app examples to flesh things out further, but he invokes a screenshot of Prince to illustrate his work – an act which alone merits an additional 94.9003 bonus points on the Veritrope Scale of Excellence™.

Highly recommended.

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There is often a complicated interplay between human language and the global spread of technology.

If you live in a place where the dominant languages are globally popular (or where less common languages are spoken by affluent communities), there is probably a wealth of “cultural capital” laying around which can help encourage a rapid adoption of new technologies: Things like keyboards being available in your language, pre-existing words for technology concepts, and educational materials and tools which use those words to teach new learners the basics.

So how would you teach people to use a computer in a country that, for example, lacks a word to describe a crashed program? The Economist takes a look at the Mozilla Foundation’s challenges of creating a new technology vocabulary for minority languages which lack them. Quite often, a new language which serves as a path to modernity is crafted out of words used in traditional trades like livestock, farming, and fishing:

Ibrahima Sarr, a Senegalese coder, led the translation of Firefox into Fulah, which is spoken by 20m people from Senegal to Nigeria. “Crash” became hookii (a cow falling over but not dying); “timeout” became a honaama (your fish has got away). “Aspect ratio” became jeendondiral, a rebuke from elders when a fishing net is wrongly woven. In Malawi’s Chichewa language, which has 10m speakers, “cached pages” became mfutso wa tsamba, or bits of leftover food. The windowless houses of the 440,000 speakers of Zapotec, a family of indigenous languages in Mexico, meant that computer “windows” became “eyes”.

I think this is a fascinating and underserved area of development and, if you’d like to support the Mozilla Foundation’s efforts, this page lays out dozens of ways that you can aid their work.

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Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.
Bruce Lee
Tao of Jeet Kune Do

It’s good to remember that even some of the best, most popular places on the Internet are still unknown to many. So the “Newsletters I Like” choice today is a website that I hope you’re already familiar with, but that I’m sharing in case you missed it: Brain Pickings.

Maria Popova is, in my estimation, one of the best things about the Internet. Her popular Brain Pickings website actually started as an email newsletter in 2006, which she eventually built into her popular longform chronicle of curiosities.

Curiosities?“, you ask. More like serendipit-awesome-osities: Two to three thoughtful, heartfelt, detailed, massively-hyperlinked articles per day about art, writing, science, design, history, or anything else which has crossed the transom of her interest.

Brain Pickings feels like pure oxygen on an Internet which can feel like a poorly-ventilated room, overpopulated with functional articles which lack the length and depth necessary to examine meaning. I look forward to her Sunday newsletter like I would look forward to an email from a friend who always sends me things that they know I’d like. Give yourself a weekly treat and sign up here to get it.

This is a link post – You can visit the site mentioned by clicking the main link above (or just click here).
I frequently worry that being productive is the surest way to lull ourselves into a trance of passivity and busyness the greatest distraction from living, as we coast through our lives day after day, showing up for our obligations but being absent from our selves, mistaking the doing for the being.
Maria Popova
'The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and The Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long' at Brain Pickings