Will knowledge change a decision you make?
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This is one of my favorite decision-making heuristics: Will knowledge change a decision you make?

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2015 Media Reviews
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I’ve appreciated when people take the time to write reviews and highlight connections to other good works. Last year’s list was a success, so this year I’m expanding to other media. This post was regularly updated through 2015 and is now complete.

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Long-Term Travel Gear List
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Recently I was pontificating at Kori Roys, a coworker who’s recently departed for some long-term travel, about what to bring and how to pack it. I gave him the highlights and promised to publish the full list. Well, that took enough time that he got under way — because it’s over 3,000 words. I had to put a fair amount of thought into traveling with just a small backpack, and I’m happy to share it now.

Here’s my Long-term Travel Gear List. I’ll be keeping it updated as I continue to tweak it, and I’ll publish a new blog post if and when I feel significant changes warrant it.

2014 Book Reviews
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I’ve appreciated when people take the time to write reviews and highlight connections to other good works. In the hopes of being useful (and converting my consumption to production), I’m going to try writing and posting capsule reviews of all the books I read this year. I’m posting this live on April 20 but plan to update this post through the year. (I figure if I can make it three months I’ve got good odds for finishing the year.)

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Personal Workflow
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For about a year I’ve been using Trello, a free web app for organizing notes, to track my personal to-do lists across various projects. I’ve used it to create the Well-Sorted Version (which included repeatedly proofing 600 pages of gibberish) and update NearbyGamers from Rails 2.1 to 3.2.13 (while moving it from a VPS to Heroku and from MySQL to Postgres — a yak-shaving marathon) while staying on top of daily chores and other life maintenance. For the first time I feel reliably productive and in control of the overwhelming procrastination that’s kept me from from finishing these and many other projects for years.

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Backpack Criteria
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I spent all of 2011 traveling through interesting cities in the U.S. and Canada with a small backpack. I put a lot of thought into what I needed, so I wanted to share that in case anyone else finds it useful.

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Open and Closed Platforms
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I keep having to explain why I don’t own a smartphone. There’s one big reason, but let me quickly run some other things that matter before I get to it.

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The Dog That Didn’t Bark
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Silver Blaze is one of the most popular Sherlock Holmes stories, in part because (spoiler alert for a 118-year old story you can read by clicking that first link) the mystery is in part solved by Holmes recognizing that something didn’t happen:

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Book Licenses
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One downside to the web being interactive is that it can turn everyday activities into legal agreements. If you bought or were given a manual for an ARM processor you could do what you like with it. But if you read one online, you’re entering into a license to give up your right to fair use quoting or to use it for all purposes (specifically, looking for patent infringement).

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I’ve starting using Twitter as @pushcx. I’ve been reading a few people for a while, but not really contributing.

Any longtime readers will know I’ve been thinking about usernames. A little while ago I realized that, while it doesn’t include my name, ‘pushcx’ is a decent enough handle that can be dereferenced uniquely.

Twitter users, please leave your username in a comment with a tip for getting the most out of Twitter. I’d like to avoid as many newbie mistakes as I can. :)