Reads for your weekends

That what I’ve read today and greatly enjoyed:

  • 1491, on rethinking what America looked like before Europeans arrived. Has a delightful sci-fi twist: large parts of the Amazon rainforest could be a human effort, not simply nature. The notion that what many of us consider wilderness might be due to the human hand has tricky ramifications for the tension between preservation and development.
  • The End of the Nation State asks, what if we’re already forming the structures that come after large-scale states?
  • Innovation Starvation, Neal Stephenson on the reasons why we aren’t building big, awesome things like we did in the sixties or seventies.
  • Presentation Skills Considered Harmful, Kathy Sierra argues that it isn’t a good performer that makes a presentation good, it’s a presenter focused on the skills, needs, and experience of the audience that makes it good.
  • The Inferno of Independence, Frank Chimero on the tensions of what it means to be an independent creator of words, music, software, etc. The tensions and misconceptions are worth considering, even if you don’t consider your work “indie”.
  • FastImageCache, an iOS open source library for quickly storing and rendering images, has an intriguing explanation of why displaying many images on mobile devices is hard and how they’ve worked around it to deliver a smooth user experience.
Adam Keys @therealadam