October 30th, 2020

The Internet Lets us Mimic Expertise - Friday Notes 122

One idea I keep coming back to, in part because I catch myself falling into the trap, is that the internet allows us to mimic expertise with an inexhaustible list of facts1(https://curtismchale.ca/2020/01/31/how-expertise-died) for more on this]. I caught myself doing it two weeks ago with friends.

We were talking about my distaste for purchasing a second vehicle. That I'd rather spend $9k on a electronic assist cargo tricycle that would fit all three kids in the front. In the midst of this discussion I said that continuing to purchase cars that were so big you couldn't see children in front of them was saying you're okay with the increased deaths caused by cars.

Then I went off the rails and claimed that cars caused more deaths than many of the diseases we're trying to eradicate. My smart friends questioned that and looked up Stats Canada to find that accidents are much lower down that I had thought.

Now I don't remember where I heard something along the lines of how many people cars killed in a year. I was happy to step back from my claim and agree that I needed to look at those numbers again and that Stats Canada would have it right.

But I did feel embarrassed.

We are all going to make this same mistake at some point. What shows your brain power though is how willing you are to change what you think based on evidence.

I still don't want a second car. I still think they're death machines. I'm happy to walk or ride my bike to get kids to places around town. But I won't claim that they're a huge leading cause of death like I did.

I Shipped

Monday I showed off one of my favourite features in Things 3, the magic + button. This is an iOS and iPadOS feature, and it's excellent.

Today's book review is The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang. It's about the disappearing jobs in the US and how basic income could fix it. Bit "rah rah" US at the end, but the guy had political ambitions. I have more books about basic income in the list to get through.

I was on a bit of hiatus for developer writing topics, but watch for a few more coming over at Nexcess in the coming weeks. I'll tackle Composer and WordPress, mCommerce, Product Pages, and a bunch of other things over the next number of weeks.