Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Scott McCloud's Unifying Quadrants

I got pretty excited when I saw the following quadrants in Scott McCloud's TED talk on Understanding Comics because it ties together a lot of big ideas.

The first slide of quadrants showed four categories of comics, which he cleverly labelled classicist, animist, formalist, and iconoclast:

But then he pointed out how they correspond to Jung's four subdivisions of human thought: sensation, intuition, thinking, and feeling.

The upper and lower halves correspond to tradition vs. revolution:

The left and right halves to art vs. life:

One diagonal contrasts form and content:

The other contrasts beauty and truth:

Playing around with this, it's interesting to deduce that:
  • Tradition = Sensation + Intuition
  • Revolution = Thinking + Feeling
  • Art = Sensation + Thinking
  • Life = Intuition + Feeling
  • Revolution + Art = Form
  • Tradition + Life = Content
  • Art + Tradition = Beauty
  • Life + Revolution = Truth

Putting it all together:



Fine Art:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Code-Review Cheatsheet

Here's a handy cheatsheet containing tips for code reviews. I like to have my printed copy beside me at my desk. It's excerpted from the Bad Things and Good Things section of Jonathan Lange's paper "Your Code Sucks and I Hate You: The Social Dynamics of Code Reviews".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

WikiBiblica: A Public Commentary on the Bible

I have created a social network called WikiBiblica, which lets anyone add commentary to the full text of the Old and New Testaments. As far as I can tell, this is the first biblical commentary that is open to contributions from the public. Anyone is free to add comments to any of the 73 books and 1332 chapters. It will be interesting to see the conversations that develop over time and space.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Summary/outline of "How To Read A Book"

Here's an outline of Mortimer Adler's "How To Read A Book".

But don't use it!

I'm sure Adler would agree: you'll get a lot more out of this book by making your own outline of it.

Outline of How To Read A Book

Monday, February 16, 2009

Table for estimating small volumes and weights

The help pages for DietPower software have a handy table for estimating food volumes and weights by sight. It's also useful for estimating volumes and weights for other things besides food.

Here's an index-card-sized version that you can print out for your wallet.


Monday, February 09, 2009

"Beacon Hill" font

This is a cool font that my bro finished last night, called Beacon Hill. You can download it for free (CC license).
Each of the letters has its own personality. The "v" above has some nice subtleties. And the "a" and "n" go well together, below.
The font is called "Beacon Hill" because it's inspired by the totem pole carvings at Beacon Hill park in Victoria, BC, Canada. If you turn the word on its side, it looks reminiscent of a totem pole.
chris, john, wayne, liz
"z" is his favorite :-)

Download Beacon Hill to add a unique look to your logo or letterhead!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

How to Read a Book

I love Mortimer Adler's book How to Read a Book. It gives you several techniques for reading a book:
  • Skimming a book, including reading the table of contents and index. Do this for all books, to decide whether you want to proceed. If the book looks worthwhile, you may want to read it quickly without stopping. You can stop here for most books.
  • Reading the book "analytically" – reserved for the "Great Books". Involves marking up the book, underlining its main arguments, building up an outline. Few books deserve this slow treatment.
  • Reading several books together on the same subject ("synoptically"). Make the books dialogue with one another. The deepest level of reading. I haven't tried this.
To get a taste of Adler's writing, skim his online essays How to Mark a Book and Idling: Why It Is So Important Not To Be