Someone contemplates their social media profile.
Image courtesy of ManyPixels.

Your product has profiles — spaces where people can communicate who they are. These probably include a space for a name, and the option to upload a picture. They might include a banner or header image, a short bio, a field for location, or other info.

One field you should…

Man putting his vote in the ballot box for Election 2020 by Marco Verch. CC BY 2.0

Democracy is neat. Its selling point is that it creates the conditions for political change without violence, and in a methodical and measured manner. Which all sounds great — but the US isn’t a democracy, at least not at the federal level.

Undemocratic institutions like the Senate, the Electoral College…

A character with a megaphone overlays a flock of emails, some unread, flanked by open and closed envelopes.
Illustration courtesy of ManyPixels.

Software isn’t secure. This hurts everyone, but it places the most vulnerable at excessive risk. Journalists, activists, queer people, sex workers, union organizers… Everyone deserves safe tools, but the danger isn’t distributed evenly.

From time people decide to build secure software to help protect the most vulnerable in society. Sometimes…

There are two aspects to product management: the product, and the management. An effective PM combines the mindset and skills needed to excel at each.

Long red hair streams behind a person leaping and bounding forward, supported by a phone which is also their staircase.

To make a great product, the chief demand is empathy, followed closely by curiosity. Empathy — and its cousin compassion — let you understand the…

My gender is the twelve chimes of a venerable and lovingly-maintained clock on a seasoned solicitor’s shelf, resonating through brass and wood, a reminder on an August afternoon to rest for a moment.

My gender is the subtle oscillation of a phone face-down on a table, showing a message from…

An artist’s illustration of the Mansus which a mortal can never truly see but in dreams, via Weather Factory

What advice do you have for aspiring occult practitioners?

For me the most important part of founding a secret society is a genuine curiosity. Some people yearn for power or want to perform impressive summoning rites. Don’t get me wrong — ambition is a powerful drive and summoning is a…

Summary for the hurried:

  • Use an AQI app on your phone to notify you when the air gets gross.
  • When the AQI goes above 150, avoid going outside.
  • Consider sealing windows and filtering the air in your home.
  • When you have to go outside, wear a mask rated N95 or…

Tea: ☕️ ☕ ☕ ☕
Food: 🍰 🍰 🍰 🍰
Ambience: 🌸 🌸 🌸 🌸
Overall rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖
Tags: modern, formal, english

We struggled at first to find the tea room in the St. Regis hotel. There is a large, prominent bar space, but no clear dining…

This post is based on the impeccable research of cartographer Justin O’Beirne. Justin’s excellent article on this topic dives deep into the cartographic background. This post talks more about the tech.

Illustration of Google’s “areas of interest”, Justin O’Beirne, 2017

Google invented a new kind of cartography to represent something that everyone has an intuitive sense of, but which…

Within the last few days, Twitter has decided to double down on being the literal worst by picking a few words and phrases for which you can no longer search for images.

The new ban vanishes: bisexual, bisexuality, sexuality, queer, transexual, sex, & butt. Related unaffected terms include: lesbian, gay

Tom Lowenthal

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