Is Social Media The New Smoking?

It occurred to me recently that social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is a lot like smoking. It can have a lot of negative health effects, especially when overused, but it's designed to be addictive. The companies behind social media know about its negative effects but choose to promote it anyway, because it turns a profit. And using social media is just as commonplace as smoking used to be....

Tiny Projects

It is remarkably tempting to take on big projects. But the more I try, the more I fail. I had one success creating Rocket Spelling, which was—at least by my standards—a big project, which I completed in a single summer. I've been trying to replicate that success for a while, but it isn't working. And I'm becoming convinced that it was a bit of an outlier....

I need a new project.

I spent much of my life creating Scratch projects. When I was still using Scratch, there were a few key elements that made it great:...

The program is the output.

Spreadsheets are everywhere. They are the go-to tool for people who need to do powerful work on computers but don't know how to code....

Wolfram's theory of everything is interesting, profitable, and probably wrong.

Stephen Wolfram just presented a new fundamental theory for how the universe works that claims to unite quantum mechanics and general relativity. Here are a few...

Plans Prevent Progress

Any time I see a system that looks broken, I always try to figure out how it could be better. What does the ideal system look...

The Ideal School

School is fundamentally broken, far beyond what most people believe. A radical new school could be an order of magnitude more effective at helping students learn and be happy. I know this is possible because I learned as much from...

The Critical Mistake Every Teacher Makes

Any time I try to teach something—usually math—I am always tempted to make one fatal error. I want to explain the answer before I ask the question. This is a terrible idea. I have to stop myself every time....

Simple Systems

Zeit just released a crazy new pricing model for the Now hosting service....

The Future of Education is Beginning

Education hasn't changed much lately. The "knowledge factory" model seen in most schools is outdated. Times have changed, but our model of education hasn't....

Traffic Lights for Imaginary People

For as long as I can remember, I've held imaginary conversations in my head. Occasionally it's imaginary arguments — which I always win — although I've moved away from those. Now, any time I'm alone, I explain things....

"Getting Real" Fixed Me

The design of Basecamp is unlike anything I ever would have conceived of. When I used Basecamp for the first time, my initial thought was if I made this, I would do everything differently. But Basecamp is wildly popular! Everyone...

The Plan: Write Words. Fast.

Writing is really hard. Despite having plenty of time on my hands, I find myself stagnating when I try to write blog posts. The problem is that I'm...

New blog!

Hey folks! I'm putting together a new joshuapullen.com. You're looking at version 1.0 right now. There aren't any real blog posts yet, but I'm planning to write lots soon....