• The Modern Vitality of the American Dream

    We take it as our duty to review history and judge the great figures of the past. Their words and deeds, written and lived in their own times, are judged in ours. The scrutiny of contemporaries is harsh enough, but remove a life from its context and judge it against a modern value system and not even an angel can escape unscathed. A renewed focus on the nation’s Founders has brought renewed criticism. I do not here attempt to justify or condemn the actions of our Founders; I am not fit to judge. Instead, I ho...

  • How Humans Are Different Than Animals

    In the past I had done a lot of research on every post I write. Or, almost every post. I spend a lot of time; I proofread and add links and footnotes. I polish drafts, I ask friends and family to read and make suggestions. Then I finally publish my post and very few people actually read it. In fact, I’ve already asked most of my regular audience to proofread the drafts, so they aren’t very interested in re-reading the final product.

  • Why You Should Write a Journal

    For many (but certainly not all), writing a journal is something we want to do, or we feel we ought to do, but actually writing can be hard. Perhaps we have started journaling, but given up long before forming a habit. Or before even starting. I believe that understanding some of the benefits of journaling can help get us over the line. As the creator of Caneta, an online personal journal, I may be a bit too excited about keeping a journal, but these ...

  • Caneta

    Today I am launching a project I have been working on for over a year. That project is Caneta ( Caneta is an online personal journal that is designed to help you actually write in your journal.

  • Good News

    I have not written an article for over 6 months. Life has been busier than usual lately. But I have been thinking about something for the last few weeks and I want to write it all out. Perhaps I’ll get back into the habit of writing every week.

  • Flour, Water, and Time

    My first loaf of sourdough

  • How Charity is Different Than Love

    Last week I wrote about why I run, but I didn’t mention how I keep my mind occupied while I’m running. A serious racer needs to stay focused the entire time, monitoring pace, effort, and (during races) the competition. I, however, am not fast enough to be a serious racer. I try to distract myself during many of my runs. Lately I’ve been listening to General Conference talks while I run. This week I was listening to a talk by Ezra Taft Bens...

  • Why I Run

    Me at the finish line of my second half marathon

  • Tesla's Model 3: Solving the Wrong Problem

    We need more buses in service

  • How To Write A Book

    The cover of my book, Learning to Program

  • Amazon vs. U-Haul

    A U-Haul truck, losing money

  • Build Things That Won't Scale

    McDonald's serves billions - is that the goal?

  • Recognizing Good (and Bad) Ideas

    I have written several articles now about my ideas. I end most of these articles with a fairly lengthy explanation of what is wrong with each of those ideas. In being critical of my own ideas, I don’t mean to suggest that I don’t like them, nor that they could not be successful if properly executed. Instead, I am attempting to acknowledge that my ideas have weaknesses, and that I am not blind to them. There comes a point when an idea has so many weaknesses that it passes, for me, from “crazy, good idea” to “c...

  • Crowdsourced Shipping

    I think we can fit one more bag in this car. Maybe.

  • Handling Multi-step Forms with Promises

    This week I built a multi-step form at work. The form was tricky because steps could change order or be omitted based on the available data. As I started thinking about how to maintain my sanity while building the form, I kept thinking that Promises were the way to go. It felt right to use Promises, but it took me some serious staring-out-the-window thinking to figure out how to make it work. I’m pretty happ...

  • Algorithmic Sincerity

    Happy Birthday! It's a cake!

  • The Book of Mormon Problem (and Solution)

    Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon

  • Use Exciting Technology

    There has been a lot of talk lately about choosing “boring” technology and technology fatigue. Using new, exciting technology may be fun, but it tends to slow down development in the long run. The documentation is spa...

  • Arrow

    Message for you, sir

  • Single User Interface

    Alexa, the Amazon Echo

  • Google University

    I have loved Google since high school. I had used Lycos and AltaVista and Ask Jeeves and Yahoo. Then I used Google, and I’ve never looked back (except in the funny nostalgic way, like “Hey, do you remember AltaVista?”). More than search, though, I think Google Maps was what made me love Google so much. When I was in high school MapQuest was how you looked at online maps, and panning meant a full page reload. No one should be surprised that Google Maps stole the market so quickly. Then they went and added Stre...

  • Entwyption

    The Beale Ciphers

  • Less is Hard

    When Will the Technology Stop?

  • Christmas and Compassion

    Over the past few weeks I have attempted to gain a better understanding of the story of Christ’s birth by studying the accounts in Matthew and Luke. This year my study led me to try to imagine the story from the perspective of each of the characters, to try to feel the emotions that they felt and understand what they went through. My hope was that I might better understand t...

  • You May Not Need jQuery, But it's Awesome

    I started building websites in 2008, and later that year (or maybe early 2009) I started using jQuery for the first time. For a beginner, jQuery did more than just make building things easier—it made things possible that I was simply not capable of building before. I loved jQuery, and I didn’t even learn about $.get, $.post, or $.ajax unt...

  • The Stream As a User Experience Anti-pattern

    Drowning in the stream

  • Randall

    The article this week is a little different. The following is a short story. This is a rough draft, and it’s probably not that great at this point. I hope someday it will be.

  • How We Heal

    Healing takes patience

  • Ask Me About

    A long time ago[1], there was an online service called Aardvark. I was one of the early (and only?) users of Aardvark, which was an instant message-based tool that would help you find answers to your questions. You would ask Aardvark a question and it would try to find another person who might know the answer to your question. Once two people were matched up, they could chat with each other through Aardvark. ...

  • Foolishness and Faith

    Throughout my life, I have made no attempt to hide my faith. Though I have not openly broadcast it (with a two year exception), I have done my best to be an example of the believers, and I think that most people who know me are aware of what I believe. For the purposes of this article, and to clear up any possible ambiguity, I will be explicit here about some of my most cherished ...

  • The Code Doesn't Matter

    No soup for you!

  • This is a Mess

    A really messy desk

  • Near Hear

    When I was a college student, one of my favorite activities was people listening. People listening is a lot like people watching, but instead of observing the things they do and the clothes they wear, you listen to the conversations they have. I should clarify, I only people listened to conversations being held in public places by people who were strangers to me; it was never my intention to eavesdrop or spy. I was simply being entertained, and sometimes enlightened, by the type and content of conversations g...

  • There is No "Fair"

    I have the amazing opportunity to be a father. I count that opportunity as one of the greatest blessing in my life. Being a father has allowed me to learn and grow a lot. This article is about one of those lessons.

  • The Human-Powered Gym

    A gym powered by the people working out inside it.

  • The Power of Discussing Ideas

    Anyone who has spent much time with me knows that I have a lot of ideas. I imagine I have always been this way. I remember in 2nd grade, sitting in the corner of the playground during recess with a couple of other smart-but-not-cool kids, and we would just talk about our inventions. We came up with a teddy bear that played comforting sounds to help a baby fall asleep (I had a newborn sister at the time). We talked about one ...

  • 52 Articles

    I really enjoy writing, and I want to get better at it. So, here’s my goal: