Campfire Stories: April 9-13

This post was originally published on the Elabs blog, before Elabs and Varvet joined forces.

Monday, April 9

Everyone had the day off, so no Campfire activity.

Tuesday, April 10

Penn Jillette About Nerdy Kids

Penn Jillette about nerdy kids

You know, when I was 15, 16, 17-years-old, I spent five hours a day juggling, and I probably spent six hours a day seriously listening to music.

And if I were 16 now, I would put that time into playing video games. The thing that old people don’t understand is – you know if you’ve never heard Bob Dylan, and someone listened to him for 15 minutes, you’re not going to get it. You are just not going to understand. You have to put in hours and hours to start to understand the form, and the same thing is true for gaming. You’re not going to just look at a first-person shooter where you are killing zombies and understand the nuances. There is this tremendous amount of arrogance and hubris, where somebody can look at something for five minutes and dismiss it. Whether you talk about gaming or 20th century classical music, you can’t do it in five minutes. You can’t listen to The Rite of Spring once and understand what Stravinsky was all about. It seems like you should at least have the grace to say you don’t know, instead of saying that what other people are doing is wrong.

The cliché of the nerdy kid who doesn’t go outside and just plays games is completely untrue. And it’s also true for the nerdy kid who studies comic books and turns into this genius, and it is also true for the nerdy kid who listens to every nerdy thing that Led Zeppelin put out. That kind of obsession in a 16-year-old is not ugly. It’s beautiful. That kind of obsession is going to lead to a sophisticated 30-year-old who has a background in that artform.

It just seems so simple, and yet I’m constantly in these big arguments with people on the computer who are talking about, “I would never let my kid do this and this in a video game.” And these are adults who when they were children were dropping acid and going to see the Grateful Dead.

I mean, the Grateful Dead is provably shitty music. It’s impossible – it’s theoretically impossible to make a video game as bad as the Grateful Dead. I throw that out there as a challenge.

Wednesday, April 11

Get Productive. Get tmux.

Get productive. Get tmux.

App Scrolls

Our friend Dr Nic has released a new way to bootstrap new Rails projects.

Toward a Simpler, More Beautiful Google

Google blog post on their upcoming design direction.


Very interesting new JavaScript framework. Lots of similar ideas to Serenade.js, but with way more magic.

500px Terms of Service

500px has a simple narrative running alongside their Terms of Service, explaining what the legalese means.

Thursday, April 12

Testing Like the TSA

DHH writes about testing too much.

Just Enough Testing

Bryan Liles’ response to DHH’s post.

Link is no longer available.

Friday, April 13


Free PSD full of iPad GUI elements.

Capybaras That Look Like Rafael Nadal

Capybara that looks like Rafael Nadal 1

Capybara that looks like Rafael Nadal 2

Capybara that looks like Rafael Nadal 3