photo of high heel shoes on a shelf

6 best practices for working virtually in self isolation

For a decade, I’ve been working from home as part of a virtual team and as a freelancer. So purely in terms of work environment, for me, working virtually in self-isolation during this COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t required much of an adjustment. The emotional burden of the mass suffering, however, can be overwhelming. I’ve found myself in reactive mode, overstimulated by the horrific news every day, and feeling helpless. To maintain any kind of productivity, I’ve turned back to some freelancing best practices that provide a bit of structure or framework for getting things done....

 · Laura Lis Scott
Cold Blood book cover

Who is the woman hero?

This is a question our culture seems to be still trying to figure out. Yesterday Kate Lawrence explored this question in a blog post about her books’ main character, Yamabuki, a historical woman samurai in 12th-century Japan.

 · Laura Lis Scott

Digital: ephemeral

What happens to this blog when I die, when I no longer pay the monthly bill? What happens to my emails when my card no longer covers the autopay on the account?

 · Laura Lis Scott

Second screen (because the first screen is inadequate)

It’s not that we need a second screen, it’s that we have an inadequate first screen. If we’re watching a great movie, we’re engrossed, swept away. We’re not even thinking about the phone in the pocket or purse. We’re not wondering what’s happening on Facebook or Pinterest. We’re not even thinking about that. That’s the point, isn’t it?

 · Laura Lis Scott

Binge viewing? It’s called “watching”

When Netflix published the entire first season of the Americanized “House of Cards,” it was considered a radical act. Netflix has recognized how people recently have been “indulging” in “binge viewing” of old TV series, opiners said. At the root of this phrase is a Puritanical attitude that television is supposed to be watched piecemeal, in dribs and drabs. You’re not supposed to watch an entire season at once, you heathen!...

 · Laura Lis Scott

Forking or collaborating: the mix of open source ethics

When it comes to Open Source software, forking is a feature! Anil Dash said it well: There are several related technical concepts that can answer to the name “fork”, but the one I reference here is the dramatic moment when a software project undergoes a schism on ideological or technical grounds. Instead of merely taking their ball and going home, those who forked were taking a copy of your ball and going to a new playground....

 · Laura Lis Scott
magnifying glass over a sheet of printed paper

What is Open Source really about?

This question has me pondering the broader values behind open source: openness to inspection, openness to revision and improvement, working together in a commons, not in a doctrinaire centralized system but rather in an informally organized (if at all), decentralized coming together based upon common interest. That’s not to say there aren’t rules. Scientific research has traditionally been open source. I recommend James Burke’s Connections for some wonderful perspectives on this subject....

 · Laura Lis Scott

How free is free?

Is the future really free? It seems we’ve entered an age where there’s a land-grab happening for personal data and attention time. Look at all the web start-ups backed by venture capital. They aren’t investing out of philanthropy. There’s value there. YouTube is “free” but Google paid over a billion dollars for it. Why? Here’s a hint: It’s not about the Tube. Chris Anderson’s Wired article was quite bold in its proclamations:...

 · Laura Lis Scott

Marilyn Monroe is now in public domain

When it comes to post-mortem publicity rights, this decision is BIG: The Southern District of New York has just issued a bombshell decision in this area. In Shaw Family Archives v. Marilyn Monroe LLC, it held that Marilyn Monroe’s heirs cannot claim post-mortem publicity rights because she died before the enactment of the statute that creates them in California (and, for reasons that are not important here, Indiana). So, according to this Court, her image, likeness and persona are all in the public domain....

 · Laura Lis Scott
a blue smiley-face water drop

On itch scratching, hitchhikers and growing within the interactive ecosystem

The story goes like this: A couple hundred years ago, Scottish chemist Joseph Black was approached by some Scotch distillers. With the explosion of coal power, they wanted to know exactly what techniques they should use to replace their wood-burning distilling processes with coal-fired methods. Black did some experimentation and developed for them the appropriate method. But his calculations reportedly inspired some new ideas in his colleague, James Watt, who took Black’s ideas of “latent heat” and used them in the development of a new steam engine....

 · Laura Lis Scott