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Dave Cortright
Silicon Valley, CA
Technologist · Designer · Environmentalist · Conservationist · Vegan · Singer
Recent Activity
Just came across this article in Nat Geo (Feb 2013) on the diets of our ancestors. One key point missing in the article is the importance of cooking in our ancestors’ diets. Cooking food helps break it down before it enters the body, thereby reducing the amount of work the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
Humans—and every other organism—are adapted to survive, thrive, and reproduce in a particular set of conditions. Psychologist John Bowlby called this the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation. Given that the last major update to our genetic code was roughly 50,000 years ago (at the latest), then it stands to reason that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
In the world of computers, a real-time operating system is designed to process data and react to it in “real time”, with allowable delays not much more ⅒ of a second. In many ways humans (and all other animals for that matter) operate using a real time OS. The world... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s series Chasing Life has some great examples of ways in which people all over the world are living their lives more aligned with how we were designed to thrive. A tribe in the Bolivian rainforest exemplifies pretty much all aspects of it. Dr. Gupta went there primarily... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I remember reading Walden when I was younger and fantasizing about a simple life in nature. It sounded so romantic. After my girlfriend quoted from it recently (“to live deliberately”), I went back to see again with fresh eyes the components of his journey. The thing that strikes me is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I think the title of this post can sum up a lot of of the “progress” we have made throughout civilization. And I want to be clear there is a lot of good that has come from civilization; we wouldn’t have made the changes and kept them otherwise. However there... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
One of the biggest ways that modern society differs from hunter/gatherer tribes is that we live in much smaller, more isolated groups. The bottom 2 levels of Maslow's hierarchy can be had with minimal social interactions. You just need money and some perfunctory niceties. And let me be clear, there... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
Someone in the crowd shouted “Why are you doing this?”… The [shooter] responded, “Because I’m really angry.” This is a good overview of the Dunbar Number, and—equally important—the levels of intimacy that make it up. Here's a kid who has anger but has no skills on how to manage it... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
Bowlby’s Razor—The closer your lifestyle aligns with key aspects of our modern ancestors at the end of the Pleistocene, the healthier and more fulfilled you will be. I’m still working on an optimal definition for this concept. That one will suffice for now.* The insight that led me to this... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I was trying to watch TV last night and during the show—sometimes in the span of only a few seconds—the picture brightness would dim and then brighten on its own. I dug around in the settings, searched the web, and finally figured it out. On my TV—Vizio D32-D1—the setting is:... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2019 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
Just watched this 21-year-old documentary (1998) on consumerism. Interesting how—while the products and technologies have advanced—the underlying issues are still present and perhaps even amplified in our society. Interesting that they mention co-housing (in Portland). Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
Fixed width media should never be in your email/web content. I previously blogged about responsive images, and here is a technique for embedding responsive videos, and even more content including a generic frame which could contain anything. Just go to Embed Responsively and paste in the URL to the content... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2019 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
A friend and colleague who uses a Mac just had problems with his Mac Photos app library. First, it's frustrating in this day and age that software still can't be more resilient against such corruption. But I digress. First thing to try: hold down command and option while launching Photos.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2019 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
David Brooks’ TED Talk is titled The lies our culture tells us about what matters—and a better way to live. It’s good and I recommend you watch it. He’s getting at the core ideas I’ve been trying to present here, such as the achievement fallacy: The first lie is that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I’ve seen a fair number of TED talks, and they are consistently high quality with great messages. But on reflection I think this one on happiness by Robert Waldinger—Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development—is the most important one. So much that I will include all of the transcipt... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
My hypothesis is that—in modern society—we get pretty caught up in the achievement fallacy. We celebrate success, and especially being the best of the best. And let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with success. Achievement is part of being human. We all start as blank slates and have... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
HEIC is definitely a more efficient format for photos (and this is how the iPhone stores them now), but not all systems support it. I've found the quickest and easiest way to convert HEIC to JPEG on Mac is to create a droplet app using Automator. Open Automator Create a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2019 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
I previously recommended FakeSpot, then switched to Review Meta. Now that both have Chrome browser extensions, I recommend using both. I find it especially helpful when shopping for third party refills for name-brand items: printer ink, replacement air filters, and replacement parts for vacuum and mopping robots (of which I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2019 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
Jim Carrey said it well: I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer. And also Troy Aikman, then the 29-year-old quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys after winning the SuperBowl for the second time in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
There is a lot of great content in this blog post about the importance of relationships, but this is the one that really sticks with me: “What have you learned from the Grant Study men? That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
Several studies have shown that money only buys happiness to a certain point. (Somewhere between ~$60–120k in the USA) A more recent one is from Purdue University in Feb 2018. But these studies don’t get at the “why”. I’m convinced it’s because money can satisfy the bottom two levels of... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I’ve previously blogged about overcomplexification. But life really isn’t that complex at the broadest levels. (To be clear, there is subtlety and nuance of course; I’m talking about the biggest factors here.) From a survival and reproduction standpoint, humans are social creatures. So it makes sense that our genes would... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I have this problem on my MacBook Pro, so I suspect some of you might have the same issue as well. Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
Not surprising, but having your smartphone out during a face-to-face interaction negatively impacts the quality of that in-person interaction. Using a field experiment and experience sampling, we found the first evidence that phone use may undermine the enjoyment people derive from real world social interactions. In Study 1, we recruited... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I’m using the Cambrian explosion as the anchor point for these comparisons because that is when more complex animals appeared. Animals—living beings with locomotion—necessarily had at least primitive emotional systems that guided them towards good things (safety, food, mates) and away from bad things (harm). Primates (social mammals) appeared at... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright