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Dave Cortright
Silicon Valley, CA
Technologist · Designer · Environmentalist · Conservationist · Vegan · Singer
Recent Activity
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 idea... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago 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 5 days ago 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 6 days ago 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 6 days ago 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
For the better half of the 20th century, the forest fire management policy in the United States was complete suppression. If a fire starts, put it out. However there was no one around to put out the fires in the preceding 300+ million years and somehow the planet managed just... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
There certainly has been enormous progress in our understanding of how things work in the world. Yet at any given point in the past, there are numerous examples of things we (or at least some reasonable population of us) collectively thought we knew but turned out to be wrong. The... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I previously blogged about Dunbar’s Number. I was speaking to a guy friend about this and he joked about having a “Dunbar’s donut”; he didn’t have anyone that really qualified as a member of his support clique, so the closest he really got with friends was in the sympathy group.... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
As anyone who happens to be reading these recent blog entries can see, I’m trying to synthesize my thoughts on human nature and living life fully. The catalyst for all of this was a realization that humans—and really all forms of life—were designed. I don’t mean that an intelligent creator... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
The biggest difference between humans and other animals is that humans arrogantly believe the difference to be much bigger than it really is. The best way to honor your ancestors is to learn from their experiences—both successes and failures. Indeed it is also the best way to honor yourself. Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright This meta-analysis that is linked to in that article is particularly compelling data. Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
My summary of the book The Elephant in the Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson: Once our ancestors figured out how to cook food using fire, we had more calories available. Through natural selection, this extra energy was diverted into creating bigger brains in an arms race that pitted... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
Let me start by saying that the Blue Zones research and the new CNN series Chasing Life where Dr. Sanjay Gupta visits the Blue Zones are great. It’s data-driven and there are important take aways. But I feel like the relative weight of the various findings are not well articulated.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2019 at KPAO by Dave Cortright