Rustin Impsum: True Detective Filler Text

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I recently ran across a project called Rustin Ipsum, which was built by an Iron Yard student in Washington, D.C. Scott Ross, the creator, explains his motivation1 (warning: if you haven’t seen True Detective, this won’t be as fun.):

There are plenty of Lorem Ipsum generators out there, but I couldn’t find any channeling that contemporary spirit of post-modern despair so perfectly captured in True Detective.

There was only one obvious course: build my own Rust Cohle Lorem Ipsum generator.

For a weekend project after two weeks of class, the result is very impressive2 Enjoy some auto-generated filler text:

World needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door. Sip Lone Star. This place is like somebody’s memory of a town, and the memory is fading. It’s like there was never anything here but jungle. Drag on Camel.

Great work, Scott. I’ll be using this often.


1. Read Scott’s blog post about building a True Detective text-filler generator on Medium.2. Head over to Rustin Ipsum and give it a try.

Research and the Realities of Time Worked

This is the fifth post in a series on productivity5. The articles are based on content from a workshop I led at The Makers Summit.


In the last article in this series, we discussed the idea that productivity can be an unintuitive pursuit. Today we’re going to dissect why and look at time (hours worked) as an example.

First, though, we need to discuss how we’re going to perform this dissection. As I said in my talk at The Makers Summit, much of what I cover when it comes to productivity is based on research, not opinions or anecdotes. The productivity industry is notorious for ‘tricks and tips’, but these are serious issues that affect our businesses (and personal lives) and it’s worth our time to find information based on solid research and analyses.

Continue reading Research and the Realities of Time Worked


1. You can read the story behind this blog series and find links to all of the resources here.

Chaos Behind the Magic

“It’s like magic!” a woman says to her family as they sit. “How do they find our table?”

This week I read a fascinating article about Disney’s MagicBand6. The post is packed with gems of revelation, but the big idea centers on the completely “frictionless” experience that MagicBand wearers enjoy before and during their time at the park. Here are a few snippets:

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1. You can read the full story about Disney’s MagicBand on Wired.

Productivity Hacking is Not Intuitive

This is the fourth post in a series on productivity7. The articles are based on content from a workshop I led at The Makers Summit.


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When I was a young boy both of my grandfathers had woodworking shops. I used to love (and still do) visiting and tinkering with tools to build things. For some reason, one of my clearest early memories of working with wood is one of the first times I got to use a hand saw. I must have found a branch or log that I wanted to trim and my grandpa probably thought it was a good opportunity to teach me safe and proper use of a saw. Like any eager and impatient youngster, I immediately put every ounce of my effort into cutting. My arm fatigued quickly and my frustration must have been apparent. Gently, my grandfather (who had wisely waited out my short flare of enthusiasm) took the saw and explained that the teeth are designed to cut the wood without requiring extreme, constant effort. “Tools are designed to make your job easier. Just let the saw do the work and don’t wear yourself out so quickly.” He would later reinforce the concept at the driving range, explaining again that a well-calculated, solid strike will beat out an all-out smash on the golf course almost every time. (The lesson stuck, thankfully, but not the love for golf.)

Productivity is one of those concepts that we like to think we understand, but as we’ve seen, taking time to actually contemplate how we use our time and ponder the definition of ‘productivity’ reveals a landscape more complicated than we might have originally bargained for.

Continue reading Productivity Hacking is Not Intuitive


1. You can read the story behind this blog series and find links to all of the resources here.

Productivity Hacking: What is Productivity Hacking?

This is the third post in a series on productivity8. The articles are based on content from a workshop I led at The Makers Summit.


When discussing any subject it’s extremely helpful to define the terms being used so that everyone is reading from the same page—the term ‘productivity’ in and of itself likely means different things to different people.

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Talking about “productivity hacking” (or anything else) without a clear definition of what the term actually means is a recipe for constantly trying to describe what we want, as opposed to digesting and applying what we learn (much like diving into productivity tactics without thinking about how we really want to use our time9).

Continue reading Productivity Hacking: What is Productivity Hacking?


1. You can read the story behind this blog series and find links to all of the resources here.2. I discussed thinking through how we use our time in the previous post in this series. You can read it here.

Productivity Hacking: What Would You Do With More Time?

This is the second post in a series on productivity10. The articles are based on content from a workshop I led at The Makers Summit.


The subject of productivity flows almost immediately to discussion around tactics—we’re all hungry to know what we can do to be more productive, right now. Oftentimes, that hunger keeps us from stopping to first evaluate our current state of affairs and second, more importantly, to put serious thought into what we’re really seeking to get out of increased productivity.

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Continue reading Productivity Hacking: What Would You Do With More Time?


1. You can read the story behind this blog series series and find links to all of the resources here.

Productivity Hacking: Introduction

This is the introduction to a series on productivity11. The articles are based on content from a workshop I led at The Makers Summit.


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Writing the words “productivity hacking” in the title of a blog post feels almost dirty to me. I’ve said before that the business of productivity is riddled with a huge amount quick-fix rubbish12:

That being said, this past weekend I led a productivity-focused workshop at a conference called The Makers Summit13. I titled the workshop “Productivity Hacking” because, despite the slight snake-oil taste I sense personally, I felt the term was a simple and accurate description of the workshop content.

I was astounded at the feedback that I received from workshop attendees. What I had envisioned as a quick fly-over of research and lessons-learned was described as “one of the most helpful talks I’ve ever been a part of” by several people in the audience.

Continue reading Productivity Hacking: Introduction


1. You can read the story behind this blog series and find links to all of the resources here.2. I called out ‘snake-oil’ productivity advice in the introduction to my Making it Count series.3. The Makers Summit is a marvelous conference. Learn more on their website.

Making It Count: Sleep, Exercise and Diet as the Foundations of Energy

This is the seventh post in a series called Making it Count about getting things done and using our precious hours wisely14 .

So far in this series I’ve discussed the philosophy behind the pursuit of productivity and covered the ways in which I steward my time, attention, technology and the Internet. As I promised earlier in the series, I’m going to move towards practical implications of productivity as they play out in my day-to-day work.

Healthy, sustainable productivity

In this post I’m going to discuss what I believe is one of the key components of people who maintain a high level of healthy, sustainable productivity. I use the descriptors “healthy” and “sustainable” because you can be extremely productive in any number of ways and not all of them are good for you. People commonly employ substances (sugar, caffeine, narcotics, etc.) or sleep deprivation in order to get more done (or, at least, feel like they’re getting more done). Too much of a substance or too little sleep over time is unhealthy—something we’re all aware of.

The tricky part is that whether the levers you’re pulling are good or bad for you, the productivity gains are real. Unfortunately, it always seems easier and more convenient to make unhealthy choices, which creates a cycle of tangible productivity bursts followed by burnout or near-burnout—a pattern that takes it’s toll and almost guarantees severe burnout over time.

Continue reading Making It Count: Sleep, Exercise and Diet as the Foundations of Energy


1. You can read more about the series and view links to additional posts here.