David Heinemeier Hansson

January 1, 2022

Should you vaccinate your kids?

On the face of it, this seems like a basic medical question. One where reasonable people can weigh the same trade offs, yet arrive at different conclusions. And, as foreign as that might seem to Americans at the moment, that's largely how this question has been tackled in Denmark in the public forum so far. There are Danish pediatricia...
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December 22, 2021

How we manage programming projects in Basecamp

That we manage all our programming projects in Basecamp is perhaps an obvious admission since its our own product. But it's less obvious to some how that's possible, given the apparent lack of affordances to tie todos, messages, or check-ins together with code commits automatically. Some teams who are Basecamp curious can't seem get ov...
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December 21, 2021

Email is the antidote

It's easy to get down on the internet as a medium for reasoned debate. Every discussion on social media that touch controversial topics seems to descent into the depths of hell in less than sixty seconds. But social media is not the internet. It's merely one distorted expression of it. There are other ways to connect, to reason, to lea...
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December 21, 2021

Are we past peak "woke"?

Could John McWhorter have gone on MSNBC or The View or PBS or NPR a year ago to talk about a new book called Woke Racism? Would a book with a title like that even have been welcome at that moment in such chambers? I doubt it. But now it is. McWhorter has not only written an important book that's rightfully garnering broad attention, he...
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December 17, 2021

That shipping feeling

"Real artists ship" was one of Steve Jobs' mottos. You can clearly see that ethos still in present-day Apple. There are no far-future tech demos from things in the R&D lab at Apple keynotes. While their car project is the perhaps one of the worst kept secrets in company history, they aren't deliberately trying to flaunt it. Because a t...
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December 16, 2021

The One Person Framework

Seven is the version of Rails I've been longing for. The one where all the cards are on the table. No more tricks up our sleeves. The culmination of years of progress on five different fronts at once. The backend gets some really nice upgrades, especially with the encryption work that we did for HEY, so your data can be encrypted while...
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December 15, 2021

The art of not having a take

The most liberating aspect for me of writing emails rather than tweets is the natural limit on topics I might be tempted to have a take on. When I was primarily writing tweets, I could easily involve myself in a dozen topics in a day. HERE'S A TAKE, THERE'S A TAKE, TAKE THAT! With email, it's a sliver of that. But it goes even deeper t...
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December 13, 2021

Heaven is hazy

In trying to understand the ideology of The Elect, as John McWorter calls them, I've found a historical dive into the late 60s and early 70s tremendously productive. The echoes of history provide a strange comfort: We are not the first people to be struggling with this. I don't just mean that in a general sense. That other peoples at o...
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December 13, 2021

I won't let you pay me for my open source

In Debt: The First 5,000 Years, anthropologist David Graeber explores the fascinating history of debt and economies. It starts out by debunking the common myth that prior to coinage, everyone were trapped in this inefficient mode of barter. If you had a chicken to give and wanted sugar from Gandalf, but Gandalf was a vegetarian, you ha...
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December 10, 2021

Everything popular is problematic

I can completely see why Joe Rogan's podcast has become so popular. I've listened to maybe a dozen shows, and the way he lets his guests talk, at length, feels like a throwback. It doesn't have the intellectualism of a Bryan Magee or the inquisitiveness of a William Buckley, but it does have the spirit of letting people – with whom he,...
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