Andrew Coy

When a Map Isn't Really A Map

History of Civilization

I have often found myself wanting metro maps to be geographically accurate – to line up more precisely with what is above ground. I wonder if I had grown up with more confusing but accurate maps, would I have wanted them to be more geometric?

I wonder how many things in life we simplify in order to comprehend, all without a second . . .

Read More

January 17, 2018

Directly Disturb

Living Systems

Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela observe in the Tree of Knowledge, as quoted in The Power of Onlyness by Nilofer Merchant (which I began reading today):

“You can never direct another living system. You can only disturb it.” (page 142)

Said another way, while it is possible to feel like you are controlling another . . .

Read More

January 15, 2018

Prepared Against

Given Weaknesses

Although getting sick for the first two weeks of 2018 was not part of my plan or goals, despite this I have been making some progress on my New Years Resolutions. Today, I finished my first book of the year, The Book of Mormon. As I was reading it today, one passage, in particular, stood out.

Silvrback blog image

Towards the end of the book, there is an insert . . .

Read More

January 15, 2018

Go the Distance

Car Payment Free

Almost six years ago we got a new car after we sold the one I had bought back in college. It was the first time either Ann or I had bought car new off of the lot. We were looking for something that had enough room for me to transport students around, wasn't super expensive, and shouldn't be so nice that we mind if it gets scratched or . . .

Read More

January 13, 2018

Log Cabin Build

What Would You Build?

If you had the time to build something, what would you make? Where would it be and what tools would you use?

Now think of all of the reasons you aren't doing it. What would you have to change about the way you live?

Take a minute to glimpse into the life of Shawn James and his videos at It's pretty impressive what . . .

Read More

January 13, 2018

Mesh Network

DIY Infrastructure

When the system has failed to be equitable, what do you do? What do you do when ACCESS, PARTICIPATION, COMMON OWNERSHIP, and HEALTHY COMMUNITIES are not distributed?

A group in Detroit (the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition) is serious about doing something. They are building it themselves.

Take 12 minutes and watch this video from an article . . .

Read More

January 11, 2018

Teenagers Nowadays

Public Perception vs. Reality

What is your perception of teenagers nowadays?

On the whole, are they better than they used to be? Do they get into more or less trouble? Are they more or less likely to do drugs? Are there fewer or more bullies among them?

Silvrback blog image

The Economist points out "Young people are indeed behaving and thinking differently from previous cohorts at the same . . .

Read More

January 10, 2018