Most-used Shortcuts User-interface Helper Element idea

[Update: This tweet just brought to my attention essentially what I was looking for, and it’s called Cheatsheet for OSX. Just installed it and it works well so far!]

So I just found this idea in an email to myself from five years ago. Still haven’t seen anything quite like it, even at a ad-hoc level. This idea pertains to an OS-wide level, ideally.

When in a shortcut-heavy program like Pro-Tools, iPhoto, iTunes, etc., it could be useful to have a little optional window pop up when hitting shortcut keys, like option + command, shift + command, etc., and in this window would be listed the most frequently-used shortcuts by that user, and a quick description of what those shortcuts do.

For instance, in iTunes, if I were to hit:


The little window would fade in, and list:

option + command + E - Equalizer
option + command + L - Downloads

This could be dynamic, where if you hit just command, every shortcut that uses the command key would show up in the little window (starting with the ones most frequently used, then if you hit shift, it would filter to only shortcuts that use both of those keys.

The closest thing I can think of is in, say, a right-click context menu in Finder on OS X, if you hold down option you’ll see the contextual menu items change.

Susan Cain – The Power of Introverts – TED2012

Susan Cain is so inspiring.

I read her book, Quiet, in 2013 and nearly every page spoke to me. Not only is she a powerful writer, but she is quite the public speaker, despite acknowledging that being up in front of a large TED audience is not her “natural milieu.”

Marx’s Theory of Historical Materialism

I’ve been going through this Yale “Foundations of Modern Social Theory” course, and this is the best lecture so far. This lecture has taught me more about Marx’s ideas & theories than I’d known up to this point. And while I don’t know nearly enough to consider myself a Marxist by any stretch, my appetite for more has been whetted and I’m glad there are two more remaining lectures in the course on Marx.

Self-publication Frequency and Lowering of Barriers

I think most of us, myself included, should practice publishing of more candid thought in a public/semi-public manner; it’s a social contract with one’s self to address the thought rather than dismiss it. The antithesis of this is the epitome that is the Youtube comment thread (or any extremely mainstream comment thread with little barrier to entry), but while that’s the logical extreme in one domain, a mostly diametric one is keeping pontifications from our network of friends, due to embarrassment, laziness, fear of reprisal, etc.

For myself, being a practicing perfectionist and rampant dilettante, it can be very easy to tuck thoughts and ideas away with light intentions of polishing them and subsequently putting them on display. But so many of these thoughts need breathing room and other eyes and ears to help guide them and motivate contribution to them.

Big Ideas podcast

One of my favorite sources of ideas is TVO’s Big Ideas program. Centered in Toronto, Ontario, Big Ideas hosts and provides a number of lectures, debates, and presentations by professors, scholars, and other learned people on numerous topics related to science, philosophy, literature, politics, and more. From their site:

Big Ideas is a showcase of contemporary intellectual culture. It features lectures about subjects that shape our public debates, challenge our perceptions and contribute to our understanding of an increasingly complex world. Academics, authors and other luminaries deliver thought-provoking lectures on topics ranging across all the essential fields of human endeavor.

The easiest way to access the programs is in iTunes, either in audio format or video format. Subscribe (or just get a specific episode that sounds interesting) and listen while commuting, eating a meal, instead of TV, or waiting (we’re all always waiting, right?). Expand your mind and challenge your currently-held beliefs, and be thankful that there are still many who are passionate about educating others and spreading ideas!

Below are a few of my favorites. Keep in mind that these are usually 45-55 minutes in length, so dedicate some time to digesting the whole of the content. For those that know me and consider me a friend, I will guarantee you that these are worth your time.

Christopher W. diCarlo, winner of the 2008 Best Lecturer Competition, on The New Ethics: A Synthetic Approach to Understanding Good and Evil.

[link to TVO’s page for this video in case the embedded video doesn’t load]

Big Ideas: Jordan Peterson on The Necessity of Virtue

[link to TVO’s page for this video in case the embedded video doesn’t load]

Nick Mount on Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot

[TVO doesn’t seem to be hosting this video any longer, so I’ve just provided the mp3 below]