winston hearn

Winston Hearn, who is me, is a person who reads and writes and fumbles towards better questions to ask. This site is where I collect my thoughts on books I'm reading, the tech-driven world we're building, and anything else I find interesting. I currently work for Vox Media as a Sr. Front End Engineer.

The hope of a livable world

The ideologies of disruption and innovation still reign in most areas of power in the world, so I often am at a loss for hope or optimism. But many people are dismantling and critiquing these ideologies and in doing so weakening their stronghold.

Authors showing their work

Two authors generously sharing the process behind their work.

Questioning Global Risk

How do we make decisions that potentially create large scale risks for future generations?

Notes from Pat Toomey's February 16 Townhall

On Thursday, February 16 at 1:52PM I found out that Senator Pat Toomey was holding a town hall at 2:05PM. Virtual only, via phone and web audio means. So I joined. This post consists of the notes I was able to take and links that I think are relevant to the questions he received and answers he gave.

The Intellect of Woman

I am reading A Disability History of the United States currently and in it Kim Nielsen, the author, briefly covers the story of Agatha Tiegel. Her story caught my eye so I did a bit further research.

Notes from Let's End Gerrymandering Meeting by Fair Districts PA

Last night (January 25, 2017) I attended the first Philadelphia area meeting to end Gerrymandering, put on by Fair Districts PA. There were easily 300+ people in attendance. Fair Districts PA is a volunteer led organization attempting to start a citizens movement for reforming the way district maps are drawn up in Pennsylvania. This post has my notes from the fantastic presentation given by Carol Kuniholm about the topic of Gerrymandering and how Pennsylvania’s system currently works.

Thinking About Winning the Next Election

The 2004 presidential election was the first presidential election I was eligible to vote in. I proudly voted for President George W. Bush’s second term. I did not vote in 2008 because I had gotten married a few weeks prior and neglected to register. If I had voted, it would have timidly been for Barack Obama. In 2012 I did register and vote and I proudly did so for President Obama’s second term. Since November 9, 2016, I’ve been trying to remember what exactly changed my beliefs over those 8 years. Clearly there were some big shifts; what caused them?

Sara Hendren's eyeo Keynote

Sara Hendren’s recent eyeo keynote talk, “Design for Know-Nothings, Dilettantes, and Melancholy Interlopers” is well worth watching and considering.

Climate Change: Is the Science Settled?

A lecture that is as much about how confident we are in the science of climate change as it is about the philosophy of science and how that informs the ways we gathering and understanding data.

On Political Correctness

An excellent essay from Sady Doyle about how to conceive of “political correctness” inside comedy, but with applications to all of art.

Agency in the Context of Social Media

A quick scroll through Twitter wrecked me for an evening. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon nor exactly accidental from the perspective of product-designers. Let’s talk about that.

Thursday Links: Stuff I've Enjoyed Recently

There is no over-arching theme this week, just a collection of pieces I’ve read in the past few weeks that I really enjoy. Click, read, grow in your knowledge and curiosity!

I Wrote a Thing

I wrote a thing and Racked published it and omggggg

Read on The New Yorker

What Part of “No, Totally” Don't You Understand?

A delightful look at how “no” has recently evolved into a contranym.

Read on Citylab

Why Gentrification is So Hard to Stop

Citylab looks at how neo-liberal policies have built gentrification into the fabric of our culture for the past few decades.

Thoughts on a Spring Day

Everything is coming alive and breaking out of hibernation and I want to write. I have nothing to say. I want this site to be filled with thoughts, references, ideas. Instead it sits. I guess this is ok.

Friday Links: Jobs

I got a new job! Starting Feb 9 I’ll be working at Vox Media as a front-end engineer. Since I’m thinking about employment and jobs today here are some essays that have shaped my thinking on the topic in the past few years.


Today is my birthday. My 30th birthday. It’s not really that big of a deal, but I wrote some thoughts about the past decade. Also, I have a request: would you share something great with me?

Friday Links: Lakes

Two pieces on bodies of water and one piece on how our bodies are similar.


The status quo must not be allowed to stand.

BBC Series: How Buildings Learn

Excellent series from Stewart Brand attempting to understand buildings from a evolutionary standpoint.

Chattanooga Story

Chattanooga, my new home city, is in the midst of a renaissance, but it’s not helping everyone. A documentary explores the history of the improvements and the challenges facing the city.

Friday Links: This Land

The first polar vortex of the new winter has descended on America, and I’m thinking about the land.

Friday Links: Death in America

Six pieces that examine death in American culture - the ways we fear it, embrace it, and our ongoing struggles with its inevitability.

The UX of Settling in

We’ve moved into a little house in Chattanooga for at least a year. No more things in storage. We’re looking for furniture, putting dishes in cabinets, and yes, connecting things to the internet. The concept of home is now very concrete.