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Dev Purkayastha
Works at Songza
Attended Harvard University
Lives in Sunnyside, NY
932 followers|164,767 views


Dev Purkayastha

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imagine there was a weird bioborg octomall in the middle of woodside, queens
Eva Schiffer's profile photoJoseph Teller's profile photoMatt Wilson's profile photoBrian Blackwell's profile photo
+Joseph Teller Hahaha, fair enough. Tastes are not valid objects for my judgment.
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Dev Purkayastha

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I have no idea what is so acutely fascinating about bird bucks, but these are amazing. I'm mentally preparing a chapbook of microgames to design for these:

- Bird Trade Organization
- Vulture Capital
- Hawking Your Wares
- Tales of Frugal Penguin
- Red In Beak And Claw
- Sky Is Falling
- Wing And Prayer
- Flock Together
Bird Bucks
Sometimes I have a silly idea and I just have to see it through to the end. Last night I was thinking about all the cool dollar redesigns I used to see in college. Then I remembered a while back that I had planned on making a deck of generic currency/point ...
Daniel Solis's profile photoFred Hicks's profile photoJens Alfke's profile photoJennifer Martin's profile photo
Yep. I understand, but the challenge is that if I treat these as money, then the deck must be about twice as large (and expensive) than if I treat these as simple point counters that just appear to be money.
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Dev Purkayastha

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I love the Usos, and talking about cooking.
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That Oka i'a loooks amazing.
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G+ is showing me the number of followers and views.

Uh oh I've gamified myself.
Laura Simpson's profile photoJames Stuart's profile photoNicholas Beaudrot's profile photoJoseph Teller's profile photo
This is the second time I've compared a G+ thread to an accidental skinner box
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Dev Purkayastha

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NBD, just dempsey, HAIM and Spike Lee wearing the new USMNT jersey.

US v MEX, tonight at 11pm, and I have no idea if I'll find a way to watch it!
Dev Purkayastha's profile photoChristopher Corbett's profile photoNicholas Beaudrot's profile photoSteve Radabaugh's profile photo
Okay, we may go 0-1-2 (that's W-D-L like the rest of the world), but at least we'll look like Captain America while we do it.

Man, Suh needs a better fitting kit.
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Have him in circles
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like Alpha Centauri
but NEW
tony dowler's profile photoDev Purkayastha's profile photoJoseph Teller's profile photo
Nice! I really liked Alpha Centauri. This could be better!
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WinJS is the Library that powers Windows 8 apps built in HTML/Javascript - it's the platform we used to create the Songza Windows 8 app.


I'm pretty excited about this, especially with bringing it cross-platform. (It sounds like you will be able to create Xbox One apps with WinJS, too.)
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Dev Purkayastha

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Meme-powered chipmusic. If you need some upbeat dogepop(e) for your day(e) start with
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I am trading board games with someone for (among other things) a copy of a political game set in Venice called Doge.

I don't know if I can control my desire to pronounce it like, you know, "doge".
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Lifehacks as Narrative Models For Your Life

I was reading a productivity article, and the article itself was fine. However, my subjective response to the article was one of total misery. I've read so many articles that I've had diminishing hopes for any one article to improve my life.

I've even gotten better at skimming them! Once you identify the pseudoscience anecdote and incomplete cognitive study and venture capitalist anecdote and historical anecdote and data visualization abuse, you don't need to read the exact words. (But I keep reading: hoping this article is the one that fixes anything, nonetheless.)

I found myself, mid-article, totally tired of my own cynicism. I'm able to take each line of a self-improvement article and point out why it is self-promoting or self-deceptive but that is a terrible and dull way to be living (and definitely makes the reading experience unenjoyable).

A different perspective: don't read any of these articles - productivity, motivation, self-improvement, whatever - as something trying to assert a factual system. Beyond some fundamentals, it seems unlikely that Writing Down Index Cards secretly fires more neurons than Writing Down Journal Pages.

However: instead read these as something trying to build a Narrative Model for what you want to experience, and all the convincing anecdotes and soundbites are just part of building those mental connections to make it happen.

A narrative model takes the bits of your life and gives you an idea of the direction of actions you should take, and the direction of outcomes you can expect. A good model should mirror your actual life events, reflect your values and goals, and sustainably lead you in future actions. To some extent, you find out if it's a good model by trying it out.

But critically: a good model isn't particularly true, and it's truthfulness is irrelevant. It is simply a perspective you're accepting so that you can re-order your subjective world and goals a bit.

A more concrete example: the Getting Things Done omega productivity system. I finally feel able to say: there's no particular objective way that it's more effective, for everyone, to do its series of obsessive rules, and there's no guarantee that handwringing over inboxes and context lists will make you a CEO.

But: you should do it if that is how you want to live. When you look it with that perspective, you no longer have to fight with what is objectively true (or risk being objectively wrong), and instead just do whatever you want to do.

Let me illustrate with a different example: OOTD (Only One Thing Daily), a system where you pick one thing in the morning to get done, and once it's done you try your best to do nothing for the rest of the day except play video games. I just came up with this.

I could come up with some charts about why it maps our paleolithic savannah psychology or whatever, but more critically: do you like this model? Does your life match something where you can get just one thing done a day? Does it fit your values to play many video games while getting one thing done a day? And is it sustainable to keep doing this that way? If so, then OOTD - a system that seems silly on its face - is a great fit for you, and you should keep reading all those anecdotes to build up that narrative model.

In other words, this is a reframing for why I'm going to keep reading articles like that if I want to, but without the tedious cynical voice filtering every line. Because I'm tried of living like that, and I want a different narrative model for my life, and this overall principle is a lifehack, too.
Travis Scott's profile photoAlex Fradera's profile photoBret Gillan's profile photoChristopher Weeks's profile photo
+Dev Purkayastha funny thing is I'm not the biggest fan of the book, yet some of the tools for thinking are enormously useful! I'm mainly a curmudgeon, perhaps.
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Dev Purkayastha

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It's gone around already, but: I really loved playing A(s)century. Hypertext adventure, killer soundtrack, great feeling, and ideologically inquisitive.

/cc +Stefan Hayden play this
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Ooh, yeah, I should replay that. I loved it, and the soundtrack is perfect.
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Have him in circles
932 people
Sarah Beetham's profile photo
Ajit George's profile photo
Sara Williamson's profile photo
Technologist and Web Developer
  • Songza
    Web Developer, 2012 - present
  • Bold Lantern
    2012 - present
  • ModMetaphor
    Freelance Web Developer, 2009 - 2013
  • Eleven Learning
    Director of Technology, 2009 - 2012
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Sunnyside, NY
Morristown, NJ - Cambridge, MA - Somerville, MA - Sunnyvale, CA
Techie in NYC, working at Songza. I tweet about games, startups, music and food. I'm usually designing a game. (Or eating while working on a music startup.)

Lots of my G+ conversations happen in non-public circles (especially: game design and NYC happenings), so circle me if you want in on those.
  • Harvard University
    Computer Science, 2000 - 2004
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