Introduction to the Blog

Feb 20, 2022

Welcome to the Conceptual Labor blog! I’m Ním, the author of the Theory and the book and most of the posts here will be written in my voice. I think that’s an important distinction to make right away, because I took great pains to write the book in a general voice. I’m not pretending that it’s at all neutral, but I felt that the book would be more useful to more people if the models they worked with while reading it didn’t have to include me as an actor at any significant level.

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Calm Tech and Conceptual Labor

Sep 06, 2022

Of all the ideas that I wish had made it into the current edition of Conceptual Labor yet somehow did not, Calm Technology is the first one I think of. It really feels like a serious omission (which perhaps I can correct in later editions) given its various connections to the Theory and me personally. One of its major contemporary proponents, Amber Case, is one of my closest friends. Which is why when you go to calmtech.com, you are visiting a website I rebuilt according to the Calm principles Amber requested. At the other end of its history we have John Seely Brown, who, with Mark Weiser, co-authored the establishing papers on Calm Technology. Brown’s research elsewhere provided valuable insights and background to some of my favorite parts of the Theory.

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The Quick Version

May 01, 2022

By request from the first Conceptual Labor Book Club, I have made a “quick version” explainer for the Theory.

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Collected Rumblings

Mar 01, 2022

I’ve made a little collection on Twitter of people saying conceptual-labor-y things in their own terms.

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Tools to Go from Text to Book Part 2: How I Got here

Feb 27, 2022

My two simple rules were 1) I like plain flavors and 2) I broke Scrivener. I guess those aren’t exactly “two simple rules”. I didn’t set out with clear rules in mind, I just, like most people, worked according to deeply-held tendencies and opinions. Reviewing the list of principles in the article was a nerdy delight; they concisely defined the foundations of those opinions and tendencies. Moreover, here were some patterns of working that I had mainly picked up in the realm of programming, but, like many, felt were deserving of a wider adoption outside of that realm, ala Tenet 7.

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Tools to Go from Text to Book Part 1

Feb 25, 2022

Nerd warning – this gets pretty wonky in the details of text editors, open standards, etc. If you dont find that kind of thing interesting, you might not find this interesting either.

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Conceptual Labor - the book

Sep 01, 2021

You can now read the full contents of the book, Conceptual Labor on this site, which contextualizes and expands on the central theory and includes a demonstration of how to use it.

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Composition is Done

Jul 15, 2020

I finished primary composition on the complete Theory of Conceptual Labor on Friday, July 10. That’s my fancy way of saying that I’m done putting ideas into it, but it still needs much editing and arranging, which is a different kind of conceptual labor. It stands at roughly 36,000 words, includes core concepts grouped by Tenet, case studies and an expanded introduction. Check back here or get in touch for updates. I hope to release it by early 2021.

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