If you’re like me, you go out of your way to understand what’s happening in the world. But sometimes that comes at a cost. Yes, you may know what the latest is, but you’re simultaneously subjecting yourself to needless suffering. You’re not getting waterboarded or in a damp cell block, but you are allowing your mental state to be fractured and driven astray by negativity. Despite this, you continue unabated and obsessively update your feed. You even read the comments and indulge in the frenzied dysphoria abounding in the text. You don’t realize that each line you read allows a…


Thanks for letting me use this image, Toni. Photo by Toni Cuenca from Pexels

I once took an informal class through the University of Texas titled: “Coffee Barista for a Day”. Although it only lasted until noon, the class was a great introduction to a world I knew very little about. The handful of us that signed up learned about the history, the cultivation, and the processes that go into a cup of coffee. After the history lesson, we were to try our hands at crafting caffeinated staples like espressos, lattes, and Americanos. But before we got to that, the instructor — a coffee shop owner himself — asked us this question: “what makes…


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I’m writing this post in hopes of educating you more about what the Federal Reserve is, what it’s done to our economy, and what it will do to it in the coming years. For many, the Federal Reserve is assumed to be some governmental body that makes sure the country’s economy runs smoothly. Mentions of it in headlines usually arouse little to no attention from the general public. This is by design. Should the American people learn more about it, they’d certainly be demanding some changes. The impact the Fed has versus what is…


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It’s funny to think that a government that de-officed tens of thousands of workers and confined them to their homes would then think to tax that same population for working from home. It’s even funnier to think that a foreign corporate conglomerate would sway the U.S.’s (or other sovereign nations) government to pass such legislation. Not that that’s ever happened before…Under the veil of “rebuilding,” Deutsche Bank (DB)released this document putting forth what it thinks should be done to bring the world back from a pandemic-induced recession. Starting on page 32, DB argues that working from home (WFH) has and…


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As I’m writing this, the United States of America is five days away from what many consider to be the most contentious, divisive, and crucial election in its history. Though every election I’ve participated in has been a continuation of the turd sandwich vs. giant douche paradigm South Park so eloquently coined, this one feels orders of magnitude worse. Additionally, we are suspended in a hysteria of pandemic fear and economic strife we so politely refer to as “uncertainty”. With all of this weight on the country, it’s hard not to feel the grinding pressure.

Open up Facebook, and you’ll…


The generalist vs. specialist debate is nothing new. For ages, the question has been posed in a multitude of industries. The B student vs. the A student’s ability to provide value to organizations has been argued ad nauseam. I can’t speak on many industries, but I can speak on design with confidence. See, I have often had conversations with myself on whether I should try to be more of a specialist or remain a generalist. I’ve always found myself to be a generalist (though, this recursive point will be elaborated below) and someone “not talented enough” to be a specialist…


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It’s 9am on yet another Monday morning. You’ve hastily poured a second cup of coffee to start the cranial engine after the first one failed to even light a spark. Last weekend is a long lost memory now. Better times. Now, you’re faced with five straight days of your usual toil. Today, however, you refuse to let the week ahead be daunting. Instead, you focus on your day and your tasks and how you wish to go about those tasks. A rising first wind swirls behind your eyes as you begin chopping away at to-dos. You’re becoming productive. The caffeine…


One thing I am adamant about is providing to my readers value. Most listicles you see on Medium and elsewhere are dog shit. That is my unapologetic opinion. There are far too many pieces of vapid, sterile content people spew out to try to be viewed as “thought leaders” or gain clicks. If you use that term for yourself, you probably think that Trapt is a good band and wear backwards ball caps with sunglasses.

With that said, here are some actually helpful tools I use every day of the week. Perhaps you’ve heard of them or use them already…


^ Ya mans trying to get quarantine tight.

In Austin, it came down Tuesday that we will be sheltered-in-place for the following three weeks. For over 500 hours, myself and other residents will be limited to walks, gas stations, grocery stores, and a shit ton of Netflix. Like I mentioned in my post about Coronavirus changing the way we work, our days have become much freer now that our options on how to spend them have narrowed greatly.

Many will ride out the next three weeks (God, please just let it be three weeks) via drinking, devouring streamed content, and inundating themselves with vapid distractions in hopes…


It’s wild to think that just a few weeks ago, we were taking for granted our normalcy. The Coronavirus seemed like a Chinese problem like many of the previous outbreaks before it. You were able to go out to the bar for a beer, go to the gym for a lift, and shop at your grocery store with the comfort of knowing what you needed was in stock. Within days, all of that has been upended and we have passed through a plane into a new world.

One of the ways this new world has changed human behavior is…

Andy McErlean

Slingin’ pixels outta Austin, Texas. Product Designer @ Praxent. Playing music in Pala. BJJ practitioner. Say hi: mcerlean.design.

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