About Devious Influence

The name of this humble vehicle comes from an Edsger Dijkstra quote from his 1982 book Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective:

The tools we use have a profound (and devious!) influence on our thinking habits, and, therefore, on our thinking abilities.

As soon as I read the words, I had a profound sense of their rightness. More importantly, though, I realized that – if I accepted the premise and followed it to its logical conclusion – I needed a new discipline and watchfulness with respect to which tools I invited into my life. Since then, I’ve been an inveterate tool-tryer and tool-builder. Sometimes my tools are built of software, sometimes wood or metal – and sometimes my tools are built by forming intentional communities, knitted together to achieve some common purpose.

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