Spreadsheets are dreams

They are numeric descriptions of the intent and direction of a body of work, of a corporate body, or of their outputs. They are the financial part of your business plans, or the proof that you cannot afford to rent that house, or an MPs tally of their expenses, or a schedule, or a to-do list. The grid admits everything.

[…] their ordered data and formulae always comfort you that you have authored a controllable certainty, most spreadsheets are mere conjectures, provisional plans, ideas or hopes.

Spreadsheets are dreams was a piece I wrote for Hand & Brain alongside contributions from William Gibson (!) and others.

Slightly frozen by the clever questions about design/craft Beeker asked us, I wrote instead about spreadsheets, dreams and making sand castles with my then-3-year-old daughter. There is a spreadsheet that goes with it, and the smart formulae were done by Will Wragg. These magnificent images were made by Jack and Timo of Ottica.

Hannah Higgins’ The Grid Book and Michael Welland’s Sand were very helpful, as were all of the things bookmarked here and here.

Spreadsheets are dreams


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Why am I interested in personal finance, healthcare and technology? We’re living longer. The average cohort life expectancy 1 for a British person aged 65 in 1982 was 79 (male) and 83 female. The same life expectancy