The katexic clippings newsletter (👋 Chris!) has a brilliant section titled Withheld. This section is where he references happenings in the world that he’s withholding comment on for whatever reason. Like, withholding comment on an election that is still being counted multiple days after the vote. Or withholding comment on consecutive record breaking days of Covid-19 spread. We seem to be getting an education in geometric growth. Sometimes it feels like there is more for the withheld section than for sharing. I’m good with that. 🙏
By the way, katexic clippings is worth checking out. Give it a look when you can.
Carp boats with their tremendous lights float around at night and spray light everywhere.
Nov 6, 2020
Cannon Lake, MN
Thank you for reading! 🤓
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I like Newport practical advice here.
This points to an interesting question that I’ve seen discussed in some articles in recent days: what’s the best way to keep getting things done on truly distracting days?
My answer: don’t.
I think it makes sense. Instead of partially engaging and getting 10% of your output at 50% of your focus, a bad bargain for all, just acknowledge where your head is and align your plan for that.
A number of interesting findings looking at distributed work all around focus. Some counter-intuitive stuff too.
The most frustrating stats in our study show how sparse company-wide initiatives to boost employee focus are. Meeting-free days, official “focus time,” internal classes that encourage mindfulness and discourage multitasking—fewer than one in five respondents were aware of any single one of these at their organizations.
I must admit I haven’t heard many organizations with any formal policies or initiatives in this area. 🤔
I like charts, I think they can tell amazing stories sometimes.
But the fractures running through US society long predate the pandemic. Here are six charts that reveal America’s deep social and economic divides.
You could put an entire group of people and agencies focused on each one of these. There aren’t any easy answers for most of these things, but they definitely are issues.
This article gets to the heart of the challenge with most social networks.
By its nature, the endgame of virality is extremism.
This looks very cool, and just in time for Christmas. I might get one of these just to let the kids learn a bit about computers that don’t have touchscreens and you actually type on. I would love to get them exposed to the command line and maybe a little Python code. The Raspberry Pi 400 Teardown and Review by Jeff Geerling is also a good read.
I have wanted to use Little Snitch for years, but it’s complexity has kept me away as well as the fact that it was a kernel extension and I worried about stability of my machine. This new version is entirely in user space, and looks like it will finally be a version that I can go with.
The main focus in the development of Little Snitch 5 was on the integration of the new network filter technologies introduced by Apple in macOS Big Sur. The underlying filter engine was re-built from ground up to replace the previous kernel extension based approach which is no longer supported by macOS.
I’ll be getting this when I move to Big Sur.
I keep reading about time blocking tactics because it’s something that I think I could benefit from, but it still hasn’t clicked with me. I don’t find anxiety with lists. I have tons of lists in my GTD system. I do some minimal time blocking techniques for small tasks. My only convention is using “[Event Title]” square brackets on my calendar to indicate it’s a time block and not an actual event.
Argument for time blocking techniques and specifically arguing against keeping lists of tasks, and the “Tyranny of the List”. Worth reading no matter how you track your tasks as there are good best practices to consider.
I have watched all of these videos from Emmanuel Acho and this one is my favorite yet. This one really is uncomfortable. I found the dialog both from Emmanuel and the police officers in the video informative and genuine.
Pike shares the challenges associated with building a social network.
Given this experience, I’d like to share a guide of my own. A resource for future generations of social media hopefuls, informed by my years of walking this path. What is the best way to build a social network?
- Don’t build a social network.
That’s it. That’s the article.
Fun and informative read.
I’ve used awk for decades particularly to work with log files, but it has incredible power that I suspect the vast majority of users never even know is there.
Four very clear techniques to improve your writing.
This article will outline the aspects of good writing namely clarity, cohesiveness, emphasis and conciseness.
Writing well is a core skill that I always want to improve at.
Advice to technologists that I like. To be clear, I think side projects are a good thing, but I also don’t think of them as side businesses. It is great to use hobbies to learn and advance your skills. Don’t think of everything as a future hustle. I think another way to say what Manuel is saying here is to be an artist. 🎨
I think it is a very good thing that conferences have adopted Codes of Conduct, but, this article is a very interesting read about what happens when those codes of conduct are enforced in instances that are not obvious. It is a tough spot to be in. I’ve seen it from the organizers perspective and you end up with volunteers and relatively inexperienced people digging into these matters.
I’ve been caught unprepared when someone on my team shares some bad news or sad events that have happened in their life. Engaging the right way in those difficult things is very important to maintaining your relationship with that person.
Instead of immediately suggesting next steps, try asking open questions to understand what would be most helpful for your conversation to focus on, or what they need right now.
Given the pandemic and all of the challenges people are going through right now this is a timely read.
Wear a mask. 😷
Some great thoughts here to apply to any platform strategy.
A framework the two of us have used to talk about this is to ask four questions:
What does the company need to own? What does the company want to compete to win? What does the company want to attract? What does the company want to reject?
I really like these four questions as a way to frame up that platform strategy.
Reflections of an engineer on joining Shopify. Some interesting areas of focus and means of bringing people into the company. I like the idea of an internal Podcast.
Your friends already read this? 👯♀️
Recommend it to strangers, have them join us here, and you’ll be BFF’s forever!
Drucker, who believed that the most effective managers look across a range of disciplines and draw on all of the humanities and sciences, would have loved Martin’s analysis. Indeed, it is said that a young person once asked Drucker how to excel as a manager. “Learn to play the violin,” he replied.
Emphasis mine. I found this reference to it. The appreciation and desire to understand a broad range of topics, to bring more context to everything else, is something I feel strongly about.
Time for a cocktail. Old Fashioned 🥃🍊🍒
If you are wondering about the Maple Syrup, I use that instead of Simple Syrup. Tammy suggested it and I really enjoy the flavor it brings to the drink. Obviously only real Maple Syrup.
Let’s take an inventory for a moment.
We are now eight months into the pandemic and it is weighing heavily on people. Here in the midwest it feels very different than it did in Spring. It is all around us. Most people know someone or several people that have had Covid-19. I have a lot of relatives in North Dakota and I’m hearing multiple reports of people in very small towns in rural North Dakota getting Covid-19. It is front and center in more peoples lives. It is everywhere. This is no longer something happening only in big urban locations. People are tired of it, and there is no end in sight. Looking for that light at the end of the tunnel is very difficult.
We are seeing businesses close all around us. We know people that have lost their jobs. I’m getting pleas on a daily basis from organizations that are trying to help those that are struggling. Trying to get food to families that have lost their income. A lot of people are hurting, and it is hard to know where to start.
The systemic racism that was opened up by the murder of George Floyd has focused us on improving and determining how to reduce this systemic bias. This is emotionally difficult work. It’s incredibly important work too. It requires us to dig deep and ask ourselves challenging questions. Introspecting in the face of so much uncertainty is challenging.
I’m writing this on the eve of the US Election which has been positioned in the most apocalyptic terms possible. People are anxious, worried, scared. Sadly I feel this is very engineered and intentional. Making people scared and amplifying the stakes are great ways to get people to take action, but it simultaneously is toxic to us. I suspect there are a lot of people that cannot get the election off of their mind, and it is going to impact their relationships, their work, and their emotional balance.
The first four things are all individually hard, but layering them all on top of each other is a level I personally have never even considered. While dealing with all of that, we are staring at our phones, endlessly scrolling social networks, and never disconnecting from an infinite rage cycle. Great for Facebook’s advertising revenue, corrosive and damaging to our psyche. Or we are ignoring the real world and forgetting our troubles in a saccharine stream of cat pictures. That may help for a minute, but it doesn’t make any meaningful improvement to your emotional situation.
So how are we doing? Not well. People are anxious and worried. Just last week I was in the office and came down to my car to a scene I had never experienced. In the first level of our parking ramp were two men standing by a line of cars screaming at each other. They were yelling about politics. Not a disagreement amongst coworkers, but a full on screaming match. I was worried it was going to escalate to a full on fight, but one of them yelled a final declaration and marched off before that happened. The background stress that causes people to boil over is so high.
At the same time, we also deserve to give ourselves some grace and applaud our adaptation. We are experiencing an extreme amount of change and disruption. While we may be anxious, we are successfully putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. One day at a time as they say. Those non-profits and their repeated pleas for help, are getting that help. It’s time for us to double down on civics, and minimize the politics. It’s time for us to bring the empathy to those that have lost friends and family to this pandemic. We need to focus on main street and not be placated by Wall Street. We need to continue to have difficult conversations on race and bias. And we are…
It’s a good time to take inventory. Take time to assess where we all are individually, as families, in our communities, with our coworkers and teams. It’s not weak to be honest with where you are. Find a friend and have a chat on the phone. We all need to help each other out as we work through challenges, through these tests.
Lightroom is giving me troubles, and Photos is too. My iMac is stuck at “Restoring from iCloud…” and is behind other devices. Articles online suggest there isn’t much to do but wait, sometimes for days, and let it work. 🤦♂️
I’ve been trying to export a single photo taken in 2008 from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. It has taken over 15 minutes of time loading various bits from the cloud. For some reason running this one app requires no fewer than five applications (all but Lightroom hidden). The amount of memory and CPU being chewed up is ridiculous. This needs a better solution.
Seems like a mixed message.
First time playing Trekking the World. Game setup took a bit to figure out but we got the hang of it fast enough. Was cool to learn about the world and enjoy a game at the same time.
Working on my bartender skills. Old Fashioneds and Lemondrop Martinis. 🍸
Happy Halloween! 🎃
Madison Lake, Minnesota.
These results are incredible, and seem almost unstoppable.
“America’s biggest tech firms reported dizzying figures, as each surfed on the pandemic’s waves. Amazon’s third-quarter sales grew 37% year-on-year, to more than $96bn; it hired 50% more staff to cope with the demands of locked-down households. Alphabet was the only giant whose share price strengthened, as Google’s ad sales recovered, especially on YouTube. Apple’s iPhone sales were even weaker than expected, while overall revenue and profit held steady. Facebook blew past glowering governments’ scrutiny to report quarterly revenue growth of 22%, with a prediction of better to come over the holidays.” — The Economist Espresso, October 30th, 2020
I like the version of this that shades based on population density. The default maps are very misleading unless you really are focused on the voting by square miles.
The newest Eero devices look like a good upgrade. I’m still not happy that Amazon owns it though.
Interesting open source project for automation.
Delightful. “The decimal expansion of 1/89 is just the Fibonacci series, added together in an appropriate fashion.” 🤓
Approach to building software that will allow you to maintain flexibility and velocity as you scale.
Learning from this email? 🤔
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You’ve made it all the way to the end! 👏 Here is your fortune for this week.
You look tired. 🥱
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I once created a fun travel game about identifying mathematical relationships in the numbers that appear on road signs, called Road Sign Math! I launched a website to share the signs and had 30 people submit over 250 road signs from every continent in the world!