I’m Jamie Thingelstad, and this is the Weekly Thing. One of the delights of sending this email is hearing from you! Hit reply and say Hi…
Wait, it is Sunday. I’m supposed to be wishing you a good start to your weekend on Saturday morning, but this week time ran out on me and here I am on Sunday morning. It happens sometimes. 🤷♂️
As if we didn’t have enough things to worry about in the world, we got Hurrican Ian this week. Like many of you, I knew a few people directly in the line of this massive storm. It made it feel closer. Hopefully people are able to recover soon. We are heading to Orlando to visit Disney in just two weeks.
I’m going to keep it short this week. I am giving you one less day to read, so it would only be polite to get on with it… right? 👌
PS: I send the Weekly Thing via Buttondown and in an attempt to make some delivery issues better Justin over there has switched the Weekly Thing to delivering through Postmark. This should result in nothing but good things, but in the world of email delivery any change can have unintended consequences. Hopefully this Weekly Thing is delivered as well, and better, than the previous issues. 🤞 If you notice anything better, like you are getting it delivered now and weren’t before, drop me a line and let me know. If you didn’t get this, well, you can’t read this and whatever I would ask for is irrelevant. 🙄
I think it is strange that this is even a question, but it is. Consider other domains for a moment. Would you ask someone that doesn’t know finance to be a CFO? Would a company have a head of sales that doesn’t know how to sell? The answer is a solid no to both. Yet there is active debate on wether technology leaders, particularly CIO and CTO, need to be technical. Unequivocally the answer is yes. You cannot lead a function that you don’t understand, and even more importantly, love and have passion for!
Agarwal highlights 5 distinct reasons why you need highly technical leaders in technology. I would agree with all of them, and maybe add some color.
My only disagreement with this essay is his assertion that a CTO should pass the coding interview. I disagree. He even suggests they should excel at it. I think this is where Agarwal falls into the trap of equating being a technologist with being a coder. I just don’t see that as the case. Look at other fields for examples. Are all great architects also great carpenters? No. Are all great tennis coaches the best tennis players? No. Are all great conductors the best violinists? No.
Being a great coder is a specific, highly respected and revered skill. Your best coders had better be way better coders than your CTO.
I’ve dove into the Noun ecosystem at some length. I have a Lil Noun, a couple of Foodnouns, some YOLO Nouns, etc. But the original Nouns that sell one a day, still go for 60-90 ETH ($80,000-$120,000 USD) which is pretty wild to me. The project also has a 29,092 ETH ($41M USD) DAO treasury and only 447 DAO seats at the moment.
Lil Nouns is a way to engage in Nouns DAO at a lower price point since the DAO owns 7 Nouns. So, with my 1 Lil Noun I have 1 out of 6,293 votes that then controls 7 out of 447 votes in Nouns DAO. So that is 0.0158% of Lil Nouns voting power, to control 1.565% of Nouns DAO votes. So my 1 Lil Noun is 0.0002473% voting power in Nouns DAO.
Nounlets are a totally different approach. Nounlets take a Noun in NounDAO and you can buy a voting right in that Noun. You only by 1% voting rights, so the Noun is divided up into 100 and each lot is sold. Interestingly, 1 Nounlet gets you 0.0022% voting power in Nouns DAO, or 10x the voting power of 1 LilNoun. LilNouns go for 0.15 ETH minimum. Nounlets are going for about 1 ETH. About 6x the cost, for 10x the voting power.
I’m honestly not all that sure what to make of all of this, but I find the process of exploring it very interesting.
This week the photo that moved me the most wasn’t one of mine, but this one sent to me from Kyiv. Andrew Dykun in our office in Kyiv taking a moment to play piano with the beautiful city of Kyiv in the window. 🇺🇦
Sep 30, 2022 at 10:00 AM
Cool app that let’s you mint your chess game into an NFT. This original version uses Gnosis and supports Chess.com and lichess.org, and the new version Treasure Chess uses Polygon and only Chess.com. I think it is a neat idea to be able to capture a game as a unique NFT. Similar to a POAP capturing an event.
The hunt for more returns in the stock market has attracted AI and ML researchers since those acronyms existed. They are getting better and better, and it does make me wonder if we are approaching a time when they will simply always outcompete humans like in Chess and now Go. Is the Stock Market a closed system like a game? I think it is more like one than not. 🤔
Kahneman describing how to get better outcomes with conflicting views.
The idea is that people who don’t agree on a scientific idea commit themselves to work together towards a joint truth, either by experimentation or by discussion. Of course, what I’ve said about the phenomena of belief perseverance and the 15-point effect set limits to what can be achieved by adversarial collaboration. We can expect that even successful collaborations will end with few minds changing and we can expect adversaries to renege on their commitments to critical experiments. They will do this in good faith as beneficiaries of the 15-point increment.
I have at least one friend that this article made me think of because he seems to do the best job of getting me riled up about some belief or assertion (Hey Nick! 👋😊). I like Kahneman’s breakdown on how that push back and forth can result in better outcomes.
Article suggests that we can only keep up to four new concepts in our working memory, and that to truly learn something you have to commit those concepts into your memory, and then add on another new concept in your working memory.
Learning is intertwined with memory to the extent that they are almost the same thing. Learning cannot happen without a change to your memory. Everything we know about learning efficiently is directly related to memory - “good” teachers, “good” explanations, images, diagrams, maths problems, essays, practical assignments all are good for learning because they help move things into your long-term memory.
This also highlights why new concepts that connect to our existing memories are more easily brought into our memory, and then built on with additional concepts. 🤔
The analogue here to a computer using memory and storage is just too similar to ignore. 🧠
I appreciate how Charity Majors give practical perspective to a long and rewarding career in technology.
The strategy for a fulfilling, lifelong career in tech is not to up the ante every interval. Nor is it to amass more and more power over others until you explode.
I like this callout too.
Practice Transparency, From Top To Bottom
Share Authority, Decision-Making And Power
Technical Contributors Own Technical Decisions
Very good read. 🤩
Solid set of recommendations that could be applied for any manager at any level. This is a reduction of the points in Laraway’s book When They Win, You Win, which I’m adding to my reading list now. The focus is on three key areas:
Direction: Good managers ensure that every member of their team understands exactly what is expected and when it is expected.
Coaching: Good managers coach their people towards both short and long-term success, helping them understand what they should continue to do and how they can improve.
Career: Good managers invest in their people’s careers in a way that considers their long-term goals and aspirations beyond the four walls of the current company, and certainly beyond their next promotion.
Good article and a lot of thought provoking suggestions.
Great first part of the story behind the creation of the ARM chip. It Is amazing how much of this is done in emulators (the ARM emulator was in BASIC!), and also how small the team was.
These amazing results spurred the small team to finish the job. The design for the first ARM CPU was sent to be fabricated at VLSI Technology Inc., an American semiconductor manufacturing firm. The first version of the chip came back to Acorn on April 26, 1985. Wilson plugged it into the Tube slot on the BBC Micro, loaded up the ported-to-ARM version of BBC BASIC, and tested it with a special PRINT command. The chip replied, “Hello World, I am ARM,” and the team cracked open a bottle of champagne.
If this type of story is at all interesting to you I would strongly recommend reading Kidder’s “The Soul of a New Machine” which tells the history of Data General.
Fabulous deep and detailed discussion of the on-call culture in part of Adobe, how they made it better and built a set of good habits around it. I particularly appreciate the focus on the humans, the people actually being on-call. Too many times organizations build on-call structures that ignore the basic needs of the people involved.
I’m always intrigued on ways to structure one-on-ones. I like the points that are highlighted here, particularly the part about preparing and “welcome them with optimism”. One of the hard things for leaders is to flip completely from one conversation to another, and show up the right way. It doesn’t happen without making the effort and being conscious about it. Also see part 2.
First hand account from the Russian attack of Ukraine from Lyptsi.
It was possible to call for only a minute. After that the Russians intercepted the call.
Once they intercepted a 2 minute call, came immediately and took all the people out of the building (16 apartments) at night. Some people were shot on the spot. Some returned after torture. Some did not return.
Read it all. Continue to support the people of Ukraine. 🇺🇦
We saw BLKBOK tonight at The Dakota and it was a great show and an amazing experience. His performance was unique, passionate, and extremely engaging. We’ll be back for sure. His I AM BLKBOK vide is a good intro.
Garden status as fall is here: We are still pulling off lots of tomatoes. I had no idea a basil plant can get so big. The strawberries are very full and getting ready for next year. The zinnias are still bright and full.
The water level in Cannon Lake is down a lot. The first wheel on our dock is usually under water. The water level is so low that I cannot get the pontoon to float when I raise the SeaLegs. The boat rests on the lake bottom. Uh oh. Now what? 😳
Avalanche (Tyler’s team) v Plymouth 2 team facing off on the pitch this morning g. Minnetonka Rec Soccer. ⚽️
Some nice user experience improvements coming to an app that I use every day, on every device I have. → First Look: OmniFocus 4 for Mac - Learn OmniFocus
Good to see Istio officially part of the CNCF. → Istio sails into the Cloud Native Computing Foundation | Cloud Native Computing Foundation
For the real authority on information visualization, see Edward Tufte, but this HIG from Apple is good too. → Charts - Human Interface Guidelines - Design - Apple Developer
I’m a huge fan of POAPs and having an NFC card that can give people a POAP is pretty awesome. 💙 → ENS, POAP, and IYK Devcon Bogotá Swag
Here is your fortune…
You definitely intend to start living sometime soon.
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I’ve been an active blogger since 2004. I’ve been microblogging via Twitter and my websites since 2006. My link blog goes back to 2005. I think about the Internet and our use of it over decades and am focused on preserving the personal and non-commercial parts of the Internet as well as the corporate and governmental parts. I’m a long-time supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons and Internet Archive as well as other organizations that work on this.