Updates from January, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Doug Belshaw 1:06 pm on January 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , software, starting   

    All of this is to say: if your focus is solely upon shipping and finishing, I think you’re missing at least half the picture. Your research will generate insights. You and your team will need to come up with hypotheses, whether you realize you’re doing that explicitly or doing it implicitly “because this is how you build software”. But there’s a creative, generative process involved, and that creative process isn’t easy and it isn’t worthless without shipping.

    For me, this has meant a very slow and gradual calibration and quite vigirously latching on to an analogy made by my partner after one after-dinner unloading of my frustrations. You can think of the generative part of work, or a generative person as flint. You can think of building on that spark as kindling and that together these are complementary skills and people. Not enough flint? Your kindling won’t get anywhere. Not enough kindling? Your flint is going to just keep generating sparks that don’t get anywhere (and, in my experience, will just get bored and go elsewhere).


    So, personal appeal: if you think of yourself as a starter and not a finisher, and you think this is a terrible thing, please consider the opposite.

    And the professional, work version? Perhaps think about how these different skills are recognized in ways that they might not currently be, and how they fit together at different times.

    Dan Hon
  • Doug Belshaw 7:21 pm on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: moral grandstanding,   

    Moral grandstanding 

    I’m glad we now have a term other than (the inaccurate) ‘social justice warrior’ to deal with people who find pleasure in seeking out people and situations just so they can take the moral high ground.

    This quotation from an article by Antonia Case in the most recent issue of New Philosopher magazine explains things better than I could:

    “Hungry for social status within their own group, humans typically resort to prestige (knowledge, skills, success, or wealth) or dominance (intimidation, coercion, or sheer brute force) to get others to admire them. And grandstanders… seek prestige for their own moral qualities while, at the same time, employing moral talk to shame and silence others.”

    Antonia Case, ‘Grandstander in the family’, New Philosopher (Spring 2020)

    There may be the black and white of good vs evil when you’re a child, but when you get older and more mature there are so many shades of grey. You can’t say that everything depends on intentions. Or outcomes. And context is so very important.

    As the philosopher Bertrand Russell put it:

    “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

    Bertrand Russell

    That’s not to say that all moral grandstanders are stupid. Rather that they the sureness with which they express their opinions is an edifice built on sand.

    Of course,, social networks such as Twitter, now commonly referred to as ‘rage machines’ are the perfect place for instant gratification after drive-by moral grandstanding.

    #moral-grandstanding, #twitter

  • Doug Belshaw 1:20 pm on January 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Jean Rostand, resemblance   

    We alone know that those whom we really resemble are not at all those whom we seem to resemble.Jean Rostand

  • Doug Belshaw 10:30 am on January 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Benjamin Constant, peace, self-reflection   

    In order to live at peace with ourselves, we almost always disguise or impotence or weakness as calculated actions and systems, and so we satisfy that part of us which is observing the other.Benjamin Constant

  • Doug Belshaw 6:50 am on January 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: limitations, nature, W.H. Auden   

    Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.W.H. Auden

  • Doug Belshaw 7:16 pm on January 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alan Watts, Documentally, ,   

    If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing thing you don’t like doing, which is stupid.Alan Watts (via Documentally)

  • Doug Belshaw 3:38 am on January 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Jocelyn K. Glei, podcast, self-care   

    “The beatings will continue until morale improves” 

    Jocelyn K. Glei: Holding Space for Yourself

    This episode of Jocelyn K. Glei’s podcast Hurry Slowly about “holding space” for yourself is absolutely excellent and exactly what I needed to listen to today… in the gym.

    #jocelyn-k-glei, #podcast, #self-care

  • Doug Belshaw 8:55 pm on January 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dan Carlin, , fake news, The Science of Success   

    Dan Carlin on being an ‘informed citizen’ 

    I mentioned Dan Carlin’s interview on The Science of Success podcast in my most recent article for Thought Shrapnel.

    Dan Carlin: Fake News, Misinformation, and Being an Informed Citizen

    Above is the audio from 37:37 to 51:23 which is think is the best part of the podcast episode. Highly recommended listening!

    #dan-carlin, #democracy, #fake-news, #the-science-of-success

  • Doug Belshaw 7:28 am on January 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fitness,   

    Making progress… 

    #fitness, #health

  • Doug Belshaw 8:06 pm on January 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    The underlying problem of course is that any platform that takes some segment of the real world and brings it into software will also bring in all that segment’s problems. Amazon took products and so it has to deal with bad and fake products (whereas one might say that Facebook took people, and so has bad and fake people).

    Benedict Evans

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