#01 ack must upgrade python for markdown
- z2014-09-25- Kazemi Newport Small Projects
May'2014: Darius Kazemi has shifted to keeping his Side Project-s small. It does not matter how or frivolous a project seems: everything you do adds to your body of work. I can’t stress this enough: you are not just creating a bunch of small things. You are creating an Eco System of projects... If you make lots of small projects, you can approach the same idea from many, many different angles. This can be really interesting... Making lots of small projects means you stay constantly excited. You literally cannot be bored with work if you stop working on it the moment become bored... Having lots of projects means you can watch your aesthetic develop over time very quickly... You make stuff, and you’re going to like certain things, but you can’t predict what other people will like. So even if you make something and you think it sucks, put it out there. Maybe people will hate it, maybe they’ll ignore it, or maybe they’ll like it. But just put it out there... Out of my 72 projects last year, I’d say 10 of them were successful in some substantial way. That’s 1 out of 7 projects. At that rate, if I made one project a year, it would take me SEVEN YEARS to make something that caught on with the public. By focusing on small projects, I can experience 10 major successes a year.
Sept24: Cal Newport is experimenting with a similar idea: What I’ve noticed in my thinking about this problem over the past week or two is that at the beginning of each deep work session, I’ll typically come up with a novel approach to attempt. As I persist in the session, however, the rate of novelty decreases. After thirty minutes or so of work I tend to devolve into a cycle where I’m rehashing the same old ideas again and again. I’m starting to wonder, therefore, if this specific type of deep work, where you’re trying to find a creative insight needed to unlock a problem, is best served by multiple small dashes of deep work as oppose to a small number of longer sessions. That is, given five free hours during a given week, it might be better to do ten 30-minute dashes as oppose to one 5 hour slog.
- z2014-03-18- Failing To Make A Living By Microtasking
A failed experiment a Making A Living through the Micro Task market. I make $1.94 an hour. Research suggests most people, like me, aren't making substantial income off their Mechanical Turk work. Only 8% of workers surveyed by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, said that Mechanical Turk income always helped them meet their basic needs... That week, I make $166 on Task Rabbit, which is $46 above the median active Task Rabbit in my neighborhood. I also made $100 in cash from the tutoring job that started on Task Rabbit but was paid off the platform.
Jul23 update: Task Rabbit has changed its entire business model without warning anyone. As of two weeks ago, the company no longer uses the bidding system. Each Rabbit is pegged at an hourly rate, accessible only via smartphone, and expected to be available immediately, a la UbEr. If you can't commit to a task within 30 minutes, it moves on to someone else, reassigned via computer. Tasks that don't fall within generic categories like moving, cleaning, or food delivery are discouraged. Rabbits are matched with people looking for help via yet another mystical algorithm, removing whatever personal connection eager users enjoyed.
- z2007-10-01- Andreessen Career Advice
Marc Andreessen starts a series of posts on Career advice (Making A Living).
In this post he makes a case for being a General Ist, or at least having at-least-2 skills where you're in the top-25%. He quotes Scott Adams: But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths: (1) Become the best at one specific thing; (2) Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things. The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don't recommend anyone even try. The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort. Hmm, does this contradict the GodinDip? (There are lots of other interesting Real World-prep bits in this piece.)
- z2005-08-25- Luik Health Promotion Hooey
JohnLuik says the WHO's Health Promotion (Physical Fitness) policies are loaded with Pseudo Science. Take, for example, one of the most extensive and publicized efforts in health promotion of all time, the MrFit (Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial) which was specifically designed to establish the truth of health promotion by showing that Heart Disease and CanCer could be reduced through reducing Blood Pressure, Cholesterol Level, and SmokIng. After sixteen years of study, the intervention groups, which had received extensive assistance with exercise, changing diet and SmokIng cessation, had results which were not significantly better than the group that had received none of these "health promotion" interventions. Indeed, the intervention group, despite lower rates of SmokIng, actually had higher rates of lung cancer. What MrFit showed was precisely how Life Style interventions failed to reduce mortality from multifactoral diseases like cancer and heart disease. Nor was MrFit a scientific fluke. Consider the Framing Ham Study. Begun in 1950 as a longitudinal investigation of the causes of cardiovascular disease, some 5,209 men and women aged 30-59 were followed for 30 years on the assumption that those who were thinnest would have significantly lower risks for Heart Disease. But in 1979 when three of the study's lead researchers published their data it was found that for men the highest risk - that is the worst Life Expectancy - was for the thinnest men; men who were 25-40% fatter than the ideal weight were living the longest. For women, mortality was elevated only for the very thin and the very fat. The recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study on ObesIty and mortality produced similar results. (Public Health)
- z2014-06-04- Conde Nast College Partnership
Conde Nast publications will team up with universities to create a set of accredited certificate (Credent Ial) programs and eventually master’s-degree programs (with the colleges and universities, not the magazines, as the "institution.") Condé Nast writers and editors will contribute subject matter expertise and the publisher will provide some financial backing to the partnerships... The institutions and new academic programs (which will include both interactive online content and in-person elements) have not yet been identified, but discussions with universities are under way with the goal of launching the first programs in fall 2015... The initiative is the latest backed by University Ventures, a New York-based fund that since 2012 has sought to drive innovation in traditional higher education not by "disrupting" it from the outside but by encouraging it from within... The Condé Nast project was an intriguing first partnership for Qubed, Pianko says, because of the opportunity to "bring incredibly strong consumer brands into education and connect them with strong university brands to build consumer experiences commensurate with the quality of those brands.".. "picture a business innovation program created with WiredMag, or having students work with leading designers and architects through a program with Architectural Digest,"... "We think our brands have far-reaching influence, and would like to use that in positive way to educate people." MOOC?
- z2012-03-09- Rao Halls Law Industrialization Gilded Age
Venkatesh Rao posits a HallsLaw as analog to Moores Law during industrialization. The unsung and rather tragic hero of the story of interchangeability was John Harris Hall (1781 – 1841), inventor of the Hall carbine. So I am naming my analog to Moore’s Law for the 19th century Hall’s Law in his honor. The story of Hall’s Law is in a sense a prequel to the unfinished story of Moore’s Law. The two stories are almost eerily similar, even to believers in the “history repeats itself” maxim... Hall’s Law: the maximum complexity of artifacts that can be manufactured at scales limited only by resource availability doubles every 10 years... I believe this law held between 1825 and 1960, at which point the law hit its natural limits. (Note this covers 2-3 Technological Revolution-s in the Technological Revolutions And Financial Capital model.)
He provides 16 points of comparison between the 2 laws/periods.
5. The newer, younger “Digital Native” tycoons, starting with Mark Zuckerberg, map to the post 1890 3rd generation innovators who were native to the new world of interchangeability rather than pioneers, similar to the early 20th century automobile and airplane industry tycoons...
- 7. Each era enabled, and was in turn fueled by, new kinds of warfare...
10. The InterNet and Cargo Container shipping taken together are to Moore’s Law as the railroad, steamship and telegraph networks taken together were to Hall’s Law. The Electric Energy grid provides the continuity between Hall’s Law and Moore’s Law.
- 11. Each era changed employment patterns and class structures wholesale...
13. At the risk of getting flamed, I’d say that Seth Godin is arguably the Horatio Alger of today, but in a good way...
14. Hall’s Law led on to the application of its core methods to people, leading to new models of High School and College Education and eventually the perfect interchangeable human, The Organization Man. Moore’s Law is destroying these things, and replacing them with Y Combinator style education and Co Working spaces (this will end with the Organization Entrepreneur, a predictably-unique individual, just like everybody else).
15. Hall’s Law led to the industrial labor movement. Moore’s Law is leading to a new labor movement defined, in its early days, by things like standardized term-sheets for entrepreneurs ( the 5 day/40 hour week issue of our times; YC-entrepreneurs are decidedly not the new capitalists. They are the new labor. That’s a whole other post).
He then does a nice comparison of today to the Gilded Age. Hall’s Law created a culture that was initially a layer of fake gloss on top of much grimmer realities. Things were improving dramatically, but it probably did not seem like it at the time, thanks to the anxiety and uncertainty... We are clearly living through a New Gilded Age today, and Bruce Sterling’s term “Favela Chic” (rather unfortunately cryptic; perhaps we should call it “Painted Slum”) is effectively analogous to “Gilded Age.” We put on brave faces as we live through our rerun of the 1870s. We celebrate the economic precariousness of Free Agency (Free Agent) as though it were a no-strings-attached good thing. We read our own Horatio Alger stories, fawn over new Silicon Valley millionaires and conveniently forget the ones who don’t make it... If the Moore’s Law endgame is the same century-long economic-overdrive that was the Hall’s Law endgame, today’s kids will enter the adult world with prosperity and a fully-diffused Moore’s Law all around them. The children will do well. In the long term, things will look up. But in the long term, you and I will be dead. (Economic Transition, Raising Reality Hackers)
- z2013-02-10- Writely Creator Now At Box
Sam Schillace, creator of WriteLy, is working on Collaboration Ware at BoxNet.
When he started at Google, his team was about 40 people. By the time he left, it had grown to 600. But despite its size, Schillace said, Google Docs was never a huge priority at Google because of its minimal effect on the company’s bottom line.... Fast-forward a few years and there’s “not a lot of room for the feral programmer at Google anymore.”
“The other technical problem is, ‘what’s the next generation of the web app itself,’” he noted. “Where do we go with that and what does that need to be in order to be successful?”... a bigger challenge might be figuring out how to build a collaboration application in the age of powerful mobile devices and cloud computing... “The interesting challenge is to have one foot in many worlds at once,” Schillace said — mobile, web and desktop, consumer and enterprise... Schillace is inclined to look at what a company like EverNote is doing to enable creation and collaboration “outside of that paradigm of word processor, spreadsheet, presentation.”... With the advent of Evernote and the erstwhile Google Wave, documents have become more abstract, mixing images, text, communications, web pages and whatever else onto a digital Universal Canvas. “Underlying all of this, what’s really going on is the business interaction you want to have,” Schillace said. “The point of the document is you usually either record something for yourself or to have an interaction with another human being. And I think we can gradually start peeling away layers of artifice and try to get down to the raw core of that interaction.”
Hmm, does a Software Forge that has Transclus Ion and is MobIle-friendly fit the bill?
Sept'2013 update: Box has announced the beta release of a new Co Editing solution, BoxNotes, integrated with the Box file share-and-sync foundation.
- z2005-05-10- Company Hackathons
Hack Athon-s were held at JotSpot and Atlass Ian (Conflu Ence Wiki Engine) to spur Innovat Ion (and give EnginEer-s a sense of Engage Ment outside the Block And Tackle of their normal days).
A couple of the JotSpots deliverables were:
Update: Kathy Sierra on Squirrel Eiserloh and the Ad Lib Game Design Society. The idea can be mapped to virtually anything for which you want to encourage maximum creativity, innovation, and most importantly... getting something done. While it may be a Big Deal to start your own FooCamp/BarCamp-style self-organizing conference, the total immersion "ad-lib jam" model is something we can all start in our home town, wherever that may be... A big part of what makes this work is that you are not in your normal environment. No kids, no chores, no I-should-be-doing-something-else. More importantly, it's the energy of the other participants that makes this so effective. You know exactly what I'm talking about if you've ever been in a highly engaged group where everyone's really cranking and you can almost feel the brain power and creativity rippling out of each person's head like WiFi. The ALGDS seems oriented toward all the attendees working together on a single idea, but Kathy seems to be discussing just having people working independently in the same place/time maybe in the same genre.
My Intro Blurb:
This is the publicly-readable WikiLog Thinking Space of Bill Seitz (a Product Manager and CTO).
My Calling: to accelerate Evolut Ion by increasing FreeDom and Opportunity and AgenCy for many people via DAndD of Thinking Tools (software and Games To Play) that increase the LeverAge of Free Agent-s and smaller groups (Small World).
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