Longbored Surfer

These are things that I've found around the interwebs that I like, and I want to share with your, or make a record for myself. Click the name to go to the site, or the # for a permalink back here.

2017.08.07 Jim Carrey: I Needed Color

Jim Carrey: I Needed Color

Maybe it's because he's somebody I feel like I know (thanks to his movies), but I really enjoyed the candor and approach to sharing that Jim shows. I've never felt very artistic, but I'm continually drawn to try something. Regardless, I think the six minutes needed to watch this are well spent. #

2017.07.18 The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)

The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)

I've been working in Python 2 for a couple years at this point, and due to various issues I continued to come across, repeatedly found myself referenced to this article. I should have read it earlier. If you're a software developer, or a wannabe, or anywhere in between, it's time to buck up, and read this. Don't wait like I did. It's worth your 10 minutes. #

2017.05.17 My Family's Slave

My Family's Slave

Worth reading every word of this article. A fascinating and sad view into something I was completely oblivious to. I'm so glad I read this. #

2017.04.20 One Hundred Scenes of Kobe

One Hundred Scenes of Kobe

I really like these paintings by Hide Kawanishi. Takayuki Kita went through the pains of visiting each of the sites, and taking photos from each place, to see what they look like now. Hide's style feels both classic, and new all at the same time. It's worth looking at each painting. There is so much I like, but here are a few call-outs: the framing of #77, the subtle reflection in #48, the perspective and story of #52, the colors of #98. I could keep going. Really, he seemed to show a great attention to detail - both on what to include and exclude.

I wish the page was better, so you could see thumbnails of all the paintings... but at least we get to see them. #

2017.04.20 Luchador Mask

Luchador Mask

Last year we had a Nacho Libre-themed birthday party for our oldest. We printed these masks twice - once on baby blue paper, and another time on red. With a bit of work with an x-acto knife, we had made great decorations for the goodie bags. Now I can finally close this tab that's been open for so long. #

2017.04.20 The Rise of the Expert Generalist

The Rise of the Expert Generalist

Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet's business partner of over 40 years, takes an intentional wide and deep approach to learning, which has obviously been highly (financially) beneficial. A couple highlights from the article:

Bill Gates has said of Munger, “He is truly the broadest thinker I have ever encountered. From business principles to economic principles to the design of student dormitories to the design of a catamaran he has no equal… Our longest correspondence was a detailed discussion on the mating habits of naked mole rats and what the human species might learn from them.” Munger has, in short, been the ultimate expert-generalist.

He gives a basic definition of what an Expert Generalist is as:

“Someone who has the ability and curiosity to master and collect expertise in many different disciplines, industries, skills, capabilities, countries, and topics., etc. He or she can then, without necessarily even realizing it, but often by design:

  1. Draw on that palette of diverse knowledge to recognize patterns and connect the dots across multiple areas.
  2. Drill deep to focus and perfect the thinking.”

I admired a friend in high school, because it seemed that he could have conversations about all sorts of things with all sorts of people. Munger's style reminds me of him. I really like the intentional approach to this style of learning, and would claim to be trying a version this approach, personally. The full article is certainly worth reading, despite the (real) click-bait title. #

2016.07.06 Eyvind Earle

Eyvind Earle

I had never heard of Eyvind Earle until the other day, but I really like his style. Great work on his shadows, and a simple approach that still conveys realism. I think this piece (called Path in Snow)w, in particular, is gorgeous. So perfect. #

2016.07.06 Goals vs Systems

Goals vs Systems

I frustrate my direct supervisor at work, in part because I hate goals, and I verbalize my disapproval of them. My nuanced feelings about goals and the deadlines frequently associated with them can't fit into an entry like this. That said, I agree with a lot of what James Clear has to say about goals. One of those that has bitten our team most recently is this shortcoming of goals:

You can’t predict the future. (I know, shocking.)

But every time we set a goal, we try to do it. We try to plan out where we will be and when we will make it there. We try to predict how quickly we can make progress, even though we have no idea what circumstances or situations will arise along the way.

Really though, you should read the whole article. It's well-written, and I'm curious to read his newsletters going forward. #

2016.07.06 A Manager's FAQ

A Manager's FAQ

Henry Ward has some interesting responses to some of these questions, and not all of them do I agree with. Regardless, I most liked the non-abbreviated answers he gave to the following questions:

SPOILER ALERT! Here are the abbreviated answers he gives to those questions:

2016.03.19 How Many Digits of Pie Do We Really Need?

How Many Digits of Pie Do We Really Need?

A fascinating insight into why NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory only uses pi to the 15th decimal place (3.141592653589793). I like the second example the most:

We can bring this down to home with our planet Earth. It is 7,926 miles in diameter at the equator. The circumference then is 24,900 miles. That's how far you would travel if you circumnavigated the globe (and didn't worry about hills, valleys, obstacles like buildings, rest stops, waves on the ocean, etc.). How far off would your odometer be if you used the limited version of pi above? It would be off by the size of a molecule. There are many different kinds of molecules, of course, so they span a wide range of sizes, but I hope this gives you an idea. Another way to view this is that your error by not using more digits of pi would be 10,000 times thinner than a hair!

Given this perspective, it makes you wonder why things like this exist. ("Because we can!" Uh huh.) #

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