Longbored Surfer

Links tagged "foodforthought"

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.) #

2015.09.23 Notes On Blindness

Notes On Blindness

John Hull, a writer and theologian, became completely blind in 1983. He kept a diary on an audiocassette. This film is a dramatization of some of of his words and thoughts. I loved it, and feel like it's a shame I didn't see it closer to its original release. I'm going to eagerly devour the story and additional material behind it. #

2015.09.02 The Fringe Benefits of Quitting

The Fringe Benefits of Quitting

What a simple, and powerful message Liz Danzico has, from which I can/will benefit. It's okay (and frequently beneficial) to quit something. While doing that, stop thinking of your time as being lost/wasted, but as a beneficial investment into your own improvement for whatever it is. It's also okay not to know exactly how to get somewhere, which may cause for some course corrections. There's a good quote from E.L. Doctorow:

It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

Maybe I'm overly introspective, and purpose-seeking right now, but her message rang true with me right now (Also, fittingly, I've tried to watch this video several times since its release, but just now finally knocked it out.) #

2015.08.31 Beth Dean - Emotional Intelligence in Design

Beth Dean - Emotional Intelligence in Design

I thoroughly enjoyed Beth Dean's thoughts, insights, and suggestions in this fantastic article. If you have anything to do with design, or interacting with other people via a computer, I highly recommend you read it. Here's just a tease of one of my favorite parts (though it was filled with so many awesome elements, I've saved a copy for myself).

People completing seemingly straightforward tasks do so in a variety of contexts and life circumstances. Humanity can be sad, complicated and messy. We don’t stop being human when we go online. Sometimes even when you’re trying to make something with the best intentions, something can go terribly wrong. Sometimes the very tools you create to protect people cause harm. What can we do?

Really. It's so good. #

2014.09.10 Policing By Consent

Policing By Consent

I've had this tab open since the events in Ferguson. I feel like I need to repost them here, just to make sure they're seen and kept. Originally created as the basic rules or principles upon which the Metropolitan Police should act and behave:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

  2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.

  3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

  4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

  5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.

  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

  8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

  9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them. #

2014.09.10 The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who’s Buying Up All the World’s Vinyl Records

The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who’s Buying Up All the World’s Vinyl Records

It's hard to fathom the number of records being bought by Zero Freitas, a wealthy Brazilian business man. He's doing it all in the name of preservation. I own more music than the average person, but what I own would be a drop in the bucket for him. I think it's an admirable effort, and one I'll be curious to follow over time. #

2014.09.10 Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain

Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain

You're probably reading this at the wrong time. You're distracted, or more likely, you're too focused on consumption. Focus on something for a bit longer. Unplug at other times. All of this multi-tasking (quickly switching between tasks and events) is destroying your brain - you just weren't built for this. #

2014.08.31 How To Be Polite

How To Be Polite

I'd prefer to title this "How to be Considerate", but even with its title as-is, it's worth reading.

People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same.

...

This is not a world where you can simply express love for other people, where you can praise them. Perhaps it should be. But it’s not. I’ve found that people will fear your enthusiasm and warmth, and wait to hear the price. Which is fair. We’ve all been drawn into someone’s love only to find out that we couldn’t afford it. A little distance buys everyone time.

He goes on to list empathy as an effect of this "politeness". I'm not sure if it's a result of it, or a cause for it. We can all be a bit nicer. A bit more patient. A bit more understanding. A little slower to pass judgement. A bit more thoughtful. A bit more considerate. #

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