Jet downing raises India-Pakistan tension
India says it is investigating Pakistan's claim to have captured one of its pilots.
Workism Is Making Americans Miserable
For the college-educated elite, work has morphed into a religious identity—promising identity, transcendence, and community, but failing to deliver.
This is something that I've also noticed is becoming more prevalent across America, and especially so in the bay area.
While it starts with the oft-repeated Keynes quote about people living luxurious lives and not having to work, it goes into depth about *why* americans feel the need to over-work, discussing society, religion, politics and law.
"On a deeper level, Americans have forgotten an old-fashioned goal of working: It’s about buying free time. The vast majority of workers are happier when they spend more hours with family, friends, and partners, according to research conducted by Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School. In one study, she concluded that the happiest young workers were those who said around the time of their college graduation that they preferred careers that gave them time away from the office to focus on their relationships and their hobbies."Posted on 2019-02-24T18:57:01+0000
Seeking the Productive Life: Some Details of My Personal Infrastructure—Stephen Wolfram Blog
Some of Stephen Wolfram’s “productivity hacks” to make his days and projects more productive. Daily life, desk environment, outside the office, presentation setup, filesystem organization, Wolfram Notebook systems, databases, personal analytics.
This is a mini biography combined with a massive list of productivity hacks, both for the work environment as well as for personal life.
While I don't agree with every single thing in there (optimizing things so you can take work calls during your drive seems overkill); this is very worth reading. If just for looking at this approach and how to gather that much analytics on oneself.Posted on 2019-02-23T21:57:15+0000
The deadly truth about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes
Crash-test dummies based on the ‘average’ male are just one example of design that forgets about women – and puts lives at risk
This is an excerpt from a book - but it stands out vividly with a number of examples highlighting how a lot of tools and processes here have been targeted at men - and continue to discomfort, and even actively harm, women.
Goes into some classic examples (like air conditioning/temperatures in the office) to a lot of new ones that I wasn't aware of before.Posted on 2019-02-23T19:55:05+0000
What I learned at work this year
Bill Gates looks back on 2018, and shares a few thoughts on what’s going well and what isn’t with innovation in some specific areas that he works on.
Gates' thoughts here are very inspiring.
"Some people think it is corny, but I like the tradition. These days, at the end of each year, I still enjoy taking stock of my work and personal life. What was I excited about? What could I have done better?"
Came for the updates on the foundation and their Alzheimer's/Polio research; stayed for the thought provoking conclusion about the challenges that lie ahead in technology research.Posted on 2019-02-18T07:10:11+0000
Why Google Needed a Graph Serving System - Dgraph Blog
This post made it to #3 on HackerNews front page. Do engage in discussion there and show us love by giving us a GitHub star.
This was a very interesting technical read.
While it’s poised as a technical post / blog advertisement about Dgraph, it contains a lot of great tidbits - from trivia about how Google’s indexing works, to implementation challenges faced when distributing graph queries, to how others have approached this problem.
Recommended if you want to nerd outPosted on 2019-02-17T22:25:10+0000
The Psychological Trap of Freelancing
The time-is-money mind-set is hard to escape.
I read this the other day and nodded so hard.
It's about an interesting dilemma: popular culture talks a lot about being able to trade money for precious time, and how that can bring about happiness; but this talks about a study that seems to show the opposite.
The authors argue that once the mindset is in place to value a specific unit of time at a certain dollar value, every piece of free time instantly becomes about maximizing the utility of that slot - and this leads to an ever spiraling cycle.
When sometimes all you need is to just sit at home and do nothing.Posted on 2019-02-13T06:41:37+0000
The Inside Story of an American Warship Doomed by Its Own Navy
Investigation finds officials ignored warnings for years before one of the deadliest crashes in decades.
This was a page turner that went into the navy crashes in 2017 that lead to the loss of life.
It’s a human interest story and an accounting of the chain of command - and a description of how people took action in the incredibly stressful moments of a tragedy.
Looking forward to part 2 so I can learn more about the Navy leadership and how they dropped the ball here. The ending was harrowing.Posted on 2019-02-10T02:54:38+0000
Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company
I left my job as the second employee at Pinterest–before I vested any of my stock–to turn Gumroad into a billion-dollar company. And…
In this post, the author talks about their failures in launching a "successful" company as it never met the crazy growth goals forced upon them due to taking large sums of VC funding.
They went through lots of trials and tribulations - and yet, $178M of transactions later, the company is still alive and well, making a great product that helps creators everywhere.
"I consider myself “successful” now. Not exactly in the way I intended, though I think it counts. Where did my binary focus on building a billion-dollar company come from in the first place?
I think I inherited it from a society that worships wealth. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Bill Gates was my all-time hero and was also the world’s richest person.
Since I can remember, I equated “successful” solely with net worth. If I heard someone say “that person’s really successful,” I didn’t assume they were improving the well-being of the people around them, but that they had found a way to make a lot of money.
Wealth can be a measure of success, as seems to be in the case of someone like Bill Gates, who has invested heavily in philanthropy. But it’s not the only way to measure success, nor is it the best one."Posted on 2019-02-08T06:38:06+0000
Ten minutes a day – Noteworthy - The Journal Blog
In early 2012, I published Jumping into C++. According to the calendar, I wrote the book between January 2010 to January 2012, but it took…
I read this the other day and it’s great. I don’t have a project for this year that this is applicable to directly but even just setting weekly goals has made a big difference.
Last year I tried an ambitious goal of one commit a day and it was interesting how much progress gets done. On off days just doing code cleanups made it easier to forward moving work later on.
Consistency trumps everything, as highlighted in the article. Once you set the machinery of your subconscious into motion; it does wonders.Posted on 2019-02-06T15:50:07+0000
Office Space turns 20: How the film changed the way we work
In 1999, the film masterfully spoofed how office life could be simultaneously mundane and ridiculous. What's different today?
This is an interesting piece. While it starts off as a discussion about an iconic movie (which I really liked and everyone should see!); it goes into a nice discussion of corporate culture and how new age corporations have been trying to buck the trend.
It then talks about how successful and unsuccessful various attempts have been; for example the change from cubicles to open offices and the changes in work life balance.Posted on 2019-02-06T07:06:24+0000
Forget privacy: you're terrible at targeting anyway
I don't mind letting your programs see my private data as long as I get something useful in exchange. But that's not what happens. A forme...
This was a very interesting read which discussed both privacy and ad targeting.
It talks about how the tracking ecosystem works; how a lot of it can be done better with heuristics and less ML (which is opaque and not as useful - though there are killer applications for ML like image processing).
it also goes into what *good* recommendations look like; and how they're often good without being personalized. And ends on a nice tangent about Netflix and their $1M prize for recommendation algorithms; and how that was not needed by the end.Posted on 2019-02-02T22:18:44+0000
Gympie Gympie: Once stung, never forgotten
One of the world’s most venomous plants, the Gympie-Gympie stinging tree can cause months of excruciating pain for unsuspecting humans.
The article talks about this plant in Australia which is known for a famously painful sting - which also causes long lasting, horrible allergic reactions afterwards.
This has even lead one person to shoot themselves rather than suffer the pain.
One more reason to stay away from Australia, I guess?Posted on 2019-02-02T21:47:04+0000