Working Environment!

If you don’t have a great working environment quit, quit now!

from NYT:

In addition to being brilliant, Dr. Gray was an iconoclast. Speaker after speaker fondly told stories that reflected his disdain for bureaucracy and his independence. Shankar Sastry, dean of the college of engineering at UC Berkeley, noted that when organizers were planning the Saturday tribute, they felt the attire should be business casual; Dr. Gray, however, rarely wore anything but jeans and was once thrown out of the I.B.M. Scientific Center in Los Angeles for failing to meet the company’s dress code.

While working at I.B.M.’s Thomas J. Watson Jr. Research Laboratory in New York, Mr. Gray asked his boss if he could relocate to an I.B.M. laboratory in San Jose. When he was told that he couldn’t, he said, “All right, then, I quit.”

He then got in his Volkswagen, drove across the country and was rehired by an I.B.M. laboratory in California.

“We had a research group in San Francisco because Jim lived in San Francisco, and if he’d wanted to move to Monaco, we’d have a research center in Monaco,” said Rick Rashid, senior vice president for research at Microsoft.

Nice Intro To Innovation!

from Robin Hanson Of Overcoming Bias blog:

I have learned most of the list from other places but I learned the following from the article.

5. Innovation in large systems comes mostly from part innovation, so system innovation is steadier than part innovation, and the largest systems grow steadiest.

6. System structures vary in how well they encourage and test innovations locally and then distribute the best ones widely. Better structures for this are meta-innovations.

  • Good modularity reduces the need to match innovations in differing parts.
  • Good abstraction puts similar innovation problems within the same part.

Refactoring And Maintaining Other People’s Code

I’ve been feeling the pain of other developers right now. Maintaining and actually changing other people’s code.

I have a couple of thorns in my side.

1. I’ve been using C# for almost two months now. Although I can already say that I a already have above average skill in C# I’ve had difficulty with mainly lack of familiarity of a lot of shorcuts and the best ways of doing things.

2. I am maintaining and at the same time creating a lot of the code. I feel like I am piling mistake upon mistake. I don’t blame the previous programmer, I must confess that I am slowly rewriting a lot of the code, not for dogmatic reasons, purely to make the code cleaner.

3. How Do You Do Unit Test with C#. This is my primary fear right now, If I cant design proper test units, I don’t know how I’ll survive testing this!

I’ll add more as I encounter more difficulty!

What The Deaf Can Teach Us About Listening

I wish more people practice this. I’ve been trying to influence my friends to listen (not multitask) when conversing but, I did It by example and one of the things I suspect about how people are right now is that the inaudibles, the visuals , and other non auditory form of communication are largely ignored. How the F*ck can you activate your Social Brain (google Arthur Goleman google talk) without the non visuals.

Thanks to Doc Searls for the pointer.

from here:

Lessons of Silence
by Bruno Kahne

What the deaf can teach us about listening — and making ourselves heard.

1. Look people in the eye.

2. Don’t interrupt.

3. Say what you mean, as simply as possible.

4. When you don’t understand something, ask.

5. Stay focused.

Shooting Stars

This made me reminisce the time I went to a beach somewhere in Quezon province. I vividly remember my friends being amazed at how many shooting stars we were seeing each minute it was around 1-5 shooting stars per minute. I told them that in the province it was normal to see that many shooting stars. Someone countered that he was also from the province but he never noticed. I countered back with , because you never looked, and he realized I was right. Most people just don’t notice, some people don’t spend the time looking out to the stars or even smelling the flowers and all the other cliches. It is said that cliches are

from Jason Kottke here:

At the very moment that humans discovered the scale of the universe and found that their most unconstrained fancies were in fact dwarfed by the true dimensions of even the Milky Way Galaxy, they took steps that ensured that their descendants would be unable to see the stars at all. For a million years humans had grown up with a personal daily knowledge of the vault of heaven. In the last few thousand years they began building and emigrating to the cities. In the last few decades, a major fraction of the human population had abandoned a rustic way of life. As technology developed and the cities were polluted, the nights became starless. New generations grew to maturity wholly ignorant of the sky that had transfixed their ancestors and had stimulated the modern age of science and technology. Without even noticing, just as astronomy entered a golden age most people cut themselves off from the sky, a cosmic isolationism that only ended with the dawn of space exploration.

That’s Carl Sagan in Contact from 1985. The effects of light pollution were documented in the New Yorker last August.

Trying To Find The Sweet Spot Where Happiness and Passion Fuse

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