Monday, December 10, 2012

62.) Resign yourself to the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.

If it's on the store shelf, it's old new.  That's just the price of living in a technological revolution.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How Moneyball Rules Apply to Real Life

Michael Lewis Tells Princeton Graduates How Moneyball Rules Apply to Real Life

"Don't be deceived by life's outcomes."

Thursday, August 9, 2012


"I'm not on Facebook" is the new "I don't own a TV," and I wish to God that Ray Bradbury had incorporated that into a book before he died.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

61.) Screw waiting. Good things come to those who work every day of their lives and never give up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I used to think that if I could choose one superpower, I would choose telepathy.  Facebook has convinced me otherwise.

The Curator’s Code

"The Curator’s Code is an effort to keep this whimsical rabbit hole open by honoring discovery through an actionable code of ethics — first, understanding why attribution matters, and then, implementing it across the web in a codified common standard, doing for attribution of discovery what Creative Commons has done for image attribution. It’s a suggested system for honoring the creative and intellectual labor of information discovery by making attribution consistent and codified, celebrating authors and creators, and also respecting those who discover and amplify their work. It’s an effort to make the rabbit hole open, fair, and ever-alluring. This not about policing the Internet from a place of top-down authority, it’s about encouraging respect and kindness among the community."

Monday, August 6, 2012

60.) Summarize, Repost, Reblog, and Forward it, but pass the credit back and verify, verify, verify.

Monday, March 5, 2012

59.) Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

Friday, March 2, 2012

58.) Artists reveal more of themselves than of their subject in their work.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Every time I think of something witty to say during a conversation but fail to get it out before the topic of conversation changes, I become just a little more fond of threaded comments and just a hair less likely to strike up a conversation in real life...

I'm pretty sure that I'm destined to be a hermit, thanks to the internet.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

57.) Resign yourself to the fact that, if you work in the technology sector, you will always be a beginner.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I don't write on your Facebook wall so you can comment on what I've said. I write on your wall so you'll reciprocate and make me seem more popular, damn it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

56.) Technologies improves so fast that, that before you can master any new hardware, software, or system, it will be supplanted by the next generation of technology. 

Rather than becoming an expert on any one technology, focus your efforts on training yourself to unlearn and re-learn new technologies.

Friday, February 24, 2012

55.) Technical people are motivated by interesting work.

Geeks drawn to the tech sector are inherently passionate people. They will work obsessively on a project that interests them. They will work longer and harder than any other group of people you've ever worked alongside.  They will be the only employees that you'll ever have to send home at night. What's more, to pursue those projects, they will settle for lower wages than they could command in other positions, work under harsher conditions than they could expect elsewhere, and abandon any semblance of a social life in pursuit of their goal. 

However, the other side of that coin is that geeks in technical positions will quickly grow restless and unmanageable.  The only recourse is to keep technical people intrigued. Present them with new challenges. Allow them room for creative expression. Don't allow their daily duties become routine.

This presents a particular challenge to managers accustomed to dealing with business people. Where business people are focused on overall performance, technical people tend to focus on the task at hand. Where business people strive for personal recognition, technical people seek to expand their skill set. Where business people are interested in the external trappings of a position, technical people are interested in personal exploration.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


The day I saw the inventor of the "Snuggie" on a talk show explaining that he had become an overnight millionaire by slapping a pair of sleeves onto a blanket, I very seriously contemplated suicide.  Sometimes the "American dream" just seems like a cruel joke.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

54.) Technical people respect technical people.

... but that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to know everything they do just to get along with them.  That would defy the purpose of having a technical professional.

 If you expect to work smoothly with a technical profession you do need to learn their jargon.  If you expect to manage technical professionals, you need to learn their jargon, then you need learn how to allow them to educate them. The geeks drawn to technical fields are passionate about their jobs, and part of that passion is a love of teaching others what they know.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Do employers really need to ask if I know how to use Microsoft Word? Is there a high school graduate outside Amish country who doesn't know how to use Word or - more to the point - stupid enough to admit such a ridiculous shortcoming during an interview?   Every time I'm asked about my Word skills in interview, it's all I can do to not just stare silently at the typed resume in the interviewer's hand to see how long it takes him to catch on.

Monday, February 20, 2012

53.)  Information workers aren't productive for 8 hours straight

The truth is that, for creative types, there is no work day, only a series of moment of productivity. Labor-intensive task, such as factory lines, depend on physical stamina.  Creative jobs, however, rely on mental stamina, which doesn't last for eight hour shifts.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Smartphones are the new cigarettes. They're addictive.  They're expensive.  They annoy the hell out of other people when you use them in public.  Plus, I'm pretty sure that, one day, we're going to discover that they cause cancer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

52.) Your Boss Is Your Customer

No matter how you make a living or who you think you work for, you only work for one person, yourself.  The big question is:  What are you selling, and to whom?  Even when you have a full-time, salaried, ‘Corporate America’ position, you are still running your own business.  You are selling one unit of your existence - an hour of your life - at a set price - your hourly wage - to your employer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Social media is a lot like teen sex.  Everyone is in a rush to try it. No one is sure what they're doing going in. Once they've tried it, people are always surprised it wasn't better. Worse, it frequently leads to embarrassment when your friends or family unintentionally discover what you've been up to with an ill-composed Google search. 

Still, it makes for some funny stories later in life.

Monday, February 13, 2012

51.) Ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it.
"Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland. The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway -- because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self -- you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along: Love."
Source: "Why You're Not Married" by Tracy McMillan First published on The Huffington Post, February 13, 2011.

Friday, February 10, 2012

50.)  It’s easier to sell something when you list the faults.

It's would seems to be a contradiction, but your sales will increase when you tell people what’s wrong with what you’ve got. Including if what you’re selling is you and your services. If you don't, your customers' attention will be divided between your sales pitch and their own on-going effort to sniff out the hidden catch in your sales pitch.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Arguments between die-hard “conservatives” and die-hard “liberals” remind me of arguments between Star Wars geeks and Star Trek geeks, in that both involve people whole-heartedly invested in the merits of a universe not based in reality that bores the hell out of the mainstream.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some Rules Kids won't Learn in School

Some rules kids won't learn in school
By Charles J. Sykes

Printed in San Diego Union Tribune
September 19, 1996
Unfortunately, there are some things that children should be learning in school, but don't. Not all of them have to do with academics. As a modest back-to-school offering, here are some basic rules that may not have found their way into the standard curriculum.
Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase, "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No. 1.

Rule No. 2: The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Amazon suggests books I'd like. Pandora tells me what music I'd like. Netflix tells me what movies I'd like.  What the hell, grocery store?  Why is the one place I spend the most money each week not offering me any suggestions?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How to Care for Introverts

  • Respect their need for privacy.

  • Never embarrass them in public.

  • Let them observe first in new situations.

  • Give them time to think. Don't demand instant answers.

  • Don't interrupt them.

  • Give them advanced notice of expected changes in their lives.

  • Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing before calling them to dinner or moving on to the next activity.

  • Reprimand them privately.

  • Teach them new skills privately rather than in public.

  • Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interests and abilities; encourage this relationship even if the friend moves.

  • Do not push them to make lots of friends.

  • Respect their introversion. Don't try to remake them into extraverts.

Source: Tumblr

Note: If you're feeling the urge to print out this list and post it on your front door, you may enjoy Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto by Anneli S. Rufus

Thursday, January 26, 2012


The toaster I use for two minutes each weekend has a removable crumb tray for convenient cleaning.  Meanwhile, the keyboard I sit at for ten hours each day requires a five dollar can of compressed air to clean, and the word "clean" is being used here very loosely.  A team of engineers needs to get on this A.S.A.P.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I ask Google all the questions I'm too embarrassed to ask other people. Google has officially played more of a role in my sex education than my school teachers, my parents, and my first three girlfriends combined.  I find that extremely frightening, because it's not what you'd call "the normals" who write in-depth articles on exotically named sex positions. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

48.) Listening too long to someone you agree with is the most dangerous thing in the world.

Seek out new ideas and fresh perspectives.  If what you believe is true, not only will opposition not sway you, it will hone your reasoning and strengthen your argument.  See confirmation bias.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Little Rules of Action

1. Don’t overthink. Too much thinking often results in getting stuck, in going in circles. Some thinking is good — it’s good to have a clear picture of where you’re going or why you’re doing this — but don’t get stuck thinking. Just do.

2. Just start. All the planning in the world will get you nowhere. You need to take that first step, no matter how small or how shaky. My rule for motivating myself to run is: Just lace up your shoes and get out the door. The rest takes care of itself.

3. Forget perfection. Perfectionism is the enemy of action. Kill it, immediately. You can’t let perfect stop you from doing. You can turn a bad draft into a good one, but you can’t turn no draft into a good draft. So get going.

4. Don’t mistake motion for action. A common mistake. A fury of activity doesn’t mean you’re doing anything. When you find yourself moving too quickly, doing too many things at once, this is a good reminder to stop. Slow down. Focus.
5. Focus on the important actions. Clear the distractions. Pick the one most important thing you must do today, and focus on that. Exclusively. When you’re done with that, repeat the process.

6. Move slowly, consciously. Be deliberate. Action doesn’t need to be done fast. In fact, that often leads to mistakes, and while perfection isn’t at all necessary, neither is making a ridiculous amount of mistakes that could be avoided with a bit of consciousness.

7. Take small steps. Biting off more than you can chew will kill the action. Maybe because of choking, I dunno. But small steps always works. Little tiny blows that will eventually break down that mountain. And each step is a victory, that will compel you to further victories.

8. Negative thinking gets you nowhere. Seriously, stop doing that. Self doubt? The urge to quit? Telling yourself that it’s OK to be distracted and that you can always get to it later? Squash those thoughts. Well, OK, you can be distracted for a little bit, but you get the idea. Positive thinking, as corny as it sounds, really works. It’s self-talk, and what we tell ourselves has a funny habit of turning into reality.

9. Meetings aren’t action. This is a common mistake in management. They hold meetings to get things done. Meetings, unfortunately, almost always get in the way of actual doing. Stop holding those meetings!

10. Talking (usually) isn’t action. Well, unless the action you need to take is a presentation or speech or something. Or you’re a television broadcaster. But usually, talking is just talking. Communication is necessary, but don’t mistake it for actual action.

11. Planning isn’t action. Sure, you need to plan. Do it, so you’re clear about what you’re doing. Just do it quickly, and get to the actual action as quickly as you can.

12. Reading about it isn’t action. You’re reading an article about action. Ironic, I know. But let this be the last one. Now get to work!

13. Sometimes, inaction is better. This might be the most ironic thing on the list, but really, if you find yourself spinning your wheels, or you find you’re doing more harm than good, rethink whether the action is even necessary. Or better yet, do this from the beginning — is it necessary? Only do the action if it is.

Source: Leo Babauta

Friday, January 20, 2012

47.) The quality of a person's argument will often tell you far more about their trustworthiness than the actual facts of their argument.

Learn more about How to Disagree intelligently from Paul Graham.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, I'm pretty sure he'd be a pissed-off blogger.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

46.) If you are really interested in the truth, don't settle for refuting arguments, correct your opposition's arguments.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Remember, nothing reveals more about your emotional stability than your feelings about your ex ...
even if that bitch does deserve to get stabbed in the face.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012


At thirty, I still love to build forts in my living room.  At this point in my life, I'm no longer certain whether this is youthful exuberance or honest-to-god mental illness.  Luckily, I'm sure that the men in white lab coats will never penetrate my deviously elaborate couch-cushion lair.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to Have the Best Year of Your Life

How to Have the Best Year of Your Life (without Setting a Single Goal):

There is an alternative to setting goals that will bring you closer to the life you want. Focus on a few practices you can enjoy doing on a regular basis. The trick here is consistency. These four helped me:
  • Get up early. When the world wakes up, distractions abound. If you are going to focus on creating a new life for yourself, you’ll need to find the time. The best way to do this is to work while others are sleeping. At first, I didn’t like waking up before the sun, but eventually my body adjusted and I began looking forward to the solitude.

  • Over-commit. The adage “under-promise and over-deliver” is a farce. It only propagates the status quo. Real difference-makers push boundaries. They test, prod, and poke until something gives. You can do this, too, by saying “yes” to more things than you’re comfortable with. Learn to stretch yourself. You might be surprised by what you’re actually capable of. Your confidence will grow, too.

  • Talk to strangers. Relationships are what make the world go round. This is true for your career, personal well-being, and inner life. When you meet new people, you make connections that can lead to all kinds of future breakthroughs. Even when it’s uncomfortable, reach out and introduce yourself to new people. The worst they can say is “no.” Fortunately, many won’t.

  • Practice generosity. Give away your time, money, services, and ideas. When you do this, you will get a lot more than you give. People will learn to trust you, and if you really help them, they will tell others about you. This will build your reputation, and you will have more friends than you know what to do with. And as the saying goes, what goes around really does come around.

Source: Zen Habits


A lot gets made about the stupidity of the things people say online.  From time to time, some dumb S.O.B. will even go so far as to cast imprecations on the First Amendment that allows people to fill the web with hateful things in the first place.  I, however, think that we're blessed to live at a point in history where, for the first time ever, the words we've spoken are frozen in place where they're spoken for long enough that the people who've spoken them can outgrow the words, return, and regret them, rather than just forget them.

Forums and threads are beautiful and terrible things, my friends.

Friday, January 6, 2012

45.) Secret dreams have a way of staying secret.

It's the people brave enough to speak their dreams out loud who end up achieving them, even if they end up feeling like complete schmucks every step of the way.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Quitting Facebook is the new, adult version of running away from home.  We all know you're doing it for attention, and we all know that you'll be back.

Monday, January 2, 2012

44.) Make a new start in life as often as possible.

To the generations that has grown up identifying itself to the world with an avatar and a web handle, perhaps this bit of advice comes as a bit redundant, but it deserves saying.  One of the saddest fates in life is to look back and realize that you've only ever been one thing.