Interesting Links 1
I read a lot each week. I keep a lot of bookmarks, intending to either write about them or cite them. When I finally get to writing a particular piece, I usually forget which link I intended to include. This means I end up spending more time searching for a link than writing the piece itself.
I've decided to start keeping links to articles I found to be interesting along with a quote from each. This will help me organize. The list seems like it may be interesting to others as well, so I've decided to periodically publish them.
I tend to read in spurts and without regard for chronological order, so I make no claim that everything linked will be "current" by Internet standards. These links are in no particular order. The vague categories are just to help guide you to what you may also find interesting.
Why broken sleep is a golden time for creativity by Karen Emslie
I've already read that "night owls" tend to be more creative. Maybe this is further proof of that.
Sleep patterns of the past might surprise us today. While we might think that our circadian rhythm should wake us only as the sun rises, many animals and insects do not sleep in one uninterrupted block but in chunks of several hours at a time or in two distinct segments. Ekirch believes that humans, left to sleep naturally, would not sleep in a consolidated block either.
Why I Write (1946) by George Orwell
Putting aside the need to earn a living, I think there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living.
The Professional Sharer by C. P. G. Grey
As Facebook, Twitter, and other social become larger, are they still useful for sharing your work?
Professional sharers, like myself, can only exist with an audience. Platforms help bring that audience, and sharers help grow the platform. But growing a platform faster only hastens the day when the bots arrive and the platform can no longer be trusted to deliver what the audience asks to see.
So what to do?
The 5 Insanely Difficult Steps to Writing a Commercially-Published Novel by Marcus Brotherton
Writing a book is only one step to publishing it.
One of the main problems is that people tend to think that the actual writing of the book is the only battle they will face in the process. But the writing is only about a quarter of what's needed. The second quarter is the fight to get your manuscript published. The next quarter is relentlessly marketing your book once it comes out, which publishers expect you to do these days.
Then the final quarter is going to primal scream therapy after your book sales fail miserably, […]
On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs by David Graeber
As technology improves, newly-created jobs are increasingly becoming pointless.
So what are these new jobs, precisely? A recent report comparing employment in the US between 1910 and 2000 gives us a clear picture (and I note, one pretty much exactly echoed in the UK). Over the course of the last century, the number of workers employed as domestic servants, in industry, and in the farm sector has collapsed dramatically. At the same time, “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers” tripled, growing “from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment.” In other words, productive jobs have, just as predicted, been largely automated away (even if you count industrial workers globally, including the toiling masses in India and China, such workers are still not nearly so large a percentage of the world population as they used to be).
The Art of Not Working at Work by Roland Paulsen
In addition to the article above, current jobs are also becoming increasingly pointless.
Something that would have surprised Taylor is that slacking is not always the product of discontent, but also of having too few tasks to fill the hours. According to repeated surveys by Salary.com, not having “enough work to do” is the most common reason for slacking off at work. The service sector offers new types of work in which periods of downtime are long and tougher to eliminate than on the assembly line: A florist watching over an empty flower shop, a logistics manager who did all his work between 2 and 3 p.m., and a bank clerk responsible for a not-so-popular insurance program are some examples of employees I talked with who never actively strived to work less. Like the civil servant of Menden, they offered their services, but when the flow of assignments petered out, they did not shout it from the rooftops.
Many would say that the underworked should talk to their bosses, but that doesn't always help. I spoke with a Swedish bank clerk who said he was only doing 15 minutes' worth of work a day. He asked his manager for more responsibilities, to no avail, then told his boss of his idleness. Did he get more to do? Barely. When I spoke with him, he was working three-hour days—there were laws that barred any workday shorter than that—and his intervention only added another 15 minutes to his workload.
Good Consultants vs Bad Consultants by Jacques Mattheij
A few bad consultants can ruin the name of all consultants.
Bad consultants make money off their customers, good consultants make money for their customers. That's it. That's the whole trick.
The Rise And Fall Of The Full Stack Developer by Peter Yared
It seems as though everyone in tech today is infatuated with the full-stack developer. Full stack may have been possible in the Web 2.0 era, but a new generation of startups is emerging, pushing the limits of virtually all areas of software. From machine intelligence to predictive push computing to data analytics to mobile/wearable and more, it's becoming virtually impossible for a single developer to program across the modern full stack.
Johnny – Ramp Switch by Quinn Dunki
I love Quinn Dunki's project write-ups on Blondihacks. Her latest is a semi-difficult fix to her Johnny Mnemonic pinball table.
My scores haven't been great on Johnny lately. An outside observer might suggest that perhaps I suck at pinball. I, on the other hand, take the much more rational position that something must be wrong with the machine.
Once in a blue moon, that actually turns out to be true.
It's something that will hit close to home for every engineer. How could the designers have not thought of this? you say to yourself. Then, it turns out they did, and you didn't know until after you did it the hard way.
How Religion Got in the Way by Tim Urban
- A Religion for the Nonreligious by Tim Urban
When I dove into this topic, I thought about my own situation and whether I was improving. The efforts were there—apparent in many of this blog's post topics—but I had no growth model, no real plan, no clear mission. Just kind of haphazard attempts at self-improvement in one area or another, whenever I happened to feel like it. So I've attempted to consolidate my scattered efforts, philosophies, and strategies into a single framework—something solid I can hold onto in the future—and I'm gonna use this post to do a deep dive into it.
Tim Urban wrote a great discussion on the problems inherent in most religions, the hole in his life created by being irreligious, and how an atheist can still believe in a higher beings beyond human comprehension.
The title says it all, really. It's a short, interesting read, even if you are, incomprehensibly, not a Dolph Lungren fan.
Before he was Ivan Drago, He-Man or an "Expendable," Dolph Lundgren was just another 6-foot-5-inch Swedish male model with a black belt in karate and a degree in chemical engineering.
As even a brief reading of his biography might suggest, Lundgren, 56, has taken an unexpected, winding path to success. But it all started with his starring role in Rocky IV, as the menacing Soviet boxer Ivan Drago.
As he tells NPR's Arun Rath, it was the role that changed his life. And he wouldn't have gotten to that silver-screen spotlight if he hadn't taken a gig as a bouncer — and stumbled upon romance.