A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
"The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.”
The movie ends pretty much where the great Jobs finally found product success (the iPod) and changed so many of our lives. I’m grateful to Steve for his excellence in the i-era, and his contribution to my own life of enjoying great products, but this movie portrays him having had those skills in earlier times.
The New Yorker on Silicon Valley
Auletta: Take the question that you’ve been asking everybody else for the past couple of months, and let’s hear your own answer: Why is it this technological revolution has coincided with this great change in the American economy leading us to a more unequal place?
Packer: Tech created immense wealth for a small number of people, and is still doing it, on a scale that just keeps defying belief. That alone is going to sharpen inequality greatly, regardless of what’s going on at other income levels. But it’s not an automatic transfer. I think people in Silicon Valley assume there is; that great innovations in technology in the virtual world are bound to transfer to economic growth and to rising of the standard of living across the board. But we just haven’t seen it. And it may be that there is something about the virtual world that doesn’t transfer to the world we actually live in as easily as the [manufacturing era] assembly line. I’m just trying to draw attention to the fact that changing lifestyle versus changing standard of living in this country is a different thing, and the latter has lagged far behind the former, which is something that people have not thought very much about.”
Auletta: Technology allows what they call “more productivity,” which means fewer jobs are required…
Packer: We used to think that productivity automatically led to economic growth. That was an article of faith, and in the last couple of decades we’ve seen great gains in productivity because of technology and it has not led to economic growth, in fact it’s been a very sluggish period…Tech needs to think hard about how rapid innovation can bring the rest of the economy with it. The tech revolution has coincided with a period of real economic decline for a lot of parts of the country and wildly unequal incomes.
Auletta: Why are more people here not engaged with poverty?
Packer: It’s a combination of arrogance and ignorance. So many of these people work 20 hour days, and they go to work and they live in a tunnel, and they don’t see the rest of the world and they really are ignorant of it. And in many ways, the ignorance is stronger than the arrogance. They don’t have time to keep up with the news, they read tweets from their friends. It’s real intellectual isolation, and it’s not enough to change the world.
Beautiful is better than ugly.
Explicit is better than implicit.
Simple is better than complex.
Complex is better than complicated.
Flat is better than nested.
Sparse is better than dense.
Special cases aren’t special enough to break the rules.
Although practicality beats purity.
Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.
In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.
There should be one—and preferably only one—obvious way to do it.
Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you’re Dutch.
Now is better than never.
Although never is often better than *right* now.
If the implementation is hard to explain, it’s a bad idea.
If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
Namespaces are one honking great idea — let’s do more of those!
— Tim Peters, "The Zen of Python"
Australia’s Army chief, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, responds directly to revelations of “explicit and repugnant” emails and images demeaning women members of its military. 17 are under investigation.
"On all operations, female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian Army. They are vital to us maintaining our capability, now and into the future. If that does not suit you, then get out.
You may find another employer where your attitude and behavior is acceptable, but I doubt it. The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others. Every one of us is responsible for the culture and reputation of our Army and the environment in which we work.
If you become aware of any individual degrading another, then show moral courage and take a stand against it. I will be ruthless in ridding the Army of people who cannot live up to its values and I need every one of you to support me in achieving this. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”
What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me… is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
Is there a sadder song with a melody more sublime? No, probably not.
Bored on a conference call.
Just watched Michelle Obama present Argo with Best Picture at the Oscars, and I’m convinced 1. America secretly wants a monarchy. 2. This was a thinly-veiled threat to Iran.
Flattered to be considered among some of my mentors as one of Silicon Valley’s Best Recruiters.