Category Archives: work

In the mood…

“Learn to rush to your laptop and open it up. Open the file without asking yourself if you’re in the mood, without thinking about anything else. Just open the file: and then you’re safe. Once the words are on the screen, that becomes your distraction.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/09/the-simple-profound-act-of-perceiving-the-world/380659/?single_page=true

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Play – it’s how you get work done

EDWARD NORTON (from an interview on NPR)
“When I’m making stuff today, I still feel like the whole enterprise—for all the money that comes into it and all the sophistication of the toys you get—you’re kind of just trying to get towards that sensation where you’re playing in an unencumbered way. You’re trying to minimize the stress of the pressures that come with getting these kinds of toys and these kinds of budgets, and get in the same headspace that you were in then when you were excited about every little idea, and trying all kinds of crazy things.”
LINK

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PETER GRAY writes about the research on this exact thing:

From his book: Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

From Chapter 7: The Playful State of Mind…

“Inducing a playful mood improves creativity and insightful problem solving” (p 136) — Gray describes things that have worked in experiments: funny videos to students before working on problems, giving candy to doctors before they diagnose!

“Much of the research I cite in this chapter was conducted by people who don’t necessarily use the term “play” or “playful” in describing their hypotheses and findings. They talk instead about “pressured” versus “unpressured” states of mind, or about positive moods versus negative moods, or about self-motivated tasks and goals versus those imposed by others. But from the perspective of this chapter, all such research is about play. Play is unpressured, self-motivated activity, conducted with a positive frame of mind.” (Footnote 4, Chap 7, p 244)

On his own work: “…I would estimate that my behavior in writing this book is about 80 percent play. That percentage varies from time to time as I go along; it decreases when I worry about deadlines or how critics will evaluate it, and it increases when I’m focused only on the current task of researching or writing.” (p 140)

From his blog: Why Hunter Gatherers’ Work is Play

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200907/play-makes-us-human-v-why-hunter-gatherers-work-is-play

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Filed under flow - flow mihaly csikszentmihalyi, play, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work

Don’t quit your day job…

“I want to mention here that my latest favorite band, _____ , all have day jobs and don’t even try to make money from their music. And if we ever get an unconditional basic income, we will get to listen to millions of people who don’t have to compromise … “

– Ran Prieur, Oct 17 2014 ranprieur.com

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Filed under art, creativity, person: Ran Prieur, welfare, work, work-life balance

The Wolf

From https://medium.com/p/9bc38b3e8a2e

wolves

If you build software for a living (or otherwise), go read these three posts.

  1. @rands: The Wolf
  2. @kellan: “Wolf” narrative considered harmful (also biologically unlikely)
  3. @codinghorror (from 2004): Commandos, Infantry and Police

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Filed under art, computers, contrarian, programming, software, tech, work

Exposure and/or Passions

“A simple maxim: don’t expose and don’t look for passions; just listen and make good suggestions”

“I have found over the years that things that make me angry give me a passion to fix them.”

“… They should be passionate about getting a job someday.”

– Roger Schank

http://educationoutrage.blogspot.com/2014/02/help-your-child-find-their-passion.html

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See also: “Forget Following Your Heart – Follow Your Heartbreak”

http://www.angelamaiers.com/2013/09/forget-following-your-heart-follow-your-heartbreak.html

See also: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/08/turning-passion-on-its-head.html

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Filed under education, jobs, kids -- freedom and responsibility, meaning of life, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work

robots

ALQUIST: It was a crime to make robots.
HARRY DOMIN: No, Alquist, I don’t regret that even today.
ALQUIST: Not even today?
HARRY DOMIN: Not even today – the last day of civilization. Was it a crime to shatter the servitude of labor, the dreadful and humiliating labor that man had to undergo? Work was too hard. Life was too hard. And to overcome that -
ALQUIST: Was not what the two Rossums had in mind?
HARRY DOMIN: It’s what I had in mind.
ALQUIST: How well you succeeded! How well we all succeeded. For profit, for progress, we have destroyed mankind.

FROM RUR — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.U.R.

As heard here:

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/on-the-media-2014-04-18/

Transcript here:

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/our-universal-robots/transcript/

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Trello Hacks

These are not so much hacks as methods of stretching the usefulness of Trello as a means of todo or issue or bug tracking. Personally I use whatever bug-tracking system a client is using (Fogbugz, JIRA, Flyspray, etc, etc.) and they all work well for what I need, but sometimes it’s nice to use Trello at a “front end” to manage todos or collection in fast moving projects.

Some current flaws w/ Trello.com:

1. Can’t search on specific ranges of due-dates. Only filters for overdue, next week, next month, etc.

2. Can’t mark a card as completed. or deferred, closed, or other status: “ready for testing”, “back to dev”, “not a bug”, etc.

3. Can’t assign an item in a checklist a due date or assign a status.

Some possible solutions:

1. Use a traditional bug tracking system IN ADDITION to logging item in trello. One can connect the 2 using IFTTT.com at some level, but this is awkward.

2. Set the dates (use YYYY-MM-DD pattern) and or priorities in the card subject. (Not comments because those aren’t searchable)

3. Use (and name) the colored “LABELS” for priorities. Labels can be used to filter cards (Filter == advanced search, found under the MENU)

4. ARCHIVE completed items. Awkward at best.

5. Create a separate list named “Done” or “Nov 2013 completed” etc. Drop items in there when complete. Not ideal because one loses track of where the item came from. It’s logged in the activity, but again… not searchable.

Summary:

Trello is great for checklists of daily to-dos or small projects, but don’t expect it to work in the context of true project management / issue tracking / big tracking. For that you want one the the apps mentioned above.

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