Appreciation for Craft

Every musician should do at least 1 month as a piano bar player or as a husker in a subway, it would go a long way of removing that Sense of being a Genius and help them to understand that Music is as much a craft as it is an art.

I find it odd how few people know that Hitler was in the Art Scene before he was in the Evil Monster Scene.

All architects should spend a summer as a brick layer or an electrician or roofer or some such so they cam gain an appreciation for the army of sweat working craftsman who will bring their genius creative master pieces to life. Concrete, they should spend a month pouring concrete.

Most Chefs appreciate this principle most of them have worked as Dishwashers. Most will still pull such a shift if the need arises.

All dad’s should pull at least 1 2 week solo shift in the first 3 years of their kids lives, and another during the ages 9-12.

Every VC should spend a summer trying to raise Money from people who have never heard of them.

Every programmer or web designer should spend a few weeks work as a car salesman, or benefits manager or better yet in a technical support call centre.

Know the shoes your colleagues work in. Appreciate their craft, and be grateful.

Try this trick

Take every memory of anyone you’ve ever loved (including your first crush, your momma, your worst girlfriend, that girl from the summer on the beach, the one that got away, the one you left behind). The good and the bad, but importantly only the ones that evoke a strong passionate emotion.

Insert your wife’s face into these memories, try to imagine all the sides of her personality, all the shades of her colour in all the different glimpses of light.

Visualize the memory: the hike she didn’t take with you that August, 2 years before you met her, up to the top of Mt Baker, the romantic picnic she wasn’t there for, the lake skinny dipping in the moonlight that wasn’t with her. The nerdy girl in 6th grade who held your hand in the dark at the planetarium.
If these all feel right, if she fits, if she could have actually been every woman you’ve ever loved, then you’ve found your soulmate.

Perfect job

Jess Bachman (famed Author of Death & Taxes InfoGraphic) kindly corrected my Venn Fail, see both versions here.

Public Servant or Corporate Stooge

I have a 2 Rules when it comes to Saying Bad thing about people.  

1: Don’t.  Unless you’d say it to their faces.  2: It never helps you to disparage another.

I’ve never publicly criticised anyone by name before, and I may regret breaking the 2nd of those rules.  But here goes:

What’s worse is that the FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski didn’t condemn the move.

When this happen at the DOD, (Darleen Druyun, Boeing and the Tanker Scandal) people went to prison.

Calling this kind of behavior a Revolving door is too euphemistic and kind.  It’s corruption.  Simple as that, and the DOJ ought to begin and investigation, subpoena emails, phone records, appointment books and interviews those around the decision making process.

UPDATE:  I heard a story on NPR today about this issue, and nobody seemed sufficiently disgusted.  There was this  quote from Thomas Susman, (head lobbyist for the American Bar Association):

“I don’t like the results of saying you can’t do it,” he says. “And so, therefore, I suspect I’m willing to live with public perception, you know, of cronyism, and the occasional situation where it actually proves detrimental to the public good.”

So let me see, Mr Susman, doesn’t like limiting the career potential of 1 individual even when it might prove detrimental to the public good...You know, in regulating wall street, we’ve made insider trading illegal becuase it is detrimental to the public good, even though it limits some individuals career opportunities!

Clearly, this is non-sense.  Proper Sunshine Regulations ought to suffice.  I think that a 2 year moratorium on going to work for any company that is under the jurisdiction of regulation of the Agency for which you work would be a good start.  In addition FULL DISCLOSURE of any Employment discussions ought to be required.  Meredith Baker is announcing this new position before the END of her term, which means by definition she had talks with a company that she was bound by oath to be  REGULATING about going to work for that company, WHILE SHE WAS REGULATING THEM.  Any such talks need to be disclosed.  Obivously there would need to be an ethics office that could approve certain exceptions (For Instance, the FCC regulates the wireles chips in Apple devices, which might Bar an FCC official from working at Apple.  This would follow a standard and public exemption process to the law.)