Dung Zen Gem

I am subscribed to The List Serve, it’s a service where 1 member writes 1 email that we all receive each day. Content tends to be very advice oriented, “never give up, pursue your dreams, be happy”. Sometimes it’s confessional. Sometimes it’s inst…

I am subscribed to The List Serve, it’s a service where 1 member writes 1 email that we all receive each day. Content tends to be very advice oriented, “never give up, pursue your dreams, be happy”. Sometimes it’s confessional. Sometimes it’s instructional. Often it’s insipid. But I still skim it everyday and today there was a Gem so I’m re-posting it here without permission.

So the story goes…..A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold that the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out!
He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing under the pile of cow dung and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) If you are happy and warm in a pile of shit then it’s smart to keep your mouth shut!

………and the doctor recommends (I really am one) :-

1) Make an effort to smile everyday, it will help you live longer.
2) Don’t forget how to use a pen. 2) Enjoy your single malt scotch as it was intended…straight and unadulterated. 3) Take time to sit with your eyes closed for atleast 10 minutes…it will open up your mind.
4) Read IF by Rudyard Kipling and Auguries of Innocence by Wiliam Blake.
5) Everything will be alright at the end, if it’s not alright then it’s not the end

Live long and prosper my friends!

Aniruddh Behere
Springfield Illinois, USA

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Adulthood isn’t abandonment of dreams

So, I’m 40. That’s not particularly old. But I am fully an adult. I have a 21 year old stepson, and 11 year old daughter, a wife, I used to have a mortgage and I have life and car insurance etc. Young Entrepeneurs constantly portray the mindset of…

So, I’m 40. That’s not particularly old. But I am fully an adult. I have a 21 year old stepson, and 11 year old daughter, a wife, I used to have a mortgage and I have life and car insurance etc.
Young Entrepreneurs constantly portray the mindset of older folks (adults) as having abandoned their dreams.

My take on it is that it comes down to your perspective of the future. As you age, the future becomes less abstract. It arrives, as it were, as it is. In the future you could have been the next Hemingway, except you’re not. You’re a 40 yr old serial entrepreneurial technologist with 2 kids.

In the future you could have invented Instagram and earned a billion in shaky Facebook stock. But you’re not. You still keep track of your hours and you usually invoice some one for Travel expenses and you pay attention to when the reimbursement check is scheduled to come.

So being an adult isn’t about abandoning your dreams. dreams just have shorter shelf life. There isn’t an opportunity to wait 5 years to be the next you. It’s today.

Dreams cost more because they last less long. And they mature into market value sooner. If I dream of being In band at 42. I pretty much need to learn to play guitar today. If I dream of running a marathon. I need to enter a 5k run for next month. If I dream of owning a home, I need to put away 15% of my next check towards a down payment.

So adults haven’t abandoned their dreams, they just have to work harder to have a dream, because tomorrow is today and dreams don’t come cheap. They live or die on what you did this morning.

childless white men at work – hipmunk.com

Every now and then I look at meaningless numbers posted from Alexa.com about Travel companies and user growth etc. But I always love the descriptions provided: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/hipmunk.com Statistics Summary for hipmunk.com Hipmunk.co…

Every now and then I look at meaningless numbers posted from Alexa.com about Travel companies and user growth etc.

But I always love the descriptions provided:

 

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/hipmunk.com

 

Statistics Summary for hipmunk.com

Hipmunk.com has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 15,128, and approximately 62% of visits to this site consist of only one pageview (i.e., are bounces). Visitors to the site view an average of 1.2 unique pages per day. The site is relatively popular among users in the cities of San Francisco (where it is ranked #1,325) and Seattle-Tacoma (#3,117). Compared with internet averages, Hipmunk.com appeals more to Caucasians; its audience also tends to consist of childless, highly educated men earning over $60,000 who browse from work.

 

 

 


 

Should Everything be easy enough for a Caveman?

Do you really want just “anybody” contributing your crowd-sourced FACT based repository of Knowledge? I know it’s a bit out of fashion these days, but when I was growing up, it was okay to differentiate between folks who were a little bit smarter …

Do you really want just “anybody” contributing your crowd-sourced FACT based repository of Knowledge?  I know it’s a bit out of fashion these days, but when I was growing up, it was okay to differentiate between folks who were a little bit smarter than other folks.  We had “Gifted & Talented” programs in public schools (horror!) and we played soccer matches where ONLY THE WINNERS got Medals.  Such programs are now referred to as Elitist, which is true, they seek to identify the Elite, which in my day was something you wanted to be.  I remember winning a speech at the Rotary Club on the topic: “Expect the Best, Be the Best”.  When I won, I felt Elite, and it was a good feeling.  Anyway, that’s another story.

 

 

I recently saw a piece about Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales.  The piece was about how Wikipedia was struggling to retain users, and Jimmy was musing on how to make contributing easier.  The part that struck me was this quote from the piece:

 

Over the years, Wikipedia has often been criticized for having a very convoluted and technically complex way of editing articles that doesn’t just involve learning the arcane markup language the site uses, but also navigating the politics of editing on the site. For beginners, this is a very high barrier of entry that some earlier projects were supposed to fix 

What????  So wait, I know I’m techincal, but look, it’s GOOD that some things are difficult.  If Heart Surgery was easy, then just Anybody with no real discipline, no significant intelligence, or worse, no commitment to quality, and effort could become a Heart Surgeon.  Do you want your Heart to be operated on by the same quality of person who is mostly qualified to be a ditch digger?  If you do, that’s good for you.  But I prefer my Martini’s to be made by someone who knows how to make one, and I prefer my community sourced Encyclopedia of Facts to be written by people who can at least spend 15 minutes to learn: ==Section headings== or ”italicize text”, or ”’bold the text”’. 

I’m saying that a standard that requires contributors to understand that entries need citations, or that “opinions” are only allowed when referencing a controversy and only then by citing an establsihed source?  That’s not too high a requirement, that’s just enough.  How is this any harder than expecting high school student to learn the 5 paragraph 3 topic essay format?  If they can’t do that, I’d prefer they don’t contribute to WIkipedia.

Making Wikipedia as easy to post to as Facebook is, that’s a recipie for WikiSpringer.

Chick Geeks rule, so why are Managers afraid to hire them?

As a candidate: what should I think about a SW firm (25 people) that has zero female employees?As a Manager I can tell you there are some things are generally different about leading female engineers or developers.Though I’ll be careful. Stacy Joh…

As a candidate: what should I think about a SW firm (25 people) that has zero female employees?

As a Manager I can tell you there are some things are generally different about leading female engineers or developers.
Though I’ll be careful. Stacy Johnson, one of the best engineers I’ve ever worked with typified what I call The skeptical girl model.

Whenever I came back from a Sales Engagement with a list of new features and gave a pep talk about how it’s going to be hard but that we can do it, her response was always: You’ve oversold this. We can try, but we won’t complete in time – you should go back to the customer and reset expectations. She wasn’t afraid to buck the enthusiasm, and she was right.

I’ve also had female programmers end up crying and needing a hug after being given an open ended assignment with no clear guidance for how she would be measured or what the consequences for failure were. That was my failure. Most of the young male hackers would’ve just started hacking, but this woman was right to be anxious. I hadn’t done my job. It took me off guard when she cried over what I thought was an opportunity to “own” the project, but We talked it through and she did a better job than the previous project owner.

Years ago, when I was young and single, I also once had an elderly female co-worker throw a cup of water on me when she overheard me and a mate joking in the cafeteria about a party we’d been too (he was sarcastically telling me that “chicks dig you man” while I was laughing that the girl in question was actually just chatting me up in order to get to him). I’ll never know what set the older co-worker off about our conversation. But that wouldn’t have happened with a male co-worker.

It’s a silly discussion though when all is said and done. In my opinion if you haven’t found quality women to round out your tech organisation you are probably not really looking.

UPDATE:I do realize there is a supply and demand problem. http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/programming-and-development/it-gender-gap-wh… clearly indicates some problems on the supply side. For instance, it’s weird that only 1.5% of the open source community contributors are women. To be clear, I’m not advocating preferential treatment, my only point is that hiring can tend to be a “Are they like us?” process and if you start with 5 guys, the danger is that you’ll end up with no women, and personally I think you’d be missing out on some ways of thinking that women have more access to.