The Genius of Imperfection

Imperfect Beauty by Toni Verdú Carbó

On why it’s all right for Desmond to stay at home and do his pretty face

There’s a scene in Kill Bill: Volume 2 in which Budd’s boss says to a young, lady employee, “take a hit, be somebody, baby.” I love that scene.

Many a doubtful souls among us may find the idea of being somebody, whatever that means, enticing, so I’d like to start with the obvious public service announcement: a line of cocaine isn’t the way to go. That’s just Tarantino messing with the weaklings.

So which way then? Why, of course, be the best at whatever you do, right? That’s a fair assumption—be the smartest and be the fastest, because only by being perfect and creating perfection you’ll guarantee success. Right again, aren’t I? (And I expect you to be high-fiving the screen by now.)

The end? See you in the next article?

Hold it there.

I have my doubts about this perfection business; in fact, I…admire imperfection.

I’m not going to get into the topic of success today—I’ll get back to it in future pieces—but I’d like to talk about the relationship between perfection and the road to expertise. And to help me illustrate my point, ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles.

Published in productivity , learning and music

Photography and the Writing Process

Chelsea at the station by Alexis

On using images to craft and guide your stories

As a reader, I enjoy finding an article with a photo that makes me wonder: “Is that eel laughing at me? What’s she trying to tell me?” Whatever my answer is, it may not be what the author—or the eel—originally tried to convey. And I suppose that’s all right, if just a couple of neurons spark inside my skull, the photo’s job is done and the stage is set for the words to follow. I’ll probably keep my mind’s eye on that eel’s smile as I read.

But I’ve always wondered: How do you deal with photography if you are the writer?

Published in writing , learning and photography

The Era of Automation and the Lone Orchestrator Has Begun

From the conductor’s stand by Radek Grzybowski

How to run websites, for mortals who value their time and sanity

Let me tell you how I did this website thing in the old days—that’s the mid-1990s, kids.

I cooked a bunch of HTML files, with plenty of hard-coded URLs sprinkled in, and seasoned the mix with a bloated style sheet; launched an FTP client, preferably one with buttons to click on; and then uploaded my beautiful goop to a directory on a web server—that was all I needed and could afford.

Then the web hosting company performed some black magic rituals and the universe—OK, just me—marveled at my creation.

You can still play that game, that is, if your name is Timmy and the website belongs to your cat, Lassie, but if you intend to run a website where other adults do, you know, important stuff, as loyal Tank would say: “Timmy, that is loco.”

Published in productivity , software , django and open source

New York City’s Summer of Hell: Time for a Revolution

Lic2 by HobsonNY is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why isn’t the most populous city in America embracing remote work?

On Monday, July 10, 2017, New York City woke up to what Governor Andrew Cuomo had described as “summer of hell.” An eight-week period of train track repairs at Penn Station in Manhattan, expected to cause reduced service across the Tri-State Area.

I couldn’t think of a worse way to start the season or a better excuse to discuss remote work so I turned to the New York Times to have a better gauge of the situation.

Let’s see.

Published in opinion , productivity , society and business

Amazon Web Services Documentation on Your Kindle

That’s it—you just ran out of excuses for not RTFM

This may have been there for a while but I just noticed it today while looking up a few details about EBS volumes and snapshots: Amazon Web Services now offers Kindle and PDF versions of its documentation.

Published in learning and software