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If you’re lost, go faster

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Going faster increases the chances that you’ll find a landmark and become unlost.

This rule has a corollary though: If you’re going the wrong direction, turn around.

 

 

PS on the topic of turning around (or going faster), we’re now accepting applications for the next session of the altMBA. Today’s the last day for First Priority applications for our January session. 75 countries, thousands of alumni, people who care, making a difference and leveling up. Please consider joining us.

I’ll be answering your questions live today, Tuesday at 11 am ET on Facebook and Instagram.

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cliffeh
1 day ago
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Regular expression crossword puzzles!

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I'm on record as being a big supporter of learning regular expressions (AKA "regexp") -- handy ways to search through text with very complex criteria. It's notoriously opaque to beginners, but it's such a massively effective automation tool and drudgery reliever! Regex Crosswords help you hone your regexp skills with fiendishly clever regular expressions that ascend a smooth complexity gradient from beginner to expert. (via Kottke) Read the rest

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cliffeh
9 days ago
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Unreachable State

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ERROR: We've reached an unreachable state. Anything is possible. The limits were in our heads all along. Follow your dreams.
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cliffeh
9 days ago
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3 public comments
jepler
9 days ago
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so this week at work...
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
ChrisDL
9 days ago
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Theres one or two of these in my code haha.
New York
alt_text_bot
9 days ago
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ERROR: We've reached an unreachable state. Anything is possible. The limits were in our heads all along. Follow your dreams.

A free/open tool for making XKCD-style "hand-drawn" charts

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Tim Qian, a "full stack developer and open source activist," has published chart.xkcd, a free/open tool that lets you create interactive, "hand-drawn" charts in the style of XKCD comics. It's pretty fabulous! (via Four Short Links)

const svg = document.querySelector('.line-chart') new chartXkcd.Line(svg, { title: 'Monthly income of an indie developer', xLabel: 'Month', yLabel: '$ Dollors', data: { labels:['1', '2', '3', '4', '5', '6','7', '8', '9', '10'], datasets: [{ label: 'Plan', data: [30, 70, 200, 300, 500 ,800, 1500, 2900, 5000, 8000], }, { label: 'Reality', data: [0, 1, 30, 70, 80, 100, 50, 80, 40, 150], }] }, }); Read the rest

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cliffeh
27 days ago
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Two kinds of system risk

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When you set up a system, it helps to keep in mind what will happen if it doesn’t work. Depending on the costs of ‘not working’, you can build more resilience into the system.

In most cases, ‘not working’ isn’t catastrophic. If your toaster doesn’t work, it’s not that big a deal. You can make toast in a few days and live with limp bread in the meantime. On the other hand, if you’re on a mission to Mars, you’ll probably be glad you packed a few extra oxygen tanks, even if the cost of bringing them is quite high.

We make two mistakes when we organize a system:

  1. We get overly optimistic about the reliability of the system, and combine that with a narrative that minimizes the cost of living without it. I’d put the current state of our internet infrastructure in that camp.
  2. We get overly pessimistic about the likelihood and cost of failure. This leads us to over-engineer things, or to pay far more for redundancy than we should. Putting life jackets on airplanes is a great example of this. So is the avoidance of the last typo. It’s also one reason our medical costs are so high… the last .01% is the most expensive part.

A useful skill in executive decision making is the ability to describe resiliency and the cost of failure in non-emotional ways. Especially when it’s difficult do precisely that.

 

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cliffeh
57 days ago
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How F Scott Fitzgerald conjugated the verb "To cocktail"

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F Scott Fitzgerald, in a 1928 letter to Blanche Knopf: "As ‘cocktail,’ so I gather, has become a verb, it ought to be conjugated at least once." (via JWZ) Read the rest

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cliffeh
64 days ago
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