Fond memories for the old days when the only thing the Internet was doing was destroying interior design instead of civilization
Children make your hands cold, Mood Boards, and lifetime status dreams
The Children’s Gloves
You are going out with a companion, it’s a bit chilly, and while you put on a jacket, they say they don’t need one. Inevitably, once you’re far away from home, they get cold. You aspire to be a good person, so you give them your gloves. And now, you’re the cold one despite being prepared.
Jason Cohen explained this concept to me long ago, calling it “the girlfriend jacket” at the time because we had, well, girlfriends instead of children. The girlfriend jacket principle was: always carry their jacket for them. Of course, it applies to whatever kind of friend you might have.
Once you have kids, you rename it: the children’s gloves. You will be biking to school and there is snow on the ground. Perhaps you live in The Netherlands so it is also windy and riding your bike in the wind is like riding through a forrest of razor blades.
The children say they will be fine and don’t need gloves. (They are children, after all.) You wear gloves because…it’s fucking cold out there! Soon, when you’re far from home (and, as ever, already running late), your child says “I cannot feel my hands! It’s freezing!” You give them your gloves. Now, you were prepared, but your hands are the ones freezing.
Always bring gloves for your kids, no matter what they say.
This Thursday I have a talk you can attend for free, all about platform as a product, platform engineering. If you liked the previous episode’s tract on platform engineering, you’ll like this talk. OK, OK, it’s a “webinar,” but whatever, that’s the same as a talk. Register for free and watch it live (it’s at a Europe friendly time zone), or just get an email when the recording is ready:
Words are weird
When a royal record keeper reported the "profligation of the knights" almost five centuries ago, he didn't mean the knights were wildly indulging in excesses; he meant they were thoroughly defeated in battle. There's nothing etymologically extreme there; the Latin verb profligare, which is the root of both profligate and the much rarer profligation (meaning "ruin"), means "to strike down," "to destroy," or "to overwhelm." When the adjective profligate first appeared in print in English it meant "overthrown" or "overwhelmed," (a sense that is now obsolete) but over time the word's meaning shifted to "immoral" or "wildly extravagant."
Relevant to your interests
Helping Gen Z Employees Find Their Place at Work - As always with these things: good advice for any generation.
AirSpace - Ah, fond memories for the old days when the only thing the Internet was doing was destroying interior design instead of civilization. Also: Foursquare!! More recently: “If you travel enough, you find the aesthetics comforting eventually. As if your entire palette or taste profile was subtly sifted into the window of preferences set by an art director at an advertising agency in Brooklyn or Amsterdam.”
Managers need people to manage - “The biggest reason to have everyone in an office is to watch them. It’s not to build culture (which you can certainly do in a remote-first organization); it’s not for productivity (a University of Chicago study found that most workers are more productive remotely); it’s not for training (which studies show is 40–60% more efficient remotely). It says much more about insecurity from the top and a conservative-minded inability to change than anything else.”
Layoffs are bullshit - Long round up of studies they show layoffs don’t improve things for the companies and people laid off. // This seems right, but it’s clearly like yelling into a wet bag, tragically.
When you publish a lot, you’ll get things wrong a lot - which is fine - Know thyself, and all that: “The main knocks on me that he gave voice to — that I’m kind of a dilettante and that over the course of two decades of writing multiple takes per day, I’ve tossed off a few real duds — seem basically correct. I would rather not have that Uvalde tweet brought up, for example, because it was an embarrassing error of judgment. But it really was an embarrassing error of judgment, so I think it’s totally fair.”
State of DevOps Report Finds Platform Teams Lacking Product Management Support - “48% of respondents indicating that senior management does not understand the value that platform engineering can bring.”
Seven things to use The AI for, plus some tools. - and many more here.
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And so it begins
Each year, you have to prequalify your frequent traveler status. If you do it long enough, you can get lifetime status at most places. I am lifetime gold on American Airlines, the same at Marriott. Achieving lifetime platinum on both would be a major relief in my life.
Getting lifetime platinum on KLM would be great, but will likely never happen because my work is getting more frugal in its travel spend. You really need several business class international trips to achieve platinum with FlyingBlue/KLM and so far we have that class system at work where only Vice Presidents get to fly business class (ask me for my pamphlets on this topic someday). And, to get lifetime, I think you need 10 contiguous years of platinum.
With Marriott, though, achieving platinum is pretty easy - just 50 nights. I believe I just need two more years and a 100 nights or so.
Well: good luck to my fellow travelers this year!
If rewriting is effortless, there is no lock-in.
One cool thing about not having a to do list is that you never have anything that needs to get done.
“I’m pretty well combobulated.”
“Give something a name and you seem to know what it is, it is no longer strange, it is a portable mental object, so much loose change jangling comfortably in the pockets of your mind.” Anatomy of Norbiton // Reading Toby Ferris has been one of the great pleasure of my life. His book is great too. I look forward to him writing more.
“it feels like we’re watching a young generation that came of age amid large-scale sociopolitical upheaval and a world-altering pandemic use digital tools to figure out what it means to be alive.” Here.
Guy counting out coins at the liquor store counter feels like a bad scene.
"least-known, completely fictional Hemingway daughter” - I Can’t Shut Up About Jennifer Coolidge
“Every day I look forward to feeling this sense of aliveness, something that is missing from the rest of my day.” why I love running
‘“Don’t be stupid” is a fine mantra. It’s particularly apt when talking about cultural forces, political agendas and our thoughtless impulses.’ Seth Godin.
Mood Board #6
It’s impossible to really zoom into the above, but I like using Apple’s Freeform app for, I don’t know, a wunderkammer of visual things. It’s great because it’s on all your devices. There’s a lot of features that need to be there - text handling is pretty basic right now, for example. It could have better auto-arranging and sizing of things. But, whatever, it’s fun!
Mixing together “stuff I found on the Internet” (a lot of Tumblr), my own photos and found things (like that nice wine bottle label), and the occasional wasteboard-y text chunk is fun, and hard to achieve in some other medium. I can also look over the Mood Boards and get a different way to time travel through my life, over decades if I’ve put in old enough things.
(Robert Brook and I used to swap photos in shared Apple Photos and then Google Photos albums. It was super fun. Maybe I should send him the invite link for a new Mood Board and see what happens.)
I believe we’re on schedule to rent a carpet steam-cleaner this weekend.
Carpet cleaners are in this class of objects: it seems like a lot of work, a big deal to go get one and use it. But then you find out that’s it’s actually easy and quick - cheap even. And then the results are fantastic. It’s one of those house maintenance things that you always think “we should do this twice a year,” and then end up doing every three to five years.
See y’all next time!