Thursday, October 12, 2006

Planning for Failure.
There are two distinct philosophies employed by technologists of all types: one believes that it is possible to create a highly reliable, consistent, working system. The other understands that no matter how hard you try, something will break sooner and later, so yes, do try to create the highly reliable, working system, but equally important is the planning for what to do when it fails. Sure your nonvolatile storage is reliable, but do you have a backup in case it fails (actually not if, but when it fails)? A failure could come as a mechanical event, loss through theft or accident (oops), intentional or accidental — but failure and loss nonetheless. Unless you are really really close to perfect, planning for failure is the prudent path often ignored.
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.

“skymall” inspirational poster. ok it is commercialized schlock, but even that has a point, as in “even a blind hog will find an acorn now and then”… Growth — how important is that in the overall idea of “performance evaluation” such as what an employer would require, in the context of determining what reward will be allocated for your contribution ? ha ha.
Where are these topics going ?

Although this series of topics seem to be all over the place, hopefully the overall flavor is to seek insight and understanding of people’s behavior, and reveal our unspoken assumptions and prejudices. Anything that helps us understand or explain some part of our complex universe, is a “win” — there are already too many unexplained parts of our world.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 is one of many no-cost data wipers - google “disk file wipe”
Presentism (pre-zen’-tizm)
The tendency for current experience to influence one’s views of the past and the future.
Note: before you sell a car, its value to you (as owner) and potential “loser” of possession of that car, is high (as is often the case, loss is weighed more than gain) — then after you sell it, “why, I would never pay $__ for THAT car !” When the roles are changed, the outlook and evaluation (assessment of value/ worth) changes entirely.
seeing, hearing, feeling

it seems we have little difficulty distinguishing between an actual seeing and hearing event, and an imaginary one — “think about a penguin” vs “look at that penguin (real)”, or listening to a song, vs recalling the song (”hearing in the mind”). Little or no trouble separating the actual event from the memory of it.
However, when it comes to emotions — feeling seems to be much more difficult to separate the actual emotion from a recollection of that emotion, an imagined situation evoking that emotion, and the anticipation of what that emotion would be like in a future event or circumstance. Emotions are more immediate and harder to distinguish what is real (and current, right now) vs a memory or anticipated, or even what one might feel in an entirely imaginary / hypthetical situation… The adrenaline pumps, the heart rate goes up, anger, fear, love, whatever, all come into play, and affect the present like no other.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

blind spots anticipating the future

“stumbling” author describes a common behavior of people, who agree to do something in the future because they agree to the “why” (personal or family obligation), before they fully visualize the details of “what” they agree to do. Filling out a description of both sides of a decision may tend to reduce the “surprise!” of an unpleasant accompanying outcome.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Laughter Club
To beat someone over the head with a club made of laughter, now that is a cure for almost anything that ails you. We will begin to hold meetings of the Laughter Club at the Starbucks off Jake Horn Square (which is not square, really). There are no prerequisites or membership fees at this time, or hopefully ever. Show up in the morning and laugh with us.