Posted: April 24th, 2013 | Author: Tim | Filed under: coding | No Comments »
Jevons Paradox says that as a resource can be used more efficiently, more of it ends up being used overall. That is, the better the deal you’re getting, the more you’re interested in buying.
This example of real-world compounding reminded me of another example: software. There’s an interesting quirk about software — the more you have of it, the more you need.
Let’s trace through one recent path of the software industry. We start with a website.
A website is a great idea. Websites (code) make it easy to distribute information. There’s so much information that people create dynamic websites (more code).
Dynamic websites are useful, but once you’ve got dynamic data, you want the data available via API (even more code) so that outside developers can build applications (lots more code).
To help with this, you build an API management layer (tons more code), which produces information about all these other applications.
You want that data combined in a dashboard (still even more code) alongside data from all of the other software that relates to your business (which is even more code than all of the other code so far).
Anything that cannot go on forever must stop. But there doesn’t seem to be any reasonable end in sight. This is one small piece of the software industry that points to a bigger trend, which seems to contradict common sense. People intuitively understand supply and demand. But here, supply creates more demand.
It’s a good time to be a programmer.
Posted: March 7th, 2013 | Author: Tim | Filed under: culture, ideas | No Comments »
Life is but a dream and I’m sitting all alone
Looking for the day when I’ll, make it home
Make it on my own, so I’m off to roam
Another place’s past, Paris, London, and Rome
Old blue eyes, that’s what I’m'nna be
Cuz I did it all alone, me is my team
Can’t escape the past, so I’m betting on my future
Cuz today’s wasted and tomorrow’s such a creature
Like you never seen, idea, or a dream
Gotta skim along, searching for the cream
Of the crop, of wheat, of fields of gold
When the sky parts open, and you’re standing all alone
Your people done left cuz they ain’t right
And the sky done broke, and you’re empty, and the night
Is all that remains, and the pulse in your ears
Beats in your head, drumming up your fears
Gonna beat this how? Dunno
Tin for a heart, and on my back, clothes
Not rags, not riches, something in-between
As I look back on what I’ve never been
If it was all a dream, then I hope I never wake, but I’m
Shooting for tomorrow, tryin’a kill yesterday
Tryin’a kill father time, I must be crazy
Facing my future, tomorrow’s just a baby
And it’s time for a change, something kinda smells
Thoughts clearer now, ringing of a bell
I won’t look back, salt for regret
Heavy is my heart, not tin but lead
Can’t stand not to fly, won’t get dragged down
And in my lead safe I know that I will
June 3, 2012
Posted: October 30th, 2012 | Author: Tim | Filed under: hustle | No Comments »
[He] imagines his garbage regularly not being emptied in his office, and when he asks the janitor why, he gets an excuse: The locks have been changed, and the janitor doesn’t have a key. This is an acceptable excuse coming from someone who empties trash bins for a living. The janitor gets to explain why something went wrong. Senior people do not. “When you’re the janitor,” [he] has repeatedly told incoming VPs, “reasons matter.” He continues: “Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering.” That “Rubicon,” he has said, “is crossed when you become a VP.”
Posted: October 17th, 2012 | Author: Tim | Filed under: culture | No Comments »
As part of my ongoing interest in the alleged decline in culture… Catullus 16
Posted: September 26th, 2012 | Author: Tim | Filed under: art, culture, ideas | Tags: riots, stravinsky, the rite of spring | 1 Comment »
The Rite of Spring – Wikipedia
Final rehearsals were held on the day before the premiere, in the presence of members of the press and assorted invited guests. According to Stravinsky all went peacefully. However, the critic of L’Écho de Paris, Adolphe Boschot, foresaw possible trouble; he wondered how the public would receive the work, and suggested that they might react badly if they thought they were being mocked.
…there is general agreement among eyewitnesses and commentators that the disturbances in the audience began during the Introduction, and grew into a crescendo when the curtain rose on the stamping dancers in “Augurs of Spring”. Marie Rambert, who was working as an assistant to Nijinsky, recalled later that it was soon impossible to hear the music on the stage….The demonstrations, he says, grew into “a terrific uproar” which, along with the on-stage noises, drowned out the voice of Nijinsky who was shouting the step numbers to the dancers…
Monteux believed that the trouble began when the two factions in the audience began attacking each other, but their mutual anger was soon diverted towards the orchestra: “Everything available was tossed in our direction, but we continued to play on”. Around forty of the worst offenders were ejected, either by the police or by the management. Through all the disturbances the performance continued without interruption. Things grew noticeably quieter during Part II, and by some accounts Maria Piltz’s rendering of the final “Sacrificial Dance” was watched in reasonable silence…
The critic Michel-Dimitri Calvocoressi…failed to observe any direct hostility to the composer—unlike, he said, the premiere of Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande in 1902. Of later reports that the veteran composer Camille Saint-Saëns had stormed out of the premiere, Stravinsky observed that this was impossible; Saint-Saëns did not attend.
It’s really hard to believe claims about the decline of civilization and the harm of art on culture when history is filled with things like this, yet we’re still here.
Here’s a link to Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring on Spotify. Listen to this riotous music!
Posted: September 22nd, 2012 | Author: Tim | Filed under: art, culture, ideas | Tags: composer, movie score, nathan johnson | No Comments »
I think I just added another person to my “I want to eat a meal with” list: Nathan Johnson. I’ve always dug sound production things, and I like how he talks about the music and it’s connection to the film, and people’s feelings when they hear the music.
Not to mention I’m excited about Looper — it has phenomenal reviews.
Here’s an interview with Nathan, and here’s the Rolling Stone link that the video is from.
Posted: September 20th, 2012 | Author: Tim | Filed under: ideas | No Comments »
“Did you know that the Stegosaurus lived further away from the Tyrannosaurus Rex than we are from the Tyrannosaurus Rex in time?”
- Jonah Peretti
Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Author: Tim | Filed under: ideas | No Comments »
When someone suggests an idea, there’s usually discussion about it, including critiquing it.
Valid criticisms are things like “there’s a problem because X means Y will happen”. Invalid criticisms are things like “it just seems like a bad idea”. It’s all about specifics.
The rare time when criticism can be vague is when it’s a situation that the criticiser has personally experienced. For example, a parent telling their child “don’t hang out with a certain group of people”. Because of specifically applicable experience, the parent knows that some actions inevitably lead to bad outcomes. It could be getting arrested, it could be a car crash, it could be any number of things, but many of them are bad. Specific experience and trust are the times when a criticism can just be “just trust me on this”, and still be valid.
Posted: September 5th, 2012 | Author: Tim | Filed under: hustle, ideas | No Comments »
Bill Clinton, the last president in office with a child of grade-school age, tried to be present in his daughter’s life. Craig Smith, a political consultant who worked for Clinton in Arkansas and Washington, recalled that when he and then-Gov. Clinton would travel for the day out of Little Rock they would start out at the Governor’s Mansion: “I’d get there in the morning and the first thing we would do is drop Chelsea off at school. He took Chelsea to school every day. He said, ‘Let me give you a piece of advice if you’re going to have a life in politics. Take your kids to school in the morning, because you never know what time you’re going to get home at night.’”
As president, Clinton did spend time with his daughter during evenings when he could. Like Obama, he helped with the day’s homework. When he was out of town, he’d supply the assistance by telephone.
But unlike Obama, Clinton always found time to connect with people. While the self-contained current president is said to hold only a few friends close, the extroverted former president craves constant human contact. He would spend hours on the phone with members of Congress and his Cabinet, cajoling them on a vote or asking their advice or gaming out their appearance the next day on “Meet the Press.” He also stayed in touch with friends — from around the country, but particularly from Arkansas. When he couldn’t make it to Little Rock to reconnect with home, home would come to him. Old friends would stay overnight at the White House, although they might not sleep much, given that games of hearts with the president would extend into the wee hours of the morning.
As busy as they have been, all presidents have set aside personal time. Many — Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, both Bushes, Clinton, Obama — have played golf. Harry Truman took his daily constitutional and played poker with his pals. John F. Kennedy sailed. Nixon bowled. Ford swam. Jimmy Carter, perhaps the most diligent worker of the bunch, played tennis. Ronald Reagan rode his horse. George H.W. Bush drove his speedboat. His son cleared brush. Lyndon B. Johnson found time for such activities as phoning a Texas clothier to order, in exacting and earthy detail, half a dozen pairs of pants. Nixon spent time, well-lubricated by Scotch whiskey, in Florida with his friend Cuban-American businessman Bebe Rebozo.
“Why doesn’t Obama like to schmooze?” – Michael Takiff