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Hi, this is me. Relevant words: Utah, failed (and retrying) student, Lisp, co-ops, Overwatch, incurably divergent. If you have a perfect analogy to communicate "a thing that gives value to disparate other things, and takes it from disparate other (but maybe the same sometimes) things and combines them"...then I want to hear it, because otherwise I'll just keep rereading Breaking Smart and grunting in frustration.

DM me, and talk to us, even if the job leaves you cold. We like meeting people, and my partner's funny (I am not).

Would you like to integrate + synergize?

Would you like international management experience?

You'd be managing a team of 2-3. dist. across backend, mobile, and HW. Exp. with 1/3 of those is totes good enough if we like you.

You'd meet with us (me + partner) for ~2 hours a week, and we'd be on call to help you whenever.

Workload is 20-40 hrs/week, your call.

Partner and I moonlight as engineering management consultants. Trouble is, we want to take on a project that we don't quite have enough bandwidth for.


Have you worked as a dev, but never broken into management?

Are you a CS(-ish) grad student who needs another excuse to avoid their thesis?


We need new vocabulary, intuitions, parables, idioms, and jokes to handle recursive complexity. The alternative is a human face, frowning at a css file, forever.

- everything sucks and will die, so you should be ready to jump ship, but you should try not to be the first because starting bank runs is bad, unless it was bad from the beginning (Groupon) in which case you should never have gotten on in the first place.

- everything sucks and will die, but some can plant two new things during its lifecycle.

- sometimes the order is reversed like with Bill Gates and Andrew Carnegie. I can only reserve judgment

- This concludes today's session!

More "Conclusions I Have Reached But Will Not Support":

- (cont) like, you can raise a good family on a Google salary (though you probably want an exit plan)

- just like booms/busts are natural and common, sowing/reaping is a more useful metaphor for "work" than, say, a production line. Most of us are not independently-productive entities. A farmer is useless w/o a field. I am useless without CPU's. Quarterly reports in both our cases are probably not helpful, or at least untrustworthy

More "Conclusions I Have Reached But Will Not Support":

- saving is underrated. Much of modern value creation is "waste heat" --- facebook data, small town charm, etc. But you can't monetize small town charm (you can, but it then ceases to exist). So waste heat...often gets wasted. But saving by definition is in a currency you value.
- everything sucks and will die. ( But "sucks" is a value judgment, and by changing value things look better. (more)

We now begin our daily scheduled rendition of "Conclusions I Have Reached But Will Not Support":

- booms/busts/chaos/volatility are natural, but not necessarily good. Cincinnatus *wanted* a nice uncomplicated farm life, he *got* a war
- naively "following incentives" in all casesleads to depressions, booms/busts, madness, and ruin
- it would be nice if our jobs were ultimately useful *and* lucrative. In practice one outweighs the other. Both suck---soulless marketing vs home health aides

There are ways to do things that require a lot of energy but are better on other dimensions, and ways to do things that require little energy but are worse on other dimensions. Success comes not from being high-energy, but from correctly and consistently ascertaining how much energy you *actually have*, and choosing your course of action given that circumstance.

He looked at me for a moment. "You'll need an introduction."

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"Oh," said the old man, nodding sagely. "Those are the software clans. Queer folk. Only deal with them what's they trust."

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Performance measurements coerces people into a mental model where insight doesn’t matter. They give up being able to produce it, recognize it, or value it.

It’s probably the biggest downside of large homogeneous systematic education systems and culture.

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To the extent undistracted deep work is a well-posed concept at all, the biggest disruptor of it is not social media but the need to make money. Every waldenponding evangelist I know is rich enough or securely-incomed enough to not be distracted by money-making.

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Discontent points you in the right direction. The problem is that discontent arising from impatience does not. Only with infinite patience is there enough stillness to really feel where the real issues are.

So "how to do remote" is, in practice, often really a discussion about "how to do knowledge work."

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So here's why I think remote doesn't work so well with the employee-employer paradigm.

It's not the "fault" of *remote*, so much, but if a job *can* be done remotely, it's probably knowledge work, probably requires judgement...and now the relationship is more client-attorney, or patient-doctor, than anything else. The money still goes one way, but the respect doesn't.

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Talking with some friends about writing a "how to remote" guide. I'm the odd man out in holding the opinion that remote -> knowledge work, and knowledge work doesn't really fit with the employee-employer paradigm. Any thoughts?

Two ideas that popped into my head recently: "Conservation of openness" --- as some things open up, others tighten down (open borders and Gini coefficients, Tinder and assortative mating, internet conversation and political radicalization), and "border of software" --- ain't no harder border than RSA encryption.

The slow decline that leaves itself open to eucatastrophe is, I suspect, a common experience among the successful---not because it's a law of the universe, but because that is what it feels like *from the inside*, given the hedonic treadmill. A company growing at only 1% a year because investing in R&D is an example.

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