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To all contributors: please keep the comment short and sweet. Preferably just use the title of the link, or if that's not clear, a 5-10 word precis. Don't do big quotes. Save that for follow up comments. See my latest for examples of good style.

3 kinds of insights:

1. Sublinear: a reframing of an obviously important thing. Can only have diminishing returns.

1. Superlinear: seemingly trivial observation that leads to compounding big consequences if you think it through (like a mystery clue that only Holmes notices), resolving a lot of ambiguity

3. Glitchy: suspicious incoherence that makes you do a double take and then leads to an aha that changes what you think you're looking at, like an optical illusion changing interpretations

Venkat boosted

@vgr What I noticed is that “fools” attract a lot of help; society is surprisingly full of people who are willing to help if you can press the right emotive buttons, so to speak And one very powerful button is the “I need help and I don’t know it” button, i.e. the “I am a fool” button.

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In general people who succeed at anything do so along a vector where they don’t mind looking foolish. This is why so many people who seek to be successful start of on exactly the wrong foot: “If that fool can make it work it should be easy for me since I’m obviously smarter”. The irony is, they’re right about themselves and therefore wrong about their plan to succeed.

One thing that comes naturally to me but I’ve entirely failed to teach anyone else is willingness to look foolish

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Which companies/orgs can you think of are good places to pursue advances in software-engineering?

ThoughtWorks came to mind for me.

Academics don't count. Also emphasis on software engineering/gardening, not computer science.

Venkat boosted

Liberal whitelisting and conservative blacklisting both try to maximize agency for everyone.

When the whitelisting becomes too conservative you get elitist moats. When the blacklisting gets too liberal you get shunning of the world. Each becomes degenerate when it takes on the trait of the other.

A blacklist and a whitelist can’t exist together because that would imply a 3rd type that is not whitelisted or blacklisted.

Venkat boosted

So I read Ian Chengs Emmisary's Guide to Worlding and this technique of using Johnstone-style "masks" to embody different aspects of the worldbuilding process strikes me as similar to some ideas in this "psychonaut field manual" my brother sent me awhile ago: (yes it's a deviantart link 😅). It's sortof like a spiritually agnostic guide to occult/"magick" techniques.

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Trying to better define elitism. Humble arrogance?

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Neat article about the engineering challenges of getting terawatt-hours of energy from the world's largest wind and solar plants in Xinjiang to the population centers in east China that need it.

One surprising detail: they use DC for long-distance power transmission! I always learned AC was used because it's less lossy over long distances. But I guess they figured out a way to do even less lossy transmission using DC in the megavolt range.

"I've always been interested in comics for their cultural-fringe nature -- they're visual storytelling as edge case, not remotely fitting into the structures and shapes of commercial visual narrative. This is why elements of comics have always trickled back into the cultural mainstream - comics are one giant cheap-ass lab full of unpaid volunteers let loose with old machinery and out-of-date chemicals." — Warren Ellis

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elite -> gatekeeper -> troll

The transition points are when the majority wants to get in and when the majority has stopped caring.

A big list of self-reported regrets from readers of rad reads @heyfeedfox

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- Industrial-age was about maximizing profit
- Web-age was about maximizing reach

First, agree/disagree?

Then, what will the decentralized-age (preferred term over crypto or blockchain) be about?

Tried a dumb and depressing exercise. Make up a 2 column worksheet with 4-5 rows. Columns are assets and liabilities. Rows are life stages/ages. Childhood, 18-30, 30-45 etc. Fill it in. Depressing how quickly assets dwindle and liabilities/burdens multiply. This is why it’s worth trying to get rich young. You’ll need it later to balance out deficits in every other area.

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Refactor Camp

Mastodon instance for attendees of Refactor Camp, and members of various online/offline groups that have grown out of it. Related local groups with varying levels of activity exist in the Bay Area, New York, Chicago, and Austin.

Kinda/sorta sponsored by the Ribbonfarm Blogamatic Universe.

If you already know a few people in this neck of the woods, try and pick a handle they'll recognize when you sign up. Please note that the registration confirmation email may end up in your spam folder, so check there. It should come from administrator Zach Faddis.