Links - August 22th, 2016

  • This is strictly a business decision
    Tim O'Reilly - Medium

    Incentives rule all our decisions. If the mandate of fiduciary duty is to “maximize shareholder value,” that is what any board will do. Whether the “business decision” was correct or not is a question of short-term vs. long-term thinking, discount rates, and how much the company values its employees. When labor is interchangable, this is not a surprising decision. If the well-being of the employees were somehow baked in into the pricing model, there could be a different outcome.

  • Imaging, Snapchat and mobile
    Benedict Evans

    As usual, Evans gives us a lot to think about. Our phones aren’t really just phones, and our cameras aren’t really just cameras.

  • It’s The Future
    Paul Biggar - CircleCI Blog

    Overengineering is a real problem. I need to learn more about this new dev-ops world, and play with Docker et al, but the fact is that to get started, a monolith running on Heroku is more than enough. Scaling will be harder? Yes, but you might actually get something done and sell to real users. Good enough is good enough. Once again, short-term vs. long term incentives.

  • All the Leaves are Brown and the Sky is Gray
    Cate Huston - Accidentally in Code

    Perspective on software engineering impact: Somehow, the industry keeps moving forward as our projects die, 1 by 1. Stay motivated, and learn from your errors.

  • The stuff we really need is getting more expensive. Other stuff is getting cheaper.
    Christopher Ingraham - The Washington Post
  • The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Medium

    A draft of a chapter of Taleb’s upcoming book. He argues that asymmetrical rules lead to minorities dictating choices when there are large benefits to a concentrated minority and small diffuse costs among the majority. All his examples are negative, but its not hard to think of how this same effect can affect us positively.

  • The Night That Obama and Hillary Founded ISIS
    Liz Meriwether - New York Magazine

    The world of politics is odd.

  • Page dewarping
    Matt Zucker

    Math lets us do some really interesting things. This post presents a relatively simple model that solves a real problem for a real person.

  • Firms and Inequality
    Claudia Sahm

    An analysis on the future of work, and labor compensation. I am not surprised that gains are concentrated in a set of firms, the real question, as Claudia points out, is “is rising worker segregation a sign of reduced competition, greater economic rents, or is it telling us about a change in the nature of production?” My guess? The latter.

  • The meaning of trust in the age of Airbnb
    Tim Harford

    The fact that we can walk into a store and exchange a piece of paper for a loaf of bread is a sign of trust. Our economies, and our lives, are all based on trust, and Tim’s article explains how important this is in an age where “reputation” becomes currency. Reminded me a lot of Seabright’s Company of Strangers.

Links - August 18th, 2016

Hello there old friends. It has been forever since my last post, and I apologize for that. Here is a mixed bag of technology, management, and politics pieces. My interests haven’t changed, hopefully yours haven’t either.

Expect more frequent updates coming back soon.

Outside Lands, take two

Outside Lands, take two

Well, “take two” isn’t really fair. I’ve actually been to the festival three times. I hope you’ll see a jump in quality from last year’s.

Pretty crazy how people are willing to be photographed due to the air of professionalism of a DSLR in ways that a smartphone camera wouldn’t allow. As I asked people to take their photos, they would constantly ask things like “Where will these be published?” or “What site are you taking the photos for?” and were oddly surprised when I told them it was for a personal blog. The camera is both a bridge and a barrier.

If you came looking for a specific photo, and it isn’t here, reach out and I’ll happily send it your way. 600 was a lot to post at once. More...

Links - July 14th, 2016

As you can tell from the articles below, I’ve read a lot about consciousness lately. In general, I like the topic a lot, but I was actually trying to find an article on the subject from a couple of years ago that I remember being really good. Sadly, I didn’t find it, but it did take me down the rabbit hole of the Internet, and I found all of the consciousness related posts below, so hopefully you will enjoy those.

The Last Two Weeks

The Last Two Weeks

Summer in San Francisco is great. On most days, the city gets cold and foggy, so it is better to stay inside. Luckily, an hour or two away there are endless warm options to get away to. I definitely took advantage of it these past weeks. More...

Would you like to get content like this directly in your inbox? Sign up below: