I write about design, technology, and people.
Sometimes I take photos of places I visit.
– if you're interested in older posts or looking for something specific.
Last week I came back from a family road trip through Ireland.
While most of the world was overheating, we’ve worn long
sleeves and sometimes taken out a second blanket. The locals
have worn shorts and called it a regular summer.
My last two grandparents passed away in the last year or so.
As it’s customary in those life situations, one has to sort
through things that were left behind. Some of those things
were books. Very old books.
As I was holding Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
from 1920 in my hands, I started to think about the longevity
of technology. How many of the things in tech we’re building
today are going to survive a full century and still be usable
From a talk by Richard Hamming, a mathematician:
I have now come down to a topic which is very distasteful;
it is not sufficient to do a job, you have to sell it.
“Selling” to a scientist is an awkward thing to do. It’s
very ugly; you shouldn’t have to do it. The world is
supposed to be waiting, and when you do something great,
they should rush out and welcome it. But the fact is
everyone is busy with their own work. You must present it so
well that they will set aside what they are doing, look at
what you’ve done, read it, and come back and say, “Yes, that
I recognized my younger self in this so much. Ten to fifteen
years ago, I believed that if you do good work people will
just come and admire it. Sounds so naive looking back at it.
Today, I understand there are two steps needed to push any new
idea into the world: 1) do good work and 2) convince people
you did good work. Sell it.
From Flash Boys, an excellent story about high-frequency
trading by Michael Lewis:
Constantine was also Russian, born and raised in the small
town on the Volga River. He had a theory about why so many
Russians had wound up inside high-frequency trading. The old
Soviet educational system channeled people away from the
humanities and into math and science. The old Soviet culture
also left its former citizens oddly prepared for Wall Street
in the early twenty-first century. The Soviet-controlled
economy was horrible and complicated but riddled with
loopholes. Everything was scarce; everything was also
gettable, if you knew how to get it. “We had this system for
seventy years,” said Constantine. “People learn to work
around the system. The more you cultivate a class of people
who know how to work around the system, the more people you
will have who know how to do it well. All of the Soviet
Union for seventy years were people who are skilled at
working around the system.” The population was thus well
suited to exploit megatrends in both computers and the
United States financial markets.
Reminds me of Yugoslavia and post-war Croatia.
“You like drawing, right?”
That was my opening line when I approached a few friends and
colleagues almost a year ago. I wanted to get back to drawing
on regular basis. I also wanted to improve my storytelling
skills. Drawing comics seemed like a good way of combining
both, but it could be even better if done in an excellent
company that keeps you accountable and helps you improve. The
four of us sat together, and I explained that the current
skill doesn’t matter and the commitment is flexible. We were
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