Some metaphors feel so clichéd that you avoid making use of them - even if they are true to the core. Gardening has been likened to many phenomena. Programming may be like gardening. Picking the best ideas to guide your work and life may be. Once the first of them appeared out of nothing. A … Continue reading The Art of Removing the Right Things
I am joining the ranks of self-proclaimed productivity experts: Do you feel distracted by social media? Do you feel that too much scrolling feeds transforms your mind - in a bad way? Solution: Go find an online platform that will put your mind in a different state. Go hacking on hackthebox.eu. I have been hacking … Continue reading Hacking
I've unlocked a new achievement as a blogger, or a new milestone as a life-form. As a dinosaur telling the same old stories over and over again. I started drafting a blog post, as I always do since a while: I do it in my mind only, twist and turn in for days or weeks … Continue reading Infinite Loop: Theory and Practice Revisited.
If I would be asked which technology or 'innovation' has had the most profound impact on the way I work I would answer: Working remotely - with clients and systems I hardly ever see. 20 years ago I played with modems, cumbersome dial-in, and Microsoft's Netmeeting. Few imagined yet, that remote work will once be … Continue reading The Future of Small Business?
And finally science confirms it, in a sense. Again and again, I've harping on this pet theory of mine: At the peak of my immersion in the so-called corporate world, as a super-busy bonus miles-collecting consultant, I turned to the only solace: Getting up (even) earlier, and starting to re-read all my old mathematics and … Continue reading Ploughing Through Theoretical Physics Textbooks Is Therapeutic
... with sample size 1. Last year, at the 4-years anniversary, I presented a quantitative analysis - in line with the editorial policy I had silently established: My blogging had turned from quasi-philosophical ramblings on science, work, and life to no-nonsense number crunching. But the comment threads on my recent posts exhibit my subconsciousness spilling … Continue reading The Stages of Blogging – an Empirical Study
October - time for updating documentation of the heat pump system again! Consolidated data are available in this PDF document. In the last season there were no special experiments - like last year's Ice Storage Challenge or using the wood stove. Winter was rather mild, so we needed only ~16.700kWh for space heating plus hot … Continue reading Same Procedure as Every Autumn: New Data for the Heat Pump System
I have enjoyed Ben Horowitz' book The Hard Thing About Hard Things. Farnamstreet's review is perfect so I will not attempt at writing one. I will focus on one idea I found most intriguing. I read Horowitz' book as an account of dealing with hard decisions in general, about having to decide alone, about personal accountability, … Continue reading Social Debt (Tech Professional’s Anecdotes)
Four years ago I tried something new - I took a decision and started communicating it (some half-baked version of it) without having worked out a detailed plan. One year later I started this blog, reflecting on the journey and this decision. So I celebrate the 4 years anniversary with shameless, self-indulgent nostalgia - reblogging … Continue reading Anatomy of a Decision (1)
The Glass Cage is about automation’s human consequences. It is not intended to be your typical book about robots taking our jobs for better or for worse. Carr gives an intriguing account of the history of automation and robotics nonetheless - from Luddites to Google's self-driving cars. What we have known intuitively is backed up … Continue reading We Should Get Lost Sometimes – Nicholas Carr on Automation and Us
On September 29, Nicholas Carr's book The Glass Cage - Automation and Us will be released. I have quoted Carr's writings often on this blog, and his essay All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines might anticipate some of the ideas he is going to explore in … Continue reading Looking Foward to ‘The Glass Cage’ – Random Ambiguous Thoughts
Before starting this blog I compared blogging tools in 2011. These two facts about WordPress and Automattic did win me over: Every new employee has to do three weeks of end-user support, regardless of position. They have a developer who calls himself the Quantum Bug Creator and has a PhD in Quantum Cryptography. Now I … Continue reading I Picked the Right Blogging Platform! (Book Review: The Year without Pants)
On researching SSL-related hacks, I have stumbled upon the website of notable security researcher Moxie Marlinspike. Marlinspike is also a sailor and working on diverse projects, such as Audio Anarchy - a project for transcribing anarchist books into audio format. On his About page he says: I like computer security and software development, particularly in the … Continue reading Career Advice – Borrowing Wise Words from a Sailing Hacker
Having read The Black Swan and Antifragile by Nassim Taleb I might have become an orthodox member of the Taleb Cult. The more Taleb's ideas struck a chord with me intuitively, the more I try to scrutinize them. I jumped to the 1-star reviews amazon.com to challenge my gullibility, and I tried my best to … Continue reading I Want to Be Antifragile and Have Skin in the Game
Usually you make things worse by trying to explain again what you didn't get across the first time. I do it nonetheless. My post on Zen Capitalism might have been interpreted as advocating Follow Your Bliss and Anything Else Will Follow (Money, in particular). I cringe; this is exactly what I intended to avoid, but … Continue reading More Capitalism, Less Zen. Tackling Existential Questions Once More. In Vain?
In this blog and in the comments' section of other blogs I have repeatedly ridiculed: management consultants, new age-y self help literature and simple-minded soft skills trainers. Let alone all other life-forms in the lower left quadrant of the verbal skills vs. quant skills diagram. Now it is time that I give you a chance … Continue reading So-Called Zen Capitalism and Random Thoughts on Entrepreneurship
It has been nearly a month since my satirical post on LinkedIn and bot-like HR professionals has stirred interesting discussions and unexpected reblogs. I have promised to come up with related posts regularly. To all my new followers who were probably attracted by the Liebster-award-related nonsense: Compared to those posts this one is unfortunately a … Continue reading On Social Media and Networking (Should Have Been a Serious Post, Turned out Otherwise)
My previous post has triggered intriguing discussions - about writing, identity and what I called an 'online persona'. As far as I remember I borrowed this term from David Weinberger's book Small Pieces Loosely Joined - sublime reflections on the way the web has impacted culture and communication. I have asked myself sometimes: How should … Continue reading Professional Online Persona or: What Are Your Skills?
This is a vain and self-servicing reblog. I really like the figures in this post (as a physicist). Edit (2017): It seems that unfortunately the original, reblogged post is not available any more. It featured a diagram that visualized the results of GRE tests: Verbal and quantitative skills of graduates - as discussed also e.g. … Continue reading Philosophy Degrees are Undervalued
There is indeed a 'corporate culture' named like this. Trusting Wikipedia on this: In their 1984 [sic!] book, Corporate Cultures, Deal and Kennedy identified a particular corporate culture which they called the 'work hard/play hard culture': "Fun and action are the rule here, and employees take few risks, all with quick feedback; to succeed, the … Continue reading Work Hard – Play Hard
Astute analysts of science, technology and the world at large noticed that my resume reads like a character from The Big Bang Theory. After all, an important tag used with this blog is cliché, and I am dead serious about theory and practice of combining literally anything. [Edit in 2016: At the time of writing this post, … Continue reading Trading in IT Security for Heat Pumps? Seriously?
What happened? I started blogging here in March. My posts evolved from lengthy walls of text to geeky stuff. Thanks to my readers who follow this blog despite the strange combination of topics covered. But I know: Resistance is futile. I have halted pseudo-blogging to my ancient non-blog sites for some months, but resumed it to write … Continue reading 2012: The Year We Make Contact
Since there is a part 1, I owe you a second part. Otherwise I would have called this posting: At the other side of the worm hole. I think the following could be applied to life as such, but I am mainly referring to decisions on jobs and work. I once thought that making a … Continue reading Anatomy of a Decision (2)