Meetings Are An Inverted U chart

meetings

I think if you were to map out your perception of meetings over the course of your life, is and/or most likely will be an inverted U chart.  Here’s the life cycle.

  1. Youthful Innocence: OMG THERE’S FREE FOOD LET’S HAVE A MEETING EVERY DAY!
  2. Young Professional: Wow, I have a lot of meetings every week.
  3. Professional: These meetings are killing me!  How am I supposed to get any work done!?
  4. Young Manager: It’s really hard to keep track of what everyone is doing.  Let’s have a meeting.
  5. Manager: WHY WASN’T I INVITED TO THIS MEETING?
  6. Senior manager: We’re having this meeting because it seems like you guys are not having effective meetings.  This meeting will help you plan out future meetings.

Most of this blog post is my fear of facing my own obsolescence but man, I really hate meetings.  I really do.

 

 

Everything is Habanero.

“Hey man…are you okay? Do you need milk or something”?

This was my first teen experience. A close friend of mine had recently started dating a girl from the neighbouring high school, and this was the first meeting of the friend groups.  I don’t know what there Game of Thrones equivalent event is in this scenario – however, I am very confident that there would be one.

We have convened together here at Sammy J Peppers, in the most fanciest of fancy restaurant chain, at least for for 13 year olds. The entire patio was booked with “our” friends.  Puffy North Face jackets were everywhere.  The occasional dyed Asian bang just ridiculously covering 1/3 of a person’s face.

I was vomiting into a drain.

“Your lips are swollen”, said a girl clearly perplexed at what to say to the Asian guy vomiting into the storm drain of a Sammy J Peppers patio. My face was on fire. I thought I was going to die – not just a regular “I think I’m going to die” but a “Wow, so this is how it ends for me. I didn’t even get to finish eating that pizza” I’m going to die. The culprit was a dab of Habanero hot sauce that was seemingly made by compacting all of the energy from the moons of Jupiter into one browish ooze.

I’m currently sitting here now at Andale Restaurant in the San Francisco airport, on the second attempt to go to Hong Kong. I’m a good 75% of my way through eating their Huevos Rancheros, which has a presentation style which I would describe as “a pile”. Thankfully, it’s got a some kick from this bottle of “Habanero Salsa Picante” which is pretty hot.  But just like how Washington Wizards Michael Jordan wasn’t really Michael Jordan, this hot sauce shouldn’t even be called Habanero.  It’s not even the Kobe of hot sauce.  It’s like, the Kyrie Irving of hot sauce (has potential, needs leadership).

What happened to you, Habanero? A drop of you used to send my bowels into fire and my central nervous system to just give up. Did you tear an ACL? Are you rehabbing? Are you using that magical blood transfusion thing on your knee like Kobe did?  Are we just giving up this year and retiring to the vacation home in Maui, Habanero?  I mean you’ve done enough in your career, such as traumatizing my childhood.

You don’t have anything else to prove, Habanero.

Maybe I’m just getting older. Tastebuds stronger. Mental skills tough enough to endure the onslaught of capsaicin hitting my tastebuds into a crescendo of spice.  Either way, thanks for the memories, Habanero.  I’ll never forget you.

This blog post is sponsored by my breakfast.

 

10 minutes of Reddit made me smarter, 10 minutes of Buzzfeed made dumber, 10 minutes of Medium made me really dumb

I’ve been pretty open about my dislike of Buzzfeed.  I think I’ve actually tweeted that “Buzzfeed is the Fort McMurray of the internet”.  But there’s definitely a level of “kicking sand on the girl that you like”, because every time I’m on Facebook and someone posts a list from Buzzfeed, it does take a certain amount of will power not to click on it. I kind of want to know the “17 ways that horses are plotting to take over the world” or “8 things you’ll never believe were x-rayed in someone’s butt”, but I know that clicking on it would mean that the human race got dumber by a certain percentage point, and more importantly – it would mean that Buzzfeed won.

And just a side note, as a kid that grew up in the 90’s, I’m quite aware of the mainstream nostalgia that’s circulating around.  I don’t need another list featuring rehashed Fresh Prince of Bel-Air GIFs, no matter how ironical they are.  How about some “It’s Like You Know” GIFs, or better yet, some “Martial Law” GIFs?  And what about a GIF of that time that Jay Leno fought Hulk Hogan on a WCW pay per view and Kevin Eubanks did the Diamond Cutter (DDP’s signature move) and won?  WHY NOT MENTION THAT BUZZFEED? WHHYYYYYY!

Reddit on the other hand is a site I unabashedly love.  It’s become a daily staple of my internetting to the point where I don’t really know where I would go anymore if it were gone.  For some reason, even though both sites are just piles of content feeding my internal ADHD, Reddit just seems smarter.  It seems like a site for the geeks that played Magic the Gathering in the cafeteria and were made fun of and are now millionaires.

So I devised a test to see which site made my brain rot the most.

Methodology

  1. Read a site for 10 minutes.
  2. Immediately take a cognitive test.  I chose the “Rotation” test, which tests concentration from Cambridge Brain Sciences.
  3. Relax for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then on to the next site.

Results (in order of my execution)

Control:

control

This was the control for the test to establish the baseline of my concentration.  The test is actually pretty hard and really does take a lot of concentration as it ramps up.  I highly recommend that you watch the instructional video before you try it.

Buzzfeed

buzzfeed

Articles read:

Reddit

reddit

I was going to post a full list of Reddit posts, but there are way to many.  I’d ballpark the content to be approximately 50% Starcraft news, 30% front page, 20% pictures of adorable animals.

Bonus: Starcraft 2

starcraft 2

I played a quick 3v3 ranked game.

Bonus: Medium

mediumArticles read:

Conclusion

I want to preface this conclusion by saying that there is definitely no scientific weight to this experiment (I was the only participant, I have clear biases against certain websites, Heisenberg-ian surveying issues).  One thing though, is I think it’s interesting to see my score drop so dramatically after Starcraft 2.  I thought by playing a game of quick reaction time and visual analysis, I would have been primed to rock at the concentration test, but I actually made an extremely large amount of mistakes.  My guess is that I was too “click happy” and didn’t take the time to think of what the right answer was.

I think it’s possible that my Medium score is low because I was just groaning at the articles most of the time (some of the content on that site is surprisingly bad and pretentious), and there also could have been a recovery factor from my Starcraft 2 game.  As for my Buzzfeed score, I think there’s a level of passivity to the content (just because you’re really not analyzing a lot of information, just images and maybe a sentence to accompany it).  However, if that theory with Buzzfeed is true, I’m not entirely sure why the reddit score was higher.

Like I said before, this test is not meant to be scientific.  I just thought it would be fun to see the results.  Try it yourself and let me know how you did in the comments section.

 

If you want your computer to be louder for no reason, try mining Bitcoins!

bitcoin-logo

This post isn’t about whether or not Bitcoins are a valid currency.  I’m sure there are much smarter people in the world who can answer that question (and they’ll most likely say no).  This post is about mining for Bitcoins on your computer, which structurally speaking is kind of dumb.  Bitcoin will automatically change the release rate of a single Bitcoin based on how many people are trying to trying to mine it.  As you can imagine, it’s currently overflowing with people trying to cash in on this recent surge in price.

Anyway, I decided to throw my hat into it using my Nvidia GTX 550Ti graphics card which can be described as “generally okay for playing some games but not the best games anymore” to see what will happen.  As expected, my video card fan is now humming at full speed all the time.  Certainly this level of intensity must mean something awesome is happening right?!

After some more digging around, I found a website that would calculate the expected return based on how strong my graphics card is and here are the results:

mining for bitcoins is dumb

 

I think the moral of the story is I should have bought in when Bitcoin was at 2 dollars.

 

“Anti-Pareto trends in today’s culture” or “I hate people that misuse the word hustling”

 

screenshot from the music video "hustle hard" by ace hoodPareto — a prin­ci­ple also referred to as the ’80:20 rule’, named after an Ital­ian econ­o­mist. The prin­ci­ple sug­gests that a few vital fac­tors (i.e. 20%) are respon­si­ble for the most results (i.e. 80%).

source

 

As I sit back in my chair, thinking of what to write for this blog post, I am exhausted.  I have just woken up from a 3 hour nap and I will most likely go to bed after this as well.  There is nothing admirable about my energy level.  There is nothing heroic in being tired.  If you happen to know anyone who generally describes what they’re doing in life as “hustling”, they probably feel this way all the time.

“Hustling” has literally become the most misused word since the word “literally”, which as David Cross points out, now literally means the opposite of what the word originally meant.  Maybe it’s the fact that I listen to a lot of rap, but I think rap culture has really made it cool to seem like you’re constantly working.  Songs like “Hustlin” by Rick Ross and “Hustle Hard” by Ace Hood (both great songs by the way) are really just punching you in the face with the message that if you aren’t working every waking moment of every day, you’re going to be a failure in your life.  And to me, this attitude in today’s culture has basically lead to the biggest generation of “wheel spinning” most likely seen in history, because lets be honest everyone: it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.

Now let me be clear: I’m not crapping on people that legitimately have work to do.  If you’re deathmarching on a late project that absolutely positively needs to get done – please disregard this post.  You’re probably too busy to even read this.  What I am saying is that if you’re working on 6 different spec projects while working a 40 hour a week job and freelancing on the side, you’re fucking up and you’re fucking up big time.  Why?  There’s absolutely no way the quality of your work and the development of your skill is meaningful in the long run.  There just is no way that can be the case.

When I first left university, I was cut off financially.  This is pretty normal for a lot of people, so this is not one of those sob stories.  Anyways, out of necessity, I got myself 4 jobs: working retail full time, did freelanced in graphic design for a furniture company, blogged and handled social media accounts for an affiliates company and interned in a social media role for 2 days a week.  I worked as hard as I physically could for somewhere around 4 months and it took a massive toll on my mental health and the relationship I had at that time.  Sure I had money, but I was miserable and most importantly, my work was not what it could be.  Granted, it was definitely better than anyone else they could have hired, but it was definitely not my best.  This doesn’t even include the Ira Glass theory on taste.  It was only when the internship opportunity (25% of my total factors) became a job opportunity and I was finally able to do some great work and improve (the 75% of total result).

It’s really difficult to explain to someone that you need to do less. I’ll be the first to say that 40 hours a week of work probably is not enough to develop yourself.  Extra effort outside of work is needed however, I’m constantly encountering a culture of people that seem to be workaholics for the sake of saying that they’re workaholics.  And let’s be honest.  Most of that work is completely dispensable.  Ask yourself the following 2 questions about the stuff you do:

  1. What is the ratio of projects that you’ve started to projects you’ve completed?
  2. What’s the ratio of projects that are unpaid and paid, and is that ratio trending towards increasing or decreasing?

The first question will basically tell you whether or not you’re doing too much as a whole and the second basically tells you how worthwhile these projects are in the first place.  And let’s be real for a second: if your end result isn’t to get paid off your skills, this is not the blog for you.

Take a second and look over what you’re doing and what your intended goal is.  What you do now is what you’re going to become and I sincerely hope that isn’t being tired for the rest of your life.

 

 

Why applying to jobs is as difficult as talking to these cute girls behind me

Chillin at the Green Grind

So I’m at the Green Grind coffee shop, as I am want to do on Sundays, just doing the usual job application/programming business and there are a fair amount of cute girls here.  By the way, for you python coders out there:

fair = 2
So while I’m working on this job application, I’m also thinking of clever things I could say to talk to these girls and I stumbled upon an epiphany: they’re the same thing.  They’re exactly the same process and they have the same hurdles.  Here are some of them:

1. It’s really difficult to talk about how great you are without sounding like a dick.

I like to think I’m better than a lot of people out there.  I work really hard, have an understanding of technical skills and also an aesthetic eye.  I can communicate very well and don’t get wrapped up in politics or beat around the bush when it comes to getting the job done.  But saying it outright is pretty douchey, so I usually do a slow transition to the topic of “how great I am”.  Even then I feel pretty terrible.  I’d love to see what happens if I just jumped into their conversation going like “YEAH, I ALSO LIKE THE SMITHS AND I LIKE THEM MUCH MORE THAN THAT OTHER GUY”.  That would be amazing.

2. I really have no idea exactly who you are.

So, now that my greatness is out of the way, who exactly are you?  Just because I think you’re attractive (job or person) doesn’t really mean you’re that great.  If you’re a company and you don’t actually list what your company does to be a company, you’re really making it hard for anyone to want to talk to you.  I’m sure a lot of you have seen those job postings where everything is confidential (this is just an example…not something I actually applied for.  Don’t want y’all poaching my stuff) and say all these generic tasks and what not.  Who applies to these things? You’re forcing me to make all sorts of assumptions and judgements on the slightest things, and if you’re me – these assumptions are terrible.  For example, does that striped shirt means that you buy exclusively blood diamonds and that you actually enjoy Matthew McConaughey movies?  Why are you so secretive about your identity, company? WHY?

3. Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Don’t ask me how much I want to get paid.  Just say I want to pay from X to Y and be done with it.  Not sure how that relates to those girls but I think one of them just looked at me.

4. Y’all need to work on dem extra curriculars.

I’m not eavesdropping on your conversation, but if I was, I’d tell you to talk about something more interesting than the minutia of life or whatever you’re talking about.  Besides, this is research for this blog post I’m writing.  Anyways.  Companies need to do a better job of showing off their company culture and stuff that they do to maintain unity in the company.  A good example of this would be Rethink who has plugged their ping-pong-and-ping-pong-related-lifestyles since as long as I can remember and I’ve been visiting their page monthly since like, 2006.  After showing us what you do, show us how pay your team back for it.  I think showing that you understand what your employee’s interests are will go a long way in keeping morale and loyalty up, as well as be more attractive to new people that want to join your company.  I really hope one of them just starts talking about their collection of Chris Gaines memorabilia.  That’d be a compelling subject.

I’m getting another coffee.