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Archive for January 18th, 2012

What not to do: Learning leadership from Congress

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Learning leadership from Congress:

When planning your career, avoid these pitfalls, behaviors evidenced by many elected officials:

  • In all things, look for money first. Listen to people with money, respond to people with money, justify your actions around money. Worth noting that 47% of those in Congress (House and Senate) are millionaires–an even greater percentage than those that are lawyers.
  • Embrace the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Aspire to run systems you don’t understand.
  • Compromise over the important issues, but dig in and fight forever over trivia.
  • Along those lines: focus obsessively on the short run. Even though you are virtually assured of re-election, define the long term as “before the next election.”
  • Take months off from your day job (with pay) to actively campaign for a better job.
  • Blame the system, the other side and your predecessors for the fact that you are not taking brave, independent action.
  • Avoid developing independent thought and analysis. Focus on parroting the work of lobbyists and the party line.
  • When given the choice between being on television or doing hard work, pick television.
  • When a difficult problem shows up, duck.
  • Try mightily to outlast passionate resistance by quietly ignoring it and waiting for it to go away.

[Good one, Seth!]

Source: Seth’s Blog

Written by Daniel

January 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Posted in advocacy, news

Blacked Out

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This site was blacked out today because the US Senate is considering legislation that would destroy the Web as we know it and enable the kinds of censorship that you’d normally attribute to ruthless authoritarian governments. It’s called the PROTECT IP Act (also known as PIPA). Visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation or AmericanCensorship.org for more information and to find out what you can do to help stop the PIPA and SOPA legislation.

Written by Daniel

January 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Posted in advocacy

Justification? We can do better

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Screw Entitlement:

So do I think SOPA/PIPA are good? No, don’t be stupid, they’re horrid bills. But do I think that it is solely the fault of RIAA/MPAA/et al? No. The people using the above excuses and justifications share just as much blame. If nothing else, they created reams of justification for lobbyists to use when pushing these bills in Congress.

The Internet’s relentless victim-blaming and support of piracy handed “the enemy” a fully-loaded gun, aimed at their own skulls, all the while screaming “I DARE YOU TO PULL THE TRIGGER”. Spare me the outrage until you’re willing to change your behavior.

[Not the first person to note this. but said with his usual vigor.]

Source: bynkii.com

Written by Daniel

January 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Posted in advocacy

The President’s challenge

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The President’s challenge:

SOPA

Nat Torkington: Don’t wait for the time machine, because we’re never going to invent something that returns you to 1965 when copying was hard and you could treat the customer’s convenience with contempt.

Take action.

Source: Sam Ruby

Written by Daniel

January 18, 2012 at 8:02 am

Posted in advocacy

Compare and contrast: The 4 day work week.

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So there’s a pointer to this Inc. article in my inbox this morning. I don’t need any convincing about the potential for a company to form its own work schedule. But it seems to me that this article is lying, or the author is fooling himself, or worse, he’s taking advantage of his employees. To wit: The Case for a Four-Day Work Week

The extra time for research makes for a well-informed team and the realization they have something unique.

So they work 40 hours in 4 days. But then, they get to do research on their “day off”. Huh? How is that helping? I realize that they can run errands and do other things at home since their not expected in the office, and mot likely do not have to answer email, the phone etc. But this smacks of creating a 48 hour work week to me. Either include the research in the work week (“Hey, I need my people to keep up!”) or crow to Inc. magazine how you you fooled your employees into a 48 hour work week and here’s how. Or, one more possibility, no one’s doing anything significant for the company on that day and he knows it. Which makes the article a lie about the benefits of time for research.

Now compare that to how Jason Fried talks about the topic of his company’s schedule:

I don’t believe in the 40-hour workweek, so we cut all that BS about being somewhere for a certain number of hours. I have no idea how many hours my employees work — I just know they get the work done.

Only half the people in the company lives in the area where they could possibly come into the office. But there’s no requirement to at all. They don’t track hours because that’s not the goal. The goal is getting stuff done. I’ll bet there are weeks where people work many more than 40 hours, and times when they work less. Does it matter? Being home to “meet the plumber” shouldn’t be a benefit, but common sense. Not being able to schedule appointments and handle the trivia of life adds enormous stress to people. Do you want a bunch of stressed out, unfocused, people working with you? (do you think the leak held? No shower this morning, gah. etc. throughout the day) Do you want to create an environment where people consider lying as a time management strategy? (Hmm, I should call in sick so I can take care of this.)

Anyway, regardless of whether any of this works for you or your company try not to use it as a means of extending the work week rather than embracing the real benefits.

Written by Daniel

January 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

Protect IP Act Breaks the Internet

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Protect IP Act Breaks the Internet:

Terrific piece by Kirby Ferguson — explains clearly and succinctly why the proposed PIPA legislation will not only fail to achieve its intended purpose, but will outright harm the entire Internet.

[Clcik on the link, if you don't already understand why this legislation is so broken.]

Source: Daring Fireball

Written by Daniel

January 18, 2012 at 7:04 am

Posted in advocacy, news

McBess Bacon and Cheese Machine

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McBess Bacon and Cheese Machine:

‘The Bacon and Cheese Machine’ is a collaboration between Illustrative genius McBess and P-G Bikes for Dudes Factory I’m a sucker for art projects like this, and really fancy having a go myself!

This video shows the intricate painting process unfold:

[Sweet.]

Source: The Hickensian

Written by Daniel

January 18, 2012 at 7:02 am

Posted in cycling, design

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