summing up 45

a more or less weekly digest of juicy stuff. please find previous editions here.

  • money, guilt and the machine, by alan watts. the difference between having a job and having a vocation is that a job is some unpleasant work you do in order to make money, with the sole purpose of making money. but if you do a job with the sole purpose of making money, you are absurd. because if money becomes the goal, and it does when you work that way, you begin increasingly to confuse it with happiness - or with pleasure. yes, one can take a whole handful of crisp dollar bills and practically water your mouth over them. but this is a kind of person who is confused, like a pavlov dog, who salivates on the wrong bell. it goes back to the ancient guilt that if you don't work you have no right to eat; that if there are others in the world who don't have enough to eat, you shouldn't enjoy your dinner even though you have no possible means of conveying the food to them. and while it is true that we are all one human family and that every individual involves every other individual, while it is true therefore we should do something about changing the situation. highly recommended
  • a theory on economic growth, clayton christensen on disruptive innovation. recommended
  • a few words on doug engelbart, our computers are fundamentally designed with a single-user assumption through-and-through, and simply mirroring a display remotely doesn't magically transform them into collaborative environments. if you attempt to make sense of engelbart's design by drawing correspondences to our present-day systems, you will miss the point, because our present-day systems do not embody engelbart's intent. engelbart hated our present-day systems
  • why atom can't replace vim, a new, shiny, modern editor could one-up vim by fixing some (or hopefully all) of these issues. but before an editor can replace vim, it needs to learn everything that 1976 has to teach - not just the lesson of emacs, but also the lesson of vi
  • the labor illusion: how operational transparency increases perceived value, we demonstrate that because of what we term the labor illusion, when websites engage in operational transparency by signaling that they are exerting effort, people can actually prefer websites with longer waits to those that return instantaneous results - even when those results are identical (pdf)
  • innovative, pragmatic, affordable, accessible, ip-protected, innovation is a state of mind, it's not a job title and it's not an industry. it has to be in every single one of you. it's about you. it's about people and it's about minds. and it's about how open you are to innovate and how open you are to innovation
  • failure is an option, capitalism and entrepreneurial innovation require risk, as it is a fundamental component of business evolution. when companies are allowed to fail, their resources get reallocated in the market, just like a fire that converts sparse undergrowth into fertilizer for the next generation of trees
  • flying the world's fastest plane, behind the stick of the sr-71 blackbird