Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm moving again

I think Blogger is pretty limited, I've already had to really work hard to make the column wider so it's easier to read the articles. But it's pretty limited.

So, I'm jumping on the tumbler bandwagon. I've already moved the articles, but I need to go back and redo all the images. Unfortunately they didn't migrate as easily as they did for the migration from Wordpress into Blogger. Sorry Blogger.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This article by Issendai about disaster mode and getting sucked into an organization/relashionship is interesting.

Eventually you're so crazy that you can't interact with anyone who isn't equally crazy. Normal people have either fled, or told you once too often that you're being stupid and you need to leave. So now you've lost all your reality checks. You're surrounded by people who also live in the crazy and can't see a way out. You spend your time telling one another that it's too bad, but that's how it is, there's no fixing it, and everything will get better when ______ happens. If anyone does get a little better and says, “Hey, guys, this is crazy, we can all stop now,” they've become a stuck cog in the machine. They quickly realize that there's nothing they can do, and they pull out, leaving you alone with your crazy friends.
In terms of an organization, I think I can add one small piece. When you're in a diseased organization, you eventually lose all your motivation and wonder if you could ever regain it, even if you leave. Your self confidence is low and you feel like you've fallen behind in the field. No one else will take you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Paul Graham quotes.

The most interesting to me is the one below.
5. People unsure of their own position will try to emphasize it by maltreating those they think rank below.

This is just something I get a lot at work. I am also reminded of an offhand reference that I think Google talked about. A-quality people will hire A-quality people because that's who they want to work with. B-Quality people hire C-Quality people because they are threatened to have to work with them on-the-level. So they secretly stack the deck whenever they can so they're the shinier turd.

If you ever give someone the responsibility to hire people. Tell them they'll be graded on how well the newly hired person is.

12. In pre-industrial times, (kids) were all apprentices of one sort of another, whether in shops or on farms or even on warships. / Teenagers seem to have respected adults more then, because the adults were the visible experts in the skills they were trying to learn. Now most kids have little idea what their parents do in their distant offices, and see no connection (indeed, there is precious little) between schoolwork and the work they’ll do as adults.

This quote is very interesting. It brings to mind a friend who's father apparently worked in the Department of National Defence (Canada). When we were teens I would ask him or his son what his job is and he's never say. He'd usually say something really corny, making as if he was James Bond and he might have to kill me. Even my friend wasn't sure what he did. Now, I don't think he was that important or security sensitive (based on a lot of things). I think that he purposely did it to maybe shelter us from the kind of shitty job that may be awaiting us.

But what's the point? I'm not 100% into nepotism, but if you can guide your child and tell him about something you may have figured out they should be better off. If he knows your work is misery, or what chances you missed; they might move toward or away from it. It's not like telling them they WILL be a lawyer, but it might be interesting to explain something honestly.

I think children are very isolated because their parents keep a lot of details and responsibilities totally hidden from them. I don't think you should sit down a ten-year-old and tell him about pregnancies, cancer and mortgages. But they should probably be prepared to work, understand the benefits of skill building.

I know modern parents don't want to force their careers on their kids. But why not give them the rudder instead of just letting them drift? If they don't want to rudder you gave them they can change it. Better yet, they might be able to repurpose it to their own taste.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I have to post this video by RSA because I think it encapsulates what I have been pining for. The video is about motivation, and
how elusive it actually is.

I get paid okay, but what really gets my goat is the fact that there really isn't anyone in my organization that really cares much about getting things done with any efficiency or logic. I think that after about a year that started getting to me. You can call it a honeymoon period but really it's the point where I had mastered things enough to hit a plateau. The point where you have a really good idea of how things should be handled and you handle everything with very few hiccups. After that point what goes wrong? Well, you still make mistakes, but what really goes wrong is other people or the system itself. You're boss starts saying he said something he didn't or that he emailed you something he didn't. Or maybe all of a sudden you didn't say something you did blah blah blah.

After about a year, you're pretty much exclusively eating the little bits of political garbage, and the actual satisfaction of learning things which are actually useful has dwindled to next to nothing.

At this point, you're motivation is gone. You can't just extend yourself and learn anything more, you have to sit at the tap and wait for your boss to serve it to you by the spoonful. You hit a wall where your boss becomes territorial about the tasks and wants to keep him for himself. He might acknowledge that he has little time to do it (because he's managing people too right?) but he sticks to doing it because those tasks are the visible ones that get all the praise.

I also find there's a certain point where your boss feels as if you don't need any sort of reassurance that you're doing a good job. Well, he's wrong. I'd love another 10,000$ in income, but it would make a bigger difference if I was actually congratulated when I did something right every now and then. Unfortunately my boss is stuck on just trying to eek out the insignificant problems at the end of the project when it's too late. So don't expect me to come around and tell you I'm finished.