Yet in many professional exchanges you may want to disguise your actual state of mind. Even in more intimate settings than the office texting has replaced phone conversations. If being heard makes many people self-conscious, imagine being seen. Bartleby has a face that only a mother could love—which is why, although he occasionally appears on The Economist’s podcasts, he is rightly absent from its films. He has no desire to be seen by the other people with whom he is communicating—or to see himself in a corner of the screen, a process that automatically makes him want to fidget. If a public-relations type suggests a video interview with someone, your columnist always opts for a phone call instead. … A videoconference can be highly useful on occasion. But not every meeting requires it. Before switching on the screen, ask yourself: “Is my face really necessary?”
I too despise video calls, as I despise most work calls. It’s not just my own face, but seeing other people’s faces is distracting. I’ve got nothing against their faces, really, I literally find it distracting and squeamish. I don’t like looking other people in the eyes. I’m not sure what that it is, but it’s hard - taxing, it takes a lot of energy and attention - for me to see people. Well, people I’m not deep friends with.
In most calls - it’s usually zoom - I try to cover the video remote displays. Weirdly, there’s no way to turn off remote video. That feature would be so, so nice for me. Doing this is difficult, though.
Here I’ll be introvert rude - video calls encourages too much comradely. Most phone calls could be done in a chat window, a quick email, or nothing at all. But, seeing people somehow makes people talk more. All of this is contra to what you’re supposed to be doing in work settings. I don’t dislike all those people - I just require a lot of alone time.
I don’t know, man. I find most work “calls” annoying, tedious, and a waste of time (I was first a programmer, after all) and video calls are just another version of them.
(You may think: “but you do all those podcasts and speak publicly so much, and you seem to like that!” Yes. It is odd. Speaking to a room full of people - from ten to hundreds - or thousands of anonymous listeners is so much different. I get the energy of extroverts from doing it. Weird.)
I try not to do Apple complaining, too much. There’s nothing original there. Give me a moment, though. The highlighting and share sheet changes in iOS are annoying, esp. the second. As an old school RSS reader, web digger, I look for links to catalog and gnoll everyday. Part of why you read this newsletter, I presume is because you like the result of that. Regardless, I like doing it.
I rely on the iOS Share Sheet a lot for that: saving links, copy and pasting things, and so forth. Previously, I could control exactly what was in the Share Sheet. I was never sure why there were two rows, and I was frustrated that I could t remove some of the things. But it worked well.
Now, I can sort of control what’s in there, but it has some sort of recommended ordering or thing. I don’t want Siri/my operating system recommending things to me here. I know exactly what I want and don’t want in the Share Sheet. It’s like having end caps and advertising in a very core, frequently used part of my workflow: annoying and a time suck.
Here’s a curated collection of blog posts and case studies I put together for the executive event at SpringOne Platform. It’s about the usual stuff I’d write about, but most of it is from my co-worker Richard Seroter, a case study from Derrick Harris, and a bit from me.
I even wrote a preface with my signature - fancy!
Check it out: “Digital Transformation for the Busy Executive.”
(Originally, for the executive mini-conference we made this for, I called it something like “The Executives Little Wunderkammer.”)
All too rarely, I write down some little scene of the day. I should have been journaling more like this over the past, say, 30 years. It’d be nice to have that stock of stuff to draw on, like I imagine Sedaris and Hodgman have. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Here are two:
Walking on the beach between the conference center and the hotel in Barcelona. There are so many people in training classes along the way.
I’m not sitting down in front of a volleyball class. I passed a yoga class, people on bikes in a small room overlooking the beach, dudes doing beach weights and working out stuff.
How do people do this, just get themselves to show up and, worse, do the work in public in a group of people. I would be dreading it all day. Think of nothing but it’s end while I was doing it.
What’s wrong with me that I think that way?
Talking with KLM attendant as I wait for flight to board. Am seated penultimate row, so we have much time to talk while the plane boards since I get on in the first round.
When she finds out I’m from Texas she says she goes to Houston sometimes [KLM has a direct flight between Amsterdam and Houston], I talk about the air conditioned cargo holds and horses I hear they transport.
She says that that’s ending soon since it’s the 747’s [?] that do that. They transport lots to Houston. And giraffes!
At the end of the flight, she says, you can smell the horses. Apparently, the cargo hold is at the back of the plane instead of under it, so you can go through a door in the back to them.
We also talked about the hard accent of Amsterdamer. Famously, they pronounce G’s in that thought-clearing way. She was born in the north, but lives down south. In the south, it’s a soft G, more like how us native-English speakers would pronounce the G. So, there’s that: I can speak like a southerner.
Anyhow, she was cheery!
“I’m going to take the next six months off, and I’m going to go to Italy and learn Italian properly.”. And: ” I did a wine course and then realized that it would take me the rest of my life, and I had other things to do.” Consolidating to a small multi-cloud setup, cutting “IT operating costs 55%.” “One way or another, creating distinctive software comes back to a stable team accumulating specialized knowledge and crunching it into a rich model. No shortcuts. No magic bullets.”. Advertising can be a barrier to entry.