Nothing to give up on
Most of how people tell me to fix myself is to give up, or give into things. I’m not calibrated well to do that. At this point in my life, I’ve already given up and given in to all the things I can. I only have a handful of things I want, and do when I can’t get or achieve them, is drives me mad.
For example, administering my kids home schooling is impossible to do well; we have a newborn; my wife is bed-bound until her c-section heals; I have to do everything, but I’m not even working. To keep sane, I have to compromise, prioritize, give up and give in.
“Yeah, I got a rash, man.”
I should give up on my kid’s education - these are weird times. I should give up on thinking about things I should be doing for work.
But I just can’t.
I can’t let my children slip any more than they already have. “School equals money,” I tell them. I’m an American, without money, you sink into the system. In our system, money is life. That might change one day, but I’m not going to have my children be at the bottom of dead bodies that build a mountain high enough to finally scale the walls of American capitalism.
My work my identity, I have no self outside of work. I haven’t chosen to give up work right now, but I have…mostly. It drives me crazy with fear and nervousness. My job is weird; like a brand, I’m an expensive, exotic luxury, unmeasurable - I only have value because people who pay me believe I have value. When they run and sort the spreadsheet of layoffs, I’m at the top. Oh, and how’s the economy doing?
On the internet, if you stop speaking: you disappear. And, by corollary: on the internet, you only notice the people who are speaking nonstop. - Robin Sloan
Part of me knows that all of this is fine, that it’s all my head: it’s a shambling solipsistic nightmare.
But, here I am.
This handful of things I have left define me, it is me. I don’t know how to give up on that.
Enjoy the links!
Here’s a short overview of my concept that digital transforming is about getting better at software: making custom software development core to how your business functions and evolves, core to revenue growth and strategy.
Our second episode of the Drunk & Retired podcast reboot: Screen Boss.
Meanwhile (speaking of giving up), Matt and Brandon have some episodes out, and an interview.
We talked with Joe Beda on kubernetes and cloud native stuff: Accidental universal control plane.
I finished The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. It was great, and I’ve started the sequel. In the ear hole, I’m listening to Jill Lepore’s These Turths. She’s great, and demonstrates that the author makes the best reader.
The world of finance, “the economy,” makes no by layman standards. The point of the economy is to keep money moving, changing hands, constantly growing. The point of finance is to find new ways to be a middleman and grab some of that cash as it moves.
In normal life, the point is have money, to save and hoard it and grow it. This is the opposite of business where cash flow is king, creating “value” as represented by share price is queen. Companies do share buy-backs to move the money, they invest in new lines of business to get new ways to move money.
Holding on to money is bad for business.
This means that when the cash flow stops, everything falls apart. There is no planning for a raining day in business and finance, there’s only getting wet and jettisoning off ballast so you can float and not drown when economic floods come.
So, here we are when the plague-deluge comes. When cash flow is king, there’s no cushion, there’s only throwing opex overboard.
Relevant to your interests
Follow my blog for links on a daily basis, I often add extra commentary there.
- Cocaine rats on ladders.
- Staying interested in work - ‘The above research clearly indicates that a lack of meaning in our work, limited agency over how we achieve our goals, and insufficient novelty in the tasks we engage in every day can have serious negative impacts on our mental and physical health. ‘
- Using data drives revenue - ‘43% of product managers in the companies that demonstrated growth in 2018 to 2019 used real-time data and sentiment analysis to help them accelerate and deepen insights on customer experience. Just 22% of product managers in companies not experiencing growth used real-time analytics to improve their understanding of customers.’
- People don’t like advertising - ‘The survey of nearly 14,000 middle income consumers in 23 countries found 61 percent of consumers are less inclined to use a product if their personal data is used for any purpose, while 56 percent of consumers want more control over their data.’
- London startups focus on cash - ‘10,000 people showed that 49% believe the coronavirus crisis is a threat to their existence, and 53% are establishing business models for the next quarter focused on survival. Some 32% expect business to stagnate in that period.’
- Breakthrough meeting concept - ‘Reflect that listening to meeting in which one does not contribute is akin to watching a play performed in a foreign language. Start to miss regular meetings, a concept previously beyond imagination.’
- The Shop of the Bookdealer Pieter Meijer Warnars on the Vijgendam in Amsterdam, Johannes Jelgerhuis, 1820 - Rijksmuseum
- Serverless on kubes - ‘Knative is adopted by 17% of respondents that use a hosted platform or installable software for serverless.’
- Podcast listening down - ‘The company also broke out podcasts by topic: news, sports, comedy, society and culture and true crime. Each topic saw a decrease in listeners since March 9, although the news category only saw a dip of 10 percent, making it by far still the most listened to subject. On the other end is true crime, once a growing subject for the sector. It’s audience has fallen by almost 30 percent since early March. The audience for sports has fallen far as well, by about 13 percent. ‘
- Let’s hope so - ‘Hopefully, this crisis will not only elevate the status of low-wage workers but spark a new wave of organizing to boost standards and build power across these “essential” industries. Because it’s low-wage workers — not bankers, landlords, or CEOs — who make our society run.’
- Looks pretty good, actually - ‘Sure, a cup of instant noodles is a quick and easy snack for one person. But if you turn it into almost-as-instant fried rice, you can feed more than one mouth. Plus, it’s just stupid delicious. ‘
- Well, that’s one view of right-wing thinking - ‘The right has an antimajoritarian, elitist agenda. Right-wing thought is essentially the belief that some people are destined to rule, and others are destined to be ruled over by their betters, and the world is best when the right people are atop the pyramid. Splits in the right are about who should rule: Dominionists want Christian men in charge; libertarians want bosses in charge, imperialists want America in charge, racists want white people in charge, etc.’
- You can never step in the same cash flow twice - ‘The central thing to remember about an economy is that it is not an absolute value of something, but one that is really based on flow rates. We think of it like it is an ocean with a certain amount of water when it is really more like a water park with funky rides that looks and feels like a lot of water because it is in high motion in a much smaller closed system. ‘
- Accountability is a threat - ‘“Accountability” is a setup for blaming down the road. That it is only ever used in a negative context (when was the last time you were held accountable for something good happening?). Accountability, when said by others, is often a thinly veiled threat. It is extrinsic, rather than intrinsic. Accountability is very different to people taking responsibility for something.’