Coté's Commonplace Book #41

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Coté's Commonplace Book #41
By Coté • Issue #41 • View online
I’m a Texan, so cold weather is always welcome. Rain and cold weather is even better. Here in Amsterdam, people apologize for the rainy weather, they seem to dread it. I suppose it you’d lived all of your 41 years in a gray and wet city, you’d be sick of it too. Just like I’m sick-numb to the heat of Hill Country. There are other tells to the Amsterdammers longing for sun: many of them have deep tans. I imagine the British are the same way. A deep tan, even that too much sun face patina means you’ve escaped the moist gloom, of only for a few weeks in August. But us over-warmed Texans, we can’t get enough of that chilly gloom. We can actually wear jackets and sweaters now, rain slickers. After two years I’m sure we’ll be sick of it. But that cicada orchestra filled heat is always there, waiting to snuggle you into a puddle.

Original programming
the delight of looking over people’s shoulder - Cashed Out #12
The 2018 State of DevOps Report, a gander - Software Defined Talk  #146
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION!!1!
I posted to more excerpts from the book I’m working on. In doing so, I also wrote a table of contents page with a punchy introduction. Punch, punch.
Team composition: not all ninjas
A series of small projects, building momentum to scale
An ask
We need more reviews for Software Defined Talk over in iTunes. It’s a sniveling thing to ask, but, really, it’s a joy to see reviews. Hopefully it leads to more listeners. We have around 2,000 to 3,000 downloads an episode now, which is pretty good for the topic and format. Still, think of all the people that aren’t hearing my ranting because the machine learning isn’t getting us high up enough in the you should listen lists. It’s a crime. So, be a dear, go write a review, only a positive one, of course. I’m not an idiot.
Another time
I can never remember the attribution, but one of my favorite quotes ends with the suggestion that the highest form of reading is sheer appreciation of style, over entertainment and “make you think” substance. Those two are fine, of course, but just enjoying the style is the poetic experience. This applies here:
Sir Mortimer and Magnus, 1974
Sir Mortimer and Magnus, 1974
Computer maths
Looks about right.
Looks about right.
Home Office.
Home Office.
Reading
I’ve managed to find time to read books this week.
I started Sharper Objects after watching the series. I’m always interested to look at how an author pulls of such a successful story. So far, I don’t have any searing insights. It’s just interesting and easy to read. That’s insight enough.
My highlights so far:
  • “I was already tired of talking, and I’d said very little.”
  • “I wished then that I hadn’t sucked down so much vodka. My thoughts were vaporizing, I couldn’t hold on to what he was saying, couldn’t ask the right questions.”
  • vulpine
Meanwhile, there’s always the Noise in Your Head book. After a good first start, around 75% done I’m still waiting for the parlor trick to be explained so it can be believed. So far, we’re still at “just tell anxiety to punch you in the face harder and then…” it will mysteriously stop punching you in the face?
For example:
We must “act as though” in our daily lives. If we didn’t, we could never accomplish anything. We couldn’t assume that the water from the faucet was clean. We couldn’t assume that gravity would continue to keep us grounded or that the earth would continue to spin. We make these assumptions without thinking about them. “Acting as though” allows us to take action. “Acting as though” permits us to drive to the beach on a day when there are no clouds and zero obligations.
Fake it until you make it. Got it.
“I’ve already decided that these worries are noise. Even though I feel insecure about that decision right now, I’m going to act as though the content is irrelevant. I’m going to step toward this challenge and see what I learn.” This will require your courage, because you are going to feel scared and step forward despite that fear.
Hmm, so to change your mind you just get brave enough to be able to change your mind, or at least act as if you’ve changed your mind. Yup.
To some extent, this “be courageous, and accept that you’ll fail and, keep reminding yourself that you’re fucked in the head” advice is serviceable:
If your goal is to take on the challenge, you cannot wait until you are certain you have enough skills, because certainty is not available to you beforehand. If you delay, waiting for your confidence to show up, then you’ll be waiting indefinitely. Therefore, it’s best to act as though you have enough skills to face the challenge. This too will be a courageous act.
The mindfulness stuff is still sort of interesting, if only as a reminder to observe yourself as if it were another self, and manage accordingly, e.g.,
This “mindfulness” is something you can adopt as well. Be alert when you’re approaching a scene where you tend to worry, and then mentally prepare yourself for how you want to respond. Because once you enter the scene, once you begin the activity, you will become more vulnerable to your worries, and it will be harder to break out of the pattern.
Have the courage to finish the book!
I’ve been reading The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World to my son. He loves it. It fits the bill for a kid who reminds us every day that he wants to be a paleontologist
Turns out
From the notebook
And finally...
Did you enjoy this issue?
Coté
By Coté

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