The days are long but the decades are short

30) Existential angst is part of life. It is particularly noticeable around major life events or just after major career milestones. It seems to particularly affect smart, ambitious people. I think one of the reasons some people work so hard is so they don’t have to spend too much time thinking about this. Nothing is wrong with you for feeling this way; you are not alone.

Lots of advice that hit the right way in this post.


How to Stop Being Lazy

Redefine Failure.

Know Your Worst-Case Scenario.

Stay Relevant.

Work Towards The Fear.

This post made me feel seen and understood. Time to get going.


Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs' dynasty

Then comes the tip, and for this, Popovich is renowned. In 2017, he reportedly left a $5,000 tip on a bill of $815.73 at a restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, but one restaurant owner who's served Popovich many times reports that he'll often tip $10,000 on a "nothing meal," order bottles of wine for the kitchen staff and, upon leaving the restaurant, pull out a thick wad of cash and ask that it be delivered directly to said staff.

How much, in all, does Popovich spend annually on food and wine? That's hard to say. But he reportedly earns $11 million a year, the highest salary in the league for a head coach. Considering the offerings from his private wine label and that he holds thousands of bottles in his cellar, plots out dozens of high-end dinners per year at some of the country's most high-end restaurants, drops $20,000 on wine alone at some dinners, and routinely leaves exorbitant tips -- well, it's not a stretch to suggest that Popovich might ultimately drop a seven-figure annual investment on food and wine.

When I become wealthy, this is the kind of wealthy I want to be.


What I’ve Learned in 45 Years in the Software Industry

No. 2: Focus on the Fundamentals

Technology constantly changes, but some fundamental approaches to software development transcend these trends. Here are six fundamentals that will continue to be relevant for a long time.

  • Teamwork — Great teams build great software. Don’t take teamwork for granted.
  • Trust — Teams move at the speed of trust. Be the kind of dependable person you would want to work with.
  • Communication — Communicate honestly and proactively. Avoid the curse of knowledge.
  • Seek Consensus — Take the time to bring your whole team along. Let discussion and disagreement bring you to the best solution.
  • Automated Testing — Well-tested code allows your team to move fast with confidence.
  • Clean, understandable, and navigable code and design — Think of the next engineer that will take over your code as your customer. Build code that your successor won’t have any trouble reading, maintaining, and updating.

Super astute observations, many of which seemed to be hard-earned.


Secrets about People: A Short and Dangerous Introduction to René Girard

Perhaps one of the paradoxical benefits of the internet, in the long term, is shifting the way we think about peer relationships from “opt-out”, which it’s been since pretty much forever, towards “opt-in.”

In an opt-out peer set relationship, we default towards needing to look good in front of people; towards caring what people think, towards being embarrassed about aspects of ourselves, almost automatically – regardless of who the other person is. Not caring about what other people think has to be this deliberate act of bravery that’s hard to do.

But in an opt-in peer set relationship, we only people in as peers and role models selectively and deliberately; not caring about what most people think comes naturally, because it’s on by default.

I’ve personally been struggling with this concept for the last few weeks, and this article really helped set some things in perspective for me.


The Real Book

Like many jazz students, I grew up learning the standards, and despite not being an amazing jazz musician, I still came across a Real Book or two in my time.

The story behind the Fake Book and the Real Book is so enjoyable, and I think its impact on music is hard to overstate.

This 99% Invisible podcast episode on its origins and the attempt to uncover the identities of its authors is a great listen, especially if you enjoy the cross-section of jazz music and intellectual property rights like myself.


The Dinkytown McDonald’s has closed: Remembering the U of M’s Golden Arches

No one's nostalgic for the Dinkytown McD's. But some of us are nostalgic for who they were when they went there.

I think the author of this article laid it on pretty thick.

But to be fair, they were of an older generation of U of M alums, born to complain about the corporate raising of our beloved Dinkytown.

I have many fond memories of that McDonald’s. Back when I ate there, it certainly was a chance to, as they say in the article, “soak up the suds.”

My fondest memory there was right after Blarney’s closed the night I met my wife. I remember enjoying a burger and continuing our discussion on which animals would win in a fight.

The pull quote I chose for this piece, though, is right. I don’t care about McDonald’s. I just miss simpler times.

And maybe they’re simpler because they were manufactured in a way. My life isn’t manufactured much at all these days, leaving me in a constant state of anxiety and fear of what’s to come.

Maybe the closing of that McDonald’s aught to symbolize the start of something better. For myself, and for the next generation of alumni who pine for things to just stay the same for just a little longer.


This Is How To Change Someone’s Mind: 6 Secrets From Research

We need more discussions where no one is demonized, shamed and both sides are open to changing their mind. Not only is it more pleasant, but that harsh stuff doesn’t actually work. It just makes enemies more vicious. Yes, some topics will always be controversial and things won’t always go smoothly, but they don’t have to go badly.

Now it would be great if someone had taken the time to pull all the insights from peer-reviewed research, professional negotiations, cult exiting and applied epistemology into one book… Oh wait, someone has.


Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed

We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.


Inside the Great NBA Bubble Experiment

This was a wonderfully written account of life inside the NBA’s bubble that was formed during the COVID outbreak.

There are a ton of great stories, but this one actually made me laugh out loud:

Once, I played Heads Up! (the charades-like game where you hold your phone up to your forehead) with Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics at the end of an interview. The answer on the screen was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,” and the clue he gave me was “They be flying on brooms and shit.”