The story of my life in China is here.
It’s my birthday. I’m 68. I feel like pulling up a rocking chair and dispensing advice to the young ‘uns. Here are 68 pithy bits of unsolicited advice which I offer as my birthday present to all of you.
Great list. Some of the bits I like particularly:
- Being able to listen well is a superpower. While listening to someone you love keep asking them “Is there more?”, until there is no more.
- If you are looking for something in your house, and you finally find it, when you’re done with it, don’t put it back where you found it. Put it back where you first looked for it.
- Before you are old, attend as many funerals as you can bear, and listen. Nobody talks about the departed’s achievements. The only thing people will remember is what kind of person you were while you were achieving.
Stephen Anderson and Karl Fast in Figure It Out: Getting from Information to Understanding:
All cultures start with the ability to distinguish dark things from light things. This is followed by the recognition of red. After that, it might be the addition of yellow or green. And blue always seems to come last. Not every language follows the exact same path, but they adhere to this same general pattern.
One of the many odd things of the Vietnamese language is that both “blue” and “green” are “màu xanh”. In case you need to differentiate between the two you would add something like “of the sky” (màu xanh da trời) or “of the tree” (màu xanh lá cây).
I had one Vietnamese teacher that would mark the traffic light with “blue light” and the Korean presidential offices with “green house”.
Christopher Balding writing about China:
Second, better negotiation or communication will have little to no impact on Chinese government policy. A common argument whether it is on bilateral basis, whether the personnel at the negotiating table, or at international organizations, a common argument is that better communication or negotiation strategies will give the US influence. However, the CCP will never negotiate its authoritarian stranglehold on China willingly. The CCP will not change its intent to establish a loose alliance of global authoritarians as a bulwark against open democracy due to better PowerPoint slides from well meaning DC think tanks. The CCP will not change its policies on import substitution and policies after reading a report from about what is really in its best interest in a Washington Post oped. It has not happened in since the turn of the century and it is not going to happen going forward.
He goes on to suggest measures that could work.
Read the whole article. Great analysis.
–– James Baldwin
Ben Taub of The New Yorker followed Victor Vescovo who managed to dive to the deepest point of every ocean:
“Patrick retrieves a piece of equipment from the deepest point on earth, and it’s just me, going, ‘Yay, congratulations, Patrick.’ No one seemed to notice how big a deal it is that they had already made this normal—even though it’s not. It’s the equivalent of having a daily flight to the moon.” McCallum, in his pre-dive briefings, started listing “complacency” as a hazard.
“It’s quite mind-blowing, when you sit down and think about it, that, from the dawn of time until this Monday, there were three people who have been down there,” he said. “Then, in the last ten days, we’ve put five more people down there, and it’s not even a big deal.”
Read the article, look at the pictures.
In case you’re ever hit by another motorbike and break your tibial plateau, that’s what they’re gonna do. Just saying…
German singer-songwriter Reinhard Mey playing an open air concert in his garden, singing
The english translation of „A quarter to seven“ is especially good:
Dark heavy clouds gather on the horizon
Like a ragged grey quilt in the sky
Dusk sets in, darkness is rising
Lights going on by and by
“Where have you been so long, dinner is ready,
take your shoes off, they’re covered in loam”
Sometimes I wish it was once again a quarter to seven
And I wish I was back at home
d’strict specializes in “designing, making, and delivering breathtaking visual content on Digital Out of Home”:
Our first case of IP licensing, ‘WAVE’ with anamorphic illusion has been successfully revealed on a magnificent DOOH of COEX K-POP SQUARE, the largest & high-definition outdoor advertising screen in S.Korea at 80.1m (w) x 20.1M (h).
And waves made of balls:
Former Apple engineer David Shayer explains on TidBITS why he trusts Apple’s new exposure notification. He touches the internal processes that prevent excessive user tracking:
Once I had recorded how many times the Weather and Stocks apps were launched, I set up Apple’s internal framework for reporting data back to the company. My first revelation was that the framework strongly encouraged you to transmit back numbers, not strings (words). By not reporting strings, your code can’t inadvertently record the user’s name or email address. You’re specifically warned not to record file paths, which can include the user’s name (such as
/Users/David/Documents/MySpreadsheet.numbers). You also aren’t allowed to play tricks like encoding letters as numbers to send back strings (like A=65, B=66, etc.)
Next, I learned I couldn’t check my code into Apple’s source control system until the privacy review committee had inspected and approved it. This wasn’t as daunting as it sounds. A few senior engineers wanted a written justification for the data I was recording and for the business purpose. They also reviewed my code to make sure I wasn’t accidentally recording more than intended.
Read the whole thing. It’s fascinating.
Captain Picard and his crew stand in the transporter room and actor Patrick Stewart mixes up the terms:
Engage! No. Don’t engage… Emm… Energize! That’s what we say in this room. Energize!
The Pisano blog explaining the Sean Ellis Test:
Sean Ellis test was formed thanks to the experiences gained during the consultation period, and in a very short time, it became a standard throughout the industry. The most indicative question addressed to the clients in this qualitative test is as following:
How would you feel if you could no longer use our product? - Very disappointed - Somewhat disappointed - Not disappointed (it really isn’t that useful)
If the ratio of the answer “very disappointed” is more than %40, then well-done to you; that means you have the product/market fit.
First Round Review follows Credit Karma’s former Chief Product Officer Nikhyl Singhal. I love his term for the pre product/market phase:
Phase 1: “Drunken walk." The company’s goal is to experiment as much as possible to find product/market fit.
Anthony Daniels, who most famously portrays C-3PO in the Star Wars series of films, sits down with WIRED to discuss, in detail, the variety of costumes he has worn while filming Star Wars. Anthony explains just how he was able to fit into the costume and what his thoughts were when he first saw Ralph McQuarrie’s designs.
Jörg Blech, writing for Der Spiegel:
There are up to a billion viruses in our intestines alone – per gram of content.
Turns out those viruses are bacteriophages.
This isn’t an infection in any meaningful way. The phages aren’t hijacking human cells to make more copies of themselves, as viruses like influenza, Zika, or Ebola might. Instead, Barr thinks that the cells are in control. They’re actively engulfing phages, and shuttling them from one end to the other. Why?
They might help our immune system fight bacteria.