permanent truths

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“To believe that our beliefs are permanent truths which encompass reality is a sad arrogance. To let go of that belief is to find safety.”Ursula K Le Guin (1929-2018)

@jessfraz: “Hire people who automate themselves out of a job. And then keep giving them jobs.” via @DustinKirkland

@Acuity_Design: “Hack events rush to solution doing/making. I’m still trying to frame the problem.”

@white_owly: “We can’t celebrate a shift to a short-term gig economy and complain about individual short-termism in the same breath.”

Every User a Neo, by @dsearls

It doesn’t matter if Facebook, Google and the rest have no malicious intent, or if they really do want to “bring the world closer together”, or to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” or to “develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible”. We need to be free and independent agents of our selves.

That can’t happen inside the client-server systems we’ve had online since 1995 and earlier—systems that might as well be called slave-master. It can’t happen as long as we always have to click “accept” to the terms and conditions of the online world’s incumbent systems. It can’t happen as long as everything useful in the online world requires a login and a password. Each of those norms are walls in what Morpheus called “a prison for your mind”.

We have to think and work outside all the walls in that prison.

Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms: The Play, via @merialc

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

Want to code? You better start teaching yourself. [this will apply to most professions, sooner or later]

All by myself: About 74 percent of software developers are at least partially self-taught. That’s essential in an industry that’s introducing new languages, frameworks, or tools on a frequent basis—the knowledge gained from a college degree lasts only so long.

Start early: The study found that 25 percent of developers learned to code before they could learn to drive. The UK had the highest share of early birds—about 11 percent of coders polled there started between the age of five and 10.

Where to learn: Interested? Most coders say they turn to the developer community Stack Overflow, as well as YouTube, to develop skills. Only 60 percent use good old-fashioned books to learn.

A reminder of how women fighting for the right to vote in the UK, about 100 years ago, were treated and portrayed: Anti-suffragette Postcards [now go back to the first quote on this post]

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