bankbryanbundles1980s   13
A Spreadsheet Way of Knowledge
"All this powerful scenario-testing machinery right there on the desktop induces some people to experiment with elaborate models. They talk of 'playing' with the numbers, 'massaging' the model. Some, like Theodore Stein of Connecticut Mutual, admit that their habit goes beyond the point of diminishing returns: 'I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I spend at this,' he said. 'This is my pet, in a way. Scratching its ears and brushing its code…it’s almost an obsession.' Spreadsheet models have become a form of expression, and the very act of creating them seem to yield a pleasure unrelated to their utility."
a:Steven-Levy  p:Harper's-Magazine★  d:1984.11  w:5500  spreadsheets  accounting  business  from twitter
december 2014 by bankbryan
Flying Upside Down
"Carl Alsing had often heard West use the phrase 'flying upside down.' The inspiration for it evidently came from a friend of West’s who used to do that very thing in his airplane. By the term, West seemed to mean the assumption of large risks, and the ways in which he applied it left Alsing in no doubt that flying upside down was supposed to be a desirable activity, the very stuff of a vigorous life. Ed Rasala acknowledged that West made a project more dramatic, 'definitely more dramatic' than it had to be. Rasala smiled at the thought, however, and he did believe it when West said that they had to fly upside down in order to ship Eagle on time. As for Alsing, he admired West’s style: 'I screamed and hollered over NAND gates and microinstructions when we built the first Eclipse, but I’m too old to feel that way about computers now. This would be crashingly dull if I was doing it for someone else. West is interesting. He’s the main reason why I do what I do.'"
a:Tracy-Kidder  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:1981.07  w:9000  hardware  management  work  time  from iphone
july 2014 by bankbryan
The Best-Kept Secret in American Journalism is Murray Kempton
"In an era when reporters thrust themselves into the foreground of their stories, Kempton is a man apart. He is a perpetual outsider, a careful observer who learns by keeping his eyes and ears open. His obscurity is one of the secrets of his craft. 'It is a fundamental fact about journalism,' he has written, 'and might even be a rule if it had the attention it deserves—that it is next to impossible to judge any public figure with the proper detachment once you begin calling him by his first name.'"
a:David-Owen★★  p:Esquire★★  d:1982.03  w:6500  profile  journalism  newspapers  from instapaper
january 2013 by bankbryan
The Alice and Bob After Dinner Speech
"Alice has a number of serious problems. She and Bob only get to talk by telephone or by electronic mail. In the country where they live the telephone service is very expensive. And Alice and Bob are cheapskates. So the first thing Alice must do is MINIMIZE THE COST OF THE PHONE CALL. The telephone is also very noisy. Often the interference is so bad that Alice and Bob can hardly hear each other. On top of that Alice and Bob have very powerful enemies. One of their enemies is the Tax Authority. Another is the Secret Police. This is a pity, since their favorite topics of discussion are tax frauds and overthrowing the government."
a:John-Gordon  d:1984.04  w:4000  speech  security  communication  information  encryption  from instapaper
november 2012 by bankbryan
I am a human being
"You are agents. Your role is to help and encourage my career and my creativity. Your role is not to place me in personal emotional turmoil. Your role is not to threaten to destroy my family's livelihood if I don't do your bidding. I am not an asset; I am a human being. I am not a painting hung on a wall; I am not a part of a chess set. I am not a piece of meat to be 'traded' for other pieces of meat. I am not a child playing with blocks. This isn't a game. It's my life. I think the biggest reason I can't stay with you has to do with my children. I have taught them to fight for what's right. What you did is wrong. I can't teach my children one thing and then, on the most elemental level, do another. I am not that kind of man. So do whatever you want to do, Mike, and fuck you. I have my family and I have my old manual imperfect typewriter and they have always been the things I've treasured the most."
a:Joe-Eszterhas  p:Letters-of-Note★★  d:1989.10.03  w:2000  letter  work  family  film 
october 2012 by bankbryan
Some Jews & The Gays
"The family, as we know it, is an economic, not a biological, unit. I realize that this is startling news in this culture and at a time when the economics of both East and West require that the nuclear family be, simply, God. But our ancestors did not live as we do. They lived in packs for hundreds of millennia before 'history' began, a mere 5,000 years ago. Whatever social arrangements human society may come up with in the future, it will have to be acknowledged that those children who are needed should be rather more thoughtfully brought up than they are today and that those adults who do not care to be fathers or mothers should be let off the hook. This is beginning slowly, to dawn. Hence, the rising hysteria in the land. Hence, the concerted effort to deny the human ordinariness of same-sexualists."
a:Gore-Vidal  p:The-Nation  d:1981.11.14  w:7000  gay  family  sex  religion  history  NYC  Jews  from instapaper
october 2012 by bankbryan
Beam Me Out Of This Death Trap, Scotty
"Estimating a cost of $5 billion to $6 billion, NASA got its launch-commit for this design in 1972. The agency explained that having a crew of pilots aboard would add 'flexibility' and 'new dimensions' to space flight, but otherwise NASA wasn't terribly specific about what the astronauts would do. It was assumed that with the horse under construction some carriage maker would build something for it to pull--a space mission only a shuttle could handle. Meanwhile, petting the animal became an obsession. It would be 'the dawn of a new age' (Nixon), a 'breakthrough' (Ford), the first 'commuting to space' (Carter). James Gehrig, staff director of the Senate Commerce Committee's space and science subcommittee, sums up the two features that shuttle backers have cited again and again: its 'wonderful advantages of higher payloads and lower costs.' NASA planned the first launch for 1977. Didn't quite make it that year, and won't this year. NASA officials won't be too upset if it doesn't fly next year either because when you're not launching them, you don't have to explain awkward things like higher costs and lower payloads."
a:Gregg-Easterbrook★  p:Washington-Monthly★  d:1980.04  w:8500  space  economics  science 
july 2012 by bankbryan
Broken Windows
"Ordinarily, no judge or jury ever sees the persons caught up in a dispute over the appropriate level of neighborhood order. That is true not only because most cases are handled informally on the street but also because no universal standards are available to settle arguments over disorder, and thus a judge may not be any wiser or more effective than a police officer. Until quite recently in many states, and even today in some places, the police made arrests on such charges as 'suspicious person' or 'vagrancy' or 'public drunkenness'—charges with scarcely any legal meaning. These charges exist not because society wants judges to punish vagrants or drunks but because it wants an officer to have the legal tools to remove undesirable persons from a neighborhood when informal efforts to preserve order in the streets have failed."
a:James-Q-Wilson  a:George-L-Kelling  p:The-Atlantic★★  d:1982.03  w:7000  NYC  law-enforcement  crime  society  social-interaction  law  experiment  community  cities  history  ethics 
march 2012 by bankbryan
Insider Baseball
"American reporters 'like' covering a presidential campaign (it gets them out on the road, it has balloons, it has music, it is viewed as a big story, one that leads to the respect of one’s peers, to the Sunday shows, to lecture fees and often to Washington), which is one reason why there has developed among those who do it so arresting an enthusiasm for overlooking the contradictions inherent in reporting that which occurs only in order to be reported. They are willing, in exchange for 'access,' to transmit the images their sources wish transmitted. They are even willing, in exchange for certain colorful details around which a 'reconstruction' can be built, to present these images not as a story the campaign wants told but as fact."
a:Joan-Didion  p:The-New-York-Review-of-Books★  d:1988.10.27  w:10000  DC  politics  elections  language  journalism  1988-election  media  nostalgia  race 
february 2012 by bankbryan
Charles Bukowski on Censorship
"Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist."
a:Charles-Bukowski  p:Letters-of-Note★★  d:1985.07.22  w:500  letter  literature  gay  race  books 
november 2011 by bankbryan
Annie Leibovitz vs. Jann Wenner: My favorite exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum
"If all these points are agreeable and in addition to your March 1, 1982, letter comprise our 'letter of understanding' between us, please sign two copies of this and return them to me and your rates for work undertaken on the 20-25 covers for the next year will be $2500 fee per cover, $3200 each cover with one significant inside shot, and standard rates for additional shots.
I *am* the boss,
Jann S. Wenner
Editor & Publisher"
a:Jann-Wenner  a:Annie-Leibovitz  d:1982.03  w:500  letter  photography  business 
october 2011 by bankbryan
Playboy Interview: Steven Jobs
"I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back. And that’s what I may try to do. The key thing to remember about me is that I’m still a student. I’m still in boot camp. If anyone is reading any of my thoughts, I’d keep that in mind. Don’t take it all too seriously. If you want to live your life in a creative way, as an artist, you have to not look back too much. You have to be willing to take whatever you’ve done and whoever you were and throw them away. What are we, anyway? Most of what we think we are is just a collection of likes and dislikes, habits, patterns. At the core of what we are is our values, and what decisions and actions we make reflect those values. That is why it’s hard doing interviews and being visible: As you are growing and changing, the more the outside world tries to reinforce an image of you that it thinks you are, the harder it is to continue to be an artist, which is why a lot of times, artists have to go, 'Bye. I have to go. I’m going crazy and I’m getting out of here.' And they go and hibernate somewhere. Maybe later they re-emerge a little differently."
a:David-Sheff  a:Steve-Jobs  p:Playboy★★  d:1985.02  w:17000  Steve-Jobs  Apple  interview  death  technology  design  Microsoft  hardware  software  business  future  internet  education  time  cars 
september 2011 by bankbryan
"General Sands cheerfully remarks that every time he makes one of these trips he gets 'beaten on the head and shoulders.' He continues, 'In most water-resources stories, you can identify two sides. Here there are many more. The crawfisherman and the shrimper come up within five minutes asking for opposite things. The crawfishermen say, "Put more water in, the water is low." Shrimpers don’t want more water. They are benefitted by low water. Navigation interests say, "The water is too low, don’t take more away or you’ll have to dredge." Municipal interests say, "Keep the water high or you’ll increase saltwater intrusion." In the high-water season, everybody is interested in less water. As the water starts dropping, upstream farmers say, "Get the water off of us quicker." But folks downstream don’t want it quicker. As water levels go up, we divert some fresh water into marshes, because the marshes need it for the nutrients and the sedimentation, but oyster fishermen complain. They all complain except the ones who have seed-oyster beds, which are destroyed by excessive salinity. The variety of competing influences is phenomenal.'"
a:John-McPhee★  p:The-New-Yorker★★  d:1987.02.23  w:28500  engineering  infrastructure  nature  disaster  history  New-Orleans  United-States 
may 2011 by bankbryan
1980s 11 tags


(removed prefix d: for easier reading)

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