Of Statistics and Other Mythical Beasts | Philip Jenkins
"Statistics, after all, don’t measure behavior, they measure recorded behavior."

This is an important point which is easily overlooked. You cannot trust data from any measurement process that you don't understand. Some patterns are in the behavior, some are in the measurement process. Without a proper mental model of the measurement process, you will put yourself at risk of hubristic decisions.
statistics  sociology 
4 days ago
Silicon Valley Liberalism | Thing of Things
Several of the anti-regulation positions commonly held by libertarians and what Ozy calls "Silicon Valley liberals" tend to prompt incredulity in liberals elsewhere, especially opposition to minimum wage laws. This article does a good job of succinctly describing the anti-regulation position, which I think is well worth understanding. Otherwise, it's all too easy to paint anti-regulation factions as mustache-twirling robber barons.

I would not personally be willing to ditch minimum wage laws without a comprehensive social safety net. I'd rather have the government provide guarantees to get people above a cost-of-living threshold than put that in the hands of private corporations. Being dependent on the goodwill of employers and the norms for what benefits they provide is a little bit too modern feudalism for my taste.
politics  libertarianism 
22 days ago
Zebras Fix What Unicorns Break – Jennifer, Mara, Astrid & Aniyia – Medium
I heartily endorse the radical proposition that a business should focus its effort on earning profit directly from its product, rather than from chasing perception of some unstated future second-order profit that would follow mass adoption. While some companies that I admire have been built with mass venture capital funding, too many others have diluted a good, core product by chasing ding-dong ideas in the hopes of satisfying expectations of their investors.

Looking at you, Twitter and Evernote.
business  startups 
23 days ago
In defense of Functional CSS | Mike Crittenden's Blog
I know so little about writing good CSS, but this argument seems plausible to me. I believe that I will try either Tachyons or Tailwind for my next web development project.
css  webdevelopment 
23 days ago
Beeminding my comprehensive exams – Lawrence Evalyn
Excellent case study on how to set quantifiable targets for work towards a nebulous goal. I will definitely try Beeminding entries added to an annotated bibliography.
quantified-self  learning  beeminder 
27 days ago
Sprints, marathons and root canals
The notion of a fixed budget for sustainability tasks reminds me of Donald Reinertsen’s concept of decentralized decision making with centralized principles and rules. In his example, Boeing have engineers leeway to spend up to $500 of build cost in an airplane for an improvement that could shave off a kilogram.

Rather than going though the costly exercise of trying to come up with payoff functions for technical work — where the cost-of-delay tends to either be zero or SUDDEN EXISTENTIAL RISK — instead just set aside discretionary time budget for continual work on sustaining features.

I have seen teams do this successfully, although what often happens is that the sustainability work gets done because a senior developer has the credibility to just take the time without permission, rather than waiting for an explicit budget to be set.

Still, when sustainability tasks are deferred long enough the magnitude of the clean-up can exceed any reasonable budget. Then work will have to be prioritized alongside feature work.
productmanagement  process  prioritization  softwaredev 
28 days ago
build impossible programs by Julia Evans – Deconstruct
Julia Evans tells the story of how she carved out time to build rbspy, her Ruby profiler, despite lacking experience in Ruby internals, systems programming, and not working on nights and weekends. Along the way, she learned how to code in Rust, how to compile and unit test against a wide variety of Ruby versions, and how to carve out time for ambitious work using sabbaticals and fellowships.

Julia is one of my heroes, because of her tremendous enthusiasm and gumption. She tackles hard problems in a spirit of chaotic fun and turns her learning into art and inspiration for others.
rust  debug  gumption 
29 days ago
Should a Distributed Company Hold All-Team Meetings?
Baron Schwartz breaks down the systemic cost of trying to do whole-company in person off-sites, like Automattic does. Definitely helps me see the virtues of gathering teams incrementally, the way my employers have tended. Aside from reducing impact on the business, it has fewer negative effects on families.
4 weeks ago
The N-queens Problem  |  Optimization  |  Google Developers
Example of solving the N-queens problems using constraint programming in the Google OR-tools library.
constraintprogramming  optimization  ortools 
5 weeks ago
Optimization  |  Google Developers
Looks like Google created this open source library of optimization procedures, which includes a constraint programming solver. Hasn't been updated for a year, but it was easy to get up and running in Python.
optimization  math  google  programming  constraintprogramming 
5 weeks ago
Known: social publishing for groups and individuals
Content management tool for self-hosting social-media like content as well as a blog, with syndication to Twitter, etc.
5 weeks ago
JuMP — Julia for Mathematical Optimization — JuMP -- Julia for Mathematical Optimization 0.18 documentation
This library looks like a Julia interface to a variety of off-the-shelf optimization libraries.
julialang  optimization 
5 weeks ago
discreteoptimization/assignment: Assignments and Graders for Discrete Optimization on Coursera
This repository hosts all the assignments and grading rubrics for the Discrete Optimization course. Instead of pre-emptively downloading all of the course material so I can work at my own pace, I can always get what I need here.
5 weeks ago
How Important is Growth?
Scott Young distinguishes between habits that are aiming for maintenance versus growth. Are you an athlete? Than progressive goals (lifting heavier, running faster) probably make sense. But if your aim is to maintain health and energy so you can focus on other things, aim for consistency instead of progression.
habits  growth 
5 weeks ago
Home — Gordon Brander
Excellent pattern/wiki site. Would love to build something along these lines.
7 weeks ago
About | Buttondown
An interesting newsletter tool – maybe an alternative to TinyLetter?
email  marketing  tools 
8 weeks ago
CSS Tools: Reset CSS
Eric Meyer's CSS reset stylesheet, recommended by Ethan Marcotte in Responsive Web Design.
css  webdesign 
8 weeks ago
Habit Fields · An A List Apart Article
This is an excellent article describing how environmental cues associate with behavior.
behavior  habit  environment 
9 weeks ago
Ryan Singer: Products Are Functions
This is an excellent metaphor for considering what role a product plays for its user. Very Herbert A. Simon.
design  software  strategy 
9 weeks ago
Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library - The Awl
Description of David Foster Wallace's self-help library and the themes of addiction and mental health through his work.
self-improvement  writing  addiction  depression 
9 weeks ago
Augmenting Long-term Memory
Guide to the why behind Anki and practices for using it.
learning  memory  anki 
10 weeks ago
What’s Your Problem?
Luc Beaudoin argues that research should be driven by problems. Defining a problem so that it can be solved is often a major undertaking – see David Chapman "How to Think Real Good".
research  effectiveness  knowledge  learning 
10 weeks ago
Google Flights
This is a profoundly better tool for searching flights than Kayak.
10 weeks ago
Cybernetics Versus Informatics: Understanding the Type Wars
Exposition on the intellectual history behind two major strains in programming language and software design: category-theory influenced type systems and dynamic adaptation.
cognition  programming  PLT 
10 weeks ago
SBT baby steps
Slides introducing how to use SBT.
scala  sbt 
march 2018
Importing Scripts · JXA-Cookbook/JXA-Cookbook Wiki
The JXA Cookbook explains how to use JavaScript libraries in JavaScript for Automation on macOS.
february 2018
The Generalized Specialist: How Shakespeare, Da Vinci, and Kepler Excelled
Interdisciplinary knowledge is what allows us to see with new eyes.
december 2017
This looks like wildly awesome text processing library.
javascript  dev 
december 2017
Big Data, Small Effort
Big Data, Small Effort – Track Changes via Instapaper http://ift.tt/2yOI4OY

Short description of why datasette is such a cool application.
IFTTT  Instapaper  database  open 
december 2017
Know Your Competition
Good mental model for the kinds of competition faced in different domains and how to think about the sort of conditions that are needed to succeed in them.
competition  success 
december 2017
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