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veen  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 10, 2019

    No man is an island entire of itself; every man

    is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

    if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe

    is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as

    well as any manner of thy friends or of thine

    own were; any man's death diminishes me,

    because I am involved in mankind.

    And therefore never send to know for whom

    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

    - John Donne

It’s been a few crazy weeks for me lately. Now that the dust has settled again somewhat, I’ve noticed I’m immediately back in a reflexive mood that earlier weeks didn’t really allow me to have. Which in my case means I’ve read three books in a single week and have been thinking out loud about them with my SO, bless her patient heart.

One of my realizations is that I now know precisely which two factors stress me the fuck out. I don’t get phased by having a lot of work in front of me. Gimme a good axe and I’ll chop through it no problem. It’s having a lot of responsibility that gets me. There’s a large overlap between work to do and responsibility, but for me the difference is whether I’m the one who needs to figure out how to solve for x or not. Whether it’s my call or not to make.

The second factor is that if I’m responsible, I need to have some idea of how to connect the dots. Some vague (but not too vague) path from here to there. Doesn’t mean I need to have done it before - I can learn on the job - but if I don’t know how the hell I am going to solve something and it’s my responsibility to do so? That’s when I become waayyy too stressed out.

Which has happened numerous times in the past weeks. What’s also happened is that I’ve found my Get Out of Jail Free card, which is to ask for help with finding that path. It sounds simple, because that’s what it is for seemingly everyone else, but for me it’s not in my nature to do so. I’ve always solved things alone. I’ve always felt like an island, especially in my at times incredibly lonely teens. To relinquish my responsibility, my independence even in the slightest thus feels like defeat. It’s an admission of dependency that surely resembles a failure on my part to be the strong island I want to think I am.

Even though it really isn’t. I’m not here to fix the world on my own - I am part of the continent. Part of a network of colleagues who really can and do help me out when I need them. Supported by my SO, my friends, my family. Who are really there when I need them, if only I can muster the courage to just ask.

So that’s my goal for the foreseeable future. To keep asking.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The $1,200 bunk bed

I know you mean something else but I can't help but imagine a Goosebumps series about SF horrors. The Psycho Is A Bed Below. Return of the Juicero. The Curse of the Rent Agreement.

kleinbl00  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

(I would read the shit out of Return of the Juicero)

veen  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ONLYWATCH 2019

Can we nominate Breguet for Low Effort Entry of the Year? Looks like something you can buy at a mall.

That DeWitt is like way past the Maryland Point. I kinda dig it for being so dumb.

If I could pick one, I'd pick the AP.

Doubt other social media are any different.

veen  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: OPEN DISCUSSION DEM DEBATE TONIGHT

When Trump entered office I followed US politics much more closely for a while. It took me a while but reading Fire & Fury was for me the moment I decided I did not get anything of value out of this soap opera. I still care about the bigger picture, but there's not much interesting IMO here unless you're into political speculation.

The bigger picture that I do find interesting is that it seems to me is how radically left the Dems can or cannot be. I wonder what the party would look like with more AOC's at the top.

kleinbl00  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That twitter thread is everything that's wrong with Twitter

veen  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Doubt other social media are any different.

veen  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 26, 2019

Greetings from Cape Verde! Closest I've ever been to the equator. Good thing I have more than enough sunscreen.

Tomorrow's the meeting we're all here for, which is to discuss the (draft) report of the project to advice on the country's path towards electric mobility. It's great to have the last two months of work culminate in this trip. I'm happy with what I managed to pull off in such a short time. Definitely a good notch on my belt, so to speak.

But I am also very aware of how serious I'm taking the responsibility for this project. I feel like I care too much, that unless it's perfect and everyone's happy I have failed. Need to give less of a fuck, but I also don't want to be less carerful and responsible. Hm.

veen  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 19, 2019

Congrats dude! You've got this. Pandas is just Excel but Python'ed. Sklearn is a pretty simple & great tool to have in your toolkit. You'll probably only have to do applied linear algebra, which is much better than the course I did at the maths department. The trick there is to figure out some mental model of how to think about vectors and matrices. For me it really helped to visualize and draw them out for example.

blackbootz  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've bookmarked a "classic" MIT lecture by Dr. Gilbert Strang that came highly recommended for linear algebra. It just so happens that since I won't be starting the program until the fall, I can really prepare myself. Thanks for the encouraging words.

veen  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 19, 2019

I think you need to think about which values you hold high and which values you want to see reflected in your job. Do you care about stability and consistency or about innovation and new possibilities? About collaborating closely or doing your own thing? Do you want to venture into new directions, or do you want to dig deep into what you're doing? How much agency do you want? Then you can check how the two options align with those values.

Also something to consider is whether you can take elements of option A into option B. You have every right to have a serious conversation with the institution / your boss about this. Can you take what's interesting in the academic job and do that where you're at now? Can you discuss with the institution that you're afraid of failing and want more support?

Personally, I've come to realize that choosing a career path based on status (which is what you're actually saying when you talk about it being a boon to your career) is a dead end, a dependancy on extrinsic confirmation that's not necessary or helpful. Following your interests and scratching your own itch has brought me much farther than I had anticipated. I'd also try to focus on just the next year, maybe two.

zebra2  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

All good points. I know I’ve fallen victim to chasing status before. I actually applied to the academic position because it aligns with my interests and what I work well with in many ways. When I applied actually, the status was lesser than it is now. The job I’m being offered is actually expanded from the one I technically applied for. That’s both cool and scary.

Reviewing things about my current company pushes me a bit more towards leaving. They really aren’t paying great wages for what is typical. Reviews on Glassdoor et al really drive that home (although I take that with a grain of salt because I’ve never seen a company presented favorably on those sites). So maybe the future of staying here isn’t all that bright.

I’m wondering if I’m looking at my current position with a rose-tinted view because the 1) honeymoon phase hasn’t worn off and 2) it has the appeal of the path of least resistance.

veen  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 19, 2019

Deadline for first version of Cape Verde project: ~36 hours. Six days until I fly out there. My calendar this week looks like a clown barfed over it, with six different types of appointments / distractions happening alongside writing against a tight deadline, coordinating 5 authors in 3 countries. To complicate matters further I'm also trying to impress and work with / around the CEO and founder of the company. Lots of balls to keep in the air. Stress is noticably present. But the final runway is in sight and we're cleared for landing. After the presentation I'm gonna stay on the island for two more days on their dime because fuck it I've earned that.

Went to Andrew Bird yesterday. Bucket list item for me, as I've been a fan for almost a decade now I think? My girlfriend is also into his music so she went along. Had a great evening, although I feel like the acoustics were a bit off and didn't play well with my noise reduction earplugs. Makes me feel like an old fart but shit's loud, yo. Hard pass on hearing loss for me.

veen  ·  37 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Let's have a book thread! What have you been reading?

Oof, I've not been reading a lot lately. Most compelling read was David Wallace-Well's The Uninhabitable Earth, which you should not read if you're the kind of person who gets depressed easily by gazing into the abyss. I'm trying to not let it gaze into me.

I am also positively surprised by David Epstein's Range. goobster, this is that book that the Atlantic article from recently was taken from. Epstein argues that our view of linear (hyper-)specialization in careers and in life is wrong. The book is a bit all over the place and isn't always succesful in mimicking Dan Ariely's writing style, but in general I like it. It is a book that really resonates with what's been on my mind lately, that's for sure. blackbootz I think you too might find this very useful to read sometime this year, if only because he has good things to say about Econ majors.

veen  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 12, 2019

The St. Gereon basilica in Cologne is pushing back the dark!

Had a lovely weekend there. Gf and I celebrated one year of being together. It was lovely. I booked us an awesome hotel room in a former water tower, and it exceeded all my expectations. We mostly explored the city streets and sights and had good food. It was not as beautiful a city as I'd hoped, with the WW2 bombing and all, but that didn't matter much.

I'm very busy with the Cape Verde project at work. Coordination alone is a lot of work, and then I also need to deliver a report next Friday that's good enough for the presentation the week after on-site. I've also started wargaming my way to a more fulfilling job. The plan is now to get myself some Google-esque 20% development time, or to at least have something of that nature. It's what I love doing, it's what I'm good at and it's what the company needs to stay innovative.

veen  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Uber's Path of Destruction

    It has never been about being more monetarily efficient than taxis - it's always been about cloaking the externalities more effectively than taxis. Anyone paying attention to Uber's business model has known this from the get-go.

I agree that on the inside, it must've been known considering how they've acted over the years. But I remember the 'yay sharing economy' narrative quite well, as it was parroted by media, pundits and writers. Which was then slowly replaced by the 'but surely Uber's the futuurree' narrative.

I'd argue that they've made quite a cloak for themselves, that many did not see through. And I don't think it's entirely because people didn't pay attention - there's a reason they targeted journalists with their systems.

veen  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 5, 2019

Back home again! Had a wonderful time with kb, his family and bootz. Many good conversations, hikes and foods were had. (Except Hot Tamales. What the hell is wrong with you people.) To top it off, I was welcomed by my family when I arrived and was handed a beautiful card with an ultrasound on it. I’m gonna be an uncle for the first time! So happy for my big sister.

I did get hit with the jetlag hammer pretty hard on the way back here - haven’t had a proper night’s rest or productive day yet, coffee be damned. But that has to be up there on the list of first-worldliest of problems to have. I can’t complain, especially with a romantic weekend in Cologne coming up. I booked us a hotel room in a beautifully repurposed old water tower, which by the looks of it is going to be totally awesome.

veen  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: General Knowledge Norms, Updated.

There’s different things one can take away from this, like how incredibly fast the percentage of correct answers drops off. I found it interesting primarily because it so clearly shows just how my perception of general knowledge diverts from the norm; whether there was any through line in what kinds of questions I got right more often versus what I got wrong more often. (Geography/science and movies/pop culture, respectively.) I was surprised to learn that 18% of those asked think Africa is a country, and that more people knew about a chameleon than about a compass.

Plus it’s a fun game to play with one’s SO.

kleinbl00  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah- I dispute the "general" in "general knowledge."