Installing apps is a blocker to use, as is Bluetooth

“What we can say is the quality of the Bluetooth connectivity for phones that have the app installed running in the foreground is very good,” he said. “And it progressively deteriorates and the quality of the connection is not as good as you get to a point where the phone is locked and the app is running in the background.”

Original source: How did the Covidsafe app go from being vital to almost irrelevant?

Just doing something is enough innovation for most organizations

“Most companies are not really struggling with the ability to innovate,” Hightower said. “A lot of the stuff that they’re going to use are tools and there was innovation that went into producing those tools. The innovative thing that we’re asking companies to do is just pick a tool, literally pick one of the 10 and as soon as you pick one then that will be the most innovative thing that some companies do in a long time. Literally picking something. Not building the thing. Not actually knowing how to actually leverage it 100%. Sometimes the biggest hurdle for most companies is just the picking part.”

Original source: Is COVID-19 a ‘Forcing Function’ for Cloud Native?

"in her old age Isak Dinesen only ate oysters and drank champagne"

Sometimes I could work two, three days and not sleep and I didn’t pay any attention to food, because… a can of sardines and a cup of tea and a piece of stale bread seemed awfully good to me. You know, I don’t care about food and my diet has very little variety. I read once that in her old age Isak Dinesen only ate oysters and drank champagne, and I thought what an intelligent solution to ridding oneself of meaningless decision-making.

— Daily Rituals: Women at Work by Mason Currey

Open art

This too is a requirement of art today. We need to give the spectator more room to penetrate into the work itself, and works which allow this are called ‘open’. It is a form of art that adapts itself to the artistic sense of the beholder. In times past people wanted the artist to explain in very clear terms exactly how he saw the world in every detail. The beholder was content to react to the personality of the artist, who in everyone’s eyes became a genius, the greatest, the one whom nobody could imitate. Today the person who looks at a work of art is more sensitive, more accustomed to simultaneous and intense stimuli, to brand new technical and scientific concepts, so he is no longer so interested in a ‘closed’ work of art. Art that is too defined, conclusive, and limited to one aspect of a thing, leaves a man of today standing isolated and apart: either he accepts the fait accompli or he gets nothing from it. There is very little actual participation involved. Everything that does not coincide with the particular vision of the artist has to be excluded. But in an open work of art a person participates much more, to the extent of being able to change the work of art according to his state of mind.

And, from another column on the tetracone:

The programmed art of today aims to show forms while they are in the process of becoming, and for this reason it cannot use forms such as painting and sculpture use. On the contrary, its means must be dynamic, and it must be prepared to make full use of motors and other industrial materials.

What really counts is the information which a work of art can convey, and to get down to this we have to abandon all our preconceived notions and make a new object that will get its message across by using the tools of our own time.

— Design as Art by Bruno Munari

He prefers Google Cloud

It’s not that AWS is harder to use than GCP, it’s that it is needlessly hard; a disjointed, sprawl of infrastructure primitives with poor cohesion between them. A challenge is nice, a confusing mess is not, and the problem with AWS is that a large part of your working hours will be spent untangling their documentation and weeding through features and products to find what you want, rather than focusing on cool interesting challenges.

Original source: Why I think GCP is better than AWS

Blogging as organizing, a commonplace book

It’s the writerly act of organizing and assembling inchoate thought that seems to helps me. That’s what I did with this blog; if I blogged something for “Beyond the Beyond,” then I had tightened it, I had brightened it. I had summarized it in some medium outside my own head. Posting on the blog was a form of psychic relief, a stream of consciousness that had moved from my eyes to my fingertips; by blogging, I removed things from the fog of vague interest and I oriented them toward possible creative use.

Original source: Farewell to Beyond the Beyond

The mechanics of black and white photography

The vast majority of her work is created in black and white or sepia tones. Her photographs strip her subjects back to their barest essence, often capturing a moment of raw honesty. The black and white image is fairly unique to photography, a medium which offers to capture the world exactly as it is for a fleeting moment of time. By creating the images in black and white, Arbus at once captures a fleeting moment of reality and also reminds us that she is the author of that image, stripping it of its colour and dictating the way we look at that moment.

Original source: Diane Arbus and the Use of Black and White

Common habits of creative people

From a book review:

Here are some things that highly creative people gravitate towards:

  1. lots of coffee!
  2. working hard but, surprisingly often for only a short burst of time. Many writers only work for 3 or 4 hours each morning. (Architects and painters on the other hand tend to work all day.)
  3. long walks. lots and lots of very long walks.
  4. eating the exact same meal every breakfast, and lunch etc. So you don’t have to waste time thinking about it. (It’s weird how often this one shows up— Ingmar Bergman, Glen Gould, Patricia Highsmith, Oliver Sacks, David Lynch.)
  5. alcohol to unwind . . . or some kind of daily “vigorous exercise” to unwind.
  6. avoiding social obligations.
  7. naps.
  8. habitual reading. often artists will re-read a handful of their favorite authors again and again.
  9. indulging in eccentricities. (Beethoven would pour giant pitchers of water over his hands each morning while he bellowed scales.)
  10. either being a very early bird or a night owl. It’s easier to concentrate when there is no one around to distract you.
  11. tobacco
  12. avoiding TV.

Original source: Anthony’s review of Daily Rituals

Goals for your software project business case

Set your cornerstone by understanding how you’ll impact revenue, cost, or risk. These are the things that keep CEOs up at night, so that’s where you need to focus your efforts. Will the improvement help you acquire new customers (increasing revenue), deflect unnecessary support cases (lowering costs), or improve employee retention (reducing risk)? These aren’t the only examples for business case anchors, but they give a flavor of how to frame the thinking around the blueprint for your structure.

Original source: Take These Three Steps To Build Your CX Improvement Business Case

Lack of agency can lead to lack of self-control

If we want to raise healthy, high-agency children, we should give them the freedom to make decisions without removing them from the consequences of those decisions. Giving children agency now will help them avoid a dark cycle of work, pain, and reckless release in the future. Even if a life of indulgent hedonism is fun in the short-term, it ultimately leaves a void in the heart.

Also, a hint of setting healthy expectations for yourself and kids, rather than being too lofty.

Original source: The Price of Discipline

TiKTok’s content evolution from dance videos to the usual meme-hacks

Most meme accounts on TikTok aren’t monetizing yet. But as they continue to share a deluge of messy, reposted and remixed content, they are slowly changing the nature of the platform. Especially for younger users, TikTok is no longer synonymous with dance challenges and skits, it’s where they go to consume news, commentary, and the most viral videos on the internet. And teenagers hope to dominate this new landscape.

Hey, I’ve got an account!

Original source: Memers are Taking Over TikTok

Staying home in restaurants

I travel a lot for work, which I love, but I am also prone to real bouts of homesickness. That's been true for as long as I can remember. My self-defense strategy over the years has been to make restaurants all over the world little outposts of home. People come to me sometimes for restaurant tips when they're traveling, and I think I'm pretty consistent in saying I have three favorite restaurants in the world: D'Chez Eux in Paris, Clancy's in New Orleans and Matricianella in Rome. I like pointing people to these places for the same reason I find myself returning to them: The ritual is something we can share, no matter the distance between us, and feel connected.

Original source: A letter from the great quarantine: Missing football, pasta and friendship

On bucket lists

I mean, death is quite different from a finish line. There’s nothing after the finish line. You can’t enjoy that you won the race, so it isn’t really … life is not a game in that sense, ‘Oh now I have done the seven things that I would like.’ I mean, yes, you know, I am well aware my time is limited, but I am not sure what conclusion to draw from it.

Original source: Wallace Shawn: ‘I live off doing animal voices in cartoons’

Nothing defined

Odell understands and acknowledges that doing nothing — by which she means taking time out of one’s day to engage in an activity without considering whether it’s productive — isn’t something that’s available to everyone. But her book is least convincing when she suggests that meaningful political change would follow if the strategies she has adopted were taken up en masse. Though she acknowledges that she’s lucky to be able to exercise the freedom to while away the hours in her favorite rose garden or to go bird-watching, Odell seems to disregard just how individualistic her strategies are. She lives an artistic life, one that lends itself wonderfully to aesthetic expression but is less useful in the political realm.

Original source: A Manifesto for Opting Out of an Internet-Dominated World

The decline of old school high culture, novels edition

Joseph Bottum mentions Andrew Ferguson’s cocktail-party test for books—would you be embarrassed at a cocktail party for not having read it?—and notes the last such novel Ferguson cites passing this test was Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities in 1987.


Now that visual art has lost its import, now that poetry seems to have become an insular and thereby minor art, now that modern classical music has long been unable to command support, the entire realm of what used to be called high culture seems not so much in abeyance or even in retreat but in ashes. This high culture gave those of us enamored of it intimations of an elevated life, however far it might have been out of our reach, a life lived deeper down and beyond quotidian concerns. We can, of course, continue to live on the high culture of the past, with the great music of Austria and Germany, the painting of Italy, Holland, and France, the literature of Russia, Western Europe, and America, most of it produced a hundred and more years ago. Painful, nevertheless, is it to contemplate that further production in these magnificent lines of culture may well be closing down, and that contemporary culture henceforth will consist of streamed movies made chiefly from comic-book characters, video games, and graphic novels.

I dunno. A shift in mediums is fine. The question is: is the content still good?

Original source: What Happened to the Novel?