Broken brains

When ‘you think mental illness’, according to Piper, ‘you think schizophrenia and crazy people, and I’m not crazy, I just get really nervous.’ In making this distinction, interviewees like Piper and Jenna not only claimed that they were less impaired than the seriously mentally ill, they also insisted that their experience was categorially different. Piper said of herself that biologically something is just ‘a little off’. She has ‘too little or too much or whatever it is that makes you have these issues’. Distinct from ‘crazy people’, she has control over her mind and her story. All she needs is a little pill. Yet at the same time, her ‘condition’ is also different from the mundane challenges that normal people might face. Piper was adamant that her nervousness in social situations is different from ordinary shyness. Her taking of medication is warranted. She has a third condition caused by an ‘imbalance’.

He goes onto say, not in these words really, that (a) there's still a huge self- and social-stigma, and (b) it's more important for those with broken brains to talk about what they do day to day, how they struggle and succeed in life.

One of the most frustrating things with mental stuff is that the diagnosis of it is so…magical. It's hard to distinguish when you brain is broken versus your life, versus you "self." I think what this dude is suggesting is that it sort of doesn't matter: what matters is what you do after the diagnosis to cope and keep living.

Original source: Let’s avoid talk of ‘chemical imbalance’: it’s people in distress

Puppet raises more money, wants to shift from point product positioning to solutions

She also wants to shift from talking about solutions for solving specific use cases, to putting their products into a business context. Wassenaar wants to Puppet to be a leader in a “container-based world.”

“Puppet’s technology runs some of the world’s most critical businesses in the most demanding environments, from financial services to government agencies,” said Yvonne Wassenaar said in a statement. “This new capital will allow us to accelerate our go-to-market efforts and further fuel our innovation investments — from extending the power of Puppet Enterprise in the areas of continuous automation, compliance and patching to our newly-launched event-driven automation solution Relay, built to extend Puppet’s expertise into cloud-native and API-driven environments.”

Puppet this year added former Cloud Foundry Foundation Executive Director Abby Kearns as chief technology officer, and former VMware exec Erik Frieberg as chief marketing officer.

The new capital is a debt round, TechCrunch reported. Puppet has raised $150 million from investors over the years.

Original source: Portland cloud infrastructure automation startup Puppet raises $40M

Not a social device

The Walkman (briefly called the Soundabout) debuted in most places outside of Japan in 1980. The early versions were bulky and — in a misunderstanding of how the device would change listening — came with an extra headphone port for a friend. A button paused the music and activated a microphone so the paired listeners could talk to each other. Sony jettisoned these features once it was clear users preferred to listen on their own in sonic isolation.

I can imagine going off on a jag about anti-social anti-networks: things, “places” that are for being alone and not connected. That’s Apple, in some way, at least with the relationship between the person and the device. People might choose to use Apple’s stuff to publish in and connect to social networks, but it’s not what Apple products are intended for: a social network of one.

Original source: The Soundabout

Work less

What he told, is that it would be possible and achievable, but he didn’t take into account the madness on humankind. He didn’t think that someone who had a chance to work a few hours a day, be healthy, happy and afford a nice living would be crazy enough to exchange all that for lot of stress, no free time, little sleep and 10 hour workday just to afford bunch of status related commodities with which he would be able to impresses other people that also work their ass off and feel miserable. He just couldn’t picture that, and I can’t blame him, because I’m having a hard time picturing that myself, even when I see this everywhere around me.

Linked in I from Tim Bray’s recent comment on too much efficiency driving humaneness out of work, life.

Some ideologists of Capitalism think that every business should try to make every job a vocation, that people should be delighted with their work, with the benefit (for the capitalist) that you don’t have to hire that many. One famous example of this thinking is at UPS, the delivery company, whose leaders wanted the delivery people to “bleed brown”.

Yeah. Beware of that, yee individual contributors.

Original source: The misunderstood 15 hour work week of John Maynard Keynes

Rackspace shifted from OpenStack IaaS to managing services for larger organizations

In 2016, sales processes were focused on the sale of a narrow group of point products, most notably our OpenStack Public Cloud and Single Tenant (managed hosting) offerings, the company says. Today, the sales process uses a professional services-driven approach, providing holistic multicloud solutions to meet customers’ objectives and evolving those solutions over the full lifecycle of their cloud journey. Rackspace also increased its focus on serving enterprise customers, defined as companies that generate $1 billion or more in revenue per year.


Original source: Rackspace IPO Plan: How Multi-Cloud MSP Pivoted Under Private Equity Ownership

SUSE buys Rancher


The Register imagines that the companies’ respective PR teams probably didn’t ever draft the following: “With Red Hat now backed by IBM and its OpenShift K8s stack doing rather nicely, and VMware using all its muscle and Dell connections to push its Tanzu K8s offering, both SUSE and Rancher risked being left behind. This transaction keeps them both in the game and hopefully capable of catching the containerisation and K8s waves.”

An off-the-record comment from an industry analyst to The Register suggested the deal is a good one for Rancher, which otherwise faced the possibility of being hoovered up by a minor K8s player like Cisco or NetApp that would have bought it to bolster thin efforts that would have little chance of long-term success. As a SUSE deal puts Rancher amidst a recognisably useful combination of technologies, the latter’s K8s tech has a better chance of thriving.

Some other coverage.

Original source: Rancher rides off into the SUSE-set after acquisition by Linux outfit

Adoption COVID tracking apps in Germany, India, and Korea: rocky

So much worry over privacy, which in this case, is that the government will use the tracing information to, I don’t know, force you to quarantining. Also, theirs the long term storage of tracking that could be used by future bad actors for bad things. Dunno.

Those kinda of concerns, even a whiff of them, are anathema to American culture. Plus:

Americans’ trust in government is near an all-time low. Concerns about the government and tech companies accessing citizens’ data have been heightened in recent years with a string of revelations, from Edward Snowden to Cambridge Analytica, and citizens are worried about privacy breaches and misuse of data.

There is also no cohesive nationwide plan to deploy such apps. The White House, federal agencies and state governments have failed to champion them, which means that adoption rates are likely to be low and people won’t see enough value in using them to risk their privacy. Apps may appear in pockets – companies, college campuses, local communities – creating a fragmented, unreliable system of digital contact tracing.

Original source: Digital Contact Tracing’s Mixed Record Abroad Spells Trouble for US Efforts to Rein in COVID-19

Kubernetes, the missing parts

It can be the case that IT miscalculates how complex it is to run highly available and secure applications on top of Kubernetes. K8s demands a particular level of expertise to maintain it in production with your software running on top. Things like service health checks, infrastructure monitoring, application instrumentation, deployment strategies, networking, VM security, container security and many others, all need requisite planning. Don’t attempt the DIY route unless you have the requisite level of in-house expertise. K8s is not a single executable, running on a single server — it is a conglomerate of different applications and network layers, closely integrated to produce the final solution.

It’s a marketing pitch, but still, any list of the missing parts is good.

Original source: For Enterprises, Kubernetes Is Worth the Investment

Management needs to let go when putting agile in place

Our natural tendency to step in and solve the problems for our people robs the organization of learning and adapting, which makes them very fragile to change and worse overly dependent on leadership.

A good case study of moving an organization to an agile (Scrum) management structure. It’s only three product teams, so no "large organization," but good nonetheless.

Original source: A 6 Month Cultural Transformation with Scrum

Being successful at complete failure

The Star Trek months were, psychically speaking, a necessary idleness, an uncoiling, not unlike sitting motionless in the woods, waiting for woodland life to reassert itself, one squirrel at a time.


Part of the matter which was taking form was a tendency, on my part, to schizoid retreat. It was a tendency to which, in quitting my job, I gave full rein.

Schizoid has nothing to do with schizophrenic, apart from the etymology. As I understand it, it is characterised by a pronounced preference for your own company.

Carl Jung, psychologist and noted schizoid, allowed himself to fantasise a room in a tower on an island (a fantasy he partly realised in his lakeside tower dwelling at Bollingen, his “confession of faith in stone”); you reached the room through a trapdoor in the floor which could only be locked or opened from the inside. You would go up into your study, shut the trapdoor, and enjoy the silence, for days and weeks and months if you remembered to bring enough tins of pemmican with you.

Original source: Anatomy of Norbiton: Accidental

Not flawed in any special way, just regular

For some reason, this is incredibly vitalising. Here is a woman whose deep flaws don’t result from trauma, or her mother, or her children; she is not reacting against poverty, male betrayal or erasure, or unfulfilled artistic potential. She is at once structured by, and an agent of, social violence. The pleasures of Alma’s maladaptations are not that she is heroic, or courageous, or even particularly rebellious. (Hjorth writes that ‘Alma had never, she realised that now … met any angry women, women who rebelled. Frustrated and mentally crippled yes, but not rebellious.’) The pleasures of this character boil down to the fact that her flaws are the ordinary derangements of many people who live in unjust, casually brutal societies.

Original source: Selfish, grumpy and unkind? That’s my kind of woman | Psyche Ideas

Emoji’s in email subject lines

Overall, emojis seem to be a double-edged sword: they can negatively impact users’ attitudes, but they can also attract some attention and move the focus on the visual aspects of the email (which, in itself could be good or bad). Overusage will wipe out their benefits, likely leaving us only with the drawbacks.

I’m not too sure what the findings are, and it’s a low n (100 or so). But, some there’s some concepts that are fun to read through nonetheless.

I have a feeling it’s like all novel, attention grabbing techniques: it stands out until everyone is doing it.

In theory an emoji can convey a lot of information in a single character too: a movie one can tell you this email is about movies, a party one parties, an exploding head, a rant. This is done over at, and it’s built into search as well.

Demographics might also drive emoji utility. I’m 40 something and I find them childish and frivolous, a sign that the content isn’t serious enough and/or is marketing and The Kids nonsense. But I know that’s “wrong”: it’s just different characters people are using. Getting over that split second sentiment takes multiple seconds of conscious work on my part to backtrack from that unconscious reaction.

(Looming at the subject line of this blog post, I realize that I don’t even take the word separately, I treat it like a made-up bullshit word that has no proper way to be written in the plural. Instead I by add an apostrophe to make it plural.)

Thus far the best use of emojis I have is as a cheap way to acknowledge I’ve gotten a message (that missing “I have received and understood your message and have nothing further to say” word in English, like “roger” and “copy” in radio talk). A simple thumbs up (👍 ) communicates a lot.

Conversely, sending archaic technology (📠 or 💾) is good if replying with absurdism is an understood mode of communication with the person you’re talking with.

These tactics are especially good when I replay people from my Apple Watch. I don’t have to pull out my phone to tap out “sounds good, I’ll bring the lasagna,” I can just tap 👍 and turn around to go back home and get the lasagna.

Original source: Emojis in Email Subject Lines: Advantage or Impediment?

Removing compliance bottlenecks is simple: it’s just a lot of work

“Compliance” is a huge blocker for improving how organization do software. You see it as a top bottleneck in every survey about “digital transformation.”

This McKinsey piece layers out a plan:

Banks looking to transform risk management should, in our view, focus on four mutually reinforcing areas: organization, governance, processes, and digitization and advanced analytics. While enhancements isolated in each area can boost both effectiveness and efficiency, the true potential comes from tackling them in sequential order. Organizational optimization facilitates governance rationalization, which facilitates effective streamlining of processes, which enables digitization and advanced analytics to yield maximal benefit.

Handling compliance is like any other problem. It’s not impossible, you just need to understand what’s actually needed, stop doing wasteful dumb stuff, involve the stakeholders (convert them from chickens to pigs, “bring them onboard”), and keep trying to solve the problem, learning from what didn’t work, until it’s solved.

In other words: it’s a lot of work.

Do more of what you like to get less depressed

The risk then is that people withdraw further. They choose easy but unrewarding behaviours instead, such as staying at home (even as lockdown is lifted or as new social opportunities arise). At first, this makes good sense. ‘This withdrawal is driven by people’s desire to avoid the negative emotions that they’re experiencing when they try to do these activities,’ according to David Richards, a professor of mental health services research at the University of Exeter. McMillan agrees, adding that this behaviour ‘works in the immediate term because it makes you feel better’. The difficulty lies in what this inactivity sets up in the long term. The risk, he says, is that ‘it moves you further from what you need to do to get something out of the world’.

Original source: How to engage with life when you feel down

Language leads to imagination

As they cultivated these habits, mentally stimulating themselves and paying careful attention to the results, humans did something else, too. They created the sense that there was a private world inside them, where their real self lived and thought, a world that sometimes seemed more real to them than the one around them. In a sense, they created their own conscious minds and selves.

Original source: Our greatest invention was the invention of invention itself

The lost money was never there in the first place

From that perspective, it’s easy to see “where the money went:” It never existed in the first place. If my stock had a quoted price of $100 on an exchange, and that price fell to $75 per share, that means the forecast of the present value of future earnings for that company fell. The stock is a claim on the future stream of profits; the estimated value of the stream fell because of new taxes, new regulations, changes in consumer preferences, or the invention of a new competing product.

So: “Wealth is not money, it’s access to things, and to services.”

Original source: Where Did The Wealth Go?

Cloud Foundry moving to kubernetes

The move has been happening for awhile, it keeps going:

“Each project team is using it as an opportunity to re-architect, the way that their component of the system works to include more projects from the broader cloud-native open source community, whether it’s inclusion of Fluentd or Prometheus, whether it’s the deeper integration with Istio, whether it’s re-imagining how our own code can exist as [custom resource definitions] within Kubernetes,” Childers said.

Both of those projects build on CFF’s increased focus on the Kubernetes ecosystem. Childers previously explained to SDxCentral that Kubernetes remains a hard platform to use in production environments and that it was focused on easing that integration. It targets the Cloud Foundry platform as the simplified, nice, and easy-to-use layer on top of Kubernetes to build “the best enterprise developer experience” and avoid “any of the infrastructure conversation.”

Original source: Cloud Foundry Touts Kubernetes Progress, New CLI

Gartner’s container TAMing

the analyst firm predicts swift growth revenue growth for the likes of Red Hat, Rancher and VMware, with this year’s sales of US$465.8 million to become $944 million in 2024…. But that’s less than the annual revenue of $1bn Gartner expects IaaS providers will win from hosting containers by 2022.

And, to the question of how many apps run in production, in kubernetes, not that many at the moment, or in the future:

The analyst firm predicts that before 2024 containers will become “the default choice for 75 percent of new custom enterprise applications”, with the result that 15 percent of all apps use containers by the same year. That’s up from five percent today.

This means that in 2024 they predict that 85% of apps will be in not-container. The number must be in the high 90%’s now.

Meanwhile, neglected tech debt and calcified portfolios is a problem when it comes to innovation:

But Gartner thinks that growth isn’t a great sign of container-mania, because a combination of technical debt, application backlogs and budget constraints mean organisations will prioritise other work. For many, the unavoidable need to do things like migrate SAP HANA to the cloud will simply deserve more attention…. [The report’s author says that] Organisations looking to re-factor apps can do so more easily with virtual machines.

Also, more figures in the press release, including current usage.

Original source: Containers to capture 15 percent of all enterprise apps across 75 percent of business by 2024