Suppose that being sane is really boring. Suppose that your brain can hear how things could be more interesting, but to be the way you ought to be — you know, to survive in the safest fashion possible — you choose to be bored like all the time.
I always believed that most high functioning people accept this. Today, I’m not so sure.
I’ve managed enough projects to say that even that even with all the technology and process available anywhere
don’t care if you’re talking going to Mars
the hardest part about managing projects = the people factor.
I’ve been managing other people’s workload and output enough to have a lot to say directly about what’s observed in others
First rule is that trust is critically important in a workpace — as a priority, “Being trustable” is just under “Deserving to be trusted”. I think those are the top 2.
We’ve all met people in charge who think they need to scowl — as in actively doing more than RBF, and I think that’s completely unnecessary and even disadvantageous. It says “I’ve adapted to working with bozos who need open obvious stimuli to compel active fear to make them responsible.” And I want to say fuck that vibe. Like most, I want to relate and connect and say “hell yeah” and “great” and “thanks” at the end of the day. And trust enables that.
But reality is, some people also just don’t warrant trust.
Some people aren’t super duper intelligent. This is more than ok. I think expecting folks to be savvy is expecting a lot out of the universe itself — and again, I don’t think it’s the woist if someone doesn’t seem to be the brightest lightbulb in the factory. I think it’s great to leave the door open to have someone work for and with you who is much smarter than you at the work load — and this means having “smarter-than” offs is one of the dumbest things someone can do. The key is to be able to focus on output, more than outputter.
Some people also won’t seem super duper hard working. This is of course also more than ok. Most jobs and occupations are weird if you think about it, and it’s impossible to gauge someone’s motivation in all things. (I’ve met people who think they can — and they’re all kind of arrogant dicks.) Plus, some people work smart and not hard and still get great results cause they’re that bright and in the right environment for it. The same folks can also burn-out and suck more than the diligent person who was less bright….in the end it’s a risk that means always squeezing the most juice that you can out of people is a lousy idea.
In the end, everyone’s equilibrium between smart and hard work is as simple as calories in vs calories out for energy balance. Output very good = Person very good. For anyone reporting up or down, the idea is to be some combination of smart and hard working and contribute. That’s being a team player. Combine that with conscientiousness and you’re bound to be a really fine one.
My approach is generally to try and see people’s assets and what needs to happen and optimize. It usually works really well, and usually there are even good memories and lols along the way.
But sometimes, you have someone who is just the obstacle. I said that trust is most important, but when you see sign and sign again that someone doesn’t deserve it, this can make someone who wants to be nice go nuts. And I think this is one reason new yorkers do a lot of great business … there’s a great culture of “wait a minute this doesn’t look right and I’m about to go nuts so what’s going on” here.
And there’s always going to be the example of that employee who either can’t see the big picture, or doesn’t care. Or that person who doesn’t do things unless told (compared to the guy who will ask if they should) and then provides a squirt of work. It’s like they miss the point that it’s easier to do that squirt of work oneself. Or just not recognize that their work is lousy.
Of course some people ought to ask themselves really, why they have a job. And if the response is rooted in disrespect for who they work for and with….well maybe they person should do better things with their life. Let’s chalk this up to nothing recent, but recent processing that’s hitting me with a ha. I can now say that I’ve experienced simultaneously not wanting to say “this is not good enough” and knowing I have to — think that’s called a hard choice where the right answer is still clear.
First thing I saw when I opened up this page was the last entry. Need to add another number to that. Times are tough, and I feel like I’m still coasting off of crazy efforts.
We accomplished a thing at work. Right now that wagon is going downhill on a targeted slope, but it’s going, and we’re making sure it’s the ride to the docks expected. I had a good 10 hours of adrenaline this week from my job, and I like that. It wasn’t bad adrenaline either. Eustress. We did it. And I want everyone to join me, get on board, pats on back, and then we do another thing better. I like these milestones. When you make a thing — the kind of thing that can’t be taken back — that’s….it’s a damn good feeling. Up there with kissing your crush for the first time because they wanna too.
The Pot by Tool has great lyrics. I don’t love poetry, but that’s poetry.
Lastly, I just saw an ad for dirt cheap tattoo removal. Not sure why that’s what I’m being targetted with, but I realized something, even though I think my ink could have been better done, I like it and the only way I’d get it removed was if someone paid me an exorbitant amount to do so. And then I’d use the money to have it done better. I like that too.
I know 4 people now who lost someone close due to covid-19. One lost a wife, and 3 lost their dad.
It’s fucking painful to have compassion for and empathize with. But I think it’s disrespectful for those who are gone to not. And I find it’s easier to get mad at the people who are disrespectful to the recently and suddenly dead than it is to relate. So at the moment I don’t care about gamestop and that’s my morning.
Fun update: I got fed up with a thing and had to think really, really hard about how to deal with said thing while knowing that there is no right answer.
I hate those. They can be like an itch that won’t go away with scratching. Athlete’s foot of the mind.
Anyway I came up with a 3 item plan (item # 3 was eat a food) and it’s immediately better. Item number one gave me the goomfa to be able to act on item # 2 which just feels right, and is an opportunity but also a risk. Some things are like that. Item number 3 is self-explanatory.
Hey we got a new president? I like that my comment is that we really don’t need me to comment on it.
I’m definitely older/crochetier, in that I’m asking “Why” in video games more often. Like, “uh…why do I care” and why am I doing these things. I think as a kid video games were an interesting way to feel powerful…and that’s dumb but I do. 8 year olds love street fighter because it has words like fight and won and beat. Today, I feel like, you know, swinging a sword through a bunch of tiny goblins sounds like a lot of work I can probably do so what’s my motivation for getting so out of breath, really? On that note, VR has been an amazing thrill for immersion, but when you get down to it very few games are amazing games in VR — they’re more likely good or great games. There’re also personal hang-ups like, opinion time: walking super sucks in VR! Walking with a joystick is just the least immersive way to walk ever. Ever hate walking? Then you hate doing stuff. VR also has other fun factors, like how nausea and other stuff sometimes kicks in with people too — and that visceralness of it all still leads more to build on with today’s wonderful proof of concept.
So I end up at that conclusion that, once you get past the novelty of vr, you deal with fewer amazing epics like mass effect, or baldur’s gate, or starcraft. HL Alyx is groovy and all, and I’m sure they’ll come about and even those games listed are years in between, I’m just having a much harder time finding vidya games fun until they come to that standard.
Speaking of which, I replayed Mass Effect 3 and it’s still a fantastic game! A lot of people hate the writing, but I’d argue it’s so well done that everything about it that is silly might actually turn out to be a plot device. Plus, Mordin. Genuinely fair to say that I 20% played just to revisit Mordin’s drama.
Mordin is easily one of my favorite characters ever:
Neurotypical, but still patterned in a way that’s super relatable. Morality is strongly good, but he’s still forced to explore massive moral-grayness because of dark circumstances. And he’s so matter of fact and smart that every once in a while a humor quip makes just sneaks pass and into you so buttery har-har like. Man, I’m just really glad this isn’t sexual because Mordin would be my ride or die and I’d just be sad because I hurt J’s feels and also, he’s fictional.
That word can be so gray. It’s why when it’s those few times that things are black and white, and one of those colors is wrong, it’s just so freeing to go “No, this is the one that is right. Fuck the one that is wrong.”
It’s like knowing which one has the ball in The Shell Game. That’s my choice! That one.
And those videos of kids picking the correct prize, and then getting pranked are righteously viral 🙂 Yeah, you don’t think about what’s under the third cup because you’re enjoying the freedom / dopamine / knowledge behind being righteous — you have a centrated, less-considerate answer because it takes energy to hold it and you want to say right, right, right.
(Because holding and containing a mental assessment takes a bit of energy, the evolution of that impulse to get it out there fast and hard kind of makes sense.)
There’s been a lot of wrong this week. Wednesday when I caught the news I found it really hard to focus to the point that I wish I hadn’t, at least for a few hours. Cons of being connected.
Today I’m seeing weird people make arguments for the wrong side. Folks are either being righteous or doing mental jumping jacks to back their side of the American discord.
And all I’m thinking is, being righteous is dangerous too. Very aware of that. But some people are just posting fucking stupid point of views too. I mean it. And I’m apt to mock it I know this. But there’s real danger in enabling the bullshit, or bullshit justification of something wrong, too.
And there’s a weird balancing act, of trying to assert what’s right without being too righteous or nasty to the point of destructive, and not trying to enable the bullshit. A correct principle = when someone is mentally ill in a way that makes them toxic, it’s kind of worse to knowingly line up with their destruction.
Yeah, I’m saying a few words today because that’s right. But I love when people are making me go through the stupid-ass balancing act of not wanting to get too dirty wrestling with pigs. And there are some real fucking pigs exposing themselves for what they are out there lately. It’s not even low hanging fruit at this point — it’s shit on the ground that needs to be cleaned up.
The hardest part in dealing with dumb fucks is trying not to be too righteous. It’s a little annoying and energy demanding to second-guess and double check your own output to make sure it’s worth putting out there if you get the feeling that the pig begging to be wrestled with wouldn’t bother, half as much.
When I went to college it was for the sake of figuring my life out while developing what we’ll call internal assets that’d mature. I’d only matured enough to know I hadn’t come close to maturing yet.
(Maybe I’ll get there one day?)
And one of my degrees ended up being in English because it was that easy. I know that sounds douchey, but that’s reality: I joined a magazine that offered college credit as payment (lol) and one day realized I was such a finite number of credits towards that degree that I figured hell, let’s take like 5 more classes and make that happen.
Maybe I should frame this — I like education for the internal values. The degrees themselves are usually a stupid measure of anything except a fundamental exposure and possible career qualification trajectory. Weird example: One of the Ph. D candidates in my old lab couldn’t design a sensible experiment for squat, and didn’t seem to intuit how to figure out if a hormone antagonist made a subject hungrier….which is to say she didn’t go “hey let’s administer this hormone and see if they consume more food!” Their experiment design — something they worked hard to think about and come up with to propose — would have been costly, indirect, confounded to bitsies and mean to rats. That person is a Ph D now.
Meanwhile, when Dr. Kristal ended up chewed my chaw out he said, “I think you’re very bright, but I think there are people who will work harder than you and go farther.”
And there’s an expert opinion on how I’m not indispensable for being the guy in this example who did propose “Um, is there something I’m missing or why aren’t we just injecting this hormone here and measuring how much the subjects consume?” and along with a solid “So what?” that I did. And even if my model was the experiment that was run, I agree with my lab overlord that I coitenly didn’t deserve to be a Ph. D candidate just for that. Moreover, there’re definitely better scientists out there than both of us, and many of them don’t have higher degrees.
Degree is for a career. Value is for life.
And with that said, English programs can bring real value. I underestimated it back when, but today I’m tackling some work challenges in a technology field that are making me appreciate running through that a lot.
Working smart is the most valuable way to work, and I’m thinking today that an English program can teach you how to apply smarts to engage technical situations without being a technical specialist yourself, or own nontechnical engagements better than most other majors could.
(Disclaimer: that is not to say you can walk in and be on par with a technical expert like you’re fucking Iron Man. The beauty is that you don’t need to be a technical expert to engage and work with one very well, and that today’s best English majors should be able to do this extra extra well.)
When my income was entirely reliant on tutoring CADS students, I came across quite a few who said things like “I’m in COLLEGE.” I remember one girl shouting this with a zeal that made COLLEGE hitting my ear holes like “CAHLLAJ!” while I was a room full of people who’ve been doing that and then wondering why we’re declaring this out loud.
Yes, this person came from a rougher background. And there are many reasons folks from rougher backgrounds often don’t expect more than B’s. It’s a big deal to just make it to class when your belief is that it’s a big deal that you just made it to class….and this is distinct from the elation of being a tourist.
Well most universities and colleges run like businesses now — and it’s reality that a customer who’s excited to be a customer is an excited customer. In this case, more than seeing you get B’s, these institutions are much more excited to sell you reprinted editions with punctuation changes for a premium, or dining dollars so you can buy bottled water. It’s sad because businesses will sell you whatever shit you’re willing enough to buy. Want a cup of heavy cream with melted chocolate for 6 bucks? BAM, starbucks has got you. Want a movie of some petite barbie making a dookie in a hotel shower? Ok wtf, but internet has got you.
So if college majors can be determined by market demand (“if”) then an English major can be like one of those hot chocolate degrees. Seriously. It comes with a cost that’s way, way less if you make your own version at home.
One of my favorite lessons from English class was about how the first English programs began as hobby. That studying books was like, studying movies or video games.
(That’s a comparison that’s going to keep aging hilariously, ain’t it?)
It’s like the program was never really for the sake of having the degree, or something.
And sure, there are just some bad lessons you can take from an English program– you might have the notebook which could be calamitous of you want to be a writer. You might “learn” that writing more and too much is better and laudatory. You could learn how to surf and coast and show up to your class in pajamas and nothing more. You might meet anxy gals who are trying to disguise problematic upbringings or norms as groovy interesting poet-stuff alongside some accompanying interest in your Other, and learn some doodoo there too. Hell, you could even learn to be a pretentious and pompous gasbag who ends up as a morally craven relic of a day gone past who constantly craves an overriding validation from others in everything you do to countermand a latent and subconscious recognition of one’s increasing irrelevance and, hell, maybe that existential anx will stop just being a fun phrase and develop into a serious complex where you end up as someone’s crazy uncle just because you let that devolve you, hard. It could happen.
But for me? Yeah I’m getting internal thrills from being able to rise with competence — I think my English major has been weirdly valuable towards enabling that.
Hard research is a discipline of its own. Knowing where the nitty gritty details are, how to replicate, reproduce, get granular and obscure, knowing how to really touch a pattern to elucidate — hard research. But I’d say the real benefit of English major is a little different, and knowing how to soft-research hard (how to worm your way to a practical result) or how to add value from and tocold hard research (synergize and align with expertise.)
In my correct opinion, hard research itself is best done outside an English major. Within the degree it tends to result in lots of really really pompous name and word dropping dumbassery wherein learners act like saying Sarte and Foucault makes you smart. While I can panopticon within that, to this day I appreciate one pain in the ass foil of a professor who wanted to beat his class relentlessly until they got his version of hard research required to ace Criticism 330.
(Oh how appropriate.)
Guy will critically kick your ass. He kicked mine.
I love to death this professor’s integrity and ambition, but I meant it when I said he was a hard-research foil.
Hard research also takes yourself out of the equation because you are full of foolishness, bias, and a challenge to the objective conclusion. An English program isn’t the optimal environment to learn that in. (It’s like, dehumanizing a pursuit of truth is best done out of the humanities or something.) I didn’t understand what this teacher wanted until I got knocked over for trying. Had two professors yell at me in UB, but this is the guy who was 100% correct. But the hard research requirement his class offered didn’t come close to touching the biggest value of the program. Learning hard research is wonderful, but better done in a more technical program.
Ok, then what’s the value?
Well, a lot of English major is sweet enough to encourage candidates to explore creativity. That’s invaluable too, but not the program’s best value.
A lot of English major is class participation. Learning how to raise your hand and add to a discussion, especially when, let’s face it, so many of your professors are bullshitting as an open fact, so you can learn how to be cool while engaging foreign concepts. But that’s not the best value either.
A lot of English major is writing. You learn what you can produce with a keyboard, you learn deadlines, and you learn how to frame a case with words to score. That’s been great, but not it either.
Strangely, I’d say a lot of English major is learning the value of business. Business is a fine major too, but it doesn’t teach business the same way does it? English classes involve walking in and saying “Wtf is going on in this room and what is our business? For I am here to look for the value, articulate it, and add.” Labs and projects aside, business majors know they have to walk in and pass a test — very different. Hell, English majors have to study Shakespeare, not because it’s that “good” but because that’s the industry-accepted gold-standard of the middle-English classic and if you want English as a degree you’ll have to literally learn how to read another version of your language, sucka. (“Also there’s a new Shakespeare book you’ll need to buy the latest edition of even though he’s been dead for hundreds of years lol you figure it out.”)
I’d say the most ideal English majors, or at least my favorites, were people who found the program “easy” but still challenged themselves to sharpen some talent. These are folks with a knack for writing a letter because they felt like it. These are folks who can listen and demonstrate a real curiosity about something you just shared. These are the folks with an opinion on wtf just happened in that scene. These are the folks who can present an argument you don’t agree with in a way you have trouble disagreeing with.
Know what all of the above ends up equating to?
Smart beeznees skeels. When you can understand the assignment and add a valuable spin, you’re doing it right. If you can do that with the written word, you’ll be talented in those classes. And omg, if you can present your strokes on the heart of an argument
Sure you’ll get a good grade in a silly college course, but you’ll also do just fine within business roles that don’t necessitate a strict specialist, and you’re going to be able to stand out in any workplace. And bonus, if you can actually deliver smart work why wouldn’t you do very well in this world? Hell, not saying I’m awfully amazing consistently, if I take a stab at something you can bet you’ll find a hole.
I still think English major is a hot chocolate degree. Fun fact: After black coffee, hot chocolate is my preferred order at starbucks.
HC is just a treat to be able to bring to the table, and English major-y skills are best backed against another discipline — just like no one should be living off of hot chocolate.
It’s weird looking towards a past self…do you venerate or look down, when there’re so many pro’s and cons? Realistically, it’s probably unwise to do either.
But one thing I’ve always liked was a concept of self-actualization, and one thing I’ve always thought about actualized people is they are healthy, happy, and work to produce what they desire. That last part means they’re creators in some way.
And all I want to think about is, how hard it is to find something that’s truly created. I still have a nagging feeling that modern American movies are mostly hacks. When you’re a younger, less exposed viewer, it’s harder to touch on the generic. But there are so many things like movies and games that just….I start to have trouble remembering their name. I don’t have a problem remembering why I don’t remember their name. What’s the last “I make a gang of specialists that Michael Bays through the world ridiculously” movie with Ryan Reynolds in it? Oh yeah, I have all the information I want right there. End of thinking — fuck off, glutamate.
I almost wish I could go back to a younger me that got sceered at horror movies because the concept of that kind of monster was new and awakening. Dawn of the Dead’s first remake was sexy as fuck because it featured running zombies and that was new to me, and most people I talked to. That idea of fighting against the most automated, all-out baseline sadist always scratches at a primal wonder — but there’s exploring and walking the beaten route. Now, there’re literally 300 movies since then doing the same thing. The most square guy and girl will make it to the end. Then it will have a question mark. Seen it.
This applies to games too.
None of this is to say that everything is blah — that’d be bullshit. It’s just… it does get harder and harder to bypass the external algorithm. It’s a gift to be able to say “I want to watching something like _____” and end up with something original that lets your mind cud for a while. It’s a gift to know how to explore the web that comes up with things like that. Pirates have said skills more often. Meanwhile, buyers know how to go to a market…..and this ends up with lots of points for pirates. I guess raiding for good content is what we’re getting at.
I do think we’re making an America that wants to know if you like superhero movies so they can pour superhero movies into your suggested queue. And that gets lame if you like superhero movies and get a deluge of black panther (ok) captain america (meh) thor (meh) thor 2 (double meh) ragnorok (ok lol) avengers (cool) endgame (meh) captain marvel (ok lets check out dc) batman (meh) batman (meh) batman v superman (uch) justice league (ok I’m not even going to bother) xmen (no) xmen 2 (ok can we stop) xmen 7 (bleh) New Mu- (THIS IS TOO MUCH JUNK AM I SICK OF SUPERHERO MOVIES?)
When it occurred to 97% of Americans to check out the above, but not say, Defendor, then that’s a national shame and I wish we learned how to raid for our interests outside of the algorithm, more.
Star Wars got way, way less cool, and that the same thing is happening to Harry Potter, because the American drive seems to want to movie via business model, where this kind of thru-put makes sense.
Imagine not having tasted anything sour in your life ever, and having a vitamin c deficiency. You might end up deciding to eat way too many tomatoes, and then getting sick of tomatoes.