Showing posts from August, 2015

What's Going On Here Anyway?

So, if stats are to be believed, I have some new readers. Welcome!

I'd like to direct you to the following:
Overview -- newly updated, this page includes an introduction and links to all the posts in my major series (I may go back and create series tags at some point)
Services -- this page includes a couple of services that I'm currently offering to readers
Recommended Titles -- this page includes a list of the titles that I've recommended in various posts (at least I try to catch all of them, let me know if you see one I've missed)

Your Personal Fragility Inventory Tool

In yet another great post, Gordon over at pointed to this article by our secret mentor (secret from him anyway) Taleb. This article was already on my radar (I Internet stalk Taleb) but the comments in Gordon's post really got me chewing on what Taleb is pointing out here. In the comments, weaver expressed an interest in using the Black Swan concept to apply at a personal level.

Of course I'm about that idea! This was going to be a response to his comment, but it got waaaay too long, so for weaver and anyone else whose interested, here's a tool for identifying how fragile your own situation is, based on Taleb's five criteria for determining the fragility of a political entity:

1. Centralized Decision Making "The first marker of a fragile state is a concentrated decision-making system. On its face, centralization seems to make governments more efficient and thus more stable. But that stability is an illusion." ~ Taleb
How much of your own decision m…

Detox, perspective change, and recharge

I'm currently in the middle of enjoying a week-long vacation in a rented beach house on the Oregon coast. I'm sitting at the dining room table, looking out the giant picture windows and sliding door, and there's nothing between the house and the water but sand (and some sea grass and some GIANT rose hips).

 We're in the middle of a strip of houses between highway 101 and the water, but despite the close proximity of potential neighbors, it's been very quiet here. The houses on either side of us are unoccupied and the beach is sparsely populated.*

Yesterday evening we watched the sun drop below the waterline like a molten ball of gold. Last night the spouse and I walked out to the water at low tide, and saw the Milky Way arching overhead. We saw shooting stars. We've soaked in the backyard hot tub and the jetted soaking tub in the master bath (both designed for maximum ocean views).

List night was the witch's moon and I used the opportunity to call on Hekate…

Mind War: Part Two -- Mental Health

Part One -- Mind Virus

In part one I talked about memetics and the war for our thoughts that's currently raging throughout the Western world. Memetics are hip, indeed memetics is a meme at this point -- how meta! -- and so talking about fighting them is kind of fun and revolutionary. But it's time to head into darker territory. Because far from just filling our minds with LOL cats and screeds and Kardashians, it's pretty clear that the modern world is driving a significant number of us insane.

Note, I don't mean insane in a:
fluffy (Joan has always been just a bit nutty)or gentle (I don't really like closed spaces)or counter-culture (I reject your reality and substitute my own)or rebellious (I'm an artist, man, people think I'm crazy because I don't subscribe to the norm) way.

I mean in a literal, scary, your brain is hurting you and not operating correctly and it's ruining your life kind of way.

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor. This isn't a tre…

PMPM -- Planning Part Two

Last time, on project planning...

We talked about focusing on the scope of your project and getting started with the first tiny doable step. This time we will talk about two other areas of focus: time and money. But before we get started, a quick check-in. Have you initiated your PM working yet? Have you actually done your very first simple tasks? This is not a "how to plan" course. It's a "how to get shit done" course, specifically a "how to tackle really large, long-term goals and get shit done" course. So if you haven't actually kicked things off yet, I suggest you go do that. Remember, initiating the project doesn't mean you know everything you need to know to finish it. Because if you wait, you will never start. So start already and then when you've figured out a few first baby steps come back and keep planning as you go.

In your PM working charter, you included the high level requirements and objectives and the summary budget / and m…