This post by Oren Teich, while interesting in its entirety (particularly for those interested in software development), surprised me with a particularly apt description of “The Flow” — the inspiration behind this blog. I’ve excerpted this section below.
Individual creatives are aiming for flow. Cranking out code, art, words. Just hammering away. In one session of good flow state I get more done than in weeks of fits and starts at work. Everyone has their own path to getting to flow. Some put on the headphones, wear a hoodie, and disappear into their computer. Go to a coffee shop, let the white noise wash over you, and get into the zone. Sometimes though, the conditions are right, but the project isn’t willing.
Blog posts, software development, homework: we are all familiar with the experience of working incredibly ‘hard’, but just not getting anywhere. 20 hours in, and you just don’t feel like you have a sense for how to even begin to tackle the project. flow has it’s own conditions. Without clear understanding of goals, you aren’t getting anywhere. Goals don’t come from flow. They come from somewhere else. When you’re creating, working on something innovative, they often seem to come from the subconscious. When you’re stuck, and don’t have a clear sense of the goal, if you’re lucky, you walk away. You take a break. Maybe for 30 min. Maybe for a month or longer. And something happens. A shift. A new angle. A comment. Inspiration. You can pick the project back up again, and now you’ve got traction. You can push just as hard and make some real progress. You personally can get into flow. Your project can pick up momentum.
Momentum is fickle. It’s not something you can predict, store, save, and spend. Some projects are real bastards – they get stuck just when you think you’re making the most progress. Sometimes you need to put it down and pick it up 6 times over 13 months before you finally cross the finish line. Some projects get momentum from the second you sit down, and one night later you’ve launched.
A further explanation of the topic can be found here.
Martin says that the trouble began in 1976 when finance professor Michael Jensen and Dean William Meckling of the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester published a seemingly innocuous paper in the Journal of Financial Economics entitled “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure.” […]
The principal-agent problem occurs, the article argued, because agents have an inherent incentive to optimize activities and resources for themselves rather than for their principals. Ignoring Peter Drucker’s foundational insight of 1973 that the only valid purpose of a firm is to create a customer, Jensen and Meckling argued that the singular goal of a company should be to maximize the return to shareholders.
The popular argument nowadays is that the movie business is tanking because the majority of movies suck. But that’s not really true. Sure, many big, Hollywood movies suck. But for each of those, there are a few smaller, independent movies which are great. In fact, as a whole, I might argue that quality is better than it ever has been thanks to technology greatly driving down the cost to make a film.
As Ebert lays out, the actual problem is with the distribution model. That is, most movie theaters in the U.S. are set up to play only the big ticket items — and again, a good percentage of that is crap. Massive films like Avatar and The Dark Knight disguise this — but only temporarily. This year there wasn’t a film of that magnitude, so we’re seeing it.
ok so heard this jam a while back and never gave it much attention, however i just saw new trailers for the lorax, which features this tune and i can’t get enough of it. even though we should probably post something for christmas, i think this song is lighthearted enough for us all to enjoy. hope you all are having a jolly christmas eve and mazel tov as well.
I’m starting to resent Apps like I resented CD-ROMs.
I started playing this evil little game called Tiny Tower last week. It’s effectively a Sim-Tower-heroin-clone-resource-management game. Every few hours I return to feed the beast make sure the little “Bitizens” are OK. Moving things, managing resources, restocking virtual shelves with new virtual goods. Mindless and addictive, but pointless.
The Update Beast
I realized that I’m doing the same thing with the apps on my phone. I’m always feeding the Update Beast. How often have you looked at Non-Technical Friends phone and showed them how they need to update their apps? All the time.
Scott agrees with David Winer that apps have a long way to go and posits the hard to dispute notion that web apps and native apps are constantly pushing each other forward. Linking between native apps has taken baby steps in the right direction — savvy developers can link between supported apps, but they still lack the seamless integration and automatic updates seen on the web.
This post isn’t really about Scrabble. It’s about taking a load of ugly data and hacking around with some scripts to refine it into something I can commit to memory. Then its about Scrabble. Winning at Scrabble.
Knowing exactly which two-letter words exist gives a player a sizeable advantage because it opens up tight corners of the game board and allows them to run two words side-by-side. Sadly most of us only know a handful, and beyond that we’re guessing. Then we’re arguing. And then (inevitably) looking on Google for a list of valid words.
Personally I’m all for having the 2-letter-word-list on display during play to help us out of tight spots and to keep things fair. But I’ve had plenty of opponents object to this, saying that if I really want to play like that I should memorize the list. How hard can it be?