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Posts about dgplug (old posts, page 7)

Happy Women’s Day!

Like I wrote at the other place,

I’ve been hugged and kissed and kicked,
and taught and influenced and befriended
and loved by so many of you!

I would not be me, if it weren’t for you!

It’s only grown truer with time.
Even more love and gratitude!


Trying to Be Perfect Is a Waste of Time

“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.”
— Charlie Munger

That quote opens Shane’s post on the work required to hold an opinion, which remains one of the mental models I use most often.

Which is why I had my ears and my mind open, when Shane began one of his latest posts with,

“Trying to be perfect is a waste of time.”

I’ve inherited dad’s sense of perfectionism, and I always thought that should be something I ought to aspire to, at every skill I attempted to learn.
And for someone to come and say it isn’t so makes me squirm in my head.

But like Anne Lamott writes in Bird by Bird,

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.
I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die.
The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.

Shane too, using Taleb-ian ideas of optionality and antifragility makes a wonderful case for why good enough trumps perfect.

The post ends with a swift kick in the rear, to go forth and do …

Don’t be afraid of a challenge.
Don’t be afraid of not being the best.
When you routinely put yourself in situations where you aren’t the most skilled, you learn, you grow, and eventually you adapt.
You build your repertoire of traits and talents, so when change hits you have a wide array of skills.
This flexibility can also give you the confidence to seek change.
The mammal could explore and find new opportunities, but that bird was never going to leave the trees.

Read the whole post here. Will you be as convinced as I?

P.S. If you liked this, you will like more of what I share too :) Go subscribe!


Reasons to Write #1339

Derek Sivers on journaling daily.

Almost all the thoughts I have on any subject are the result of writing in my diary and journals, then questioning myself and working through alternate ways of thinking about it, and finally returning to the subject days or months later with a clear head and updated thoughts, seeing how they’ve changed or not over time.

Also on how writing helps him do the work required, to have an opinion.

I always write down my initial thought first, but then question it afterwards with slight detachment, and consider different perspectives.

Of course, as per Sivers usual, the whole post is detailed and helpful, and shows you his process. Go, have a look!

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Thank you, Kushal!

Began reading The Warren Buffett Shareholder today.
This is from the preface.

Many contributors to this book remark upon Buffetts’s distinctive teaching style, which tends to instruct people how to think rather than what to think.

And

John Bogle has attended one Meeting, but attests that even one can change your world.

A couple of pages later

Our premise was that Berkshire’s intrinsic value owes a lot to the Meeting and the shareholder community.
Buffett wrote in his 2014 letter …

… This culture grows stronger every year, and it will remain intact long after Charlie and I have left the scene.

Berkshire Hathaway has created a culture of intelligence, inquisitivness, integrity and learning. This culture is part of the “company” in both the corporate meaning of that word and in its sense as a society of people coming together (com) to break bread (pan).

Replace Warren with Kushal, Berkshire with the DGPLUG IRC channel and the shareholder meeting with the Summer Training.
And, nothing changes.

Amidst all the shouting and the craziness, that is the channel generally, it all goes up a hundredfold when the training happens.
Tempers flare. The kids are unruly. Mayhem ensues.

Yet, it all settles down soon enough.
Folks learn earnestly.
Wisdom is shared.
Bonds are made. Friendships built.
Across time and space.

And the Atlas who holds this little world on his shoulders is Kushal.
It is he, who literally, wrote the book on what we learn.
It is he, who pays for and maintains much of the infrastructure we need.
It is he, who conducts quite a few of the topics we learn.
It is he, who bribes, and cajoles old mages to come share their wisdom, with callow, inexperienced youth.
And it is he, who keeps this little corner of the world, warm and cozy and friendly, year after year after year.

The number of folks who owe their careers to him are many.
And the folks who have their lives changed by the training, many more still.
I don’t remember if I ever said this to him, but he has given more to humanity in ten years, what others haven’t in their entire lives.
And somewhere in the middle of the chapter, I found what succintly summarises the way I feel about the Summer Training.

And amid their decades of lessons, they get to the core message of all shareholders at the Berkshire Annual Meeting: if you’ve never been, go; if you always go, keep going.

And for everything you do, thank you Kushal!


When Death Comes

I want this glorious verse from Mary Oliver’s poem to be my eulogy, when, you know, my death comes.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

— via Austin Kleon’s touching eulogy to Mary Oliver.

P.S. Also love her instructions for living a life.

  • Pay attention.
  • Be astonished.
  • Tell about it.

P.P.S If you enjoy reading what I write and share, go subscribe.


Supernova in the East

If you haven’t already heard me raving about Hardcore History and Dan Carlin then you’re about to :)

Hardcore History is the world’s slowest podcast. The Accidental Tech Podcast, a topical weekly Apple news podcast that i listen to, started in 2013 and as of today, 16th January, 2019 is now on episode 308. Hardcore History, on the other hand, began its run in 2005 and is now on episode 65. I just checked the feed and Dan averages a measly two episodes a year.

In truth however, it makes very little sense to look at them as podcast episodes. Think of them as books. Medium length audiobooks. And then it suddenly makes sense. A book a year. An engaging history book, a year. For free!

Not that you’ll want to just stick to free anyhoo. Dan is superengaging and like so many folks say he makes history come alive.

After a few episodes, you’ll be begging to give him your money. The man is that good. And if you are so inclined, the entire back catalogue is available for purchase. My favourite is the Wrath of the Khans. 1

And why all this raving now? Because it’s time for “Supernova in the East II”, the first Hardcore History episode of 2019. Find Supernova in the East I here.

From the episode’s description:

The Asia-Pacific War of 1937-1945 has deep roots. It also involves a Japanese society that’s been called one of the most distinctive on Earth. If there were a Japanese version of Captain America, this would be his origin story.

Intrigued? Then go listen. And subscribe to all future episodes in your podcast player of choice, using this link.

You can thank me later.

P.S. The pic below is a glimpse of the research that goes into one, single episode.



  1. This link goes to a seperate compilation download just for this series. 

The Nicest Thank You Note, Ever

Thank you notes like these only make you fall in love with the folks who do the work.
And make you want to support them even more!

Thank you, Dan Carlin.
For all you do.

Brittany Durbin britt@dancarlin.com
5:26 AM (4 hours ago)
to me

Mario,

When people ask us how we fund our operations around here, I usually tell them about our “global street performer” business model.
A long time ago I realized that there's probably not a whole lot of meaningful difference between what I do and what a violin player who finds a nice location on a street corner somewhere, opens up his/her violin case and begins playing does.
We are both relying on “passers-by” throwing a few coins into the instrument case (or baseball cap as the case may be, haha) to keep us going.
Of course, I work a very busy, global “street corner” (virtually speaking, right?).

I want to thank you for taking the time to both listen to the work that we do, and to contribute to our ability to keep doing it. It's a cliché, but we really WOULDN'T be able to do this without the audience's help and support.
Not just in terms of finances, but also by telling others about the shows and spreading the word to help us grow the listenership. You all have been awesome.

So thank you from all of us (and from the other listeners who enjoy the work as well, but can't afford to help right now).
If everyone did as you did, we'd never have to stop doing this.

So, a thousand thanks. I hope we always live up to your expectations.

Warmly as Heck,

-Dan

P.S. If you enjoy what I write, go subscribe


The Final Word on Building Habits – Atomic Habits

If you want to build a habit, this is the definitive book on the topic. 1 You could read about habits in other books, to learn more, but if you actually want to be building them, look no further.

This was the first book in a long time that moved me to actually take action. Succint, pithy and packed with advice, there isn’t a wasted word in its 300 odd pages. And unlike other, it does not feel like three-hundred-pages. Moving from introduction to positing its arguments to tactical advice to conclusion, this feels more like a fast paced novel.

On we go to the things that moved me.

Read more…

How do we protect our work? How do we get paid for it?

How do we protect our work? How do we get paid for it?
(Or is that really the question we should be worried about when seeking to make our mark. And the importance of writing, of showing up, regularly.)

This is what I admire about Seth Godin. His unique ability to get to the heart of the question.

The question lies in the q & a after this really awesome episode at around the 22.45 mark. (The episode is a replay of this awesome talk. If you haven’t seen or heard it yet, do me (and yourself) a favour and do so.)

Hey Seth, it’s Ben from New York.
I was intrigued by the recent episode about copyright.
My question is … maybe more posing a paradox, because with copyright, there is this corporate ability for greed and control … at the same time for an individual producer or artist or maker of things, it does allow you survival.
And I do agree that the best way to change the culture and to share ideas is to make something you’ve made, widely available. At the same time the concept of copyright does allow you to say to somebody, “Hey, I made this! You’re giving it away for free!”
And in this digital age, where people expect to just click on something and have it, which is sort of like your bakery analogy, except people can now, because of the anonymity and the ease of the digital platforms, walk into a bakery, grab a loaf of bread and walk out, is how to allow ideas to spread in a wide and inexpensive or free way and still be able to make a living at it, without saying, here is a physical thing that you’re taking from me.
Please pay me for it.

And this is what I think, copyright allows an individual or an artist or an entrepreneur like myself to use as leverage so that our stuff like … you mentioned your audiobook being illegally uploaded to youtube … keeping that sort of thing from happening.

Anyway thanks so much for the book, the podcast, the blog. It’s been a great inspiration for me trying to find a way in this new age. Thanks.

Seth answers,

You’re getting at something powerful with this question, which is back to Tim O’Reilly’s comment that the enemy is not piracy. It’s obscurity.
That if you are a nascent artist, designer, writer, video producer, musician, does it pay to give your stuff away?
to give it away? give it away? give it away?
Hoping, that one day you’ll get paid for your work.
So the copyright laws are sort of secondary here, in the sense that, it is voluntary on your part, that as someone who is publishing your own work in a digital format, which means it does not cost you anything to give away one more copy, the question is, when does it end?
Does it mean that everything that is digital, will sooner or later be free?
Well, we’ve seen twenty or thirty years of this unfolding, and here’s what I think we found.
One, Ideas that spread, win.
If your idea reaches more people, you do better than if it doesn’t, and it turns out that ideas that are free spread further and faster, than ideas that arent.
So radio, it was so powerful on radio, that the record labels paid money, payola, bribes, to the radio stations to play the songs for free, because they understood, that being a hit, being popular, was the way for an artist to make money going forward.
The thing is, that doesn’t pay the bills.

So how is it that someone who creates digital items is ever going to get paid?
Well, let me give you a couple of ways this could happen.
The first one is, the souvenir edition. The souvenir, concrete, limited edition of the thing you make, so that the true fan, the superfan will happily and eagerly pay for it.
We keep seeing this thing happening. It’s not going away.
People want to pay for something, others can’t have.
They want to pay for something that gives them status.

Number two is the idea that we can sell the specific.
So we can go to people and say, “Yea, if you want the traditional version of this song, or this digital artifact, that’s free. It’s in the world because it’s popular, but, if you want it to be specific to you, if you want us to play it live for you, that, that’s gonna cost money.”
And we certainly see that in the world of consulting.
So that you can give away a 300 page or 200 page or 20 word BIG idea, just give it away constantly, but if someone wants your specific advice, that, that’s going to cost money.

And the third way, that I’m going to propose that we can charge for the work we do, is that it can be now. That if you want it now, if you want it live, if you want it first, that costs money.
People will wait in line, because again they get status, from going first.

So it’s not really the answer to your question. I’m not proposing that copyright go away, but I do think that individual creators have a huge unfair advantage over institutions that need to pay big bills.
And that advantage is that we can give ideas away.
A blog post a day.
A podcast a week.
We can give them away, because the digital environment makes that a powerful way to spread our ideas, but then we can sell the other thing to people who want to pay for it.

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