Saturday, October 13, 2012
For the next week, and possibly a little longer, I will not make regular posts here, and will be slower than usual to respond to email and moderate comments. The Van Horn family will be moving from Boston to St. Louis.
Depending on how quickly we get settled in on the other end, I will resume regular posting on either October 22 or October 29. I won't rule out a post or two in the meantime, but that's highly unlikely until after next week. A deadline for a client yesterday, combined with a strange problem that cropped up at the last minute, completely scuttled any attempt on our part to get ahead of the packing game.
"Homosexuality challenges the [religious] assumption that love must be selfless." -- Michael Hurd, in "Your Life Is Your Own" at DrHurd.com
"As painful as it might be to never have a romance with her, it would be even more painful to pursue a relationship with her and have it end with her choosing her husband over you." -- Michael Hurd, in "Is All Fair in Love?" at DrHurd.com
"[A]s U.S. Air Force bomber-pilots like to say, you should hope to get resistance from the enemy, for unless you're getting 'flack,' you're not yet flying over the target." -- Richard Salsman, in "Two Courageous Stands for Romney/Ryan -- from Unexpected Quarters" at Forbes
"He had to stand there fully exposed and completely himself - a cypher, facing a superior man and candidate." -- Richard Salsman, in "Why Obama Lost the First Debate -- and Might Lose the Next Ones" at Forbes
"[I]t is no surprise that 'cost-shifting' occurred because revenue and profit are as vital to a hospital as they are to a manufacturer." -- Amesh Adalja, in "Universal Health Insurance Mandates and the Emergency Care Myth" at Forbes
My Two Cents
I found Richard Salsman's mention, quoted above, of what flak means to bomber pilots inspirational and wish I had heard about that long ago.
That's my tongue-in-cheek characterization of programmer Jeff Atwood's slamming of "productivity porn", which sounds anti-list at first blush, but then presents advice about list-making in list form.
He condenses his point about list-making as a fetish:
Here's my challenge. If you can't wake up every day and, using your 100% original equipment God-given organic brain, come up with the three most important things you need to do that day - then you should seriously work on fixing that. I don't mean install another app, or read more productivity blogs and books. You have to figure out what's important to you and what motivates you; ask yourself why that stuff isn't gnawing at you enough to make you get it done. Fix that.My title comes from my first impression, which is that Atwood was coming out against using lists at all, but I don't think that's what he's doing. Rather, he makes a profound point about the uselessness of list-making without first having a clear sense of one's priorities.
I have noticed myself that I "just do" many important things that I could break down into lists (provided there is not some long delay that makes a calendar (i.e., a time-ordered list) reminder or two a wise thing to do). At the same time, there are important things (like a complex job one is doing for the first time, or grocery shopping) whose many details simply can't be held in mind all at once. My own strategy is to use lists -- usually text files -- when appropriate, and to see some of the things I add to my general list for what they are: ideas that seemed good when I had them that I might decide not to do later on. I can always just cross these off or delegate them later.