Friday Four

Friday, January 04, 2013

1. In the past, I have alluded to dissatisfaction with certain aspects of David Allen's Getting Things Done approach to personal productivity.

Recently, I have seen a similar complaint, that "GTD" suffers from a sort of normative agnosticism regarding tasks. I have also seen part of a solution. The Eisenhower Matrix can overcome some of the difficulties, at least if one has at least a somewhat clear sense of priorities: 

The Matrix ... forces you to carefully consider potential projects. Is it life-sustaining work that will pay the bills or something that might be fun (and devour billable hours)? Alternatively, will this new opportunity or idea rejuvenate your productive, creative self, or lead you down a rabbit hole of avoidance? In other words, you get an answer to the question: "Is this worth doing?"
I have just such an overwhelming list to deal with today and plan to put pencil to paper, drawing the matrix before I get started. As Ike once put it, "What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important." This matrix looks to me like it can help address that problem.

2. Canonical has just announced the release of its version of Linux for smart phones. It doesn't sound like it's ready enough for me to ditch Android just yet, but I'm happy to hear about this.

I see no reason inherent in the hardware why we shouldn't be able to, say, just plug our phone into a larger screen and a keyboard when we need to use a real computer. Or not be able to run a wider range of software than just "apps" designed for smart phones. Or ...

I will eagerly keep tabs on this development.

3. In a macabre vein, I enjoyed this list of clues that you might be dealing with a poisoner. As the author points out, poisoners usually fail by a mile to live up to the stereotype of being long-range planners, and they are usually quite easily caught. But then, the very nature of criminality -- a desire for the unearned that blinds the criminal to the consequences of his actions -- makes this failure unsurprising.

4. Everyone knows that the earth's rotation causes toilets to drain in opposite directions in the northern and southern hemispheres, right? Not really.

-- CAV


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, loved the article on poisoners. This piece of advice from the article stuck out: Your mother mixes you up a cocktail when she has never done so before. Or your mother-in-law pours you a glass of milk. (The video differs from the song in that respect, but it's equally funny in its own crazy way.)

And of course there's the wittily humorous conversation in Agatha Christie's first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles:

We were detained under suspicion by the hospital porter, until Cynthia appeared to vouch for us, looking very cool and sweet in her long white overall. She took us up to her sanctum, and introduced us to her fellow dispenser, a rather awe-inspiring individual, whom Cynthia cheerily addressed as "Nibs."

"What a lot of bottles!" I exclaimed, as my eye travelled round the small room. "Do you really know what's in them all?"

"Say something original," groaned Cynthia. "Every single person who comes up here says that. We are really thinking of bestowing a prize on the first individual who does not say: 'What a lot of bottles!' And I know the next thing you're going to say is: 'How many people have you poisoned?'"

I pleaded guilty with a laugh.

"If you people only knew how fatally easy it is to poison some one by mistake, you wouldn't joke about it. Come on, let's have tea. We've got all sorts of secret stories in that cupboard. No, Lawrence—that's the poison cupboard. The big cupboard—that's right."

Gus Van Horn said...

Heh. Look forward to the video later, when everyone else is awake.