Here is a great presentation given by Jason Yan and David Cramer of Disqus fame about how their site was architected in order to scale to handle 75 million comments.
I sit at my keyboard tapping, many formats o’er lapping, searching for a template for a letter to Lanore.
Lanore, my Facebook friend long-standing, but my distance she’s demanding, a restraining order landing, with the full force of the law.
So I’m at the keyboard thinking, with my broken heart a-sinking, trying to find the words to reconnect with lost Lenore.
Another flash story, this one written in about 30 minutes. Any resemblence to real life characters is purely coincidental (no shotgun blasts to the face for me, thank you very much).
“Red Leader, you are cleared for attack”. How did I find myself here; a marine biologist attacking an American space station armed with a squid?
Life was so much simpler when it was just the two of us. We’d explore such avenues of thought together, you and I. Walking arm in arm through the boulevards of well-established fact before ducking down a muddy alley and romping in the puddles of the arcane. I came to trust you, to lean on you, to depend on you. And you never let me down. Whatever I needed, you could always lay your hands on it. You gave me everything.
(This is a flash story – a story written in 15 minutes on a train to Wales)
Want to know how I ended up in Hell? It was Billy’s stag night and so far a total disaster. Because of Billy’s best friend Bobby, we were sitting at a raw food restaurant in London – a raw food restaurant that had run out of most vegetables. I had a plate of “spaghetti” in front of me. Spaghetti made from shaved zucchini. Cold spaghetti. Spaghetti covered in tomato sauce consisting entirely of squashed cold tomato. “Don’t worry” whispered Billy, somehow picking up on my abject misery. “Wait until the girls arrive”.
Are the American people obsolete? Salon argues that because of globalisation and technology there is now a increased separation between capital and labour. The activities that generate wealth have both been outsourced to cheaper shores, and become more efficient because of technology. As a consequence the social contract in Western society between rich and poor – the rich provide the capital while the poor provide the labour – is breaking down. The rich still have capital, but they can now move the production of goods to the East, creating a shortage of jobs in the West.
I read two articles on a similar theme this morning. Firstly there was Scott Adams’ post Startup Country, about creating a small, elite, light-weight country inside another country and using it to bootstrap the economy of the larger country. Secondly I read The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty, published by The Atlantic. This article actually talks about Paul Romer’s ideas on “Charter Cities” – a city governed by it’s own charter, rather than national laws. According to The Atlantic, this idea goes back to the 12th century with Heny the Lion and the idea of Imperial Free Cities.
I read Paul Graham’s essay on the acceleration of addictiveness this morning, and it really struck a chord. I feel as though it is almost impossible to become bored these days, there is so much to do. Is this because the world is getting more addictive, or just because I have gotten older and have much more control over my life so I tend to do only those things I want to do?
For the last few months I’ve been trying to come up with a model for procrastination. Specifically; for the various factors that cause me to delay carrying out a task. Over the weekend I was pondering what I would use the model for. If I came up with an equation which effectively represented the various parameters describing how much I would procrastinate over a given task, what use would it be?
Well, my thinking is that if I have an accurate model of what causes me to procrastinate over tasks, I can then start targeting the various factors. I can create strategies to reduce the impact of different factors, and hopefully improve my own effectiveness. It will also be interesting to see if – by the very act of studying my behaviour – I reduce the amount I procrastinate.