Productivity Tip: ‘Iterate Toward Perfection,’ But Forget Perfection Exists

Matt Might, whose account of having a disabled child I mentioned previously, also has an interesting post on productivity tips for academics.

The advice can be applied to people working in many professions, though, not just academia.

I really like this bit:

Iterate toward perfection

Treat perfection like a process, not an achievable state. Perfectionism is crippling to productivity. I’ve known academics that can’t even start projects because of perfectionism. I know some academics that defend their lack of productivity by proudly proclaiming themselves to be perfectionists. I’m not so sure one should be proud of perfectionism. I don’t think it’s bad to want perfection; I just think it’s unrealistic to expect it.

The metric academics need to hit is “good enough,” and after that, “better than good enough,” if time permits. Forget that the word perfect exists. Otherwise, one can sink endless amounts of time into a project long after the scientific mission was accomplished. One good-enough paper that got submitted is worth an infinite number of perfect papers that don’t exist.

Yes.

0

Moving Account of Having a Disabled Child — and What’s Important in Life

This post from University of Utah Computer Science professor Matt Might is very much worth reading.

Might saw a question on Quora from a 16-year-old who said he wanted to have a successful career in computer science or medicine, but feared getting married and having a disabled child.

Might wrote:

First, your question is trivial to answer: to minimize the risk – to zero – that you’ll have a disabled child, don’t have a child.

Any attempt to have a child will incur risk, although you can take measures described in other answers to lower it.

But, let me tell you a story – my story.

I am the father of a “disabled child,” yet I’m a professor in computer science at the University of Utah, and also currently a professor at the Harvard Medical School.

Hopefully I’ve just dispelled your fear that having a disabled child is not compatible with “a strong career in computer science or medicine.”

In fact, what if I told you that much of what I’ve done was the result of my having a disabled child? Because I too (naively) believe in love, and love my wife and son dearly?

Read the whole thing.

0

By Me Yesterday: Singapore Online Grocery Startup RedMart Hires Amazon Exec

The story begins:

Singapore-based online grocery-delivery service RedMart has scored some valuable new talent in its quest to conquer Southeast Asia.

The startup said Thursday it has hired a longtime senior executive at Amazon.com Inc. who once spent two years as a technical adviser to Chief Executive Jeff Bezos.

Colin Bryar, a former Amazon vice president, has joined Redmart as the company’s chief operating officer, and will oversee issues such as engineering, marketing and operations, according to RedMarket Chief Executive Roger Egan.

Mr. Bryar has “such tremendous experience shadowing one of the top leaders in tech for two plus years,” Mr. Egan told The Wall Street Journal.

0

Bangkok Bombing: Police Release Sketch of Main Suspect

2015 08 20BKKbomb

Following my post yesterday: Here’s the latest from my WSJ colleagues in Bangkok:

Thailand’s prime minister urged the main suspect in the bombing that killed 20 people in Bangkok this week to turn himself in, while police released a sketch of the alleged bomber and described him for the first time as a foreigner.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s remarks on Wednesday also acknowledged that the investigators were attempting to track down a wider-ranging network that they say is responsible for Monday’s blast at a shrine in the center of the city.

Meanwhile, inserted above and on YouTube here: an embeddable version of the dash cam footage showing the blast.

And here’s footage of the explosion at the Chao Phraya river on Tuesday.

0

Bangkok Bombings: Latest Updates and How to Follow the News

2015 08 19bkkbomb

A and I returned to Singapore Monday morning after a couple of weeks of traveling. Then that evening came the sad news about the bombings in Bangkok.

From our latest WSJ story:

Thai police said they were homing in on a suspect seen in security-camera footage of the bomb blast that killed at least 20 people, most of them foreign tourists, in the Thai capital.

A second explosive device on Tuesday was thrown from a bridge over Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. The bomb narrowly missed a busy pier where commuters waited for taxi boats, falling into the river where it exploded. No one was injured.

The blast, which threw a column of water into the air, deepened the sense of unease in a city where many commuters chose to stay at home and some tourists avoided the usually bustling malls and temples of downtown Bangkok.

The Economist has more on the context:

Low-level political violence is not uncommon in Thailand—which is riven by a kind of class war in which two military coups have succeeded in less than ten years—but the attack on August 17th was unprecedented in scale. The blast, caused by a pipe stuffed with TNT, did only relatively moderate damage to the shrine itself and the buildings that surround it. But timed to explode during the evening rush hour, and positioned at an intersection often packed with shoppers and tourists, it was designed to kill and maim a maximal number of bystanders. The dead included visitors from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. A young girl was among the injured.

Meanwhile, this dash cam footage shows the force of the Erawan Shrine bomb:

วินาทีระเบิดที่แยกราชประสงค์ วันที่ 17 สิงหาคม 2015 ภาพจากกล้องในรถผมครับ

Posted by Pimornrat Nana Puttayot on Monday, August 17, 2015

Quartz has a roundup of pics and videos.

For ongoing updates, here’s my public Twitter list of more than 100 media people in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand.

I especially recommend longtime Thailand blogger Richard Barrow, who frequently tweets information of interest to tourists and others in the city.

0

Song of the Day: Brandi Carlile’s “Wherever Is Your Heart”

Embedded above and on YouTube here: Brandi Carlile’s “Wherever Is Your Heart.”

Here’s more about Carlile. The song is from her album released earlier this year called “The Firewatcher’s Daughter.

0

Video: Italians Try to Pronounce Wojciech Szczesny’s Name

With the recent signing of goalkeeper Petr Cech — see my previous post and bold prediction — it looks like Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny is heading to AS Roma on loan.

This tweet from football writer James Horncastle alerted me to an excellent video in which Roma fans try to pronounce their new Polish goalkeeper’s name.

The video is embedded above and online here.

For the record, here’s how you say his name:

0

The 10* Most Beautiful Movies Ever Filmed

Embedded above and on YouTube here: “Top 10 Most Beautiful Movies of All Time,” by CineFix.

Interesting roundup. I will admit to not having seen number one. Will have to change that.

*Though many more than ten are featured.

(Via Kottke.)

0

Economist Special Report on Singapore: Complacency Could be Biggest Threat

This week’s Economist has a special report on Singapore.

From the intro, called “The Singapore exception”:

Singapore is, to use a word its leaders favour, an “exceptional” place: the world’s only fully functioning city-state; a truly global hub for commerce, finance, shipping and travel; and the only one among the world’s richest countries never to have changed its ruling party. At a May Day rally this year, its prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, asserted that “to survive you have to be exceptional.” This special report will examine different aspects of Singaporean exceptionalism and ask whether its survival really is under threat. It will argue that Singapore is well placed to thrive, but that in its second half-century it will face threats very different from those it confronted at its unplanned, accidental birth 50 years ago. They will require very different responses. The biggest danger Singapore faces may be complacency—the belief that policies that have proved so successful for so long can help it negotiate a new world.

There are also pieces on “land and people,” politics, the social contract, the economy, inequality, business and finance, and Singapore’s “foreign policy and national identity.”

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes