Reading – Getting answers, sexism, mesh networks & society’s view of work

New recommendations.

Interview: “Wir müssen den Wert ‘Arbeit’ vom Thron stürzen” by Sandra Ernst Kaiser

Beschäftigung als Wert an sich zu begreifen, ist meines Erachtens nicht richtig. […] Menschen nach ihrer Nützlichkeit für die Gesellschaft zu beurteilen, ist auch ethisch bedenklich.

This article made me think about how we approach work and the general tendency of people to stay occupied instead of stopping a moment to think about one’s circumstances. Regardless of one’s personal issues, introspection can be a powerful tool. I am aware that “staying busy” is an approach that’s widely used – e.g. in the army – to fight depression. Never stopping to contemplate is the other extreme though and should be avoided.

Ein schwieriger Erbe by Matthias Dusini

Getting Answers by Mike Ash

Unless you’re paying for help (in which case you can probably ignore this entire page, and the person you’re paying will just charge more), the people who are answering your questions are doing it for free. Like a cute puppy who sits on command, you need to reward them when they do what you want.

If you do business on the internet and regularly need to ask for advice or search for information consider reading this to increase your chances of getting good answers.

Why Wu-Tang Will Release Just One Copy Of Its Secret Album by Zack O’Malley Greenburg – A very interesting idea that has a unique perspective on modern music as art.

Students Are ‘Hacking’ Their School-Issued iPads: Good for Them by Audrey Watters

[…] to flash an “eyes on teacher!” warning on the screens of those who aren’t paying the right sort of attention in the classroom.

The use of the term “hacking” in this context – although correct – is ill-advised. And while the issues raised are valid, the prospect of said warning is despicable.

31. 3. 2014 by Felix Neumann

I for one welcome our Vorwerk overlords.


Never run, always fight: One developer is trying to redeem gaming’s mage by Ben Kuchera – Making the mage truly powerful while still providing a challenging game seems like a worthy challenge and a welcome departure from more conservative games.

Dieser 29 Euro Mini Rechner ist 44x schneller als die 2 Millionen teure Parlamentshomepage by Gerald Bäck – Basically the parliament’s homepage is crap and/or manipulative.

How an Under-Appreciated iOS 7 Feature Will Change the World by Mike Elgan – I’m curious about Mesh networks in iOS. Some time ago I was in talks with a potential employer wanting to explore precisely that feature for their research projects.

Help Vampires: A Spotter’s Guide by Amy Hoy

Enforce autonomy. No matter how beneficent you’re feeling, never directly answer a common question. This is the lazy way out, and you only enable the Help Vampires instead of truly helping them. Let the URL to your help resources be your only answer, but tell the vamp you are happy to help if he explores those avenues of self-help and still cannot find an answer.

Introducing the Megaserver System by Colin Johanson and Samuel Loretan

The megaserver system is a weighted load balancer for players. It aggregates data about you, like your party, guild, language, home world, and the map copy where people you like to play with can be found. Using this data, it ranks all possible versions of a given map by attributing a score to each. You’re placed in the map with the highest score, which is the one with which you have the most affinity.

Technology’s Man Problem by Claire Cain Miller – Lots of quote-worthy passages in this depressing text. One has to feel ashamed for his fellow male tech people. Occasionally I had that feeling at university when there are sexist comments being made towards women too. That’s the point when I feel alienated from my colleagues because it would never cross my mind to talk in such a devaluating and insulting way about women. I realize it is not always easy to judge a person’s – let’s say “worth” for the lack of a better term – by their character or their skills (when looking for employees) but a negative attitude towards women or people who refuse to take part in the bro-culture can be palpable.

[…] these guys are just jerks, and women know it.

[…] The choice for people who are uncomfortable with the “bro” culture is to try to change it or to leave

[…] At GitHub, Ms. Horvath, who was the only female developer at the company when she started, said she once declined a romantic relationship with one of her co-workers. Then, she said, she discovered that code she had written had disappeared. The man, she said, had ripped it out.

[…] “I’m in no way saying that women can’t take a tough code review,” she added. “I’m saying that no one should have to take one in a boy-puerile atmosphere.”

[…] Lea Verou, an incoming Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering and computer science at M.I.T., wrote in a much read essay that women-only conferences and hackathons “cultivate the notion that women are these weak beings who find their male colleagues too intimidating.”

[…] “As a woman,” she wrote, “I find it insulting and patronizing to be viewed that way.”

Reading – Snowden, autism, Pokémon, mysteries & the creepy line

Since I thought this month’s media recap was in danger of being flooded with links of interesting writing I read during the last few days, here’s a little extra. Reading recommendations for some generally well written pieces on all kinds of different topics.

In which continent was the Third City?
Central America. Though that mustache on the granite things, didn’t that used to be popular in Germany?

If you’re going to write, I believe you should have the honesty and the integrity to really expose yourself.

Posts from the past

So, a friend of mine asked me to remove his real name from the writing he did over at our old, soon-to-be removed blog. When I inquired about his reasons for wanting to do so I was given the answer that he doesn’t want his name to have any hits when entered into a search engine.

I respect my friend and I have the utmost respect for privacy. On the other hand I think that having your real name next to your writing on the web creates a sense of responsibility. It makes you think and carefully pick your words and phrases instead of puking all your thoughts onto the keyboard because no one will ever be able to connect them to your persona. Many people want their name to stand for something, be it quality, reliability or something else entirely.

Given this line of thinking I was curious and asked for the reason behind this intent. He stated that has almost completed his education and is about to start applying for different jobs. He doesn’t want his potential employers to find anything about him on easily accessible sources.

I have to admit that while I respect his decision and already took the content down after mailing him an archive with his posts, I don’t understand the motivation at all. Is there a reason to cover one’s tracks when one writes about his personal interests and they remain fairly mainstream things?

Personally, I tremendously enjoy writing this blog – it’s an outlet for my creativity, it’s my home on the web and it’s a place I can use to share stories, helpful articles and just my thoughts with whoever wants to read it. I have even found myself using it on my letters of application and potential employers have talked to me about having checked out my blog and having seen articles related to the work I was applying for – or even just stuff that happened to be among their own hobbies.

I don’t write for a particular audience when dumping my thoughts like this. Letting the thoughts flow and the words stream out of my fingers helps me clear my mind. There are quite some posts on this website that have started their lives as scribbles or singular sentences in Day One, the diary app that I adore. Such as this one.

may contain traces of Apple