Techies take weird, improbable visions, and make them realities: some BS pitch deck to a VC, mixed with money and people, really does turn into some novel thing.
Facebook & Co. can take on the most egregious disinformation examples, or efforts undertaken by identifiable state actors (maybe), but it will never be able to shut it down entirely.
Why do I feel confident in this assertion (that I'm sure will get trolled)?
Where'd that end up? Nowhere. We got GDPR, which is pointless, and if anything solidified FB/GOOG's position in Europe. Ditto CCPA.
If you sat down to a meal in the 80s, and took out a camera and took a photo of your food, while telling everyone you were sending copies to your friends, you'd have been locked up in an insane asylum.
The Beacon scandal that blew up FB in the late aughts now seems like a joke. People got worked up over that?
We'll read the current disinformation coverage the same way.
It's the bridge generation (looks in mirror) that's mostly freaking out about it.
We as a species are dumb. We don't learn anything, and only technical and scientific knowledge is cumulative.
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Current SF spending on homelessness: $380M
Projected revenue from Prop C: $300M
Number of SF homeless: 7,500
Post-C, that means SF will be spending $90k/homeless person.
That's $30K per year *more* than the median SF teacher salary.
I don't get SF.
Note that despite that massive spending, SF has one of the lowest 'sheltered rate' among big US cities. SF homeless isn't particularly high, per capita, but more of them are on the street than elsewhere (which is why the problem looks bad).
Within that context, Prop C is a vote to spend even more, to the point the city is paying (per homeless person) just under what Google pays (in cash) to new college hires. And yet these people are on the street somehow.
I don't claim to understand the dizzyingly complex urban policy issues around homelessness. But neither do most SF taxpayers, and I think they'd like to know just how we got here.
For some coverage on Prop C (where I got the spend numbers
\u201cMore of us are plac\xading pol\xadi\xadtics at the cen\xadter of our lives. Both sides increasingly be\xadlieve a grand so\xadlu\xadtion to our po\xadlit\xadi\xadcal dys\xadfunc\xadtion can be found in\xadside pol\xadi\xadtics. In the Weekend Essay, Sen. Sasse explains why he thinks this won\u2019t work\u201d https://t.co/dCpDjo96Rv— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) October 13, 2018
This isn't a novel idea, and in fact more than one commenter has made some version of this point recently, without (apparently) this level of scorn.
This is a reaction to the author's politics, which ironically lends credence to the original argument.
Another negative reaction is: You're a senator. Do something!
And another point of the essay is that we can't rely on a political system to forge our communities or sense of belonging for us. That can only come from an engaged citizenry.
Thus, another very ironic reaction.
This critique is more self-aware. It's also a trendy post-modern deconstruction of the argument: everything is power relations, 'all politics is identity politics', etc.
In brief: Apolitical identity is impossible, and we're cursed to debate the meaning of small-town football games...forever.
Not the same ironic backhanded endorsement of the argument, but what a future that implies.
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Fun going down this list and thinking: "Hmm, plausible at a well-run modern software shop", "Hmm, possible, but requires implausible tradeoffs", "Literally disallowed by languages", and "If you were to attempt doing that our test suite wouldn't let you merge."
I think we as an industry celebrate (not quite the right word) failure too much and don't celebrate success nearly enough. There is no DailyWTF for competent execution, word of which generally stays pretty local to the source while incompetence passes into legend.
Alrighty let me try to thread the needle on being the change I want to see in the world while not giving away anything that will get me in trouble:
Ruby has wonderful developer ergonomics. Typed languages are easier for machines to guarantee the correctness of. We built a type checker for Ruby (and I believe it is slated for OSS release sometime).
Over the last months @mmkaradeniz and I made a new version. We launched it last night:
@accountanalysis doesn't use machine learning or AI „magic“. Instead of telling users if an account is authentic or not, it helps them to evaluate the accounts themselves.
It visualizes the different features (date, time, type, app, etc.) of Tweets to make them interpretable. /1
@accountanalysis The core concept is still the same, but it looks much better and is easier to operate. Not only for the users, but us developers as well. Enabling us to continuously roll out new features in the future.
Side-by-side screenshots of the old and new version. /2
@accountanalysis Some people had questions what different charts displayed and how they could be interpreted. There are now explanations for all charts, that can be toggled on and off at any time. /3
@accountanalysis The selected/retrieved Tweet count moved to the top to make it clear that not all Tweets of an account are analyzed. 3200 is the API limit by Twitter. It's possible to get more through the Premium API, but I don't think people would pay $100+ for the analysis of one account. /4
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They’d come in and look around, and you can always tell it’s them cause they wear blazers all the dam time. I’d watch them look around and finally ask if they needed help.
“Oh maybe, I don’t know if you can help me. I’m looking for... *hushed voice* ... a coder.”
“Oh yeah?” I’d murmur, matching their tone and seriousness. “We do coding tutorials, no worries, everyone starts somewhere, here let me pull up the tutor schedule...”
“Heh, no, no. I’m looking for a serious coder... for a business project.” They’d answer, suddenly puffing up.
“Ahh.” I’d nod solemnly. “Well, what kind of coder? I may have one in the back.”
“A good one.” They’d day, usually pulling up a chair.
“Yes but, what coding language?”
“Oh well I don’t know, that’s up to them.” They’d wave dismissively with one hand.
I’d nod again, pretending to take notes. “A good coder. I see. Well it depends on what you need...”
“It’s an APP!” (It’s always an app)
Sometimes I’d let them launch into their pitch, sometimes I’d cut them off.
Either way I’d say: “I see, and the salary you’re offering?”
I really, *really* like SoJ's "would not use again" question, which lets people who've abandoned a tech self-identify. This is noticeable in the graph above with Flow users -- 41% of people who've used Flow say they wouldn't use it again.
React 65% (vs. 60%)
Vue 29% (vs. 24%)
Ember 5% (vs 4%, I was expecting a bigger rise)
But there's a shocker in here: Angular.
npm's survey had Angular at 40% last year and SoJ has it at either:
- 58% (if you include those who don't want to use it again)
- 24% (if you count only those who like it)
Since npm's question didn't ask if they intend to *continue* using it I think that might explain this.
Why would you want a literary agent?
* you want to be traditionally published
* you want someone experienced to help guide your career
* you want to learn how to edit like a pro
* you want to sell foreign and movie rights
* you want answers to your newbie questions 2/
Why you might *NOT* want a literary agent:
* you want to self publish
* you're not willing to compromise on your edits
* you don't think their expertise is worth 15% of your advance
I... can't think this way. Literary agents have been crucial to my career. 3/
So, how do you get a literary agent?
1. Have a finished, revised, edited, polished manuscript.
2. Write a query letter for your book
3. Send your query to agents who rep your genre and are open to submissions
4. Repeat steps 1-4 until you're offered representation. 4/
So, let's go through those four steps. First of all, you must have a finished, revised, edited, polished book, and it must be sellable. That is, you can't sell a 600k picture book or a 40k adult Fantasy, etc. You must read extensively in the genre you're writing. 5/
"I need to get better at marketing."
But, it's more likely that you have a product problem:
"Do customers really want this? Do they care enough about this to switch to a new solution?"
☝️ this is why most of my book, @marketingdevs, is about:
1. Choosing the right market
2. Building something they want
"If your product is remarkable, getting noticed is a lot easier." – @peldi
I was reminded of this concept again this morning while reading @pjrvs' book (Company of One):
"Sales increase when you honestly evaluate what someone needs and then teach them the value of what you're selling."
To succeed, your product has to offer an outcome that is highly desirable to a large group of customers.
The number of sales your product receives is a multiple of these two variables:
1. How big is the target market?
2. How desirable is the outcome you're offering them?