Links and Notes for the day - 19th June 2018

Back at work. Strong and alert.


I'm back at work after the month of fasting. Over the weekend and the holiday I took yesterday, the one thing I prioritised was getting my sleep. Even with 7-8 hours of sleep, my wife and I are just falling over by 8 30 PM in the night. It's going to take us a while to recover it seems. But as far as mornings go, I'm finding it hard to believe just how alert I feel now that I'm sleeping and eating (and hydrating) in a normal pattern. Reflecting on fasting, the effects it had on me:

  • My mood was drastically affected. I found it hard to feel happy with a lot of things. I was extremely irritable and I feel really bad that my 2.5 year old son found me getting irritated at him in situations where I'd normally laugh and shake it off. This is something I need to figure out how to manage in the coming years.
  • My will power to do anything productive was brought down to zero. The monkey brain inside of me ran rampant.
  • Basically my mental power was drained to zero.

I honestly don't know how people do this whole staying awake business without just crashing and burning in a couple of months. Youth might be one part of it, but even so, it's madness.

Cleaning up Slack

Sadly I forgot to take a screenshot of my Slack before. But basically I realised that my Buffer Slack sidebar was scrolling for almost two screens. The list of channels that I've joined that I don't participate in has grown pretty crazy. So I decided to spend some time cleaning it up this morning. I'm now a member of only 15 channels. Two of those are used to pipe alerts. 4 of them are mandatory required channels for work. So I'm effectively a concious participant of only 9 conversation groups. Down from about 35(?). This exercise forced me to really think about a couple of things:

  1. How many relationships I feel like I can maintain but then I realise I can't maintain them at all. Then instead of having a few meaningful relationships across the company chat rooms, I end up faiguing and having none at all. I can't believe I let something so blindingly obvious slip past me. I've followed this philosophy so strictly in life in general but somehow failed to apply the lessons learned to my Slack behvaiour.
  2. There's a lot to be said for how an application can be designed to encourage more meaningful interactions. Slack's design around real time chats as opposed to threads means that eventually people feel like they are interfering with other people's conversations. This leads them to break out to some specialised channel. Why should conversations about gaming related topics be separated from the free for all water cooler channel we have at Buffer? Well it makes sense if only a few people geek out occasionally about a random game announcement. But that's because we don't have a way to keep the gaming conversation separate from someone talking about the latest cafe they are working from without creating this feeling of exclusion or diversion. In effect, Slack's design encourages fragmentation. A good example of the opposite is the amazine Twist app by the team at doist (not sponsored :D )

Elon Musk's mail about an employee involved in active sabotage

This is really shocking (and not shocking) news. It's shocking because it's scary to see how much damage an employee with bad intentions can cause for so long without being detected. People could have died in many of the things that this employee has admitted to already. It's also not shocking because you will find angry malicious employees in a company the size of Tesla/SpaceX especially when it's grown that fast. From the mail sent out to employees:

However, there may be considerably more to this situation than meets the eye, so the investigation will continue in depth this week. We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations.

As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die. These include Wall Street short-sellers, who have already lost billions of dollars and stand to lose a lot more. Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world — they don't love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars. Don't want to blow your mind, but rumor has it that those companies are sometimes not super nice. Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors. If they're willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they're willing to cheat in other ways?

There's been a lot of news recently about Elon Musk going over the top with his declarations on the honesty of the press about the working conditions of his factory. Many of these comments by Elon have been out of line really. They are fear mongering at best and an active use of the fame currency as a form of indirect destruction of journalism. I mention this because people are using this as a measuring stick to say that the rest of Elon's comments are paranoid.

I don't believe that's fair in this case. It is not wrong to assume the worst from internal and external forces. Elon is right when he says a lot of people stand to profit from a downfall of the company. And the more paranoia, the better here. This is a scary time and while I'm not a fan of Elon, I really hope this gets resolved quickly. Space travel, investing in renewable energy, and emissionless cars are all net wins for humanity regardless of the person behind it. No one, especially not the people working behind the scenes deserves to be victimso of corporate espionage.

Some other links of interest from within the above story:

Who gets to be on the Steam store

A decision I vehemently disagree with. So I took some time to write about it:

The steam store rules and accepting responsibility

Open Logos

A fantastic little site that arasatasaygin created to help open source projects get a logo for their projects. Each logo on the website has a github issue opened for it. To claim it, one needs to comment on the issue linked to the logo you want. The community will vote (on the comment) for the one they feel truly deserves the logo. Most popular comment will be gifted the logo.

This feels like quite the opportunity. While there's some popularity building up around the repo it feels like some of this stuff should be really simple snags. Fully worth a shot for any open source dev with some repo that might even vaguely match up to any one of the logos.

Posted on June 19 2018 by Adnan Issadeen