Grist - Week of 4/17/2020
This weekly linkdump is an outlet for me to catalog what’s making me think, and scratches the itch I have to share it.
Cal Newport describes “Inbox Capture” and “Task Inflation” - a fresh, hellish consequence of remote work that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Loudly agree with both his premise and his conclusions. Cal has succinctly described Knowledge Work Hell.
“No such thing as spare time,
no such thing as free time,
no such thing as down time.
All you got is life time. Go.” - Henry Rollins
Wild Weasel squadrons were USAF fighter squadrons whose mandate was to fly into enemy territory ahead of a bombing run, find a surface-to-air missile site by taunting them into shooting at them, evading the missile, and then destroying the SAM site. That’s a special kind of bravery - or maybe insanity. Two quotes from the article capture the spirit of those involved particularly well:
“Jack Donnovan’s contribution to the vernacular when introduced to the Wild Weasel concept was more enduring, and became the semi-official motto of the Wild Weasel profession: YGBSM - “You gotta be shitting me.” This was the natural response of an educated man, a veteran EWO on B-52s and the like, upon learning that he was to fly back seat to a self-absorbed fighter pilot while acting as flypaper for enemy SAMs. What would you say?”
“In those days, I had “World’s Greatest Fighter Pilot” printed on my helmet - backwards so I could read it in the mirror. No apologies for youth: That was the sort of attitude we all had. I just put my attitude in writing.”- Lt. Col Allen Lamb, USAF (ret.)
Greg Hausheer wrote a really great, two-part series of interviewing engineers when you’re not technical. Heavily biased towards businesspeople trying to find software engineers, but it speaks of a lot of empathy with technical folk that isn’t exclusive to software development. How do you build common ground with your technical staff? How do you negotiate compromises between business and technology? Excellent questions, and ones too frequently not considered.