The Story of Mike Flint

“Mike Flint was Buffett’s personal airplane pilot for 10 years. (Flint has also flown four US Presidents, so I think we can safely say he is good at his job.) According to Flint, he was talking about his career priorities with Buffett when his boss asked the pilot to go through a 3-step exercise.

Here’s how it works…

  1. Top 25 goals over X time
  2. Choose top 5 goals from top 25
  3. Do 1 & 2 then read article
  4. Profit!

Out to Get You

“There are four responses to Out to Get You.

You can Get Gone. Walk away. Breathe a sigh of relief.

You can Get Got. Give the thing everything it wants. Pay up, relax, enjoy the show.

You can Get Compact. Find a rule limiting what ‘everything it wants’ means in context. Then Get Got, relax and enjoy the show.

You can Get Ready. Do battle. Get what you want.”

— Zvi Mowshowitz. “Out to Get You.” thezvi.wordpress.com. September 23, 2017.

The Father Of Mobile Computing Is Not Impressed

“…if you’ve done a good thing, you don’t keep on revving it and adding more epicycles onto a bad idea. We call this reinventing the flat tire…

…Papert had the great metaphor. He said, ‘Look if you want to learn French, don’t take it in fifth or sixth grade. Go to France, because everything that makes learning French reasonable, and everything that helps learning French, is in France. If you want to do it in the United States, make a France.'”

—Brian Merchant. “The Father of Mobile Computing is Not Impressed.” fastcompany.com. September 15, 2017.

Interesting throughout.

John Cleese on Monty Python and Political Correctness

What are you working on now?

I have a show I’m working on at the moment called Why There Is No Hope.

Sounds funny. 

It is funny. Some people immediately see the title as funny and other people go what?! There is no hope that we’ll ever live in a rational, kind, intelligent society. To start, most of us are run by our unconscious and, unfortunately, most of us have no interest in getting in touch with our unconscious. So if the majority of people are run by something they don’t know anything about, how can we have a rational society?

…Put aside intellectually smart, the trouble is that most people aren’t even emotionally smart. They can’t deal with reality. If they’re not doing well, they’ll blame someone else. That’s why I have no hope of our ever having a proper, well-organized, fair, intelligent, kind society. We have to let go of that idea. It is possible that in some small area you can improve things temporarily…But there’s no way to sustain it because people have no control over their egos and don’t understand — or don’t care — how their egos are distorting their thinking. Things always fall back into chaos. Which is why there is no hope.

There’s absolutely nothing that gives you any hope about the future of human society?

Nothing.

Nothing?

Nothing.

So why get up in the morning?

Just because you can’t create a sensible world doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the world you’re in. I think Bertrand Russell once said that the secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible. Once you realize that things are pretty hopeless, then you just have a laugh and you don’t waste time on things that you can’t change — and I don’t think you can change society. I’ve spent a lot of time in group therapy watching highly intelligent, well-intentioned people try to change and they couldn’t. If even they can’t change…”

—David Marchese. “In Conversation: John Cleese.” Vulture. September 12, 2017

Remember Cleese offering another bit of wisdom in another interview that has stuck with me, roughly paraphrased: You have a choice in life. You can try to control other people or you can control your own emotions. The second is easier.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze — Krebs on Security

“Q: What’s involved in freezing my credit file?

A: Freezing your credit involves notifying each of the major credit bureaus that you wish to place a freeze on your credit file. This can usually be done online, but in a few cases you may need to contact one or more credit bureaus by phone or in writing. Once you complete the application process, each bureau will provide a unique personal identification number (PIN) that you can use to unfreeze or “thaw” your credit file in the event that you need to apply for new lines of credit sometime in the future. Depending on your state of residence and your circumstances, you may also have to pay a small fee to place a freeze at each bureau. There are four consumer credit bureaus, including Equifax, Experian, Innovis and Trans Union. 

Q: How much is the fee, and how can I know whether I have to pay it?

A: The fee ranges from $0 to $15 per bureau, meaning that it can cost upwards of $60 to place a freeze at all four credit bureaus (recommended). However, in most states, consumers can freeze their credit file for free at each of the major credit bureaus if they also supply a copy of a police report and in some cases an affidavit stating that the filer believes he/she is or is likely to be the victim of identity theft. In many states, that police report can be filed and obtained online. The fee covers a freeze as long as the consumer keeps it in place. Equifax has a decent breakdown of the state laws and freeze fees/requirements.”

—Krebs, Brian. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Security Freeze. Krebs on Security. July 15, 2008.

Useful reminder in light of the recent Equifax breach.

Interview: D.A. Pennebaker

“Working with Francis, he taught me what an artist was. Up to then I thought artists were just people who painted pictures. He understood that you committed to something for life. It wasn’t just you did this job because you could make some money or it was a good job or led to a better job. It was something you committed to like a religious cause. That was it—there was never any going back or changing your mind or anything.”

—Eagan, Daniel. “Interview: D.A. Pennebaker.” Film Comment. August 28, 2017.