One Thing Can Make The World A Better Place

Many people have the dream of being a successful writer. There’s an allure with having one’s work read by others, but the business of writing has changed. One no longer seeks a publisher, but instead traffic and results on search engines. One no longer expects royalties, instead revenue is generated from advertisements and affiliate links.

The language of the web is now monetization. If that were my goal there’d be advertisements on this website. But there are none. At least, not in the form you’d expect.

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I have a favour to ask.

Dear everyone, I have a favour to ask…

Imagine the future. Not as it is next week, next year, or even in a hundred years hence. Imagine the future as it exists in ten thousand years time; and imagine that’s a future where things have gone right.

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How to screw learning with one simple belief

Source: Mueller and Dweck¹

This. Right here. Look at it.

It’s a graph showing the performance of children after they’ve been praised for their intelligence (“you must be smart”) versus their effort (“you must have put a lot of effort into that”), and then given a series of hard problems to try to solve. The kids who are taught that effort is important increase in the number of problems they can solve. Those who are told that they’re smart show a frightening decrease.

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A new website, a new philosophy

A few years ago, the server on which I hosted my personal website suffered a hardware failure and died. It had been running for over a decade and the design had not changed once during that time.

I’m very glad to say that I’ve now resurrected the site, along with the over ten years worth of writing I had there. However what I’m really excited about is the technology and philosophy of how the new site is constructed.

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Do not stifle innovation.

Open source software is great. You don’t have to worry about the owner deciding to discontinue it, because someone else can always take over. If there’s a bug that really annoys you—or a feature you really want—you can add it. If you’re concerned about what the software might be doing, you can open it up and take a look. And even if you don’t have the skills or inclination to do all these things, other people will.

While I’ve always known open source software is great, I’m increasingly starting to appreciate that open source developers are also great. Many people in open source not only have a tremendous amount of experience with software, but also community management. They’ve seen a lot of the same problems arise many times, and so they have a good idea on how to get code, and people, to work together productively.

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