Half A Post Down-- More Later

I've been mulling big ideas for the last few weeks. We did do a road trip to San Francisco. That was 20 hour-plus drive. Plenty of room for talking, social juxtaposition and audio books.
Free - The Chris Anderson book about the concept of giving and getting at zero cost up-front. It was a powerful and interesting book. He draws on examples of the phenomenon of Free in our day-to-day world. He even peers into the future via SF to talk about how sci-fi deals with a post-scarcity and that SF makes scarcity into a source of conflict to drive stories. Really: the post-scarcity will change our way of thinking. There will be an all-you-can-eat buffet at the End of the Universe, but you will have to learn how to pull back from the table. The challenge of free will not be abolishing scarcity, but abolishing gluttony.
Super Freakonomics - Friends hacked Freakonomics. I think their math holds water and makes for some fascinating concepts. The SuperFreakonomics book covered how the Mt. Pinatubo volcano spewed sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere and dropped temperatures worldwide in the early 1990s. As we were listening, Iceland's volcano was spewing ash into the atmosphere. Snow in California changed our route home. Windstorms are ripping through our area. I have to wonder if we're in the opening volleys of the same thing as Mt. Pinatubo, but it doesn't exist as a problem because the hairdoes at CNN haven't figured this out.
4-hr. Work Week and Monetizing Drupal - I didn't know what I was going to discover at this talk, but it was interesting. People had started these websites to turn Drupal into a business. One of the people was motivated by the concepts of the The 4-Hour Workweek. For years I have been searching for a way to get rich via the Internet. If I was trying to get rich quick, I totally failed. It's been years and I'm not rich. Maybe it's a matter that you get rich quick, or not at all.
Being Fed-up - I listened to the different talks about Drupal at Drupalcon. I also listened to some of the employers put out calls for new employees. I suck at customer follow-up, so I doubt if I should be one-person shop. At work, I don't endure what I would call "antics": a situation where I get initial details at-- or after-- the deadline. The development period is usually started at the deadline, leaving at panicked and buggy end-result. I went to one swell talk from Palantir called The Magic of Teams. They were into a bit where they said that the client was part of the development team: with expectations and things they had to bring to the table. I thought "THAT'LL NEVER WORK" (well, with the place I work with): there are walls of insulation between me and the clients; as well as me and the people who I work with. Accountability doesn't appear to exist. Lots of places pull this. If I get fed-up from my current place, the next place may have the same practices. So, what I am holding out for? Is this like jumping phone carriers? Bell sucks, so I'm going to try Virgin (note: Virgin uses Bell's infrastructure)?
Externalities - I've been looking for a unified field theory for success. I read through Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success (great book). He broke up the elements of success and found that there isn't a lot of mystery but more a matter of hard work and statistical clustering. I see marvelous mess-ups who succeed. They are the toast of the town. How do such morons succeed? Externalities. They offload their problems to other people and make them their problems. So someone else has to generate a solution that they share in. It's like these fabulous f-ups are problem farmers: planting chaos and reaping rewards. There was a swell (read: horrific) post from someone who was tapped to do freebie work for someone-- someone who was being paid part of $60,000 to collect the material. Success is all about externalities. Every worker generates about 1.0 people-loads of work and income-- enough to pay for their lifestyle more or less. How does Bill Gates turn his career into an engine that generated billions of dollars while lots of people his age generated maybe a house, maybe just a collection of baseball cards? He leaned on the hard work of others to generate his own wealth.


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