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B5L Issue #021
Smarter than the average hybrid-working, white-hat, late-sleeping, productivity-focused, bear.
A sad story to begin with. A very impressive gentleman named Daniel Kazinsky died. What first caught my attention was that he died from keto-acidosis, which is the same condition that sent me to hospital a few years ago. But then what kept my attention was the incredible work he did throughout his life to improve the internet.
Mr. Kaminsky’s first call was to Paul Vixie, a longtime steward of the internet’s DNS system. The usually unflappable Mr. Vixie recalled that his panic grew as he listened to Mr. Kaminsky’s explanation.
“I realized we were looking down the gun barrel of history,” Mr. Vixie recalled. “It meant everything in the digital universe was going to have to get patched.”
Mr. Vixie asked Mr. Kaminsky if he had a fix in mind. “He said, ‘We are going to get all the makers of DNS software to coordinate a fix, implement it at the same time and keep it a secret until I present my findings at Black Hat,’” Mr. Vixie said, referring to an annual hacking conference in Las Vegas.
“I remember calling people and telling them, ‘I’m not at liberty to tell you what it is, but there’s this thing and you will need to get on a plane and meet us in this room at Microsoft on such-and-such date,’” Mr. Vixie said.
Over several days they cobbled together a solution in stealth, a fix that Mr. Vixie compared to dog excrement. But given the threat of internet apocalypse, he recalled it as being the best dog excrement “we could have ever come up with.”
Just think about what a huge project that would have been to coordinate in secret. What an incredible dude.
A short riff on something I’ve been feeling for a while now: I’m drawn to the allure of productivity systems and todo apps because they give the illusion of progress, without helping me get closer to my goal.
Probs still a few todos away from giving them up though.
Counterintuitively, a to-do list can be a powerful driver of procrastination.
When you put all your to-dos in the same place and give them equal treatment, you give yourself another reason to order avocados instead of creating the new marketing strategy for your business.
Kisha and I have definitely been experiencing this since the kids came along. Our days are consumed with others’ demands and so, when the kids finally get into bed (and then subsequently finally get to sleep!) it can feel like the only time we get for ourselves. My day begins at 2030.
This lady suggests that these late bedtimes can be a healthy release and not something to feel guilty about. Which is fine and I’m all for one less thing to make me feel guilty. However, she doesn’t address the most obvious problem: wake up times remain fixed. So binging on Grey’s Anatomy until 2330 might be relaxing in the moment (seriously Shonda, Grey is being paid $20 million an episode to lay in a coma!) but the next morning we wake up with bouncing kids and exhausted parents.
Though I do love the idea of adding ‘revenge’ to common expressions to give them ‘additional emotional intensity’.
I’ve been doing this for quite some time, purposely delaying sleep late into the night for some “me time,” and now a recent tweet has given me the vocabulary to express my nighttime habit: “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination.” Apparently, a Dutch university paper had coined the term “bedtime procrastination” in 2014 to explain how our lack of self-discipline results in us failing to go to bed at the intended time. When Chinese social media added the word “revenge” (becoming 報復性熬夜), it gave the phrase the additional emotional intensity it needed and went on to spark viral threads across social media.
Revenge bedtime procrastination, to me, isn’t about sitting in bed and scrolling through social media. It’s a time to be alive and live on my own terms and take joy in the hours of being me. Sometimes that means I take a really long shower and play good music. Sometimes I go to the bodega and buy myself flowers late at night and press the petals to my face while walking home, or I sit at a 24-hour coffee shop and read. Sometimes I read the articles I couldn’t read in the day, or watch the movie or video clip that was attached in a newsletter that caught my eye this morning that I haven’t had a chance to take a closer look at.
I enjoyed this much longer read on early research coming out of the pandemic’s shift to hybrid / flexible working structures. In particular, I thought it was quite insightful to note the shift to remote working has allowed for not only disconnected places of work (i.e. you work at your home and I work at mine) but also disconnected times of work (i.e. you work when suits you and I work when suits me).
A lot of the focus is on place but not much gets said about time.
I think this is part of the reason I hate phone calls. Because the caller assumes that whatever issue they want to speak about at that moment is also what the receiver wants to focus on at that moment. Which, in my view, is super arrogant.
Not your calls, obviously. Someone else’s calls. I love your calls.
Figuring out how to do this is far from straightforward. That’s because to design hybrid work properly, you have to think about it along two axes: place and time.
Place is the axis that’s getting the most attention at the moment. Like Fujitsu’s employees, millions of workers around the world this year have made a sudden shift from being place-constrained (working in the office) to being place-unconstrained (working anywhere). Perhaps less noticed is the shift many have also made along the time axis, from being time-constrained (working synchronously with others) to being time-unconstrained (working asynchronously whenever they choose).
(also via RadReads)
Real Big Bear Approved Honey
I laughed at this Reddit thread regarding a Turkish(?) engineer conducting an experiment to see which brands of honey the local wildlife really preferred.
But of course, like everything on the internet, the true value was within the comments.
Some of the better comments include criticisms that the engineer’s research was not conducted as a double-blind test, discussions regarding just how absolutely-effing-terrifying the bears are, and discussions regarding whether the consistent winner, Anzer Bali Honey, could somehow use the bear’s endorsement in their marketing materials.
Also it lead me to the source video, which is in Turkish, but worth a watch to see giant grizzly bears run amuck.