Google guide to distributed working

Google guide to distributed working

In a world where you might be working with people from the EU in the morning, on your own code all day, then passing off to Korea/China in the evening, distributed development teams are everywhere.

Unfortunately, distributed teams are also very difficult to manage and keep wellbeing and moral high. Google has some tips for you and your team:

http://services.google.com/fh/files/blogs/distributedworkplaybooks.pdf

Hikikomori – some new hope?

Hikikomori – some new hope?

I’ve written about this growing trend before and there are indications it is happening in other countries.

In Japan, half a million people live isolated in their bedrooms, unable to face the outside world. These modern-day hermits are known as the hikikomori. Since April 2018, the Japanese government has been conducting a nationwide study in a bid to fully understand this strange phenomenon.

There are finally some fruits of this studies and some programs that are really working. It appears many of those suffering from this condition remain so because of fear that compounds to the point they are afraid of the outside world. Afraid to meet others. Even afraid of speaking.

I, however, take issue with the reporter that cause this all ‘disturbing’ or ‘frightening’. These are sick people that need help for sure, but what they crave is a sense of belonging and human contact without the skills or help to know how to do it.

I personally believe the proliferation of technology that replaces genuine
human contact with simple online presence are creating gulfs in our human need for real belonging, connection, and meaning. As evidence of this, it’s usually not until those suffering are connected with a real human being to help them out.

Line Art Cafe

Line Art Cafe

Seoul, Korea’s Cafe 연남동 239-20 has a nifty design aesthetic. The entire place is done up in a black-and-white line art style that gives everything an illustrated 2D look. No detail was overlooked, from the chairs to the coffee mugs.

Clue: The Storybook

Clue: The Storybook

It’s no secret that I love Clue the movie. But there were also some books written from the screenplay. Unfortunately, since the movie wasn’t a big commercial success, the books were quickly discontinued and forgotten. This means that getting your hands on one of them is rather difficult – and expensive.

Thanks to an inter-library loan, however, I recently acquired a copy of Clue: The Storybook and did a page by page scan. I then combined them into a convenient PDF. I was actually surprised the in-book pictures weren’t actually the best quality, but the book itself is a fun, albeit abbreviated and simple, read.

Probably the most interesting part of the book is that it reveals a 4th ending that had been rumored at, but never filmed.

Give the book a look here.

Clue: The Storybook
by John Landis, Ann Matthews, Jonathan Lynn
Dec 1, 1985

  • ISBN-10: 0671618679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671618674
Flames. Flames on the side of my face

Flames. Flames on the side of my face

Clue is one of my favorite movies of all time. I discovered it when I was younger, and was immediately captivated.

Now, the folks over at It Looks So Fake productions are dong a Clue movie documentary called Who Done It.

They are going through an interviewing most of the original cast and crew – and it’s starting to look really promising. While development seems to be going very slowly, I’m excited to see what they come up with.

Ingenious Beetlejuice Broadway stage

Ingenious Beetlejuice Broadway stage

The cult classic Beetlejuice is coming to Broadway! Besides being a wild ride to score, it presents a unique challenge for the set design as workers must morph the traditional country home of the recently deceased Maitlands, to the kitsch taste of the Deetzes, and then finally into a demon-infested haunted play land.

Set designers came up with an ingenious design that makes room for puppetry, special effects, quick changes, and dance numbers.

Read more about the process and designers here.

Ken Burn’s Civil War series

Ken Burn’s Civil War series

This 9 episode series, first aired in 1990, recently appeared on Netflix. After a re-watch, I am now convinced more than ever it is one of the best documentaries of all time.

It is so unlike the politically-charged and biased ‘documentaries’ that flood out these days. I think it’s also a great demonstration of what documentaries used to be and what GOOD academics looks like. Based before all else on impartial reporting of facts, source material from all angles, and gives little interpretative judgement.

Today, it seems, we get so wrapped in our current highly politicized re-interpretation of the past/current events that we forget that those events often had altogether different meanings and different reasons than we like to put on them. Today’s documentaries all too often white-wash the actions of the past to a single opinion as seen through the lens of one or two directors. They push the documentarian’s opinion and blast over material with today’s arrogance and biases. Ironically, actually losing the most important lessons those events have to teach us.

I have seen this documentary twice now. Once in my teens, and once now in my adult years. I understood far more this time than before as I could relate to each of the players more fully now – from the lowly soldier to the struggles of Lincoln’s decisions.

I heartily recommend a re-watch and sharing this with your kids. If for no other reason than to understand this kind of high quality academics is what used to be considered the norm.