What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#112)

Finding a more forgiving medium:

Blogging is very forgiving in many ways. I hadn’t thought about both blogging and writing from this angle but it’s an interesting idea. It reminds me of the idea of making habits easier to do (especially at the start) in order to keep them up and have any chance of actually making them true habits.

The ability to “move it around for a long time” is what I’m looking for in a writing medium — I want words and images to be movable, I want to switch them out, copy and cut and paste them, let them mutate. 

But most importantly, I want to be able to be wrong. I want to change my mind! I want to evolve. 

I guess any medium can be forgiving if you can do the (extremely) difficult task of not caring about what others think.

Read Blogging as a forgiving medium from

One of my favorite book excerpts of of recent memory (emphasis mine):

“I learned that if you work hard and creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want. Maturity is the ability to reject good alternatives in order to pursue even better ones.” (Ray Dalio, Principles)

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#111)

Quote I enjoyed thinking about:

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.

Thomas Sowell

How to answer questions in a helpful way:

As outlined in the below article, the most important step in delivering a good answer is making sure you understand the question fully and what prompted it. Doing this will also help with understanding what the questioner knows already, which is the second most important thing to delivering a good answer.

Often beginners don’t ask clear questions, or ask questions that don’t have the necessary information to answer the questions. Here are some strategies you can use to help them clarify.

-Rephrase a more specific question back at them (“Are you asking X?”) -Ask them for more specific information they didn’t provide (“are you using IPv6?”) -Ask what prompted their question. For example, sometimes people come into my team’s channel with questions about how our service discovery works. Usually this is because they’re trying to set up/reconfigure a service. In that case it’s helpful to ask “which service are you working with? Can I see the pull request you’re working on?”

Read How to answer questions in a helpful way from

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#110)

Quote I was thinking about this week:

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”

Henry Ford

New icebreaker questions I am going to use this week:

What topic do you wish was a college major but isn’t?

Plus this one:

Have you ever had an Internet friend?

I would modify that one — because I assume everyone would answer yes, right? — to ask who is the best Internet friend you’ve ever made. (Could be someone you later met IRL, or an Internet-only friend. At this point I can think of lots.)

Found in a recent Art of Noticing newsletter

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#109)

Quote that I was thinking about:

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.

Hannah Arendt

New word I learned last week: multipotentialite

Multipotentiality is an educational and psychological term referring to the ability and preference of a person, particularly one of strong intellectual or artistic curiosity, to excel in two or more different fields

Wikipedia entry for multipotentialite

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#108)

Quote I was thinking about:

“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Six harsh truths that will make you a better person:

Fun read. I am watching Cobra Kai at the moment and I can just picture Jonny Lawrence writing this.

Don’t like the prospect of pouring all of that time into a skill? Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the sheer act of practicing will help you come out of your shell — I got through years of tedious office work because I knew that I was learning a unique skill on the side. People quit because it takes too long to see results, because they can’t figure out that the process is the result.

Six harsh truths that will make you a better person