Fly on the Wall: “You always Schopenhauer late” Matt 19 May 2006

17 comments Latest by M3_962

Some of the activity this week at our internal 37signals Campfire chat room:

McferrinHow does Jason maintain his Bobby Mcferrin-like disposition? By not worrying:
“look for the easy way out”…
“we’ll worry about that stuff later”…
“don’t worry about any of this stuff now. it’s not important…what’s important is getting the fundamental screens in place — not perfect.”…
“don’t worry about these details now”…etc.
(Plus this keeps eyes on the forest instead of the trees.)

Seems like no matter where you go, people complain about a lack of local employable talent. David thinks smart companies must consider remote workers. “Companies that restrict themselves to looking only around their own block for help deserve the lack of results that produces.”

Sam’s background on the PC system he uses for testing is a desert image. Jamis commented, “I see sam prefers the desert background, I presume to reinforce the inhospitality of windows :)”

Ryan shared this quote from a Time Magazine piece on Nintendo:

Nintendo has grasped two important notions that have eluded its competitors. The first is, Don’t listen to your customers. The hard-core gaming community is extremely vocal — they blog a lot — but if Nintendo kept listening to them, hard-core gamers would be the only audience it ever had. “[Wii] was unimaginable for them,” Iwata says. “And because it was unimaginable, they could not say that they wanted it. If you are simply listening to requests from the customer, you can satisfy their needs, but you can never surprise them. Sony and Microsoft make daily-necessity kinds of things. They have to listen to the needs of the customers and try to comply with their requests. That kind of approach has been deeply ingrained in their minds.

Consensus opinion on Apple’s new Fifth Ave. store: Hot.

Why does David sometimes avoid using clarifying examples in his posts? “I’m a tad ambivalent about providing specific examples. It tends to make it too easy to shrug off the point if it doesn’t apply. When they’re vague, it’s more like a rorschach. Your mind will be better able to fill in the blanks for your situation.”

Nacholibre.com has the “BEST SPLASH EVER” acc to Ryan.

Years ago, Marcel and a friend wanted to write a song with pavementesque lyrics that name dropped a bunch of philosophers. “You always schopenhauer late.” “but i don’t care ‘cause who nietzsche anyway?” Ryan offered, “fine, you take the low road. i’ll take the heidegger.” Marcel said, “we gave up on Wittgenstein.”

Sam spotted this on the Parallels blog: “As of right now, almost half of Intel-Mac owners already have Parallels installed on their Mac, or plan to do so soon. Compare that to Boot Camp; less than 40% of Mactel users have or will install it on their machines.” Er, “plan to do so soon”?…sounds a tad shaky.

Jamis’ favorite new trick with Ruby hashes:

irb(main):001:0> map = {}
=> {}
irb(main):002:0> node = ((map[:foo] ||= {})[:bar] ||= {})
=> {}
irb(main):003:0> map
=> {:foo=>{:bar=>{}}}
irb(main):004:0> 

David thinks iTunes is losing it based on the new RHCP album costing $20 online but only $11.50 at Amazon. “Steve might have won the 99 cent battle on singles, but he lost the war on albums.” Ryan hates buying physical CDs: “i don’t know what to do with them…put them in a pile somewhere? give them away? it’s weird.”

Marcel after a false prediction of clear weather: “Following the correlation between meteorology and reality makes me feel like I’m in a Fellini movie.”

A run of cute cat pictures sent Sam over the edge: “too much cute…we need less cute in this room please.” Marcel sensed a new mantra: “Less Cute!!!”

17 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Monty Python 19 May 06

The Philosopher Song
Monty Python

“Immanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable,
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could think you under the table,
David Hume could out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.
There’s nothing Nietzsche couldn’t teach ya ‘bout the turning of the wrist,
Socrates himself was permanently pissed…
John Stuart Mill, of his own free will, with half a pint of shandy was
particularly ill,
Plato, they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whiskey every day,
Aristotle, Aristotle was a beggar for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart, “I drink therefore I am.”
Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he’s pissed.”

Joshua Blankenship 19 May 06

Seems like no matter where you go, people complain about a lack of local employable talent.

Coming from the other side of this (being an employable, hopefully talented designer willing to move somewhere to work with a great team), I think it’s more difficult for us to find suitable, available employERS than it is for them to find local (or non-local) talent.

For example, think of a non-design-hub decent-sized city. After you’ve exhausted all the typical online job boards, sans flipping through the phonebook looking for firms, you’re only left with errant google searches to find potential employers, which is hit and miss at best. It’s really quite frustrating, especially considering how many firms/employers/companies are probably sitting around thinking “if only I could find some good talent” while so many talented potential employees are struggling to find them.

John 19 May 06

Joshua - so put yourself forward!

I know how hard this is to do… self-marketing seems dirty a lot of the time. It’s totally worth approaching people you *want* to work for, regardless if tyhey are hiring or not — if you present some kind of potential value to them, no doubt you’ll have sown a seed in their minds.

Like you said, there are potentially oodles of people wishing they had a great designer/programmer/wingman, and not all of them have the impetus or resources to make that wish apparent to the market. So if you feel like you have something to offer, make sure the right people know who you are and what your offering is.

Sorry if this comes across as condescending or obvious, but I’m just learning a bunch of this stuff myself, and it seems to work.

Phil 19 May 06

Sell the CD’s on eBay or to a local used record store. You won’t get much for them, but it’s more than nothing, and you’ll be confused about one less thing.

Rahul 19 May 06

Holy crap, finally one of you guys noticed that Nintendo is doing the exact same stuff you are. Nice one!

Ben 19 May 06

Stadium Arcadium was worth the $20. It’s a 2-CD set, so I’d write the Amazon deal off as just unusually good. Getting it right now, no shipping costs and no extra packaging and CDs to worry about is worth it for me. Maybe I’m just lazy.

don 19 May 06

Um, Ruby newbie here. what does the ruby code do?

Jamis 19 May 06

don, it’s just a way of initializing deep hashes at runtime. You can do the same with an initializer (ala “Hash.new { |h,k| h[k] = Hash.new { … } }”), but that can become really tricky to do right when it is a deeply nested hash, AND the hash can’t be serialized if you do it that way.

Thus, the trick I demonstrated just lets you say “give me map[:foo][:bar] if it exists, otherwise, create it and then give it to me”.

beto 19 May 06

“Steve might have won the 99 cent battle on singles, but he lost the war on albums.”

And rightfully so. Not that he sweats it though - the pop music industry has always been built around the single, the self-contained, radio-ready, playable to death, instantly consumable 2-to-4-minute piece of music everyone can hum to, sing to and easily memorize the lyrics to. And iTMS shows this probably better than anything else. Apple knows where the money is.

However, that also means there is little appeal on iTMS for those of us whose musical tastes go beyond the Top 40 radar, or are into progressive rock or classical. Not all albums are cut from the same ‘3 good songs and 12 turkeys’ cloth.

kev 19 May 06

Yeah, or maybe we can’t employ off-site employees due to security issues that arise from the extremely sensitive nature of our data…

Rahul 19 May 06

I think the album model is something that belongs in Music Industry 1.0 and doesn’t really need to exist in the iMusic Industry 2.0 that Apple helped invent. An album is just a practical collection of songs, after all. Bands are already showing that they don’t necessarily need to operate by that model, and hopefully we’ll see them keep innovating in that space thanks to the new space iTunes and similar web-based stores have opened up.

Mike Doan 19 May 06

Ryan hates buying physical CDs: “i don’t know what to do with them…put them in a pile somewhere? give them away?

Sell the CD’s on eBay or to a local used record store.

Not that I care, but doesn’t giving them away or selling them on ebay, while they still remain on your hard drive, copy-right infringement?

Joshua Blankenship 19 May 06

Joshua - so put yourself forward!

I know how hard this is to do… self-marketing seems dirty a lot of the time.

John, oh, I do. I have no problem with this mentality, and I think building and maintaining a strong personal brand is vital to finding fulfilling, challenging work. (And I landed in my current job/city by self-marketing my way into an interview and subsequent job…. I sent the company a love letter.)

I think I’m just occasionally frustrated with the lack of structure available for designers/contractors to find great work environments. The current state of things requires a little more work on our end than I wish it did, but all in all, it might be a good thing… people who are self-motivated and fairly relentless in the search for suitable work environments and teams make fantastic employees more often than not, and set themselves apart from the crowd by simply putting for the effort to reach out and (how cheeky) say “hey, look at me… now, hire me.”

WILL 20 May 06

An album is just a practical collection of songs, after all.

I love me a good single and see no reason a musician should be forced to wrap a good song with an albums worth of material but to suggest albums are, after all, just a practical collection of songs makes me wonder what sort of albums you listen to.

Jan 20 May 06

Uhm, I still don’t get the Hash magic.
Could you provide a short example where this would be useful?

M3_962 25 May 06

Don’t forget you can only burn something thru iTunes 10x or whatever (isn’t that right?).

So, I would still rather have the CD. You can at least take out the booklet/back card and put them and the CD in a CD case. Keep the jewel case for giving discs to your friends.

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