Notes from Chapter 8 of the Power of Habit

## Saddleback Church and the Montgomery Bus Boycott (244)

> It was Thursday, December 1, 1555, in Montgomery, Alabama and she has just finished a long day at Montgomery Fair, the department store where she worked as a seamstress. The bus was crowded and, by law, the first four rows were reserved for white passengers. The area where blacks were allowed to sit, in the back, was already full and so the woman—**Rosa Parks**— sat in a center row, right behind the white section, where either race could claim a seat (p.215)

The process of social movements (p.217) requires convergence of 3 parts:

1. Start: Social habits of friendships, and strong ties between close acquaintances
2. Growth: Habits of community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and clans together.
3. Endures: Movement leaders give participants new habits that create fresh sense of identity and feeling of ownership Continue reading

I'm speaking again!

After a couple year hiatus, I thought it’d be nice to start speaking again — the disconnect of basically stopping speaking at open source conferences when I started working at two companies producing some of the world’s largest open-source products ([WordPress][] and [Wikipedia][]) was becoming too much.

I decided to apply this year. Luckily, [Northeast PHP Conference][nephp] forgot to check the The Great Offensive PHP Speaker Blacklist™, and accepted my talk!

The talk will be: [Ten Evil Things: Features Engineering at Wikipedia][10 evil things]. Now with 30% less swear words, but don’t worry, it’ll still be fun. :-D

When registering, belatedly, I noticed they had an interesting preferences page, I thought I’d share my answers with you

[WordPress]: http://wordpress.org “WordPress: Blog Tool, Publishing Platform, and CMS”
[Wikipedia]: http://en.wikipedia.org “Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia”
[nephp]: http://www.northeastphp.org “Northeast PHP Conference 2013″
[10 evil things]: http://www.northeastphp.org/talks/view/156/Ten-Evil-Things-Features-Engineering-at-Wikipedia “Ten Evil Things: Features Engineering at Wikipedia—Northeast PHP Conference”

Continue reading my answers to their questions after the jump→

The Rubbernecking Theory of Google Glasses

[John Gruber writes][]:

> One of these guys is wrong.

It’s [possible][wiki:false dilemma] that they’re both right in what they observed, but both wrong in trying to derive a conclusion from their observations.

[John Gruber writes]: http://daringfireball.net/linked/2013/05/20/glass-io “Two Takes on Google Glass at I/O—Daring Fireball”
[wiki:false dilemma]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma “False dilemma—Wikipedia”

Continue reading about false dichotomies and false conclusions after the jump→

Some of your clients are clearly misogynist tourists

She complains, “There’s just no appreciation on their end. I got them ___, and they’re still trying to tell me how to do my job. It’s so frustrating. I have clients that I feel I’m under-servicing and this one takes up all my time. They have a low retainer, but they act like they own me. That’s the last time I let them talk me down on my retainer.”

“You shouldn’t have let that happen so you shouldn’t be surprised.”

“How so?”

“I once visited Venice when I was a kid. Many stores didn’t have prices, but some of the stores did. No matter which, you didn’t have to pay the listed prices — there was an expectation that you could haggle over the price.”

“And?”

“Well with this client: they don’t know your field so they don’t know what the expectation is. **You** set that. Letting yourself get talked down on that amount is like buying something in Venice. Imagine if we were in the United States, and someone walked into your store and said, ‘Hey, I know it says it cost $15, but how about I give $10?’”

She laughs.

“Exactly! The only place you can do that here is at a car dealership. If you treated their counteroffer like you just treated this hypothetical, they would have learned to go somewhere else and be someone else’s problem, or deal with you on the terms you set. When you created your own business, it was because you didn’t want companies to feel they owned you, and you wanted to be free to be honest with them. You need to set those terms down in this way.”

“Yeah, they said that they wanted _____ in the long term but didn’t have enough money right now, so they wanted a two month contract at a lower rate to try it out. I should have known they never really valued the work I do.”

“That’s another thing right there! Imagine, I was single right now and asking you out. What if I told you, ‘Hey, I really want have a committed relationship and get married someday. Why don’t we fuck so I can try you out?’ Would you?”

“When you put it that way, definitely not.”

“Exactly.”

Combining

“I am so tired of stupid people, Terry. So tired of the people that say stupid things like, ‘Combining fruits and nut butters is dangerous for your health because… [food combining](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_combining)!’”

Me: “Just tell them that ‘combining your brain and your mouth is dangerous for **my** health because… the stupid: **it burns**!”

Enterprise job recruiting

> Hi Terrence,
>
> I am following up on previous emails and calls. I am doing some research on PHP. I understand that you are focused on [canonical model](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_Model) management, [SOA](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service-oriented_architecture) or [ESB](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_service_bus) initiatives. Do you have 10 minutes for a quick call tomorrow afternoon?
>
> The [redacted] platform enables rapid service design, construction, and management all from a Canonical Model. This enables the following:
> 1) Your services are managed in our repository aligned to all of your business capabilities
> 2) Impact analysis on how a change from a provider system ([Logical Model](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_data_model)) can impact the Canonical and other services
> 3) Rapidly propagate the changes to the impacted services
> 3) Rules based [version management control](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Version_control)
> 4) Mapping provider systems to the canonical model reduces the number of mappings required by over 99% for a complex integration projects.
>
> I know this is a busy time of year. If someone else is better suited for this discussion, can you please refer me to them?

I understood every third word.

The other day, I sat through a presentation from from an enterprise consultant, they had an 8 category scrum chart just for feature choice and a 10 category one for development. The former had categories like: “paths to insight” -> “validation” -> “harvesting”, so I spent most of my time imagining what would happen if people were story cards that ended up dying due to being harvested at the end of validation due to improper paths to insight.

Maybe if they spent less time throwing verbiage and more time doing, [Enterprise](http://terrychay.com/article/php-enterprise-scalability.shtml) [wouldn't](http://terrychay.com/article/php-pro-con.shtml) [be such](http://terrychay.com/article/php-enterprise-myths.shtml) [a joke](http://terrychay.com/article/enterprise-scalability.shtml).

22 categories? **This** is agile?

My theory is that someone with [Wernicke’s aphasia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernicke%27s_encephalopathy) would make [a killing in Enterprise software development](http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wernicke%27s+aphasia).

Irony

So, the weather got decent in San Francisco (which has been rare).

On this beautiful Friday, as a way of getting myself unstuckavoiding work, I am trying out [Unstuck][]…

Unstuck's Pick 3

It asks me if I’m using Wikipedia as a way of avoiding work. (I am using Unstuck app a way of avoiding work I should be doing at [Wikimedia Foundation][wmf].)

The irony is thick with that one.

Update: It appears that the app is useful if you are only stuck creatively, not if you’re just procrastinating. Helping me be more creative? That’s the exact opposite of what I need.

[Unstuck]: http://www.unstuck.com “Unstuck iPad app: How to live better every day”
[wmf]: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home “Wikimedia Foundation”

You lost me there, bub

Reading [this blog post ranting on PHP][phphorrors]

> No corporation supports PHP’s growth & maturity like Sun & Google do for Java, Google (Guido van Rossum) for Python (jnc Django framework), Ruby (inc RoR) by 37 signals etc…

37Signals & Ruby? Thank his noodly appendage PHP’s support isn’t as terrible as that company on that language.

You lost me there, bub.

When it comes to engineering choice, programming language is not even in the top 10 of important choices a software architect has to make. If you’re worried about the language, you’re worried about the wrong thing. (I’m also a little amused that the author holds Python as a language with great unicode support.)

[phphorrors]:http://www.theroadtosiliconvalley.com/technology/php-coding-horrors-poor-excuses/ “PHP: coding horrors & poor excuses—The Road to Silicon Valley”

f/8 and be where?

I was reading Tim Barribeau’s [excellent article on µ4:3 lenses][m43 lenses], when I was taken aback:

> The oft repeated creed of the photojournalist is “f/8 and be there.” You can set this lens to infinite focal length, and anything more than 6 feet away will be in focus, making it great for candid shots.

This goes against my instinct. A 4:3 sensor with a wide-angle field of view, should do better than f/8.

Being anal, I had to check [DoFMaster][dofmaster]. Inputs: (E-P3, E-P2, E-P1), Focal length: 15mm 30mm equiv), f-stop: f/8, subject distance: 6.2feet

Hyperfocal distance: 6.2ft
Near limit: 3.1ft
Far Limit: Infinity

Translation: If you set this lens correctly (to six feet, not infinity), then everything from 3 feet to infinity will be in focus to within the ability of the sensor to resolve (any m4/3 sensor: at f/8 we’re at the diffraction limit of them all).

Now this bodycap doesn’t really have focus or a focus scale, so it is conceivable that the article statement is technically correct. But since this thing only has a focus lock in two positions — .3m and infinity — I have a hard time believing that the infinity focus is actually locked at infinity and not the hyper focal distance, giving it an extra 3 feet of focus room. If it is really set at infinity, then there should be a click stop somewhere at the hyperfocal distance.

I don’t have this lens so I can’t verify. But if the infinity lock doesn’t lock focus at 6 feet (focus down to 3 feet), I’d be surprised. (If it actually is an infinity lock, then I guess the recommendation is to lock at infinity and pull back a bit.)

grass
wheat… grass, really
China Camp State Park, Marin, California

Nikon D3, Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D. Canon 500D, handheld
1/250 sec @ f/8, iso200, 85mm

One of the dangers of “f/8 and be there” is that depth of field is very dependent on distance. When doing macro photography, even f/8 can not be enough. (Unless buttery bokeh is the effect you are intending, like in this photo.

[m43 lenses]: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-first-micro-four-third-lenses-you-should-buy/ “The First Micro Four Third Lenses You Should Buy — The Wirecutter.”
[dofmaster]: http://dofmaster.com/dofjs.html “Online Depth of Field Calculator—DOFMaster”

Diet Coke

So the [local McDonalds](http://terrychay.com/article/the-neighboring-mcdonalds.shtml) didn’t have seats and messed up my drink order with Diet Coke. This 4Square Mayor had decided that they’re one mess up away from becoming the worst McDonald’s in a two block radius (there are three).

Walking back to the office with an ad-hoc “to go” order, I had a sip of my drink. I was immediately taken aback and had another sip to confirm what I just tasted. Then I crossed the street and threw it away so as to not subject a panhandler to the zero calorie “dirty water of capitalism.”

I then had two blocks to contemplate taste of Aspartame in my mouth. Now I know this is offensive to you Diet drinkers, but to us sugar-lovers, I was taking by how the aftertaste of Diet Coke feels like I just threw up Coke and re-swallowed it.

Luckily, the Wikimedia refrigerator is fully stocked.

They should change the color of Diet drinks to make them easily identifiable. I don’t know why I should have to suffer this taste once every few months because half of America has the [mistaken impression][zero calorie] that zero-calorie drinks will make them less fat.

[zero calorie]: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20050613/drink-more-diet-soda-gain-more-weight “It’s not that you gain weight drinking diet soda, it’s that you don’t lose it because your body makes up the calories somewhere else. I, for instance, drink 8-16 teaspoons of sugar most weekdays in the form of coke, and it just means I eat less or smaller meals because of it.”

You tell that other boy, not to touch the woodwork