No man is an island

…except “Coach

Craig T. Nelson explains the Killer Ape hypothesis. The part anthropologists missed is that, while nobody helped our Third Chimpanzee forbears, they did have access to welfare and food stamps.

(Here is the full segment just in case you think I’m taking this out of context.)

Third time is not the charm

I got an e-mail today:


Good afternoon, I wanted to touch base with you about an opportunity in ____, CA. I thought you might be a nice fit for the role. Let me know if you or someone you know might be interested.

Position Summary: _____ Site Architect

_____ is looking for an exceptional and highly motivated infrastructure architect with a strong track record of designing and developing multi-tiered web applications that are high quality, scalable, and reliable. We prefer generalists who have driven feature development at every layer of the stack.

I actually applied for a job there twice: once in 2003 just before I joined Plaxo, and once in 2006, just before I joined Tagged. Both times I was desperate for a job, both times I applied for positions beneath my qualifications, both times I was rejected in an unprofessional manner, both times represented watershed moments in _____’s future direction.

I should mention that _____ is no company to laugh at: in 2003, it was one of the hottest companies on the internet. Even in 2006, it was still many times larger than Tagged. How about now? Traffic Details—Alexa

Comparing ____ (in blue) to the site I’m the architect of (in red).

No, I don’t think I’ll apply for this job.

Continue reading about An IM conversation and some advice after the jump


I have a friend and web developer who thinks I’m really smart, but he doesn’t think much of his own abilities. During a particular coincidence of both opinions, he asked me if I’d hire him if I was in a position to make such a judgement:

Me: Of course.
Me: Why do you ask this?

Him: I was just thinking that one day you will be atop the web
Him: And I want to be part of it

Me: In general, the thing I find is the #1 thing necessary for success is will. And you have will.
Me: Smarts is a result of will, not vice versa.
Me: So sure I’d hire you.

He tweeted that and someone liked that.

As someone who has leaned on his “smarts” a number of times to the detriment of his own personal development, I truly believe what I said. Every day, I’m starting to realize my inner Socrates:

It seemed to me … that the people with the greatest reputations were almost entirely deficient, while others who were supposed to be their inferiors were much better qualified in practical intelligence…

I reflected as I walked away: Well, I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of; but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems to me that I am wiser than he is to the extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.

Obama’s Notre Dame commencement

I remember watching the second presidential debate in 2004, pissed with John Kerry. “Why?” someone asked.

“Because his answer to the abortion question fits right in line with the image of him as a flip-flop.” I replied. “He doesn’t have to answer the question about spending itself, and sure there are nuances to that issue you can’t address in the debate, but he can answer with strong language the morals that guides his decisions; the commonality we all have to minimize unwanted pregnancies. Some pro-lifer is going to see that answer and their perception of Catholicks and think he’s a hypocrite.”

Four years later, we have Obama:

Continue reading about Analysis after the jump


Something strange I ran across reading a book last night: Details Men's Style Manual: The Ultimate Guide for Making Your Clothes Work for You: Daniel Peres, the editors of Details magazine: Books

Tom Fink was my roommate in college. He got me in trouble with the instructor when he got caught with my lab notebooks in physics lab. I’ll always remember him as the guy who didn’t know the difference between EGA and VGA. 🙂

BTW, this is the book that the above refers to. I see he’s written this book also. You have to gone to school with him to understand why we’re tickled pink to see this. The Man's Book: The Essential Guide for the Modern Man: Thomas Fink: Books

Or is that tickled Fink?

The pocket digicam

I haven’t written about photography in a while. This is probably a bad sign for my soul because it means I haven’t been shooting much lately.

I am in the market for a new digital camera and was wondering if you could recommend a worthy one. I’m far from a pro, so a basic point and shoot of awesome quality, reasonable price, and lightweight for 100 lb. weaklings would work just fine for me. Someone said I should get a Sony Cybershot. Any recommendations?

I’m always getting e-mails and IMs like this. Because I carry around an expensive camera, people assume I have an opinion. It’s been years since I’ve actually written about this and I don’t even shoot this sort of camera anymore. So what advice to give?

Continue reading about Entry level camera purchasing advice after the jump


I’m sorry I missed this word.

From DoubleX:

I agree that the Kirk/Spock dynamic was the richest in the film. But there’s another key relationship that I thought was even more fascinating—the one between Spock and Lt. Uhura. First off, it’s fantastic that Uhura finally feels like a major character, even though she still hasn’t graduated to wearing pants, and even though much of her role here is to provide romantic relief from the bromance and the action scenes.

(The rest of the article is similarly hilarious.)


From Star Trek Motivational Posters

If he got rid of the bromance, then J.J. Abrams would see some really outraged Trekkies.

Fun things to do at a party

One time at a party in SoMa, I was chatting up a couple girls who were waiting in an inordinately long bathroom line. Since I didn’t have to pee and they did, this pretty much amounted to as much exposition on water flow I could think of—about how I like to take pictures of waterfalls, the time I got stuck in Big Basin in the dead of winter just after a rainstorm and had to crawl down the mountain on my hands and knees while holding a cell phone just above the creek water, and other things that would make their peeing experience, when it did come, that much more satisfying.

“Oh, I should ask Andrei if he’s wants to share a cab with me to after the party. Where is he?” Andrei lives in the building across the street and North Beach is the other end of the city.

“He’s right behind you,” one of them points.

I yell over my shoulder, “Hey, so are you coming home with me?”

At that moment, a guy passed between me and Andrei. He looked like he was new to the city.

Needless to say, the look of horror on his face as he thought I was hitting on him was priceless.

I love this city.