François Chollet's "Notes to Myself on Software Engineering" is posed as reminders from Chollet to himself, but they're a really wonderful list of extremely sensible advice on how collaborative projects work, how to be a good collaborator, how to build things for other people to use, and how to collaborate with future engineers and builders who will some day want to hook things up to the thing you're making.
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Sure, the bassist who calls himself MonoNeon does a masterful accompaniment of the Jones Big Ass Truck Rental & Storage ads. But the real gem here is his manifesto at the end. I'll transcribe it below for clarity, because it's honestly very useful and freeing. (Maybe not the thing about the high-visibility clothing.) It doesn't matter if you're not a musician; make appropriate substitutions for things like "southern soul/blues/funk." The principles apply broadly.
• Write your own vision and read it daily
• Have the southern soul/blues & funk at the bottom and the experimental/avant-guard at the top . .. (YOUR SOUND!)
• Make your life audible daily with the mistakes . . . the flaws . . . er' thang.
• Understand and accept that some people are going to like what you do and some are going to dislike it . .. when you understand and accept that dichotomy . . . move on!
• Embrace bizarre juxtapositions (sound, imagery, etc)
• Conceptualize art. Minimalism.
• Polychromatic color schemes. High-visibility clothing.
• Reject the worldly idea of becoming a great musician . . . JUST LIVE MUSIC! Read the rest
Henry Rollins makes an appearance in the Big Think video series, explaining how he came to quit his job at the Haagen Dazs to sing for Black Flag. Jason Gots writes on Big Think:
That was 30 years ago. The years Rollins spent in Black Flag launched his career as a musician, writer, and performer. He seized the opportunity, ran with it, and numerous albums, books, films and tv shows later, he's still running. Rollins says of the Black Flag audition that he "won the lottery." Ok, the timing was lucky. But it was Rollins' energy as part of the DC punk scene (while working those day jobs) that earned him Black Flag's friendship, which got him the guest-spot, which got him the audition. And a less humble, hardworking guy might very well have burned out after a year on tour and ended up at rehab, then back at Haagen Dazs.
Instead, Rollins took calculated risk and decisive action at the right moment, then committed fully to making the most of the life he'd chosen for himself. And instead of resting on his laurels, he's continued to learn, grow, and reinvent himself. That's what makes him heroic. What Kahneman's studies don't tell us is which of those once-aspiring actors worked tirelessly to create, then seize opportunity, nor how many of those failed entrepreneurs picked themselves up and went on to succeed in other bold ventures.
Henry Rollins: The One Decision That Changed My Life Forever Read the rest