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Monthly Archives: July 2014

“…if we just find the right sys­tem…”

by not another Rob?

“There is an idea preva­lent in our cul­ture that if we just find the right sys­tem, we can ride it out in per­pe­tu­ity. We can gam­ify so­cial in­ter­ac­tion. This idea is man­i­fested most promi­nently in the de­part­ments of psy­chol­ogy, so­ci­ol­ogy, law, po­lit­i­cal sci­ence, and eco­nom­ics. More­over, there are now ac­tual game de­sign­ers who have ex­pressed an in­ter­est in tin­ker­ing with pub­lic pol­icy. I want to sug­gest that the very idea of try­ing to de­fine an all-en­com­pass­ing sys­tem, no mat­ter how fair you try to make it, will al­ways pro­duce sys­tems whose rules ben­e­fit the mak­ers, and whose ex­ter­nal­i­ties they can at best ben­e­fit from, and at worst ig­nore.”

Dorian Taylor, Toward a Theory of Design as Computation

The Root Cause Fallacy

by !undefined

“That’s why the search for a root cause is usually a witch-hunt in disguise, trying to find someone or something to blame. If you think there is really a single cause, you eventually must identify a single person. If you stop short of that, everyone knows the process was a farce. But blaming a person is also a farce. Everyone knows that someone’s being thrown under the bus and that wasn’t the real problem.”

Baron Schwartz, The Root Cause Fallacy

“Fallacy” might be a little strong, but yes, a dysfunctional post-mortem will descend into a witch-hunt and someone can wind up on the horns without any real solutions being proposed. Not that no one ever deserves to get strummed out, but it can’t be your first reaction.

Why Everyone (Eventually) Hates (or Leaves) Maven

by !undefined

“I suspect that even the designers of Unix shells are often surprised at the inventive uses developers have wrought with their simple but powerfully composable abstractions.”

Neal Ford, Why Everyone (Eventually) Hates (or Leaves) Maven

A post on composable systems (vs. contextual ones). It’s a thoughtful post, and worth a slow and careful read.

Linkdump for July 15th

by Rob Friesel

Balance Your Work and Personal Life Like a Pro Kevin Daum at Make a list of the activities that give you energy and strength. Make these a priority in your life. (tagged: work-life balance ) Looking At Attribute Interpolation Workflow Changes In AngularJS Ben Nadel with a breakdown of a small but important change […]