Just hit me that I don’t judge who people are, I judge who they are becoming. Usually 3-4 years out. If I like who I sense you’re turning into in a few years, I’ll engage. It’s mostly unconscious. Hit rate is decent. I’m right 80% of the time and proof emerges in a few years.
I’d say I can get a read on change trajectory 70% of the time from 1-2 short conversations. Of that 35% are stable so present=future=uninteresting. Of the other 35%, I’d say 15% are changing into people I’ll like more, 25% into people I’ll like less.
Sometimes I can explain it upfront. Other times, a data point will emerge 3-4 years later that will make me go “oh that’s why I reacted as I did and disengaged.”

I’m wrong about this rarely enough that it is always surprising when I am.
Of course this is relative to myself and how I’m changing. But I think I don’t change much. Most people seem to be changing a lot faster than me.
Wayne Gretzky interpersonal relating style. Skate to where the person is becoming, not where they’re be-ing.

I’m lazy. I think relationships should be more rewards for less work over time.
Most people don't seem to know how they're changing. They know what they intend to do, but not how it will change them.
A good question people seem surprisingly incurious about is "if this works out/doesn't work out, what sort of person will I turn into?" Mostly because they seem unreasonably confident that they can stay the same. No significant effort will ever leave you unchanged.

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More from @vgr

21 Jul
I may not buy a new MBP when this one dies. Realizing I'm starting to avoid working on laptop primarily because the Apple experience is no longer a *pleasant* one for working in a 2021 digital environment. The hardware perf and build quality is not enough to make up for dated UX.
Computing tools, unlike physical ones like hammers, don't plateau. They have to evolve with the info environment and workflows, and this feels like a highly neglected experience that's a step-sibling to the consumption UX of iOS that is basically a dead end.
Recently tried a Windows machine again for the first time in years, and it's no better. This whole paradigm of "desktop" UX feels like email -- an annoying, bureaucratic clearing-house locus, where no amount of quality hardware can make up for poor interaction metaphor.
Read 15 tweets
21 Jul
Just discovered this thing called the NOAA climate extremes index (CEI). If you, like me, have been getting increasingly wary of anecdata and narrative news, this is a clearer macro-quant view of overall climate weirding in the continental US. ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei/g… Image
This is the genre I’m referring to. While I believe in the trend, climate reporting has gotten so… theatricalized… it’s turned into bad sensemaking intelligence. businessinsider.com/photo-video-eu…
The methodology is a little uninspired but this is better than headline sampling. ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-inform… Image
Read 10 tweets
21 Jul
Take a random issue, and consider a *random* take on it. As in, derived by situating it in a context induced by a random intention.

Like: issue = “is icecream good?”

Contexts: taste, biology, health, insecurity, science, climate…

Is the take likely to be zero or nonzero-sum?
There’s not actually many natural zero-sum things around. Most natural phenomena are very clearly positive or negative sum.

You kinda have to very carefully construct a very contrived context around a “take” to reach a zero-sum conclusion.

A random sincere take on a random topic is *mathematically* almost certainly non-zero sum. Intuition: there is only one point on the real number line corresponding to zero, but an uncountable infinite number of points that are nonzero sum.
Read 17 tweets
19 Jul
Watching a hilariously bad low-budget/B-list female version of John Wick, starring a horribly miscast Karen Gillan, (Amy Pond on Doctor Who). She’s fundamentally a comedian. I thought it was satire at first. But no, it’s unintended camp. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder…
There’s weirdly framed shots peppered throughout, like the director is trying to do Coen brothers or Wes Anderson type visual feel, but it’s too inconsistent to work.
This is intriguingly bad. One promising high-concept action scene has her partially paralyzed by a drug fighting 3 bad guys also crippled in various ways. But really poor choreography and execution ruined it.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul
Everything I wrote before ~2018 feels vaguely alien. Like it was written by someone else. 🤔
Was it one of you? Incepting or haunting or possessing me? 🤨
The interesting thing is it’s a kind of memory break. Since writing is like memory for me. It’s like I successfully warehoused pre-2018 memories and copied over present state to a blank bootable disk. Like upload but for de-selfed archival. Regeneration Doctor Who style.
Read 10 tweets
18 Jul
Most project management ideas and tools are designed for project managers who only do PMing. They’re not bad in big companies, tastefully applied, but they really kinda break for self-managed individual work.
Not counting the 4 years I spent as an actual PM of others doing the work, my personal PM strategy for ~20y, in retrospect, has been to keep things simple enough to not require project management. Hence, blogging over book writing. Books are proper projects requiring management.
For the last year though, I’ve been trying to do things that are fundamentally project-shaped. You can’t “compile” them down to a pure REPL type flow + runtime environment like you can blogging, tweeting, or research-style coding (in matlab or Jupyter).

Read 21 tweets

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