Persuasion

When I tell friends that I’m building a side-project, they all give me a certain flavor of bad advice. I’m confident enough to ignore them but not convincing enough to persuade them that I’m correct. This is fine while I’m working alone, but I should figure it out eventually. I’m going to try this framework: Verbally state their worldview (to convey that I appreciate their perspective). Give them my delta – how do I think the world is changing, specifically?...

November 8, 2020 · gazzini

Persuasion

When I tell friends that I’m building a side-project, they all give me a certain flavor of bad advice. I’m confident enough to ignore them but not convincing enough to persuade them that I’m correct. This is fine while I’m working alone, but I should figure it out eventually. I’m going to try this framework: Verbally state their worldview (to convey that I appreciate their perspective). Give them my delta – how do I think the world is changing, specifically?...

November 8, 2020 · gazzini

Pure Programming

Sometimes, I feel more like a discount-attorney than a software engineer. The utopian vision of a world where anyone with a computer can create a business from scratch is certainly real, but there are some barriers to entry besides writing the code. This is perfectly fine, but it doesn’t align with the career I expected – I’m not “a programmer,” but rather “a problem-solver who often programs.” A few years ago, I specialized in Objective-C iOS app development....

September 27, 2020 · gazzini

Pure Programming

Sometimes, I feel more like a discount-attorney than a software engineer. The utopian vision of a world where anyone with a computer can create a business from scratch is certainly real, but there are some barriers to entry besides writing the code. This is perfectly fine, but it doesn’t align with the career I expected – I’m not “a programmer,” but rather “a problem-solver who often programs.” A few years ago, I specialized in Objective-C iOS app development....

September 27, 2020 · gazzini

Tower of Babel

Reality is mysterious & complex, and humans can’t possibly consider all of the nuance in every situation. Instead, we hastily label everything we come in contact with, pattern-matching it to an existing category that’s easy to reason about. These labels create simplified ideas, or abstractions. Really, every part of our understanding is an abstraction – I don’t understand what an atom is, or even what I myself am (or if there is even an “I” in the singular sense)....

September 27, 2020 · gazzini

Tower of Babel

Reality is mysterious & complex, and humans can’t possibly consider all of the nuance in every situation. Instead, we hastily label everything we come in contact with, pattern-matching it to an existing category that’s easy to reason about. These labels create simplified ideas, or abstractions. Really, every part of our understanding is an abstraction – I don’t understand what an atom is, or even what I myself am (or if there is even an “I” in the singular sense)....

September 27, 2020 · gazzini

Alignment

Internally I’ve managed a few small teams, and the worst situations always happen when I avoid conflict early. Hypothetically, if Sam does 3 problematic things, I might only address 2 of them. Maybe I don’t want Sam to think I’m mean, or maybe I need Sam to stay encouraged. Regardless of my intent, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to address that 3rd behavior, and increasingly burdensome to spin my wheels serving as an unnecessary intermediary in Sam’s interactions, trying to create a buffer between that 3rd behavior and the rest of the office....

July 26, 2020 · gazzini

Alignment

Internally I’ve managed a few small teams, and the worst situations always happen when I avoid conflict early. Hypothetically, if Sam does 3 problematic things, I might only address 2 of them. Maybe I don’t want Sam to think I’m mean, or maybe I need Sam to stay encouraged. Regardless of my intent, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to address that 3rd behavior, and increasingly burdensome to spin my wheels serving as an unnecessary intermediary in Sam’s interactions, trying to create a buffer between that 3rd behavior and the rest of the office....

July 26, 2020 · gazzini

Identity

Life isn’t binary, but the labels we use to categorize people often are. I know what this sounds like, but this isn’t actually a post about gender or sex — it’s about belief systems, fear, and empathy. When we decide to support a cause, that doesn’t mean we wholesale buy into 100% of every thought of every member of that group. It would actually be impossible, because most groups have members with conflicting ideas....

July 1, 2020 · gazzini

Identity

Life isn’t binary, but the labels we use to categorize people often are. I know what this sounds like, but this isn’t actually a post about gender or sex — it’s about belief systems, fear, and empathy. When we decide to support a cause, that doesn’t mean we wholesale buy into 100% of every thought of every member of that group. It would actually be impossible, because most groups have members with conflicting ideas....

July 1, 2020 · gazzini

Money

Money is a proxy for value. When people spend their lives chasing a paycheck, they inevitably add value to society in the process. This pursuit keeps restaraunts cooking, hospitals healing, schools teaching, and untold numbers of humans working around the world. This simple motive powers a complex economy. However, money is merely a proxy – not a substitute – for value. It’s great for measuring companies, but bad for measuring people....

May 29, 2020 · gazzini

Money

Money is a proxy for value. When people spend their lives chasing a paycheck, they inevitably add value to society in the process. This pursuit keeps restaraunts cooking, hospitals healing, schools teaching, and untold numbers of humans working around the world. This simple motive powers a complex economy. However, money is merely a proxy – not a substitute – for value. It’s great for measuring companies, but bad for measuring people....

May 29, 2020 · gazzini

Tools

The adage that “users want simplicity” is over-applied. At the end of the day, apps are tools to navigate real-world complexity. I want more control over my tools, not less. Even if the complexity is abstracted away by default, it should at least be transparent. Let me look under the hood if I want to. As software continues making its way into every nook & cranny of our lives, this becomes an issue of personal freedom & liberty....

May 17, 2020 · gazzini

Tools

The adage that “users want simplicity” is over-applied. At the end of the day, apps are tools to navigate real-world complexity. I want more control over my tools, not less. Even if the complexity is abstracted away by default, it should at least be transparent. Let me look under the hood if I want to. As software continues making its way into every nook & cranny of our lives, this becomes an issue of personal freedom & liberty....

May 17, 2020 · gazzini

Freedom

A lot of my work is motivated by a quest for freedom over my time. Unfortunately, I often consider this in the negative – I want to be free from the constraints of full-time labor-selling. I maintain that this is a valid problem, a noble struggle, and an achievable dream. However, it’s a bad lens through which to view the world, and it tends to make me miserable. It’s easy to describe what we dislike....

April 26, 2020 · gazzini

Freedom

A lot of my work is motivated by a quest for freedom over my time. Unfortunately, I often consider this in the negative – I want to be free from the constraints of full-time labor-selling. I maintain that this is a valid problem, a noble struggle, and an achievable dream. However, it’s a bad lens through which to view the world, and it tends to make me miserable. It’s easy to describe what we dislike....

April 26, 2020 · gazzini

Honesty

Truth is important. We should never distort it. Nobody should ever distort it. ^^ That 3rd sentence is really fun! Most people will agree that it’s a cute little goal, but then launch into a lecture about how it’s incompatible with the world we live in. Specifically, we all tend to hold this set of beliefs: We, personally, are mature enough to handle the truth. The unwashed masses, however, are not mature enough to handle the truth....

April 25, 2020 · gazzini

Honesty

Truth is important. We should never distort it. Nobody should ever distort it. ^^ That 3rd sentence is really fun! Most people will agree that it’s a cute little goal, but then launch into a lecture about how it’s incompatible with the world we live in. Specifically, we all tend to hold this set of beliefs: We, personally, are mature enough to handle the truth. The unwashed masses, however, are not mature enough to handle the truth....

April 25, 2020 · gazzini

Wisdom

I want to be wise. That’s a fine goal, but it’s a little abstract. I think that wisdom, like happiness, is something that can only be obtained indirectly — it’s an emergent phenomenon, always coupled to other life experiences. So let’s get more specific: I want to understand the world more clearly, and I want to apply that understanding to make better decisions. This isn’t a strictly scientific understanding of the world — it needs to be more personal....

April 24, 2020 · gazzini

Wisdom

I want to be wise. That’s a fine goal, but it’s a little abstract. I think that wisdom, like happiness, is something that can only be obtained indirectly — it’s an emergent phenomenon, always coupled to other life experiences. So let’s get more specific: I want to understand the world more clearly, and I want to apply that understanding to make better decisions. This isn’t a strictly scientific understanding of the world — it needs to be more personal....

April 24, 2020 · gazzini

Prediction: Apple and PWAs

tl;dr I predict that Apple will implement some awful certification process for PWAs, and that they’ll release a React competitor that compiles SwiftUI -> WebAssembly. What is a PWA, and why does Apple care? Progressive Web Applications are just websites with extra permissions, so they feel slightly more like a native app. These extras are not exactly revolutionary: improved caching for offline functionality streamlined “install” UX for bookmarking a site on your phone’s home screen slightly broader system permissions To understand why Apple might care, let’s first look at their competitor....

February 19, 2020 · gazzini

Prediction: Apple and PWAs

tl;dr I predict that Apple will implement some awful certification process for PWAs, and that they’ll release a React competitor that compiles SwiftUI -> WebAssembly. What is a PWA, and why does Apple care? Progressive Web Applications are just websites with extra permissions, so they feel slightly more like a native app. These extras are not exactly revolutionary: improved caching for offline functionality streamlined “install” UX for bookmarking a site on your phone’s home screen slightly broader system permissions To understand why Apple might care, let’s first look at their competitor....

February 19, 2020 · gazzini

Caricatures

When meeting someone new, we all try to find common-ground. I’ll cleverly lob a few tennis balls over the net & see what they hit back, or sometimes just desperately throw spaghetti at the wall & see what sticks. If the conversation turns to work, I’ve developed a go-to question to filter for potential friends. After they tell me what their job is, I’ll simply ask: Do you like it?...

February 7, 2020 · gazzini

Caricatures

When meeting someone new, we all try to find common-ground. I’ll cleverly lob a few tennis balls over the net & see what they hit back, or sometimes just desperately throw spaghetti at the wall & see what sticks. If the conversation turns to work, I’ve developed a go-to question to filter for potential friends. After they tell me what their job is, I’ll simply ask: Do you like it?...

February 7, 2020 · gazzini

Stress

I’m more productive when under pressure. It suddenly becomes easier to prioritize & just write code when I have a tight deadline & no other options. Stress is a good forcing-function in that way. However, I worry that I’ve normalized my body to a certain level of cortisol (or adrenaline or whatever), and without an ever-increasing dose of urgency, I simply can’t be productive. The solution used to be really simple: more stress == constantly high output....

January 20, 2020 · gazzini