All posts by Mark Jacobsen

Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus

A good perspective from the author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and more on the Coronavirus

https://www.ft.com/content/19d90308-6858-11ea-a3c9-1fe6fedcca75

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

How will the bomb find you?

This was from my parents pastor, but I thought it was good enough to share…

In 1948, professor and author, C.S. Lewis, wrote an essay titled On Living In An Atomic Age. With the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki still ringing in the world’s ears, fear about atomic technology was rampant. Lewis’ words were a timely reminder then. In the perilous times that we are currently living through, the professor’s words are just as important.

As you read through this excerpt from his larger essay, I’ve replaced the word “atomic” with “coronavirus”, and ask yourself, how will the bomb (or the virus) find you?

*In one way we think a great deal too much of the coronavirus. ‘How are we to live in an coronavirus age?’ I am tempted to reply: ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat at night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents. *

*In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the coronavirus was invented… It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. *

*If we are all going to be destroyed by a virus, let that virus when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about the coronavirus. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds. *

What the coronavirus has really done is to remind us forcibly of the sort of world we are living in and which, during the prosperous period before, we were beginning to forget. And this reminder is, so far as it goes, a good thing. We have been waked from a pretty dream, and now we can begin to talk about realities.

*It is our business to live by our own law not by [fear’s]: to follow, in private or in public life, the law of love and temperance even when they seem to be suicidal, and not the law of competition and grab, even when they seem to be necessary to our own survival. For it is part of our spiritual law never to put survival first: not even the survival of our species. We must resolutely train ourselves to feel that the survival of Man on this Earth, much more of our own nation or culture or class, is not worth having unless it can be had by honorable and merciful means. *

*Nothing is more likely to destroy a species or a nation than a determination to survive at all costs. Those who care for something else more than civilization are the only people by whom civilization is at all likely to be preserved. Those who want Heaven most have served Earth best. Those who love Man less than God do most for Man. *

Let the coronavirus find you doing well,

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

Remote Work Q&A, Part 2

This part may be even better than Part 1. Love the commentary on shared calendars and documenting over meetings.

https://share.transistor.fm/s/2a0efd93Like this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

On Digital Minimalism and Pandemics

Read the entire post, but it boils down to…

Check one national and one local new source each morning. Then – and this is the important part – don’t check any other news for the rest of the day. Presumably, time sensitive updates that affect you directly will arrive by email, or phone, or text.

Distract yourself with value-driven action; lots of action. Serve your community, serve your kids, serve yourself (both body and mind), produce good work. Try to fit in a few moments of forced gratitude, just to keep those particular circuits active.

https://www.calnewport.com/blog/2020/03/13/on-digital-minimalism-and-pandemics/Like this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

Remote Work Q&A, Part 1

Great podcast on the transition to remote work from some of the guys that have been doing it for years. Strongly recommend anyone working remotely, especially managers or “leaders”, listen.

https://share.transistor.fm/s/afeec331Like this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work | Miro

In the current remote work age there are a number of guides popping up out there with good tips/tricks. I thought this one was pretty good. Mostly management focused, but the last 3 sections are more employee focused.

https://miro.com/guides/remote-work/Like this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Lost Notebook

Love him or hate him it’s an interesting little history lesson…

“Even as hundreds of thousands of users expressed their disapproval of News Feed, their behavior indicated the opposite.”

“I just think I take more chances, and that means I get more things wrong,”

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

The Day We Stopped Sprinting

An interesting take on a different approach to Agile.

“We get better results faster when we help new agile teams begin with a flow-based approach rather than sprints.”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/day-we-stopped-sprinting-joshua-kerievsky/Like this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

Marc Andreessen’s Guide to Personal Productivity

Yes, it’s an older post, but still some interesting ideas. Like he says, they may not be for everyone (including himself), but there may be something of use. I may even try the index card thing…

https://pmarchive.com/guide_to_personal_productivity.htmlLike this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...

The Motivation Manifesto

Our challenge is that we have been conditioned to believe the opposite of these things – that bold action or swift progress is somehow dangerous or reckless. But a certain degree of insanity and recklessness is necessary to advance or innovate anything, to make any new or remarkable or meaningful contributions. What great thing was ever accomplished without a little recklessness? So-called recklessness was required for the extraordinary to happen: crossing the oceans, ending slavery, rocketing man into space, building skyscrapers, decoding the genome, starting new businesses, and innovating entire industries. It is reckless to try something that has never been done, to move against convention, to begin before all conditions are good and preparations are perfected. But the bold know that to win, one must first begin. They also deeply understand that a degree of risk is inevitable and necessary should there be any real reward. Yes, any plunge into the unknown is reckless – but that’s where the treasure lies.

From The Motivation ManifestoLike this? Consider joining my mailing list, or at least using my affiliate link when buying from Amazon 🙂

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Disclaimer: Thoughts and opinions are my own, and do not reflect the views of any employer, family member, friend, or anyone else. Some links may be affiliate links, but I don't link to anything I don't use myself. You would think this should be self evident these days, but apparently not...