Feedback Loops

A feedback loop is system where the output is fed back into the system as an input. They exist everywhere in nature, and they typically come in two flavours: positive feedback loops, which move things away from a state of equilibrium, and negative feedback loops, which work to preserve balance.

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On risk

Standing still is generally a safe bet. We don’t have to expend any energy, and we don’t have to concern ourselves much with the possible outcomes. We just stand there, and watch the world go by. Making progress is a little different. Making progress is risky.

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Every Day Carry

Since mid-February, a notebook has become a big part of my productivity system. There’s something about putting pen to paper that’s inherently more satisfying to me than poking at keys to make characters appear on a screen. Over six months later, I’m still writing in it daily. I don’t carry my notebook with me everywhere, though. I carry very little with me, in fact: my phone, wallet, and my keys (and really, only the keys that I need).

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Glitch Project Name Lottery

Glitch creates randomized project names when you remix a project, and they look something like adjective-noun.glitch.me. You can always rename these later, but oftentimes they’re just too amusing to bother (I’m looking at you, victorious-beer). So, what if you decided that you were going to remix the node starter app, and then had to spend a couple of hours building an app based purely on the random name you were assigned?

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And we're back

It’s been almost four months since I last wrote something. I’ve been pretty busy over the last little while completely overhauling this site, and there are a few changes that I’d like to point out.

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Messy Journeys and Scruffy Role Models

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar: Why am I having such a hard time with this? What’s wrong with me? Maybe I’m not smart enough to do this. People hired me to do this work, but I’m never going to figure this out. I’m a fraud. There are at least a couple of common threads with these statements, but I think the most interesting one is that each of these statements is an implicit comparison that I’m making between myself and someone that’s, y’know, good at what they do.

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App Store Reviews in Manuscript

I’ve got some iOS apps as side projects (they’re in dire need of updates, but that’s neither here nor there). To keep things organized, I use a Manuscript (née FogBugz) account that I opened six years ago for planning work and, more relevant to this post, to capture (almost) all customer feedback. There’s a custom mailbox set up with an email address in my business domain, to which customers can send questions and comments about the apps.

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Remote Work: Year One

A couple of weeks ago, Julia Evans wrote a retrospective on what it’s been like working remotely that resonated with me, given that today is my one-year anniversary since taking a remote position. Since this is my first fully-remote job, taking some time to reflect on how things have gone seems like a good idea. Julia answered some great questions about working remotely, so I’ll do the same here.

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The Junk Drawer

I’ve slowly been moving over to Things 3 for task management, but more than that, I’ve been re-thinking just how my system needs to be fleshed out so that it works best for me. As part of that move, I’ve been re-evaluating the way I think about capture. Typically, you’ve got an inbox, where you log all the incoming stuff in your life, and which you process periodically. That’s fine for the usual do-delegate-delete-defer type tasks, but if I want to use Things (or whatever task management system) to capture everything, I’ve found that I need a place for things that live somewhere between the inbox and a project.

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Spinning Plates

I mentioned the other day that I’m feeling a little bit discouraged with how January was going. While I started the year looking forward to taking on a list of goals, here we are, almost halfway into February, and I’m not really feeling like I’ve made real progress against any of them. I took some time to think about why this is the case, and a couple of things stand out.

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