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Is this productivity? - Elf M. Sternberg
Is this productivity?
Omaha's been out of town since yesterday morning, when I sent her off on an Amtrak for Eugene Oregon and a game developer's conference. She's been in the dumps for a while about the progress her show is making, so hopefully contact with people who actually know about her show and listen to it will help.

I've been spending my free time sorting and filing. I had no idea how bad it had gotten. This morning I pulled through all of my files and began to organize stuff that's been molding in files for months. If you take a look at my del.icio.us folder, you'll see about twenty new entries, things that I've finally placed somewhere rather than have scattered about my filing cabinet. It's a weird collection: essays by Isaih Berlin and Ron Bailey, a reference article on rhetorical writing, 50 Tips for ADHD management, and how to tie-dye. In one way, this is just moving stuff from one cabinet to another, but it's at least accessible to me almost everywhere and not in a dusty corner of my household.

I'm a little worried about my desktop computer; after 202 days of uptime, it crashed twice in one day, hard, with nothing in the logs to indicate what went wrong, and the interval between reboot 1 and 2 was less than an hour. That indicates to me a power supply problem, but I just bought this power supply less than eight months ago. I dusted out the cabinet and it's been good for about five hours now. I'm trying to figure out how to install lm_sensors on it, but it's apparently an early AMD model with some twonky sensor settings. It would be nice to be able to monitor its behavior with the sensord server, even if it does crash again.

And I read with glee this morning an article by Kathy Sierra on Tom Kelly's analysis of the Devil's Advocate, and why such individuals are pure evil. As Sierra puts it, the Devil's Advocate is only trying to look helpful and thus can wear a winding sheet of innocent motives while in fact "ripping the throat from an idea one soul-stealing fear-based verbal attack." I think about a third of my projects have been killed by DAs. And I think DAs are most fatal in creative endeavors because creatives are, by definition, always teetering on the edge of depression anyway because they don't know that failure is possible. Introducing the concept of failure early in the blossoming of an idea kills it quicker than any other tactic.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Crosby, Stills, and Nash, War Games

2 comments or Leave a comment
kavri From: kavri Date: October 7th, 2005 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. I was *ahem*...going to be a Devil's Advocate...*cough, cough* and argue that you were perhaps being too negative. I was looking at it from the point that a DA wasn't necessarily committed to their position, so, there concerns could be addressed, or even, tables turned, and the idea owner could counter back with a DA position of their own. This to me, was better than a person committed to a negative position, a position they may be emotionally invested, rather than just wanting the best solution.

So, being me, I read the article you linked and then looked up the definition of "Devil's Advocate". However, my fine logic was shot down quite quickly by this entry of "Devil's Advocate" in the Meatball Wiki

The following excerpt sums up some of the main points:

If they are uncommitted, they should say "I'm uncommitted." They could say "I think you're assuming that P, but I'm not so sure about P". Challenging assumptions is fine, but exactly how does playing DevilsAdvocate help do so? Why not just challenge? So that answers, I think, the first two points. The third confuses me. It's often good to shift to concrete analysis (though not always), but how does DevilsAdvocate make that easier?

So, I'm a new convert (and perhaps need to look at some personal issues about control and ownership) to the idea that in fact, Devil's Advocate is a poor way to counter ill-thought plans, sketchy ideas, or overtly insane optimism.

From: (Anonymous) Date: October 9th, 2005 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Hard Crashes

And don't forget to use smartmon to check your harddisk. Linux tends to fail badly if the disk with the swap partition becomes unreliable.


2 comments or Leave a comment