Content Review Week 1

February 16th, 2020

I consume a decent amount of content in a week, and I feel like I'm not getting as much value out of it as I could. In order to fix that I have been starting to take notes on nearly all of the non-entertainment content that I consume. I haven't been entirely successful with this, and there has been a book I binged and a couple of videos I ended up passively watching, but basically everything else in the last week or so I have been 'actively consuming', taking notes and summarizing ideas as I go.

I also decided I would use this exercise as practice hitting publish and to provide value to others, as such I'm putting this out into the world. Hope it proves useful to someone!

These aren't super polished notes, it is essentially a couple of bullet points for each piece of content. I hope to evolve this practice over time, but for now it's pretty rough.

Brené Brown on How to Navigate the Emotions You're Unwilling to Feel | The Tim Ferriss Show

  • Set of people that avoid certain emotions because they don't want to 'Open Pandora's Box'.
  • Ask them if they are living outside the box or if they are actually inside of it. It might be valuable to open it up!
  • We have all been through shit, and have built armor against those issues. Is that armor still helping us get through things? If not it is likely holding us back and hurting us.
  • The armor prevents people from growing, and prevents them from doing everything they can.
  • Question from the universe about what they will do about that armor
  • Two answers: either tell the universe screw you and tear it away, or ignore it and live with it, causing more pain
  • Can't pull off all the armor at once, need to take off parts of it and replace it with something else
  • Lots of internal, almost biological resistance to removing that armor, often need the help of a therapist to do so

Stacking the Bricks: How your 'Fuck This' moment changes everything

  • We make pronouncements and plans and fantasize about the future without doing anything but stewing in it
  • A bit of ourselves dies everytime we fail to do something we say we want to do
  • 'Shoulds' are an attempt to beat ourselves into submission, and it doesn't work
  • Neither skill, experience, nor fame are reliable indicators of success
  • Lots of little tweaks that helped in Amy Hoy's class, but nothing totally did the trick
  • Many folks came back and succeeded after originally failing
  • The students who had success had had a 'Fuck This' moment (FTM)
  • If you haven't had an FTM, you can trigger one by having a bitchfest about everything you don't like about your life that can be changed
  • Avoid milquetoast feelings, have stronger feelings about changeable things instead
  • The iron of suckitude is already hot, unwrap the self protective bullshit surrounding it

Styling Android: Blog Ideation

  • Keep a pulse on things during my day to day work that might warrant a blog post
  • Even if someone else blogged about it, there is value in providing an alternate take
  • Keep tabs on events for new features and tools to write about
  • Avoid writing about a new thing if you can't provide more value, wait until you can
  • Browse the docs to discover things people may not be aware of, and then write about it and provide more than the docs do
  • Incorporate other interests (e.g. I have an interest in music, I should take advantage of that)
  • Sometimes there will be blind ideas. Make sure to recognize and capture them.
  • In terms of adding value, make sure not to closely rehash what the official docs have said, but don't search too much to try and find others that have covered similar topics. They will address it differently, and it's good to avoid being overly influenced.
  • Check for recent posts in aggregators (such as Android/Kotlin Weekly) to avoid immediately duplicating a topic
  • The process is a funnel, need to capture from a variety of sources and then filter down based on added value.

Styling Android: Blog Writing

  • Ideation is only the top of the funnel
  • Write the supporting code first. This helps frame the article, changes the perspective, and can filter out ideas that can't be accomplished
  • Consider setting up a private repo GitHub workflow to build the code privately and then publish it in a good way after it is ready.
  • Next stage is to write the article
  • Treat any form of writing as storytelling, even technical blog posts
  • Follow a good structure, begin by explaining the problem, spend the bulk of the post explaining what needs explaining, and end by summarizing the problem and what was done
  • Final stage is publishing. Make the post, publish to social media, and make the github repo public.

Ladybug Podcast on Personal Branding(1)

  • Personal brand represents our core values
  • Personal brand is also a real and authentic, but tailored identity that is presented to the world
  • Consider incorporating branding into design systems, build your core values and the way you want to be perceived into your design system
  • A brand can help establish oneself as a domain expert, it can also work to separate your personal self from your professional
  • Building a brand builds an audience and can open up opportunities
  • Look at what others in the industry are doing for their branding. Emulate but don't copy those things, and make them your own
  • Major differences between social networks, and the audience from one won't necessarily follow you to others
  • Go the extra mile to differentiate yourself when starting out

Stacking the Bricks: Why blacksmiths are better at startups than you

  • Need to watch Mastercrafts show, apparently it encompasses almost all startup-founder flaws in one show
  • Wasting time on 'creative noodling' vs getting things done
  • Avoiding the repetition of the basics
  • Too much self importance
  • They don't have the patience to simply do the work over and over again to push through barriers and develop the craftsmanship
  • "It’s as if Galileo dropped his ball and feather from the top of the tower and, as they fell, sought to convince his audience by argument instead of simply looking."
  • Business in four sentences: ○ Don’t work on the basics every day? You’ll fail. ○ Don’t market constantly? You’ll fail. ○ Don’t solve your customer’s pains? You’ll fail. ○ Don't ship? Ha!
  • This post resonated with me, had similar experiences with my two day blacksmithing course but never really connected it to startups

Neil Gaiman Commencement Speech at the University of the Arts 2012

  • When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what you're doing, and that's a good thing because you don't care about rules or possibilities
  • If you have an idea of what you want to make, or what you should do, just go and do that
  • Imagine where you want to be is a distant mountain. As long as you are going towards that mountain you are ok.
  • Learn to be thick skinned and deal with failure
  • Avoid doing anything purely for the money
  • Problems of success can be harder than those of failure because they aren't talked about as much
  • Imposter Syndrome - aka Fraud Police
  • We should be making mistakes
  • When things get tough make good art
  • Do the stuff that only you can do, live as only you can
  • "The moment you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what's on the inside, and showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right."
  • People get hired because somehow they get hired
  • Choose two of three: make good work, deliver it on time, make people like you
  • Enjoy the good parts, enjoy the ride
  • If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and behave like they would

Juice it or Lose it, a gamedev talk

  • Games need to be 'juicy'
  • Often visual and audio 'juice', but not always
  • "Maximum output for minimum input"
  • Take advantage of tweening/easing for animations. Try different easing functions, tween different values (e.g. position, scale, rotation), and add randomness.
  • Sound is very important to 'juiciness', add impact effects, music, and generally give an audible response to lots of things
  • Add particles, effects, screenshake
  • Add personality to your game by giving character to things that otherwise wouldn't have any. Even just adding eyes to things can do a lot
  • Adding in these sort of elements can take something with really simple gameplay and make it feel like so much more

  1. A sidebar on podcast notes I have started taking audio notes when I'm walking and listening to podcasts. I think this will prove to be the only way I can reliably take notes about content like this. I have something in the works to help with this that I will hopefully be able to put out more info about in the coming weeks.

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