A week in review, 2018-W28

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Wrote

Read

Listened

Watched

The Mayor of a Ghost Town, The Atlantic, 2018-07-06

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I needed to clean out some space in the refrigerator, so I helped myself to the two Ball jars of egg nog that I made in June 2017.

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Adi Boulos, Flight Director

Here's a great bit of news I saw today: NASA Names Six New Flight Directors to Lead Mission Control.

The second one is a guy I know: Adi Boulos. Back in the day, he was a member of the Illinois Space Society and helped us organize SpaceVision2005, the SEDS National Conference, at the University of Illinois. His job was to get the volunteer t-shirts. (Looked it up. Still have the files.) Good kid—none of them are kids anymore but they will always be kids—and I'm really happy he made it. With the upcoming moon missions, the proper post-Shuttle era of human spaceflight, he should have some pretty interesting missions to lead for the years to come.

Special work from home benefit: cop chase

(Theme music while you read—because You're Worth It.)

I decided to work from home in the afternoon. Why not? Nearly the entire team was traveling elsewhere for work. It gets a little unsettling to listen to the wind whistle down the rows of the cubicle farm. And I can work in basketball shorts at home.

So there I was. Doing work and definitely not sleeping. I know this because I saw, out of the window, a police SUV with red and blue lights following another white SUV into the apartment complex parking lot. Busted.

And the guy immediately gets out of the car. Uh oh. Post-July 4th fireworks.

The cop tried to urge him back into the car. Doesn't comply. Cop talks to his shoulder. Driver walks around the car. Cop walks around his own car, getting a safe angle to offer some more advice. Driver walks back around the car. Cop keeps his distance, talks some more to his shoulder. Driver walks down the driveway. Walks. Walks. Trots. Runs. Cop runs after. /Scene

A week in review, 2018-W27

Many people are saying that I drink bourbon and talk more about some of the following interesting things in the Captain's Newsletter.


Wrote

Read

Listened

Watched

In Search of Forgotten Colours - Sachio Yoshioka and the Art of Natural Dyeing, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2018-06-06

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Lake Roberts, Ingersoll Scout Reservation

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Intrinsic motivation vs extrinsic motivation vs get real paid

David Harrison and Eric Morath, In This Economy, Quitters Are Winning, Wall Street Journal, 2018-07-04

You know what? I wasn't going to say anything about this article. I posted it to LinkedIn. Then deleted it. I didn't want to look like a whiner. And I recently connected with my manager on LinkedIn.

Then today another engineer I enjoyed working with said sayonara. Jumped on the outbound train. I'm getting good at making hilarious responses to "goodbye I'm leaving/retiring" emails, if only because there are plenty of opportunities recently to practice.

Regarding the article: good for everyone cashing in. You should. Why not? If wage growth sucks: get paid. If your company thinks you're a commodity: get paid. No party lasts forever: get paid, sock it away, you might need it later.

Everyone knows you can bounce out of one gig and get paid to move to another. Bonus, moving bonus, raise, promotion, etc. But here's the kicker: imagine bouncing out, and then getting recruited to bounce back. Bonus, moving bonus, raise, promotion, etc., take two. Many people are saying that it's happening. Yes. If you decided not to listen to the poachers I mean recruiters, you missed two jumps.

I don't want to get mad about it. Or be jealous about it. But I also want to get real paid. I was thinking of buying a house this summer. Then I didn't—came up just short of the stake we wanted to post. So I have to answer to that while knowing that the solution to that problem was offered to me, but I declined.

Here's a fun article: Roland Bénabou and Jean Tirole, Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation, The Review of Economic Studies, Volume 70, Issue 3, 1 July 2003, Pages 489–520. (a .pdf copy for you to read here)

The short story is: people respond to incentives, except when they feel that what they're doing has some kind of intrinsic meaning, and then it gets fuzzy—fuzzy in that incentives can cause a negative reaction. But if the opposite is true—if the work doesn't have that intrinsic meaning—there better be some kind of obvious payoff, like a child being bribed with some candy to not be a jerk.

I have no conclusion to this post. From here, everything devolves. Talking about money is hard—for me, at least. It was never a Prime Motivator. I shifted jobs for Social Reasons (what we'll call, for the time being, blowing up a career for a girl... twice, although the second time can be filed under Good Decisions), not for Money Reasons. Out of those shifts, only once did it resolve in: get paid. So, in the final analysis, there's this uneasy tension between doing what seemed right at the time and counting dollars today. I'm not sure I won on either front, really. Maybe the tension is more like: making decisions on globally important factors that weren't locally important, and then paying for them later.

A week in review, 2018-W26

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Wrote

Read

Listened

Watched

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: The Legacy of the Whole Earth Catalog, Stanford University Libraries, 02006-11-09

Added to /links

Things to do: Riverfront Times events calendar

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Working from home
Don't forget to move the mouse so IM doesn't show you as "away", Xiaoqi

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