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Events and Life Mindsets

The challenge of sending kids to school when you work remotely

This tweet basically encapsulates the challenge of trying to persuade kids to go to school when you work remotely (and from home):

8 yr old this am: I don’t want to go back to school.

Me: Everyone would rather stay home in their pajamas, kiddo. Me too.

Him: But you do stay home all day in your pajamas. Plus they pay you.

Me: ... Here comes the bus!

In discussions like these, you just need to resort to your authority as the parent … 😂

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Mindsets

“… you fail, only if you don’t learn from failure.”

Failure is very much a part of our daily life experience. How we approach failure is important. Om Mailk published a terrific post about failure, titled “Failure is part of learning“. It’s well worth reading.

The morning also reminded me of a vital life lesson: you fail only if you don’t learn. A lesson successfully learn cannot be called a failure.

Om Malik

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Events and Life Mindsets

Bad days happen to everyone

We all have bad days, and I had a particularly rough day yesterday. I made some mistakes in how I handled a situation, and created a bit of a mess for a colleague (thankfully not a customer, though).

I felt pretty lousy afterwards, and my confidence took a knock. Objectively, it probably wasn’t that big a deal, but it felt pretty crappy nevertheless.

This morning I started work still feeling the after effects of that, and not feeling particularly confident. Still, I was determined to just put one foot in front of the other, and try learn from my mistakes.

Ken Gagne, one of my colleagues shared a post about Carroll Spinney on his site that caught my attention during a break between shifts, and this line stood out for me:

Big Bird once said, “Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.”

Ken Gagne

I think I needed this today.

I still feel like I’m climbing back up out of the hole I dug for myself, but it’s sunny today.

Categories
Mindsets

How YOU want to show up today

Photo looking through glasses by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash
Photo by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash

One of my colleagues shared a terrific question she asks herself in the mornings if she’s not in an ideal mood when that alarm goes off.

It really appeals to me, and I thought I’d share it:

“How do you want to show up to the world today?”

I think this works pretty well for a variety of circumstances. Thanks Brezo!

Categories
Events and Life Mindsets Policy issues Politics and government Social Web

The greatest propaganda machine in history

Sacha Baron Cohen recently spoke about how social media services have become the “greatest propaganda machine in history”.

Much of the media’s focus, when reporting on his remarks, was on his attack on Facebook. While he certainly targeted Facebook, he also spoke about how Google, YouTube, and Twitter shape online discourse, and how they help spread lies, bigotry, and attacks on fact-based discussions.

Think about it.  Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others—they reach billions of people.  The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged—stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear.  It’s why YouTube recommended videos by the conspiracist Alex Jones billions of times.  It’s why fake news outperforms real news, because studies show that lies spread faster than truth.  And it’s no surprise that the greatest propaganda machine in history has spread the oldest conspiracy theory in history—the lie that Jews are somehow dangerous.  As one headline put it, “Just Think What Goebbels Could Have Done with Facebook.”

Sacha Baron Cohen

As much as we embrace free expression, we find it difficult to draw a line when liars and bigots abuse their right to free expression because doing that feels like hypocrisy.

Free expression isn’t unlimited, though. And pushing back against channels that help propagate misinformation, abuse, and false statements that impact substantial segments of the population is becoming more important.

At the very least, it’s worth watching Cohen’s talk, or reading his remarks:

We should also think carefully about how much trust we place in services that profit from the social chaos we see around us.

Featured image by Miguel Henriques
Categories
Mindsets Spirituality

Sitting with difficult emotions

I noticed this quote on Tumblr. I’ve noticed on the few occasions I’m able to just sit with difficult emotions in a meditation, they tend not to be as monolithic as they otherwise seemed beforehand.

On a related note, it’s been a while since I read anything by Jack Kornfield. I really enjoyed his book “A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life” when I read it in 2006 during our honeymoon in the Drakensberg mountains.

In fact, I read the book here:

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Business and work Events and Life Mindsets Writing

In person kudos at the Automattic Grand Meetup

Appreciating our colleagues

We have an amazing culture at Automattic that includes giving each other kudos as one form of recognition for great work, whether that’s delivering happiness to a customer, or to each other.

Typically we use a Slack bot to share kudos, and that’s posted to an internal WordPress site dedicated to showcasing internal kudos.

At the Grand Meetup (which we attended in mid-September – I’ll probably share more from that soon), we also have the option of giving handwritten kudos to each other. I like the ease of giving digital kudos, and at the same time I really like being able to write a note to my colleagues to express my appreciation for their efforts.

Automattic kudos card
Kudos IRL

This year I was fortunate to receive a few cards from my colleagues, and really appreciate each of them.

I decided against sharing details of all of the cards I received as the messages can be pretty personal. At the same time, I’m grateful for each card.

Categories
Business and work Coding Mindsets Policy issues

New Automattic research on how to improve gender representation for technical roles

Our team has just released a white paper titled “Trust, Growth,Inclusion: A Study ofWomen Engineers’Job-Search Priorities” that explores what motivates women and non-binary technical professionals to join companies, and what helps retain them.

Better gender representation is a challenge. I’m proud of our team’s efforts to better understand this challenge, and how to meet it. It’s clearly not something that’s capable of a simple fix, but I’m glad that we seem to be moving in a good direction. Here are some links if you’re interested in reading further:


If you’re interested in joining Automattic, we’re hiring people for a number of roles, especially in Engineering!