#55

What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.
— Jason Fried, Rework

The Speed Dial - An abbreviated set of articles for the reader who has limited time.

How America Lost Faith in Expertise
[foreignaffairs]

This isn’t the same thing as the traditional American distaste for intellectuals and know-it-alls. I’m a professor, and I get it: most people don’t like professors. And I’m used to people disagreeing with me on lots of things. Principled, informed arguments are a sign of intellectual health and vitality in a democracy. I’m worried because we no longer have those kinds of arguments, just angry shouting matches.

 

The New Guy Is A Better Coder Than Me, And That's Wonderful
[exceptionnotfound]

There's this new guy on our team. I helped interview him, recommended we hire him, and ever since we did he's been absolutely killing it on every task we assign to him. Tasks that I thought would take an equivalently-skilled programmer 6 hours take him 30 minutes. He has consistently, repeatedly, beaten my estimates and done a damn fine job of writing testable, readable code. He is a living, breathing 10x programmer. And I'm not.

 

The Secret History of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco
[foreignpolicy]

Overflights, mapping fiber-optic networks, “strange activities.” Moscow’s West Coast spies were busy.

 

Management/Culture

How the Most Successful Teams Bridge the Strategy-Execution Gap
[hbr]

The strategy-to-execution gap is an enduring problem with no easy solution. As the Japanese proverb goes, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”

 

Do You Manage Like a Gatekeeper or a Gardener?
[thinkgrowth]

Balance is an integral part of every job. We have to balance our priorities at work and our lives outside of work. We need to balance the time we spend building with the time we spend maintaining. We need to balance the needs of our teams with the varied needs of the rest of the organization. And that’s just the start of it.

 

Development/Releases

The Formula for Software Quality
[yegor256]

How do you define the quality of a software product? There is definitely an intrinsic emotional component to it, which means satisfaction for the user, willingness to pay, appreciation, positive attitude, and all that. However, if we put emotions aside, how can we really measure it?

 

Ten Monster Projects That Will Kill Your Career as an Intrapreneur
[grasshopperherder]

While many business leaders are eager to embrace the wave of innovation and disrupt themselves, some manage to sabotage the same intrapreneurs that they cheerlead by setting them up for failure. Projects are poorly defined, with unclear goals and misaligned strategic priorities. Potential leaders are stuck on projects that will crash and burn, never be released, or worse…end up being mediocre.

 

On Killing It by Killing Features
[product.hubspot]

There’s a lot less written about killing features than about building them. That’s because building features is fun. It’s easy. It’s exciting. You get to go out into the world and say, “Behold! Here’s the feature that will solve all your problems, forever.” And if there’s one thing customers love, it’s having all their problems solved, forever.

 

Technical

What the SATs Taught Us about Finding the Perfect Fit
[multithreaded]

There’s so much about traditional retail that has been difficult to replicate online. In some senses, perfect fit may be the final frontier for eCommerce. Since at Stitch Fix we’ve burned our boats and committed to deliver 100% of our merchandise with recommendations, solving this problem isn’t optional for us.

 

Topic Modeling
[medium]

Have you ever skimmed through a large amount of text and wanted to quickly understand the general trends, topics, or themes that it contains? This ranges from that book you never finished for book club to parsing through user feedback and comments at work. Well, rest-assured you’re not alone and there are tools out there to help you accomplish this feat, such as topic modeling.


 

News/Other

Making China Great Again
[newyorker]

As Donald Trump surrenders America’s global commitments, Xi Jinping is learning to pick up the pieces.

 

What It’s Like Inside the Trump Administration’s Regulatory Rollback at the EPA
[propublica]

The fate of a rule more than a decade in the making is a microcosm of larger changes afoot.

 

Why American doctors keep doing expensive procedures that don’t work
[vox]

The proportion of medical procedures unsupported by evidence may be nearly half.

 

How Email Open Tracking Quietly Took Over The Web
[wired]

"I just came across this email," began the message, a long overdue reply. But I knew the sender was lying. He’d opened my email nearly six months ago. On a Mac. In Palo Alto. At night.

 

A Newtown Mom Explains What Losing A Child To Gun Violence Is Like (HBO)
[youtube]

One Friday afternoon five years ago, Nelba Márquez-Greene sent two of her children to school in Newtown, Connecticut, and only got one back.

 

The link between polygamy and war
[economist]

Plural marriage, bred of inequality, begets violence

 

NSA’s top talent is leaving because of low pay, slumping morale and unpopular reorganization
[washingtonpost]

The National Security Agency is losing its top talent at a worrisome rate as highly skilled personnel, some disillusioned with the spy service’s leadership and an unpopular reorganization, take higher-paying, more flexible jobs in the private sector.