January 2024 Bakery

You can think of this as a series of micro-blog posts, but without any enforced character limits. These are links and ideas that I would share if I was using using Twitter or the like.

January 2024 Bakery

You can think of this as a series of micro-blog posts, but without any enforced character limits. These are links and ideas that I would share if I was using using Twitter or the like.

Half baked

Some written thoughts, but not enough for their own post

New Year, new goals.

This year I have two goals. First, I will set a personal best at the marathon distance in December at CIM 2024. That's not a personal best since my kids were born or personal best since turning forty, or any other qualifier. I will run my fastest marathon time and beat 32-year-old me who lodged a 3:24:33 in New York in November 2015.

A personal best at the marathon distance is no easy feat. To get there I will follow my training plan, which above all is about consistent running. I believe that by training consistently - even just repeating the past 6 months of training for the next 12 months - I can shave close to the necessary 8 minutes off my marathon time. in order to reach my goal.

But, I'm not just going to train consistently. I'm also adding more serious strength training. I read the Peter Attia book last year like everyone else and I'm ready to lift some heavy things. I suspect strength training, done properly, will get me my PR.

My second goal is less certain.

I was commiserating with a friend about the midlife crisis I'm dipping my toes into as of this writing. I shared that I felt like I was a "lowly engineer." He replied with an interesting reframing:

You're not just a lowly engineer, you're an engineer who's currently building someone else's thing but that has given you a superpower! You're able to build things that you imagine.

I want to build something that I imagine and I'm on my way to doing so because of the skills I've developed in my day job.

I hope that this year I take steps to build something of my own.

Quarter baked

A sentence or two and a piece of content.

I started reading https://notadesigner.io and learned that Saron, the author, designed The Storygraph, which you'll know I link to in all my book posts. In the first article I learned about the difference between fonts and typefaces and the importance of x-height. This led me to change my default Google docs font from Calibri to Inter.


These ideas on engineering management resonated with me.

Manage like an engineer
If issues, pull requests, and project boards are the best way to develop software, should they not also be the best way to manage software development?

Can confirm. Stripe Engineering is impressive.

Inside Stripe’s Engineering Culture: Part 2
Stripe is one of the world’s largest online payment companies. This article is a deep dive into its engineering culture: operational excellence, API review, internal tools, and more.

I should not have to explain all the ways this is $%@!ed.

Jordan Davis (@jordanreviewsittt) on Threads
WHAT IN THE CORPORATE HELL 🔥🔥🔥 WebMD’s parent company posted this (now deleted) video mocking their remote employees, threatening them to come back into the office. At the end, “we mean business” and “don’t mess with us” flashed across the screen.

I'm reading Poor Charlie's Almanack and one piece of advice that I think is worth sharing here is the following answer to "What should a young person look for in a career?" Munger's answer is:

I have three basic rules – meeting all three is nearly impossible, but you should try anyway. Don't sell anything you wouldn't buy yourself. Don't work for anyone you don't respect and admire. Work only with people you enjoy.

I'm a big fan of Jaron Lanier and if he is talking about AI, I'm going to pay attention.

In this first video Lanier explains at a high level how LLM's work. Video quality is not great, but the content is superb.

In this second video Lanier discusses the intellectual origins of artificial intelligence and describes a vision of LLMs as human focused collaboration tools.


This was my first introduction to Patrick McKenzie. Strange because apparently we have the same boss, but I was really impressed with his takes on everything from crypto (it sucks) to fraud to American culture.

Patrick McKenzie on Navigating Complex Systems (Ep. 201)
Few can measure the impact of a blog post they wrote, in the millions of dollars a year, but Patrick McKenzie has the receipts

If you are looking to get serious about improving your running, I have a coach for you.

MHMC
Marathon Coaching

My friend and former colleague puts together a nice newsletter. I like this piece.

Love Letter to... My Kids
They are amazing. As are most.

I want that.

Raw

Naked links.

The reality of the Danish fairytale
Denmark has long ranked high on the list of societies that American liberals dream about turning the United States into. And for many good reasons. Education is state-funded, and students are even paid a stipend to go to university. Health care is equally free of individual charge, and there’s generally a robust social safety net for u…
The 2023 Goose Jam of the Year Bracket
#BlameVickers