Life is a succession of tasks rather than a cascade of inspriation

Life is a succession of tasks rather than a cascade of inspiration, an experience that is more repetitive than revelatory, at least on a day-to-day basis. The thing is to perform the task well and find reward even in the mundane.

Roger Cohen, Mow the Lawn


A little distance buys everyone time

This is not a world where you can simply express love for other people, where you can praise them. Perhaps it should be. But it’s not. I’ve found that people will fear your enthusiasm and warmth, and wait to hear the price. Which is fair. We’ve all been drawn into someone’s love only to find out that we couldn’t afford it. A little distance buys everyone time.

Micaela McGlone, How to Be Polite

…they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies

You have to make stuff. The tools of journalism are in your hands and no one is going to give a damn about what is on your resume, they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies. Can you use Final Cut Pro? Have you created an Instagram that is about something besides a picture of your cat every time she rolls over? Is HTML 5 a foreign language to you? Is your social media presence dominated by a picture of your beer bong, or is it an RSS of interesting stuff that you add insight to? People who are doing hires will have great visibility into what you can actually do, what you care about and how you can express on any number of platforms.

David Carr,

what we hear when you mourn over our existence

A child may interpret even well-intentioned efforts to fix him as sinister. Jim Sinclair, an intersex autistic person, wrote, “When parents say, ‘I wish my child did not have autism,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different (non-autistic) child instead.’ Read that again. This is what we hear when you mourn over our existence. This is what we hear when you pray for a cure. This is what we know, when you tell us of your fondest hopes and dreams for us: that your greatest wish is that one day we will cease to be, and strangers you can love will move in behind our faces.”

Andrew Solomon, Far from the Tree, 2012

Tips at a coffee shop

Since I’ve graduated, I’ve worked at coffeeshops part-time. I’ve worked at this one for about two years now. I keep track of my tips.

Tips per Hour by Shift

Figure 1. Tips per hour (95% CI) by shift: Open (5:30-10:00 AM), Mid (10:00-4:00 PM), Close (4:00-10:30 PM). Open/Mid and Mid/Close are double shifts.

If you’re interested in about how big some of those differences are:

Effect Sizes for Tips by Shift Comp

What is Hedge’s g?

It’s a computation of the difference in some measure (Tips per Hour in this case) between conditions (Shift in this case) in terms of standard deviation (basically, average deviation from the mean). Basically, a Hedge’s g of 1 is equal to a difference in Tips per Hour by 1 whole standard deviation. In social science research, 0.7 (large effect) means, roughly, “You can fucking see the difference out in the world without a t-test.” Since differences in tips between the closing shift and both the opening and midday shifts are well above a g of 1, you’d expect to see clear differences (over $1.70, the standard deviation) in the tip jars between these shifts.