Politics, like religion, is a topic where there’s no threshold of expertise for expressing an opinion. All you need is strong convictions.

Do religion and politics have something in common that explains this similarity? One possible explanation is that they deal with questions that have no definite answers, so there’s no back pressure on people’s opinions. Since no one can be proven wrong, every opinion is equally valid, and sensing this, everyone lets fly with theirs.

…The most intriguing thing about this theory, if it’s right, is that it explains not merely which kinds of discussions to avoid, but how to have better ideas. If people can’t think clearly about anything that has become part of their identity, then all other things being equal, the best plan is to let as few things into your identity as possible.

Most people reading this will already be fairly tolerant. But there is a step beyond thinking of yourself as x but tolerating y: not even to consider yourself an x. The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you.

Paul Graham

Book Notes: Win Forever

winforever

I’m fascinated by coaches and their philosophies, because I think the great ones have a lot of stuffed in life figured out. Great coaches have to know how to communicate with, teach, motivate, and lead people, while creating a tight-knit culture and performing under pressure.

Pete Carroll’s Win Forever was exactly what I was looking for. Pete explained how he came to realize the importance of knowing yourself and being able to communicate your philosophy to others. He outlines and explains his philosophy, which can be summed up as, “If you want to win forever, always compete.” Competition has nothing to do with other people and everything to do with striving to be your very best at everything you do. It’s a great book for not just coaches, but leaders of any kind – and you don’t necessarily have to follow football to enjoy it!

This book is a perfect example of “the transformational potential of sport, not only in terms of performance but also in terms of how those experiences can drive you to be the best human being you can be.” It’s now ranked among my favorite books. Here are some of my (very long list which is basically half the book) highlights.

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Dear JavaScript

Some highlights from Medium article Dear JavaScript:

Open source maintainer burnout is a huge problem for any developer community. If the community is truly fatigued by a new set of tools every couple of years, then they need to help us fight this problem. Because in the end, this kind of criticism only ends up hurting the community.

We have a set of problems with our tools; instead of attacking the people who can help us all out the most, why not stand on their side and try helping them out? It doesn’t take much, but many still don’t.

There wasn’t a single productive thing about it. No positive outcomes to be had. It was a group of people ganging up together so they can yell about how frustrated they are for a little while before moving onto the next thing.

I think there is value in learning about technical decisions that other have made and experiencing them first-hand.

Generally, I favor documentation as the thing that needs improving because anything else can be presumptuous.