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  1. <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?><rss xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:openSearch="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearchrss/1.0/" xmlns:blogger="http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008" xmlns:georss="http://www.georss.org/georss" xmlns:gd="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005" xmlns:thr="http://purl.org/syndication/thread/1.0" version="2.0"><channel><atom:id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182</atom:id><lastBuildDate>Mon, 20 May 2024 05:20:08 +0000</lastBuildDate><category>agile</category><category>books</category><category>management</category><category>scm</category><category>planning</category><category>branching</category><category>testing</category><category>medium</category><category>teams</category><category>programming</category><category>tools</category><category>book</category><category>build</category><category>design</category><category>business</category><category>deployment</category><category>communication</category><category>education</category><category>events</category><category>parenting</category><category>refactoring</category><category>scrum</category><category>userexperience</category><category>Minecraft</category><category>XML</category><category>grails</category><category>groovy</category><category>interaction</category><category>operations</category><category>patterns</category><category>retrospectives</category><category>science. machine-learning</category><category>writing</category><title>Accidental Simplicity</title><description>Thoughts about agile software development, software configuration management, and the intersection between them.</description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/</link><managingEditor>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</managingEditor><generator>Blogger</generator><openSearch:totalResults>152</openSearch:totalResults><openSearch:startIndex>1</openSearch:startIndex><openSearch:itemsPerPage>25</openSearch:itemsPerPage><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-6825633243724382089</guid><pubDate>Sat, 23 Sep 2023 01:33:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2023-09-22T21:33:39.046-04:00</atom:updated><title>Lessons in Change from the Classroom</title><description>&lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;This is adapted from a story I shared at the &lt;a href=&quot;https://fearlesschangepatterns.com/events&quot;&gt;Fearless Change Campfire&lt;/a&gt; on 22 Sep 2023&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5. &lt;p&gt;I’ve always been someone to ask questions about ideas. Questions about rules for behavior seemed different. I went to high school in New York City in the early 1980s, and there were students around me who wore “Question Authority” buttons. I was not one of them. —Though I think a part of me secretly wanted to be.&lt;/p&gt;
  6.  
  7.  
  8.  
  9. &lt;p&gt;As a child I was a rule follower. If a teacher had a rule — unless it was obviously harmful to someone, I wouldn’t even consider breaking it. It’s not that I thought that teachers were infallible; I learned early that teachers sometimes make mistakes and some — not the good ones — don’t admit them (but that’s another story). I just didn’t have a framework to think about rules. Until junior year of high school. &lt;/p&gt;
  10.  
  11.  
  12.  
  13. &lt;p&gt;The class was Algebra II and Trigonometry. I did well in the class, and I liked it, in part because the teacher — Ms Yearwood — was an amazing, caring person in addition to being a great teacher. But she was strict. She had Rules.&lt;/p&gt;
  14.  
  15.  
  16.  
  17. &lt;p&gt;A few days a year Ms Yearwood, would have laryngitis. On those days she&amp;#39;d sit at her desk, do grading, and drink tea. And the rule was that students sit silently and work on exercises. &lt;/p&gt;
  18.  
  19.  
  20.  
  21. &lt;p&gt;On one of these days the person sitting next to me — I think her name was Lisa— asked me for help with a problem. Since I understood the subject and I wanted to help. But there was this Rule. In the end I decided to lean over towards Lisa’s desk to discuss the problem. &lt;/p&gt;
  22.  
  23.  
  24.  
  25. &lt;p&gt;Did I mention that our desks were near the front of the classroom? As we were (quietly) talking through the problem Ms Yearwood looked up, turned in our direction, and glared at us. Time seemed to stop.&lt;/p&gt;
  26.  
  27.  
  28.  
  29. &lt;p&gt;Then she realized that we were working together on a problem, and not being disruptive. Her expression shifted to a smile and she gave us an encouraging nod.&lt;/p&gt;
  30.  
  31.  
  32.  
  33. &lt;p&gt;At that moment I learned a perhaps obvious lesson:&lt;/p&gt;
  34.  
  35.  
  36.  
  37. &lt;blockquote&gt;
  38.  
  39. &lt;p&gt;Rules have a purpose and context, and aren&amp;#39;t necessarily absolute, or even fully described by their words.&lt;/p&gt;
  40.  
  41. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  42.  
  43.  
  44.  
  45. &lt;p&gt;I this case “work quietly” was meant to maintain order and enable learning. There were exceptions to the the rule, in particular when what you were doing served the purpose of learning.&lt;/p&gt;
  46.  
  47.  
  48.  
  49. &lt;p&gt;A second lesson was &lt;/p&gt;
  50.  
  51.  
  52.  
  53. &lt;blockquote&gt;
  54.  
  55. &lt;p&gt;You can learn important things in unexpected contexts, and in brief moments&lt;/p&gt;
  56.  
  57. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  58.  
  59.  
  60.  
  61. &lt;p&gt;This was a math class. I wasn’t expecting to learn a deep moral lesson, and certainly not from an ad-hoc interaction.&lt;/p&gt;
  62.  
  63.  
  64.  
  65. &lt;p&gt;This isn’t the only case where what I learned in class transcended the subject matter and helped me in my life and career. — But this story sticks with me because I’ve been able to apply these particular lessons in many aspects of my life including as an employee, colleague, partner, change-agent, and citizen. &lt;/p&gt;
  66.  
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  68.  
  69. &lt;p&gt;I sometimes still give rules the benefit of the doubt. But for all but the most obvious ones, I try to be curious and seek to understand why the rule is there. And I’m highly skeptical anytime I hear the phrase “Zero Tolerance.” &lt;/p&gt;
  70.  
  71.  
  72.  
  73. &lt;p&gt;Even with this healthy skepticism of rules and willingness to, analyze, if not question, authority I wonder if we really need to always try to understand the why for every rule before we follow it? Or Are there any universal rules about behavior that don’t have a why worth understanding?&lt;/p&gt;
  74.  
  75.  
  76.  
  77. &lt;p&gt;My sense is is that, beneath any rule that seems intuitive there is a purpose that supports something you value. But I try to not fall into complacency. The status quo is comfortable, and easy. And sometimes we need comfort and ease. But growth requires change and change requires curiosity and enough fearlessness to push boundaries when you see a rule that seems arbitrary and is a barrier to doing something valuable.&lt;/p&gt;
  78.  
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  80.  
  81. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2023/09/lessons-in-change-from-classroom.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-1893575267185753968</guid><pubDate>Tue, 29 Nov 2022 23:50:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2022-11-29T18:50:00.171-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">agile</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">branching</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">scm</category><title>Branching and Integration Time</title><description>&lt;p&gt;Discussions about branching often focus on the wrong thing. Unintegrated code sitting around slows teams down, whether the code is in a branch &lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/11/workspaces-and-delays.html&quot;&gt;or in a developer’s workspace&lt;/a&gt;. Discussions about improving pace of development often veer into arguments about branching. Arguing about whether branches are good or bad will distract you from the more basic question of “Do changes get integrated and tested rapidly enough to ensure the rate of delivery we want?”&lt;/p&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEhNjQv2PsKgq7pzMoVhA5qIcrrg7E8REEgHMTpviAjtLk4vcEiQ_f8SNKFZTONiZPgPVwt43ipHkoOPMP3-qusryq0XbAY2q9VILhmj9R4WNLvbqpqLgNHh1vagraTGfa8JaI-SZoqwghYAg7AIF_PUzPNapJgI1CW5kapgfmDBZR-gVeiPmX8/s320/resume.jpeg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;240&quot; data-original-width=&quot;320&quot; height=&quot;240&quot; src=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEhNjQv2PsKgq7pzMoVhA5qIcrrg7E8REEgHMTpviAjtLk4vcEiQ_f8SNKFZTONiZPgPVwt43ipHkoOPMP3-qusryq0XbAY2q9VILhmj9R4WNLvbqpqLgNHh1vagraTGfa8JaI-SZoqwghYAg7AIF_PUzPNapJgI1CW5kapgfmDBZR-gVeiPmX8/s1600/resume.jpeg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  82.  
  83. &lt;p&gt;Integrating too slowly is the main challenge to agile development. Slow integration makes it harder to show incremental progress and maintain an always working code line with valuable features. Frequent integration helps the team deliver incrementally and maintain working software. Your process should help you to integrate quickly so that you can deliver value at a good pace.&lt;/p&gt;
  84.  
  85. &lt;p&gt;The ideal integration frequency varies from team to team. Merging once a day is good, more frequently can be better, but too often can cause churn and overhead if you aren’t doing it well. Team and planning dynamics are key decision factors, but some things are universally true: small frequent commits improve reliability, changes that move the design forward are more valuable than trivial changes. These factors often lead to once a day as a good initial target, but each team needs to decide what values of “small” and “frequent” work for them. (&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.techwell.com/techwell-insights/2013/02/why-retrospectives-are-important-agile-software-development&quot;&gt;Retrospectives&lt;/a&gt; are a good forum for exploring that question.) Automated testing is essential to moving quickly even though it can add a small increment of time to the commit interval in the short term. &lt;/p&gt;
  86.  
  87. &lt;p&gt;Getting this to work well can be challenging, but it &lt;em&gt;is&lt;/em&gt; doable. Small useful increments and effective tests are easier than many believe. Though you may need to change your mindset.&lt;/p&gt;
  88.  
  89. &lt;p&gt;Branches and reviews can improve collaboration for both co-located and remote teams. So rather than starting with a “branch or not” conversation, start with an integration rate goal and evaluate how long it takes code to get into production. The next post will talk about why branching &lt;em&gt;can&lt;/em&gt; have advantages for your team.&lt;/p&gt;
  90.  
  91. &lt;p&gt;(This is adapted from &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.techwell.com/techwell-insights/2018/11/feature-branching-not-evil/www.coveros.com/www.hub.techwell.com&quot;&gt;an earlier Techwell article&lt;/a&gt;)&lt;/p&gt;
  92.  
  93.  
  94. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2022/11/branching-and-integration-time.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEhNjQv2PsKgq7pzMoVhA5qIcrrg7E8REEgHMTpviAjtLk4vcEiQ_f8SNKFZTONiZPgPVwt43ipHkoOPMP3-qusryq0XbAY2q9VILhmj9R4WNLvbqpqLgNHh1vagraTGfa8JaI-SZoqwghYAg7AIF_PUzPNapJgI1CW5kapgfmDBZR-gVeiPmX8/s72-c/resume.jpeg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-7900824015549746480</guid><pubDate>Sun, 20 Nov 2022 16:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2022-11-20T11:00:00.161-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">agile</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">branching</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">scm</category><title>Perceived Safety and Branches</title><description>&lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;Branches are often used with the goal of improving stability. This going wrong is often the source complaints abut the use of branching. This post briefly examines the rationale behind branching some non Main Line branching strategies.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;a name=&#39;more&#39;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;A reason teams often give for branching strategies other than working off of the &lt;em&gt;Main Line&lt;/em&gt; is &lt;em&gt;stability&lt;/em&gt;. The use of &lt;em&gt;Feature Branches&lt;/em&gt;, multiple &lt;em&gt;Release Lines&lt;/em&gt; and the &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.atlassian.com/git/tutorials/comparing-workflows/gitflow-workflow&quot;&gt;Git Flow Branching Model&lt;/a&gt;, is often based on the principle of batching work on intermediate branches before integrating with the &lt;em&gt;Main Line&lt;/em&gt;. The goal of these strategies is to minimize risk by maintaining the health of the &lt;em&gt;Main Line&lt;/em&gt; by introducing change in discrete batches rather than more continuously. The resulting slower rate of change on the &lt;em&gt;Main Line&lt;/em&gt; does decrease the risk of instability of the &lt;em&gt;Main Line&lt;/em&gt; in the short term but&amp;nbsp;&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.techwell.com/techwell-insights/2020/05/code-integration-when-moving-slowly-actually-has-more-risk&quot;&gt;moving slowly can be risky&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;/p&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEg9GCMEhX5G_uwGDqFjW4dBSaaf7Lp3tHAD_GlYwancS1LmTlCkA8nf2MPq6FNy9WsNGSKSk151X_VL01esqii8JLLoV_gnw-NmxMt2RmERNLom0ww3g4PGyaw9dfyjZ_OpwVT0WQd1sIzoxpOu60KzEpsn2LiIVWPDHet5dEGd8m-xMcfdBtE/s320/slow.jpeg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;240&quot; data-original-width=&quot;320&quot; height=&quot;240&quot; src=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEg9GCMEhX5G_uwGDqFjW4dBSaaf7Lp3tHAD_GlYwancS1LmTlCkA8nf2MPq6FNy9WsNGSKSk151X_VL01esqii8JLLoV_gnw-NmxMt2RmERNLom0ww3g4PGyaw9dfyjZ_OpwVT0WQd1sIzoxpOu60KzEpsn2LiIVWPDHet5dEGd8m-xMcfdBtE/s1600/slow.jpeg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  95.  
  96. &lt;p&gt;Among other things, batching changes increased the risk of merge conflicts, which both take longer to manage and require context shifts as team members try to recall the context of the conflicting change. As the time to integrate changes increases, product evolution rates decrease. This can create market and schedule risks.&lt;/p&gt;
  97.  
  98. &lt;p&gt;A better approach is to integrate smaller changes more quickly. Working in this way does force the team to collaborate more actively, as diverging approaches become visible more quickly. This doesn’t come for free; you need to develop processes that include automated testing and committing changes in small batches. However, in the end your time to integration and quality will get better.&lt;/p&gt;
  99.  
  100. &lt;p&gt;Moving slowing gives you &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.cmcrossroads.com/article/illusion-control-software-configuration-management&quot;&gt;an illusion of control&lt;/a&gt;. You will still see conflicts that and work that breaks existing code. Finding these quickly make them easier to fix. When a process is broken we are often tempted to do something, even if we’re not sure that it is the right thing. Imposing rules and processes seems like positive action, but more often than not, the control is illusory. It’s better to work to address the underlying issue: incremental quality.&lt;/p&gt;
  101.  
  102. &lt;p&gt;Agile teams work best when they acknowledge that there is risk in deferring change. This means focusing on processes that improve the time from code change to delivery so that feedback can happen quickly, and when there is a problem, teams can fix it immediately.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;Next up: why we should focus on integration time rather than &lt;i&gt;if&lt;/i&gt; we use branches&lt;/p&gt;
  103.  
  104.  
  105. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2022/11/perceived-safety-and-branches.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEg9GCMEhX5G_uwGDqFjW4dBSaaf7Lp3tHAD_GlYwancS1LmTlCkA8nf2MPq6FNy9WsNGSKSk151X_VL01esqii8JLLoV_gnw-NmxMt2RmERNLom0ww3g4PGyaw9dfyjZ_OpwVT0WQd1sIzoxpOu60KzEpsn2LiIVWPDHet5dEGd8m-xMcfdBtE/s72-c/slow.jpeg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-2866617350558745355</guid><pubDate>Thu, 10 Nov 2022 23:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2022-11-10T18:00:00.164-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">agile</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">branching</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">scm</category><title>Workspaces and Delays</title><description>&lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;A Brief Detour from talking about branching. There are &lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/11/the-trouble-with-branching.html&quot;&gt;risks with branching&lt;/a&gt;, there are other paths that lead to deferred integration, and all the issues that arise from that.&lt;span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;a name=&#39;more&#39;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  106.  
  107. &lt;p&gt;One risk of branching is that work done on a branch is work that isn’t being integrated with the Main Line or with other developers. Often I’ll hear people say that the answer to the problems of delayed integration is to not use branches. But focusing on the mechanics of branching is secondary to time to integration. Even if you don’t branch, you most likely have work that isn’t being integrated. That isn’t bad per se; &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.berczuk.com/pubs/PLoP2K/workspace.pdf&quot;&gt;developer workspaces are essential&lt;/a&gt;. But by itself &lt;em&gt;not branching&lt;/em&gt; doesn’t address the problems that branching badly.&lt;/p&gt;
  108.  
  109. &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEje5cpmcqpTDmANs7qbwanOD_jDSeeVfaId37QXHZpsVbqm-19NxcpqWv22DLqWIweWP6sYdMlioIkIA8fQJLd_URjHquhyyeYffv7517dDTN9NLntbJ5G4uo_hQl35Od8b9S9elr8tMQrO4s97JNi_wSjyY9DzACXrONOuGYIPwELp9vCiEf4/s320/workspace-cabin.jpeg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;240&quot; data-original-width=&quot;320&quot; height=&quot;240&quot; src=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEje5cpmcqpTDmANs7qbwanOD_jDSeeVfaId37QXHZpsVbqm-19NxcpqWv22DLqWIweWP6sYdMlioIkIA8fQJLd_URjHquhyyeYffv7517dDTN9NLntbJ5G4uo_hQl35Od8b9S9elr8tMQrO4s97JNi_wSjyY9DzACXrONOuGYIPwELp9vCiEf4/s1600/workspace-cabin.jpeg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Most all teams use a model where developers work in their private workspaces until code is ready to share. These workspaces have unintegrated work, and &lt;em&gt;unintegrated work sitting in a developer workspace for a long time has the same risks as work on a branch&lt;/em&gt; . Work in a local workspace - and not in a version repository — presents more risk because that work can be lost more easily.&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  110.  
  111. &lt;p&gt;Using your version management tool well is the answer to avoiding the pitfalls that branching can cause, and help you to be more productive.&lt;/p&gt;
  112.  
  113. &lt;p&gt;Rather than talking a Pyrrhic approach to using your SCM tools, consider what a reasonable time to integrate would be for your team, and try to understand how to best achieve that time.&lt;/p&gt;
  114.  
  115. &lt;p&gt;Next: Why moving slowly might seem like a de-risking approach but really isn’t&lt;/p&gt;
  116.  
  117.  
  118. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2022/11/workspaces-and-delays.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEje5cpmcqpTDmANs7qbwanOD_jDSeeVfaId37QXHZpsVbqm-19NxcpqWv22DLqWIweWP6sYdMlioIkIA8fQJLd_URjHquhyyeYffv7517dDTN9NLntbJ5G4uo_hQl35Od8b9S9elr8tMQrO4s97JNi_wSjyY9DzACXrONOuGYIPwELp9vCiEf4/s72-c/workspace-cabin.jpeg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-5933191172864460147</guid><pubDate>Mon, 07 Nov 2022 14:04:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2022-11-07T09:06:22.259-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">agile</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">branching</category><title>The Trouble with Branching</title><description>&lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/10/code-lines-my-last-post-introduced.html&quot;&gt;Code Lines&lt;/a&gt; defined terms, &lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/11/why-code-lines-matter.html&quot;&gt;Why Code Lines Matter&lt;/a&gt; motivated why SCM Process matters, and the post addresses a major risk people see in using branching.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;a name=&#39;more&#39;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Branches can be a tool to support collaboration and manage risk, but branching can sometime impede collaboration and create risk. The difference in outcome is frequently related to whether people choose to branch based on habit, or based on a consideration of the costs and benefits of the approach.&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  119.  
  120. &lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEihJUCfjQtD95FKzbmiIz1X8UtcVYO7uj8sfiGN-X7zdk0JIY_iQ48-9oPYoItDXdeLcHwzjxF25JT3DqbX42QCh54a8ltk-fGgDOhcmTbda-vYZHwkHHp5NcUnv-4b7IFEjxKqOYSYQNyaO9wnFxhTrKziJMxH0SHihNI8Cm4G3QOHqH3z78g/s320/train_signal.jpeg&quot; style=&quot;clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;240&quot; data-original-width=&quot;320&quot; height=&quot;240&quot; src=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEihJUCfjQtD95FKzbmiIz1X8UtcVYO7uj8sfiGN-X7zdk0JIY_iQ48-9oPYoItDXdeLcHwzjxF25JT3DqbX42QCh54a8ltk-fGgDOhcmTbda-vYZHwkHHp5NcUnv-4b7IFEjxKqOYSYQNyaO9wnFxhTrKziJMxH0SHihNI8Cm4G3QOHqH3z78g/s1600/train_signal.jpeg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;A branch is a diverging code stream. If the &lt;em&gt;Main Line&lt;/em&gt; has the latest code, creating a branch off the Main Line means that there is work that isn’t being integrated immediately. That isolates those working on the branch from needing to worry about disrupting the Main Line. It also isolates the Main Line from disruption. This can improve flow in the short term. It also provides the opportunity for each stream to explore new ideas without immediately disrupting the main Code Line, which can advance technical progress.&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  121.  
  122. &lt;p&gt;However diverging also means splitting the team’s attention while the work is happening, and interruption in focus when you try to integrate the work with the Main Line. This is particularly true when there are many, long lived, parallel streams. Branching &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.agileconnection.com/article/branching-distraction&quot;&gt;can be distracting&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;em&gt;diverging work that goes on for too long adds costs and risk&lt;/em&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  123.  
  124. &lt;p&gt;The lesson is to be wary when you have long lived branches or complex integration policies. But don’t just avoid branching because it &lt;em&gt;can&lt;/em&gt; go wrong. Branching can and should be used thoughtfully, and can help your flow. Remember that &lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2009/08/releasing-branches-and-agile-teams.html&quot;&gt;Branching adds overhead&lt;/a&gt;, but it can also reduce friction in your development pipeline as a step along the way to building out a robust agile process.&lt;/p&gt;
  125.  
  126. &lt;p&gt;One common reason people branch too often and too long is to create a sense of safety — for example because your testing doesn’t reliably provide for integration at a good pace. Creating integration gates will slow you down, which creates more time for verification activities. But moving slowly isn’t always safer. I’ll discuss that in more detail shortly. But first I’ll discuss a risk that teams ignore that has nothing to do with branching, but which has the same profile of delayed integration.&lt;/p&gt;
  127.  
  128. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2022/11/the-trouble-with-branching.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEihJUCfjQtD95FKzbmiIz1X8UtcVYO7uj8sfiGN-X7zdk0JIY_iQ48-9oPYoItDXdeLcHwzjxF25JT3DqbX42QCh54a8ltk-fGgDOhcmTbda-vYZHwkHHp5NcUnv-4b7IFEjxKqOYSYQNyaO9wnFxhTrKziJMxH0SHihNI8Cm4G3QOHqH3z78g/s72-c/train_signal.jpeg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-5593537916226452347</guid><pubDate>Wed, 02 Nov 2022 23:30:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2022-11-08T12:39:02.208-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">agile</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">branching</category><title>Why Code Lines Matter</title><description>&lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/10/code-lines-my-last-post-introduced.html&quot;&gt;Code Lines&lt;/a&gt; defined some terms. Here I’ll start getting into how SCM and Version Management concepts affect your day to day work&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;a name=&#39;more&#39;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;In &lt;em&gt;A Timeless Way of Building&lt;/em&gt; Christoper Alexander says: &lt;/p&gt;
  129.  
  130. &lt;blockquote&gt;
  131. &lt;p&gt;Some kinds of physical and social circumstances help a person come to life, others make it more difficult&lt;/p&gt;
  132. &lt;/blockquote&gt;
  133.  
  134. &lt;p&gt;Alexander is speaking of the physical world, and architecture and urban planning in particular, but there is a metaphor here for how processes affect how we work. &lt;/p&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgmRfedPy8j0B7duNaysnwKZNyLV91323kxbyI460W0rcphzBajG0Q3DsiMfROjkMXGFYZ6MCtV9UwZel8LlQcTnOErNdOOnMAk2ti4b-xhQxhBPShH7THAdqa3yTZnDYkz1jfDlBeuW1odZyTD0IqagmYDrKFp9vQerI2-PKrqvlGbRlud16Q/s320/severance.jpeg&quot; style=&quot;clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;214&quot; data-original-width=&quot;320&quot; height=&quot;214&quot; src=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgmRfedPy8j0B7duNaysnwKZNyLV91323kxbyI460W0rcphzBajG0Q3DsiMfROjkMXGFYZ6MCtV9UwZel8LlQcTnOErNdOOnMAk2ti4b-xhQxhBPShH7THAdqa3yTZnDYkz1jfDlBeuW1odZyTD0IqagmYDrKFp9vQerI2-PKrqvlGbRlud16Q/s1600/severance.jpeg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;p&gt;Code Lines often get less attention than project management, architecture and programming language details, but as a developer you interact with Code Lines every day, and they influence how you interact with other teams. Code Lines define your environment. The code line policies that teams have in place can both reflect values and influence behavior whether intended or not. These Code Line policies could send signals about trust, and affect batch sizes and speed of integration, and in the end, quality.&lt;/p&gt;
  135.  
  136. &lt;p&gt;Compared to integration practices, writing code is easy. Collaborating with stakeholders to understand what to build, and with other developers to figure out how to build it involves communication — which is much harder. For effective software development it’s important that you check that your Code Line policies align with your goals, requirements, and the capabilities of the team.&lt;/p&gt;
  137.  
  138. &lt;p&gt;The process you use for Code Lines should be a conscious decision, as they have an impact on how your team delivers value. But in the end most all processes are overhead — albeit necessary overhead. A well designed implementation of a Code Line model should make execution by team members easy and low cost. &lt;/p&gt;
  139.  
  140. &lt;p&gt;Agile Code Lines can help you to realize the full potential of Scrum or whatever agile method you use. This means you need Code Lines that support agile code, which means having qualities that make it easy to change as business needs change.&lt;/p&gt;
  141.  
  142. &lt;p&gt;You &lt;em&gt;can&lt;/em&gt; work without branching. But branches can be a powerful collaboration tool. Fewer, shorter-lived branches are often better as minimize integration delay. &lt;/p&gt;
  143.  
  144. &lt;p&gt;Because people often speak of the problems that can arise from using branching too much, the next couple of posts will discuss some ways poorly implemented branching can be harmful. First: &lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/11/the-trouble-with-branching.html&quot;&gt;Some general risks of branching&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
  145.  
  146.  
  147. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2022/11/why-code-lines-matter.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgmRfedPy8j0B7duNaysnwKZNyLV91323kxbyI460W0rcphzBajG0Q3DsiMfROjkMXGFYZ6MCtV9UwZel8LlQcTnOErNdOOnMAk2ti4b-xhQxhBPShH7THAdqa3yTZnDYkz1jfDlBeuW1odZyTD0IqagmYDrKFp9vQerI2-PKrqvlGbRlud16Q/s72-c/severance.jpeg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-5172181999982884669</guid><pubDate>Mon, 31 Oct 2022 12:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2022-11-08T12:37:58.101-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">agile</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">branching</category><title>Code Lines</title><description>&lt;p style=&quot;text-align: left;&quot;&gt;&lt;em&gt;My &lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/10/its-about-time-branching-and-integration.html&quot;&gt;last post&lt;/a&gt; introduced the series. This post defines some terms and sets the stage for discussing the value of simple branching for agile teams&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;a name=&#39;more&#39;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;p&gt;A Code Line is a progression of the set of source files and other artifacts which make up software components as they change over time. A Branch is a kind of Code Line. People often use Branch and Code Line synonymously, but since branch implies divergence, I like to useCode Line as the more general case, and Branch for Code Lines that diverge from the main source code line (the Main Line).&lt;span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgA0irnMI7CTzF9cYBK02E_vJhEarVSKNkjcZgdlaNiXVzC9zs4SkERZha-FiJArNJ-jBpmYWb3XaHNwmkBXutWgDkMS9ZbjaIEcXy1CEu5AVqMNrTPo5TQBvFgA0d8bH2kDctrN1kriUc9U3tPyVamvoAanjVeH077V07V_l10jPk7OGAPtbw/s320/irtMap.jpeg&quot; style=&quot;clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;214&quot; data-original-width=&quot;320&quot; height=&quot;214&quot; src=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgA0irnMI7CTzF9cYBK02E_vJhEarVSKNkjcZgdlaNiXVzC9zs4SkERZha-FiJArNJ-jBpmYWb3XaHNwmkBXutWgDkMS9ZbjaIEcXy1CEu5AVqMNrTPo5TQBvFgA0d8bH2kDctrN1kriUc9U3tPyVamvoAanjVeH077V07V_l10jPk7OGAPtbw/s1600/irtMap.jpeg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  148.  
  149. &lt;p&gt;Some of the names I (and others) use for branches come from the &lt;a href=&quot;https://bradapp.com/acme/branching/&quot;&gt;Streamed Lines&lt;/a&gt; paper. &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/3yV4Gyy&quot;&gt;Software Configuration Management Patterns&lt;/a&gt; (SCM Patterns Book) identifies Code Lines based on how they are used and also provides some guidance about how code lines and testing practices fit together to help Code Lines be more agile. An &lt;a href=&quot;https://martinfowler.com/articles/branching-patterns.html&quot;&gt;article by Martin Fowler&lt;/a&gt; also names code lines.&lt;/p&gt;
  150.  
  151. &lt;p&gt;Since 2002, when the SCM Patterns book was first published, source code management tools like &lt;a href=&quot;https://git-scm.com/&quot;&gt;Git&lt;/a&gt; tools have improved such that some of the patterns in SCM Patterns are already built in. The mechanics of branching and merging are easier, but knowing when to apply the techniques still matters. Even with information and better tools teams still struggle with maintaining Code Line structures that work well for them. &lt;/p&gt;
  152.  
  153. &lt;p&gt;More powerful SCM tools make it easier to have more complicated structures. Sometimes more complexity is necessary, but it can often be a warning sign of a sub-optimal approach. Some teams use complex Code Line structures to compensate for risks that that other parts of the process — such as planning and testing — introduce. The planning ecosystem and testing practice has a huge impact on how well your process works:&lt;/p&gt;
  154.  
  155. &lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;Agile Code Lines, Testing, and Agile Planning need to work together for any of those parts to work well&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  156.  
  157. &lt;p&gt;Code Lines can define a framework to help you be more productive, but the best code line structure can’t fully compensate for all other problems.&lt;/p&gt;
  158.  
  159. &lt;p&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/11/why-code-lines-matter.html&quot;&gt;Next&lt;/a&gt; I’ll talk about how Code Lines fit into the larger development process, and why they are worth thinking about.&lt;/p&gt;
  160.  
  161.  
  162. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2022/10/code-lines-my-last-post-introduced.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgA0irnMI7CTzF9cYBK02E_vJhEarVSKNkjcZgdlaNiXVzC9zs4SkERZha-FiJArNJ-jBpmYWb3XaHNwmkBXutWgDkMS9ZbjaIEcXy1CEu5AVqMNrTPo5TQBvFgA0d8bH2kDctrN1kriUc9U3tPyVamvoAanjVeH077V07V_l10jPk7OGAPtbw/s72-c/irtMap.jpeg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-4200911674828674715</guid><pubDate>Sat, 29 Oct 2022 19:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2022-11-08T12:37:15.912-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">agile</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">branching</category><title>It&#39;s About Time: Branching and Integration</title><description>&lt;h1&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/h1&gt;
  163.  
  164. &lt;p&gt;&lt;i&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: arial;&quot;&gt;This post kicks off a series of articles about the role of branching on an agile software development team. Since &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/3zsmO30&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Software Configuration Management Patterns&lt;/a&gt; came out quite a while ago, it seems like time to revisit some of the concepts in it. They are still relevant, though a&amp;nbsp;different&amp;nbsp;approach to explaining how to apply them might be useful.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;i&gt;&lt;span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;a name=&#39;more&#39;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;i&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEj-g9WM8lN2JNZB7zdk9t1T5XB6njxPB2tl4hUCzmaOqgDg5aOc6eRIYWDIm2kmxvXZKNUNwSj_hDDrhnPO-VK2purTF4dOR691U2bFzE5irgBs7TFtsars2d2YPhgE-DuX87HoV1-mxmjvnHDtwWzcPU-3WGQYhDrydGGtLgJUQQW_HOMXqgI/s320/NPRClock.jpeg&quot; style=&quot;clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;214&quot; data-original-width=&quot;320&quot; height=&quot;214&quot; src=&quot;https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEj-g9WM8lN2JNZB7zdk9t1T5XB6njxPB2tl4hUCzmaOqgDg5aOc6eRIYWDIm2kmxvXZKNUNwSj_hDDrhnPO-VK2purTF4dOR691U2bFzE5irgBs7TFtsars2d2YPhgE-DuX87HoV1-mxmjvnHDtwWzcPU-3WGQYhDrydGGtLgJUQQW_HOMXqgI/s1600/NPRClock.jpeg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/i&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: arial;&quot;&gt;A Code Line can be defined in terms of policies for when and how teams use branching, the branch structure, and the conventions the team uses around pre-merge checks, including testing. The Codes Line structures a team uses can have a huge impact of the ability of a team to deliver — not just because of the branching structure associated with it but also because of how well it fits in with the rest of the team’s processes. For agile teams, the impact of Code Lines can seem larger because the feedback on an agile project exposes problems sooner.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  165.  
  166. &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: arial;&quot;&gt;Of all the elements of Code Lines, branching seems to get the most discussion. I’ve heard quite a few people argue that branching is evil and to be avoided at all costs. It’s true that some people use branching in a way that slows the team down in unanticipated ways. But those slowdowns are often an indicator of other larger obstacles to agile development, including planning and testing approaches.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  167.  
  168. &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: arial;&quot;&gt;Using a Code Line structure that works for you team is essential for successful agile delivery, but changing your Code Line structure alone won’t fix your delivery problems if your planning and testing processes are broken. To improve collaboration (both speed and quality) and thus value you need to integrate code quickly. The right Code Line structure can help. But Code Lines are only part of the picture: testing, planning, and organizational culture also play a role.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  169.  
  170. &lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: arial;&quot;&gt;In this series of short posts I’ll explain why the the problem teams face is not with their choice to use branching or not but rather with &lt;em&gt;time to integration&lt;/em&gt;; in other words, having code that stays isolated for too long is at the heart of much of this pain. I’ll discuss the factors that contribute to that, and how to the branching model a team uses is only as good as the planning, testing, and feedback modes the larger team supports. &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: arial;&quot;&gt;The &lt;a href=&quot;https://blog.berczuk.com/2022/10/code-lines-my-last-post-introduced.html&quot;&gt;next post&lt;/a&gt; defines some terms.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  171.  
  172.  
  173. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2022/10/its-about-time-branching-and-integration.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEj-g9WM8lN2JNZB7zdk9t1T5XB6njxPB2tl4hUCzmaOqgDg5aOc6eRIYWDIm2kmxvXZKNUNwSj_hDDrhnPO-VK2purTF4dOR691U2bFzE5irgBs7TFtsars2d2YPhgE-DuX87HoV1-mxmjvnHDtwWzcPU-3WGQYhDrydGGtLgJUQQW_HOMXqgI/s72-c/NPRClock.jpeg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-4680263842418818327</guid><pubDate>Thu, 12 Nov 2020 22:13:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-11-12T17:13:20.938-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">book</category><title>Review: Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow</title><description>
  174.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31138556&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1468760805l/31138556._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  175.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31138556&quot;&gt;Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/395812&quot;&gt;Yuval Noah Harari&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  176.      My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3605239848&quot;&gt;4 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  177.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  178.      
  179.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/32FjPDZ&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Homo Deus&lt;/a&gt; is an insightful, irreverent, and thought provoking book that explores what motivates and connects humanity. Hararri discusses the evolution organizing ideas, including Theism, Humanism, and what he calls Dataism (for example, the idea of the “Quantified self” ) and how they reflect our ways of interaction. &lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;Hararri draws some interesting parallels between religion, science and economic systems, in particular in terms of how they each have their own organizing principles and stories. In particular, I found the discussion of morality through various lenses particularly insightful; it got me thinking about how we can balance a principle of a right to a “pursuit of happiness” while also having a shared moral code. The general answer could be by measuring whether it impacts another life, but that question too depends on the code you believe in.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;The idea that our ability to create and share stories&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;helped humans for large networks,and thus become dominant, is central to the book. Stories and myth are powerful in creating unified organizing principles, and this power can be used for good and bad ends. An intersting insight, which resonates with current political discourse, is that myths can be more powerful than facts. Good facts are not always enough to gather people around a cause: sometime you need a good story to comment people even with fact.&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;Whether you are inclined to agree or not with Hararri’s ideas or approach, &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/32FjPDZ&quot;&gt;Homo Deus&lt;/a&gt; is a book that will challenge you to think about what drives you in your personal life and in interactions with the larger society. And that sort of thinking and the understanding it leads to can make for a stronger self and society.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
  180.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3605239848&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  181.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/11/review-homo-deus-history-of-tomorrow.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-4754559646840561032</guid><pubDate>Wed, 21 Oct 2020 13:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-10-21T09:00:09.558-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">book</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">management</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">teams</category><title>Review: You&#39;re About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them</title><description>
  182.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53638104&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;You&#39;re About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1590794633l/53638104._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  183.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53638104&quot;&gt;You&#39;re About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15159780&quot;&gt;Olivier Sibony&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  184.      My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3581359784&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  185.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  186.      
  187.      &lt;div&gt;You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake is a book about why organizations make bad decisions, and how to create processes and environments where we can make better ones, understanding the value of process and collaboration over any specific individual’s leadership.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Much of the advice here will seem familiar if you have studied ideas about how we make decisions but the context of strategic decision making is new.&amp;nbsp; The audience and examples are geared towards strategic business decisions, but this will give you insight into how you and others make decisions that might not be optimal in all aspects of your life.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;The advice is obvious and common sense in retrospect, but obvious and common sense doesn’t always mean visible and common. I’ve come across few groups that follow even the general principles here, much less the entire framework.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Sibony references agile organizations, and while his meaning isn’t the same as “Agile” in the context of software development, If you are familiar with Agile Software Development practices, many of the concepts, and some of the practices may seem familiar. Agile Retrospective frameworks, for example, follow a process framework that helps teams avoid many of the problematic decision making biases.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;A recurring theme in the book is the importance of process and collaboration over any specific individual’s leadership. In my experience process can make the difference between success and failure for a team, and this book drives the value of process and collaboration home. And Sibony notes that circumstance plays a role: The same good plan can succeed or fail depending upon factors beyond your control, and the same bad plan might work surprisingly well if one is lucky. Sibony tells us how to set up processes so that our big strategic decisions factor in these factors so that we have a reasonable sense of risks involved.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;A key part of a good decision process is the definition and role of a leader.&amp;nbsp; Sibony points out that much of the advice he presents goes counter to the model of the certain, definitive, action-oriented leader. For better decisions we need to to step away from that idea. While final decisions may rest with an individual leader,&amp;nbsp; the process to get there must be collaborative.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;The book ends with a summary of the key concepts, and good bibliography, and notes. You may well find your self finishing this book with a much longer reading list than when you started.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Whether you are a senior manager, a team lead,&amp;nbsp; or active in a volunteer organization, the principles in this book will help you create frameworks to enable better decisions. And as an individual you will gain insight how to understand how others make decisions, as well as how you might think about how you make important decisions.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  188.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3581359784&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  189.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/10/review-youre-about-to-make-terrible.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-4692614600829908195</guid><pubDate>Sun, 11 Oct 2020 22:15:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-10-11T18:15:32.428-04:00</atom:updated><title>Review: The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win</title><description>
  190.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49814228&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1585143928l/49814228._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  191.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49814228&quot;&gt;The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6461111&quot;&gt;Maria Konnikova&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  192.      My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3499636225&quot;&gt;4 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  193.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  194.      
  195.      &lt;div&gt;On the surface, The Biggest Bluff seems to be simply about the author’s adventure learning about poker in an attempt to compete in the World Series of Poker: A Personal Quest story. But the book isn’t about Poker. And while it is a personal story, it’s more than just that. It’s about how we make decisions, and Poker turns out to be a remarkably good lens to understand how people make choices in situations which combine uncertainty and experience.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;I was surprised to learn useful things that relate to my daily life like the impact of implicit bias and emotion on decision making, and the relationship between luck and skill in being successful.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;The lessons here will give you insight into many facets of your life. While, poker may not be a good model for life, it is, according to Konnikiva, a way to develop skills important to ones life.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;My one complaint is that I wish that there was an appendix with pointers to some of the research and the. references she cited. This is minor as a web search is easy enough to do, but was something I missed.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;The Biggest Bluff tells an engaging story, and by understanding the path Konnikova follows you will learn about how you make decisions and interact with others. And you may learn a bit about poker along the way&lt;/div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  196.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3499636225&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  197.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/10/review-biggest-bluff-how-i-learned-to.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-4918999384735137061</guid><pubDate>Mon, 05 Oct 2020 12:30:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-10-05T08:30:00.263-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">book</category><title>Review: Humankind: A Hopeful History</title><description>
  198.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52879286&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Humankind: A Hopeful History&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1577251406l/52879286._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  199.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52879286&quot;&gt;Humankind: A Hopeful History&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5781839&quot;&gt;Rutger Bregman&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  200.      My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3556864488&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  201.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  202.      
  203.      &lt;div&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/3iCyDZm&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Humankind&lt;/a&gt; is an optimistic take on human nature&amp;nbsp; grounded in Science , Philosophy, and History. The author explains why humans are intrinsically good. He isn’t naive, and acknowledges that bad things happen but he explains that we tend to focus on and remember the bad things. Bad news tends to get more attention and play and thus reenforces this dynamic leaning to a downward spiral -- Good news stories don’t go as viral as bad news ones, and the banal, everyday good things people do don’t get reported.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;All bad news isn’t just a case of it getting our attention, and Bregman gives us some insight into why hate, for example, can spread in some cultures. In some cases, it is our desire&amp;nbsp; to be good, to belong, and to be collaborative can lead to us to follow&amp;nbsp; people acting in ways that are contrary to that. Even empathy -- which seems like a good thing -- can cause us to focus on the wrong things at times.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;We also learn why widely spread research results, such as&amp;nbsp; “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” “No Broken Windows,” and&amp;nbsp; “The Tragedy of the Commons” are at best highly incomplete and at worst, just wrong.&amp;nbsp; Many of these ideas that assume that people&amp;nbsp; are motivated by self interest, and seek power are often based on, well, assumptions about other people (because we often believe that we are different). We also learn about why less restrictive prisons can be more safe, and have less long term costs (and how the US almost adopted a model common in Norway). You also learn that the fabled 1914 Christmas Truce, after which English and German forces refused to fight each other, was not unique in history.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;One thing I really enjoyed about the book -- once I got used to it as it is very different from many similar books -- is that walks through the evolution of ideas.&amp;nbsp; You might be tempted to highlight and share some insight, only to read a paragraph later a “wait, there’s more!”&amp;nbsp; style discussion. Which makes sense, as human nature and interactions are complex.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;The book resonate with things I’ve long thought, in particular that&amp;nbsp; forming connections is essential to reducing intolerance, and that organizational dynamics affect well being and productivity, and that it’s often worth giving people the benefit of the doubt before assuming bad intentions. This book gave me a good sense of the historical and scientific basis for thinking that these are not crazy ideas (or at least ideas that only make sense in the contexts I have experience in). Similarly it gave me some sense of awareness to detect when my optimistic nature could possibly lead me astray.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;In terms of structure, the first half of the book makes the case for goodness with a walk through history.&amp;nbsp; The second half of the book interweaves stories and examples that provide guidance on how you can apply the information in the book in your personal, work, and community life.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Part history, part scientific survey, and part philosophical argument for the goodness of humans, &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/3iCyDZm&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Humankind&lt;/a&gt; will generate ideas for you to think about, and ideas for things you can try to do to change your approach to interacting with others.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  204.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3556864488&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;on Goodreads.</description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/10/review-humankind-hopeful-history.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-4193752585707524762</guid><pubDate>Fri, 24 Jul 2020 17:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-07-24T13:00:00.757-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><title>Review: Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World</title><description>
  205.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51338489&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1571688984l/51338489._SX98_SY160_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  206.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51338489&quot;&gt;Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19457252&quot;&gt;Olga Khazan&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  207.      My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3361712298&quot;&gt;4 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  208.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  209.      
  210.  
  211. When this book showed up in the Next Big Idea Club box I thought that  I’d relate to this book, and I did. While I may not be  “weird” in any obvious sense, but I’ve definitely experienced the not fitting in feeling  for a variety of reasons.  And as a book, &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2EjzcsB&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Weird&lt;/a&gt;  is a bit meta. It’s a weird book about the challenges and benefits of not fitting in. But it’s weird in all the wonderful, positive ways that the Khazan describes. It might not have imagined a book about the challenges of being different  having laugh out loud passages, but this one does, and they pull you into the story. It’s not an autobiography, but it weaves autobiographical moments to help set the frame for the facts, history, and other people’s stories that are the core of the book.&amp;nbsp;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Khazan explains Weirdness isn’t a bad thing, in some ways it can be a superpower, as diversity of thought and approach can lead to better ideas in groups (the challenge is figuring out how to communicate them and being in a group that accepts a degree of “different” thinking. But not everyone assumes that, and as a rule, we like to fit in, and be around people who fit in -- though she also points out that humans gravitate to groups that are somewhat unique; it’s being the singleton that can make one lonely, awkward, and on edge.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;While race isn’t the main theme of the book, it runs throughout, in that the biases that people express towards people of different races and ethnic groups are in some ways just magnified versions of other forms of outsiderness. And this connection  can be a way to find  a deeper understanding of the challenges of racism.  As Khazan states at the start of the book,  the challenges of, say, a White immigrant are not equivalent to those faced as a BIPOC  person or someone with a rare medical condition, but being aware of the extent to which social exclusion affects such a “broad swath of humanity” is useful for building empathy.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;In learning about weirdness, you have a chance to reflect on your differences and your biases, and perhaps considering these can help you find an empathy anchor when you see someone who is isn’t part of the group being challenged or feeling frustrated.  And you may even learn to embrace the differences you and others bring to groups., and understand your reactions to being someone who brings a difference to a group.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;With a writing style that is engaging, and at times laugh at loud humorous,  Weird  will help you understand how you react to differences, how you are different, and perhaps guide you towards coping with the challenges and benefits of not quite fitting in, and also being more aware of your reaction to outsiders.&amp;nbsp;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2EjzcsB&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Buy on Amazon.com&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  212.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3361712298&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  213.    &lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/07/review-weird-power-of-being-outsider-in.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-7856578896100999545</guid><pubDate>Fri, 24 Jul 2020 13:13:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-07-24T09:13:37.735-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><title>Review: Neighborhood Defenders: Participatory Politics and America&#39;s Housing Crisis</title><description>
  214.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48813374&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Neighborhood Defenders: Participatory Politics and America&#39;s Housing Crisis&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/111x148-bcc042a9c91a29c1d680899eff700a03.png&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  215.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48813374&quot;&gt;Neighborhood Defenders: Participatory Politics and America&#39;s Housing Crisis&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9825352&quot;&gt;Katherine Levine Einstein&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  216.      My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3444871874&quot;&gt;4 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  217.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  218.      
  219.      &lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2WSi3MM&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Neighborhood Defenders&lt;/a&gt; is an academic, yet approachable, book that discusses the dynamics around how people stop housing development that can increase affordability in the name of defending the neighborhoods. The book is and exploration of how current zoning (and review) processes , which were set up to give everyone a voice, have served to give certain advantaged groups an outsize say in what can be built. The result is often that larger housing projects which might include a range of market rate affordable, as well as subsidized affordable units often end up getting scaled back or stopped.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;“Neighborhood Defenders” refers to the groups of residents that often rally around stopping projects by expressing opposition in terms of rationales along the lines of “this will change the character of the neighborhood.” In the book we learn that even while some of the&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;Defenders may be well intentioned (but perhaps not all) the end result is that housing that has the potential to diversify make a community more diverse and affordable is less likely to be built.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;The theme that most caught my attention is the role of the public meeting process that many cities and towns follow around zoning has in this. The public meeting process has its roots in giving people voice, but in some contexts the voices that participate are limited to certain groups, and often not the ones who might benefit from certain housing projects. It’s easy enough to introduce delays -- which add costs to projects. -- either projects don’t happen, or developers abandon the idea of larger projects with Affordable housing and build smaller market rate housing. For example commenters at meetings often raise issues that are tangential to the original project, leading to the need for new studies and delays. &lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;While there are many books that opine about housing this one is different in that it is backed by data. The authors have read meeting transcripts and reviewed zoning regulations in cities and towns and used that data to support their conclusions. As such, the book is detailed and not a very&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;light read, but it is very approachable, and worth a read if you are interested in understanding the dynamics of housing and zoning meetings. &lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;Anyone who is a resident of a community that has a zoning board -- whether you are an activist or not -- could find this a useful and enlightening read, that will help you understand the obstacles involved in community development and paths around them&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  220.  
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  223.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3444871874&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  224. </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/07/review-neighborhood-defenders.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-1406790783290812627</guid><pubDate>Sun, 05 Jul 2020 19:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-07-05T15:02:56.791-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">management</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">teams</category><title>Review: Startup, Scaleup, Screwup: 42 Tools to Accelerate Lean &amp; Agile Business Growth</title><description>
  225.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45178028&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Startup, Scaleup, Screwup: 42 Tools to Accelerate Lean &amp;amp; Agile Business Growth&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1555725394l/45178028._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  226.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45178028&quot;&gt;Startup, Scaleup, Screwup: 42 Tools to Accelerate Lean &amp;amp; Agile Business Growth&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4462627&quot;&gt;Jurgen Appelo&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  227.      My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3188968581&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  228.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
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  231.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3188968581&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  232.    &lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Though I’ve never been a founder, I’ve been an early member of startup companies and internal ventures (such as&amp;nbsp; being a founding member of the, at the time new,&amp;nbsp; Boston office for Fitbit )&amp;nbsp; so I was curious to read Jurgen Appelo’s book &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2Z1G2La&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Startup, Scaleup, Screwup: 42 Tools to Accelerate Lean and Agile Business Growth&lt;/a&gt;, and see how relevant it was for me. It turned out to be very much so.&amp;nbsp; Appelo combines lean and agile principles with a model for business development that is relevant for both an entrepreneur starting a company, and an intrapreneur, leading a product initiative or a team.&amp;nbsp; &amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Since the book weaves many agile concepts and processes, such as backlogs, burn down charts, and retrospectives, into the process,&amp;nbsp; I was tempted to title my review something like “Agile for Startups” or “A Startups with Agile values.” But those names would misstate two key take-aways from the book. First, agile themes like “Inspect and Adapt” are just a really good way to start a venture, as new ideas require that you get constant feedback and adapt to it. If this weren’t the case and you knew what would work and how to do it, it would not be a venture. Second, this isn’t just about startups companies. Appelo addresses these idea in the context of an entrepreneurial startup or any intrepreneruial internal venture. In either case, you need to demonstrate value to secure a continuing funding source, or fail. And the feedback loops agile approaches like experiments and retrospective are essential to building that value.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Reading through the book I was struck by how often Appelo makes points that are both obvious and iconoclastic.&amp;nbsp; At one point he asserts that “growth” should never be a goal in itself,&amp;nbsp; but way to achieve&amp;nbsp; success, such as delivering value to more customers, which seems counter to common business thinking,&amp;nbsp; but which makes perfect sense. Similarly he describes how teams often frame cultural fit as being “similar” rather than “complementary” -- which is to say that a new person fills a gap on the team.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;The book covers everything from funding, and planning to hiring. The hiring ideas are reminiscent of the ones I learned from Johanna Rothman in &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/3itux6Z&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Hiring Geeks that Fi&lt;/a&gt;t, albeit with slightly different terms, which are in essence, figure out how to what qualities you need in an employee, decide how you measure them&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Appello’s Witty, irreverent&amp;nbsp; and humorous style make this one of the more entertaining business books to read, and the style reflects a perspective on business that might make you want to reconsider things you took from granted.&amp;nbsp; At the very least you’ll be tempted to explore the supporting materials that are linked at the end of every chapter&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Whether you are in a startup, involved in building a new product for an established company,&amp;nbsp; of just curious about how businesses succeed, Startup, Scale Up Screw Up is an enjoyable, informative, and actionable read that will likely generate many ideas of things to do or learn more about.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/07/review-startup-scaleup-screwup-42-tools.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-537174596180234489</guid><pubDate>Thu, 25 Jun 2020 16:06:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-06-25T12:06:30.642-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><title>Review: Together The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World</title><description>
  233.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43309566&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Together The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1569894196l/43309566._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  234.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43309566&quot;&gt;Together The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2Vz7I87&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Vivek H. Murthy&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  235.      My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3361713170&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  236.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  237.      
  238.      &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  239.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3361713170&quot;&gt;View all my reviews on Goodreads&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;Whether you are an extravert or introvert, connection is an important part of being human, and while we each differ in the kind of ways we connect, we need certain kinds of connections in our lives to be happy and healthy. &lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;“Together”&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;is an engaging guide to what connection means,&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;how it benefits us, and how to built it.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;While we sometimes need &lt;i&gt;solitude&lt;/i&gt; , the absence of the appropriate connections in our lives can lead to loneliness, which has a larger impact on the quality of our lives than we expect.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;Murthy describes the 3 kinds of connections, all of which are necessary:&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p3&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px 0px 0px 19.8px;&quot;&gt;• Emotional (close confidant or partner)&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p3&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px 0px 0px 19.8px;&quot;&gt;• Relational or Social (quality friendships, social companionship and support)&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p3&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px 0px 0px 19.8px;&quot;&gt;• Collective (hunger for a network of community of people who share your sense of purpose and interest)&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;According to Murthy, the presence of one of these kinds of connections, o matter how strong, is unlikely to compensate for missing the others. Even with the strongest marriage, we can still find our selves feeling lonely&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;without close friends, or a community we belong to. Aside from the practical value of a community network to help us through challenging times, loneliness can be a significant health problem.&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;Murthy makes the biological connection between loneliness and depression and anxiety. Loneliness can also trigger some of the same fear instincts that cause us to be suspicious of others who are not ‘in our tribe.’&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;It thus makes it hard to forge connections to bootstrap away from loneliness. This connection to anxiety can be the source of acting on our biases and resisting connections with those different than ourselves.&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;Having explained the risks of loneliness, Murthy discusses ways to get out of the rut that loneliness leaves us in, including service to others. Being in a place where we stay open to connections can help us help people step away from dysfunctional situations and mindsets.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;Since connection and community is such a universal part of human existence, while reading, I found myself thinking of other books that touched on the topic, including Christopher Alexander’s &lt;i&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/3i3vfaA&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;A Pattern Language&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/i&gt;, Adam Grant’s &lt;i&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/31hx8KM&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Give and Take&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/i&gt;,&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;Kate Murphy’s &lt;i&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/3ey7EwP&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;You’re Not Listening&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/i&gt;, Malcom Gladwell’s&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/31hVx3a&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt; &lt;/a&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;i&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/31hVx3a&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Talking to Strangers&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/i&gt;, and even Dan Levitin’s&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;&lt;i&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2Viesqq&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Successful Aging&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/i&gt;. &lt;i&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2Vz7I87&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Together&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/i&gt; has a different focus than all of those books, namely physical and mental health,&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;but as I read, I realized that the value of community to our physical and mental health means that by building community we can benefit ourselves in unexpected ways.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;Personal stories&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;make this a relatable read. When combined with&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;pointers to more information and discussions of organizations that build community which you might be interested in connecting with, it’s also a very actionable one.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;The book ends with a story that conveys the importance and power of&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;what Murthy calls “not the family chosen for you, but&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;the family you choose.”&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;As someone who grew up without a lot of extended family near, I’ve grown to understand the value of the friends and neighbors who’ve become part of what I consider to be my family. Reading Together helped me to&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;truly understand just how valuable those connections are. It also gave me insight into how to do a better job of building them at home, work, and in the communities I’m a part of.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p2&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p class=&quot;p1&quot; style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;Helvetica Neue&amp;quot;; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-numeric: normal; line-height: normal; margin: 0px;&quot;&gt;Together is an important guide for our times about why connection matters&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;/span&gt;and how to built it at various scales: for yourself, for your family, and for your larger communities such as your workplace and town or city.&lt;span class=&quot;Apple-converted-space&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/div&gt;</description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-together-healing-power-of-human.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-3422325530332548725</guid><pubDate>Mon, 27 Apr 2020 13:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-04-27T09:00:00.599-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><title>Review: You&#39;re Not Listening: What You&#39;re Missing and Why It Matters</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45892276&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;You&#39;re Not Listening: What You&#39;re Missing and Why It Matters&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1568313665l/45892276._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  240.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45892276&quot;&gt;You&#39;re Not Listening: What You&#39;re Missing and Why It Matters&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19839022&quot;&gt;Kate   Murphy&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  241. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3277254128&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  242.      &lt;br /&gt;
  243. &lt;br /&gt;
  244. Listening is hard, and in my quest to be a better listener I’m always looking for information to both understand how I can do better, and to understand dynamics between me and other other people. Kate Murphy’s book is a great resource both for the advice it provides and the insights it leads you too.&lt;br /&gt;
  245. &lt;br /&gt;
  246. One of the reasons listening is hard is that much of what we learn as a culture about “good conversation” and engagement emphasizes witty responses, self promotion and superficial gestures. She cites the Algonquin Round Table as an early example of a model of conversation dynamics that are entirely based on putting people down -- albeit humorously -- rather than building people up and connecting. Many of the “active listening” techniques that are popular are focused on reactions and gestures rather than the mindset of connecting with people. While techniques can encourage us to reframe how we think, they are not enough, and while superficial gestures can give the initial appearance of connection, people generally figure it out later on.&lt;br /&gt;
  247. &lt;br /&gt;
  248. Murphy has some recurring themes in the book, including that how well you listen is, at least in part, tied to how comfortable and secure you are in a situation; it takes confidence to pause to respond and build on what others say, rather than pushing your own agenda, and that listening requires self awareness -- of how present you are, of the kinds of interactions that you tend to tune out on, and of whether you have followed up enough to have a chance at understanding what someone is saying.&lt;br /&gt;
  249. &lt;br /&gt;
  250. Good listening isn’t just about politeness. It forms the basis of good personal, business, and community, relationships. These in turn can help you be successful whether you are a spouse, friend, manager, sales person, or advocate in your community. Murphy closes with a discussion of when to stop listening. Since listening well takes a lot of energy, we can’t always listen, and that’s OK as long as you are intentional and transparent. And there are some circumstances where it’s clear that a dialog won’t happen, even after you’ve given it a reasonable chance. But listening is key to understanding each other and building relationships, so it is important to not always give up simply out of impatience. Listening is hard, and we can all do better, and the effort can be worth it.&lt;br /&gt;
  251. &lt;br /&gt;
  252. &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2VIUndT&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;You’re Not Listening&lt;/a&gt; is a an actionable guide to the various aspects of why listening is valuable, what makes for better listening, and for understanding how you interactions with others can be better, both through self-understanding and empathy. The insights from the book can help you be a better spouse, friend, and neighbor, and perhaps even improve the quality of interactions on social media.
  253.      &lt;br /&gt;
  254. &lt;br /&gt;
  255. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3277254128&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  256.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/04/review-youre-not-listening-what-youre.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-8172877959024508738</guid><pubDate>Mon, 20 Apr 2020 13:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-04-20T09:00:07.692-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><title>Review: What&#39;s Your Pronoun?: Beyond He and She</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45894103&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;What&#39;s Your Pronoun?: Beyond He and She&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1573236211l/45894103._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  257.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45894103&quot;&gt;What&#39;s Your Pronoun?: Beyond He and She&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/160193&quot;&gt;Dennis Baron&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  258. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3163756540&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  259.      &lt;br /&gt;
  260. &lt;br /&gt;
  261. &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2XygaX0&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;What’s Your Pronoun&lt;/a&gt; is the story of the role of pronouns own grammar and society. Using the right pronoun can be challenging and is important. At the very least using the wrong pronoun can mislead or or offend. But simply if all you see to do is to apply rules to avoid offense, you’ll likely fail more often than you’d like. Baron’s book gives you the tools to go deeper and understand the evolution or pronoun usage in the English Language, so that you can better understand why pronouns are important, and also that the debate has been long running,.&lt;br /&gt;
  262. &lt;br /&gt;
  263. As an occasional writer, who is also a bit of a grammar geek, I’ve often lamented that there is not good neutral third person singular pronoun; I’d like to have a third person form that is well understood, not awkward to read, which doesn’t imply the gender of a person. From Baron’s book I learned that this has been an issue since at least the 1780s (according to the written record he found -- perhaps longer). The grammar geek in me also appreciated Baron explaining concepts in the context of language ( “gender” means “kind,” having nothing direct to do with gender identification) and the differences in how grammarians and linguists view issues like these.&lt;br /&gt;
  264. &lt;br /&gt;
  265. The implications of pronouns extend beyond being imprecise or offensive to interpretation of laws. “He” was sometimes taken to be generic, but also used to say “just men” -- for example: “a law saying that he shall be punished who...”, the same logic, when applied to voting rights for women, didn’t stick. and other, larger, social issues, (for example, the difference between “gender neutral” and “non-binary” usage). Placing the discussion in the context of history and the present day, Baron explores the approaches people have tried in order to achieve some sort of “third person singular” without assuming a gender. &lt;br /&gt;
  266. &lt;br /&gt;
  267. In the end, it seems that “they” has a long track record of being the neutral pronoun of choice for English speakers, much as “you” migrated from being plural to plural and singular. I hope that my saying that doesn&#39;t lead you to believe that you don’t need to read the book. The journey the book takes you on is educational and also entertaining. I recommend it to anyone who is curious about how language evolves and relates to society, or just if you are curious about how pronouns are, and could be used.
  268.      &lt;br /&gt;
  269. &lt;br /&gt;
  270. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3163756540&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  271.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/04/review-whats-your-pronoun-beyond-he-and.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-5515996769512745495</guid><pubDate>Wed, 15 Apr 2020 13:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-04-15T09:00:00.732-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><title>Review: Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43420930&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1546272522l/43420930._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  272.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43420930&quot;&gt;Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18656957&quot;&gt;Will Hunt&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  273. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3129581325&quot;&gt;3 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  274.      &lt;br /&gt;
  275. &lt;br /&gt;
  276. As someone who was fascinated by, NYC subway tunnels while I was a subway commuter in high school, I appreciated the theme of the book, and that it had much of a chapter balanced around the story of a famous NYC Subway graffiti artist. The challenge I had with this book is that I wasn’t sure what to expect. Based on the cover text, I was expecting a discussion of the history with humans’ relationship to the dark unground spaces, with tendrils to mythology, history and science. In the end, there was that, albeit woven into a travel journal, where the mix of journal and background that varies throughout. I found the first chapter a bit slow going, but the book seemed to flow better for me as I progressed.&lt;br /&gt;
  277. &lt;br /&gt;
  278. &lt;br /&gt;
  279. The book starts off as more travel log than history. The first chapter, being more travel memoir than history almost has me putting the book down. But in chapter 2 the book became what the title promised: history of human obsession with dark, foreboding places, even in the face of our desire to seek light safety.&lt;br /&gt;
  280. &lt;br /&gt;
  281. The history, science and mythology are woven into stories of the authors travels to obscure and not so obscure places, and the personal touch emphasized the connection that these places have to humans, so in the end the person story made for a more engaging read for me when it was in the right balance. &lt;br /&gt;
  282. &lt;br /&gt;
  283. The book has un-captioned photos scattered through out it, which added to a sense of discovery, but at times I wished they were captioned so that I could quickly find out what they were. I was a bit more frustrated that the end notes only sometimes explained the photo rather than simply being a photo credit.&lt;br /&gt;
  284. &lt;br /&gt;
  285. The issues I had with the book are mostly matters of personal preference though. Overall, this is an interesting read; you do need to start it with the right expectations (or even none) for the best experience. While the book was not as compelling as I had hoped, but was a great way to contemplate what the underground means to us, and to the extent it got me thinking philosophically about the contradictions inherent in our obsession with the underground, it was worth the effort for me.
  286.      &lt;br /&gt;
  287. &lt;br /&gt;
  288. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3129581325&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  289.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/04/review-underground-human-history-of.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-1931007820719543455</guid><pubDate>Mon, 13 Apr 2020 17:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-04-13T13:00:07.695-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><title>Review: Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46114266&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1566099456l/46114266._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  290.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46114266&quot;&gt;Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/81619&quot;&gt;Daniel J. Levitin&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  291. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3208320887&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  292.      &lt;br /&gt;
  293. &lt;br /&gt;
  294. You will get old, and you will (eventually )die. While some things are beyond our ability to control, there are things&amp;nbsp; we can influence so that the amount of time&amp;nbsp; (or at least the proportion of time) you live with a good quality of life (a concept captured by The World Health Organization HALE (Healthy Life Expectancy measure) is greater. &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/3bhcMDy&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Successful Aging&lt;/a&gt; is a guide to how to change our personalities and response to our environments to make this happen.&lt;br /&gt;
  295. &lt;br /&gt;
  296. The key idea in the book is that your life can be thought of as having a “health span” at the start, and a “disease span” at the end, and successful aging is when the ratio of health span to disease span is highest. Levitin uses the acronym COACH --&amp;nbsp; Curiosity, Openness, Associations, Conscientiousness, and Healthy practices -- to describe the principles that can help you to achieve this: .&lt;br /&gt;
  297. &lt;br /&gt;
  298. The book is divided into 3 parts. The first is a tour through the science of how we learn, feel, and interact, with a focus on how these change over time. I found this section to have a lot of information that helped me to understand day-to-day dynamics with people, independent of concerns of aging.&lt;br /&gt;
  299. &lt;br /&gt;
  300. The second part of the book is about the science behind, and the choices we make with respect to diet, exercise, and sleep. These are the things we most can control, or at least influence, and this section will give you some context for evaluating whether something you hear about has any basis in science or is simply hype. In many cases, simple changes can have a great impact.&lt;br /&gt;
  301. &lt;br /&gt;
  302. The third section of the book tackles the science behind longevity, discussing research into the limits of human life, and how cognitive function can change as we age, and how to keep your brain active. Levitin makes the case that continuing to&amp;nbsp; learn new skills that you enjoy, keeping active, and maintaining social connections will do far more for youy cognitive health than simply doing “brain training” puzzles (though if you like doing puzzles, go for it). The section and the book end with a chapter that ties the ideas in the book together, and provides some practical advice for the inevitable end of life issues we will all have to address as our abilities change.&lt;br /&gt;
  303. &lt;br /&gt;
  304. Successful Aging is an engaging, easy to read, book that is rooted in science but weaves in stories about people who have led active productive lives in their 70’s, 80’s, 90’s a beyond, and also includes the occasional -- well placed -- witty aside from the author.&lt;br /&gt;
  305. &lt;br /&gt;
  306. This is a book that will be useful to most everyone, whether you are thinking of your own life, of the life of a loved one, and want to understand how to help the latter portions of life better.&lt;br /&gt;
  307. &lt;br /&gt;
  308. &lt;br /&gt;
  309. &lt;br /&gt;
  310. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3208320887&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  311.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/04/review-successful-aging-neuroscientist.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-2089770125804796389</guid><pubDate>Mon, 13 Apr 2020 13:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-04-13T07:51:12.890-04:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><title>Review: Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45152560&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1579019752l/45152560._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  312.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45152560&quot;&gt;Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5808588&quot;&gt;Victoria Turk&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  313. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3133344853&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  314.      &lt;br /&gt;
  315. &lt;br /&gt;
  316. As someone who has been a user of the internet for a long time I was curious about what &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/2QUskFI&quot;&gt;Kill Reply All&lt;/a&gt; would say, but skeptical that I’d learn a lot. I was wrong. Kill Reply All is a laugh-out-loud-entertaining review of how to communicate which covers many of the styles of interaction we use (phone, text, email, chat, social media) . You’ll learn to think about when certain media are appropriate (or not), and how best to use a medium that is new to you. For example, Slack might be great, but there are times when email is better. And a phone call really only works when you plan it (with a text, say). Even if you don’t agree with the recipes Turk proposes, you’ll have a chance to think about the question.&lt;br /&gt;
  317. &lt;br /&gt;
  318. Context is important: you’ll want to make different choices when interacting with colleagues, partners, friends, and the community on a social network and the chapters are structured along those lines.&lt;br /&gt;
  319. &lt;br /&gt;
  320. Part of the fun of the book is how Turk illustrates the things not to do with examples that you may recognize -- either as things you have seen from others -- and sometimes yourself. (Note: Even if you think it’s only something others do, some self reflection is often the best approach to developing a good etiquette, as you may well fall into some bad habits.)&lt;br /&gt;
  321. &lt;br /&gt;
  322. Though humor pervades the book, there is some really solid, sober advice here. A section at the end about call out culture is particularly worth consideration, and in fact, the last chapter on the “art of community” has concise advice about topics like how to identify Fake News and trolls, and how to distinguish bad behavior from honest interaction errors, and when it’s best to let things slide or simply walk away.&lt;br /&gt;
  323. &lt;br /&gt;
  324. While not a perfect book (some of the suggestions didn&#39;t take some situations and professions into account, for example), it was a short fun read. You may get this book for the humor, and/or perhaps to get acquainted with how to use tools your kids, or parents use. But it you are also likely to end up thinking about how you interact with people via your devices, and whether you agree with all of Victoria Turks’ rules of etiquette or not, thinking about it is the first step to better interactions.
  325.      &lt;br /&gt;
  326. &lt;br /&gt;
  327. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3133344853&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  328.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/01/review-kill-reply-all-modern-guide-to.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-673589779930773956</guid><pubDate>Tue, 07 Jan 2020 14:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-01-07T09:00:01.864-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">science. machine-learning</category><title>Review: You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It&#39;s Making the World a Weirder Place</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44286534&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It&#39;s Making the World a Weirder Place&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1569287643l/44286534._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  329.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44286534&quot;&gt;You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It&#39;s Making the World a Weirder Place&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18937525&quot;&gt;Janelle Shane&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  330. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3080117560&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  331.      &lt;br /&gt;
  332. &lt;br /&gt;
  333. &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/37gjzv6&quot;&gt;With You Look Like a Thing and I Love You&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18937525.Janelle_Shane&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;Janelle Shane&quot;&gt;Janelle Shane&lt;/a&gt; has given us an amusing, engaging, in depth, and surprisingly approachable explanation of how AI works, what it’s good for (and not good for) and why. This is one of those unique books about technology that’s written for non-technologists, yet manages to be in-depth enough to be a resource for those whose knowledge ranges from “I heard about AI once” to “the concepts are familiar, but coding AI is not my day job.” While I build software systems, and have worked around AI and Machine Learning systems, I’ve not built or worked on their internals. This book inspired me to want to learn more.&lt;br /&gt;
  334. &lt;br /&gt;
  335. As AI (and Machine Learning) in its various forms touches many aspects of our lives, this book is a must read for anyone who wants to know more what AI does well, what it does poorly, and why . You’ll learn about the difference between narrow and general AI, basic concepts like Neural Nets and Markov chains, and how AI’s learn, including the impact of training data on how well they do. &lt;br /&gt;
  336. &lt;br /&gt;
  337. You’ll also learn about how AI systems can go astray, either through incidental issues (poor training data, for example) or malicious actions. While the concepts sound technical. Shane makes them very approachable though clear language, and memorable through humor. Since it’s not a text book on the subject, there may be a few places where more technical minded readers may see a few conceptual details skipped over, but between the notes and references, and the context the book gives you to do a good web search, this is not a major problem. &lt;br /&gt;
  338. &lt;br /&gt;
  339. The style of this book reminds me of some of &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7956.Mary_Roach&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;Mary Roach&quot;&gt;Mary Roach&lt;/a&gt;’s books on science, such as &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30734730.Stiff_The_Curious_Lives_of_Human_Cadavers&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach&quot;&gt;Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers&lt;/a&gt; and &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18377999.Gulp_Adventures_on_the_Alimentary_Canal&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;Gulp Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach&quot;&gt;Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal&lt;/a&gt;, in how it easily mixes humor in with important factual information. At various times in the book Shane provides examples of some AI-Generated “recipes” to show how the wrong training data can lead to bizarre results. My family read some of these aloud and could we on the floor laughing.&lt;br /&gt;
  340. &lt;br /&gt;
  341. In addition to being an excellent primer on AI concepts, I also started thinking about how many of things that set AIs astray are also things that lead humans to the wrong solutions too, even as we are better equipped to compensate. Some recurring themes are being given the wrong definition of the problem (consider incentives at work and how they often lead to the wrong global results) and introducing biases through the examples we learn from, which lead to the wrong solutions. While Shane doesn’t seem to set out to make people understand how to learn better, I can’t help but think that there are lessons in the book for how we can be better at problem solving. &lt;br /&gt;
  342. &lt;br /&gt;
  343. This amusing, thought provoking and educational book got be excited to learn more about the subject. As I read the book, I wanted to slot time into my schedule to experiment with some machine learning code to better understand the ideas. But even if that isn’t something you are likely to do, the book can inspire you to think more critically about your experiences with Chatbots, recommendation engines, and other places where AI and ML technologies touch your life.
  344.      &lt;br /&gt;
  345. &lt;br /&gt;
  346. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3080117560&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  347.  
  348. &lt;hr/&gt;
  349. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.amazon.com/You-Look-Like-Thing-Love/dp/0316525243/ref=as_li_ss_il?crid=1BL0VVCNHV3WI&amp;keywords=you+look+like+a+thing+and+i+love+you&amp;qid=1577478983&amp;sprefix=you+look+li,aps,304&amp;sr=8-1&amp;linkCode=li2&amp;tag=steveberczuk&amp;linkId=74deef83a4c4f6aec134efac89faaf48&amp;language=en_US&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&amp;ASIN=0316525243&amp;Format=_SL160_&amp;ID=AsinImage&amp;MarketPlace=US&amp;ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;WS=1&amp;tag=steveberczuk&amp;language=en_US&quot; &gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=steveberczuk&amp;language=en_US&amp;l=li2&amp;o=1&amp;a=0316525243&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; alt=&quot;&quot; style=&quot;border:none !important; margin:0px !important;&quot; /&gt;
  350.    </description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/01/review-you-look-like-thing-and-i-love.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-6373866360605875865</guid><pubDate>Fri, 03 Jan 2020 14:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2020-01-03T09:00:04.574-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">scrum</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">teams</category><title>Review: The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47317645&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1565758178l/47317645._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  351.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47317645&quot;&gt;The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety: Defining the Path to Inclusion and Innovation&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1609738&quot;&gt;Timothy R. Clark&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  352. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3091855858&quot;&gt;4 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  353.      &lt;br /&gt;
  354. &lt;br /&gt;
  355. The concept of “Psychological Safety” is both often misunderstood, and essential to effective (and even innovative) groups. “Psychological Safety” is about how comfortable people are sharing and challenging ideas. Psychological Safety is a very practical matter. It can be related to physical safety as well (for example, a factory when team members are reluctant to point out safety issues), and business success and innovation. Timothy Clark’s new book (which I got an advance copy of) explains the concept in a clear way and defines a framework you can use to understand where your group -- be it a work group or a social group -- stands, and how it can get better.&lt;br /&gt;
  356. &lt;br /&gt;
  357. After an overview, the book goes through the 4 stages: Inclusion Safety, Learner Safety, and Contributor safety, and Innovator safety, defines each and explains impact on the team dynamic, and what is necessary for each to exist. The book helped me to better understand why some groups I’ve worked with felt pleasant and productive, and why others felt less so. The framework makes reference to other concepts you may have heard, such as &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27213329.Grit&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;Grit by Angela Duckworth&quot;&gt;Grit&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=&quot;https://amzn.to/37eGlDp&quot;&gt;Teaming&lt;/a&gt; and safety culture. &lt;br/&gt;
  358. &lt;br /&gt;
  359. At the core, the book is about business, but the author used examples and analyses from a range of domains, which is both good and bad. The good is that it makes it clear how universal these ideas are, in school, work, and interpersonal life. The bad is that the book lacks a bit or coherence that could have made it a great book. As the book progresses from discussing inclusion safety to challenger safety, the focus shift more toward business teams, but maintains connections toward more global society issues. &lt;br /&gt;
  360. &lt;br /&gt;
  361. Personal, and third party stories from the business and non-business contexts as well as ideas from the literature on safety and related fields. Chapters end with summaries of key points and actions to take, and end notes and references can point you in the right direction if you wish to go deeper.&lt;br /&gt;
  362. &lt;br /&gt;
  363. This book is a quick, actionable read. You’ll learn things you can (and should) to do move your group to the higher levels in the framework, and understand the situations that might be less salvageable. Those in a leadership role, such as managers will find it useful to understand . And those not in that explicit role will benefit both from the context it provides to help you to understand why you might be feeling some discomfort in your work place, and also the small things you can do on your own to make it better.
  364.      &lt;br /&gt;
  365. &lt;br /&gt;
  366. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3091855858&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  367.    &lt;br /&gt;
  368. &lt;br /&gt;
  369. &lt;hr /&gt;
  370. &lt;br /&gt;
  371. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.amazon.com/Stages-Psychological-Safety-Inclusion-Innovation/dp/1523087684/ref=as_li_ss_il?keywords=four+stages+of+psychological+safety&amp;amp;qid=1577476791&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;linkCode=li2&amp;amp;tag=steveberczuk&amp;amp;linkId=d1739548292a2ecb2d998e8338490b8b&amp;amp;language=en_US&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&amp;amp;ASIN=1523087684&amp;amp;Format=_SL160_&amp;amp;ID=AsinImage&amp;amp;MarketPlace=US&amp;amp;ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;amp;WS=1&amp;amp;tag=steveberczuk&amp;amp;language=en_US&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; src=&quot;https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=steveberczuk&amp;amp;language=en_US&amp;amp;l=li2&amp;amp;o=1&amp;amp;a=1523087684&quot; style=&quot;border: none !important; margin: 0px !important;&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; /&gt;</description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2020/01/review-4-stages-of-psychological-safety.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-7598501524551430844</guid><pubDate>Tue, 31 Dec 2019 14:00:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2019-12-31T09:00:04.145-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">communication</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">management</category><title>Review: Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don&#39;t Know</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43848929&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don&#39;t Know&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1549393502l/43848929._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  372.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43848929&quot;&gt;Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don&#39;t Know&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1439&quot;&gt;Malcolm Gladwell&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  373. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3063502590&quot;&gt;4 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  374.      &lt;br /&gt;
  375. &lt;br /&gt;
  376. I hadn’t planned to read this book, but since it came as a bonus in a Next Big Idea Club box I gave it a read, and I was glad that I did. Gladwell uses stories of situations gone wrong to illustrate how our our interactions with strangers sometimes fails, and why. Through a number of stories bookended by the tragic Sandra Bland incident, we see the challenges of interacting with people when we assume that we understand their motivations, the downsides of our default to trust people, and the risks of being being too suspicious.&lt;br /&gt;
  377. &lt;br /&gt;
  378. The two main themes of the book are that transparency (the idea that you can “read” people) is rarely reality, and that“defaulting to truth” (basically trusting people) has pros and cons, but the pros outweigh the cons. Gladwell uses stories of spies, terrorist interrogations, and policing to illustrate how things go wrong when we misunderstand how transparency and trust work.&lt;br /&gt;
  379. &lt;br /&gt;
  380. In terms of Transparency, these stories put something important in the context of my personal and professional life into a larger context: It’s hard to guess what people are thinking based on externalities, and acting based on them without checking yourself-- especially when you have an opportunity to ask -- is a good way for interactions to go down hill. It can be difficult to guess what a spouse, colleague, or neighbor is thinking, even when you share a common context. When interacting with people you never met from different cultures and/or backgrounds it’s probably impossible, and curiosity is more likely that not the best approach.&lt;br /&gt;
  381. &lt;br /&gt;
  382. Defaulting to Truth, the idea that people generally believe what others are saying is accurate, is more interesting. Gladwell give us a number of examples of how being too trusting let spies and other bad actors evade detection, even in the face of (in retrospect) obvious clues. On the other hand going the other way and being overly skeptical can lead to dysfunction, and bad things. While sometime bad things happen when we engage in Truth Default behavior, it is also necessary for us to function as society, community, and in interpersonal relationships.&lt;br /&gt;
  383. &lt;br /&gt;
  384. My two main take-a-ways from the book are that, while Truth Default can sometimes lead you astray, the alternative can be worse , and that transparency is a myth, and curiosity is better. We need to understand when to apply healthy skepticism, both of others, and of our own perceptions to thrive as a community. With endnotes and footnotes for those who want to dig deeper, Talking to Strangers is an engaging book that is very topical. Anyone who wants to think about how to build better interactions, at any scale, should find this book valuable.
  385.      &lt;br /&gt;
  386. &lt;br /&gt;
  387. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3063502590&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  388.    
  389.  
  390. &lt;br /&gt;
  391. &lt;hr /&gt;
  392. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.amazon.com/Talking-Strangers-Should-about-People-ebook/dp/B07NDKVWZW/ref=as_li_ss_il?_encoding=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1577476532&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;linkCode=li2&amp;amp;tag=steveberczuk&amp;amp;linkId=bfbaab7f4f000af2dc174b7fecebf0f2&amp;amp;language=en_US&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&amp;amp;ASIN=B07NDKVWZW&amp;amp;Format=_SL160_&amp;amp;ID=AsinImage&amp;amp;MarketPlace=US&amp;amp;ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;amp;WS=1&amp;amp;tag=steveberczuk&amp;amp;language=en_US&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; src=&quot;https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=steveberczuk&amp;amp;language=en_US&amp;amp;l=li2&amp;amp;o=1&amp;amp;a=B07NDKVWZW&quot; style=&quot;border: none !important; margin: 0px !important;&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; /&gt;</description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2019/12/review-talking-to-strangers-what-we.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item><item><guid isPermaLink="false">tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-19668182.post-4385033325803505350</guid><pubDate>Fri, 27 Dec 2019 21:30:00 +0000</pubDate><atom:updated>2019-12-27T16:30:14.771-05:00</atom:updated><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">books</category><category domain="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#">management</category><title>Review: Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick</title><description>&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43565368&quot; style=&quot;float: left; padding-right: 20px;&quot;&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1555609954l/43565368._SX98_.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;
  393.      &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43565368&quot;&gt;Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick&lt;/a&gt; by &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/171162&quot;&gt;Wendy Wood&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  394. My rating: &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3034149778&quot;&gt;5 of 5 stars&lt;/a&gt;
  395.      &lt;br /&gt;
  396. &lt;br /&gt;
  397. Having read &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12609433.The_Power_of_Habit_Why_We_Do_What_We_Do_in_Life_and_Business&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;The Power of Habit Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg&quot;&gt;The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business&lt;/a&gt;, &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6452796.Drive_The_Surprising_Truth_About_What_Motivates_Us&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;Drive The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink&quot;&gt;Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us&lt;/a&gt;, and more recently, &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44595007.Indistractable_How_to_Control_Your_Attention_and_Choose_Your_Life&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;Indistractable How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal&quot;&gt;Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life&lt;/a&gt;, I was skeptical that there was much more I could discover about habit and motivation by reading another book. I was wrong. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43565368.Good_Habits__Bad_Habits_The_Science_of_Making_Positive_Changes_That_Stick&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;Good Habits, Bad Habits The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick by Wendy Wood&quot;&gt;Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick&lt;/a&gt; by Wendy Wood is an insightful exploration of science behind how and why habits form, and how we can use this information to improve our work and personal lives, as well as our health, told from the perspective of someone who has studied the subject from a scientific and social perspective.&lt;br /&gt;
  398. &lt;br /&gt;
  399. Wood describes habits as a kind of automation, which allows us to focus our mental energy on more “important” things, as well providing us for default behaviors in times of stress. In some cases the habits serve us well, in others our habit behavior can be the wrong thing for the moment. Wood Explores how habits help us move forward, how they can lead us into “ruts” and how to use our tendency to form habits to our benefit, and for growth rather than letting them keep us static.&lt;br /&gt;
  400. &lt;br /&gt;
  401. A recurring theme in the book is the relationship between habit and “context”. Those who do well on avoiding distractions and deferring immediate, if not beneficial, rewards (“&lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20454074.The_Marshmallow_Test_Mastering_Self_Control&quot; rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; title=&quot;The Marshmallow Test Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel&quot;&gt;The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control&lt;/a&gt;) succeed less because they are actively ignoring the temptation, than because they are good at setting up contexts where they don’t notice temptation. The relationship between context and habit provides useful guidance in how we can create good habits and change bad ones; by setting maintaining (or changing) our contextual triggers, we can affect our automatic behavior.&lt;br /&gt;
  402. &lt;br /&gt;
  403. With examples of how habits apply in the workplace, our personal lives, and in our relationships, Good Habits, Bad Habits is an engaging book that can help you think about how you do what you do, and how to influence yourself and others to form productive dynamics. For those who want to dig deeper, there are many end notes pointing to research, as well as a good bibliography. We all have habits, and our habits, and those of those around us affect the quality of our lives, so it is worth understanding how they work. Wendy Wood’s book gives you that information.
  404.      &lt;br /&gt;
  405. &lt;br /&gt;
  406. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3034149778&quot;&gt;View all my reviews&lt;/a&gt;
  407.    &lt;br /&gt;
  408. &lt;br /&gt;
  409. &lt;br /&gt;
  410. &lt;hr /&gt;
  411. &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.amazon.com/Good-Habits-Bad-Science-Positive-ebook/dp/B07PKGTDMB/ref=as_li_ss_il?crid=GEZUOT6SIHD0&amp;amp;keywords=good+habits+bad+habits+wood&amp;amp;qid=1577476270&amp;amp;sprefix=good+habits,aps,184&amp;amp;sr=8-2&amp;amp;linkCode=li2&amp;amp;tag=steveberczuk&amp;amp;linkId=cb5e22fdc8201ad274cd490a4124c660&amp;amp;language=en_US&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; src=&quot;//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&amp;amp;ASIN=B07PKGTDMB&amp;amp;Format=_SL160_&amp;amp;ID=AsinImage&amp;amp;MarketPlace=US&amp;amp;ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;amp;WS=1&amp;amp;tag=steveberczuk&amp;amp;language=en_US&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;img alt=&quot;&quot; border=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;1&quot; src=&quot;https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=steveberczuk&amp;amp;language=en_US&amp;amp;l=li2&amp;amp;o=1&amp;amp;a=B07PKGTDMB&quot; style=&quot;border: none !important; margin: 0px !important;&quot; width=&quot;1&quot; /&gt;</description><link>http://steveberczuk.blogspot.com/2019/12/review-good-habits-bad-habits-science.html</link><author>noreply@blogger.com (Steve Berczuk)</author><thr:total>0</thr:total></item></channel></rss>

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