Raw thoughts from Alex Dong

Cannot measure productivity, OpenPGP for Gmail, Selling out and judge music performance by the look

Cannot measure productivity

Some people say “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. That’s a cop out. Businesses manage things they can’t really measure the value of all the time. How do you measure the productivity of a company’s lawyers, it’s marketing department, an educational institution? You can’t – but you still need to manage them (see Robert Austin for more). I can see why measuring productivity is so seductive. If we could do it we could assess software much more easily and objectively than we can now. But false measures only make things worse. This is somewhere I think we have to admit to our ignorance.

OpenPGP support for gmail

gmail-crypt: An OpenPGP browser (currently Chrome) extension that integrates tightly with Gmail and does encryption/decryption via Javascript.

Are you taking any steps to keep shit real? Dave Eggers on “Selling Out”: A long quote from Dave EggersA Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

The only thing worse than this sort of activity is when people, students and teachers alike, run around college campuses calling each other racists and anti-Semites. It’s born of boredom, lassitude. Too cowardly to address problems of substance where such problems actually are, we claw at those close to us. We point to our neighbor, in the khakis and sweater, and cry foul. It’s ridiculous. We find enemies among our peers because we know them better, and their proximity and familiarity means we don’t have to get off the couch to dismantle them. Did I wonder if people would think we were selling out, that we were not fulfilling the mission they had assumed we had committed ourselves to? No. I did not. Nor will I ever. We just don’t care. We care about doing what we want to do creatively. We want to be interested in it. We want it to challenge us. We want it to be difficult. We want to reinvent the stupid thing every time. Would I ever think, before I did something, of how those with sellout monitors would respond to this or that move? I would not.

Sight over sound in the judgement of music performance

participants were asked to predict the outcomes using either audio-only recordings, videos with audio, or videos without sound. Astoundingly, the prediction rate for those watching without sound was dramatically greater than those evaluating with the sound. In fact, those listening to the music predicted the proper outcome about one-third of the time, the same as chance.