Mission 1701

Part of the problem is convenience. Convenience is like familiarity. It also leads to a kind of contempt.

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I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job. But, I don’t want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something I don’t understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He’d have to say, “O.K., I’ll be part of this world.”

—Sheriff Tom Bell

As a convert who used to be an ardent Android supporter, I’ve learned a very important lesson after switching. It’s not always about the numbers. In fact it’s never about the numbers. You can’t quantify sheer quality. You can’t quantify how something makes you feel. I understand this can be easily retorted by “Well I get that feel from my Samsung Galaxy N, it’s totally subjective”, but I think that’s just being dishonest. I’ve seen people mention that they’re considering switching back to Android after the headphone jack thing, or switching to a PC laptop after the touchbar thing. For me simply touching the surface of ANY premium laptop currently on the market is enough to realize that Apple is light years ahead in terms of how they engineer their devices to feel. Simple things like opening a lid. Using the trackpad. The force touch. How the ringer switch clicks into place. All of it screams “quality”. Not like 15% higher quality, but like light years higher quality. It’s my experience anyway. It’s like – yes you can take the best mechanical Breitling and ask what does it do that the average Casio ProTrek does not? And there may be not a good answer for that in terms of numbers. But just take both in your hands, and try to objectively say – which device you intuitively want to interact with more? Which one attracts you with some inexplicable magic? Which one your fingers are craving to touch and understand? Imagine having that feeling every day with a daily device. Imagine having that feeling as the norm. How could you opt in for something less, despite the numbers?

In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.

Zen of Python, PEP-20

Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.

Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.

—Mike Tyson

Here there dwells an older us – a part of us that was there before we became apes. This is the wolf that we once were. This wolf understands that happiness cannot be found in calculation. It understands that no truly significant relationship can ever be based on a contract. First there is loyalty. And this we must respect through heavens fall. Calculation and contracts always come afterwards – as the simian part of our soul follows on from the lupine.

There are seven days in a week, and “someday” isn’t one of them