Operable systems

Especially for complex, multi-purpose systems, the gap between how things are supposed to work and how they actually work can be quite large. (Ask any police sergeant about the difference between policing in theory and policing in practice!) A primary function of operators is to bridge this gap in ways that result in better rather than worse outcomes. The capacity of systems to be operated is what allows operators to perform this valuable function, sometimes called technical work.

~ Richard Cook, from Making Systems Operable

More and more I’ve been getting a lot mileage from this idea: Make things easier TO USE, rather than trying to fully automate (i.e., so I don’t have to use them.) One cornerstone to accomplishing that is creating “affordences“.

First habitable exoplanet

The first Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting within the habitable zone of another star has been confirmed by observations with both the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Gemini Observatory. The initial discovery, made by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, is one of a handful of smaller planets found by Kepler and verified using large ground-based telescopes. It also confirms that Earth-sized planets do exist in the habitable zone of other stars.

~ from, First Potentially Habitable Earth-sized Planet Confirmed

Mark you calendar: April 17, 2014. First confirmation of the existence of a HABITABLE planet… Temperature, gravity, rocky (like the Earth)… A. HABITABLE. PLANET. I got chills reading this.

Sheep or sheepdog?

So the first step in becoming a sheepdog is to simply decide to become one. Don’t take this decision lightly. There are heavy moral, physical, emotional, and psychological costs that come with it. When you decide to become a sheepdog, you’re also deciding to live a life of service to your fellow man, to run to danger when others flee, and to stand up for right despite the cost. Are you ready to accept those responsibilities and risks, and the consequences that come with them?

~ Brett McKay, from Are You a Sheep or Sheepdog?

Disclosure: I do NOT think of myself as a “sheepdog”.

I think the whole “sheep versus sheepdog” mentality discuss is much more useful  as it speaks to enlightening the sheep. Are you a victim going somewhere to happen? …or are you a mentally strong, open minded (in the sense of being flexible to your environment) human being? Are you seeking and buying things? …or are you seeking happiness?



I’ve not the least recollection of this horsey ride; But clearly, it was a thing.

Also: Not all babies are actually cute. This one is clearly “questionable.” (Yes, this is me.)