The Dip

I’ve followed Seth Godin’s blog for a while now, and have even bought a couple of his books. Ironically, The Dip was the first I got around to reading.

It’s ironic because Seth is all about being productive / successful / decisive / courageous / creative / useful, and it’s taken me this long just to read one of his books from beginning to end.

It’s like never getting around to reading Getting Things Done (not that this was necessarily my experience, of course). One needs the cure before one can take the medicine!

Anyway, I just read The Dip (it helped that it was really short), and I found its message rather timely. It’s about quitting well (when stuck in a dead end or heading towards a precipice) and enduring strategically (but only when you know it’s worth it).

Given I’d just started trying to enumerate the components of my over-committed life – with a view to eliminating some and managing the rest better – I appreciated the reminder that to quit when necessary is not failure at all.

There was plenty of other good stuff, too. From one non-quitter to another (yes, I’m talking to you): it’s definitely worth quitting something to make room in your week for this little book.

OS X terminal tip: get total bytes in all files in this folder

So, you want to know exactly how many bytes are in all of the files under a given directory, and you only have a Mac OS X terminal to work with?

It should be easy, but it’s not.

Here, I’ll save you some time:

find . -type f -not -iname .ds_store -print0 | xargs -0 stat -f %z | awk '{s+=$1} END {print s}'

Of course I’m assuming you don’t want any of those nasty .DS_Store files to be counted.

The Salvation Army (eventually) replied

A few posts back, I expressed my concern over the Salvos’ endorsement of Jeff McCloy for Mayor.

Tim Halliburton, Media Relations Manager for the Salvation Army in Sydney, eventually replied (on 10 September – after the election). Here’s what he said:

Hi Luke,

Thanks for getting in touch and apologies for the delay in responding.

In regards to your enquiry, The Salvation Army in the Hunter region is simply saying a ‘thank you’ to Mr McCloy for his generous support to us for our work in the local community. We need to be clear that all Mr McCloy’s involvement with the Salvos was prior to him being involved in politics. Trust this clarifies the situation a bit further and please let me know if there’s anything else we can do for you.

Thanks again for your support.

Meanwhile, Neil Raymond, a prominent local Salvation Army member, posted on McCloy’s Facebook page re: a phone conversation he had with Salvos HQ, who indicated that a $1.5m “donation” had been made around the same time the Salvos endorsed the campaign.

The plot thickens!

Here’s my reply to Tim:

Hi Tim,

Thanks for getting back to me. I’m sure it was no accident that your reply came after the election ;)

Unfortunately your email didn’t really help clarify what happened in the lead-up to McCloy claiming Salvation Army endorsement for his mayoral campaign (which, like it or not, is what actually happens when you allow “thank you” footage to be used in political advertising). Given other anomalies in Jeff’s campaign, and the fact that he subsequently won the mayoral race and will hold office in Newcastle for the next 4 years, I’m sure you can appreciate my ongoing concern that allowing yourselves to be bought in this way will damage both the Salvation Army and the city of Newcastle. I hope I’m wrong!

Thanks again for your time,

Luke

I’m not going to pursue this any further, but I hope someone else will.

Good luck, Newcastle.

“Apple’s Magic Is In The Turn, Not The Prestige”

“Apple’s Magic Is In The Turn, Not The Prestige”

A great piece on why people are starting to find Apple’s product launches boring, and why Apple doesn’t care.

Here’s a choice nugget:

Look at the mobile landscape right now. There are two companies that are making any money in smartphones: Apple and Samsung. Or, put another way: Apple and the company Apple just won a billion dollar-plus judgement against for copying their smartphone designs.

Our darling daughter

Twelve months ago, we were worried.

Your big brother had been living with us for 2 years, using up all of our love, and we thought we might have run out of it. Or that we’d have to split it between the two of you somehow.

We shouldn’t have worried, though.

They told us each new baby comes with its own love, and they were right. We’re not even close to running out of love for you, and it’s already been a year!

We love that you smile even when you’re tired. We love that you eat pretty much anything. (Mummy’s a bit over keeping your buffet open 24×7, but that’s going to close soon, ok?) We love that you’re a chatterbox. We love that you enjoy “posting” everything you can into every “letterbox” you can find.

One day, you’ll understand what happened 10 years before you were born. That September 11, the world changed for the worse. We love that your arrival made “9-11” a happier date, and pray that you’ll continue to change the world for good.

We love being your parents, and we love you.

Happy birthday, Princess.

Mummy and Daddy

Keep being, um, awesome, #qanda

Confession: I’m a Christian, I love politics, and I didn’t tune in to last night’s Q&A with Peter Jensen et al.

I didn’t need to. The outcome was too predictable. The prominent Christian conservative (for whom I have a lot of respect, incidentally) was going to be asked controversial questions, he was going to answer them ineffectively (as if gay men’s health is even relevant?!), his secular audience was going to be outraged, and Christian onlookers were going to be evenly split between vicarious martyrs and embarrassed head-hangers.

Did I get it about right? The Twitters seem to confirm.

Maybe try doing something interesting with your show, Tony Jones.

How to love Apple too much

How to love Apple too much

You could argue that running a blog/forum called “Mac Rumors” is a bit excessive, but micro-analysing the banners Apple have hoisted for their upcoming launch? Seriously?

I mean, I’m as pumped as the next Apple fanboi for this week’s product launch/es (or, more specifically, how my school might be able to do cooler stuff with better tech), but surely it’s not that hard to know when you’ve crossed the “not quite sane” threshold with the guesswork.

I enjoyed Stephen Hackett’s take:

Tim Cook designed the graphics after taking some LSD he found in Steve’s office.

Let’s all chillax, eh :)

Rainbows? DOUBLE RAINBOWS?!

What do they MEAN?

Here’s an answer mentioned by the guest speaker at my church this morning:

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

(Genesis 9:14-16, God talking)

In other words, every rainbow is God reminding himself he’s promised to never flood the entire planet again.

I’m so glad climate change won’t be drowning ALL of us.

Do the Salvos really support Jeff McCloy?

Sounds odd to me. So I put it to their head office:

Hi,

Did you know that Jeff McCloy is running TV ads claiming Salvation Army support for his run for local office? See here:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=413203875406178

I wouldn’t have expected the Salvation Army to align itself with any specific political cause. Did you authorise this message?

[NB: I’m not at all involved in this election, except as a concerned voter who doesn’t want to see the Salvos name trashed.]

Cheers,

Luke

Will keep you posted.