Why Small Choices Count

Brett & Kate McKay explain why our everyday choices make or break our integrity.

Once you commit one dishonest act, your moral standards loosen, your self-perception as an honest person gets a little hazier, your ability to rationalize goes up, and your fudge factor margin increases. Where you draw the line between ethical and unethical, honest and dishonest, moves outward. […]

What this means is that if you want to maintain your integrity, the best thing you can do is to never take that first dishonest step. No matter how small and inconsequential a choice may seem at the time, it may start you down a path that tarnishes your moral compass, leads you to commit more serious misdeeds, and causes you to compromise your fundamental principles.

On my desk, I have a piece of foundational Lego that sits under my monitor.

Foundation Lego. Yes, that speck bothers me too, and it's there because my camera is damaged. Done is better than perfect.

Years ago a friend told me that we cannot simply hope we will be honest and true in big decisions. It’s the private and mundane decisions that prepare us for bigger responsibilities. These everyday choices are the foundation for our big decisions. He gave me and a hundred others a similar Lego piece as a reminder.

Applying this principle daily has made a big difference in my life.

Contempt for humanity?

There is a very real danger of our drifting into an attitude of contempt for humanity. We know quite well that we have no right to do so, and that it would lead us into the most sterile relation to our fellow-men. […] Nothing that we despise in the other man is entirely absent from ourselves. We often expect from others more than we are willing to do ourselves. […] We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer. The only profitable relationship to others — and especially to our weaker brethren — is one of love, and that means the will to hold fellowship with them. God himself did not despise humanity, but became man for men’s sake. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (1997), p. 9

Working in the Shed

Fellow procrastinator Matt Gemmell is facing something very relatable: the constant availability of time-sucking distractions and what we can do about it.

We have limited time. Our workdays are only so long. Our evenings. Our lives. We spend too much of our time on trivia. Some distraction is healthy and necessary, but we all know that the scales have long since tipped.

The internet isn’t to blame – it’s us. We’re weak, and our natural tendency is to feed that weakness rather than struggle against it. Some people are more prolific than others, but the boundaries don’t lie where we think they do: context and self-discipline are much, much more important than your personal pace or ability. The difference that a creativity-conducive environment can make is profound.

Serve Del Mar

For my friends in the Bay Area: Tomorrow, August 3rd, there’s a great volunteering opportunity to help Del Mar High School in San Jose get ready for their school year. We plan to help clean up their campus, renovate the teacher’s lounge, host free health check-ups for students, and more. Here’s what our last event was like:

Everyone is welcome! Bring a smile and great attitude. Stop by during 8am-12pm or 11am-3pm on August 3rd. Get directions. We’re also collecting backpacks and school supplies (pens, pencils, highlighters, binders, etc.) for students who need them. If you’re interested in coming or can donate a backpack or supplies, let us know or RSVP on Facebook.

Also, I’ve started a small tradition of going out for breakfast at our last event. If you’re also a fan of breakfast, stop by Stacks in Campbell bright-and-early at 7am. See you there!

Why mobile web apps are slow

Drew Crawford wrote a very long and well-cited article about why mobile web apps are slow.

Now I am going to warn you–this is a very freaking long article, weighing in at very nearly 10k words. That is by design. I have recently come out in favor of articles that are good over articles that are popular. This is my attempt at the former, and my attempt to practice what I have previously preached: that we should incentivize good, evidence-based, interesting discussion and discourage writing witty comments.

The article primarily discusses JavaScript performance. After reading Drew’s article, you’ll understand why JS usage on mobile has to be relatively light compared to what you can get away with on desktop.

I’d love to see more of this good discussion on non-JavaScript impediments to creating good mobile web apps.