“Cal Newport is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, who specializes in the theory of distributed algorithms. (…) In addition to his academic work, Newport is a writer who focuses on contrarian, evidence-based advice for building a successful and fulfilling life in school and after graduation.”1
In his book, Newport argues against the passion hypotesis, that is, the belief that the key to occupation happiness is to first figure out what you’re passionate about and then find a job that matches this passion. “The passion hypothesis convinces people that somewhere there’s a magic “right” job waiting for them, and if they find it, they’ll immediately recognize that this is the work they were meant to do. The problem, of course, is when they fail to find this certainty, bad things follow, such as chronic job-hopping and crippling self-doubt” (p. 22)
Most people don’t know what they are passionate about. You shouldn’t spend your life trying to find your passion-job. Instead, says Newport, it is a life of accumulation of deliberate practice that again and again ends up explaining excellence. One should focus on becoming a craftman. Focus on difficult activities carefully chosen to stretch your abilities where they most need stretching and that provide immediate feedback. Ensure your attention is focused on activities that matter. That is, be so good they can’t ignore you.
Newport explains the importance of acquiring career capital –the skills you have that are both rare and valuable and that can be used as leverage in defining your career. Career capital, says Newport, is the key to a career marked by creativity, impact and control, or autonomy.
There seems to be a perenial discussion around doing the work you love versus loving the work you do. This book sides with the last group. In my opinion, work is an important part of life –work somehow defines us. You should try to love the work you do, and while doing so discover what you love to do and why you do it. In this process, acquiring the necessary skills is essential, because doing great work is more important than just working. Don’t expect passion to fill the gap for your lack of ability and beware, passion does not always responds to our summons.
Find So Good They Can’t Ignore You in Amazon.
Mastering the art of disruptive innovation in journalism, in the Fall 2012 edition of the Nieman Reports. Great article. (If you only read one of the selected articles in this post, pick this one.)
The ITU and its initiative to take over the Internet. “The Agency’s secret proceedings are ‘completely transparent'”… in UN Agency’s Leaked Playbook: Panic, Chaos over Anti-Internet Treaty. Google’s initiative: “A free and open world depends on a free and open web”, Take Action. El futuro de Internet en peligro
Subcompact Publishing, by Craig Mod.
The 22 Rules of Storytelling, according to Pixar. “Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.”
Chris Anderson, author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, talks with Russ Roberts of Econtalk about how technology is transforming the manufacturing business.
The Magazine, an e-zine for the iPad/iPhone. Founded by Marco Arment and edited by Glenn Fleishman, it publishes an issue with four articles every two weeks. “Rather than telling readers everything that happens in technology, we deliver meaningful editorial and big-picture articles.”
The 7 Things You Need To Know Before Doing Business Abroad. Some insights on the expansion to Chile of BeAT Associates International, a medium sized architect studio from Barcelona.
The Pirate Bay announced some days ago that they are fully embracing the Cloud. Not only that: they are taking measures to make it difficult and pointless to seize their data centers:
Our data flows around in thousands of clouds, in deeply encrypted forms, ready to be used when necessary. Earth bound nodes that transform the data are as deeply encrypted and reboot into a deadlock if not used for 8 hours.
All attempts to attack The Pirate Bay from now on is an attack on everything and nothing. The site that you’re at will still be here, for as long as we want it to. Only in a higher form of being. A reality to us. A ghost to those who wish to harm us.
Seems like a plot taken from Daemon, the book by Daniel Suárez.