Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Question of Priorities

Where will I spent most of my time on?

I am always perpetually short on time. As much as I want to, I did not pick up the latest Pokemon game out there. I still haven't touched Pokemon Black/White even though I have it. There's plenty of games out there that I want to play, but do not have time for. So the question is, what do I do with my time?

"Be fruitful and multiply"

That has been the guiding words ever since the beginning. There are currently 3 different activities that I do that occupies most of my time:

1. Nintendo Life's Petit Computer forum
2. Simpleton Geek's blog
3. Nanowrimo

In the past, I have spent the majority of my time growing Petit Computer community in Nintendo Life's forum, and it shows. It went from so-so gathering to getting a lot of people from other groups. Of course, I spent a lot of time in nurturing the community, and for the most part, it works. That is, until recently.

A couple jerks came into the board, and it's like every time they post something, it's either spam, false claim, or general whinings. There's no substance to the post. The moderator was asked, "Don't you get tired dealings with petty people?" The answer was, "Yes, but what can you do?"

I can think of a few things to do with them, but as I am not moderator, that's not my problem, is it? My problem is that I'm seeing the community that I've worked so hard for being turned into irrelevancy by some whiny kids. Ouch, in a big way.

A lot of good people has curtailed their activities there, and so will I. The truth is, I just don't see any future there at all. When sinful people go to Heaven, they'll just turn it into Hell.

So, I have been very active in my blog. The newly designed Simpleton Geek blog is very nice. It still has too wide of a subject. I still can't believe I actually put cooking in there. It should've been making/crafting. Oh, well. We'll see how this will turn out. There's quite a bit of Raspberry Pi posting, and in truth, I'm just barely scratching the surface. I think a whole blog dedicated to just Raspberry Pi would have been justified. It's just that I think Petit Computer needs a good place and there's no other place like it on the Internet.

Finally, my Nanowrimo project. It has been no secret that I dream of being a writer. In fact, my goal is to be a published writer this year. Thank God for technology. Self-published is a viable goal at this time. Like any Nanowrimo, I will put it into priority, ahead of everything else. It's too bad I started out late.

I got started on Nanowrimo on Friday. I went into a meeting on Panera Bread. After a few Write Wars, I managed to scrape by 2700 words or so. That's not bad for a couple hours. Still, I'm hoping to get 5000-10000 words per day, so I have a long way to go.

The subject of Nanowrimo? Petit Computer. I'm imagining how it would be like if students are being taught computer programming using Petit Computer. With Nintendo being perceived as "gaming" device, and Basic being perceived as "brain damage inducing", there's no way current educational system will pick it up. I think that Petit Computer is the perfect way to introduce students, especially young students, to the joys of computer programming.

Yes, computer programming can be fun. Not that people want to read stories on how everything is just peachy, so I'll be putting in some pain into the situations. Purely intellectual sense, since I don't believe in physical torture in my stories.

So, Nanowrimo first. Blog second, and maybe forum.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Community Breakdown

A managers get A workers. B managers get C workers.

There is a prevalent idea that good community is one that is peaceful and members helps each others. On the most part, this is true. However, there are certain people whose personality is bad and will destroy the community. This is why I say that "if a sinful person goes into heaven, he will turn it into hell." A bad person can certainly destroy a community if goes unchecked.

There are helpful people, and there are unhelpful people. However, there are people whose action is to totally destroy other people. There is a book about it, whose title I will not name here because it contains a bad word, but I will tell you the ISBN: 978-0-446-52656-2 by Robert Sutton, PhD.

The point is that such toxic people undermine the productivity and community of everybody. Tremendous amount of profit is lost due to people not wanting to do their best, or perhaps spending time defending themselves from unfair attacks. There are signs of such toxic behavior outlined in the book, but here's my simplified guidelines:

1. Attack: "You are bad."
2. Complain: "You are bad because you did this."
3. Advice: "You are bad because you did this instead of that."

When somebody ridicule, belittle, or otherwise blame another person, but no reason is given, then it is obvious that the person isn't really interested in giving advice, but of attacking a person. You need to understand the difference between the two. A good person will always go toward giving advice. A bad person will always go toward attacking the person.

Imagine a scenario where two people are in disagreement. Person A spends 30 minutes explaining the whole concept, citing numerous researchs, and spent a lot of time going through the problem and various solutions. Person B says in entirety: "That's absolutely wrong. You have no idea what you're talking about."

It is obvious that Person B is not only stupid, and lazy, for doing no research and therefore no understanding of the issues involved. But he also attacks Person A ad hominem. If you are a manager and you do nothing about Person B, then Person A will no longer respect you and will go away. A good worker will not tolerate stupidity. As a manager, you are responsible to discipline Person B, if not, then the whole workplace will suffer greatly.

Good talent will leave. Bad talent will be fired. Either way, if you have large turnover rate, then you are doing it wrong.

Another thing that will hurt community is that of being selfish. Ignorance or lack of empathy. This manifest most visibly in "Posers". An idiot pretending to be somebody great. Can you imagine a Karateka white belt donning a black belt claiming to be a Grandmaster? Impossible, isn't it? And yet, these posers would actually do things like that.

This happens in all circles. Some Internet kids espouses legal advice, saying you can do this or that questionable actions, claiming all sort of "qualifications" except actually passing the BAR exam and being licensed to practice law. In some cases, the advice will actually get somebody into trouble.

Another case where some salesman would push a product without regards of safety. When challenged on grounds of safety, these salesman would attack the person who actually cares about the safety of the users. Posers pose very grave threat to the community indeed.

If you are a manager, or moderator of a community, you are responsible to weed out the posers. Failure to do so will destroy the community at best, causing people to sue you for condoning the spread of false information at worst. Failing to actively discipline the bad person will result in destruction of community.

If you're interested, you can research "Levitron", which is a trademark owned by Bill Hones. It describes a process where a spinning top levitates above a magnetic base, and is patented. And yet, everybody knows that Bill Hones isn't the inventor. Roy Harrigan is the true inventor. This is a clear example of blatant rip-off where the true patent was circumvented by dirty tricks. Yes, the patent office has re-examined the issue, but that doesn't change the fact that the second patent should not have been issued in the first place.

Furthermore, the fact that the patent has been circumvented actually caused damage to the product. The original patent specifies a spinning top above a round magnet. The revised one specifies square magnet. It doesn't take a rocket scientist that spinning top works better with round magnet. Thus, there's a perception that the product is extremely difficult to use, when in fact it isn't so!

What this means, is that patent office has no respect at all. The consensus is that patent office is a joke, and that anybody can get a patent if they try hard enough, and they did. Tremendous amount of patents have been filed that amounts to nothing more of obvious improvements of existing patent. Billions of dollars are spent in filing, and contesting patents. Is that the world you want to live in? Certainly that's the world the patent office wants to live in since more patents means more money. But really, is that the world you want to live in? Well, like it or not, that is the world we all live in.

There is a community that I was active, and in the beginning, we all pitched in to the greater for the community and it flourished. Then a couple disruptors came in. The moderator simply swept any disagreements under the rug, regardless of the correctness of the position. When I see people blatanly attack other people, and the moderator let it slide, the moderator lost all respect from me. I decided to curtail my activities there significantly.

It has been less than a week now, and there is no significant activity there at all. Just a bunch of kids throwing stuff out. Why would people want to go there? No reason. So, any chance of greatness has been snuffed, not for evil reason, but simply by ignorance.

A managers will get A worker. B managers will get C worker. When good people leave and bad people stay, it's time to get a new manager.