I Read Quite a Bit

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Today we have a guest editorial from Grant because he's awesome.

I read quite a bit. Mostly it’s trashy science fiction novels (love me some space marines). However, I also read a lot of history. My most recent book was “The Bulwark of Christendom: The Turkish Sieges of Vienna 1529 & 1683” by Karl August Schimmer. I picked this book because the publication date was 2017, much more recent than other books on the topic. I’ve found newer histories can be, sometimes, not always, better than older histories because we both learn more over time, and, depending on the historian, they’re better written. Sadly, I was fooled. The book was actually written in 1847. Man did it show. The information was as much opinion and conjecture as fact.

This made me think about some technical problems I’ve been having with my Kindle Fire. To put it bluntly, the default browser is a steaming pile of brown stuff. So, I’ve been researching how to make it work better and/or replace it. Yet, almost every resource I’ve been able to find is 3-5 years old and no longer applicable to my device. Add to this, I’ve been working in Amazon AWS a lot more recently. I’m learning RDS and trying to learn the DevOps tools. Here again, I’ve been stymied by old information.

I also recently watched an email thread. A friend had a technical problem. They very carefully laid out precisely what the problem they were experiencing was. It was detailed and accurate. Yet, all the responses were either blatantly wrong, or answering different questions.

Where am I going with all this I know you’re asking.

Getting information, the right information, in a timely manner, is really hard. Yet, every day, we’re making all sorts of decisions, big and small, on incomplete, missing, or even bad information. The worst part is, when we find out we made bad calls, it’s often too late. I’m not saying we can always wait until we get the best possible and most correct information before we act. However, frequently, I think, we act before we need to. With bad data driving, the results can also be bad. Where and when you can, pause, make sure of your information, then act.

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