Unwired for Weeks

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Unwired for Weeks

  • I rather like being without the Internet. It's a bit like being without access to a coffee-machine. I realise that when no coffee is available, I can live perfectly well without it.

    What I do miss, when I'm on my own, is something to listen to. Podcasts are now my preferred option. During the summer, I took our garden fence down, had it planed and re-painted it. Planing machines are a godsend. We have a workerspace nearby with one. God knows how long it would have taken me to sand down 125 pieces of wood.
     I had recently been introduced to the U.S. broadcaster N.P.R. and I was able to work away at my own pace while listening to 'This American Life', 'Planet Money' and the 'TED Radio Hour'.

    What I like about podcasts is that they can be downloaded and listened to at one's convenience.

    Of course, when I'm off hiking or with other people in general, there's neither need for the Internet nor podcasts.

  • Much of the pressure we feel with deadlines at work is arbitrarily imposed. Whether we do it to ourselves or someone else picks a datetime, there isn't any rationale for the choice. Usually the goal is to complete work as fast as possible, but if there are delays, if something comes up, with life, other tasks, unforeseen failures (hardware/software) get in the way, the business will survive.

    In a business environment with daily, weekly and monthly deliverables to clients and other business groups, there are deadlines and financial incentives to meet them. It's not arbitrary at all. (If SQLServerCentral is down for a day, users can find many other resources for knowledge and entertainment until the site comes back up.)  The key is building redundancy in people and processes to met the deadlines without breaking the people.

    Gotta go, too many projects to complete. 😉

  • We are not saving babies!

  • I appreciate my career; it allows me to earn a good living while doing something I actually enjoy and excel at. However, the cumulative impact of technology on society and on our personal lives does come at a cost. Even for many of us who work in technology, there is this yearning to escape from it all, driving off into the sunset with our family and the bare necessities of life, never looking back. Steve, perhaps your temporarily disconnected excursions into the outback tap into that.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • My boss and a couple of co-workers have my phone number. If something is important enough, they can reach me (at least when I'm within phone coverage).

    I don't really bother with social media, so I don't miss that at all.

    ...

    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • GeorgeCopeland - Thursday, August 9, 2018 7:18 AM

    We are not saving babies!

    There are systems that need to stay up. Try not using your debit or credit card or bank for several days. Also some of my peers maintain healthcare, critical infrastructure, medical supply and first responder systems, so they are indirectly helping save babies.

    But unplugging as an individual is healthy and needed. It's easier when you grew up in an era of limited connectivity.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 9:23 PM

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Unwired for Weeks

    +1 to all that! Unplugging is critical to our long term maintenance of self. I took a cruise for the first time earlier this year and my favorite part was that I could not get cellular service. It was the most liberated I felt in a long time.

  • Great pix, Steve! Glad you and your family had a good time.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • GeorgeCopeland - Thursday, August 9, 2018 7:18 AM

    We are not saving babies!

    Hmmmphhh.... a long time ago, I used to think the same thing.  Then I went through a stage where these new fangled things called "PCs" came out (all this happened back in the '80s) and we did some remarkable stuff with downloading from the mainframes to create spreadsheet reports about potential new business and, of course, compared that with when contracts were going to end.  I was the guy that put all those capabilities together and made it possible for the reporting to be auto-magic.

    With due diligence, I read each report for each and every contract and saw something disturbing.  I put together another spreadsheet to summarize it and determined the month that was 2 years out that business was going to be so bad that we'd need to lay off half of a 3,000 person workforce.  It took it up the chain of command all the way to the GM... and every step of the way, I was told either "they're just estimates" or "you don't have a degree and you're not a CPA, so you don't know what you're talking about".  The "town meetings" that the GM had once per month continued to forecast flowers blooming, lots of sunshine, and birds singing.  The only mention of the new business forecasts was how much potential we had even though the forecast percent probability of winning the contracts was in the toilet.

    On the very month that I had forecast, the GM had a town meeting where he identified that they were going to lay off half the work force.

    A month after the layoffs, 3 people had died because they could no longer afford essential medications and several months later, several dozen people lost their houses because they could no long pay their mortgages.  Most of them had kids, as well.

    Yes... we're "saving babies"... and a whole lot more.

    It's also why I say that "BI is an oxymoron".

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Sean Redmond - Thursday, August 9, 2018 12:23 AM

    I rather like being without the Internet. It's a bit like being without access to a coffee-machine. I realise that when no coffee is available, I can live perfectly well without it.

    .

    I tend to read. I think I got through 7 or 8 books on the trip, which was nice.

    If you like podcasts, I'd suggest Gladwell's Revisionist History and Ezra Kleins main one

  • Wow Jeff, just wow. Great post.

    Btw, not saving babies is a quote from you know who--

    http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Editorial/115332/

  • Jeff Moden - Thursday, August 9, 2018 8:41 AM

    Yes... we're "saving babies"... and a whole lot more.

    It's also why I say that "BI is an oxymoron".

    Any entity in the 'saving babies' business MUST have sufficient redundancy. People are unexpectedly or expectedly out for a variety of reasons (including 'buses'). If you cannot be spared for a week, your employer has no business being in that operation.

    ...

    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • chrisn-585491 - Thursday, August 9, 2018 6:15 AM

    In a business environment with daily, weekly and monthly deliverables to clients and other business groups, there are deadlines and financial incentives to meet them. It's not arbitrary at all. (If SQLServerCentral is down for a day, users can find many other resources for knowledge and entertainment until the site comes back up.)  The key is building redundancy in people and processes to met the deadlines without breaking the people.

    I'm not speaking of here, because this site doesn't really matter, but in terms of many deliverables to clients and business groups. Often there are deliverables that are delayed. Not every one, but some will be. If a few are, and I would be willing to bet that there are a percentage of your daily, weekly, monthly deliverables that are not delivered on time.

    Certainly financial penalties might make some items more important, but across two decades plus of working with dozens of companies, that vast majority of "Deadlines" are arbitrarily imposed without there being many penalties for slight delays.

    Some may not be arbitrary once they're written in a contract, but the decision to set xx date is arbitrary. It might be based on knowledge and desires, but the decision to pick the 12th of the month or the Thursday instead of the 13th or Friday is arbitrary. It's a guess.

  • Eric M Russell - Thursday, August 9, 2018 7:29 AM

    I appreciate my career; it allows me to earn a good living while doing something I actually enjoy and excel at. However, the cumulative impact of technology on society and on our personal lives does come at a cost. Even for many of us who work in technology, there is this yearning to escape from it all, driving off into the sunset with our family and the bare necessities of life, never looking back. Steve, perhaps your temporarily disconnected excursions into the outback tap into that.

    Maybe a little. I really enjoy technology most days, but I do want a break and want to remember to balance life.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply