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Old 05-09-2018, 09:08 AM   #31
Revu2
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Default Robert Frost & Learning

Robert Frost reputedly said, "The great value of education is to teach you that whatever you are interested in there's a book about it." See this Quote Investigator piece about Frost and what he might have said https://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/07/07/self-education/

Here's my next book:
The Paranoid Corporation and 8 Other Ways Your Company Can Be Crazy: -- Advice from an Organizational Shrink

The interest: when thinking about my latest client I return repeatedly to this place is acting like a depressed person. This led to thinking about the depressed organizaiotn which led to this book.

It came out in 1993 and my local academic library owns a copy to borrow. Used on abebooks it's under $6. If I like it I might get one for myself and a one for the client.

R

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Old 05-16-2018, 08:14 AM   #32
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Default wed may 16

Up very early (awake at 4:30, out of bed around 5:45) to facilitate a challenging first workshop with a new client. The client atmosphere feels depressed, so I'm deliberately dialing down my customary buoyant self.

Remembering to breathe and getting a solid breakfast in me. These events take lots of energy. Right now feeling calm yet a bit of stage awareness, let's say.

Before I go hope to get started on a google forms for putting in the evaluations. Trying this because it can compile stats for the group with built-in stat routines.

Speaking of routines, got Algorithms to Live By from the library yesterday. Maybe it will be as life changing as Metaphors to Live By was a few decades ago!

R
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:59 PM   #33
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Default Optimism

I'm reading Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. Got it from my nearest university library: BF 39 *C4885 2016. I thought it would be nearly as life changing as Metaphors to Live By. Not really. I once made card stacks I call Megoarithmsô. My stacks were more generally useful.

The interesting thing about this book is it's mainly the discussion among math folks that have daily implications. There are no true algorithms as I understand the term: a series of discrete steps to do which lead to an expected result. A recipe is an algorithm for assembling ingredients, preparing them in a particular order and combination, processing them (with blades, heat, cold, or time) and voila! your dish is served.

On page 45 I found this affirming quote about optimism. I stopped calling myself that in public as most people, even ones with delightful lives, make a public todo about "what's there to be optimist about ... " mostly keyed to corrupt political processes and reports of coming disasters covered in the daily press of news.

45/ Upper Confidence Bound algorithms implement a principle that has been dubbed "optimism in the face of uncertainty." Optimism, they show, can be perfectly rational. By focusing on the best that an option could be, given the evidence obtained so far, these algorithms give a boost to possibilities we know less about. As a consequence, they naturally inject a dose of exploration int the decision-making process, leaping at new options with enthusiasm because any one of them could be the next big thing. Ö

The success of Upper Confidence Bound algorithms offers a formal justification for the benefit of the doubt. Following the advice of these algorithms, you should be excited to meet new people and try new thingsóto assume the best about them, in the absence of evidence to the contrary. In the long run, optimism is the best prevention for regret.
------
What's interesting to me about this is (1) all optimism, and pessimism, for that matter, deals with the face of uncertainty. Pessimists really don't like feeling let down, that they failed, or that events disappointed them. The hold the expectations low. Optimists tend to the polar expectations because they don't mind risking the sadder feelings.
Here's the rub: pessimists and optimists then behave in ways that partially self-fulfill their stance. Pessimists, in my experience, semi-wait for things to happen to them and test against their expectations; optimists semi-make things happen to test against their experience. The mix might vary per persons, but say even a 20 point swing for a couple, person P is 60-40 wait-to-make ratio while person W is 40-60 wait-to-make ratio, how will this play out in their living or working together?

Pessimist and "realists" or pessimists in disguise trying to pretend to straddle the two, use evidence in different ways than optimists. Here's Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the topic:

It is more prudent to be a pessimist. It is an insurance against disappointment, and no one can say ďI told you so,Ē which is how the prudent condemn the optimist. The essence of optimism is that it take no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy. Of course there is a foolish, shifty kind of optimism which is rightly condemned. But the optimism which is will for the future should never be despised, even if it is proved wrong a hundred times. It is the health and vitality which a sick man should never impugn. Some men regard it as frivolous, and some Christians think it is irreligious to hope and prepare oneself for better things to come in this life. They believe in chaos, disorder and catastrophe. That, they think, is the meaning of the present events and in sheer resignation or pious escapism they surrender all responsibility for the preservation of life and for the generations yet unborn. To-morrow may be the day of judgement. If it is, we shall gladly give up working for a better future, but not before.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Thank you Rev. Bonhoeffer.
R

Note: The "present events" were the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s.
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Old 05-26-2018, 09:09 AM   #34
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Default Try for a new Client/Gig

Making a pitch for a fresh project soon, and today I start the composing. Itís been mostly sketches and idle daydreaming for the past few days. Sort like flipping mental images of sequence and partnership of ideas.

At one point I said to myself, ďThis part I really like.Ē The pouring out of pure ideas. Everything feels open and free in my thinking.

Thereís also a love of fitting something with many parts into the box of time offered. What to highlight, what to let be an undertone, what to let go. Ah, yes, even with open possibilities not every idea makes the cut, this time.

Another interesting thing Iíve started adding images or small icons to my descriptions. The first time I tried this (for a government department, so might have guessed) as I rewrote it through 5 versions the images I gradually let the images go. From originally having about 4 I think the final version had just one.

Still didnít get the gig because of basic incompatibility between what I offered and the demands of the possible client. We imagined different work products and processes as we envisioned the Scope. Ah well. I got to practice a new format.

Last time I used Powerpoint for the proposal, converting it to a pdf to send. It allows enough flexibility for adding images and picture. This time Iím starting with LibreOffice. Since the first attempt at this I have stumbled upon the Noun Project which has thousands of Creative Commons icons for download and use.

My fingers feel warmed enough.

To the page,

Revu2
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:13 AM   #35
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Default 6.11.18 Return

I'm focusing my best efforts on the first 3 hours I'm up. This, for me, is my personal ideal period. One that that makes it work for me is I'm hardy or resilient against doubts or the many small emotional adjustments required to move creative work forward.

I used my partner's recent solo trip away as my own vacation. Put many things on pause and did random local fun things, like spending a long afternoon at the Korean spa.

The main project I'm on is needing some love and care. Feeling a need to hold my focus against the period of scatteredness now upon it.

What I have to do next likely is needed but probably is going to be thankless.

So be it.

To the page,
Revu2
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:01 AM   #36
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Default sombody's cooldown

Nearly falling asleep, but spending 5 minutes playing with an idea Daniel Pink puts forward in When: summarize the days best moments and look forward to the next.

Work advanced with 2 clients and proposal sent pitching work with a 3rd.

I pulled and cut branches off a fallen tree to get it out of the driveway.

Called the City yet again to see about a missed garbage pick up.

Tomorrow: picking up the pace again on some research data that needs to be entered and answer some email work I've put aside.

For now: to the pillow,
R
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:17 AM   #37
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Default Re: sombody's cooldown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revu2 View Post
Nearly falling asleep, but spending 5 minutes playing with an idea Daniel Pink puts forward in When: summarize the days best moments and look forward to the next.

Work advanced with 2 clients and proposal sent pitching work with a 3rd.

I pulled and cut branches off a fallen tree to get it out of the driveway.

Called the City yet again to see about a missed garbage pick up.

Tomorrow: picking up the pace again on some research data that needs to be entered and answer some email work I've put aside.

For now: to the pillow,
R
I'm going a little insane because I'm pushing hard to get one client through a crunch time and get an internal process started for her that will cut down the hours I'm working for her. I'm basically pulling 40 hours a week for her right now. Not including other clients. Another client is in total.scope drift and I have started saying no to them, and it's upsetting them. Oh well. They are mostly upset because they waited too long to try and set a meeting and I am unavailable. They are very disorganized and they want to try and throw that on me, but it's not. I've been clear, and I think they know this is an issue that they need to clean up, not me. They want a monthly meeting but they don't try to set it up until like the week before. Well sorry, um literally booked up generally two weeks ahead of time, but additionally, I am going on vacation. I am not at their beck and call, and they are learning that. (That said, I have bent over backwards for them. This is the first time I've said that meeting during the time frame they want is not workable. In 8 months of an ongoing contract)

On top.of all.of that, landed a new client. ..and it really is time to hire that assistant I need. So that's my summer project for my business. Hire an assistant and continue to land some new clients.

Seesaw
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What if I fall? Oh, my dear, but what if you fly?

Primary Dx: C-PTSD and Severe Chronic Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder
Secondary Dx: Generalized Anxiety Disorder with mild Agoraphobia.

Meds I've tried: Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Effexor, Remeron, Elavil, Wellbutrin, Risperidone, Abilify, Prazosin, Paxil, Trazadone, Tramadol, Topomax, Xanax, Propranolol, Valium, Visteril, Vraylar, Selinor, Clonopin, Ambien

Treatments I've done: CBT, DBT, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Talk therapy, psychotherapy, exercise, diet, sleeping more, sleeping less...
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:10 AM   #38
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Default Cooldown

Hi Seesaw,
Eight months carrying the work without having to explicitly set limits is good self-management. It's also frustration management. And congrats on landing new work! Just know you'll find a perfect assistant.

Cooldown notes: hauled some perfectly sized pieces of cut laurel the city cleared from a right-of-way maybe two months ago. Firewood. I think this adds to my pile and is enough for several winters. Which is great as it gives the wood time to dry out.

Playing with gluing rubber soles on to my leather slippers. So far, they're working great.
Tomorrow I'm planning on dropping by the gardens of a few people who are listed on a garden tour map. Could be very much fun.

Enough for today, work wisely.
R
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:43 AM   #39
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Default 6.17 Facing the tasks vs escape

Ah, the work I have to do sometimes is both exciting and tediously detailed. I like the content, but the time on task to do it drains my mental acuity because details slip from me and I know so I double down to keep them in check.

Yesterday's dinger: a simple email. Comcast came by and did something they needed to do and in the process disconnected our entry system. They need to come back and fix this.

I recall that the first swipe at this needed a few tweaks and corrections, but as I corrected I added more mistakes. An "and" got cut, I left "the" before a date.

Just those two, but yuck! I've overdone my work dimming my inner editor. They're off having lunch and I'm struggling here.

Inner Editor: please join me during the final two read-throughs before I send ANY text to ANY one. It hurts to remembers the rules after the message is sent.

IE: Oh, so now you need me. I see.

Me: You'll get to hang out with some wonderful spirits. Max Perkins, editor for F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby plus Susan Bell, editor and author of The Artful Edit. To name a couple.

IE: (whispers: Put the titles in italics). It's not like it's a dissertation. It's an email. Beneath my notice. Draft it, once over, and on to the next.

Me: Ah, so there's the rub.

IE: Yes, you seem so pinched for time. Your shoulders hunched and tight. Like it's a race. Don't want to slow you down.

Me: Let's read fast, write slow. A nice rhythm.

IE: OK, let's give it a try.

Me: Deal.

R
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:42 AM   #40
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Default Dear Client ...

Who-hoo! I finished a book on client-creative relationships!!

Reading, that is, not writing. It's by Bonnie Siegler, ...

[front]
Dear Client, This book will teach you how to get what you want from creative people. Sincerely, Bonnie Siegler.
[back]
PSóIncluding how to hire the right team, give clear direction, provide feedback that works, pick your battles, and be open to new ideas. Plus you'll have more fun, save time and money, and get the results you want, an keep your hair from turning gray.
------That's what's on the cover.

Siegler is a Designer so the book is very heavily designed. No page numbers, only chapter numbers. Chapters very short. Key points in bold. Clean san serif font.
Published this year and she's the keynote speaker at the Seattle Design in Public festival the local branch of architects sends up each year for two weeks. Look it up if interested.

Chapter Titles (all preceded by No.)

1. The Thing About Creatives
2. Be Honest
3. Know Thyself
4. Make Me Iconic
5. Have Clarity of Purpose
6. Who is your audience
7. Care about Every Audience
8. Decide Who Will Decide
9. Do not send out a RFP
10. A brief case for writing a brief
11. Tell me the problem, not the solution
12. Get buy-in
13. Experience isnít everything
14. Those awkward first calls
15. The importance of meeting in person
16. Get a proposal
17. Call references for Godís sake
18. Introduce everyone at the meeting
19. Donít schedule meeting one after another that weíre bound to run into each other in the lobby
20. Be up front about money
21. The value of creative work
22. Flat fees, Full Hearts, Canít Lose
23. Expect the Unexpected
24. Good, fast, cheap
25. Always sign on a dotted line
26. Tell the people who didnít get the job
27. Best practices work best when they are flexible
29. What if you have a good idea?
30. Show-And-Tell
31. Cut out the Middleman
32. White space is your friend
33. Let the Creative Drive the First Presentation
34. Be a Fair Judge
35. Question Everything
36. Be open to things you didnít imagine
37. Donít say that, say this
38. Beware of garanimals
39. An important note about giving feedback
40. I notice/ I wonder
41. Itís okay to love something right away
42. What to do when you kind of hate what you see
43. So you think you can make it better?
44. What if you donít know what you think?
45. Give all feedback at once
46. We donít care what your spouse thinks
47. Of fear and insecurity
48. Why focus groups suck
49. Donít let data drive your decisions
50. Be confident, not arrogant
51. Pick your battles
52. The power of encouragement
53. Accept that everything is emotional
54. Talk it out
55. Please donít piss on the creative
56. Nothing takes a second
57. Donít ask to sit with use while we make changes
58. Donít fall off the face of the earth
59. If it just not working
60. When creatives are assholes
61. Donít be rude to my staff (or yours)
62. Serve lunch during lunch meetings
63. About pro bono work
64. Give credit where itís due
65. Donít use these words
66. Use these words

Listing these titles is as far as I've gotten re: taking notes. If interested (Seasaw?) please pm me and I'll send the google doc link for collaborative efforts to pull a shorter list of agreements out of this work.

Bonnie says she could find no other book on the topic. My experience as well, considering the history of art with patrons and artists runs back centuries.

Anyway, Thanks Bonnie.

Revu2
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