A poem

Calmly we walk through this April’s day,
Metropolitan poetry here and there,
In the park sit pauper and rentier,
The screaming children, the motor-car
Fugitive about us, running away,
Between the worker and the millionaire
Number provides all distances,
It is Nineteen Thirty-Seven now,
Many great dears are taken away,
What will become of you and me
(This is the school in which we learn …)
Besides the photo and the memory?
(… that time is the fire in which we burn.)

(This is the school in which we learn …)
What is the self amid this blaze?
What am I now that I was then
Which I shall suffer and act again,
The theodicy I wrote in my high school days
Restored all life from infancy,
The children shouting are bright as they run
(This is the school in which they learn …)
Ravished entirely in their passing play!
(… that time is the fire in which they burn.)

Avid its rush, that reeling blaze!
Where is my father and Eleanor?
Not where are they now, dead seven years,
But what they were then?
No more? No more?
From Nineteen-Fourteen to the present day,
Bert Spira and Rhoda consume, consume
Not where they are now (where are they now?)
But what they were then, both beautiful;

Each minute bursts in the burning room,
The great globe reels in the solar fire,
Spinning the trivial and unique away.
(How all things flash! How all things flare!)
What am I now that I was then?
May memory restore again and again
The smallest color of the smallest day:
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.

Delmore Schwartz, Calmly We Walk through This April’s Day

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Michael Carducci presents: The Influential Engineer

Attendees:

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On removing distractions

In today’s digital day and age, it’s easy to get distracted or interrupted by the tools that were once designed to help us. I recently took stock and realized how easily I found myself heading down a rabbit hole and just how much time and brain power I was wasting on things that weren’t important. It’s easy to blame those tools - it is their job after all to keep you an active (captured) user. But really, I had trained myself to keep myself distracted, out of a deep work or flow state, using technology. It’s taken me the better part of 3 months, but I’ve started to see progress in unwinding those bad habits, and wanted to share them.

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On creating vs managing

At a high level, every organization has two types of roles: managers and individual contributors. It is easy to draw parallels between these roles and the two most common organizational acts: managing and creating. Managers manage and individual contributors create, right? Let’s look at why this is a bad mentality, and how we can shift the company’s mentality to make it bigger, faster, stronger by getting everyone in the act of creating.

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How to defeat procrastination

I won’t lie, I’m susceptible to procrastination. And that’s despite being fully aware of the negative consequences of procrastination. I just watched a video from Dr. Tim Pychyl, an expert on procrastination, on procrastination and how to defeat it.

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The Man in the Arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

  • Theodore Roosevelt; excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”; Sorbonne, in Paris, France; 23 April, 1910

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How I Work

I’ll admit it. I’ve often struggled with time management. I have a million excuses, but none of them really matter. At the crux of this, its just about managing things I either don’t want or have to do so that I can get back to doing what I want to do. Over the past few years, I’ve made it a focus to improve in this and have adopted a few frameworks to help me effectively management my time and energy.

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Ruthless Prioritization

As an aside, most people think startups are fast because they work harder and are more ambitious. The truth is that most of the speed difference comes from having far less dependencies (and few customers to upset if something screws up), so it’s just easier to get stuff done.

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Ray Tsang's tips & tricks for Docker

Ray Tsang, Developer Advocate at Google, gave a presentation titled Docker Tips and Tricks for Java Developers to the Chicago Java User’s Group today. Despite having run Docker in production for nearly 2 years, I got a ton out of it. Ray Tsang is also an avid traveler and photographer and can be reached on Twitter, LinkedIn and GitHub (but mostly via Twitter).

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Servant Leadership

The highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware. Next comes one whom they love and praise. Next comes one whom they fear. Next comes one whom they despise and defy.

When you are lacking in faith, Others will be unfaithful to you.

The Sage is self-effacing and scanty of words. When his task is accomplished and things have been completed, All the people say, ‘We ourselves have achieved it!’

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