Freelance Friday 051 - April 19 2019

Recovery from surgery has been decent, but dang it’s hard to stay focused at work when your 5-year-old is up having an “adventure” in her bedroom until 12:30 at night. Evidently she found fossils and a new dinosaur between us parents going in there and telling her to get in bed and not to jump on her 2-year-old sister anymore.

If you’ve found my content helpful then new in 2019 I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

Monday I shared a video about my purchase of a Mac Mini, and that for the first time in years I’m not excited about an Apple computer purchase. I’m not convinced I see the value and I’m looking elsewhere. I’ll be digging into Linux and even Windows later this summer when I get...yet another new computer.

If you’re looking for a miracle in the morning to get productive then maybe you should take a look at Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I review it here in audio, video, and text.

Friday Five

1. Why Freelancer’s “help out” bad clients

From Pre-suasion:

Several decades worth of research shows that, in general, the more someone needs our help, the more obligated we feel to provide it, the more guilty we feel if we don't provide it, and the more likely we are to provide it.

The best way I’ve found to break this is to have rules around what you will and won’t do. Like a project minimum, or only taking calls on a single day a week. Sticking to these rules filters out a bunch of needy clients you’d feel guilty about not helping.

2. How walls and surveillance affect us

Jessica Wapner in The New Yorker:

A few years ago, Tobias Vogt, who studies public health at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, decided to investigate whether the fall of the Berlin Wall had extended life expectancy. Vogt compared how long East Germans would have lived if the wall had not fallen with how long they were actually living, two decades later. His study, published in Gerontology, in 2013, found that reunification had extended life expectancy among East German women by four years, and among East German men by nearly six years.

It says more about how being watched, even if we’re on the “good” side of the wall, increases stress and reduces life expectancy.

3. Just a few of the screwed up things Facebook has done

In Mother Jones, yup that’s an Apple News link sorry:

► Facebook’s security chief investigated, as early as the summer of 2016, how the platform was being manipulated by Putin’s minions. Yet as late as April 2017, Facebook still downplayed and scrubbed his analysis of what the Russians had done
► Likewise, Sri Lanka begged Facebook to help rein in anti-Muslim propaganda, with little response, until violent mobs ransacked Muslim homes and businesses and the government shut down access to Facebook entirely—whereupon the company finally reacted
► Last fall, Facebook chose the day before Thanksgiving to admit what it had thunderously denied for a week: that it had retained a conservative oppo firm (that maintains its very own fake-news site) to dig up dirt on its critics and link them to George Soros, the favorite target of anti-Semitic haters

There is a bunch more in the article about how messed up Facebook is and yet people keep going back to it. From the outside it seems like an abusive spouse that is occasionally nice. Sure 90% of the time they’re terrible, but you stay for that 10% that it sort of okay.

I also read yesterday that Facebook is making it harder to find it’s old commitments as it’s deleted content. Yes problems happen with data sometimes, but with the track record of Facebook it’s hard to see anything but malicious intent here.

I have heard arguments that some people can’t leave Facebook and the ability to do so is one of privilege. Since I’m a white dude that’s self-employed, I’m in that privileged group and I think that anyone in this group should be leaving Facebook. Otherwise you’re knowingly supporting an abusive regime that doesn’t have any of it’s users best interests at heart.

4. Neil Gaiman and Tim Ferriss

You can listen here. One of my favourite parts was when Neil talks about his notebooks and writing his stories long hand because it makes him think differently. It at least got me thinking about handwriting some more of my content before I type it out.

5. Don’t get a plane with your Disney Money

Yup it’s a kid in the Disney family on how wealth affected her dad and the two different families that she grew up in as the wealth took a big jump.

It wasn’t just the plane, but it’s not a small thing when you don’t have to be patient or be around other people. It creates this notion that you’re a little bit better than they are.

Also this is great

I’ll tell you this: I could be a billionaire if I wanted to be a billionaire, and I’m not because I don’t want to be a billionaire.

Her thoughts on the morality of money and what it has to do with your personality.

I keep trying to tell them that money is morally neutral. It does not, in and of itself, make you a bad person. It also does not, in and of itself, makes you a good person. You are who you are and the least important thing about you is what you have.