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Welcome to Season 3 of Geometry Daily! I will continue what I...

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Welcome to Season 3 of Geometry Daily! I will continue what I did in 2012 (Season 1) and 2013 (Season 2): Creating a new minimal geometric composition each day.

Oh wow, that was some time ago since the last post. I did a lot of collaborations, prints, shirts, etc. Also, I settled in my new job at the university and had some serious family time. Now it’s time to do what I love and it’s more fun than ever!

The rules do not change: square format, one clear idea, simulated print of no more than four colors, posting each day at 4pm CET on geometrydaily.tumblr.com, mirrored on my Twitter and the Facebook page.

Season 3 will run von July 6 to August 15. Six weeks with six daily graphics. (I take the sundays off to recharge.)

I will daringly go into new stylistic directions: more elaborate or more reduced, wilder or more minimal, more colors or less colors, new ideas and new epiphanies. Nobody knows where this exploration into the aesthetics of geometry takes us. Come with me!

Lots of love,
Tilman.

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denismm
31 days ago
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glenn
31 days ago
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Yay!
Waterloo, Canada

#1135; Throw Back the Dead Man’s Coin

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Of course you can live without actual, coherent ideals. Wad enough tiny strands of hair together, it'll still clog a drain.

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denismm
37 days ago
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bronzehedwick
32 days ago
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Ha! Awesome
Brooklyn NY
Courtney
37 days ago
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No but really get rid of student and medical debt and close the loophole on trusts tho
Boston, MA
satadru
38 days ago
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.
New York, NY
expatpaul
38 days ago
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'nuff said
Belgium

Google has quietly launched a GitHub competitor

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Google hasn’t announced it yet, but the company earlier this year started offering free beta access to Cloud Source Repositories, a new service for storing and editing code on the ever-expanding Google Cloud Platform.

It won’t be easy for Google to quickly steal business from source code repository hosting companies like GitHub and Atlassian (with Bitbucket). And sure enough, Google is taking a gradual approach with the new service: It can serve as a “remote” for Git repositories sitting elsewhere on the Internet or locally.

Still, over time the new tool could help Google become more of an all-in-one destination for building and deploying applications. That’s important as Google challenges public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services, which introduced its own Git repository a similar service, CodeCommit, in November at the re:Invent conference. Microsoft, with its growing Azure cloud, also plays a part in this discussion; the company’s Visual Studio Online service offers unlimited repositories.

Earlier this year, Google said it would shut down its open-source project hosting site Google Code, given the rise of GitHub and Bitbucket. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Google doesn’t have big ambitions with the new Google Cloud Source Repositories, which popped up on the Google Cloud Platform website earlier this month.

I checked in with Google to learn more. Here’s what I got back in an email from Google Cloud Platform product manager Chris Sells:

Google Cloud Source Repositories provides a crucial part of our end-to-end cloud tooling story. By allowing you to manage your source in your cloud projects along with your other cloud resources, you’ve got a one-stop shop for everything you’re doing in Google Cloud Platform. The Cloud Source Repositories service provides a private Git repository that works with your existing tools while providing a high degree of replication and encryption to make sure that your code is as safe and secure as you’d expect from Google’s cloud infrastructure.

Further, we’re building other services on top of Cloud Source Repositories, including Google Cloud Debugger, which allows you to inspect the state of your Java code running in production without stopping it or slowing it down, mapping issues all the way back to the source stored in your Cloud Source Repositories. And, just like the rest of Google Cloud Platform, Cloud Source Repositories has an API which we’ll be releasing into beta later this year, giving you fully automated control of your repositories on which to build your own tools.

We’re in beta right now, but expect Google Cloud Source Repositories to get even better as we move towards the full release.

More generally, you can expect Google to discuss the service publicly in the months to come and eventually start charging for it.

That won’t lead to the demise of companies like GitHub, though. Developers around the world go to GitHub’s website every day to collaborate on projects. And GitHub is reported to be raising a big new round of funding. Atlassian, for its part, is profitable and in a position to go public as soon as this year.

More information:

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denismm
39 days ago
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Sure, Lucy, I trust you not to pull the ball away this time.
brennen
33 days ago
+1
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jepler
39 days ago
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what the devil? why didn't google role "code" into "cloud source repositories" instead of forcing code users onto what has to be the #1 competitor of "cloud source repositories"?
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
acdha
39 days ago
Next week they'll announce the launch of Google Cloud Reader

'Chainsaw massacre' of 6 trees at Dunbar home

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Felled trees

The City of Vancouver is considering how to increase penalties for those who cut down trees on their property illegally, as wealthy homeowners are not deterred by fines.

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denismm
58 days ago
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I'll sell you a square meter of my property, let you cut down the tree, and buy it back at a loss.
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dreadhead
58 days ago
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Fines based on percentage of property value? It is like a $200 speeding ticket for someone driving a Ferrari...
Vancouver Island, Canada

It only pays to be a jerk if the game is just a game

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by Doctor Science

Jerry Useem's Atlantic article Why It Pays to Be a Jerk is amazingly self-contradictory, probably because it's written for and about people who really want to be jerks but aren't willing to admit it.

Start with the title. The headline and the subhead -- "New research confirms what they say about nice guys" -- say that the article is going to tell you that being a jerk definitely pays off (at least in business), and why. But Useem writes:

To summarize: being a jerk is likely to fail you, at least in the long run, if it brings no spillover benefits to the group; if your professional transactions involve people you'll have to deal with over and over again; if you stumble even once; and finally, if you lack the powerful charismatic aura of a Steve Jobs. (It's also marginally more likely to fail you, several studies suggest, if you're a woman.) Which is to say: being a jerk will fail most people most of the time.
[emphasis mine.] In other words, the headline + subhead -- doubtless written by an editor, not the author -- directly contradicts the article.

It's maybe not entirely the headline-editor's fault, because the text of the article also contradicts *itself* -- as do the articles and experts Useem used as sources.

For instance, Useem talked to Donald Hambrick of Penn State about his paper with Arijit Chatterjee, It's All about Me: Narcissistic Chief Executive Officers and Their Effects on Company Strategy and Performance. They found that narcististic CEOs were found mostly at the two ends of the company success distribution: "very successful" and "failure".

This U-shaped distribution, Hambrick grudgingly allows, suggests that "there is such a thing as a useful narcissist."
No, it doesn't. Hambrick doesn't seem to have understood his own results.

Hambrick & Chatterjee found that

CEO narcissism is related to extreme and irregular company performance. Narcissistic CEOs tend to generate more extreme performance—more big wins and big losses—than their less narcissistic counterparts, as measured by both accounting and shareholder returns.
The null hypothesis should be not that some narcissists are useful (those who show big wins), but that some narcissists are lucky: that, by chance, their "extreme and irregular" performance has a (probably temporary) good result.


Another one of Useem's sources flat-out doesn't know what he's talking about:

There was a time in mankind's history—well, prehistory—when being a bully was the only route to the top. We know this, explains Jon Maner, an evolutionary psychologist at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, by deduction. Every last species of animal except Homo sapiens determines pecking order according to physical strength and physical strength alone. This is true of the seemingly congenial dolphin, whose tooth-and-fin battles for status resemble Hobbes's "war of everyone against everyone." And it is true even of our closest cousin, the chimpanzee.
Maner is the kind of "evolutionary psychologist" I call an Evo-Psycho: I just want to smack the word "evolution" out of his hands, because he's making real evolutionary biology look bad.

No, every last mammal species doesn't determine dominance by physical strength alone, sheesh, *especially* among the more social species (which would include humans). Baboons, for instance, inherit dominance: female baboons are dominant by lineage, not unlike a human aristocracy. Elephant troops are led by the oldest female, the matriarch: not because she's necessarily the strongest, but because she's the wisest, the one who knows most about all the food and water sources in the area. And that's not even getting into the observation that baboon troops can have distinctive, less-jerky cultures, passed down from resident females to immigrant males. Or that all the nonsense you hear guys spouting about "alpha wolves" is nonsense.

The biggest misinterpretation in the article, IMHO, is about Steve Jobs. The idea that maybe it's a good idea for a business leader to be a jerk was given a big boost by Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs.

The average business reader, worried Tom McNichol in an online article for The Atlantic soon after the book's publication, might come away thinking: "See! Steve Jobs was an asshole and he was one of the most successful businessmen on the planet. Maybe if I become an even bigger asshole I'll be successful like Steve."

McNichol is not alone. Since Steve Jobs was published in 2011, "I think I've had 10 conversations where CEOs have looked at me and said, ‘Don't you think I should be more of an asshole?' " says Robert Sutton, a professor of management at Stanford ...

Sutton doesn't point out that asking that question pretty much guarantees the person is an asshole *already*.

What's more striking to me is that neither Useem nor the people he quotes notice that that Jobs' case shows the clearest possible downside of being an asshole: it killed him.

Whether we say "asshole", "jerk", or "narcissist", we're talking about the behavior discussed by Aaron James in Assholes: a Theory:

The asshole (1) allows himself to enjoy special advantages and does so systematically; (2) does this out of an entrenched sense of entitlement; and (3) is immunized by his sense of entitlement against the complaints of other people.
Jobs' sense of power, control, and being smarter than anybody else was the major reason he died of a preventable illness. He may have been "immunized" against other people's opinions, but it was no substitute for actual, immune-system-type immunity.

I think one thing that led Jobs into his fatal error was the constant praise he -- and other entrepreneurs -- get for "being bold and taking risks". For instance, speaking of Hambrick's work, Useem writes:

Narcissistic CEOs, he found, tend to be gamblers. Compared with average CEOs, they are more likely to make high-profile acquisitions (in an effort to feed the narcissistic need for a steady stream of adulation). Some of these splashy moves work out. Others don't. But "to the extent that innovation and risk taking are in short supply in the corporate world"—an assertion few would contest—"narcissists are the ones who are going to step up to the plate."
What you should notice in this rhetoric is that "risk-taking" is being praised, while what you might call the actual "risk" part of risk-taking is ignored or dismissed.

What kind of "risk" is it where you get praised if you win, and experience no terrible consequence if you fail? Yes, a CEO who "takes risks" that don't work out may lose his position, but he has basically zero chance of ending up poor, or even middle-class. He might lose his mansion, but he'll still be able to afford to own a nice house, just as he'll still have a car, health insurance, and enough money to disqualify his children from getting reduced-cost school lunches.

Meanwhile, the employees of a company where a narcissistic CEO has lost a risky bet may face real, serious problems: loss of income, loss of pensions, loss of insurance and homes and educational opportunities, falling out of the middle class at least temporarily.

It's yet another example of how our plutocratic inequality privatizes profits and socializes risks. It's not just that the government considers some businesses "too big to fail", it's that the rampant inequality in the whole system means some people are "too big to fail": too rich, too well-connected, too privileged.

I argue, then, that the reason Steven Jobs gambled with his own life and lost, was (partly) because he was used to gambling with play money, with taking risks where he, personally, didn't risk anything fundamentally important. He was praised for his boldness and audacity, for his "risk-taking", even though the real risks were all borne by other people. So, when he was faced at last with a truly serious risk, a risk where his personal stakes were literally life and death, he acted as he always had: boldly, audaciously, riskily. Fatally.

Basically, "it pays to be a jerk" if the game you're playing is just a game, if a loss isn't truly life-threatening. That's one reason Maner's evo-psycho maunderings are so wrong-headed: in nature, high-risk strategies are likely to be avoided because a loss can be fatal, it's not just an opportunity to play another game.

I *do* think that assholish behavior has become more common in business, especially at the highest "C-suite" levels -- though it's growing by imitation lower down the hierarchy. I think it's a function of economic inequality, of the fact that the C-suite cannot truly lose by the risks they take. Their "entrenched sense of entitlement" is supported by society as a whole, so why shouldn't they be assholes?

SteveJobs-replaceface

Steve Jobs, photoshopped into a portrait by George Dawe in the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace, Saint Petersberg.
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denismm
58 days ago
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Excellent analysis. Being a jerk killed Jobs.
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strip for May / 5 / 2015 - Imperial Fears

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strip for May / 5 / 2015 - Imperial Fears
Imperial Fears

Jump to a Random Strip in the Archives! | Archives | E-mail Dave

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denismm
89 days ago
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That's what I love about RSS- I don't have to think, "did Drive update today?" It just shows up when it's ready.
roasty
80 days ago
I love that while I didn't really have time to read this (as short as it is) when RSS picked it up, it would sit in the list until I was ready.
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kazriko
89 days ago
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I still think Drive is one of the best comics on the web. Too bad it's updated so infrequently.
Colorado Plateau
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