A panel on distributed work, pt. 2

The following is a continuation of last week’s post, wherein I extract some teachings from my experience in a distributed company such as Automattic.

9-to-5 sponges

Our brains didn’t evolve to operate like machines. Machines are predictable and togglable systems. They are especially suitable for 9–5 operation, whereas our brains are not. Continue reading “A panel on distributed work, pt. 2”

A panel on distributed work

Last week I was a guest in a Q&A session in Lisbon about remote work. I would be speaking about my experience accrued over my years at Automattic. My co-guest was Pedro Moreira da Silva, a fellow Lisboeta working at GitLab, also a distributed company. Leading the panel was Malik Piara from Upframe. What follows are some takeaways from that session.

A couple of premises

It’s easy to forget that these exist when they’ve been the basis for your mental framework for a long time, and it struck me that they hadn’t been laid out properly at the onset of the Q&A.
Continue reading “A panel on distributed work”

Nerve endings

The reason behind “how did we get here” […] is that the people who are regulating the Internet have mistaken the Internet — in this case — for a newspaper delivery service. And sometimes we get really dumb policies that mistake the Internet for a video-on-demand service, and sometimes for a jihadi recruiting tool, and sometimes for a pornography distribution system — and it is all of those things, because the Internet is the nervous system of the 21st century.

— Cory Doctorow at a #SaveTheLink live Q&A.

Television-Internet

Hossein Derakhshan, known as Iran’s Blogfather, warns of the ongoing cultural changes regarding the Web:

The stream, mobile applications, and moving images all show a departure from a books-internet toward a television-internet. We seem to have gone from a non-linear mode of communication – nodes and networks and links – toward one that is linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking.

Sometimes I think maybe I’m becoming too strict as I age. Maybe this is all a natural evolution of a technology. But I can’t close my eyes to what’s happening: a loss of intellectual power and diversity. In the past, the web was powerful and serious enough to land me in jail. Today it feels like little more than entertainment. So much that even Iran doesn’t take some – Instagram, for instance – serious enough to block.