[Link] Creating Impact When You’re Overwhelmed

When there are thousands of things to do, how can we make an impact? Any one of those things can feel meaningless, because they’ll barely move the needle. Sometimes the feeling is that we’re just spinning our wheels, or treading water, and not making any progress. And at the same time, so many things are coming at you.

Like nearly everyone else over the last few months, I’ve felt I’ve had more than my fair share of overwhelm.

I turn to reading in these moments. The Stoics or more contemporary philosophers (I doubt they will call themselves that, but whatever), they all offer help in their own way.

One of my regular reads is by Leo Babauta, whose writing I’ve long cherished, for its simplicity and yet profound applicability of ideas. These ideas aren’t new, for sure. But they’re timely. And that’s what matters. His recent post resonated strongly, reminding me of how to focus on what’s important.

 

[Link] A Theoretical Argument for the Causes of Zoom Fatigue

Why do we feel exhausted after hours /days / months now of videoconferencing?  What is Zoom (or Teams) fatigue really?

Stanford University’s Jeremy Bailenson has some ideas worth considering. Some – not all – of the solutions to this problem are trivial design implementations that the big tech companies haven’t yet gotten around to.

Anyone who speaks for a living understands the intensity of being stared at for hours at a time. Even when speakers see virtual faces instead of real ones, research has shown that being stared at while speaking causes physiological arousal (Takac et al., 2019). But Zoom’s interface design constantly beams faces to everyone, regardless of who is speaking. From a perceptual standpoint, Zoom effectively transforms listeners into speakers and smothers everyone with eye gaze.

 

[Link] QR Codes

Fred Wilson predicts that we’ll see more QR (Quick Response) code-based applications springing up, with COVID speeding up the process.

Coincidentally, for the first time today, I noticed a website I was on, a QR icon on the address bar. I’m going to be looking out for this now.

 

 

[Link]: The Convenience

Read this post by Wendy Grossman:

It also reminds that when people’s decisions seem inexplicable “the convenience” is often an important part of their reasoning. It’s certainly part of why a lot of security breaches happen. Most people’s job is not in security but in payroll or design or manufacturing, and their need to get their actual jobs done takes precedence. Faced with a dilemma, they will do the quickest and easiest thing, and those who design attacks know and exploit this very human tendency. The smart security person will, as Angela Sasse has been saying for 20 years, design security policies so they’re the easiest path to follow.

 

[Link] The Tiny-House Village That’s Changing Lives

Reasons to be Cheerful is one of my favourite places to go to when I feel a little grumpy.

Why does homelessness end up becoming such an unsolved problem in a rich country like Australia or the US? And what are some of the ways individuals are trying to tackle it?

Unlike the possibly fictional “The Starfish Story“, this is a real-life, heartwarming one.

Ralph McTell’s “Streets of London” is a song that came to mind while I was reading this.

 

 

QOTD

.. Deep Change (in our real lives as well as in fiction) happens not in clamorous, action-filled moments but in quiet, pensive beats when the human heart, at the finish of a protracted, often unconscious, process of evolution concludes and cements its transformation.

Steven Pressfield, in a blog post on The Power of a Private Moment.