TITLE: Conscience and Clarity AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: October 15, 2009 5:22 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I've been working on a jumble of administrative duties all week long, with an eye toward the weekend. While cleaning up some old files, I ran across three items that struck me as somehow related, at least in the context of the last few days. Listen to Your Conscience Here's a great quote from an old article by John Gruber:
If you think your users would be turned off by an accurate description of something, that doesn't mean you should do it without telling them. It means means you shouldn't be doing whatever it is you don't want to tell them about.
This advice applies to so many different circumstances. It's not bulletproof, but it's worth being the first line of thought whenever your conscience starts to gnaw at you. Listen With Your Heart And here's a passage on writing from the great Joni Mitchell:
You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it's just complaining.
This captures quite nicely one of the difficulties I have with blogging about being a department head: I rarely seem to have that moment of clarity. And I need them, even if I don't intend to blog about the experience. Somebody Must Be Listening One piece of nice news... I recently received a message saying that Knowing and Doing has been included in a list of the top 100 blogs by professors on an on-line learning web site. There are a lot of great blogs on that list, and it's an honor to be included among them. I follow a dozen or so of those blogs closely. One that some of my readers might not be familiar with is Marginal Revolution, which looks at the world through the lens of an economist. If I could add only one blog to that list, right now it would be The Endeavour, John Cook's blog on software, math, and science. I learn a lot from the connections he makes. In any case, it's good to know that readers find some measure of value here, too. I'll keep watching for the moments of clarity about CS, software development, teaching, running, and life that signal a worthwhile blog entry. -----