Weeknotes 16: couldn’t we be doing this differently?

  1. I was wondering why some Rails tests were so slow to boot, which gave me an opportunity to try out rbspy. It was really quick and easy, and I could instantly see from the flame graph that the slowdown was due to Database Cleaner truncating all the database tables on every run. I switched to the deletion strategy and instantly knocked multiple seconds off the start of a test run. I went from not knowing what the problem was to having a fix in about 5 minutes. It’s nice when tools work hey! 🙏

  2. On Tuesday I went to the second meeting of the fledgling Reinventing Work: Melbourne group. Here’s what they say it’s about:

    Reinventing Work: Melbourne is for anyone interested in the future of work, self-organising teams, self-management, deliberately developmental workplace practices, wholeness at work, emergent hierarchies, participatory change, decentralised leadership, distributed authority, collaboration, new ways of working and organisation design.

    The discussion was quite structured, and very well facilitated by Stephen Hanman. I enjoyed taking part. It reminded me that I really should get around to reading Reinventing Organizations one of these days.

  3. I discovered the writings of Max St John and spent quite a bit of time there. How to process climate news is a pretty helpful perspective in my opinion, and I also really enjoyed Why money can never give you what you need – it didn’t present ideas that I hadn’t encountered before, but I appreciated how clearly he laid them out.

    When a need is not met, we don’t feel good. If we have a need for friendship that’s not being met, we feel loneliness or sadness, for example.

    And the biggest trap we’ve fallen into is believing that work and money can meet any of these needs.

    They can’t — and the reason is very simple. Our needs can only be met when someone (ourselves or another) has an innate desire to fulfil them — not when they’re done for the promise of something else, or the threat of it being withdrawn.

    So whenever we choose to do something ‘for money’, it can never really meet our needs. No matter how hard you want it to, if you wouldn’t do something if you weren’t paid for it, then it can only meet the need that money represents in this context.

    And vice versa — when something is offered ‘for money’, it’s not being offered from a place of real desire to bring something to the world, or to others, but for whatever money represents in that context.

  4. I’ve long been a fan of Kate Tempest and took some time to watch her Glastonbury set, in which she performs her new album The Book of Traps and Lessons. (Unfortunately I had to use a VPN to get around the BBC’s geo-restrictions.)

    The whole set is great, but the last song, People’s Faces, is particularly moving. Her delivery is so powerful, and I could really feel the backdrop of Brexit and the climate crisis. Here’s a video of her performing the same song two years ago.

    More empathy, less greed, more respect
    All I’ve got to say has already been said
    I mean, you heard it from yourself
    When you were lying in your bed and couldn’t sleep
    Thinking, “Couldn’t we be doing this differently?”