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Archive for June 6th, 2010

Blame! Blame! Blame! Boy do we love to dish it out in this country (only country I have any insight into, FYI.).

Who screwed up the oil rig? Who fat fingered the computer on the flash crash? Who ruined main street? Who heated up the oceans and melted the glaciers? Who started these wars?

And on a more personal level – who’s to blame for this relationship or that messed up deal or that poor choice or that car accident…

On the flip side, we also like to heap praise on ourselves, our celebs, our CEOs, our saints, our leaders for how much of a difference they made. Without you, where would we be?  Here’s a big bonus just for you.  Here’s the MVP trophy.  Here’s the street cred.

All of this assumes way too much control by humans over the incredibly complicated interconnectedness of the world – in business, sports, relationships, politics.   No doubt specific folks shape and contribute, hurt and hinder, but no single person is due that much credit nor blame.

I don’t know when our culture gained this orientation.   Maybe it was from the beginning… the whole “American Way.”   Where there’s a will, there’s a way.   You can do it!  It’s up to you!

The attitude is maintained by repeated association of blame and praise to the negative and positive happenings in our lives.  The association is inaccurate but is very hard to break.  Perhaps there is some juice in this attitude.  Maybe it helps keep people working more.  Maybe it helps people commit longer than they would with a different view.

Personally I don’t think it’s healthy.  Nor do I really think it leads to bigger business, better policy, or decades of championships.   I think our individual powers don’t extend much beyond keeping ourselves alive.  It takes a tremendously positive mix of variables to help us thrive beyond the basics in life.

Persistence is the key.  Survive long enough for the mix of positive variables to align.

Fear of failure and over indulgence in taking credit are the enemies of persistence.   They are energy wasting red herrings.   So much of persistence is about maintaining your energy (physical ability, concentration, passion, etc. etc.).

Change when it’s too painful.  Help others along the way. and keep going.

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I put Ubuntu 10.04 on a Dell XPS laptop on Friday. All weekend I’ve put it through the paces on general computing, mobility, battery life, software installs, programming tasks, and everything else to test whether I can use it on a daily basis.

Good news! I can!

It might be the very first Linux distro and version I’ve been able to completely use out of the box without doing a single compile of a driver or essential software package.

From WiFi to backlit keyboard to stand by mode to webcam and skype calls to long painful ATI 3d drivers. It all works.

Even better… the darn thing is very “pretty”. I love the integrated mail, chat and social stream into the desktop alerts. I love the new default visual styles. I love the Ubuntu Software Center.

On a very nerdy note I was delighted that the Eclipse package is finally up to the latest for Ubuntu in the officially support repository. I hate when I have to go do something special for a decidedly popular piece of software.

Now I still don’t think the basic PC user should bust out Linux. There’s still enough that CAN go wrong and when it does they will be lost or calling a pro. It pains me to say that, but it’s the same way I feel about phones, cars, TVs… if you’re mainstream, stick to mainstream stuff where the support will be easier and cheaper and more standard.

Linux or not… this is a freaking sweet release. You gotta love great software no matter your brand preference.

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