Category Archives: advice

How to tell who the next president of the US will be (ahem, Hillary Clinton)

There’s two ways to tell who will be the next president of the United States.

  1. Listen to the pundits: The Most Likely Next President Is Hillary Clinton – Bloomberg Politics
  2. Follow the betters: 2016 Presidential Election – Next President bet |

In this case, at this moment, they are both in agreement: Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. Now, the election is so very far away, anything can happen, a week is a long time in politics, blah blah blah, but right now it is hers to lose.

If you ask me, ignore the pundits and follow the betters: the latter are rarely wrong. Read the pundits if you want to know why she is winning.


A quick reminder of the path to success

Media preview

I’ve seen the squiggly versus straight line path to success in many places. It’s a great concept, and a handy reminder to keep close when things seem in a muddle and you wonder if you will ever progress. It’s also a good reminder to keep a log of your progress. A log will remind you that you are succeed, despite those bewildering times when things seem like you are getting nowhere fast.

Adulting: a funny self help book, not just for young people

For anyone starting out on the road to being an independent adult, the book Adulting (from Hachette) is a good guide to have. It is packed with tips – 468 to be exact – on pretty much any experience you are going to go through in your early 20s. If this is you or someone you love, this book will have an obvious appeal.

It’s not just for young people though. I think all adults could benefit from parts of the book, especially if you are having to start out on some adult experience that is either new to you or something you haven’t done for some time. It’s good advice, and good advice never goes out of date.

Even if you don’t need good advice, read it just for the humour. It’s a very funny book. (Note, there is a fair amount of profanity and references to sex, but if that doesn’t bother you, then you’ll be fine.)

Finally, if you want to have a better understanding of what life is like for that young person you know, this book can help you achieve that.

By the way, if you want a preview of it, you can check out the Adulting blog. Also very good.

I was killing time in a bookstore last night and I thought it looked good. I ended up reading it from cover to cover.


If you feel you are stuck in the Procrastination Doom Loop, there’s help (by the Atlantic and yours truly)

Do you ever get stuck in this loop?

If so, then the Atlantic has an article for you. According to this article, The Procrastination Doom Loop—and How to Break It – The Atlantic,

Delaying hard work is all about your mood.

And it goes on to talk about how to defeat this.

Seven additional suggestions I have on defeating this doom loop:

  1. set a regular schedule of tackling difficult tasks and stick with it.
  2. dilute the difficulty by giving yourself a ridiculous amount of time to do it. If it will likely take 20 minutes, schedule 2 hours and just sit there and do nothing else until you get it done.
  3. set up a reward for getting it done.
  4. set up significant negative consequences for not getting it done. You might need help from a friend or coach here.
  5. log the positive feelings and thoughts you feel after you get it done. Review that often.
  6. log the negative feelings and thoughts you have before you do it. After you do it, analyse what you wrote and revisit your thinking and feeling. You will likely find it wasn’t as bad as you had expected.
  7. have a list of things you are procrastinating on. For example, if you have two things you are avoiding, try to avoid doing one of them by doing the other. It’s better to get one thing done than getting none done

What programming language should you learn? (2015 edition)

It depends on a number of factors, but if you want to decide solely on popularity, then you need to see this: The Most Popular Programming Languages of 2015 | ProgrammableWeb.


At the top you have some consistency, with Java at the top, and C, C++ and C# in the top five. Python, a language that I am becoming fond of and using to replace Perl, is up there at #4.

Following that are what you’d expect: PHP, Ruby, and Javascript, as well as some data oriented languages.

What is interesting, and not shown, are new and up and coming languages, such as Swift. I expect that to inch into the top 10 in the next few years.

If you want to focus on learning a programming language, and you have no other criteria, pick something from this list.

Sadly, this one trick will allow you to connect iTunes when you are on Windows and suffering from connectivity problems

If you are trying to use iTunes on Windows and you can’t, you may have to disable your firewall. Seriously! I tried a number of things, and I finally came across this, Resolve issues between iTunes and third-party security software – Apple Support, as well as some other sites, and once I did that, I was able to get it to work.

If you are unhappy with that, your next best option is to methodically follow this and poke enough holes in your firewall to work. That’s the safer route, by far.



Here’s what Vox and others miss when it comes to multitasking

Over at Vox is your typical article critiquing multitasking: Multitasking is inefficient. Here are 6 tips for a more productive workday. – Vox.

If you do a search on the word multitasking, you will find similar articles. Like the Vox piece, they are all reasonable, and they all offer good advice.

What they all miss is why we multitask.  I think there are three key reasons why we do, and they go hand in hand:

  1. We have too much to do in the little time you have.
  2. The tools we use are not responsive and/or support multitasking.
  3. You will be penalized for not appearing busy.

To give you an example of what I mean, consider your day. You likely have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Now let’s look at the tool you have at hand in an office. First, you have a computer and you use software like email and your browser. With email, you can start a number of tasks, but you cannot complete them. With your browser, you ask for information, then you wait for a response. If you are using a mobile device, a similar lag in request and response occurs. Now, you could just sit there and wait for a response to complete your task, but remember, you have too much to do and not enough time. As a result, you start other tasks. You are ….multitasking. You are maximizing your idle time while you wait for tasks to complete. Now you could just sit there, look out the window or go for a walk, but that would be ignoring the third point, which is that you will be penalized for not appearing busy.

If you are fortunate, you can focus on one task, complete it, and then move on to the next one. If you are like most of us, you have to multitask for the reasons above.