Almost Everything I learned about Teamwork and Leadership, I Learned in Clan Lord

I’ve been threatening to write this post for about a year. I had this sitting on the back-burner for a month and asked for comments from another player also in the IT Admin field. So, without further ado…

Despite the Graphics, CL has real team-building potential

Despite the Graphics, CL has real team-building potential

For the unwashed, Clan Lord is an archaic, sorely out-of-date Multi-player Online Role-playing Game  (MORPG) that has been running since the late 90s. The single world (server) and small population make it feel like a small town, thus all of the current players have the same goal (job). Thus, like any small group with common goals, it is a bit like a company: You have your people in it who are on the ball because they work well in teams and independently, those that only work in teams because they need direction, those that lead group of people in a direction, those that specialize in a subset of knowledge about the terrain (market or technology) all of whom trade their time and risk profit (experience) to advance, and finally those that just show up to have fun. These flyby ‘fun’ people are equivalent to the people who just show up for a paycheck. In the game, one seemingly minor mistake can lead to the death of the entire group.  This necessitates departing (experience and time loss) which is a bit like working on a project  and having it fail miserable because Joe Paycheck didn’t know or care that you shouldn’t have done X.

Considering the parallels I noticed about the in game group and the group of people you work with  day-to-day, I have found several commonalities that I have taken from work to game and from game to work that have helped me navigate real life teamwork, leadership and relationships.

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2013 in review

This past year saw another significant increase in page hits, which is cool in some respect. However I value interaction more, and comments are few and far between. Still people seem to care mainly about music and bluetooth headphones. The great thing is, BT headsets are now in the realm of “very affordable.”

FYI, the prior post generated a few “corrections” as to the song title of Squeeze’s “Another Nail For My Heart.” After a short discussion, and seeing both versions in print, with most favoring the one I thought to be inaccurate, I decided to write the songwriter to ask because it was starting to bother me. After listening to that song for a good 3 decades, I was convinced it was a mistake someone made, who was not familiar with the song. The lyrics said different, while the old saying says something else. It would have been natural for someone, early on, to favor the familiar saying, instead of the more subtle lyric. I alway interpreted it as if the “nail” was either a love song or a drink, or both. Here is a guy heartbroken over a breakup, drinking his sorrows, while the piano player sings  songs, each love song, another nail for the writer’s heart. This is conjecture, unless the songwriter weighs in, but it is my interpretation of it.

I figure, you can strive to be right or you can strive to be accurate. Favoring the former will mean less of the latter, whereas striving for accuracy will often net you being right more often. I was well prepared to be wrong, learn yet another small thing and wait a week while whomever intercepted the message, hopefully passed it on. To my surprise, about 5 minutes later, the songwriter, Chris Difford, answered, and wrote back:

Thanks for the email, it is indeed – for my heart…..

its been many years and it has chopped around on set lists, but from the original this is the real title

many thanks.

Cd

That, in and of itself was pretty damn cool. Sometimes I love the Internet, and being able to reach out and ask someone whose songs you have been listening to for over 30 years a question and get a fast as light answer, definitely falls within the realm of cool. By the way, I will leave readers with my summary, and a new axiom:

You can strive to be right, or you can strive to be accurate, but trying to be accurate instead of being right will get you both more often.

Someone probably already said this. If not, this one is mine. That, and I appreciate people who actually take the time to look things up — unfortunately, in the above case, the info is mostly wrong. Thanks for reading.

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Pono: Neil Young Thinks CDs Suck

I got a ton of flack from people on Ars when I commented that CD quality audio lost a lot of information that greatly affected a listener’s perception, and MP3 and other compressed audio formats simply made a bad situation worse.

I over-simplified my argument to keep it approachable, and had some wannabe audio experts quoting the Shannon-Nyquist theorem. They must have read ahead or did not understand the geek-speak for what needs to be true for the theorem to be valid. I figure they didn’t even read the prerequisites needed, and do not understand music enough to know that pretty much no music falls into the prerequisite category — having a constant frequency.

Apparently, Neil Young agrees. I was unaware that his hatred of MP3s is probably greater than mine until he announced Pono. Young has been on the road showing off and evangelizing better quality audio. There has been a lot of buzz about it — not just because he is such an iconic figure in music, but because the 3 big music companies (Warner, Sony and Universal) will sign up to support the better quality format.

In my post: 44kHz is not enough. I decided that a good compromise between file size and quality would be 24bit, 128kHz. But Young has decided that the studio quality digital audio woule be supported which is typically 192kHz/32bit. (Apple’s ALAC actually supports up to twice the sample rate, but it is probably future-proofing the format.) My hope is that this will not be yet another failed better quality audio format. The reasoning is two-fold:

  1. I want higher quality audio than what is currently available.
  2. I want the influx of bandwidth consumption to wake up consumers, and have them apply pressure to the communications companies* to increase speeds so that even a slow connection could stream 1–2MB/s.

See http://techland.time.com/2012/10/01/pono-neil-young/ for an article and video of Young and Letterman talking about Pono. So all in all, this is good news.

Update: I have since found bandcamp for the lossless CD quality audio, which will have to do until more albums from artists I follow are available on HDtracks.

*The telecoms monopolized our internet access landscape about a decade ago, after G.W. Bush overturned the laws that prevented de-facto monopolies. The laws that were repealed forced the telecoms to open up their lines (the cost of installation was funded by the government in many cases) thereby flattening the bandwidth speed increase curve. This lead to many smaller ISPs dying and fewer jobs in every region of the country. In turn, since there was little to no real competition, there was little-to-no incentive to increase internet speeds. The same 6Mbps connection has been offered for $40 or more the last half decade. But that is another topic.

Q: Why Join App.net? A: Privacy & No Advertising

App.net might look like just another social service to some. And, in fact, it currently looks very much like Twitter was when it started: It is just a lot of tech-savvy people talking freely and enthusiastically about app.net and whatever strikes their fancy: No celebrities promoting themselves, no ad-spam, no fake users, no incredibly stupid posts—although there are some stupid posts, there’s no one stupid enough to post public calls to kill government officials as one woman who has disappeared did. App.net is just a lot of signal with very low noise.

I get at least a few invites each month to join a new SoNet. The invites usually get a tossed into the trash almost immediately. Few get me to look at the site. But that’s usually it. Even if I do sign up the to site, I often let it languish and simply forget about it until they start spamming me to use their site, “log in with…” or want me to link my other SoNets to it.

Paying not to Share but Selectively Share

App.net is 180° away from ll of these sites though, because their interests align with my interests:

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Misattribution: To All That Misquote & Just Get Shit Wrong

I just saw the mini post it notes today on ThinkGeek (https://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/supplies/ba1d/). I wish I had thought of a few of those sayings. Oh wait! I did…

An old CDT friend loved these so much he stuck them on his walls.

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