Getting Things Done With Game Theory

Several months ago I bought the book Getting Things Done. I was utterly disappointed. It has the smell of hokiness and psuedo-science. How is that? No matter how you organize your life, your time and energy are ultimately limited. And if you do too many things at once, you fall into the “jack of all trades, master of none” trap—where you “do” a million things but do none of them well.

In fact, at my job, that’s what I see—coworkers who use Getting Things Done (GTD) or a variant of this system often lull themselves into a false sense of productivity. “Yeah, we can do a million things at once.” When in reality, they do them all really badly, or as what often happens, they end up doing only the projects they care about.

Still, I kept seeing “GTD” in the Internet, so it must be doing something right. And then I read Reality is Broken—a book that takes everything that makes games so successful and tries to apply it to hacking life (improving reality). It became apparent that GTD has elements of a good game—that’s why it’s so popular! But we can use game theory to make it much better:

Continue reading


Testing for Windows in Emacs

I basically use the same Emacs setup on my work (Windows) and personal computers (Linux). I always wondered if there was a way to have one init.el file to rule them all. But the problem is that while most of the settings in the init.el file are platform independent, there are a few that are not:

  • file locations of certain programs (like aspell)
  • programs that are too much of a pain to install in Windows (like w3m)
  • Windows-specific hacks (like the location of find)

You could have a different file for each computer or you could just test to see if you are running Emacs. Here’s how to do that:

Continue reading


Making a Living as an Android Developer

I recently installed Jesus Hates Zombies by Robot Comics on my android. With a title like that, how can you go wrong?

Is JESUS a zombie? Yes. Well, maybe. One thing is clear: he hates zombies, and he’s back from the dead to KILL THEM ALL. This time, Jesus won’t turn the other cheek! By STEPHEN LINDSAY, MICHAEL BRACCO, ARTHUR SUYDAM and many others. Published by ALTERNA COMICS. Mobile comic. 87 screens. Comedy, horror.

Apparently, it’s fairly easy to “go wrong.” The app has no zoom feature, so I struggled to read the print on my tiny screen. As for content, well the problem is that there isn’t that much of it. But enough of how much I think it sucks. Does this app make money? Continue reading