154: TZ Discussion – Taking the High Road

Justin and Jason discuss the progress being made on AnyFu and their differing development styles, Anonymous’ threat to expose a Mexican drug cartel, useful coding tools and JavaScript libraries, how Jason installed Windows 7 alongside OSX using Parallels and is kickstarting a collaboration with David Fogel on an AI trading project, Justin’s partnership with Company 52 and the future of Pluggio, some of Jason’s failed partnerships and why it’s better to take the high road, how you’re the average of your five closest friends, the secrets of a mind-gamer and the 60 Minutes segment on people with extraordinary memory, the Dan Plan and putting the 10,000 hour rule to the test, some of the friendships and collaborations that have resulted from Jason’s recent posts on algorithmic trading, the slave-master Node.js library that Jason and Curtis wrote for Uber, a short recap of some of the talks given at Startup School, the Netflix debacle and how Amazon is becoming a publisher, why Jason is so hard to please when it comes to non-fiction books and Justin’s book recommendation – Mars.

  1. Paquo says:

    I agree with Justin regarding the templating, and I know what your point is Jason about “It would only take 30 min to go back and fix it), but if it takes 30 min, why not do it now and get rid of it. I think these are things that when the system gets bigger it’s harder to go back and change it because there will be tons more 30 min changes to do.

  2. Matt S says:

    Jason, I wonder if you will ever give TDD another look – it seems to fit your “make it work, then make it engineering pretty” later style, at least in principle. I can imagine you will probably argue that the sunk cost of setting up the test framework goes against the “get it working fast” approach 😉

  3. Jason says:

    @Paquo, Matt S – Yeah, I’m probably a little too set in my ways to change how I code at this point. 😉 But I do get why others code differently and why it works for them. It’s funny how with everything we talked about on the show, it’s the 2 min discussion of our coding styles that evokes controversy. 😉

  4. Matt S says:

    @Jason haha, well since I listen during my commute I end up breaking up the show into 30min chunks – so that part was the most interesting of the first chunk! I’ll have to see what is in-store for me on the drive to and from the office tomorrow as I finish the episode.

  5. Zach says:

    Resident Neurobiologist listener checking in.

    Justin was correct, most of the neurons in your brain you’ve had since birth. Your brain undergoes a huge proliferation of neurons during embryonic development and then stops making new neurons. At about six months prenatal you have created almost all of the neurons you will ever have. During your formative childhood years, your brain is highly “plastic” and capable of extensive remodeling. This remodeling is mostly the removal of unused or weak synapses as well as kill off entire neurons.

    There are a few areas in your brain that continue to undergo neurogenesis (particularly olfactory bulb and the hippocampus), but many of these baby neurons tend to die before they are incorporated into active circuits.

    Estimates put the human brain at around 100 billion neurons and around 100 trillion synapses. Massive parallelism =)

    You were, however, correct about most of your body’s cells: much of your body is constantly growing/dieing/replacing. The brain is one of the few regions that remains fairly “static” in terms of growth and death.

  6. Jason says:

    @Zach – Wow, thanks so much for the awesome clarification! At least I wasn’t wrong about absolutely everything, just most everything. 😉 One of my favorite aspects of the show (while potentially intimidating at times) is that we have such an intelligent and erudite audience. If we don’t understand something (or at least not very well), there’s usually at least one or more listeners who are able to pick up the slack for us. Thanks so much. 😉

  7. Matt S says:

    Ah, Steve beat me to it! Moonwalking with Einstein was indeed the book Jason was talking about – I can still remember the random list of items from the book six months later (using the memory palace technique).

    Here’s a writeup on the book if you want more details: http://swanson.github.com/writeup/2011/04/17/moonwalking-with-einstein.html

  8. Axure says:

    Well, seems Justin was right about Mexican gangs seeking to retaliate against Anons. You might have already seen this on HN: http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/11/report-anonymous-cancels-operation-cartel.php

    In general, as an individual you should always err on the side of slightly too much paranoia, rather than too little.
    (Instead we have security services engaging in idiotic security theater and individuals carelessly throwing anti-govt comments on the web, visiting the Pirate Bay and porn sites without even the most trivial precautions, like HTTPS, TOR or VMs.)

  9. Axure says:

    Oh, and BTW, I think you should try VirtualBox. It’s really in the same league as Parallels and VMware’s consumer solutions – and it’s free!
    (The thing Jason got so excited about is called “seamless mode” in VirtualBox and it’s been there for ages.)