The eli4d Gazette – Issue 055: The English Olympic Rowing Team Question and Book Inspiration

The English Olympic Rowing Team Question

I heard an interesting question on the Release Notes podcast (episode 268). The conversation was about the purpose and best use of mastermind groups (Ken Wallace did a great job in clarifying the answer).

Ken brings up the story of the English rowing team and how they end up winning the gold medal by singularly focusing on the question: “will this make the boat go faster?”. There’s a great YouTube video discussing this as well as a book.

I like the physicality of the question and how it is a concrete implementation of the “what’s the next physical/visible action?” question from the Getting Things Done methodology. The key point is that for whatever goal you’re pursuing, you need to constantly ask the question if what you’re doing right now is getting you closer (or further) from your goal.

Book Inspiration

Studio Neat’s newsletter had a reference to a musical map site. From this site, I found a literature map site – http://www.literature-map.com/. The way it works is that you enter an author that you like, and then you get a map of other writers whose writing is similar (in terms of distance on map). You can then click on any author on the generated map and see a new map with other related connections.

For example, I’m a big fan of Ryk Brown and his Frontier’s Series. Here’s his map: Ryk Brown map


Thoughts? Feedback? Let me know: @eli4d on Twitter


The eli4d Gazette – Issue 045

Tech Pick (JavaScript)

I watched a short (15 minutes) presentation by Rebecca Hill that covered JavaScript debugging. It’s an excellent talk and demonstration of available tools beyond console.log. If you do any sort of JavaScript development (whether frontend or backend), this is well worth watching. Some topics she covers:

  • using the console’s capabilities beyond console.log

  • approaches for proxying services when dealing with something that’s out of your control

  • Usage of VS Code (this was really really good) regarding:

    • frontend debugging
    • Node.js debugging

Media Pick (GTD Podcast)

I have found that Getting Things Done is a pretty good approach to task/project management both at home and at work.

The most recent episode of GTD Podcasts was a good one. In this episode David Allen covers the power of outcome thinking and the brain mechanism (reticular formation) in getting you from your present circumstance to the successful completion of a project (whatever it may be).


Thoughts? Feedback? Let me know: @eli4d on Twitter