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This Is For Everyone - Issue #3

In this issue: “My car is allergic to vanilla ice cream” and other tech support stories.A gentle requ
February 14 · Issue #3 · View online
This Is For Everyone
In this issue:
  • “My car is allergic to vanilla ice cream” and other tech support stories.
  • A gentle request: Teach the world to write good bug reports.
  • An unforgivably soppy love story I listened to three times and now cannot help but share with you being, as it is, I Have Grown to Tolerate Your Many Varied Faults And Understand They Are Now Stuck There Forever And I Have No Hope Of Ever Changing You day.
  • SpaceX makes rockets go up and back down again.

Mad and brilliant bug reports from Crazyland
I’ve been happily entrenched in a busy support department for the last few years. I’ve learned a lot about myself and a great deal about working with other people, like how it’s often best not to whenever you can.
Oh, but I jest! Other people are generally great — it’s just that technical folks are prone to treating those who need help with derision. This is a mistake; when someone comes to you with a problem, it’s a sign that your product could be smarter, your documentation could be better, or that they’re just lonely and need to talk and your email address happens to be the only one in their address book that starts support@…. and maybe you get to be the one to save a person’s life today.
To capture some of the things support work has taught me, this month I wrote about the experience of giving and requesting support in two posts, with a scattering of tips on how to get better at both:
Teach the world to write great bug reports
How to answer a support request
Then, for fun, I published a compilation of the weirdest bug reports I’ve collected over the years (the vanilla ice cream one is my favourite):
“This cookie is frowning” and other bug reports
A love story for people who hate love stories
John Perry Barlow died last week.
John Perry Barlow, Internet Pioneer, 1947-2018 | Electronic Frontier Foundation
If you’ve never heard of John, check out his era-defining A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace and his 25 Principles of Adult Behaviour.
And then grab some headphones, find a dark room, close your eyes, breathe deeply, listen to this, and then hug another creature that means something to you, or just message someone anonymously to say they make a difference:
When Worlds Collide - This American Life
It feels like a pass-me-the-bucket story at first, but keep listening. I find it hard to stomach love-at-first-sight stories too. But this interview with Ira Glass about how John met his partner is so warm and tender and surprising and ultimately something wise and wonderful about what it means to find a connection with other people that I’ve listened to it three times. If you prefer, you can read the transcript here.
SpaceX makes rockets go up and then down again
I watched the Falcon Heavy test launch live on the web and am still processing it. Partly it was the magic of this moment and feeling like I was watching aliens invade:
But also it was the sound of the things, captured in this video:
FALCON HEAVY LANDING 02/06/2018 - YouTube
What a noise!
What a world…
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