Observations, ramblings and musings by Marnix van de Veen.

Latest posts

New, but why?

N

Picture of a coffee mug saying "begin"If you are a/the regular visitor to this site, you’ll notice a new design, and might wonder why that is. Maybe you even think the previous one looked better. There is a single technical reason for the change, but it comes with quite a long story. Once upon a time, in 2001, I bought the domain rnix.nl, mostly to get my e-mail address (m at rnix dot nl). And then you get the possibility to host a site as well. So it began. I think I started at Blogger, followed by self-hosted WordPress, SquareSpace and now self-hosted WordPress again.

Why?

When I moved to SquareSpace, it was to get rid of the constant updating of the site. Every time I logged in to my WordPress site I had to update. SquareSpace offered great themes and hassle-free websites for a reasonable ~ €100 a year. However, over the years, SquareSpace has become more of a site for e-commerce sites than personal blogs, making it harder to bang out a quick post. That meant I was posting less and less. So here we go, trying the WordPress thing again. Have a tip for a better cms? Let me know!

The Corporate Story – The GPS for communications strategy

T

I wrote a blog about the corporate story for effectgroep (in Dutch). In short, the corporate story tells the story of your company, without the boring mission, vision and who remembers the third. It’s a story that touches people and is the base for all your communication. By solidifying your identity, you get the employees and customers you deserve.

Door het verhaal vast te leggen, zorg je ervoor dat iedereen hetzelfde vertelt. Sterker nog, een corporate story is een self-fulfilling prophecy. Een bedrijf dat consequent hetzelfde verhaal vertelt en leeft, krijgt vanzelf de klanten, partners en medewerkers die daarbij passen.

Want to know why you need one and how effectgroep produces a corporate story? Head over to effectgroep.nl.

∞ Jason Abaluck: “Wear a mask. It’s worth $300 to $6.000 to society.”

Jason Abaluck just posted a report from Yale University on Twitter:

The conclusion: wear a mask when you go outside, also if you don’t have symptoms. Use a cloth mask, because it will:
– Stop 50% of the virus from going out
– Surgical masks are needed by professionals.

Jason states:

We have two principal recommendations: 1) everyone should immediately begin wearing cloth masks in public, 2) The govt. should immediately use all available means to increase the supply of medical masks, especially by heavily rewarding producers.

And:

The basis for our recommendation is simple: anything that combats the spread of the virus is absurdly valuable due to the resulting reduction in mortality risk (not to mention accelerating resumption of normal economic activity).

View source

∞ Voor de thuisblijvers

A nice hit to enter the weekend (Dutch)…

Which is of course a straight ripoff from the Supermen Lovers’ classic ‘Starlight’.

Double the fun!

Sources

S

As an information addict, you want to have control over your own news. On the other hand, you want to be surprised. So it’s important to have a ‘healthy’ media diet, with predictable sources and curators who surprise you. My solution? RSS, with a lot of content collectors among my subscriptions. Below are my favorite sources. If you read all of them, you’ll find most of what I link to yourself! The list may be updated…

Tech news/Apple

Daring Fireball: John Gruber has been dishing out intelligent commentary on tech as a whole and Apple in particular since the beginning of the millennium.
MacStories: iOS, Mac and shortcuts from the master.
Six Colors: Jason Snell is a journalist turned indie blogger.
Stratechery: Insightful, theoretical observations on the big players in tech and beyond.
The Verge: High-quality tech reporting.
The Wirecutter: Like the Consumentenbond, except I usually agree with their conclusions.
Tweakers: Best (only?) Dutch tech site. Great forum as well.

General news/background

De Correspondent: Beyond the daily news (Dutch, paywall).
The Correspondent: See above (English, paywall).
DUIC: De Utrechtse Internet Courant: The online Utrecht newspaper (Dutch).

Inspiration

Colossal: Art, inspiration, beauty. Often surprising.
FiveThirtyEight » Features | FiveThirtyEight: Data, visualizations, predictions.
FlowingData: All about the visualization of data: creative communication.
Kottke.org: Always a surprising source of inspiration.
Learning By Shipping: Steven Sinofsky’s Tweetstorms end up here.
Seth’s Blog: The demi-god of marketing (Seth Godin) has been blogging daily for a loooong time.

Fun

Fokke & Sukke: These two birds have been going at it for decades.
xkcd.com: I just love how Randall Munroe’s mind works.
De Speld: Dutch satire to trigger the mind. Does get repetitive.

Other

Agile Blog: If there’s news about 1Password, I need to know.
ATP World Tour: Did you know you can get all the news about men’s professional tennis?
DuurzaamBedrijfsleven: Sustainability news in Dutch.
Without bullshit: On better non-fiction writing.
Digging the Digital: The ramblings of Frank Meeuwsen.
BrettTerpstra.com: Scripts, software, ADHD.

Anything I’m missing? Let me know!

∞ The Hammer and the Dance

Tomas Pueyo does not agree with the Dutch approach to the Corona outbreak. He argues we should adopt a strategy called ‘The Hammer and the Dance’, where we crack down harder for a few weeks to relieve the medical sector (The Hammer) and then manage the measures to keep the spread just below R0=1 (The Dance). Sounds like a plan, although we don’t know the rate of spreading at the moment. The chart below shows how that could look.

The article is fascinating to read. This part about the steps politicians have to take is insightful as well.

During the Hammer period, they want to go as low as possible while still remaining tolerable. In Hubei, they went all the way to 0.32. We might not need that: maybe just to 0.5 or 0.6. But during the Dance of the R period, they want to hover as close to 1 as possible, while staying below it over the long term. What this means is that, whether leaders realize it or not, what they’re doing is:

  • List all the measures they can take to reduce R
  • Get a sense of the benefit of applying them: the reduction in R
  • Get a sense of their cost: the economic and social cost.
  • Stack-rank the initiatives based on their cost-benefit
  • Pick the ones that give the biggest R reduction up till 1, for the lowest cost.

Go read the whole post.

∞ Via Kottke.org

A headshot of Marnix

Socials

All posts