Current Affairs

COVID-19: Is NJ Doubling Rate Really Getting Better?

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has been touting the rate of doubling increasing in every county in NJ. This is a good thing to see, but the data is still so garbage that there is no way to tell if it is real.

The problem is that while the number of positive cases has increased our number of tests have remained stagnant.

Look, the math is simple.

If you do 100 tests today and 40 come back positive you have 40 cases. If you do another 100 tomorrow and another 40 come back positive then you have a 100% increase. Oh no! We have a doubling rate of 1 day!

But the good news is that in two days well do another 100 tests of which 40 will come back positive, but our rate of doubling will now have dropped to only 50% and a doubling rate of 2 days.

Wait until you see what happens on the 4th day! 🙄

If you look at the state totals for the past several days you’ll see that regardless of how many tests we run we are always about 40 to 50 percent positive. Without further explanation for why we have such varying numbers of total tests across the state (are they shifting resources, is it different demands) and without knowing if the tests are being processed sequentially I’m left to assume that we are under testing. Significantly.

Please let me know if you think I’ve missed some news that would help fill in these gaps. I would love to believe that our doubling rate really is lowering, but I’m just not convinced by the available data.

Personal Growth

Creating Good Content

Marketing requires content.

This may seem obvious, but until I was trying to learn how to market it didn’t seem like a big deal. But it turns out, my crummy words alone are not enough to get people to take action.

So how do you create good content for marketing?

It seems it’s better to just focus on creating good content. Once people respond to the content then you can start to market. So then the real question is how do you create good content?

  1. Observe what is happening around the world (micro and macro)
  2. Create content that ties in your observations
  3. Have fun creating and sharing the content

Again, perhaps all very obvious points, but until I began it wasn’t obvious to me. The last point is especially important because even if your content flops at least you’ll be happy to shared it. It’s good to keep this in mind when creating new content.

Personal Growth

Thoughts On First Day Of Shirt Marketing

So my first day of marketing my shirt is coming to a close.

What a time!

Everything is new in life again!

It’s so odd to sit and literally not know and have little to no direction on what to do, but it is fun.

So far I’ve found myself most comfortable with reaching out to people on social media and just telling them about what I’m doing. I think this is because it mimics what I’m most comfortable with doing in person.

I wouldn’t know where to begin if I were to talk about content marketing or ad buys, but talking about what I’m doing: đź‘Ť

Still no sales though, so I’m going to keep doing some social media outreach tomorrow and then I’ll begin to work through a content strategy.

Looking forward to learning how to make content! (Please send suggestions)

Personal Growth

I’ve Created a Social Distancing T-Shirt

So given the current events I have some extra time on my hands. I was brainstorming for new things to do with my time. Honestly, the first thing I did was order juggling balls, but the delivery is delayed until the end of April.

I then thought, how can I do something that will help me grow and help to support myself and others who are having difficulty right now?

I decided to create a t-shirt. I thought back to my childhood and things that made me laugh that could be relevant, and this is what I recalled:

Scene From Arrested Development

And thus, the NO TOUCHING Tee was born!

NO TOUCHING! Tee – Arrested Development inspired social distancing t-shirt

$5 of every shirt is going to be donated to Feeding America. I think everyone should buy one (go do it now!), but if you don’t care for the shirt then consider donating directly to Feeding America.

For those of you wondering “how is this about growth”? The answer is that I’m learning to market.

It’s exciting for me as it’s so incredibly different from working in technology. I’m a complete novice at this and so even the act of learning how to learn it seems to be hard.

So far I’ve decided to launch it on Product Hunt. I think it is allowed to be posted there, but I’ll find out for certain after it goes live.

Over the next few days I’ll be figuring out how to make more content to market this shirt. Hopefully I’m able to get stuff together without spending a fortune.

Personal Growth

Routine Is Important

I don’t think I’m saying anything shocking to anyone, but I do wonder what makes it so important?

When thinking of why I realize it’s really because routine creates habit and habit has knock-on effects:

  1. You automatically set aside time (similar to how you always have time for breakfast…because you have a habit of doing it)
  2. A lot of little things become more “natural”, because you’re so used to doing it. This allows you to improve because you can now focus on the micro of the task instead of the macro.

Ultimately a routine is important because of the habits it forms and the habits are important because it allows you to grow. New routines are hard because they force you to reallocate a chunk of your time to do something that is not yet “natural”.

I am to form a few new routines:

  1. Writing this blog 5 days a week
  2. Spending 1-2 hours a day learning a new skill (surfing, AI, Blockchain, Business)

It will be difficult to do this consistently, but I’m confident the longer I do it the more “natural” it will become. I’ll keep doing it for as long as it’s fun and hopefully it will pay off some day in the future.

Personal Growth

How Do You Balance Growth?

Growing up I had one real hobby and it was programming. I was lucky that when I became an adult it was suddenly a skill that was in really high demand.

Through no planning or intentions of my own I landed a really solid career because of the years I spent learning to program.

It’s literally the luckiest thing that can happen to you (trust me). However, since having that luck I’ve struggled to continue to grow.

I think because I never planned or set any intentions to attain that high demand skill I’ve had difficulty dedicating the time to continue to improve. Everything I did was risk free because I did it as a child.

But now that I’m an adult I have to weigh how much time I spend on hobbies, on learning, on hanging, and especially on my income. This is the part that is so foreign for me.

How do I balance this?

Current Affairs

Trump 2020: Reasons For / Against

I think the case for Trump 2020 is the exact same case against Trump 2020: He is a terrible leader.

Those for him think that the executive branch has too much power and our daily lives are too dependent on one person elected by the masses being on point.

Those against him think he’s a terrible leader that will cause the collapse of the US as we know it and unnecessarily put peoples lives in danger moving us and the world back decades.

There are also those who are just strict Ds or Rs or single/few issue voters. They either don’t think he’s a bad leader or don’t care. But in a world where the vote is almost always 50/50 it’s more important to focus on the independent/swing voter mentality.

Current Affairs

Scarves Vs. Masks

The President has mentioned a few times that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to cover your face with a scarf. I also think I recall watching him say that it may be better than a mask because they’re thicker.

Which got me wonder: Would a scarf be better than a mask? We don’t have any official scientific guidelines on this, so we’re really left to our own deductive reasoning to figure it out.

After a few minutes of thought I decided the answer must be ‘no’. But why is the answer ‘no’? Because in order for it to be ‘yes’ one of two things would have to be true:

  1. Doctors are choosing to wear scarves instead of masks
  2. There is a bigger shortage of scarves than masks

Now, all that being said, I do still believe a scarf is better than nothing. If you don’t have a mask you should really cover your face with anything you can.


WordPress You Fancy

I started using WordPress again this week for the first time in years. Color me impressed.

I had spent years doing WordPress development and I’d occasionally write my own posts. Last time I used it everything felt antiquated.

But this editor. WOW. It’s so nice that I couldn’t even imagine wanting to use another CMS.

It’s likely that developing for it still has a lot of the same difficulties, but this is true of any old codebase. If the post editor is any indication of how the code is changing then I have to imagine it’s improving.

Further, unlike previous times where I had to fiddle w/ a janky host or try to remember how to configure my server this time I just used Laravel Forge which has a one click WordPress install.

Easy peasy


Travel Will Never Be The Same

I thought about naming this “Travel Won’t Come Back”, but before starting to write it I decided that was too grandiose and I have no way of knowing that. But I do feel comfortable saying it will never be the same.

Why? I don’t think people realize how easy it’s been to travel over the past 20 years. You’ve been welcome almost everywhere because there was a lot of trust and a lot of help being offered. I don’t think this is the case any more.

The trust has eroded on two fronts.

The first is that most diseases were either wide spread around the world where many people were immune or it was visibly clear the person was sick. Then we welcomed COVID-19 where no one (and soon to be not many) is immune and people spread it without even knowing they have it. I also believe in many parts of the world this will be worse than most people think – to the point of everyone knowing someone directly or indirectly who died of the virus. It’s only logical, in a Spock kinda way, that local communities, especially in more corrupt and less educated areas, will be fearful of welcoming foreigners into their towns. 

Additionally, if you are traveling you’ll be more cautious of people you meet along the way. Where have they been? What could you unintentionally bring back to grandma in n days? This makes the entire experience less fun.

The second reason trust has been eroded is because of the lack of help between countries during COVID-19. What happened to the great helpfulness and cooperation of the EU? I don’t recall seeing anything about Germany sending ventilators to Italy or France setting up field hospitals. IDK, perhaps I missed it, but as globalization slowly shifts back to localization the uncooperativeness of the EU is another nail in the coffin.

Both localization and globalization have their advantages, the later of which includes easy travel. I think whether people realize it or not people are happier to receive you in a globalized world because there is a feeling of togetherness.

I couldn’t tell you how long this will last, but I wouldn’t expect travel in September 2020 to be similar to travel in September 2019.