Searching the Haight for Signs of Life

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Hat Puzzle

Here's a great puzzle a friend of mine challenged me with. Post a solution to the comments before I post tomorrow! You can find another version of this puzzle at:

Say there are 10 prisoners who will all be lined up facing forward by the prison warden.

They will each be given a black or white hat to wear... something like BWBWBBBWWW.

Since they are all facing forward, all they can see is the prisoners in front of them.

The game is this: Starting at the back of the line, each prisoner must say "black" or "white" and that is all. If a prisoner is correct about their own hat color, then they live. If not, the warden shoots them.

Before this begins, all he prisoners may get together and discuss a strategy, but the warden is listening in.

How many prisoners can be saved?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Impeach George Bush

I guess I just want to add my voice to the clarion call for George Bush's impeachment. It strikes me that five of the top articles on are about impeachment calls being fostered in Vermont.

This follows news that a US Court has convicted Scooter Libby for lying and obstructing justice. Their is no doubt this is an indictment of the Bush Administration as well. Scooter's head isn't enough for me... I want more. Are we finally ready to stand up and end this war, this nightmare, this darkest time in American history?

Rather than give my own argument for impeachment, I quote and embrace the Middlebury Resolution:

We the people have the power -- and the responsibility -- to remove executives who transgress not just the law, but the rule of law.

The oaths that the President and Vice President take binds them to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." The failure to do so forms a sound basis for articles of impeachment.

The President and Vice President have failed to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution" in the following ways:

1. They have manipulated intelligence and misled the country to justify an immoral, unjust, and unnecessary preemptive war in Iraq.

2. They have directed the government to engage in domestic spying without warrants, in direct contravention of U.S. law.

3. They have conspired to commit the torture of prisoners, in violation of the Federal Torture Act and the Geneva Convention.

4. They have ordered the indefinite detention without legal counsel, without charges and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention -- all in violation of U.S. law and the Bill of Rights.

When strong evidence exists of the most serious crimes, we must use impeachment -- or lose the ability of the legislative branch to compel the executive branch to obey the law.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pictures of California

I put up some Picasa albums of random stuff.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Truth about Valuable Employees

Have you ever noticed that all the A-players at any organization tend to be doing different things, in different ways? These people have shared character traits, but what they do in their job could be anything.

Some top developers write more code, others design more algorithms, others lead and organize teams. In marketing, some people specialize in writing, others do art, others do quantitative studies, others do primary research, etc. They do different mixes of these things.

So who are the A-players? It's simple:

1) A-players are smart people. The best organizations will make this a pillar of their hiring.

2) A-players are interested people. A top source of value in any employee is how much they purely think about the company. When it comes time for a person to act on the company's behalf, they will make far better decisions if they are interested in their company, work, and industry.

3) A-players are active people. Hire employees who do lots of work, who have families and pets, and who pursue lots of interests and passions. And then enthuse them to take some of that energy and spend it on your business.

I think the culture at my company SureLogic embraces these ideas, Google too.