It’s What You CAN Do That Counts

Yesterday, Arthel “Doc” Watson died at 89. That he was one of the giants of Bluegrass and Country music is not really the point of this post. The point is that he was that, having been blind from the age of 2 following an infection.

His father gave him a mouth organ when he was a child, and then a home-made banjo (using the skin of the deceased family cat). Lastly, there was a guitar on which he developed a distinctive “flatpicking” style which was to be hugely influential to both folk and pop musicians.

So should the man be judged on the fact that he could not paint a landscape? Or on his musicianship?

Be aware of your weaknesses certainly, and take steps to limit them. That applies to firms as well as individuals. But be very aware of your strengths, develop them and use them. You will be much more effective.

Telegraph obituary here, Alex Massie here (including videos), and further video here (By the Banks of the Ohio).

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What Happens When You Are Hacked

James Fallows in The Atlantic on his wife’s Gmail account being hacked.

“The more serious sign of the potential scale of our problems came later in the day. Google offers a variety of automated ways for users to regain control of Gmail and other accounts they think have been hacked. The automated routines, plus an online forum moderated by Google employees, are the only help Google offers. With hundreds of millions of active Gmail accounts to manage—that’s as specific as Google will be about its user base—operating in 54 languages worldwide, the relative handful of human beings on Gmail’s support staff could not even pretend to offer live one-on-one service. The same is true of Yahoo…..”

Slightly long, but repays reading for its comments on the vulnerabilities of “The Cloud” and its tips on password security.

Find it here.

H/T Alex Massie