Monday Morning Meeting: Issue #3

Links randomly selected from the stuff I saw the previous week in this, the first ever Afternoon Edition of Monday Morning Meeting: the emotions of being a sports fan, a defence of the written signature, and ... browser tabs! Some links are from longer than a week ago.

As Cubs Wander Into the Bronx, They’ve Never Been Worse

Cheering for a sports team no longer expected to make the playoffs in any given year leads one to search for joy in individual moments. That’s especially true when the team’s management makes bold offseason moves and the Las Vegas betting community gives the team the best odds to win the sport’s championship but ends up mathematically eliminated the second month into the regular season. ‘This is what it must feel like to be a Cubs fan.’ That's sometimes how I feel when the team I cheer for—not the Cubs—fails yet again to make the postseason.

”[T]he Cubs’ problems are mundanely human rather than supernatural. For the most part, bad teams have been preserved with a bad farm system carefully neglected by bad management. On occasion, terrific players nevertheless find their way into the lineup, requiring elimination with bad trades.” Cubs fans are being told to be patient as their minor league system will deliver strong teams in the next few years. A couple of years ago, Jim Baker looked at the win-loss record of teams nearest to winning the same amount of games as they had lost over the course of their existence (if only he elaborated on the intriguing title “Playing The Long Con”). Why follow sports to begin with, much less ride the waves of emotion that comes with aligning oneself with what is essentially a corporate logo? Tim Urban and Andrew Finn came up with the reasons sports fans are sports fans, which I summarized as “Sports is emotions.”

Is a signature still useful?

A defence of the written signature in the age of more secure alternatives. Since my late teens and into my twenties, I never liked my signature, though now well into my thirties, it has finally gained a glimmer of elegance (with noticable resemblances to my father’s). It has always felt cool to sign for things, like delivered packages as well as authenticating a credit card purchase. It doesn’t feel cool to take care of the bill at a restaurant and be presented with a machine to punch in secret digits. I would value the combination of PIN and placebo signature: if I have to authenticate using a credit card’s secret code, at least in a classy joint, even though it’s a waste of valuable seconds, grant me the dignity that comes with signing the receipt.

Meet The Man Who Invented The Browser Tab

The comments of the article list at least two browsers that featured a tabbed interface, so a more accurate title might be “Introducing the Man From Whom Mozilla Borrowed the Idea of Tabbed Browsing.” Tabbed browsing is so much the norm that the default browser for Mac OS X no longer lets you disable them. (When Apple introduced tabs to Safari, one had to turn the feature on to use them.) My own “contribution” to the phenomenon is the @BrowserTabs Twitter account. As an exercise in self-talk around browser tab proliferation, I offer periodic gentle reminders to spend some time closing out browser tabs, with an occasional nudge to tidy your workspace or take a stretch break.