Best Practice: Use Long-Format Flags in Shell Scripts

When working on the command line, it’s perfectly fine to use short-format flags. For example:

$ ls -al

This is memorable, easy to type, and helps you focus on accomplishing the task at hand.

However, when writing shell scripts that will be used over and over, it’s tempting to write in the same, comfortable short-flag style. However, compare the following:

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Dear Remote Workers: Stand Together Against Location-Based Pay

Workers should be paid based on the value they provide to their companies and its customers, not their home address.

Dear Remote Workers:

Your value as a worker is independent of where you live. If you provide $50k/year worth of value to your employer, all else being equal, that value should neither rise nor fall based on where you live.

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Make Yesterday Today’s Friend

Lay out your workout clothes the night before.

Clean the coffee maker while doing the dinner dishes so that it’s ready to brew first thing the following morning.

Set up automatic monthly transfers, no matter how small, from your checking account to your savings account.

In short, do the things you’re going to end up having to do anyway as far back “in the past” as possible.

As you time travel into the future, you probably won’t even recall that little bit of extra effort you put in yesterday, but, come today, you’ll bask in the little productivity boost you gave yourself.

Hacking Friction To Boost Your Productivity

TL;DR: Where possible, turn the friction in your life into a willpower booster rather than a willpower drain.

Friction. It’s not just two physical objects resisting each other as they interact. It’s also a psychological phenomenon that feels a lot like this:

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Why #AllLivesMatter is Bad and #BlackLivesMatter is Important

Imagine tweeting #JewishLivesMatter in the middle of the holocaust in WWII, only to see people responding with #AllLivesMatter.

The #AllLivesMatter hashtag is tone deaf and completely misses the point of #BlackLivesMatter: To draw attention to the plight of a group currently enduring suffering and institutionalized injustice.

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Voice Assistant Or High-Tech Game of Telephone?

You tell me…


Me: “Hey Siri! How much money is one million pennies?”

Siri: …

Siri: “Here’s what I found on the web for ‘How much money is one million pennies’”

Me: 😒


I mean yeah I probably should have been able to do this in my head…but so should Siri!

SSH Is Wonderful!

Can we just take a moment to talk about how awesome SSH is! I’m out in my garage where the wifi reception is horrible and coding on my dev server via SSH. Even at ~120kbps down and ~50kbps up, I’m still able to use vim and screen productively. This is incredible to me!

Having grown up with 28kbps dial-up internet at home, it’s just amazing to me when I see technology in 2020 that still works flawlessly under dial-up-like connection speeds.