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11 Ways to Make Unpleasant Work Easier

Question from a reader -

One thing that I'm wondering, and figured that I should send before I go to sleep and forget it... For certain kinds of tasks (having discussions about more abstract goal things, writing emails to friends, commenting on LW, etc.) I'm really motivated, and need to be restrained from doing them.

With other tasks, I'm nowhere near as motivated, and have trouble starting them. Since I'm still a student, not doing this kind of work just isn't an option.

In the long term, I'm hoping to just do more of the things I'm motivated for, and fewer of the ones I'm not. I'm willing to buckle down and do work in subjects that I'm less motivated for if I see how it clearly relates to my goals (last year I spent a few hours trying to work out the geometry kinks for a robot part -- it was a mess).

Right now, I'm just reminding myself that its really not hard once I start it, and that it goes quickly if I just do it.

What Type of Credit Card?

On DROdio

Two things strike me about the "what type of credit card" (followed by the inevitable dropdown Visa / MC / Amex / Discover) question we always get on website checkouts:

1) The law of unintended consequences

2) Developers sometimes are lemmings

The reality is, the question"what type of credit card" happened because one programmer somewhere put that into his shopping cart code, and someone copied his code/layout, and then someone copied this code, and before you know it, everyone's asking that question. Hence, the law of unintended consequences.

The irony is, this question is irrelevant! Here's what most people don't know: If a credit card starts with the digit "3" then it's always Amex. If it starts with "4" it's always Visa. "5" is always MasterCard and "6" is always Discover. So if programmers just put a little extra effort into their shopping cart code, they could easily discern what type of card it is. For example, a card that starts with "3715" will be Amex, "4024" will be Visa, etc.

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