Did you get the LinkedIn spam about Strikingly?

I have received three exact emails from LinkedIn contacts about Strikingly in the last 24 hours. The message says this exactly with each message:

Hi,

I think you’ll like this useful tool I just found. It’s called Strikingly – it generates a beautiful personal website for you using your LinkedIn information. It takes only 5 seconds, and is free. I just got mine, and it’s super cool: http://linkedinname.strikingly.com/

If you have a min, you should definitely try it: http://in.strk.ly?uc=kvXHNTvdtVd

Let me know how you like it.

It is one thing to send a personal message to me based on something that I might enjoy, but these emails always are sent to a larger number of other users who are usually Lions (big LinkedIn net workers) themselves. It seems clear that this is a form message that is being sent by Strikingly. The first time I received this message I clicked on the subject and looked at the result webpage. It was ok. Nothing fantastic or couldn’t be done better with a little effort. In fact it would be perceived as a negative by an employer since the individual didn’t have to work to understand anything, just click on something to create it.

So in the past I have not marked things as spam because I didn’t want to hurt people who might be new to LinkedIn or not understand its social rules. I think that when it clearly is advertising and self-promotion that it crosses the line from being a resource to being a nuisance. What do you think?

The purpose of writing according to Calvin

The purpose of writing according to Calvin

Source: cgu.edu – StumbleUpon

I have often felt frustrated when reading that books were not clearer and more useful. It makes sense that the goal of a book is just to sell copies, but it seems a short-sighted goal. The most meaningful books have transformed my life because of the different perspective or thoughts it gave me.

It also is perhaps a bit unjustified that academic writing is so dense and often useless. It requires some background to understand science, studies and so on so it is not just the candy of reading that popular culture is used to. However too much light reading is repulsive, as most webpages are. Sometimes you want to think about something more complex or detailed and some academic writing is perfect for this.

I liked philosophy when I was younger because it was a fun intellectual game to argue for a position. However the older I get, the less impressed I am with philosophy. Not because it has no value, no, many things have value, but because it seems more important to improve the world than just to debate about it. I don’t like the idea that we have to avoid falsehoods more than embrace the obvious truths. It is intellectually dishonest to say that because we don’t understand a thing fully, we can’t use it. I believe in using things to help the most numbers of people, and let those esoteric details get ironed out by smarter people than me.