January 2012

Alone together

“Users of social networking services are 30% less likely to know their neighbors.” – PEW Internet survey

On knowing

When I was a senior in high school, a teacher asked me to join the impromtou speaking team. In this competitive speech event, you received a question from a predefined category–for the category “transportation”, it might be something like “Should seatbelts be mandatory?”–and had just 6 minutes to prepare and deliver a speech on it. […]

Swapping manufacturing jobs for design ones?

U.S. manufacturing is rapidly going away, exemplified by this story about Apple which shows the power of scale and cultural advantages in China and other Asian countries. Thus ends a century of American innovation in manufacturing, starting in the days of Henry Ford and the assembly line and reaching its zenith in and after WWII. […]

Driving Mr. Giant

Today I learned: Samuel Beckett (Nobel Prize-winning modernist playwright, Waiting for Godot), used to drive Andre the Giant to school, because the future wrestler was already too big to fit on the school bus.

Winning the internet

John Kilduff (previously mentioned) just keeps pushing the human race forward; this time blending margaritas and painting at the same time…while cycling through a park). And crashing sometimes. “We ran out of ice, we ran out of everything…but we didn’t run out of passion!”

Wisdom and experience

“Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.” – Mulla Nasrudin, via Jared Spool

Cutting into the present

“When you cut into the present the future leaks out.” – William Burroughs, on the “cut-up” technique of randomizing his writing.

10 minutes of gratitude

I think watching this would be a pretty good way to start each day; filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg explores gratitude, mindfulness, and the beauty of the world we live in and people we live with: Could also be seen as the sentimental counterpart to Louis CK’s celebration of the modern world.

Building sinew into language

There are innumerable examples of this, but my favorite is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Before this novel’s rise to prominence, any discussion of intrusive surveillance was singularly bloodless… But a science fiction writer, Orwell, has given us a marvelous and versatile vocabulary word for discussing this: now we can say, ‘‘Your surveillance idea is a […]

Learning and survival

People in organizations don’t change until their fear of survival exceeds their fear of learning – Organizational theorist Edgar Schein, via Katherine Fulton