Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book review

Check out my review of Oops! in the current issue of Perdido Magazine. Subtitled "13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money," Aubrey Daniels's book is a contrarian take on widespread strategies that don't work -- including downsizing, discussed at some length in a recent Newsweek cover story. The book's kind of clunky in its writing, but definitely worth a look.

Good words

Teaching depends on what other people think, not what you think. - Deborah Loewenberg Ball, in an excellent article on the elements of good teaching.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

All I have to do is dream...

From Jonah Lehrer's recent essay in the New York Times:

In a 2004 paper published in Nature, Jan Born, a neuroscientist at the University of L├╝beck, described the following experiment: a group of students was given a tedious task that involved transforming a long list of number strings into a new set of number strings. This required the subjects to apply a painstaking set of algorithms. However, Born had designed the task so that there was an elegant shortcut, which could only be uncovered if the subjects saw the subtle links between the different number sets. When left to their own devices, less than 25 percent of people found the shortcut, even when given several hours to mull over the task. However, when Born allowed people to sleep between experimental trials, they suddenly became much more clever: 59 percent of all participants were able to find the shortcut. Born argues that deep sleep and dreaming "set the stage for the emergence of insight" by allowing us to mentally represent old ideas in new ways.
photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Monday, March 8, 2010

Good words

Integrity is the essence of everything successful. - R. Buckminster Fuller

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good words

The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your consciousness whether you like it or not, the ones that make your mind start vibrating like a jackhammer, the ones that you "come to terms with" only to discover that they are still there. The real questions refuse to be placated. They barge into your life at the times when it seems most important for them to stay away. They are the questions asked most frequently and answered most inadequately, the ones that reveal their true natures slowly, reluctantly, most often against your will. - Ingrid Bengis