Saturday, March 30, 2024

This Was Not Accidental

 The White House Proclamation of March 31, 2024 as the Transgender Day of Visibility.

Agua Donkeys


Confession Is Good for the Soul

 I recall that the American car companies went through various stages of denial before admitting that they had a lot to learn from the Total Quality Management programs of the Japanese car companies.

That was the beginning of a big come-back in the American automobile industry.

Are American journalists beginning to acknowledge the low quality of their product?

Jargon Enclaves

 Spend time in these fields and see how often jargon emerges:

  • Law
  • Information Technology
  • Economics
  • Military
  • Literature
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Accounting
Just to name a few. 

That's why when you find someone who can translate the professional mumbo-jumbo into plain language, you are inclined to smile.

Become a translator. The failure to describe something in plain language should sound an alarm bell.

First Paragraph

 I've always found race boring. Sure, it can be good source material for jokes at a comedy club. But in most real-life situations, a person's race tells you next to nothing about them. It doesn't tell whether they're kind or selfish, whether their opinions are right or wrong, whether they'll become your best friend or your worst enemy. Of all the qualities you could list about somebody - their personality, beliefs, sense of humor, and so forth - their race is just about the least interesting you could name.

- From The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America by Coleman Hughes

Friday, March 29, 2024



Generalizations and Examples

 I'm revising and simplifying a leadership class. The old version is packed with practical material and that's a problem because you need to give class members the chance to ponder, digest, and remember.

Generalizations are used to present key concepts.

Examples are used to show how those concepts operate in real life.

Both groups need balance. 

Too many generalizations produce fog. 

Too many examples and people get lost in the nitty-gritty.

I have enough material for a large feast, but I need to reduce it to a simple meal.

As You Munch Your Breakfast


First Paragraph

 'Of course they must let you wear your Spanish Civil War medals,' pronounced my uncle in the brisk, cheerful tones that generations of Indian Army subalterns had learnt not to contradict.

- From No Colours or Crest by Peter Kemp

Thursday, March 28, 2024


 Africa Brooke: "Why I'm Leaving the Cult of Wokeness."



Impatience and Foreign Policy

 Impatience was one of the common characteristics of the German, Italian, and Japanese leaders prior to their involvement in World War II.

It contributed to their defeat.

Today, Russia's leader is certainly more impatient than his counterpart in China, and yet he appears to have more patience than the aggressors in the Thirties and Forties.

There are reasons why a more restrained approach is wise. 

Why interrupt the Western nations when they are busily creating disasters of their own?



First Paragraph

 It is hard now to recall the atmosphere of 1936. When I came down from Cambridge in June of that year the pattern of European politics was confused and obscure. The foundations of peace seemed in danger of collapse, but as yet few were convinced that another World War was inevitable, or could foresee the alignment of the Powers if it should happen. The bewilderment of the peoples of Europe was reflected in the mistakes and hesitations of their rulers.

- From Mine Were of Trouble by Peter Kemp

The Enablers

 City Journal: If New York's leaders want to find the cause of crime, they should look in the mirror.

Throw Away Day

 May at least one day a month be designated as "Throw Away Day."

That can pertain to electronic as well as paper files. 

The day can also include "Preserve This!"

I just found some taped interviews that are truly irreplaceable.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

From Political Operative to Media Analyst

 Politico: Jeff Greenfield gives his take. An excerpt:

Like much of the Fox News audience, MSNBC’s followers hear every night an affirmation of their views. Years ago, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer told me she went home each night and watched MSNBC. Why, I asked, after endless hours in the Senate, do you do that? “Because,” she said, “it’s like sinking into a nice warm bath.” It’s not clear she or her fellow viewers would welcome an ice-cold splash of pro-Trump perspectives.

[HT: Althouse]


To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.

- Mother Teresa 

Impostor Syndrome

 Tablet magazine: Walter Russell Mead on the "Twilight of the Wonks."

How Did I Miss This?


A Missing Perspective

 When you become the manager, people stop telling you things - especially about your own performance.

- David Maister

Old School, Good School

 The Free Press: "Inside the New Wave of Old School Education."

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Street Addiction Crisis


Steeped in Fragility

 City Journal: A review of Jonathan Haidt's "The Anxious Generation."



Childhood Back Then

 Remembering my early childhood:

  • We rarely watched television. Our family was the last one on the block to get a TV. It was, of course, black and white and the TV stations stopped broadcasting at midnight.
  • Most people had "party" and not private telephone lines. Everyone was listed in the phone book.
  • Few houses had fences, but some had oleander hedges. There were plenty of irrigation ditches.
  • Kids played all over the neighborhood. A popular game was "kick the can." Those games would last until darkness made play impossible.
  • We read a lot. Even in the summertime, we could check books out of the school library.
  • There was a morning and an evening newspaper. Most people subscribed to one or the other. It seemed like everyone subscribed to LIFE magazine, Reader's Digest, and The Saturday Evening Post. The Book of the Month Club was also popular.
  • My parents were not poor, but money was tight. Buying clothes at rummage sales was common. So were "hand me downs." My older brother got old shirts from a cousin. Those were handed down to me and then to my younger brother.
  • My father worked at the power company. He started as a laborer and worked up to middle management. He would often interrupt family drives to show us a new power station.
  • Every Saturday at noon, the fire stations would test their air raid sirens.
  • It was not unusual to see large spotlights swirling around in the night sky as a way to lure people to a car dealership.
  • My mother "took in ironing." We eventually had an "Iron Rite" machine in our kitchen to expedite the ironing. I got to be pretty good on it.
  • She was also active in the local PTA and the Arizona women's clubs.
  • Neighborhoods had a status and income mix. You had judges living in the same area as plumbers. I knew of no kids who went to private schools. The caliber of the public schools was well-regarded. 
  • There were no blacks living in the immediate neighborhood, but there were several Mexican American families. A Chinese American family owned and ran the local grocery store. The largest family I knew was Irish American. They had nine kids.
  • We had an old encyclopedia that was very outdated. It was a good lesson in not believing everything in print.
  • There were no leash laws. Pets wandered at will.
  • We walked a lot. If you wanted a Coke, you could walk to a soda fountain around a mile away. We thought nothing of walking great distances.
  • Paperback books were 25 cents, then 35 cents, then 50 and 75. I remember buying the paperback version of The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich for $1.25. A little jarring, but it was a big book. Most of our paperback purchases were at the drugstore.
  • Our elementary school had a lot of male teachers. Most of them had served in World War II or the Korean War. Our school principal had been a POW after being shot down over Germany.
  • Across the street lived a man who'd been in the Hitler Youth and served in the German Navy.
  • The men often repaired their own automobiles. My dad rarely took a car to a mechanic.
  • Our pediatrician always had a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes in his pocket. 
  • The elementary school had a Buffalo Barbeque as an annual fundraiser. You had a choice of beef, venison or buffalo meat.
  • There was a lot of emphasis on "do it yourself." The grade schools had Industrial Arts classes for the boys and Home Economics classes for the girls.
  • We had "swamp" coolers instead of air conditioning and yes, we walked to school, but since this was in Phoenix, Arizona we had it easy: there was no snow.

Put Down the Smartphone

 Politico: How Phones Warped Gen Z.

Good Neighbors

 No one can live happily who has regard to himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility; you must live for your neighbor, if you would live for yourself.

- Seneca

Monday, March 25, 2024




I know there are serious medical exceptions, but life becomes much more enjoyable if you don't believe in or fall prey to moods.

I have found that rapidly shifting moods are a luxury I cannot afford. I also do not wish to inflict bad moods upon others. 

Google's AI Fiasco


The Problem Is Not Out There

 Anytime we think the problem is 'out there,' that thought is the problem. We empower what's out there to control us.

- Stephen R. Covey

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Saturday, March 23, 2024


 The best executive I've ever known wore a Hawaiian shirt most of the time. [He worked in Arizona.]

His office was unpretentious, even spartan. He boasted that he could move out of it within an hour with many minutes to spare.

He was plain-spoken, had a great sense of humor, and made a point of making visits to the field.

A great listener, he was constantly examining ways to improve the workplace.

In our last conversation about leadership, he said that the most under-rated virtue of a leader is benevolence.

Marc Goodman in 2015: You're Connected and Vulnerable


Friday, March 22, 2024

To Be Sung by My Relatives When I Arrive at Thanksgiving


Truly a Classic


A Desk Covered with Papers

 A vow: my desk with have four neat decision stacks by the end of this morning and progress will have been made on all four.

One strategy: gaining focus by avoiding the screen. Most of the key work can be done without a computer.

Nicholas Bate Stories

 The man has a wide range. He never sleeps.

Just In


Great Maxim

 Gently in manner, strong in deed.

- Maxim favored by Dwight Eisenhower

A Film Based on the Tom Wolfe Novel?


Let's hope it is better than The Bonfire of the Vanities

Alert the Stoics!

The Assumptions

We don't need to challenge the assumptions as much as we need to know what they are.

A Forgotten Point About Immigration

 Ellis Island sent a lot of people back.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Hit the Books!

 Live & Learn: Why some people become lifelong readers.

Defining Deviancy Down

 UnHerd: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on "The West Has a Deviancy Problem."

Hamas and The Times

 The Free Press: Eli Lake on who is in charge at The New York Times.

South Africa

 The New Criterion: Alexander Chula looks at its state thirty years after apartheid.

New Breakfast

 A cup of Earl Grey tea followed by a double shot of espresso and cream.

Works wonderfully.

Someone is Killing Jedi


Some Thoughts on Behalf of Job Applicants

 Remember the old days when you could attach your resume to job applications? Remember making copies of your CV so it could be enclosed with a cover letter? One you mailed via the postal system?

Those were not necessarily pleasant tasks, but they greatly differed from a world in which you must apply online and complete a questionnaire tailored to each organization.

I realize that there are job search outfits that will automatically send your "application" off to a legion of employers; so much, in fact, that you may receive calls inviting you to interviews for jobs you never knowingly applied for.

My main point, however, is that the new system was designed with HR, not the applicant, in mind.

Job searches were difficult enough in the old days without complicating the process.

[Another thing from days gone by: It was standard to receive rejection letters. I now hear of employers who never send rejection letters. That practice is rude and a very poor public relations practice.]

Accountability and Transparency

 I want to see approval signatures on all policies and regulations.

HR's Composition

 DATAUSA has the numbers.

A few excerpts:

In 2021, there were 906,148 HR workers in the United States.

73.4% female

26.6% male

Most common race/ethnicity: White

The Good Old Relationships

 In the good old days, people expected hardship, illness, and enemies because those adversaries were seldom far away and if they visited, your family could well be your first and only line of defense. There's a reason why so many of those old photographs show tough and wary people. Their grim expressions were produced by far more than poor dental care.

They knew that life awaited, and it was seldom a church picnic. Their large families were a calculated work and defense force, and they cultivated strong ties with neighbors because those were part of a mutual aid society long before such groups were formally created.

In short, relationships were a necessity, not an indulgence. 

We need more of them today.

Beautifully Conceived and Beautifully Written

 He decided to join the clamdiggers on the Bayonne Marsh, knowing that they would give him shelter and a place on dry land for the horse, since they had found Peter Lake and raised him (for a time) much in the style of benevolent wolves. They were fiercer than the Short Tails, who now dared not dip an oar or push a pole within miles of their spacious domain for fear of being instantly beheaded.

- From Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Reclaim The Real World


Know Your Paths

 Amid a wealth of options, it is important to know the difference between a path, a distraction, and a trap.

Extra Insight and Humility

 Unlike the revolutionaries in France, Russia, China, Cuba, and Iran, the American revolutionaries had an extra insight: they did not trust revolutionaries. 

They developed the framework for a government and included powerful provisions to protect the people from the government. 

As Judge Learned Hand noted many years later, "The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right."

Groundhog It

Remember the point in "Groundhog Day" when it is evident that the Bill Murray character has abandoned self-pity and started a serious campaign of helping others and improving himself? 

We know that's a very good place to be. It's time to get there.

Lonely At The Top

Pick a song that would fit a surprising number of executives and managers.

My choice: "Eleanor Rigby."

And yes, we need to get people back into the office.

Surrounded by History

 I have harped on this subject before. Please bear with me. The subject keeps returning.

My grandfather left the family farm in Tennessee to ride the rails out west. He worked in San Francisco following the Great Earthquake, and rolled through a number of states before winding up in the very small town of Glendale in the Arizona Territory where he picked cotton, delivered mail, and sold vegetables before buying some nearby farmland shortly before statehood. He lived well into his eighties and had a number of interesting habits, such as giving a dollar bill for birthdays. If you were one year old, you got a dollar and if you were 30 years old, you got a dollar.

Quaint. Charming. We all know the type, but here's the interesting part: My brothers and sisters and I never thought to ask him about his life. We grew up near a man who knew people who'd fought in the Civil War, but we didn't bother to ask questions. No queries about San Francisco after the quake or what it was like to jump off a freight train in Colorado, although he could have - and probably would have - told us some interesting stories.

And, of course, no one bothered to write anything down because we'd collected nothing that could be put on a page.

Recommendation: Don't make that mistake.

Fashion Advice


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Making Things Worse

 UnHerd magazine: Abigail Schrier on how therapy culture creates victims.

Quick Look


The Elite War

 Commentary magazine

Christine Rosen on "The Elite War on the American Middle Class and How to End It."

From "Soap": Magic Trick



Bari Weiss writing in Tablet magazine. An excerpt: 

What I saw was a worldview that replaced basic ideas of good and evil with a new rubric: the powerless (good) and the powerful (bad). It replaced lots of things. Colorblindness with race obsession. Ideas with identity. Debate with denunciation. Persuasion with public shaming. The rule of law with the fury of the mob

Google's Woke AI

 The Free Press: Francesca Block and Olivia Reingold were there. 

They say Google's woke AI wasn't a mistake.

Shakespeare Surrounds Us

 The world is indeed a stage and, if we knew more, there are days when Grave Digger No. 2 is the most interesting character.

If You are Lucky

 If you are lucky this week, there will be only one totally unexpected interruption to your plans.

Need for Clarity

 Whenever you are in a position of power, it helps to consider how many people in your organization are seriously wondering about what you want.

First Paragraph

 I almost didn't answer the call. I had been gazing absentmindedly out at the hills and the purple splash of heather as the train sped south toward York. But the car was almost empty so I took out the phone and clicked on the button. A voice confirmed my name and asked abruptly if I could go to China. Glancing around me, I whispered, "I can't really take a call right now. I'm in the quiet coach, you see."

- From Chinese Rules: Mao's Dog, Deng's Cat, and Five Timeless Lessons from the Front Lines in China by Tim Clissold

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Saturday, March 16, 2024

"And the Robots Take Over"


Seriously Green

A Large Regular has some music recommendations for St. Patrick's Day.

I flash back to a St. Patrick's Day when I was teaching a management workshop in a large hotel ballroom. Unfortunately, the ballroom was right next to the hotel's bar.

From the Beaches of Florida

 FutureLawyer's new book is on philosophy

I'm looking forward to reading what the old Stoic has to say.

Being Wowed All Over Again


The Danger of The Sovereign Individual

 The notion that we're all just independent operators with no obligation to our neighbors, our community, or our nation is both short-sighted and poisonous. The idea that the Internet can replace the relationships built through face-to-face communication is ridiculous.

Here's a rule of life: you have to be there. You have to listen and laugh and argue and comfort the people around you in a multitude of exchanges where life's mystery means you may not know just which exchange was the most important.

I can recall off-hand conversations from long ago that seriously affected my life and even my world view.

You never know, but that raised eyebrow, that quiet reassurance, that brief pat on the back may be another person's life changer.

Don't hide away. Get out among 'em.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on "Defining Civilization Down"


When a Plan Is Requested

They want a plan that will provide a direction. I want a clear direction that will shape a plan.

Much of this will collide with reality and will be changed, but the direction must be the constant north star. All of the efforts must contribute to its achievement.

[Photo by Mike Setchell at Unsplash]

Great American What?

 "The Great American Novels" listed by The Atlantic magazine are, in many instances, a real stretch.

Many of the omissions are a real injustice.

Follow the Science


Portable Office Floor Plan

 Check out Airstream's "Flying Cloud."

Nitwittery in Canada

 The Post Millennial reports that the Toronto Police Department is advising residents to leave their car key fobs outside so thieves don't need to break into the house to get them.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Early Gordon


Let Children Have Real, Not Fake, Friends

 The Atlantic: Jonathan Haidt on "End the Phone-Based Childhood Now."

The Challenge Surrounding Us

 "Do we want to envision, write, and be in charge of a future in which we are respected as individuals and in which we can enhance and enrich our society? Or do we want our future to be written by a few giant corporations whose technology, algorithms, and devices steadily chip away at our humanity? It's a choice between human beings and machines. Everything - and I mean everything - hinges on this decision."

- Frank H. McCourt, Jr., Our Biggest Fight: Reclaiming Liberty, Humanity, and Dignity in the Digital Age

I Know Which One I Like

Two interpretations of Benjamin Franklin. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Just Arrived



 I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.

- Petronius Arbiter (circa 60 A.D.)

Harvard and The Truth

 City Journal: An account of a Harvard professor who diverged from the Covid lockdowns.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Against the Narrative

Jonathan Turley on whether President Trump offered 10,000 troops to protect the Capitol on January 6.

Our Deepest Fear

 Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,

and fabulous - 

Actually, who are you not to be?

- Marianne Williamson

It Takes Some Dancing

The new products and services that wow us can be impressive in a variety of ways, but one of them is usually the fact that the need for them has been dancing in front of us and beckoning our attention for years.

But we didn't notice.

Bad Luck Has Relatives

 You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.

- Cormac McCarthy

Monday, March 11, 2024

Time for Another Look



There is no education in the second kick of a mule.

- Sam Rayburn

The Career Manifesto

 I wrote this many years ago.  It received a lot of notice when Hugh MacLeod of included it with a bunch of manifestos.

1. Unless you’re working in a coal mine, an emergency ward, or their equivalent, spare us the sad stories about your tough job. The biggest risk most of us face in the course of a day is a paper cut.

2. Yes, your boss is an idiot at times. So what? (Do you think your associates sit around and marvel at your deep thoughts?) If you cannot give your boss basic loyalty, either report the weasel to the proper authorities or be gone.

3. You are paid to take meaningful actions, not superficial ones. Don’t brag about that memo you sent out or how hard you work. Tell us what you achieved.

4. Although your title may be the same, the job that you were hired to do three years ago is probably not the job you have now. When you are just coasting and not thinking several steps ahead of your responsibilities, you are in dinosaur territory and a meteor is coming.

5. If you suspect that you’re working in a madhouse, you probably are. Even sociopaths have jobs. Don’t delude yourself by thinking you’ll change what the organization regards as a “turkey farm.” Flee.

6. Your technical skills may impress the other geeks, but if you can’t get along with your co-workers, you’re a litigation breeder. Don’t be surprised if management regards you as an expensive risk.

7. If you have a problem with co-workers, have the guts to tell them, preferably in words of one syllable.

8. Don’t believe what the organization says it does. Its practices are its real policies. Study what is rewarded and what is punished and you’ll have a better clue as to what’s going on.

9. Don’t expect to be perfect. Focus on doing right instead of being right. It will simplify the world enormously.

10.If you plan on showing them what you’re capable of only after you get promoted, you need to reverse your thinking.

Point of View

 A Layman's Blog: Edward Hopper and his wife look at a painting.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Saturday, March 09, 2024

Well Done!


Rapid Change's Effect on Thought

 Bernoulli's principle explains that the faster a gas or fluid flows, the less pressure it exerts. This helps explain a lot of bad decisions in management. The more convincingly managers think they are surrounded by a lot of rapid change, the more they will merely react and the less they will think.

- Theodore Levitt

Presentations and Plans

Effective presentations require serious planning and yet there are times when the plans should be adjusted or abandoned. Some examples are:

  • You planned on a particular room arrangement and then, for whatever reason, that is not possible. Solution: Adjust the presentation to fit the room.
  • You discover that the in-house person who was advertising your program has, in fact, announced that you would be discussing a different topic. Solution: Be candid about what took place and, along with the audience, explore how to alter the presentation so you can address their needs. You can flog the in-house person later on.
  • The program begins on time and on topic but as the morning proceeds, it is apparent that a new and unexpected subject is of intense interest. Solution: Shift to the new subject. Odds are, the presentation will be far more casual, but the change will connect with the primary interest of the group.
The above "surprises" should not happen often, but when they do, it is better to adjust to the new reality.

When the choice is between effective and smooth, choose effective.

ET, Stay Home


Quick Look


The Best Hearing of All

 The effective manager develops the ability to hear what others are not saying.

- Theodore Levitt

This Could Be an Even More Interesting Year


Memories of Saturday Morning

My older brother and I would receive early morning work assignments from my father. 

"When you're done with that," he'd say, "come back and I'll give you some more." 

Even then I knew that approach was not an incentive for fast work, but you can only fake a chore for so long.

As we worked, kids we knew would bicycle past with basketballs or ball gloves in hand.

Now, of course, I can smile at the comparison, but one thing was achieved: work never scared us.

Friday, March 08, 2024

Gen Z Girls


Interest Groups versus Political Parties

I have long thought that a sign of weakness in the American educational system is that many people do not know the difference between an interest group and a political party. 

Read the comments on Twitter/X and you'll see shrieking by those who expect politicians, who have to make compromises in order to get things done, to be as ideologically pure and consistent as the leaders of interest groups. The latter have the luxury of being full-throated advocates. 

You can also find politicians who slip into interest group territory. That can serve a purpose by reminding their more deal-conscious colleagues of the reasons why they were elected, but such reminders only go so far. Eventually, things need to get done and, as Bismarck noted, politics is the art of the possible.

The National Debt

 For many years and many administrations, reducing the danger posed by a massive national debt has been the briefest of mentions in the State of the Union address.

But never fear. When the problem becomes unavoidable, we'll be awash in useless excuses and insulting apologies.

We need to become a serious nation before it's too late.

As economist Herbert Stein observed: "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

Thursday, March 07, 2024

Good Times Ahead


Four Lessons for a Fragile America"

 Read all of Seth Kaplan's essay in Tablet magazine.

The Soon-to-Be Disasters


  • Illegal immigration
  • The national debt
  • The decline of the family
If those three issues were seriously addressed, we'd be a much stronger nation.

[Photo by Ries Bosch at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

 In the summer of 1995, Leslie Moonves, the newly appointed head of entertainment for CBS, was wandering the halls of the network's vast Television City headquarters. He was not happy with what he saw: it was 3:30 p.m. on a Friday, and the office was three-quarters empty. As the media journalist Bill Carter reports in Desperate Networks, his 2006 book about the television industry during this period, a frustrated Moonves sent a heated memo about the empty office to his employees. "Unless anybody hasn't noticed, we're in third place [in the ratings]," he wrote. "My guess is that at ABC and NBC they're still working at 3:30 on Friday. This will no longer be tolerated."

- From Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment Without Burnout by Cal Newport

Time to Revisit Albuquerque


Wednesday, March 06, 2024

In The Valley

 The New Criterion: Victor Davis Hanson on Silicon Valley's moral bankruptcy.

From "The Ides of March"


Which One Is Closer to Our Times?


  • "Animal Farm" by George Orwell
  • "Submission" by Michel Houellebecq
  • "Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell
  • "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
  • "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
  • "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
  • "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury
  • "Back to Blood" by Tom Wolfe
  • "Station Eleven" by Emily St. John Mandel
  • "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy
  • Other????

[Photo by Andre Benz at Unsplash]

The Fog Has Lifted

We knew they were different and that they went to the right schools and had well-connected friends, but it was not until recent years that it has become clear that many of them are idiots.

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Novel: Excellent. Film: Promising


The Ruse

 It is not unusual to see more attention given to the purchase of a software program than to the selection of a new team member.

Just one of the numerous ways in which organizations go through the motions.

Ask yourself, "If we were really serious about our mission, would this be our approach?"

Document Prospecting

 Last night, I spent a few hours searching for documents. I would find them attached to emails, download them, and then later would discover they had not been downloaded.


Lowering my expectations helped to reduce frustration. 

Didn't I download that? Certainly, but that doesn't mean it was downloaded. It means that a request was merely submitted. 

Thus was my reasoning.

It helped.

Monday, March 04, 2024

Justice Prevails

 The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously reversed the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court.

The Artificial Intelligence Questions

And what will folks get up to if they don’t have to work? The adage “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” goes back thousands of years. Lottery winners are often unhappy because, though liberated from work, they lose a sense of purpose. The same goes for some people after they retire. It’s easy to imagine this becoming a bigger problem if they can retire at age six instead of at 65.

Read the rest of Michael Totten at City Journal.

Guiding Principle

 Management's abiding challenge is to make people's strengths effective while making their weaknesses irrelevant.

- Peter Drucker

Time to Review


Sunday, March 03, 2024

Saturday, March 02, 2024

Texas Independence Day


The Glory and Horror of the Internet

The glory of the internet is that it allows like-minded people to find one another. And the horror of the internet is that it allows like-minded people to find one another.

- Joseph Bottum

Harvard Alum


"The Joy of Destruction"

The glory of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to find one another. And the horror of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to find one another. Coin collectors, baseball-card enthusiasts, and used-book readers have all benefited from the opportunities offered by online connection. So have neo-Nazis, child-pornographers, and Communist agitators. Where they were once connected only by the sickly sweet smell of the ink from the mimeograph machine clumping away on the kitchen table, the forces of anger now have instantaneous links.

Read the rest of the 2017 Washington Examiner essay by Joseph Bottum.

First Paragraph

 At the age of five, I had the idea that I would become an inventor. I had the notion that inventions could change the world. When other kids were wondering aloud what they wanted to be, I already had the conceit that I knew what I was going to be. The rocket ship to the moon that I was then building (almost a decade before President Kennedy's challenge to the nation) did not work out. But at around the time I turned eight, my inventions became a little more realistic, such as a robotic theater with mechanical linkages that could move scenery and characters in and out of view, and virtual baseball games.

- From The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

Career Advice

 This is like the career counseling in my high school.

Friday, March 01, 2024

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A Lesson in Courage

 City Journal: Martin Gurri on the courage of Alexei Navalny.

Pay More Attention to the Basics

 "Most things get done in small doses. 'Every day in every way I'm getting better and better,' goes the inspirational mantra. Japanese business language speaks prescriptively of kaizen, continuous improvement. Trying routinely to get better one step at a time is a far better way to get better than shooting constantly for the moon.

- Theodore Levitt

"The most constructive achievements of the twentieth century were the work of completely uncharismatic people. The two military men who guided the Allies to victory in World War II were Dwight Eisenhower and George Marshall. Both were highly disciplined, highly competent, and deadly dull." 

- Peter F. Drucker

"Eat all the junk food you want - as long as you cook it yourself." 

- Michael Pollan

The Filters

 If you really wanted to make serious changes regarding a fire department's customer service, who would be the key players? The department's top echelon or the fire captains out in the fire stations?

You know the answer. 

That's why it's surprising to see programs drenched in the assumption that decisions made at the top are strictly followed all the way down through the chain of command.