More than you can chew

“… only pausing to remark that many find it unnecessary to fill the mouth to its utmost capacity.” Misquotation of Pip in David Lean’s Great Expectations Eyes > Stomach I’ve more or less mastered the art of not taking more than I can eat.* Controlling portion size isn’t a problem, even if the number of portions I go back for…

Just one chapter

If you could write a book – any kind of book – with a group of other people, who would they be? What would the book be about? And if you had to contribute a chapter – just one – what subject would you choose, and what do you have to say about it? Go and write your chapter.* Then…

Resource: Introduction to Economics at Marginal Revolution University

Economics is a critical lens for understanding how change happens, key issues in the politics of justice and equality, and for building effective organisations. If you’re looking for an introduction, these videos from Tyler Cowan’s Marginal Revolution University are a good place to start. And here’s a fun start on globalisation…

Atul Gawande on urgency, planning and deliberation

I brought to surgery my particular persona, which is to want to have more planning and more deliberation inserted into situations where there doesn’t seem to be time. One of the really striking things is, we get this complaint for example that using a checklist in surgery, well, that’s fine, but in emergencies we don’t have time for that kind…

James Clear on habits as casting votes

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of…

On mopping the floor

Sweep up. Mop the floor. Spend five minutes – five minutes! – a day putting things back in their places or working out where their places should be or throwing things out. It isn’t just that the reduction in friction will pay off many times over – it’s that the act of tidying will change you – slowly – into…

Gotong royong (on finding co-owners)

Gotong Royong [Indonesian: to carry together] Friends and champions are indespensible for your project; just as vital are co-owners – people who will actually carry it together with you. Without co-owners, your project will die when you do. With co-owners, it’s much more likely to keep going, and you’ll live longer too: a trouble shared is a trouble halved.

Steven Pinker on passing on language

Language is created anew every generation by the minds of the children who construct it out of the data that they get from their parents and peers. Steven Pinker – with Tyler Cowan, in Conversations with Tyler, Ep 14 The same could be said of culture in general, and team or organisational culture in particular. What data are you receiving?…

Better tools

I’ve been trying to learn to solder – on and off – for something close to 24 years. It never worked for me: the solder didn’t melt, or just rolled off the tip of the soldering iron, which smoked wickedly and occasionally burnt things, but never heated a component and circuit board in such a way as to successfully make…

A tale of two oysters

The world is your oyster To hold in he palm of your hand, to own, open, consume, enjoy… Perhaps with a pearl in there to wear or sell along the way. The world is your oyster All around you, gritty as you are, slowly shaping you (with a bit of pressure and a spot of mucous her or there) into…