68 of the best from Kevin Kelly

This is a fun list from KK celebrating his 68th birthday. Among them: • Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.…• Treating a person to a meal never fails, and is so easy to do. It’s powerful with old friends and a great way to make new friends.…• Don’t trust all-purpose glue.…• If you are looking for something in your…

The Mundanity of Excellence (3): technique, discipline, attitude

The Mundanity of Excellence is a 1989 paper by sociologist Daniel Chambliss. In it he draws on his ethnographic research among elite swimmers – and his wider experiences as a swimming coach – to explore the meaning and causes of excellence, and particularly to question the role (indeed, the existence) that talent plays in outstanding performance. Excellence in competitive swimming…

César Hidalgo on the importance of trust in networks of innovation

Another great episode of Exponential View – recommend. Azeem Azhar: It seems like the richer, faster growing economies require these dense and intricate networks of people, and these people need to have ways of communicating with each other, norms, behaviours that ultimately get reflected – measured – as trust. … César Hidalgo: Trust is fundamental for economic growth, because it…

PISA: defining literacy

PISA assesses reading literacy, as opposed to reading. Reading is often interpreted, in a general, non-academic context, as reading aloud or simply converting text into sounds. PISA conceives of reading literacy as a broader set of competencies that allows readers to engage with written information, presented in one or more texts, for a specific purpose. (RAND Reading Study Group and…

PISA on the changing nature of literacy

… the nature of reading has evolved significantly over the past decade, notably due to the growing influence and rapid evolution of technology. Reading now involves not only the printed page but also electronic formats (i.e. digital reading). Moreover, readers must now engage in a greater variety of tasks. In the past, when students did not know the answer to…

When not to speak

Here’s a flow to help me with my “helpful contribution” problem:Is the priority of (this part of) the meeting to discuss things exhaustively, or to cover the essentials? If the purpose of the meeting is exhaustive discussion and there’s still time and attention available – go ahead and share your point. If the purpose of the meeting is to cover…

Organisational culture: specifying minimums, modelling maximums

A while ago a friend helpfully pointed out to me that laws and rules can only ever specify the minimum behaviour acceptable in a given context. The law is (we hope) the floor, beyond which things are not allowed to go. But you can’t legislate good behaviour – all the things that make a culture rich and life-giving. That comes…

The Mundanity of Excellence (2): demystifying talent

The Mundanity of Excellence is a 1989 paper by sociologist Daniel Chambliss. In it he draws on his ethnographic research among elite swimmers – and his wider experiences as a swimming coach – to explore the meaning and causes of excellence, and particularly to question the role (indeed, the existence) that talent plays in outstanding performance. … I am suggesting…

Daniel Chambliss: defining excellence

The Mundanity of Excellence is a 1989 paper by sociologist Daniel Chambliss. In it he draws on his ethnographic research among elite swimmers – and his wider experiences as a swimming coach – to explore the meaning and causes of excellence, and particularly to question the role (indeed, the existence) that talent plays in outstanding performance. Although by no means…

A strategy of usefulness

Be 1) as useful as you can be,* 2) as often as you can be,** 3) to the people you want to be of use to.*** Application At DriverlessCroc, I post 1) something that might be useful,**** 2) daily,***** 3) for people interested in building effective and humane organisations for change.****** There aren’t usually this many footnotes. There will not…