7k

Happy to announce that we’ve made it past 7,000 views. Thanks for coming, and HT to the Tyler Cowen spike. See also:Build it up (buttercup)The Patience of a spider [7000; seven thousand]

McDonald’s miracles and me

McDonald’s gets a lot of stick, much of it deserved. But critics of McDonald’s are often blind to the value it adds – in large part because we never knew (or have forgotten) the context it emerged in. In the pre-McDonald’s era, I suspect more so than now, the quality of food and service available in local restaurants across small-town…

“I barely scratched the surface.”

“How was work today?” “Good, but it felt like I barely scratched the surface.” I imagine we’ll still be saying the same thing when we die. So – where will you scratch?

The Prize vs The Work

These things are prizes: Large amounts of money; Prestige; Medals and awards of all shapes and sizes; Universal recognition and adoration. It’s easy to focus on them, but they’re not the point, and in fact we feel like imposters if they’re given to us unearned and undeserved. As Adam Smith pointed out, we want “not only to be loved, but…

Thomas Hobbes and Fatboy Slim on arithmetic and getting things done

When a man Reasoneth, hee does nothing else but conceive a summe totall, from Addition of parcels; or conceive a Remainder, from Substraction of one summe from another: which (if it be done by Words,) is conceiving of the consequence of the names of all the parts, to the name of the whole; or from the names of the whole…

Things that help…

Reminding yourself that it’s worst at five (or two, or four) a.m. and will seem much better at ten. Doing routine things well and on time: exercise, breakfast, prayer or meditation. Focusing on the people you’re with – serving them, enjoying their company. “Acting as if,” and doing the normal things – the things you’d be doing anyway – as…

Statistical dojo

This seems apt – and the book it comes from is available free (or “pay what you want”) at readthesequences.com. Recommended. Imagine reaching into an urn that contains seventy white balls and thirty red ones, and plucking out ten mystery balls. Perhaps three of the ten balls will be red, and you’ll correctly guess how many red balls total were…

A project

The thing that I’m recommending for a lot of people now is to find a sphere of activity, no matter how small or how local, that you feel you can control and you can do at home and you can contribute to. This feeling of powerlessness may set in that will cause people to panic more or become too depressed…

The monkey and the oranges

The monkey appeared by the fruit bowl, snaffled two armfuls of oranges and made a clean getaway before any of us could react. It legged it for the wall with swaying, monkey gait… but had to climb a tree to make good its escape. The monkey did its level best to run up the tree, leaving arms free for the…

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?…