Colin Marshall: Cultural Nexus / An album a week

I never listened to The Beatles until age thirty-five… it just seemed like, The Beatles are so popular they are the image of a popular, influential band. “I don’t need to listen to the -, other people have taken care of that.” But I realised as I went on, The Beatles are a cultural nexus: if you understand The Beatles…

Michael Sandel and Sam Harris on meritocracy

This podcast is well worth listening too – Sandel and Harris frame the problems with meritocracy well even of they don’t quite get to a strong answer for another way of doing things. Here’s a snippet: Sam Harris: The paradox here is that the thing that’s under our control, the environment, if we perfectly timed that, if we gave everyone…

Grace and mistakes

I’m a big believer in grace and second (and third) chances; I wouldn’t, couldn’t live without them. In the absence of enough information to make an unambiguously correct decision (for example, in a disciplinary matter) I think it’s better to make a mistake on the side of generosity, kindness and benefit of the doubt rather than than to make the…

Build it up (buttercup)

Reality checks Last October I ran the Jakarta half-marathon and found it much harder than I expected. There were mitigating factors – it was hot and humid, and I was running with very low weekly mileage (about 10 miles a week!) – but even so, it was a tough finish. Up until that point I’d always assumed that the marathon-I-never-quite-got-around-to…

“What should I do?”

If you desperately need a job, you are just another problem for a boss; if you can solve many of the problems the boss has right now, you are hired. To be hired, think like your boss. Kevin Kelly – 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice A hierarchy of task-related competence and maturity: We have opposite intentions. I will not do…

Can’t get the help we need…

… for what we can afford to pay. … with the level of skills available in the workforce. … with the energy and drive to get the job done. … with the integrity to do this well when no-one’s watching. There are a few things that can help with this problem: Find more money. Pay more for more highly skilled…

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…

Brian Moran and Michael Lennington on execution

The number-one factor holding people back from achieving what they are truly capable of is not a lack of knowledge, intellect, or information. It’s not a new strategy or idea. It’s not a larger network of connected people. It’s not hard work, natural talent, or luck. Of course all these things help, they all play a factor, but they are…

On assuming the best

Assuming the best of other people is usually the best position to assume. Here are some reasons for this: 1) There’s a double-distortion going on in our interactions: we think that we’re nicer and more reasonable – and our foibles more loveable – than they probably are (call it +1 vision), while people who aren’t us see everything we do…