Of all the qualities in a manager conducive to innovation initiative, a degree of uncertainty may be the most powerful. If a manager is confident but uncertain – confident that the job will get done but without being certain of exactly the best way of doing it – employees are likely to have more room to be creative, alert, and self-starting.--- Ellen Langer, Mindfullness (1989) Ch. 8, p 143
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
--- I.F. Stone, left-wing journalist, quoted in Writer's Almanac, 24 December 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
--- Rex Hammock
Quote courtesy SiliconValley.com's daily email:
"Not believe in Web 2.0! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get
your papa to hire Tim O'Reilly to come over to your house and explain Web 2.0 to
you, but even if Tim O'Reilly showed up and you didn't understand what the heck
he was talking about, what would that prove? So what if nobody can actually
explain Web 2.0 without using techno babble and business buzzwords? That is no
sign that there is no Web 2.0. The most real things in the world are those that
neither children nor men can see -- and that's why they develop buzzwords. Did
you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof
that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there
are unseen and unseeable in the world."
-- Rex Hammock explains the mystery behind the elusive concept of Web 2.0
Sunday, December 18, 2005
--- Natalia Ilyin, Blonde Like Me: The Roots of the Blonde Myth in Our Culture (2000), "Farrah and the Song Girls", p 100
This is one of the best books I've read in ages. Ilyin is smart, hilariously funny, and writes about deep, complex subjects in a deceptively simple way. Here's the quote in context:
Rita's best friend Doris who lived across the street, brought Rita big flats of frozen ravioli. Were they Italian-American? Who knew?
Rita only evidenced her German background in her attraction to Hummel
figurines. My friend Leslie, half Greek, knew no Greek, and my sisters andI spoke no Russian. My friend Claire was ethnically Jewish, now that I look back on it, but no one was exactly observing Yom Kippur over there. I think some black people lived in the house with the abundant azaleas, but I never saw them.
The people who moved to Las Gallinas Avenue came there without a past, and lived like stateless people. They came with no history, and made none.
In New York people routinely call you up and say things like "Come on over! My sister's here with her Serbian boyfriend, and our neighbors are going to drop by -- you remember them -- she's Ashkenazi and he's Sephardic." But when I was growing up in California, everyone in my white-bread suburb was making an effort to be identical.
When everyone is different, the pointing out of differences is merely description. But when everyone is trying to look the same, the pointing out of difference has the ring of prejudice. Once, when my European brother-in-law described some friend of his as a second-generation Hungarian, I remember thinking, "Aren't we beyond that yet?" as if it were only a matter of time until the entire country would develop cultural amnesia, and what a good thing that would be.
--- Marc Smith, in conversation 15 December 2005. When checking this with Marc, this was his reply:
In my typical hyperbolic style: yes, I said this.
Of course I am wildly overstating, the public internet is only a fraction of the net; vast databases of content and data are locked up all over the place. But there is a kernel of truth in this assertion: a business model that depends on the widespread distribution of bits which remain in a controlled container will not long stand. To date I do not know of a DRM system that is not cracked. Every XBOX, PS2, Hollywood video, recording, etc. is available on the (not so) darknet right now. Knowledge of the darknet is spreading fast – most people have some infringing content. A business model based on these files not being available because of some novel technical innovation (present or future) seems misguided. A business based in part on selling such technology seems misguided – perhaps we should rename DRM “Doesn’t Really Matter”?
-- Attributed to Werner von Braun. For more Von Braun quotes, see http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/wernher_von_braun.html.