rePost::too: Hope

However, the real heroes are the people of Haiti. Despite tremendous challenge and suffering, they still show an incredible strength of spirit and resilience to the harshest of conditions. Seeing the people firsthand left me with a vastly different impression than I had going in based on news reports. Instead of roving gangs of violent criminals, I found people caring for the wounded and providing critical supplies to those most in need. Instead of people weeping of despair, I saw people busy rebuilding their lives in the most challenging of environments.

via too: Hope.

Rant:News Reports On Stock Movement:2010 01 24

I hate it when news segments say, “The stocks were down because…” or “The stocks were up because”.

Reporters/Editors really need to learn more about what they are reporting on.

Day to day movements of stock tend to be just noise. Ask a good trader. It seems to me that the traders you are asking are the less knowledgeable ones.

Why is this important?  Because this reeks of trying to manipulate public opinion in a blatantly subtle way. This is a disingenuous way of hinting what is good or bad for business.

Quote:: Dracula’s Bram Stoker Interviews Churchill? About Happiness?

Churchill observed to Stoker, “A man must choose his own way of life, and…it is only by following out one’s own bent that there can be the really harmonious life.”

When Stoker asked what exactly he meant by that, Churchill continued, “Harmonious life. A life when a man’s work is also his pleasure and vice versa. That conjunction, joined with a buoyant temperament, makes the best of worldly gifts.”

via The Happiness Project: Dracula’s Bram Stoker Interviews Churchill? About Happiness?.

rePost::10 signs of incompetent managers | View from the Cubicle |

This is a nice list I don’t agree with completely, but its a worthy read nonetheless. Read the whole thing from the linked article.

Bias against action: There are always plenty of reasons not to take a decision, reasons to wait for more information, more options, more opinions. But real leaders display a consistent bias for action. People who don’t make mistakes generally don’t make anything. Legendary ad man David Ogilvy argued that a good decision today is worth far more than a perfect decision next month. Beware prevaricators.

Love of procedure: Managers who cleave to the rule book, to points of order and who refer to colleagues by their titles have forgotten that rules and processes exist to expedite business, not ritualize it. Love of procedure often masks a fatal inability to prioritize — a tendency to polish the silver while the house is burning.

Long hours: In my experience, bad managers work very long hours. They think this is a brand of heroism but it is probably the single biggest hallmark of incompetence. To work effectively, you must prioritize and you must pace yourself. The manager who boasts of late nights, early mornings and no time off cannot manage himself so you’d better not let him manage anyone else.

via 10 signs of incompetent managers | View from the Cubicle |

rePost :: Reason as memetic immune disorder

This is a very though provoking post.

A prophet is without dishonor in his hometown

I’m reading the book “The Year of Living Biblically,” by A.J. Acobs. He tried to follow all of the commandments in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) for one year. He quickly found that

* a lot of the rules in the Bible are impossible, illegal, or embarassing to follow nowadays; like wearing tassels, tying your money to yourself, stoning adulterers, not eating fruit from a tree less than 5 years old, and not touching anything that a menstruating woman has touched; and

* this didn’t seem to bother more than a handful of the one-third to one-half of Americans who claim the Bible is the word of God.

You may have noticed that people who convert to religion after the age of 20 or so are generally more zealous than people who grew up with the same religion. People who grow up with a religion learn how to cope with its more inconvenient parts by partitioning them off, rationalizing them away, or forgetting about them. Religious communities actually protect their members from religion in one sense – they develop an unspoken consensus on which parts of their religion members can legitimately ignore. New converts sometimes try to actually do what their religion tells them to do.

I remember many times growing up when missionaries described the crazy things their new converts in remote areas did on reading the Bible for the first time – they refused to be taught by female missionaries; they insisted on following Old Testament commandments; they decided that everyone in the village had to confess all of their sins against everyone else in the village; they prayed to God and assumed He would do what they asked; they believed the Christian God would cure their diseases. We would always laugh a little at the naivete of these new converts; I could barely hear the tiny voice in my head saying but they’re just believing that the Bible means what it says…

How do we explain the blindness of people to a religion they grew up with?

via Less Wrong: Reason as memetic immune disorder.

rePost::The End of Poverty

Some good news, finally.

Some thought-provoking new research argues that, absent catastrophe, and despite continuing population growth, we will never see a billion people in poverty worldwide:

World poverty is falling. This column presents new estimates of the world’s income distribution and suggests that world poverty is disappearing faster than previously thought. From 1970 to 2006, poverty fell by 86% in South Asia, 73% in Latin America, 39% in the Middle East, and 20% in Africa. Barring a catastrophe, there will never be more than a billion people in poverty in the future history of the world. [Emphasis mine]

via The End of Poverty.

Praise::Cool Stuff: Toy Story 3 Director Lee Unkrich Auctioning Pixar Memorabilia For Haiti Earthquake Victims | /Film

THis is soooo coool.  If I only had the money!!

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is personally auctioning a bunch of rare/exclusive Pixar memorabilia to benefit Haiti earthquake victims. Here are the links:

* Tom Hanks signed Toy Story 3 Woody poster.

* Toy Story Mrs. Potato Head Figurine Signed by Estelle Harris

* Lee Unkrich’s personal Toy Story Original Crew Jacket from 1995

* Lee Unkrich’s personal 1998 Original A Bug’s Life Crew Jacket

* Lee Unkrich’s personal Toy Story 2 Original Crew Jacket from 1999

* Lee’s personal 1999 Original Toy Story 2 Crew Jacket

* Lee’s personal 2001 Original Monsters, Inc. Crew Jacket.

* Lee’s personal Monsters, Inc. Original Crew Jacket 2001, 2nd Version

* Lee’s original Cars Original Crew Jacket 2006

* Lee’s personal Ratatouille Original Crew Jacket 2007

* Lee’s personal WALL-E Original 2008 Crew JAcket

* Original Toy Story Woody Doll signed by Tom Hanks

* Four-pack of custom Jones Soda, given as a gift to the Monsters, Inc. crew by director Pete Docter.

* Pixar MOMA Catalog signed by 22 artsists.

* A Bug’s Life Animation Crew T-Shirt White

If you have the money, its a good cause, and some items you’re not likely to find anywhere else. Lee will probably be posting more items in the coming days, keep checking his twitter or ebay account listings for updates.

via Cool Stuff: Toy Story 3 Director Lee Unkrich Auctioning Pixar Memorabilia For Haiti Earthquake Victims | /Film.