Enough with the PIIGS, a totally unhelpful acronym. What we’re really seeing now is a crisis of the “cohesion countries” — the countries that entered the EU relatively poor, and for a time received substantial aid in the form of “cohesion funds”. In Eurospeak, it’s important to know the difference between cohesion and convergence: cohesion means convergence in per capita GDP, while convergence means getting inflation rates in line so that monetary cohesion is possible. Get it?
read the whole thing and watch the linked videos. or you could do what I do. Listen while coding.
Play keeps us in the moment
A spirit of play engages us and brings us into the content and into the moment. Children remind us that we need more play in the classroom, in the lecture hall, and especially in the typical conference presentation. But first we adults must give up the notion that play is not serious. We must abandon the notion that work (or study) and play are opposites. Work and play are inexorably linked, at least the kind of creative work in which we are engaged today and hope to prepare our children for. As Bill Buxton likes to say, “These things are far too important to take seriously. We need to be able to play.”
The opposite of play (and work) is depression
In this TED talk below, Dr. Stuart Brown reminds us that “The opposite of play is not work, it’s depression.” Brown makes many good points concerning the importance of play, not just for children but for all of us. Ironically, the presentation could have been even better if Dr. Brown had interjected more play into the actual talk (like Tim Brown did in his talk on play and creativity), but still the talk is very much worth watching for the issues raised.
Read the whole thing.
A child would not hesitate to pack up a sleeping bag and sleep on a pier under the stars with you.
Since that flight, whenever people asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I replied, “I want to be a child.”
So if you ever wonder why I share so much of myself with the world, from the sacred to the profane, the answer is that I think everyone could use this license to be who they are and enjoy what that means. We do live in a society with norms about what we can and cannot share, what we can and cannot do, but as Einstein once said: “if the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” That’s what I want to do – I want to change the facts.
Your wants are beautiful, your truths are powerful. Maybe you want to sleep on a pier or share a fairytale kiss under every triumphal arch in the world. Maybe you dream of diving the wreckage of a galleon or quitting your job and starting your own company.
They’ll say you’re crazy. They’ll say, “I wish I could be as impulsive as you are,” and that you should grow up. Life isn’t like that – there are norms, you know. There are ways to do things. You don’t talk to people at the security line at the airport. You get through it as fast as possible, go to your gate, wait for them to board you, sit down and be quiet. You go to your job, bust your ass, go home, change, go to some social thing, entertain the same questions, go home, watch bad television and do it all over again. Polite, proper, efficient. That’s life, right? Then you get old and maybe play some golf, then you die.
You can develop an absolutely incorrect perception of yourself as a great manager when, in fact, you haven’t implemented anything. You haven’t fired anybody. You haven’t introduced a product. You haven’t supported a customer. All you’ve done is make spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.
You can also throw venture capital into this pile. Going into venture capital straight out of school is a big mistake because entrepreneurs start sucking up to you and ask you stuff you know nothing about — like how to run a company.
Jobs for college graduates should make them gain knowledge in at least one of these three areas: how to make something, how to sell something or how to support something.
–Guy Kawasaki on the difference between recommending and doing. HT: Alex Tsai
So let’s not pretend that travel is always fun, or that we endure the jet lag for pleasure. We don’t spend ten hours lost in the Louvre because we like it, and the view from the top of Machu Picchu probably doesn’t make up for the hassle of lost luggage. (More often than not, I need a vacation after my vacation.) We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.
It’s not what you can find out, Frost and James and Poirier told us; it’s what you know. Truth is self-created through labor, through the hard, inefficient, unscripted work of the mind, through the indirection of dream and reverie. What matters is what cannot be rendered as code. Google can give you everything but meaning.
I actually shouldn’t even call them failures, because they were really just attempts. There’s a huge difference there. Everyone has failures, but most people never attempt things just for the sake of trying out something that looks fun, interesting, or challenging. For some reason, a lot of us reach a point where we stop doing things for the hell of it.
Why do you think I’m such a huge proponent of free work? Doing work for free forces you to find jobs where you can honestly say, “I would do this even if I weren’t being paid for it.” That’s an expression I took a bit too literally, but it is spot on.
My favorite part of The Dark Knight is when the Joker is talking to Harvey Dent in the hospital, and he says: “Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just DO things… I’m not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are.”
Read the whole thing. I’m guilty of this, I’ve fallen for the habit of trying to find the path to money from stuff that I do for fun. Blogging started out with that in mind, It has since changed. I now feel as if I need to write things down, as if things not written in the blog will just be forgotten. I have to DO!!!! Again, Read the whole thing!
Ultimately, I have a deep-seated belief that people should be able to do what they love from wherever they want to be, and that it’s my responsibility to make that true for myself and others. Portland will be an experiment that tests that belief. I’m looking forward to it, and time will tell if it’s the right fit for me and mine.
This is Alex Payne on moving to Portland from SanFo.
Excesses of appetite are the ways we conceal from ourselves what we hunger for. Kafka’s Hunger Artist – the man in the story of that name, who does performance-fasting for a living – is asked why he devoted his life to starving himself in public; he couldn’t help doing it, he says, “because I couldn’t find the food I liked. If I had found it, believe me, I should have made no fuss and stuffed myself like you and everyone else”.
loved this article! I’m reposting my favorite line. Hope you can read the whole thing, don’t agree with a lot, but it made me introspect!
Which points to the most irritating thing of all about management gurus: that their failures only serve to stoke demand for their services. If management could indeed be reduced to a few simple principles, then we would have no need for management thinkers. But the very fact that it defies easy solutions, leaving managers in a perpetual state of angst, means that there will always be demand for books like Mr Covey’s.
We want easy answers, we want gurus to find the answers for us. Damn. The journey is the fun part, all the angst, all the ups and downs. Learn to Learn. Learn to target. Learn what to target. Read if you must (I surely do) but never forfeit the right to think!