How are busy, curious people supposed to keep up with all the latest information? Even if you read Scientific American and watch Nova faithfully, you still probably wind up with more questions than answers.
Ask a Scientist is an informative, entertaining, monthly event for adults, held at a San Francisco cafe. Each event features a speaker on a current topic, a short presentation, and the opportunity to ask all those burning questions that have been keeping you up at night. No tests, grades, or pressure…just food, drinks, socializing, and conversation about the universe’s most fascinating mysteries!
Eric Hoffer wrote in his study of the fanatical believer, The True Believer:
“The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause…
A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business….”
Here is a good list of questions designed to elicit information that can be used creatively in a variety of situations that involve conflict resolution or negotiation:
1. How important is this?
2. Where do you feel stuck?
3. What is the intent of what you’re saying?
4. What can we do for you?
5. What do you think the problem is?
6. What’s your role in this issue?
7. What have you tried so far? What worked? What didn’t?
8. Have you experienced anything like this before? (If so, what did you do?)
9. What can you do for yourself?
10. What do you hope for?
11. What’s preventing you from …”
12. What would you be willing to give up for that?
13. If you could change one thing, what would it be?
14. Imagine a point in the future where your issue is resolved.
How did you get there?
15. What would you like us to ask?
16. What have you learned?”
From Carter McNamara.
Avoid These Negotiating Mistakes
By Anthony Cerminaro
“Negotiation is a difficult art as it requires managing, in real-time, both the other person’s mind and your own. Here are a number of mistakes that negotiators can make…
*Accepting positions: Assuming the other person won’t change their position.
*Accepting statements: Assuming what the other person says is wholly true.
*Hurrying: Negotiating in haste (and repenting at leisure).
*Hurting the relationship: Getting what you want but making an enemy.
*Issue fixation: Getting stuck on one issue and missing greater possibilities.
*Missing strengths: Not realizing the strengths that you actually have.
*Misunderstanding authority: Assuming that authority and power are synonymous.
*Misunderstanding power: Thinking one person has all the power.
*One solution: Thinking there is only one possible solution.
*Over-wanting: Wanting something too much.
*Squeezing too much: Trying to gain every last advantage.
*Talking too much: Not gaining the power of information from others.
*Win-lose: Assuming a fixed-pie, win-lose scenario.”
Read more, including steps you can take to avoid making the foregoing mistakes in this webpage from ChangingMinds.org.
Open Source Models
[via Anish] Jeffrey Phillips writes:
The web paradigm is changing the way we think about work. Now I can work from anywhere, with anyone through web-based collaboration. The web paradigm should also change the way we compute and use data, systems and information, and bend these to our way of working, rather than us continually working to the computer’s existing shortcomings. Right now, the computer and the network and the software it contains is an idiot box. I do as much for it as it does for me.
Where did we go wrong? We introduced a product that was good at doing one task (computation) very quickly into a situation (the knowledge based office) that does many things once. So the power of computing, especially given the massive computing power available to most of us, is never used, and the real requirements we have in the way we work are not ones the computer was originally intended to support.
What can we do to change this? Look to the open source software models. That’s where change is likely to occur. Microsoft Office and the large transactional packages we use to run our businesses don’t really help knowledge workers with their requirements. That’s why blogs, wikis, tagging and other concepts and functions from the open source and web world are so intriguing right now to many knowledge workers.
Blue Ocean Strategy: Do’s and Don’ts
What is a BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY?
The authors explain it by comparing it to a red ocean strategy (traditional strategic thinking):
1. DO NOT compete in existing market space.
INSTEAD you should create uncontested market space.
2. DO NOT beat the competition.
INSTEAD you should make the competition irrelevant.
3. DO NOT exploit existing demand.
INSTEAD you should create and capture new demand.
4. DO NOT make the value/cost trade-off.
INSTEAD you should break the value/cost trade-off.
5. DO NOT align the whole system of a company’s activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost.
INSTEAD you should align the whole system of a company’s activities in pursuit of both differentiation and low cost.
Examples of strategic moves that created blue oceans of new, untapped demand:
– NetJets (fractional Jet ownership)
– Cirque du Soleil (the circus reinvented for the entertainment market)
– Starbucks (coffee as low-cost luxury for high-end consumers)
– Ebay (online auctioning)
– Sony (the Walkman – personal portable stereos)
– Cars: Japanese fuel-efficient autos (mid-70s) and Chrysler minivan (1984)
– Computers: Apple PC (1978) and Dell’s built-to-order computers (mid-1990s).
$1 Billion in Sales? Here’s How to Do It By Anthony Cerminaro
1. Create and sustain a breakthrough value proposition…create an entirely new market…redefine an existing market…underprice the competition…
2. Exploit a high-growth market…
3. Focus relentlessly on cash flow…be profitable from a very early stage…finance growth at less cost than competitors…
4. Leverage big-brother alliances…
5. Pack your board with industry experts…
… the big reason why it’s so difficult for programmers to pick potential winners is due to the inefficiency and limitations of the broadcast medium itself.
Due to the scarcity of prime time slots that’s inherent in the linear programming format, programmers are forced to choose a very small percentage of available projects/shows. For every project that gets the green light, there are countless others that didn’t make the cut.
… the probability that potential winners were rejected is very high.
Robert Young writes via Internet TV
Are we moving into a new era of business computing?
“Modular utility services will eventually displace most of the complex, proprietary systems that companies and their IT vendors have painstakingly – and often painfully – constructed over the last fifty years. And business computing, as it slowly frees itself from its client-server shackles, will indeed become “easier, faster and cheaper.” I’ve called it “the end of corporate computing,” meaning that most of the computing assets traditionally owned and maintained by individual corporations will come to be owned and maintained by outside utility suppliers.”
Across America, there were more emergency room visits for abuse of legal drugs than for cocaine. via Science Blog
* 30% involved illicit drugs only,
* 25% involved pharmaceuticals only,
* 15% involved illicit drugs and alcohol,
* 8% involved illicit drugs with pharmaceuticals, and
* 14% involved illicit drugs with pharmaceuticals and alcohol.
Women are wired to detect which men like children.
Child Friendliness In Male Faces
By combining a hand-held global positioning system with a galvanic skin response sensor (that measures the sweatiness of your fingers), London-based artist Christian Nold has created a gadget that measures your arousal as you walk around.
Superimposing the data onto your route, using something like Google Earth, allows you to see a kind of ’emotion map‘ for where you’ve been. Link to Bio-mapping website via Mind Hacks
By 2020, wind power both on and offshore, together with small scale wind and marine renewables could contribute 21% of projected UK electricity supplies.
Name any goal in the USA that is similar.
Truth cloaks itself in paradox, lies in deception, poetry in obscurity, love in self-effacement. Everything important remains masked.
via wood s lot
Rescuing Da Vinci is the first comprehensive photographic telling of the amazing and largely “untold” story of Hitler and the Nazi theft of Europe’s greatest art and America and her Allies’ recovery of it.
The book is 320 pages in length and contains more than 460 photographs including 60 in color. It is the first time this group of photographs has been assembled in a single book. These photographs, rarely published and with clarity not seen before, illustrate masterpieces being handled in unimaginable ways.
While enjoying dinner in Mill Valley prepared by a fine chef only recently from Israel, Joe Klass, the grandfather of the famous Klass Foundation, who spent more time as a WWII POW than any American, said to me, “We will see pieces melt from the bottom of glaciers. Soldiers were ordered to throw everything.”
There’s an update to this post at “Hitler’s mountain treasures“
And another update:
Joe Klass thinks three strikes laws are mis-used. His 12-year-old granddaughter Polly was kidnapped and murdered by a repeat offender. The case provided much of the impetus for the three-strikes law Klass initially supported. But he takes issue with the provision that counts non-violent crimes as third strikes.
A much more interesting and important plagiarism case is happening at Raytheon, where the defense contractor’s board has penalized the CEO by what could amount to a million bucks, while still praising his leadership.
It seems that CEO Bill Swanson had been publishing and assuming credit for a pamphlet called Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management, a compendium of digestible platitudes that Business 2.0, in its regrettable cover story last July, called “The CEO’s Secret Handbook.”
Swanson, however, apparently ripped off much of “his” rules from a 1944 book called The Unwritten Laws of Engineering.
The boxTank posts that the Forum for Urban Design and responds to a panelist’s statement saying, “It’s not our job to say: Gee, the new Home Depot sucks…”
But of course it is!
That’s exactly your role; that’s exactly the built environment as it’s now experienced by the majority of the American public. “Architecture,” for most Americans, means Home Depot – not Mies Van Der Rohe. You have every right to discuss that architecture. For questions of accessibility, material use, and land policy alone, if you could change the way Home Depots all around the world are designed and constructed, you’d have an impact on built space and the construction industry several orders of magnitude larger than changing just one new high-rise in Manhattan – or San Francisco, or Boston’s Back Bay.
You’d also help people realize that their local Home Depot is an architectural concern, and that everyone has the right to critique – or celebrate – these buildings now popping up on every corner.
If critics only choose to write about avant-garde pharmaceutical headquarters in the woods of central New Jersey – citing Le Corbusier – then, of course, architectural criticism will continue to lose its audience. And it is losing its audience: this was unanimously agreed upon by all of last night’s panelists.
Many diseases are detected in late stages just because the tests that detect them are expensive and require manpower and equipment that makes them scarce. What if tests were really that simple. Many lives will be saved thanks to early detection and available cheap preventive screening.
The above scenario is not science fiction anymore. Israeli company Medex Screen Ltd has unveiled groundbreaking pen shaped device that detects cancer and other internal organ diseases in 20 minutes. The new device promises breakthrough in internal disease diagnostics and detection with amazingly simple procedure.
The device, called Medex Test is a pen shaped detector, about 10 inches long which connects to a standard personal computer. All the doctor has to do is touch the fingers of the patient. Results and diagnostic information is then displayed graphically on the computer screen.
Kelly Odell is learning everyday about the power of the digital universe. A couple weeks ago he published the “World’s Shortest Marketing Plan” giving himself the challenge of making a marketing plan template that was reasonably comprehensive and could fit on a single page. This was Odell’s reaction to marketing plan templates — just too long and too complicated to get your arms around — even as a seasoned marketer and damn near impossible for a novice.
No wonder they’re man’s best friend. Deborah Wells of the Canine Behaviour Centre at Queen’s University Belfast has surveyed the literature and found widespread evidence for the benefits that dogs can bring to our physical and psychological well-being.
Read Reasons to own a dog
A Force More Powerful is the first and only game to teach the waging of conflict using nonviolent methods. Destined for use by activists and leaders of nonviolent resistance and opposition movements, the game will also educate the media and general public on the potential of nonviolent action and serve as a simulation tool for academic studies of nonviolent resistance.