What I’ve been reading lately:
- Video: Wonderfully conceptualized, beautifully executed – (37signals) –
- Olympics 1, AIG 0: Why Forced Ranking Is a Bad Idea – Quick tip for management: If your company is so big that you have to give up individualized assessments of performance in favor of a system that makes you boil every employee down to one notch on a four point scale, then your company is just too big. Quick tip for employees: If your company does that, leave.
- The Hungry Metropolis – Saveur.com – Food critic Jonathan Gold calls LA the best place in the world to eat right now. He makes a compelling argument. I lived there for three and a half years and only tried a small slice of the cuisines listed. I didn't like Chinese noodles until I had the real thing in LA.
- "No Man Knows How Bad He Is Till He Has Tried Very Hard to Be Good." – That's from C.S. Lewis.
- Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy – Until he/she has at least one follower, a leader is just a "lone nut.? Watch this.
- Ian Bicking: a blog :: Why toppcloud will not be agnostic – The creator of Python's "pip" and "virtualenv" tools has now created a Django deployment solution. His resistance to the pressure to make the system more generic shows great wisdom: "So I feel very resolved: toppcloud will hardcode everything it possibly can. Python 2.6 and only 2.6! (Until 2.7, but then only 2.7!). Only Varnish/Apache/mod_wsgi. I haven’t figured out threads/processes exactly, but once I do, there will be only one way! And if I get it wrong, then everyone (everyone) will have to switch when it is corrected! Because I’d much rather have a system that is inflexible than one that doesn’t work."
- The death of Phoebe Prince – By Emily Bazelon – Slate Magazine – Everyone has a story about how they were bullied once, but how often do you hear stories about people who were bullies themselves? Just as everyone thinks they are good drivers and have good senses of humor and style, no one seems to think that *they* could be bullies. Obviously that can't be true.
Groups define themselves by who they exclude, and that doesn't change when you reach adulthood. The same group-defining nastiness that is called "bullying" when you're young manifests as sports fan one-upmanship or online snark when you're older. Adults, though, have more perspective, confidence, and freedom to distance themselves from groups that exclude them.
Stories about bullying are pretty clear evidence that our factory-modeled education system isn't the right thing for everyone. Some people worry that home-schooled kids don't develop socially like they should, but surely Phoebe Prince would have been better off without the "high school experience".