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April 27, 2008

Ideas, wrapped in behaviors

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Expressing ideas, the act of communicating, is behavior.

Some people seem to understand this well. Others … not so much.

What do you see?

February 29, 2008

Beginnings justify means

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Ends are never really ends, are they?

So it’s beginnings that must justify our means.

Given that, how should we live, if beginnings must justify our means?

February 26, 2008

finger traps, life traps

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The secret to escape a finger trap is to understand it first. Insight into the mechanisms that trap us leads to solutions that actually work. What we believe about the mechanisms of our world make a huge difference in our ability to live freely—or to feel pinched tightly in a giant finger trap.

Read the rest of the essay (in a new window) …

January 19, 2008

simple arithmetic, symptomatic behavior

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I like to use conversations about simple arithmetic to illustrate some interesting behaviors. Math as metaphor: does it make sense to you?

(Read all the conversations. Or open them in a new window or tab.)

2+2=3? Or 2+2=5? Which untruth do you prefer?

Is 3+1 somehow better than 1+3?  Don’t they both add up to four?

Got a problem with 8?  Why?

Do I stand corrected? Or do I step right over new information?

Answers, observations, demonstrations, and other related thoughts at my “math as metaphor” page …

January 6, 2008

the circle of observers

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A summary, an observersation:

From outside the circle, we can see inside the circle. We can observe the observers. We can see their blind spot.

Read the rest of this story (or open it in a new window or tab)

September 3, 2007

Warning sign

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Is it wise to ignore warning signs?

I think not.

What do you think?

September 1, 2007

How do you put out a fire?

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I recommend water.

Many folks seem to prefer to even more fire, though.

August 28, 2007

Two questions

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What are the effects of our own behavior?

How should we behave if we care about the answer?

Read this piece in its original context (or open it in a new window or tab)

August 23, 2007

Three key pieces

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And a frame that contains these pieces: Most models are wrong, but some are useful.

July 10, 2007

memorable fiction I’ve enjoyed

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Good stuff by well-known names such as Kurt Vonnegut and less-known but deserving writers such as Ray Vukcevich.

See the whole list (in a new window or tab)