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Showing posts from 2010

Happy New Year!

С Новым Годом!
Happy New Year!

An Interesting Chain Of Events

After consuming information and reflecting upon it I sometimes find it interesting to trace back the chain of events - what did catch my interest in the first place to trigger that initial inquiry? How did my search for additional information branch from that point on? Here's one example. Few years ago I picked up documentary called "The Corporation" at the local Borders book store. Why? No special reason, learning more about economics and business was (and still is) of interest to me and in that context the title sounded quite promising; the fact that it was on sale probably had something to do with it as well. So, I did not have any expectations when I started watching it, but once I did - it grabbed my attention completely. The documentary was very well made in terms of the presentation, structure, and content. Plus, it had an amazing range of people appearing in it - Ira Jackson, Ray Anderson, Noam Chomsky, Richard Grossman, Howard Zinn, Michael Moore, Milton Freidma…

Life As A Game Or The Game Of Life

"All the world's a stage and the men and women on it merely players" - ShakespeareApplying game theory concepts to all sorts of things has become quite trendy, and probably for good reasons. So, what is it all about? A quick search into "the source of all knowledge" (i.e. Wikipedia) provides us with the following reference:
Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is used in the social sciences, most notably in economics, as well as in biology (particularly evolutionary biology and ecology), engineering, political science, international relations, computer science, social psychology, and philosophy. Game theory attempts to mathematically capture behavior in strategic situations, or games, in which an individual's success in making choices depends on the choices of others (Myerson, 1991).Interestingly enough, people have been using these concepts long before the "unified field" theory got established. For example, in the 17th century Blai…

Inscription On The Bell

What can I say, I am a huge sucker for catchy quotes. So, I could not let this one pass me by:
"All truth is one in this light: may science and religion endeavor here for the steady evolution of mankind from darkness to light, from narrowness to broadmindedness, from prejudice to tolerance. It is the voice of life which calls us to come and learn."Inscribed on the bell in Hayes Hall Bell Tower at SUNY  (State University of New York) Buffalo.

Ten Dirty Little Secrets You Should Know About Working In IT

I like a good "xyz ten" list (where xyz = top, best, worst, ...) as much as the other guy. And though I admit that the notion is, in most cases, rather shallow (oversimplification <> clear and concise delivery of a message) it often makes for an uplifting (funny) read. Here's one:
IT pros frequently use jargon to confuse nontechnical business managers and hide the fact that they screwed upSome IT professionals deploy technologies that do more to consolidate their own power than to help the businessVeteran IT professionals are often the biggest roadblock to implementing new technologiesYou’ll spend far more time babysitting old technologies than implementing new onesVendors and consultants will take all the credit when things work well and will blame you when things go wrongYour nontechnical co-workers will use you as personal tech support for their home PCsCertifications won’t always help you become a better technologist, but they can help you land a better job or a…

Academic Inflation and New Education Paradigms

The "new media" must be getting to me. The chain of events leading to this blog post has been triggered by a great (IMHO) video I came across on the YouTube - "Changing Education Paradigms" by Sir Ken Robinson:

But this video only increased my appetite for information on the subjects that I have been thinking and talking to my friends about for quite some time - depreciation of the value of academic degrees and what should the education system of the future look like (I think it is pretty clear that major overhaul of the existing system is desirable). So, I went on to investigate Ken Robinson's point of view further by getting his book - "Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative". And while I have not yet had much time to spend on it (a more complete review will be a subject for a different post), whatever little I have read confirmed some of my worries. Here are a few excerpts:

There was a time when good academic qualifications guaranteed a job, but n…

Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work?

4/6/2012: Came across an interesting article in Harvard Business Review titled "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time". It is just full of information that really resonated with me. To quote the conclusion - "When you're engaged at work, fully engage, for defined periods of time. When you're renewing, truly renew. Make waves. Stop living your life in the gray zone." There are also a few references there to other great articles:
Nearly half of employers say workers are burned out on their jobsSlow Down, Brave Multitasker, and Don’t Read This in TrafficManage Your Energy, Not Your TimeTake Vacation Now, Be More Productive Later

Not too long ago I read a book titled "Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams" by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister. It was a good book and I enjoyed reading it, but I did not find any groundbreaking or truly novel concepts in it. So, I would call the book very commonsensical, but I still find reading about things I already ki…