In 1981, B.F. Skinner wrote an essay “How to Discover What You Have to Say – A Talk to Students”, which still offers excellent advice on how to think through a project as a series of stages of exploration. His three rules are especially valuable. Along the way, Skinner said “Possibly I am confessing some special need for crutches.” If he needed them, who am I to claim I’m better at this?
DESCRIPTORS: old age, verbal behavior, thinking, work output
“The most important decisions a scholar makes are what problems to work on.” – James Tobin
I think that one of the things that separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool-builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing of about a third of the way down the list – it was not too proud of a showing for the crown of creation. So that didn’t look so good. But then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And a human on a bicycle blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts. And that’s what a computer is to me. It’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with. It’s a bicycle for our minds.
Profhacker over at The Chronicle has a short and sweet introduction to four powerful ideas from Dave Allen, Merlin Mann, and others.
For the uninitiated:
Or so says the One Bag One World Blog. My guess is that this neither would nor should upset anyone with the TSA, but it probably would get you pulled for additional screening since it contains metallic inks. Or better yet, millimeter wave detection.
That said, in my opinion TSA employees do a pretty danged good job, considering the circumstances.
Doesn’t actually put them in contention for a Guinness Book of Records certificate, but nice nonetheless!
It’s exceptional irony that Warren G. Harding signed the bill creating GAO.
Just for fun, let’s guess how many name changes will happen over the next 90 years. I’m guessing four, with my money on “Generally Acknowledged Omniscience” as one of those.
Here’s the press release: