Showing posts from September, 2008

Efficiency through simplicity

Tim Ferris recently posted about a Dutch ROWE office implementation. It was a good read, but I was more interested by the bit at the end about his own home office and techniques for simplifying life. "I limit misbehavior by limiting options. Notice that I have no shelves. This discourages accumulating papers and encourages both elimination and immediate digital note-taking." ... "Don’t want to eat too much chocolate? Don’t put it in your house." ... "Constraints — a precursor to simplicity — aren’t always a bad thing. In fact, they’re often better than increasing options." This reminded me of some simple "tweaks" I use in my own life to achieve optimal results. For instance, there are certain types of junk food that I just can't resist if they're in my cupboard, but at the grocery store, I have the discipline to simply not buy them. I buy healthy food instead. Then, when I'm at home looking for a snack, I end up eating cotta

Management vs. Leadership

Robert X. Cringely wrote a nice little post about Leadership recently. Everybody has lots to say on this topic -- most of which is meaningless blubber -- but I was particularly impressed with these little gems (emphasis added): "Management is telling people what to do, which is a vital part of any industrial economy. Leadership is figuring out what ought to be done then getting people to do it , which is very different. It is a vital part of any successful post-industrial economy, too, but most managers don't know that. ... In contrast to the military, most businesses do a lot less explaining and pondering and a lot more laying down edicts. That's management, which works fine on an assembly line, but not at all well building a big software application or winning a war. " You can read the full article here:

Green Party leading Facebook "polls"

The Green Party seems to be using media and technology well so far in this campaign. I was surprised to see how quickly and effectively they were able to mobilize Canadians to help them secure a spot in the public debates. Far from scientific, I've taken a quick "poll" of the official party pages on Facebook, a few days into the campaign. Currently they look like: Green: 2,417 fans, 142 wall posts, 24 discussion topics Liberal: 969 fans, 83 wall posts, 3 discussion topics Conservative: 654 fans, 75 wall posts, 5 discussion topics NDP: 437 fans, 19 wall posts, 2 discussion topics I wonder if these numbers actually reflect the voting preferences of the "Facebook demographic". Someone should do a more scientific study. Any volunteers?

Green Party ahead of its time. Too far ahead.

I just read the following press release from the Green Party: This shows one of the reasons the Greens have had such a hard time breaking into the mainstream. They have intelligent people and great ideas, but people don't understand them, and aren't ready for them yet. They talk about the "Guaranteed Livable Income" concept, which basically enforces a minimum standard of living in terms of food, shelter, health, etc. for everyone. Poverty is a complex issue that can't be solved with a "silver bullet" policy like this alone. But one would hope with all of our knowledge and technology, the least we'd be able to do by now is provide the basic necessities to everyone. This sounds like a progressive step towards a better society overall. The problem is that nobody is ready for radical changes like this yet. The Greens are making it too easy for other parties to prey on people's ignorance and fear

Banks need your money

As the credit crunch expands, some banks are now finding themselves in short supply of their primary asset -- money! Expect more offers like the one I received from RBC today: "As an RBC Direct Investing client, you’re probably already enjoying lower commissions on trades and top-notch research and investing tools. Now we’re offering a 1% cash bonus as well. Transfer $25,000 or more into an existing or new RBC Direct Investing account from an account held at an investment dealer outside of RBC by November 28, 2008, and you may be eligible for a cash bonus worth 1% of the transfer, to a maximum of $2,500 per account type. As an added incentive, we’ll also cover up to $125 in transfer fees." Perhaps they'll even get a clue and stop charging such ridiculous "maintenance fees" on their regular accounts.