A photograph, is it true or false?

Categories: Articles, Photography
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 16, 2011

A very interesting essay by Errol Morris about the truth/false-hood of a photography. Very eloquently summarized by him…

——

Image from NYtimes

The idea that photographs hand us an objective piece of reality, that they by themselves provide us with the truth, is an idea that has been with us since the beginnings of photography. But photographs are neither true nor false in and of themselves. They are only true or false with respect to statements that we make about them or the questions that we might ask of them.

The photograph doesn’t give me answers. A lot of additional investigation could provide those answers, but who has time for that?

Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but there are two words that you can never apply to them: “true” and “false.”

———-

What is the above photograph? To find out hit the source link below.

More of this essay from here: [The Link]

Also, interesting is his upcoming book: [Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography]

Solitude and Leadership, by William Deresiewicz

Categories: Articles, Talks
Tags: ,
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 15, 2011

An interesting lecture given by William Deresiewicz to graduating students..

 

here is a short excerpt from the beginning of the talk:

—-

What can solitude have to do with leadership? Solitude means being alone, and leadership necessitates the presence of others—the people you’re leading. When we think about leadership in American history we are likely to think of Washington, at the head of an army, or Lincoln, at the head of a nation, or King, at the head of a movement—people with multitudes behind them, looking to them for direction. And when we think of solitude, we are apt to think of Thoreau, a man alone in the woods, keeping a journal and communing with nature in silence.

Leadership is what you are here to learn—the qualities of character and mind that will make you fit to command a platoon, and beyond that, perhaps, a company, a battalion, or, if you leave the military, a corporation, a foundation, a department of government. Solitude is what you have the least of here, especially as plebes. You don’t even have privacy, the opportunity simply to be physically alone, never mind solitude, the ability to be alone with your thoughts. And yet I submit to you that solitude is one of the most important necessities of true leadership. This lecture will be an attempt to explain why.

—–

 

More of this here: [The Link]

More articles from authors webpage: [William Deresiewicz]

 

 

Hope, Change and Reality [from GQ mag]

Categories: Articles
Tags:
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 15, 2011

An interesting article about situational forces influences a persons aspirations and ideals over a period of time. In this case it is about the attorney general..

Here is a small excerpt from the article:
——-
Holder seemed deflated and tired, and in an attempt at humor, I pointed to the painting of Bobby Kennedy and made a joke about the independence of the attorney general. Holder bristled. “Some people say Bobby was pretty independent,” he snapped.

I nodded, and he seemed to relax. “But yeah,” he said, pointing at another painting across the room. “By contrast, Elliot Richardson.”

As Nixon’s third attorney general, Richardson lasted only five months, resigning in protest when the president ordered him to fire the Watergate prosecutor. “He has just one year under his name,” Holder mused. “There’s no dash. There’s no hyphen. He lasted just a number of months, but he did the job. He did the absolute right thing. When asked to do something he felt was inconsistent with his oath as attorney general, he resigned.”

Holder paused.

“So,” he said quietly. “He’s a hero.”
——-

More of this here: [The Link]

Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education

Categories: Articles
Tags:
Comments: No Comments
Published on: May 10, 2011

Another interesting article from The Nation,  about the crisis in higher education – phds, academic jobs and liberal arts education in general. Here are few excerpts from the article:

“Most professors I know are willing to talk with students about pursuing a PhD, but their advice comes down to three words: don’t do it. (William Pannapacker, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education as Thomas Benton, has been making this argument for years. See “The Big Lie About the ‘Life of the Mind,’” among other essays.) My own advice was never that categorical. Go if you feel that your happiness depends on it—it can be a great experience in many ways—but be aware of what you’re in for. You’re going to be in school for at least seven years, probably more like nine, and there’s a very good chance that you won’t get a job at the end of it.”

“When politicians, from Barack Obama all the way down, talk about higher education, they talk almost exclusively about math and science. Indeed, technology creates the future. But it is not enough to create the future. We also need to organize it, as the social sciences enable us to do. We need to make sense of it, as the humanities enable us to do. A system of higher education that ignores the liberal arts, as Jonathan Cole points out in The Great American University (2009), is what they have in China, where they don’t want people to think about other ways to arrange society or other meanings than the authorized ones. A scientific education creates technologists. A liberal arts education creates citizens: people who can think broadly and critically about themselves and the world.”

“For all its pretensions to public importance (every professor secretly thinks he’s a public intellectual), the professoriate is awfully quiet, essentially nonexistent as a collective voice. If academia is going to once again become a decent place to work, if our best young minds are going to be attracted back to the profession, if higher education is going to be reclaimed as part of the American promise, if teaching and research are going to make the country strong again, then professors need to get off their backsides and organize: department by department, institution to institution, state by state and across the nation as a whole. Tenured professors enjoy the strongest speech protections in society. It’s time they started using them.”

 

More of this article here: [The Link]

 

Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education

The free market

Categories: Articles
Tags:
Comments: No Comments
Published on: April 10, 2011

Seths Blog

via The free market.

Companies that operate in a free market generally work as hard as they can to make that market not free.

By creating lock in, monopolies, patent protection, long term contracts, chasms in pricing and other barriers to entry, companies profit out of proportion to their risk or investment. That’s their job.

Acting on their own behalf, self-interested companies will almost always work to make the playing field unlevel, to create loopholes and to generate barriers that keep the market unfree. It’s what their owners profit from.

Their adversaries? Technological change, enforced transparency and regulation in favor of consumer protection and against monopolies. There’s no question that an unfettered authoritarian corporate regime is more efficient and effective–in the short run. In the long run, though, the free market triumphs, as long as it isn’t destroyed by those that get to play first.

The free market is a great idea, which is why we need to be careful when market incumbents lobby to make it un-free.

— Seth Godin

 

No Innovators Dilemma Here: In Praise of Failure

Categories: Articles
Tags:
Comments: No Comments
Published on: April 9, 2011

Wired Top Stories

via No Innovators Dilemma Here: In Praise of Failure.

 

An inventor’s path is chorused with groans, riddled with fist-banging and punctuated by head scratches. Stumbling upon the next great invention in an “ah-ha!” moment is a myth. It is only by learning from mistakes that progress is made.

It’s time to redefine the meaning of the word “failure.” On the road to invention, failures are just problems that have yet to be solved.

The ability to learn from mistakes — trial and error — is a valuable skill we learn early on. Recent studies show that encouraging children to learn new things on their own fosters creativity. Direct instruction leads to children being less curious and less likely to discover new things.

More of this here: [The Link]

Engineering vs Liberal Arts.. for entrepreneurship?

Categories: Articles
Tags:
Comments: No Comments
Published on: March 27, 2011

From a recent article by Vivek Wadhwa about “what subjects they should major in order to become a tech entrepreneur,”..?

Here is his response and a very interesting article: [The Link]

Here is an excerpt:

..”So there is no black and white here. We need musicians, artists, and psychologists, as much as we need bio-medical engineers, computer programmers, and scientists.

My advice to my students—and to my own children—is to study what interests them the most; to excel in fields in which they have the most passion and ability; to change the world in their own way and on their own terms. Once they master their domain, they can find the path to entrepreneurship. They can then come up with creative ways of solving the problems that they have encountered, and apply their ideas to other fields where their knowledge adds value. Maybe they can team up with the hard-core engineers who develop the clunky, inelegant, over-engineered products that Bill is famous for; maybe work with Steve to create the next iPhone or iPad.”

 

 

 

Originality

Categories: Articles
Tags:
Comments: No Comments
Published on: March 24, 2011

Seth’s Blog

via Originality.

 

I get two kinds of mail about this. One group points to organizations or individuals who are stealing my ideas. “Stop them!” they say. The other doesn’t hesitate to point out that I’ve never had an original idea in my life, and that I’m merely a promotional hack.

Lewis Hyde’s new book is about the nature of ideas, and how they improve with use. It turns out that anyone who produces a totally new idea, something completely out of thin air, is unlikely to be a productive artist and a lot more likely to be seen as a total loon. Every artist builds on what came before. Ben Franklin, Bill Shakespeare, Alexander Graham Bell, Martin Luther King Jr., Shepard Fairey, Ricky Jay, Maya Angelou–all thieves.

Abbey Ryan is an artist on the leading edge of the painting-a-day practice. Like all visual artists, she finds her inspiration everywhere, from the supermarket to the work of other artists. Unlike some, though, she’s not reluctant to give credit to those that came before her.

For me, those that get all up in arms about sources of inspiration, the ones that misuse words like ‘plagiarism’ are rarely actively producing anything of value themselves. They’re merely trolls, eager to join a mob instead of spending their time and energy inventing, remixing and poking. If that’s all you can contribute–vague threats of lawsuits, insults and screeds–we’re better off ignoring you.

And for the self-styled producer who does nothing but copy and pass things off, we’re better off without you as well.

Now, more than ever, we can see the work an artist (in any medium, any endeavor) produces over time. If all an artist can do is steal, the truth will out. For the rest, though, a lifetime of consistent provocation, inspiration and generosity can’t help but shine through. Inspirations and all.

— Seth Godin

What Is a Good Life? by Ronald Dworkin [nybooks]

Categories: Articles
Tags:
Comments: No Comments
Published on: January 31, 2011

A very interesting article discussing about what is a good life? morality, ethics and happiness…An interesting excerpt from the article.

…”We might think, if we value daring very highly as a virtue, that even in retrospect he made the right choice. It didn’t work out, and his life was worse than if he had never tried. But he was right, all things ethically considered, to try. This is, I agree, an outré example: starving geniuses make good philosophical copy, but they are not thick on the ground. We can replicate the example in a hundred more commonplace ways, however—entrepreneurs pursuing risky but dramatic inventions, for instance, or skiers pressing the envelope of danger. But whether we are ourselves drawn to think that living well sometimes means choosing what is likely to be a worse life, we must recognize the possibility that it does. Living well is not the same as maximizing the chance of producing the best possible life. The complexity of ethics matches the complexity of morality.”

More of this here: [The Link]

“The answer is simple” (Seth’s blog)

Categories: Articles
Tags:
Comments: No Comments
Published on: December 11, 2010

Seths Blog

via “The answer is simple”.

…is always more effective a response than, “well, it’s complicated.”

One challenge analysts face is that their answers are often a lot more complicated than the simplistic (and wrong) fables that are peddled by those that would mislead and deceive. Same thing is true for many non-profits doing important work.

We’re not going to have a lot of luck persuading masses of semi-interested people to seek out and embrace complicated answers, but we can take two steps to lead to better information exchange:

1. Take complicated overall answers and make them simple steps instead. Teach complexity over time, simply.

2. Teach a few people, the committed, to embrace the idea of complexity. That’s what a great college education does, for example. That’s what makes someone a statesman instead of a demagogue. Embracing complexity is a scarce trait, worth acquiring. But until your customers/voters/employees do, I think the first strategy is essential.

You can’t sell complicated to someone who came to you to buy simple.

«page 1 of 4
Welcome , today is Monday, March 4, 2024