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links for 2008-11-05

05 Nov
  • My impressions may have been swayed by the fact that their candy dish was always full, but several studies now show that the Sloans could well have been more content than most of the traditional families around them. In Daniel Gilbert's 2006 book "Stumbling on Happiness," the Harvard professor of psychology looks at several studies and concludes that marital satisfaction decreases dramatically after the birth of the first child—and increases only when the last child has left home. He also ascertains that parents are happier grocery shopping and even sleeping than spending time with their kids. Other data cited by 2008's "Gross National Happiness" author, Arthur C. Brooks, finds that parents are about 7 percentage points less likely to report being happy than the childless.
  • To apply the strategy innovation Google is attempting against Microsoft and to benefit from this 2,400-year-old pattern of competition, ask yourself two questions:
    • Where is your competitor’s home turf?
    • Is there an inexpensive attack you could launch against this home turf to force them onto the defensive?
    These two questions could put into play one of the most powerful patterns of strategic innovation. This is the same pattern that has lions fight in pairs (they can thereby fluster their opponents). This is the same pattern that led to Virgin Atlantic Airways, the survival of Goodyear, and the disruption of numerous once-dominant firms.
    Of course this works best when the person you wish to innovate against does not fully calculate the end outcome of its evolution. I think, in Google’s case, Microsoft knows what is happening. Microsoft has, after all, been playing such moves for decades.
  • Madison and Ava's "Perfect" Before-Bed Reading List (Best Book Recommendations)
  • There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.
    The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
    I promise you, we as a people will get there…
    As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
    And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
  • A sustained encounter with just about any good book on the Kindle is a rich, enormous, demanding, cerebral event. It’s like reading used to be — long ago before anyone had ever seen the brightly backlighted screens of laptops, cellphones and iPods that, when activated, turn everyone’s personal field of vision into layers of garish light and sound, personal Times Squares. The Kindle screen looks dusty, like newsprint.
    As an electronic device, it should be said, the Kindle is a complete bust. We all know what to look for now in consumer electronics, thanks (largely) to Steve Jobs, who with his Macs and iPods made high-design commodities of such extreme tactile pleasures that users have long reported desires to chew them, lick them, even copulate with them. No such urge possesses the Kindle user, who maintains a more formal relationship with his device, no matter how open-minded and forward-thinking he privately feels in owning one.
  • I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.
    Americans never quit. We never surrender.
    We never hide from history. We make history.
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Posted by on November 5, 2008 in Links

 

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