links for 2008-11-16

16 Nov
  • Part 1 of a 5-part series. A little over the top at times, but useful nevertheless
  • 'People are experience-rich and theory-poor,' he suggests. 'People who are busy doing things – as opposed to people who are busy sitting around, like me, reading and having coffee in coffee shops – don't have opportunities to kind of collect and organise their experiences and make sense of them.' Gladwell collects and organises on their behalf.
  • Starbucks, what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose. This is the best thing to happen to you! It could be worse, all these troubles could have been caused by a competitor burying you versus simply the economy. You’re lucky!
    Now is the time to redefine yourself – the way you want to be – without fear!
  • How did we get into a situation where it is illegal to provide public transport in a city that sorely lacks it? The Amartya Sen fallacy of course. Those buses are licensed to ferry employees for specific companies to a specific railway station. Once they finish their task, they have to go back to their resting place for the night, and of course, the enterprising drivers think that rather than go back empty, they might as well pick up some passengers. But they aren't licensed to do so, because if they do, they'd be running a general bus service and hence competing with government-provided bus service. So they have to go back empty and a lot of tired commuters have to reach home late. And oh.. remember how the whole idea of planning is to avoid the wastefulness that competition entails?
  • If your one place is on your “someday” list, let’s give it some kind of deadline, even if it’s far in the future. How about three years? Do you think that you could find a way to visit your one place sometime between tomorrow and three years from now?
  • • Table manners are keenly observed as a subtle sign of good breeding. Never talk with your mouth full; never reach across the table; do not wave cutlery around or yell “I’m done” to the waiter.
    • London’s top restaurants are expensive (£100 a head is not unheard of). Furthermore, an increasing number insist on taking credit card details before accepting a booking.
    • The British are less politically correct than their American counterparts. Wittiness can still mean an agility with sexual innuendo, with a pint in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
  • the person in charge of the security system can't be the person who decides what resources to devote to that security system. The analogy I like to use is a company: the VP of marketing wants all the money for marketing, the VP of engineering wants all the money for engineering, and so on; and the CEO has to balance all of those needs and do what's right for the company. So of course the TSA wants to spend all this money on new airplane security systems; that's their job. Someone above the TSA has to balance the risks to airlines with the other risks our country faces and allocate budget accordingly. Security is a trade-off, and that trade-off has to be made by someone with responsibility over all aspects of that trade-off.
  • Loosening the Indian government's famously bureaucratic "License Raj" when it comes to governing businesses has helped spur an economic surge that has transformed the country and its standing in the world. In contrast, critics say India's educational system remains mired in red tape that stifles expansion and innovation.

    The system falls far short of meeting the demand among young people for places in good colleges and universities. And it deprives India of the ranks of well-educated graduates it needs to supply crucial industries such as information technology and pharmaceuticals.

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Posted by on November 16, 2008 in Links


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