links for 2008-11-24

24 Nov
  • used to be known as “spoiling.” Now it is called “overparenting”—or “helicopter parenting” or “hothouse parenting” or “death-grip parenting.” The term has changed because the pattern has changed. It still includes spoiling—no rules, many toys—but two other, complicating factors have been added. One is anxiety. Will the child be permanently affected by the fate of the hamster? Did he touch the corpse, and get a germ? The other new element—at odds, it seems, with such solicitude—is achievement pressure. The heck with the child’s feelings. He has a nursery-school interview tomorrow. Will he be accepted? If not, how will he ever get into a good college? Overparenting is the subject of a number of recent books, and they all deplore it in the strongest possible terms.
  • Leadership is about having a compelling vision, a credible plan how to get there, and gaining commitment to that vision and plan. I didn’t hear enough of that to convince me these guys knew what they were doing…
    were all about doom and gloom, and probably ticked-off Washington and the public more than ever with their performance…
    Leadership is also about accountability, being able to recognize problems before they become big problems, admitting that you have a problem, and taking responsibility to fix it…I saw very little demonstration of accountability…Not much candor, and a lot of finger-pointing.
    Then there’s authenticity; and humility; teamwork; and commitment…Rick Wagoner came across as arrogant, defensive, and out of touch. Ford’s Alan Mulally pretty much threw him under the bus, saying he was only there because GM was there. And Chrysler’s Bob Nardelli acted like he didn’t even want to be there, like he was just waiting for it to be done with.
  • After the junk bond meltdown, the S&L debacle, and now the financial panic, in just a few years the financial community destroyed the ancient wisdom: deal in personal trust; your word is your bond; avoid extremes; treat the money you invest for others as something sacred; don’t take any more perks than you would wish others to take; don’t borrow what you couldn’t suddenly pay back; imagine the worse case financial scenario and expect it very may well happen; the wealthier you become the more humble you should act. And for what did our new Jay Goulds do all this? A 20,000 square-foot mansion instead of the old 6,000 sq. ft. expansive house? A Gulfstream in lieu of first class commercial? You milk your company, cash in your stock bonuses, enjoy your $50 million cash pile, and then get what—a Rolex instead of a reliable Timex? A …gold bathroom spout in preference to brushed pewter? The extra splurge was marginal and hardly worth the stain of avarice on one’s immortal soul.
  • "The key is not having the ideas but having the recipe to deal with your ideas," Taleb says. "We don't need moralizing. We need a set of tricks." His trick is a protocol that stipulates precisely what has to be done in every situation. "We built the protocol, and the reason we did was to tell the guys, Don't listen to me, listen to the protocol. Now, I have the right to change the protocol, but there is a protocol to changing the protocol. We have to be hard on ourselves to do what we do. The bias we see in Niederhoffer we see in ourselves."
  • the WordPress admin is the result of complete thinking outside the box, research and user testing. The concept began as “Let’s throw everything away that we assume to be proper and correct and see what we can come up with when we have no preset conditions”.

    The result is a semantically, aesthetically and structurally different WordPress than you’ve ever known before. This is not your grandma’s WordPress!

  • The failure of Citigroup, which looks increasingly likely to happen in the near future, would mark the end of the beginning of the financial crisis. Until now, the prevailing view has been that the crisis and recession will pass in a year or so, after which things will go back, more or less, to the way they were, with a few less financial institutions, and a bit more regulation. A Citigroup failure would put paid to that idea.

    Citi is not only too big to fail, it’s too big to rescue with any of the half-measures that have been tried so far.

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Posted by on November 24, 2008 in Links


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