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links for 2010-06-04

04 Jun
  • Hierarchy plus meritocracy equals quality and efficiency, right?
    Wrong.
    In the kind of meritocracy that companies try to implement, people progress linearly…
    This approach doesn't add up for three reasons:
    It allows no scope for learning. It suggests that people can't ever change their grades, so to speak — for better or worse. This is plainly false…
    It ignores the fact that our value or talent depends on circumstances…We all have unique capabilities that must be constantly reassessed in a world of shifting priorities.
    You can't reduce a person's value to a single letter or number on a scale of merit…
    if all you're motivating is a scramble for seniority…think of the tremendous downside.
    The false theory of meritocracy has too many managers looking over their shoulders, striving to prove themselves, and spending a small fraction of their time fulfilling their core leadership role, which is to help bring out the best in others
  • Fill a lightweight material with hot air, helium or hydrogen, and you have a vessel that floats in the air. People around the world use balloons, blimps and airships for transportation, to conduct research, to deliver messages, to protest, and – mostly – for having fun. Collected here are recent photographs of balloons of all shapes, sizes and purposes – ranging from a child's toy to a football-field-sized research instrument, and much in between
  • Check out an animated book trailer for Instructions, the new book from Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman and illustrator Charles Vess!
  • If you believe that homeopathic medicine can treat ailments better than medicine that has been scientifically proven to work, you are acting irrational. In this short video James Randi explains homeopathy. This is a portion of the lecture Randi gave at Princeton in 2001.
  • Science comes tied with the idea that there is a definable difference between rationality and irrationality; that there exist universally applicable laws; that certain things are truer than others; that, while we may not have a standard for absolute truth, there are statements which are demonstrably false…Scientific skepticism resides in the desire to investigate unexplained phenomena in order to find natural elucidations through rigorous observation, deduction and experiment.
    Philosophical skepticism, on the other hand, questions the grounds for the validity of all knowledge, including scientific knowledge…By mixing up scientific and philosophical skepticism, those holding positions contravening scientific consensus often portray themselves as fighters against an entrenched, dogmatic establishment.
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Posted by on June 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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