links for 2010-10-29

29 Oct
  • I began to suspect I was too susceptible to the idea of the “writer’s desk” and decided it might be better to do without one. Somewhere along the way, I began to work in libraries. More important, I began to get work done in libraries. I acquired a laptop, a padded case for it, and a backpack. I carried pens, a notebook or two, a legal pad, and a few books. Very soon I felt like the academic equivalent of the college student backpacking abroad—I was entirely self-sufficient! I didn’t need a private desk and the talismanic power of special objects surrounding me. All I needed was a warm cardigan (summer temperatures can be freezing) and the ability to ignore certain trivial rules (no drinking in the reading room; I’m very discreet with my coffee), and I had everything I needed to work effectively.
  • In the end, science is no more compatible with religion than with other superstitions, such as leprechauns. Yet we don't talk about reconciling science with leprechauns. We worry about religion simply because it's the most venerable superstition — and the most politically and financially powerful.
    …pretending that faith and science are equally valid ways of finding truth not only weakens our concept of truth, it also gives religion an undeserved authority that does the world no good…
    And any progress — not just scientific progress — is easier when we're not yoked to religious dogma. Of course, using reason and evidence won't magically make us all agree, but how much clearer our spectacles would be without the fog of superstition!
  • Increasingly work has become a universal setting for individual to meet their universal needs for meaning. As organizations emerge from the recession, leaders need to become meaning makers who help employees replace deficit thinking with abundant thinking.
    Abundance is not found in circumstances or events—in how big a raise we got or how many people report to us. Abundance is found in the value we place on those events and the way we interpret their impact on us. Meaning is not inherent in events; it is made by people. This is thegood news and the not-so-good news. Good news: the meaning of our lives is not controlled by what happens—as [Viktor] Frankl discovered, we can find purpose, value, and also happiness in a wide variety of even unpleasant circumstances. Not-so-good news: We have to work at this meaning-making process. It takes work to determine what work means, at either a corporate or a personal level. Leaders have the primary responsibility for this meaning-making process.
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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in Uncategorized


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