links for 2010-09-27

  • really useful Competitive or Political Drama - aka “company X releases product Y to kill company Z” Gossip - “CEO of company X gets tangled up in Y” Insight - “trend X will change the world because of A, B, and C” Evolution & Confluence - “service Y is like X for Z, capitalizing on the recent developments of A and B” Success - “company X has created super impressive technology Y, is growing fast, or has made lots of money” Failure - “company X is dying or has messed something up”
  • The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."
  • great overview of college, liked this bit: One reason professors don’t think much of student excuses is because many students have different priorities than professors. As undergraduates, most professors were part of the “academic culture” on campus; in contrast, many undergraduates are part of the collegiate (interested in the Greek system, parties, and football games) or vocational (interested in job training) cultures. The academic culture, “[has a] minimal understanding of, and sympathy for, the majority of their undergraduate students” at big public schools. The principle is accurate: if you aren’t in school to learn and develop your intellect—and most students in most schools aren’t, as Murray Sperber shows—you probably won’t understand your professors and their motivations. But they will understand yours. Academics are a disproportionately small percentage of the student population at most schools but an extraordinary large proportion of grad students and professors.
  • A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on. Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: "You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong." Knight turned the machine off and on. The machine worked.

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