Meetings Suck – What a Great Book

It’s a highly tactical guide to a narrowly-defined problem. And easy, breezy to read.

If you run meetings, it’s gotta be required reading. What surprised me was the insight it provided about being a good attendee.

If you’re in a more corporate environment, meetings are a baller opportunity to demonstrate your value and get noticed. Especially if everyone else is coasting through it. Although that isn’t my context, I’ve never thought about it like that. Strategic, clever, awesome.


Looking Honestly at Ourselves

The range of what we think and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice
That we fail to notice
There is little we can do
To change
Until we notice
How failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds

The Power of Full Engagement put me onto this poem by RD Laing.

The book is as great as the poem, if you’re into these kinds of things.



The Saloon

All you need to know is that I was remarkably late for work this morning.

Mistake number 1, someone went to the Patriot Saloon for the first time on a Monday.

Mistake number 2 — and this was the doozy — he did it while the sun was still up.


Defeat is a state of mind. No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality. To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.

Bruce Lee

H/T: Don Yaeger’s Daily Dose of Greatness


The UCSF Coffee Shop…

The menu includes individual pour over coffee, all organic teas, and Gibraltars.

Talk about maximum San Francisco.

And not bad for a cafe in a university library.


Procrastination Diaries

I’ve been dreading and putting off a task for 13 days.

It took 7.5 minutes to complete.



Gracious acceptance is an art—an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving… Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you. (Alexander McCall Smith)

It took me until I was 28 to learn this. Especially when it came to congratulations and thanks. I thought I was being polite by rejecting such thing. Now, I know it is just the opposite.


Still, it occurred to me that, for all the passion I had for my theory, I might be the only person in the world who felt this way. Neurobiologist Robert A. Burton points out in his book On Being Certain that the sensation of being sure about one’s beliefs is an emotional response separate from the processing of those beliefs. It’s something that the brain does subconsciously to protect itself from wasting unnecessary processing power on problems for which you’ve already found a solution that’s good enough.

“ ‘That’s right’ is a feeling you get so that you can move on,” Burton told me. It’s a kind of subconscious laziness. Just as it’s harder to go for a run than to plop onto the sofa, it’s harder to reexamine one’s assumptions than it is to embrace certainty. At one end of the spectrum of skeptics are scientists, who by disposition or training resist the easy path; at the other end are conspiracy theorists, who’ll leap effortlessly into the sweet bosom of certainty. So where did that put me? Jeff Wise in New York Magazine.

Interesting tidbit from an interesting article on his theory about Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.


Perhaps he sensed that he was king of an entropic kingdom imprisoned by incontinence and cholesterol ads. (NY Times)

Man, what a great sentence.



New Yorker on the recent blizzard prep in NYC.

By ten o’clock, most of the streets in the boroughs had been plowed. By two, the sun was shining against the glassy facades of lower Manhattan. The lead meteorologist in southern New Jersey issued his “deepest apologies.” This Wisconsin native was back at work, underwhelmed by what the big city had to offer.

It’s a humorous article, but in general I’m all for over-preparing for possible events like these. I think humanity undervalues how fortunate we are to be so good at identifying possible weather events ahead of time. It prevents many deaths.