Archive for July, 2009
In his New York Times column today, technical writer David Pogue explains how all major wireless phone companies use “The Mandatory 15-Second Voicemail Instructions” to chew up your airtime, and make hundreds of millions of dollars. BUT, he also explains what we can do about it. He’s organizing an email campaign, and has forewarned the phone companies that we’re coming.
If you are willing to spend 30 to 60 seconds of your time sending an email, Pogue actually thinks it will have an impact, and he has the correct email address you should use to share your concerns with your carrier. Read what you can do today at “Take Back the Beep Campaign.” It could well turn out to be worth far more than the time you spend reading.
I just finished reading the book Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell. I don’t pretend to be an astute interpreter of social comment or literary works, but I found this book fascinating. What apparently started as an investigation of the super-successful, in search of clues we might all use to improve our chances in life, became a revealing study of human socio-economic hierarchies, family and social histories, and just plain dumb luck.
Even if you don’t completely buy into Gladwell’s theories, his anecdotal evidence is intriguing and entertaining on many levels. He plots the success of several well-known people; Bill Gates, The Beatles, and others, and concludes that pure chance had as much to do with their mega-success as their natural talents, and their willingness to work very hard. By the way, he does not dismiss the talent and work ethic as major reasons for success, he just points out the several and incredible strokes of luck that contributed heavily to these people’s rise to the top. In the process, he concludes that these same factors influence how well your second-grader may, or may not, succeed in school.
Much more complete, and overwhelmingly positive, reviews are available on Amazon, but there are a handful of negative opinions as well. It’s a relatively short book, about 300 pages, and for my part, I think it’s well worth the read. At the very least, it should contribute to a spirited dialogue about how we view and measure success, especially in our young.
If you haven’t seen the wonderful international music video “Stand By Me” you must click the link and go there now. Yes, it’s the old Ben E. King song, but it was recorded by dozens of artists all over the globe, and then cut together into a really creative and moving piece. Thanks to Lia Carmody for sending this to me.
You can CLICK HERE or use the link in the sidebar.
Is it just me, or is Rush Limbaugh a bigger, fatter, more insane, lying blowhard than I even thought he was?