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Things That Make You Go Hhhhhmmmmm

The title was likely inspired by John Mauldin.

"Imitation is a stronger force in cultures than innovation. Everything goes more easily if we imitate rather than innovate – so we buy our clothes at the same department stores and eat out at the same chain restaurants. And when we imitate people – wearing their jerseys, singing their music, repeating their ideas – we are doing what most cultures do, copying people with prestige and status. For example, reporters rarely innovate when covering science, that is, they rarely come to their own opinion about difficult material. Rather, they establish a set of ‘go-to’ experts to cite. And those sets are populated largely by Ivy-league professors. There is nothing wrong with that. I simply point out that it is common. It saves one from the excruciating work of original thought."

Emphasis added.

Source: Everett, D. (2017, January 10). Why Language is Not Everything that Noam Chomsky Said It Is. Retrieved January 14, 2017, from https://aeon.co/essays/why-language-is-not-everything-that-noam-chomsky-said-it-is

Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 05:44AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment


"The overall process outlined in the course provided us with a new perspective on academic research. Admittedly, most of us had trouble understanding how the deliverables would contribute to the overall course in the first few weeks, but by week 3-4, we began to uncover the merits of the systematic approach. Throughout this graduate program, we have never been asked to develop a methodology in conjunction with the research process. After learning both the challenges and rewards of this undertaking, we would be remiss if this approach wasn’t replicated in our professional careers. The remaining portion of this paper will be dedicated to describing our process throughout the project, what we came away with, and the lessons learned along the way."

TMGT 9100-02 Fa16 Capstone Students

Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 05:47AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | Comments1 Comment

The Mark on the Mind

It occurred to me, while reading and grading term papers, that writing about something, however poorly, helps to etch, however faintly, the material on the mind of the writer.

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 09:32AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

A Changing World?

"As I think about Italy, one point nags at me. Trends all over the globe point away from centralized power. We don’t see much in the way of new economic or military alliances among nations. The trend is the opposite, as we see in the UK vote to exit the EU, Trump wanting tough negotiations on trade, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership falling apart. We also see regions within nations trying to claw back authority from their national governments."

Mauldin, J. (2016, December 2). A Big Swirling Italian Mess.


Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 06:44AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

The Cause of the Effect

"In his 1987 book, The Last Intellectuals, Russell Jacoby argued that the generation of writers and critics who came to political consciousness in the 1960s had been absorbed into the university and disappeared from public life, precipitating 'a withdrawal of intellectual energy from the larger domain to a narrower discipline.' For Jacoby, the implications were dire. 'The transmission belt of culture — the ineffable manner by which an older generation passes along not simply its knowledge but its dreams and hopes — is threatened,' he wrote. 'Younger intellectuals are occupied and preoccupied by the demands of university careers. As professional life thrives, public culture grows poorer and older.'"

Goldstein, E. (2016, November 13). The New Intellectuals. Retrieved November 20, 2016, from http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-New-Intellectuals/238354/

Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 01:42PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment


"In other words, the computer, Campbell said, accelerates the calculation and preparation that can lead to draws. Thanks, computer."

Roeder, O. (2016, November 19). Are Computers Draining The Beauty Out Of Chess? Retrieved from http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/world-chess-championship-game-6-carlsen-karjakin/

See also The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence. (2016, November 17). Retrieved from http://www.digitopoly.org/2016/11/17/the-simple-economics-of-machine-intelligence/

Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 07:04AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Harvesting the Web

Early in the mornings of Friday through Sunday I pour a cup of coffee, put my feet up, and harvest the web.  I go through my Morning Read (seven sites), NetNewsWire feeds (38 of these), and personal e-mail looking for items of interest.

Items of interest include those that simply strike my fancy or pique my curiosity, or that I think may be useful to me in my day job.  I am invoking the SIDAL loop,

and being mindful of the Eighth Law, "Old dogs that don't learn new tricks end up dead dogs."

I am a victum of that desease pointed out by Dorothy Parker in, "The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity."

Posted on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 07:55AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

George Gilder’s great insight is that knowledge...

...is the currency that has real value, a fact that he derives from Claude Shannon’s information theory. Knowledge is the signal in the noise that lets the markets know how to respond and helps each of us to decide what to buy and sell, whether to go to work or to stay home, every day.

John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline, September 14, 2016

Posted on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 07:46AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Truthiness on the March

"Nowadays, facts and truth are becoming increasingly difficult to uphold in politics (and in business and even sports). They are being replaced with what the American comedian Stephen Colbert calls “truthiness”: the expression of gut feelings or opinions as valid statements of fact. This year might be considered one of peak truthiness."

Your attention is drawn to this article by Lucy Marcus appearing on Project Syndicate.

Posted on Friday, September 16, 2016 at 08:15AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Things to Think About

"To this end, Mr Chollet argues that Mr Obama has formulated what amounts to a long-game checklist, a series of principles that should be applied to managing American power and making strategic choices. The first of these is balance: balance between interests and values, between priorities at home and abroad, between declared goals in different parts of the world, and between how much America should take on and how much should be borne by allies. And balance in the use of the whole toolbox—military power, diplomacy, economic leverage, development. Mr Chollet contrasts this with the lack of balance Mr Obama inherited from Mr Bush: a tanking economy, over 150,000 troops deployed in two wars and sagging American prestige.

The other key principles of the Obama checklist are: sustainability (avoid commitments that cost too much to stick with); restraint (ask not what America can do but what it should do); precision (wield a scalpel rather than a hammer); patience (give policies the time and effort to work); fallibility (be realistic about the chances of failure and modest about what you can achieve); scepticism (interrogate the issues and beware those peddling easy answers to difficult questions); exceptionalism (the recognition that because of its enormous power and attachment to universal values America has a unique responsibility to provide leadership in the world that cannot be ducked)."

I'm apolitical in this excerpt from a book reeview from The Economist (Playing it Long. (2016, July 30). The Economist, 66–67).  I'm only suggesting that there are good points raised that are relevant to decision making and worthy of consideration.

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2016 at 08:19AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment