Monthly Archives: November 2014

The fear of freedom

Seth Godin writes:

What will you do next?

What can you learn tomorrow?

Where will you live, who will you connect with, who will you trust?

Are questions better than answers? Maybe it’s easier to get a dummies book, a tweet or a checklist than it is to think hard about what’s next…

It’s certainly easier to go shopping. And easier still to buy what everyone else is buying.

We live in an extraordinary moment, with countless degrees of freedom. The instant and effortless connection to a billion people changes everything, but instead, we’re paralyzed with fear, a fear so widespread that you might not even notice it.

We have more choices, more options and more resources than any generation, ever.

LINK: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/11/the-fear-of-freedom.html

Leave a comment

Filed under freedom, future, person: seth godin, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Optimism About MOOCs Fades in Campus IT Offices

http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/optimism-about-moocs-fades-in-campus-it-offices-survey-finds/54705
““I’m not surprised to see some pessimism about the role of MOOCs in the future,” said Norman Bier, director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University. “After a lot of excitement and a little bit of hype over the past year or two, what we’re seeing is, simply taking learning materials and making them available is not a guarantee of quality.””

======================

Roger Schank writes about the above article:
“So, thats nice, nothing good will happen online for a while because of MOOCs, but we can stop pretending that education is about listening to lectures and passing tests and go back to thinking about how real learning has always been about trying to do something you want to do and having someone available who knows more than you do who is willing to help you do it. (Sometimes these are called teachers.)”
LINK

Leave a comment

Filed under Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Garrison Keillor on Lutefisk

“OK, they had some Swedish Meatballs available for people who could not stand that [the lutefisk at the lutefisk dinner at the Lutheran Church]”

“our version of unleavened bread…”

— Garrison Keillor, News From Lake Wobegon, 11/22/2014
http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/listen/?date=2014/11/22 and click the segment OR MP3: http://download.publicradio.org/…/11/22/nflw_20141122_64.mp3

More on lutefisk, Norwegians, and Lutherans at his books and CDs

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Agents for Rock Star Programmers

THE PROGRAMMER’S PRICE
Want to hire a coding superstar? Call the agent.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/24/programmers-price?utm_source=tny&utm_campaign=generalsocial&utm_medium=facebook&mbid=social_facebook

“The combination of the nascent digital age and the global recession has led to a rise in independent contractors. Some people call this new world the “gig economy” or the “1099 economy,” after the tax form used by freelancers. “I think it’s the future of work,” Guvench said. Mian agreed. “I think everyone should have a manager,” he told me. “Not just creative people—everyone. It’s cool to have an advocate and a confidant. We can all be rock stars.”

Leave a comment

Filed under work

Productivity tips… with research to back it up

Tips from Cal Newport
http://theweek.com/article/index/266737/how-to-be-the-most-productive-person-in-your-office-mdash-and-still-get-home-by-530-pm

Leave a comment

Filed under person: Cal Newport, play, productivity vs procrastination, work, work-life balance

In the mood…

“Learn to rush to your laptop and open it up. Open the file without asking yourself if you’re in the mood, without thinking about anything else. Just open the file: and then you’re safe. Once the words are on the screen, that becomes your distraction.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/09/the-simple-profound-act-of-perceiving-the-world/380659/?single_page=true

Leave a comment

Filed under motivation, quotes, work, work-life balance

Play – it’s how you get work done

EDWARD NORTON (from an interview on NPR)
“When I’m making stuff today, I still feel like the whole enterprise—for all the money that comes into it and all the sophistication of the toys you get—you’re kind of just trying to get towards that sensation where you’re playing in an unencumbered way. You’re trying to minimize the stress of the pressures that come with getting these kinds of toys and these kinds of budgets, and get in the same headspace that you were in then when you were excited about every little idea, and trying all kinds of crazy things.”
LINK

================

PETER GRAY writes about the research on this exact thing:

From his book: Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

From Chapter 7: The Playful State of Mind…

“Inducing a playful mood improves creativity and insightful problem solving” (p 136) — Gray describes things that have worked in experiments: funny videos to students before working on problems, giving candy to doctors before they diagnose!

“Much of the research I cite in this chapter was conducted by people who don’t necessarily use the term “play” or “playful” in describing their hypotheses and findings. They talk instead about “pressured” versus “unpressured” states of mind, or about positive moods versus negative moods, or about self-motivated tasks and goals versus those imposed by others. But from the perspective of this chapter, all such research is about play. Play is unpressured, self-motivated activity, conducted with a positive frame of mind.” (Footnote 4, Chap 7, p 244)

On his own work: “…I would estimate that my behavior in writing this book is about 80 percent play. That percentage varies from time to time as I go along; it decreases when I worry about deadlines or how critics will evaluate it, and it increases when I’m focused only on the current task of researching or writing.” (p 140)

From his blog: Why Hunter Gatherers’ Work is Play
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200907/play-makes-us-human-v-why-hunter-gatherers-work-is-play

Leave a comment

Filed under flow - flow mihaly csikszentmihalyi, play, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, what is work, work