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Archive for February, 2014

And Your Point Is?

My teaching is like a finger pointing to the moon.  Do not mistake the finger for the moon.
  –  Buddha
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On This Day In:
2013 Infinitely Care
2012 In My Room
(Leap Year 29th) Stingray – TV Series Review (This is my most popular post since starting my blog – hands down!  It still draws hits every week.  They seem to come mostly from Central Europe.  I guess the show must be in syndication there.)
(Leap Year 29th) A Single Thread
2011 Lyrical Mixture
Teaching = Translating

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All primitive people thought that a lunatic was possessed by a spirit.  When his incoherent words more or less accord with the moral prejudices of the time, the spirit is a good one, and the man is a saint.  In the opposite case, the spirit is evil and the man must be suppressed.  It is just according to the time and place and the doctors, whether a prophetess would be worshipped as a priestess or dunked as a witch.  Innumerable violent lunatics have escaped the cells, thanks to the War, and their very violence has made heroes of them.  And in every Parliament there are at least five or six undisputed idiots who got elected for their madness through the admiration of their constituents.
  —  André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2013 Well Written
2012 Related Parts
2011 The King Is Oscar
Better Reputation?

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May you find peace in the bloom of each moment.
[Quoted from a site I follow titled: http://wisconzen.wordpress.com/  which is sub-titled: “Don’t just do something … Sit there.
The specific posting is: http://wisconzen.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/understanding-and-compassion/
Check it out.  You may like it too.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2013 Conversation
2012 4 Down, 11 Done (At Last)
I’m Not Afraid
2011 Who’s Risk Is It, Anyway?

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There are some findings in primatology that have some bearing here.  In chimp troops, the leader is at the center of the troop and is taking in information from all sides, from the male chimps at the edges of the troop, guarding and surveying, and from the females and the young.  In fact, the attention structure of a primate group, not the distribution of resources, will tell you who is the leader.  It’s not who gets the most bananas — it’s who gets looked at.  Every 30 seconds or so, the chimps are orienting to the leader.  If the leader’s central nervous system isn’t really calm, the other chimps get agitated and can’t do their jobs.
How the leader maintains his calm is what’s really interesting. Mike McGuire, who is at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, has done some work with monkeys and serotonin, the compound that produces a sense of calm and well-being and confidence.  It turns out that leader primates have decisively high levels of serotonin.  McGuire’s first notion was that leaders are born with elevated serotonin levels.  But that turned out not to be the case.  He found that when he removed the leaders from their troops, their serotonin levels crashed to well below the norm.  Then, once a new leader emerged, its serotonin level started climbing until it was twice that of the other primates.  An elevated level appears to be an adaptation to the stresses and uncertainties of the leadership role.  And it’s an adaptation that benefits the troop as well as the leader.  The distinguishing characteristic of leaders is the quality of their central nervous system in a crisis.  And serotonin enables the central nervous system to handle stress and ambiguity.
  —  Lionel Tiger
The Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University
From the book: “Harvard Business Review On Becoming a High Performance Manager
The specific chapter (“All in a Day’s Work“) is a group discussion moderated by Harris Collingwood and Julia Kirby
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On This Day In:
2013 Location, Location, Location
2012 Are You Really Good?
2011 Relatively Objective, Anyway

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…Executives are never too time-pressed or information-saturated to learn more about leadership.  The hunger for knowledge about leadership is not simply a reaction to the twists and turns in the business cycle.  It’s a desire to beef up scarce resources: Just as no baseball team has ever had too many good pitchers, business has never suffered from a glut of true leaders.  Ask any follower.
From the book: “Harvard Business Review On Becoming a High Performance Manager
The specific chapter (“All in a Day’s Work“) is a group discussion moderated by Harris Collingwood and Julia Kirby
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On This Day In:
2013 Cornered Or Surrounded?
2012 Escape
2011 Achievement
Not Unreasonable Enough

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I have a vision —  maybe just a hope — of a great revulsion: a moment in which the American people look at what is happening, realize how their good will and patriotism have been abused, and put a stop to this drive to destroy much of what is best in our country.  How and when this moment will come, I don’t know.  But one thing is clear: it cannot happen unless we all make an effort to see and report the truth about what is happening.
  —  Paul Krugman
From his book: “The Great Unraveling
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On This Day In:
2013 Corrections
See Greatness
2012 Gemutlichkeit
2011 Back On The Asphalt
It Is Just Not The Same

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The point is that our new, threatened condition isn’t temporary.  We’re in this for the long haul, so any measures we take to fight terrorism had better be measures that we are prepared to live with indefinitely.
The real challenge now is not to stamp out terrorism; that’s an unattainable goal.  The challenge is to find a way to cope with the threat of terrorism without losing the freedom and prosperity that make America the great nation it is.
  —  Paul Krugman
From his book: “The Great Unraveling
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On This Day In:
2013 Dear Diary (A good chuckle!)
2012 Conveniently Sequential
2011 King’s Speech Number Four
Rational Probability

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