“The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks.”

Jonah Lehrer in the New Yorker lays out how Brainstorming exercises don’t add up to what we think, and shows us that diversity leads to more innovative ideas in “Groupthink: The Brainstroming Myth”: The fatal misconception behind brainstorming is that there is a particular script we should all follow in group interactions. The lesson of […]

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Steve Jobs: “computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life”

“Quotes from Steve Jobs Lost Interview”: “Learning to program teaches you how to think. Computer science is a liberal art.” NPR.org: “Steve Jobs: ‘Computer Science Is A Liberal Art’”: “In my perspective … science and computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their […]

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Beginner’s Eyes: on storytelling and growth

John D. Cook, in a short, poetic post, describes how experts end up where they started, as beginners, and why, in his blog post “Coming full circle”. A few folks in his comments thread make the connection with Zen’s concept of “Shoshin”, the Beginner’s Mind, and it does, but I hear echoes of another journey […]

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Programming, Math, and Computational Thinking: on education

Actually, this post will feature a few reads and resources for you that are part of a theme – the need to change K-12 education to face the realities of today and tomorrow, instead of preparing them for a world that has already turned. To do so will require children to gain a working understanding […]

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Dizzying but invisible depth: on complexity

Jean-Baptiste Queru, on his Google+ profile, posts a poetic and doozy of a post, “Dizzying but invisible depth”: Today’s computers are so complex that they can only be designed and manufactured with slightly less complex computers. In turn the computers used for the design and manufacture are so complex that they themselves can only be […]

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Metrics and damn metrics: on systems

Sometimes we get caught in numbers and miss what’s real. This can happen especially when we focus on the wrong numbers writes Arpit Mathur in a sharp post. I’d add even if you were looking at the right numbers, without context, just like a soundbite, you could derive the wrong lessons or encourage behavior that […]

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Impermanence and Software Design: on systems

When you’re building software, it is probably best to look at things half-Buddhist. Kent Beck writes about building software that won’t be around longer than him in a recent Facebook note: …nothing I am doing now with software will remain in a hundred years. Indeed, there was a time not long ago when the only […]

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On People, Process, and Passion and Persistence

My boss back at Bell Atlantic, who became my friend and mentor, Pat Trongo, had the following quote from Peter Senge’s “The Fifth Discipline” on his cube wall in big bold letters. I found it inspirational back then. But now I am blessed to see evidence of this pattern in life daily – Great teams […]

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On ever growing complexity in programming: on systems

Edsger W. Dijkstra gave a lecture, in 1972, that has since been come to be called “The Humble Programmer”. It’s a short piece that explains why software development, why programming, was growing more, not less complex over time, and some inspiration to be found in the dealing with it. There’s some choice quotes in here […]

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On Making and Working Towards Big Things: on innovation

Wondering why we’re living in an age of ever increasing decreased expectations? You are not alone. Author Neal Stephenson wrote a thought provoking must read for World Policy Institute titled, “Innovation Starvation”: The imperative to develop new technologies and implement them on a heroic scale no longer seems like the childish preoccupation of a few […]

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