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17 posts from August 2010

The Glance for August 12, 2010: Barry Schwartz on avoiding choice overload

I resisted what Barry Schwartz said at first, but occasionally I find myself 'cycling' a decision over and over again in my head. If any of these suggestions appeal to you, you ought to read the whole article.

Scientific American, "The Tyranny of Choice," April 2004, by Barry Schwartz (PDF file from Schwartz's site.)

Few Americans would favor passing laws to limit choices. But individuals can certainly take steps to mitigate choice related distress. Such actions require practice, discipline and perhaps a new way of thinking, but each should bring its own rewards...

  • Choose when to choose
  • Learn to accept 'good enough'
  • Don't worry about what you're missing
  • Control expectations

The Glance for August 9, 2010: John Seely Brown on the advantage of firms clustering

John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid: The Social Life of Information, 2000

Clustered Ecologies ...firms in an ecology produce synergistic effects which isolated firms find hard to imitate. Within such ecologies, the health and innovative ability of firms is not an isolated matter. Firms that feed into also feed off the ecology. The same networks that allow knowledge to flow out, allow other knowledge to flow in. Reciprocity is important to survival in the region and to regional survival.

The Glance for August 8, 2010: Smiling as a superpower

On, Tammy Strobel interviewed Chloe Adeline. Both of are proponents of a minimalist lifestyle. Chloe said something that will stick with me for a long time. 

Smiling for smiling’s sake and laughing for laughing’s isn’t something I see many people doing, so I assume it must be a superpower…but I suspect it’s teachable and it’s something I write about every couple weeks.


The Glance for August 5, 2010: Confronting our productivity limits with David Allen

Sometimes it's valuable to look back at where and when you first learned something. My first contact with the ideas of David Allen were in the pages of Fast Company magazine. He took a lot of things in my life which didn't make sense and helped me sort them out.

Fast Company: Don't Manage Time, Manage Yourself (Interview with David Allen), 1998-Mar-31, by David Beardsley

We clutter our minds with vague promises about what we should do, what we could do. But there is always more to do than there is time to do it. Most of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do - it comes from not keeping agreements they've made with themselves. When you tell yourself you ought to do something and then don't do it, you experience self-doubt and frustration. You can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool yourself for a second.