Define the problem. If you don’t define it, it defines you. Clear direction for action is pursuant to sharpness of clarity on the problem. Yes, your definition is inadequate and incomplete, requiring evolution and iteration, but it defines the next step.

The power of educational institutions does not reside in their pedagogy, their learning environments, nor in the resources they provide. The power of a school is the authority to certify, accredit and credentialize the completion of a curriculum.

By and large, the most effective leaders I know treat their subordinates with a humble respect that tacitly recognizes that the people they lead, given a slightly different twist of chance, time and circumstance, could just as well be their boss instead.

Why are we busy?

I have long been intrigued by the fact that I (like almost everyone else I know) habitually answer the question, ‘How are you doing?’ with almost robotic predictability: ‘Oh, you know, swamped — so busy these days!’ What do I hope that you, the listener, know about me when I describe myself in this way? …

Risk err in solidarity

Risk err in solidarity with those who tend to have decisions made for them, especially when the decisions are made against their will. The historical odds indicate that people without power are generally a reliable barometer for discerning justice. Look to them, not to the career-chasing experts, bureaucrats, and courtiers. The margin of moral error …

Crosswalk buttons

Crosswalk buttons are horrid devices. As a pedestrian, I resent that I must push a button to request permission to cross the street — just because I am not in a motorized vehicle at this intersection. Let’s talk about evils of vehicle-centric urban design.

Facebook has nothing to do with friendship

‘If I leave Facebook I’ll lose my friends’ is only a rational concern if a) you subsequently fail to communicate with your ‘friends’ in another manner or b) you have ‘friends’ that prioritize using Facebook above sharing life with you in same other way. Losing friends because you’re not on Facebook is only a valid …

Grocery store strangeness

I can never get over the fact that grocery stores have ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ food sections — as if natural and healthy food is a specialized, niche product in the overall groceries market. We have invented a strange world, people.

Let’s repurpose simpleton

I think we should repurpose the word ‘simpleton’ into something that isn’t so pejorative. There’s something to be said for circumventing the needlessly complicated. And to consider oneself a simpleton reflects a healthy sense of skepticism about the comprehensiveness of one’s knowledge. Besides, what’s the opposite of a simpleton? A ‘complicaton’? Who’d want to hang …