Nomological Net

Stray thoughts from here and there. The occasional concern for construct validity. No more logic. Fish.


faults in the clouds of delusion

Friday, March 19, 2010


You think about it for months and years. You plan it to pieces. You carry the dock and the poodle to the hospital with you, carefully wrapped and stashed next to the other necessities. Through the night, through the labor, you play the Duke on an endless cycle. The nurses who walk in all comment on it with surprise and pleasure.

Afterwards, you play everything that you can think of. You film her first Dark Star. You film the first dance, to a verse and chorus of Ripple. As she grows, she learns to dance with you to your favorite music. You watch her twist to Mozart, beam along with Hendrix, bounce madly to any CD you slip into the rig. You even suspect she may have a crush on Art Garfunkel.

But the day it all really comes together is when, four days before her first birthday, she points to the rig and grunts as she always does. And you point along with her and ask, "What? What do you want?" And she says, "Moji".

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sweet and salty

The branch manager of our local bank was called Candy Butt. That was her name, on her business card.

She passed us on to a Personal Financial Consultant. This was a young lady whom she referred to as Miss Sou. Miss Sou gave us her card as well, which said S. L. Sou.

Today we received a letter from the bank. In it, Miss Sou signs her first name as Sodium.

Monday, March 08, 2010

A nice interview

In the NYTimes recently, with Tachi Yamada, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health program. Some excerpts:

- I think the most difficult transition for anybody from being a worker bee to a manager is this issue of delegation. ... a principle that I apply today — I don’t micromanage, but I have microinterest. I do know the details. I do care about the details. I feel like I have intimate knowledge of what’s going on, but I don’t tell people what to do.

- you can’t possibly be competitive in the world unless you actually go outside your own geography and learn the way other people live and think.

- when you actually are with somebody, you’ve got to make that person feel like nobody else in the world matters. I think that’s critical. So, for example, I don’t have a mobile phone turned on because I’m talking to you. I don’t want the outside world to impinge on the conversation we’re having.

- I spent a couple of evenings reading the paper and wrote a six-page review of it. I shredded the analysis. And I showed it to him, to show how smart I was. He looked at it and said, “O.K., now I want you to write me a report and give me a reason why it’s a fantastic paper and how we could make it even better.”

- Intelligence is often more displayed in what I would call complex abstract thinking, and there’s nothing more complex and abstract than human relationships.

- if I have something negative to say, I will say it. I will be clear about it. But I won’t try to couch it in a lot of positives, because people have a natural tendency to not want to hear a negative message. ... But I also try to give positive feedback in other moments. To try to mix the two is often very hard, because the positive messages get lost in the one negative message, and the negative message gets garbled.

- I don’t think anyone should do one job for too long a time. I think every five to eight years you should be willing to take on some different challenges. It’s so easy to get stale. Every time I’ve left a job, I was loving the job that I left. But I never regretted the next move that I made.

Kudos to the interviewer, Adam Bryant.