Wondering. Thinking. Sharing. Aim to share the views I am impressed with, specially with regard to the technology landscape and the changes therein.
Here is a simple concept to consider. Use the CalibrationCoaching concept of the YMCA. No, not the silly dance song from the 70s, but the simple acronym that outlines how to coach in almost any situation:
Built around a flexible organizational model and capable of managing all types of workers, Workday HCM addresses key functional areas such as Staffing, Compensation and Performance Management and is generally available as of today, November 6, 2006."
Brad Feld has a post up on Critical Thinking, and why he thinks we don’t see too many instances of it nowadays. He points to the transcript of this speech by Michael Crichton, at Washington Center of Complexity and Public Policy. I have been a fan of Michael Crichton since I read State of
Meanwhile Atanu is having an argument over at his blog, on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (of The Art of Living Faith, or is it the other way round?). Atanu essentially asserts that SSRS is a brilliant marketer who is packaging and selling ancient Indian Wisdom to whose who want it. So how does this fit in with them topic of the moment? Well, there are a hordwe of followers of SSRS (Atanu calls it his cult) who are offended by his non-belief in SSRS’ divinity. Blind Faith. Atanu’s opinion should not matter to someone who truly believes in SSRS’ qualities, he is of course entitled to having and sharing his opinion. We had a huge uproar on the release of the Da Vinci Code ( a movie) in
I think that religion, blind belief, cults are all mechanisms we humans have invented to explain things (complex systems) that we can’t understand, much less explain. Linear thinking, as Michael Crichton points out, also has a part to play. Well, all questions have to have one right answer, doesn’t it? Problems have one solution, don’t they? Well, we keep forgetting the “at least” part, and hence the militant defense of our way of thinking. If I am right, surely you must be wrong if you are taking a different way? That is what makes us intolerant, hard headed, egotistic. Humans are complex systems, groups of humans increase the complexity, sometimes exponentially. And, we are all looking for simple answers. In isolation. Out of context. For very complex problems. What results?
Well, on the matter of religion, and belief, I can’t resist posting this excerpt from an interview by Douglas Adams. He really articulates it well:
Q: Mr. Adams, you have been described as a “radical Atheist.” Is this accurate?
People will then often say “But surely it’s better to remain an Agnostic just in case?” This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I’ve been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would chose not to worship him anyway.)
Other people will ask how I can possibly claim to know? Isn’t belief-that-there-is-not-a-god as irrational, arrogant, etc., as belief-that-there-is-a-god? To which I say no for several reasons. First of all I do not believe-that-there-is-not-a-god. I don’t see what belief has got to do with it. I believe or don’t believe my four-year old daughter when she tells me that she didn’t make that mess on the floor. I believe in justice and fair play (though I don’t know exactly how we achieve them, other than by continually trying against all possible odds of success). I also believe that
I don’t accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view. My view is that the moon is made of rock. If someone says to me “Well, you haven’t been there, have you? You haven’t seen it for yourself, so my view that it is made of Norwegian Beaver Cheese is equally valid” - then I can’t even be bothered to argue. There is such a thing as the burden of proof, and in the case of god, as in the case of the composition of the moon, this has shifted radically. God used to be the best explanation we’d got, and we’ve now got vastly better ones. God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining. So I don’t think that being convinced that there is no god is as irrational or arrogant a point of view as belief that there is. I don’t think the matter calls for even-handedness at all.
Two points for clear, unconventional (critical?) thinking…
Answer: Because the data won’t change my actions. Getting data for no good reason just drives you crazy. The secret is to get very flexible in the face of data you care about—changing your x every time you see y changes—and incredibly inflexible in the face of data you don’t care about."