Yesterday’s Thoughts

Showing all posts in 'Rules of Thumb'

April 27, 2008

Clay Shirky on Cognitive Surplus

As someone who has definitely expended too much of my life on the watching of Gilligan’s Island, this is heartening news. Shirky argues that there has been a cognitive surplus in the developed world and for the past 50 years we have been soaking up that surplus with situation comedies and that now we are […]

November 8, 2006

Rumsfeld’s Rules

In honor of Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation, quotations from Rumsfeld’s Rules It is easier to get into something than to get out of it. If a prospective presidential approach can’t be explained clearly enough to be understood well, it probably hasn’t been thought through well enough. If not well understood by the American people, it probably […]

September 28, 2005

Take the first available turn, part 2

In my previous rule of thumb for getting to your destination quickly, I recommended that you take the first available turn. Here is a rule for selecting when confronted with equivalent two turns, Keep going the way you were going. Since this situation may depend entirely on the boundary conditions, here is the example that […]

June 25, 2005

Anecdotal Information

Surprisingly regularly in conversation with a doctor, they will mention that they know someone — cousin’s seem to be prevalent — who had or almost had a bad outcome because they didn’t do what the doctor is arguing for right now. This someone didn’t go to the hospital, didn’t follow the advice you are being […]

May 27, 2005

Clockwise Depends on Point of View

This is a pet peeve of mine. Clockwise depends on your point of view. If you tell me that you rode your bike clockwise around Lake Tahoe, starting from South Lake Tahoe, I don’t know whether you went along the east shore from North to South or vice-versa. It depends on your point of view. […]

May 25, 2005

Take the first available turn

This rule of thumb applies to the simplest everyday decision: which way should I go if I am in a hurry to reach my destination? Take the first available turn. Easiest example: You are on the corner of a city sidewalk, at an intersection controlled by a traffic signal, headed for some destination on the […]

May 17, 2005

Improve Your Sock’s Life

When you buy socks, always buy two identical pairs of socks. This rule applies to those of us who lose our socks. If you always wear each pair out at the heal or toe (and don’t know how to darn) then get another rule. Why it works for me. I buy two pair, call them […]

May 17, 2005

When Not to Say “Thank you”

For many years, I was a member of a volunteer organization. It was my life. I was a member. I was a volunteer. I was a representative. I was on the board. I was involved. I invested time, energy and money. It was also completely worth it. It was one of the best things that […]