“You Get What You Measure”

You get what you measure. That's another well-known truth in business organizations. When you want a particular kind of outcome (say, increased customer base for a lagging product), you require your workers to measure that outcome and report the results. The effect is that workers focus on improving their measurements - sometimes to the detriment... Continue Reading →


Common But Not Normal

In the wake of the most recent mass shooting - this time, in a Florida school - many commentators are noting, sadly, that tragedies like this have become the "new normal." I disagree - tragedies like this have become "all too common", but I reject the notion that this is "normal", whether new or old.... Continue Reading →

Deadheads? Not Dead Yet!

Burke's book was a great introduction, for me, to the central tenets of the Deadhead community - that sense of sharing, of helping one another, of finding your place within the world around you, and of keeping that place intact against the familiar pressures of everyday living. More than just a story - though certainly an interesting and entertaining story - F.T. Burke's "The Bohemian Adventure" shows us how we can grow, even in middle age, to re-center ourselves into a sense of purpose and value. That value isn't found in ourselves as solitary individuals, but in the community of like-minded people, sharing among that community.

Mental Illness, Candidates, Guns

There it is again -- this time, "serious people" are talking on TV about the mental health of Donald Trump. Is he unbalanced? Unstable? Psychopathic? How else can you explain his very bizarre behavior? And -- not to be outdone (or, in the now-common "oh yeah? well, so's your old man!" debating style) -- Trump... Continue Reading →

man – and woman, by Bernard Sanders (1972)

This is the article that Senator Bernie Sanders published in "mid-February, 1972", when he was 30 years old. It appeared in the Vermont Freeman, an "alternative newspaper". This version of the article is taken from a photo of the article that appeared in MotherJones in May, 2015.  Once you've read the article, re-visit the way this... Continue Reading →

I Don’t Care What You Say

Nothing should be more effective in stopping an argument than these words: I don't care what you say... There are other variations -- "no matter what you say", "you can't tell me", "I know for a fact". These are STOP signs in any conversation. The person who injects these phrases is telling you that any further... Continue Reading →

Words To Replace “Ummm”

When you listen to interviewers and interviewees on the radio or television, count the number of times you hear words that replace "ummm" and "uhhh" -- words that allow the speaker to stall until they can think of what to say. Here's one that makes me cringe: It's interesting. I hear this from questioners and respondents alike:... Continue Reading →

Can We Talk?

I spend too much time watching "talking heads" commenting on the political and economic topics of the day. The most tiresome of these shows - the ones that lose my interest most quickly - are those which are dominated by biting remarks and clever, often caustic, wit.

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