2012 Archive

December 30, 2012 » “Very” vs “Really”

I was painstakingly transcribing a recipe in Korean earlier today, and my sister — who was glancing over my shoulder — noted the word, “아주,” which means “very.” “I was told that that’s an old person’s word,” she said. “What do you mean?” “Young people don’t use that word. They say, ‘진짜.’” (“진짜” roughly translates […]

December 30, 2012 » The Mainstreaming of Analytics

John Hollinger, a long-time ESPN.com columnist and inventor of the Player Efficiency Rating (PER) for evaluating basketball players, is joining the Memphis Grizzlies front office as its Vice President of Basketball Operations. This is wacky on a number of levels. First, it represents the ongoing rise of the numbers geek in sports, a movement pioneered […]

December 29, 2012 » Leadership Lessons from Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly

Notre Dame has a proud football tradition, but for the past two decades, it’s been a tradition of futility. It last won a national championship in 1988, and it hasn’t been in the running for one since Lou Holtz retired. That finally changed this year under coach Brian Kelly, as Notre Dame will be duking […]

December 26, 2012 » Folded Corners

I was recently reminded of a Richard Feynman anecdote I once read in James Gleick’s biography, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. I had given the book to my Dad as a gift almost 20 years ago, and — as is tradition for me when I give books to family — I borrowed […]

December 10, 2012 » Living Life Like It’s the End

I got into a car accident yesterday. I was driving in the middle lane of a three-lane freeway, and an SUV snuck up to my left and changed into my lane without looking. I swerved to get out of the way, swerved again to try and regain control, spun out, crashed into the median, and […]

November 29, 2012 » “Learnings” and More Wonderful Jargon

My friend, Joe Mathews, posted the following vicious diatribe against my people today on Facebook: Anxious to prove my friend wrong, I sought out a definitive source. This is what I uncovered: It looks like the inmates truly have taken over the asylum. So sad to live in such a narrow-minded, hateful world. I’ll just […]

October 20, 2012 » What My Reading List Says About Me

I’ve written before about Terrell Russell’s notion of contextual authority tagging. Drummond Reed is playing with these ideas with his new startup, connect.me, and LinkedIn recently started doing something similar with its endorsements. I’ve performed my own mini-experiment to see what would happen if I asked others to describe me, which was self-indulgent but also interesting. On the […]

September 23, 2012 » Openness Rocks

I took the above picture at Wikimania 2009 in Buenos Aires. It’s of Micah Alpern giving a talk entitled, “Designing a large scale community moderation system for Yahoo! Answers.” Micah, now at LinkedIn, was the design lead for Yahoo! Answers, and at the time, he was still at Yahoo!. As you can see from my annotations, Jimmy […]

September 23, 2012 » Sunrise and Sunset

Yesterday morning, I stepped onto my balcony and was treated to this hazy sunrise over the San Francisco skyline. I ended my evening in Doran Park near Bodega Bay watching the sunset: A 2004 study found that 52% of Japanese primary and secondary school students had never seen a sunrise or a sunset. I often […]

September 21, 2012 » Successfully Integrating People and Technology

My work is about helping groups come alive. There is nothing inherent about this work that requires digital technology, although I often find myself leveraging it in different doses. The reality is that many people want to work with me because I know a lot about technology. They think it gives me a leg up […]

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