Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Common Place

Has anyone out there in blog land missed me or wondered where I've been?  Oh, please, tell me you've missed me!  Are you still there?  Well, there is a reason for this silence and...have I got stories for you--Heap big happenings here, my friends. I'd love to tell you all about them now but I can't. Tomorrow is Senior Thesis Class and its calling me.  So, stories will have to wait for a day or two.  I promise, I'll tell all. 
In the meantime, I'm going to share some of our commonplace quotes from the class I teach.  Each week our 4 students bring in at least 5 pithy quotes that interested them and that they've collected that week.  We compile them in our commonplace book after they are read aloud and discussed.  I'm always impressed with what they share. 
Here's a recent spate of them from Nathaniel.  Can you tell what and where his interests lie? 

See you soon--I promise!

Senior Thesis
February 10, 2010
A Common Place From February 10, 2010

 “A "jiffy" actually has a formal definition. More than one, in fact.
In electronics, a jiffy is the time between alternating current power cycles, 1/60 or 1/50 of a second in most countries. In astrophysics and quantum physics a jiffy is the time it takes for light to travel one fermi, which is the size of a nucleon.  In computing, a jiffy is the duration of one tick of the system timer interrupt. It is not an absolute time interval unit, since its duration depends on the clock interrupt frequency of the particular hardware platform.”~Jason Kottke, Be there in a jiffy, kottke.org, quoting Wikipedia, February 10, 2010

“It is absurd to hold that a man ought to be ashamed of being unable to defend himself with his limbs but not of being unable to defend himself with speech and reason, when the use of reason is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs.”~Aristotle, Rhetoric, I.1355b1

“And frightened people will resist any help you can give them, and they will blame you for the stress the change is causing. Scared people like to shoot the messenger. Duck. The worst kind of frightened person is one with power. Someone in a mob of other frightened people, someone with a gun, someone who is the CEO. When confronted with a scared CEO, time to run. Before someone can change, they have to learn, and before they learn, they have to cease being scared. One reason so many big ideas come from small organizations is that there is far less fear of change at the top. One mistake board members and shareholders make is that they reward the scared but hyperconfident CEO, instead of calling him on the carpet as he rages at change.”~Seth Godin, Frightened, clueless or uninformed?, Seth's Blog, February 8, 2010

“The truth is, I feel like yelling Stop quite a bit these days. Every time I hear about Twitter I want to yell Stop. The notion of sending and getting brief updates to and from dozens or thousands of people every few minutes is an image from information hell. I’m told that Twitter is a river into which I can
dip my cup whenever I want. But that supposes we’re all kneeling on the banks. In fact, if you’re at all like me, you’re trying to keep your footing out in midstream, with the water level always dangerously close to your nostrils. Twitter sounds less like sipping than drowning.”~George Packer, Stop the World, Interesting Times, The New Yorker

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