Pursuit of Happiness

“When the impossibility of replacing a person is realized, it allows the responsibility which a man has for his existence and its continuance to appear in all its magnitude.”

“[I]t is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy.’ But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy.'”

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, via this article from @TheAtlantic

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Have You Met Sir Ken Robinson?

I’m not sure whether Sir Ken Robinson is well-known or just known, but he certainly deserves the former.

I stumbled across his inspiring and entertaining TED Talk on creativity last year thanks to MindShift. And thanks to the same source, I just listened to another fantastic look at education that, to me, is remarkable for its insight, clarity, and humor, and notable for its lack of venom. Have a listen. Enjoy.

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Word of the Day

Hello everyone! It’s that time again. Yes, it’s time for Word of the Day!

Today’s word is: Decimate!

This word comes from the Latin decimare, meaning, “to take the tenth part of.” So, while “decimate” is most commonly used today to mean “devastate,” it most properly means “reduce by one tenth.” And why not? I mean, we already have the word “devastate.” And then there’s that tricky deci- prefix to nag us about something else going on here besides straight destruction. 

So, perhaps we should take a moment before collapsing this little word’s meaning. Don’t we want to keep all these fun, flighty, nuanced definitions around? Plus, we might need to reduce something by a tenth one day, and only have one word to spare.

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Kevin Spacey and Innovation

I recently almost-posted a little rant about the innovation vacuum running around in certain industries today. This came after a particularly frustrating period of trying to get a cable internet connection going in my new home. (So. Maddening.)

Instead of publishing it, I did what I normally do. I put it aside for editing and never went back.

But this week, I stumbled upon Kevin Spacey’s speech at the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture during the Edinburgh Television Festival. And I went, “YES!”

My little rant wasn’t specifically about television. It was more about industries refusing to innovate in the way they do business and choosing to force modern consumers to conform to an outdated status quo despite revolutionary advances in technology. 

But Mr. Spacey says it so much better.

So hear him, television execs! And you too, cable companies, ISPs, phone companies, etc, etc! Come on into the 21st century. We’re all here waiting for you.

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Write what you want.

Write what you want because that’s the only way people are going to care. If you’re afraid what they might think, if you want to please everyone, odds are that you won’t please anyone.

from Christian Mihai, here.

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What Jefferson said…

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?

Very good on its own. And probably best shared on its own. But the next part is quite good, too:

…That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.

– Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII

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The Golden Rule, New Editions

From Simon Sinek’s Twitter feed today:

We last longer if we compete against ourselves for the good of others instead of competing against others for the good of ourselves.

This one is courtesy of Zig Ziglar, though I have that only on the authority of numerous quote websites that don’t share my affinity for citation.

If you go out looking for friends, you’re going to find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.

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