More on Mirror Neurons

Nova ScienceNOW has a 15-minute video segment on mirror neurons that builds on what we discovered at the Neuroesthetics Conference two weeks ago. Robert Krulwich, a delightfully wacko NPR reporter, makes the mirror neuron story come alive. He walks along Fifth Avenue, awkwardly balancing a stack of packages. The camera shows the faces of his fellow pedestrians reflecting his uncertainty and nervousness.

Mirror Continue reading

Random learning

I simply love this illustration of the brain from the current issue of Wired. The right brain/left brain distinction breaks down under the scanner — most of us use both sides of our brains continuously. Nonetheless, as a thoroughly left-handed, right-brained, blue-state kind of guy, I was delighted to read that left-brained jobs are being outsourced or automated while the Conceptual Age rewards us Continue reading

The Nerd Walk

informal learning

This email arrived last week:

Walkers and Talkers,

We’re multitasking once again, exchanging ideas while expending calories up the stairways and paths of the Berkeley hills for an hour-and-a-half walk. Meet at 10 a.m. this Saturday, at Peet’s, corner of Vine and Walnut Streets, in Berkeley, just around the corner from Black Oak Books. I’ll provide maps but Continue reading

Human Potential

This evening I joined 80 other people on the Berkeley campus for a free talk by George Leonard and Michael Murphy.

George & Mike were introduced to one another at a party 40 years ago next week, talked until 2:30 am, and have worked with one another ever since.

George was an award-winning reporter for Look magazine; Michael’s family owned the land in Big Sur that is now the Esalen Institute. Continue reading

A business with a clue

“We broke the cardinal rule:
Underpromise and overdeliver.”

What a gutsy thing for a company to say. This was a line in an apologetic email whose sincerity won me over. They’re taking a little longer than expected to send out a free beta.

Dear Jay,

My name is Joe ____ and I’m the CEO/co-founder of _____. I wanted to personally reach out and apologize for the amount of time you’ve been waiting Continue reading

John Hagel, JSB, and the Speed of Innovation

After an eight-month hiatus, John Hagel is blogging again. Hagel founded McKinsey’s e-commerce practice and just finished a book with John Seely Brown. Hagel & JSB write the most compelling descriptions of the power of loose coupling and services-oriented architecture I’ve read anywhere.

Their new book, The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends on Productive Friction and Dynamic Continue reading

Final Blink

I finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink about ten minutes ago. In a post titled Thin Slices, I described the first couple of chapters; now I’ll give you my take on the rest of the book. Related blog entries here are First Impression and Automatic Decision-Making.

Gladwell tells the story of Warren G. Harding, a guy who looked presidential but was a total doofus. No one could get beyond their Continue reading

What is this?

Every Christmas, my brother and I exchange mystery gifts. This year I received this:

P6300121

An aspargus steamer? No, aspargus spears should be horizontal, not standing up. I don’t know. I turned to the clue on the back of his Christmas card: “Might come in handy at a hillbilly barbecue.”

Hmmm. Maybe you stick a squirrel in it for roasting? No, I don’t think so. I am stumped. If you know what this Continue reading

M-living: introduce me to your connection

Next month I’ll be traveling 50% of the time. In the next thirty days I’ll visit Washington, New Orleans, Vegas, Amsterdam, and the Middle East. Lots of airports, little time, and a desire to check in with the net to keep grounded. Urgent emails? News from home? Meltdown where I’m headed? You may know the drill.


These gizmos cost $20 – $50 and alert you to wifi hotspots.

I wanted a quick way Continue reading

Achieving Enterprise Agility

Shai Agassi keynoted the Accelerating Change conference at Stanford on November 6, 2004. A recording of his presentation has just become available at IT Conversations.

Download this mp3 and listen to it. Agassi provides the most compelling description of the future of business and enterprise software I’ve heard in a long time. This is not just for SAP people. Rather, it’s the way our new world is Continue reading