Marc Andreessen writes that he is impressed by Obama.

We asked him directly, how concerned should we be that you haven’t had meaningful experience as an executive — as a manager and leader of people?

He said, watch how I run my campaign — you’ll see my leadership skills in action.

As a Canadian my opinion is without consequence. The other day I listened to a CBC Radio “Search Engine” Podcast (a “best-of” re-run actually) which included an old piece about Obama and his campaign. The story was about Joe Anthony and how the Obama campaign treated him over his Obama MySpace page which had 160,000 friends.

I thought the story pointed out a fundamental issue with Obama (or maybe his supporters). The Joe Anthony story demonstrates a disdain for entrepreneurs and individuals that accomplish things outside of official channels.

Obama certainly has a gift. The man is a joy to listen to. Either he or is speech writers have true talent when it comes to the material. The upbeat message is a wonderful change. But the man had an opportunity to take charge and correct a silly mistake made by his campaign managers and he failed. Obama talked to Joe Anthony and did not use the opportunity to make things right.

The Obama campaign appears to be firing on all cylinders but its unclear to me whether any of it is due to great leadership or just a powerful popular movement. The Joe Anthony story is one small anecdote but an important one in my mind. Is there anything behind the gifted inspirational speaker? He delivers “I Have a Dream” speeches that move people to tears but is there a “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” that outlines the structure underlying the dream?


June 22, 2007

The power went out at 6:10am. It is pretty much the longest day of the year (happy belated summer solstice… its all downhill from here) so the sun is up so there is no need to attach my Petzl Zipka
LED light to my forehead, nor pull the Underwater Kinetics eLED Mini Pocket Light that I carry in my laptop/camera bag, nor reach for the swivel head super bright LED (D-Cell battery powered) light that I got on sale from Home Depot, nor the crank powered LED light I received as a gift that stays in the drawer with the emergency candles…. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Not Me

June 20, 2007

OK, OK…. I know the rumours about who put the order in for a private Airbus A380 has kept you up all night.

Airbus said the individual, “not from Europe or the US”, would use the plane for “personal use for him and his entourage”, AFP news agency reported.

Well you can rest at ease, it’s not me. My “entourage” will have to find its own way. Though I really like the quote from the Plane Stupid guy. He says it is like “buying a filthy coal-fired power station just to use to charge up your mobile phone.”

Saturn’s Hexagon

March 28, 2007

A bizarre six-sided feature encircling the north pole of Saturn near 78 degrees north latitude has been spied by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

I love that about me

Caring for Your Introvert is an old but popular article on how to learn to love off-by-one nerdish introverted tendencies.

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

If so, do you tell this person he is “too serious,” or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren’t caring for him properly.

Iowa State University anthropologists report tool use by chimpanzees in Senegal.

Chimpanzees forcibly jabbed tools into hollow trunks or branches multiple times and smelled and/or licked them upon extraction. Only two of the 22 reported cases were seen as playful — in the case of an infant male — or exploratory in nature. In all other cases, chimps were judged by the researchers to use such force in inserting the tool that prey within the tree could have been injured. They witnessed just one case in which a chimpanzee extracted a bushbaby — a smaller primate — through use of the spear.

The chimp was reported saying “mmmmmmm…… bushbaby.”

Kiwis Ban Spanking

February 22, 2007

A bill prohibiting parents from using physical force to discipline their children passed a key vote in the New Zealand parliament Wednesday.

Read the full article.

Tom Slee pays tribute to Anatol Rapopor, creator of the winning Tit-for-Tat strategy in Robert Axelrod ’s legendary prisoner’s dilemma tournament. The world is poorer place without this great moral and mathematical mind. Read Tom’s post for a quote from Daniel Dennet demonstrating the brilliance of Anatol.