The Logical Philosopher

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Children at play

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Earlier I was watching a group of young children play, all ages 1-3. Over the hour of uninterrupted play I saw them form into several types of groups:

  1. Fearless vs. Fearfull: some cried unless their parents came back to the room, and the played contently anyways.
  2. Leaders vs. Followers: who got the toys first and moved to the next toy.
  3. Sharing vs. Hoarding: some hung back to see how things were going while hanging onto what they had, and others just kept on trucking, sharing all they could.
And all through the morning several of the parents were trying to confort the fearfull into staying without them, coax the follwers into the group and talk the hoarders into sharing.

The thing that struck me was it was the same scene I saw several years ago during an orientation of grad-students, just with a bunch of 25-35 year olds instead. As I contemplated Emerson's quote about the weeds, all I could think of was the fact that 25 years later, these kids will be in the same situation, just no partents to socially bail them out on the fly. I always thought with time you could teach children things, turn their weeds into plans or stamp out the ones that really didn't below. My point - weeds or no weeds and all virtue discovery aside - these kids have alot of life to live and 25 years later they'll be in the same room doing the same things with the same group of personalities.

If only someone had warned me...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Where do you want to go today?

Like Calvin & Hobbs venturing into the unknown, I make time to explore the wild wild west of the internet. Here's what I tend to look into...there are quite a few blogs I read & follow. Some funny, others more fascinating, and a few pretty real-world. But in aggregate they keep me thinking of real-world events and our small little place in society.

Waiter rant is written quite well, and the stories usually have me coming back. I've been reading it for several months now and it still reminds me to tip well when I have good service.

Opinionista is somewhat humours but delves into the world of an overworked associate at an anonymous NY law firm. The stories have gotten away from her initial blogging roots lately but should get more exciting now that she thinks' she's been outed from her anonymonity. On that note Opinionista (the lawyer), Rob the Bouncer and Mimi the Stripper hide in their anonymonity hoping not to be outed and get fired (or arrested in the case of Mimi).

Damaris's Blog is quite the technical marvel on the spaceships and their inner-workings. She's got pretty cool close-up pictures of the shuttle, and the coverage of the recent space mission was very interesting.

Banksy is also another irregular search of mine. Although not pulled from the linked website, his pictures do pop up elsewhere. One of my favorites is the "another crap advert" is simple, but I love it. It's a british visual spin on Adbusters. Next time I'm in London I get extra bonus points if I can get a picture of me beside one of his outdoor postings.

Wikipedia is a great source for information on most anything you would find in an encyclopedia, but it's the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Not just for the l33t anymore it demonstrates the fluid information gathering online. Being dynamic you can watch the pages being edited as world current events unfold. The encylopeida form of citizen journalism.

I am bored - A good source of links to melt away a few hours. This has provided me with classic links, such as when Baker Smurf got Smurfed, the real-life truffle shuffle, and my personal favorite, the Chris Farley Motivational Speaker (in English and Spanish)

While the daily print version of the National Post and digital provide an ok outlook on the world situations, I also make an effort to check out independent news stories such as Crisis Pictures which provides a less filtered look at the news (warning - some graphic pictures in spots). The Newsmap is also pretty cool as it turns the news titles into graphical figures representative of their reporting volume - you can also filter out the US news which nice as they tend to bias the reporting volume.

As Calvin always said to Hobbs "It's a magical world out there".

So, where does this make you want to go today?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Trump, Business Simulations and the future of MBA programs

Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
Donald Trump "Trump: Art of the Deal"

While taking courses during my MBA we played an interactive stragegy game called SABRE Simulation where, depending on both our business decisions and the other teams decisions, lets you see the progress of your budding company & marketspace. There are a few more out on the business-school market, like Capstone, which offer the same experiences. A more static game I have played is the book by Craig Hickman called "The Strategy Game". This book essentially gives two options at the end of each chapter, and based on your decision you move to a specified non-sequential chapter.

The thing that inspires me about these types of strategy games is their learning potential vastly outstrips reading a book, article or other business commentary - in short it provides both real time content and context to the readers decisions. Much like Trump many of my fellow MBA students find the excitement in the business game. Why? Because of the continual aspect of learning, adapting and reapplying business skills in a work environment.

So why is this relevant? Many MBA programs are starting to carve out niche specializations, both in content and delivery style. Ivey and Harvard are famous for their case-study style programs whereas others offer more coursework with a "focused MBA" in Entrepreneurship, Family Business, Technology, IT, Airline/Transportation Management, etc. I would argue that the next step for programs is a more integrated effort with the simulation games. Discounting academia's typical reluctance to shift the utopian walls to a different level I would say it is the next necessary technology step. It just may keep some of the smaller niche MBA programs alive by differentiating themselves as the "dynamic case studies", much like the academic reputation Ivey and Harvard have done in the past.

Where do we go from here? I've been thinking of creating a simulation game for awhile, maybe now it's time to start to seriously consider it to have it ready for the next academic revolution. Any thoughts on what the simulation should consider?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What do the record companies really think of file sharing?

I once had dinner with the CFO of Rounder Records, the world's largest independent record label. I asked him "What do you, from your business stand, think of the file sharing?". This was around the time of the well publicized RIAA lawsuits (one against the 13 year old girl - way to win a publicity war guys).

His response was an interesting perspective, given the huge surge in popularity of the file sharing programs "Ok, so a guy pushes some pot, a few joints here and there, and it's no problem...but when you have guys bringing in a truckload of coke with intent to distribute, then there is a problem."

His point was that to some extent the casual user of the peer to peer systems may not show impact to the record companies bottom line, but when the super-peers start giving 1000 songs or movies up for anyone to download, then the impact is felt and they have to move. There was no discussion about copyright and legal or not, or a slow death by 1000 paper cuts with small users here & there - strictly the bottom line approach to the low hanging fruit, or so that was my takeaway.

(by Jeff Stahler of the Cincinnati Post)

A Copyfighter's Musings noted that the First Annual P2P litigation summit is happenins this November at Northwestern Law School. Working in the legal intellectual property field (indirectly) I find it amusing it's taken them this long to get around to these types of summits. I also see a huge disconnect between the fast/nible technology movement and the slow moving legislation changes needed to stop the P2P copyright issues. It's almost like legislation needs to be put in place now that moves where technology is expected to be going in 5+ years.$1430


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Slow down, you move to fast...

"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."
- Robert Frost

Consider this: In an organized day we can usually burn through our "to-do" lists or other things we need to get done, because it is "that day of the week". It's Tuesday so make sure you get the kids to soccer practice...but it's some season-or-other public entertainment event that also needs attending...need milk from the store because you're out...going to rain this week so put away the summer get the picture. Go go go go go...then sleep . We all know it's busy time, so we make time for ourselves by getting a Starbucks (to go). Last week I was downtown and, for a variety of reasons, was an hour early for an appointment. So, with all that spare time I sat at the coffee shop (outside of course) & watched everyone bustling about focused on their consumerism (will be worse at Christmas). I admit, the first few minutes were agonizing as I started to go through the five stages of emotion about sitting for so long (loosely adapted from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 1969 book):

  • Denial: I can't sit here! I have things to do, promises to get done, how did I let a precious hour get lost this way?! This isn't happening to me!
  • Anger: Awww crap - why is this happening to me. I must be able to use this hour doing something.
  • Bargaining: I'd be a better person if I could make use of this time...
  • Depression: well, not really but...I don't care if I waste this time
  • Acceptance: Ok, I've got this time, so what can I do to detox from the daily grind and enjoy it?

All that within an hour, but at the end it was worth it. Like Ferris Bueller said "
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." Well said Ferris. So next time you don't have some free time, make some and just sit at the storefront. Yes, lots to do before sleep but there are promises that need done, and there are promises that can got to make the moment last, baby.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Strauss believed that the writings of many philosophers contained both an exoteric (public) and esoteric (private or hidden) teaching. Something to ponder...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

What is Logical Philosopher?

The Logical Philosopher - what & why?

  • Logical [log·i·cal] meaning reasoning or capable of reasoning in a clear and consistent manner
  • Philosopher [phi·los·o·pher]comes from Greek philosophos, lover of wisdom, philosopher : philo-, philo- + sophi, knowledge, learning
I was reading a book last month that after certain tramatic events to the body one can actually shift from being left brained to right brained. This is an interesting notion to consider: Moving from being primarly driven by logic and spatial reasoning (left brain) to a more creative and emotional skillset (right brain).

As a primarly logic based individual who is always looking to expand my knowledge, I find it fascinating that the brain has the ability to expand (or shift) to become the emotional artist you always wanted to be.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

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