Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Public institutions

Today I went to the post office to mail three envelopes to my brother. I found out that it would cost me over nine dollars to mail them separately, and the lady helping me advised me to just get it mailed in one package since they were all going to the same address. The total came to $4.05. What savings! If the post office were privately run, they would have an incentive to maximize profits, but since it's run by the government, I'm looked after as a consumer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Macro rides on micro

Macro-level views are useless without micro-level material to work with. Suggestions about how to run a company are useless if there is no company to work with. For all the attention that macro-level views get in the business journals, what I personally need to pay attention to now is producing the micro-level stuff that gives the macro-level theorizing a reason to exist.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Paring down for sanity

The past couple of days, I've been working on putting together a software release and the manual to accompany it. I found the task pretty overwhelming, especially since I had to edit the document while putting the software together. One thing that I realized towards the end was that I could cut down the apparent scope of the job by ripping out pages that did not need to be edited anymore. I wouldn't have to worry about touching those pages, and could focus on the remaining pages. This helped me feel like I was making progress, and it actually helped me move forward by keeping my focus on the next page that I wanted to finish (and rip out).

Friday, March 3, 2006

Network of enterprises

This afternoon, I attended a lecture by Dr. Dean Simonton, professor of psychology at UC Davis. He talked about scientific genius and creativity. One of the common work habits of people who made major contributions to knowledge in their fields was to have a network of enterprises--that is, to have multiple projects going on at the same time. Instead of focusing on just one project until it's done, having a network of enterprises means that these projects feed off each other and contribute to each other, essentially making the ultimate outcome more than the sum of the parts.