Ten Tools for 2013

Although I haven’t written about it before, I decided a few months ago to take up Jane Hart’s Ten Tools Challenge this year, after reading about it on David Kelly’s blog. This is a year when I’m learning new tools for a new job, having moved …

No Mouse? No Más

It’s difficult to know how often opportunities to change the way that an entire system of knowledge makes sense of the world really come along. By their nature, most human systems tend toward a state where reproducing the way things becomes...

Surprise and Learning

I used to teach literature, writing, and research at the college level. Over time, I learned to pay careful attention to planning and staging the first few meetings of a class each semester, for that was my window to set expectations. There was...

The Loss of a Weak Tie

Social media has changed the way we meet each other, but it has not changed one thing: both ends of our relationships with others are accidents. In 2011, I was privileged to work at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History as part of...

Putting in the Oar

Kenneth Burke on the "unending conversation" Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you...