A heartwarming story about bridging the culture gap

A gaggle of giggling young teens — pre-Facebook — pesters this cranky, lonely guy, and asks him… everything. Luxembourg, 1998. On a whim and with zero preparation, I’d decided to spend a weekend there, only to face crappy weather and a lack of available nearby hostels. After much schlepping, I wearily ended up in Echternacht at a… Continue reading A heartwarming story about bridging the culture gap

Time spent on social networks and the like – I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours

After having fallen hugely behind on browsing my Facebook newsfeed, Friendfeed, etc., I decided to see just how much time I had been spending during those “on top of it” days… and, by extension, how much time it’d take me to keep up each day. Around 10pm last night, I “cleared out” my Reader, and… Continue reading Time spent on social networks and the like – I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours

Insane transparency — Seeing or even setting what your colleagues earn

At Google, we have pretty radical transparency, at least in Engineering where I sit.  With few exceptions, we can all see what every colleague is working on (via the Project Database or “PDB”), what they’ve recently accomplished (via weekly self-composed “Snippets”), and even what their core contributions have been to the company (their Google resume). … Continue reading Insane transparency — Seeing or even setting what your colleagues earn

#geekfail — Valuing immediacy over depth, accuracy, and understanding

Yesterday, I learned about the turmoil in Iran… from the blogosphere.  Some have argued that the immediacy of news on this and other breaking topics is a sign that mainstream media has failed and online media—specifically “real time” components of online media—have triumphed.  I believe such an assumption is not only dead wrong, but dangerous… Continue reading #geekfail — Valuing immediacy over depth, accuracy, and understanding

On public displays of affection — but not that kind

Today, we send and receive notes publicly in a way that seems shocking when viewed by communications standards just a decade ago. Expressions of friendship, social plans, etc. “I miss you!”…“Hey, are you going to Fred’s party tomorrow?”…“Save me a dance this Wednesday!”… etc. Why do we like this, why do we post rather than… Continue reading On public displays of affection — but not that kind

Facebook’s Frustrating Friending… and my reluctant choice

I have over 500 Facebook friends.  That’s a statement to help you understand my predicament, not a badge of honor.  Of these, a handful are close friends, a big bunch are “regular” friends, a ton of ‘em are colleagues with which I have varying degrees of social contact and interest, and an even larger ton… Continue reading Facebook’s Frustrating Friending… and my reluctant choice

Proposition 8 isn’t just about civil rights, it’s about love and commitment

Hi there, I don’t tend to post much about politics in this blog, especially nowadays.  But I have something I want to talk to you about that’s more than “just politics.”  It’s about my friends.  It’s about—with semi-apologies to Princess Bride—True Love. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Proposition 8, I’ll quickly fill… Continue reading Proposition 8 isn’t just about civil rights, it’s about love and commitment

I, Robot

Hello.  Good day.  A little quiet?I’m feeling a little blue myself.You know, A little anxious for no particular reasonA little sad that I should feel anxious at this age.You know, a little self-conscious anxiety resulting in non-specific sadness.The state that I call blue. – spoken by the narrator (“Man In Chair”) in the awesome musical… Continue reading I, Robot

Help me raise money for music-in-schools!

Hey there, I’m passionate about music, and I bet you are, too.  I’m even more excited about giving kids the opportunity to have their lives enriched through music… especially disadvantaged kids who so desperately need beauty, discipline, and ART in their lives! I just learned today that one of my all-time favorite music sites, Pandora,… Continue reading Help me raise money for music-in-schools!