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Showing posts from January, 2011

Of Chinese mothers...

The item that showed up most often in my feeds last week was this provocatively titled WSJ article: "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" by Amy Chua.
I had really mixed feelings about the article. There were many things I didn't disagree with particularly the pieces around how Chinese parents (she uses Chinese loosely and acknowledges it may apply to other Asian parents as well) feel differently about disciplining their kids, worry less about self-esteem issues, and tend to have a greater sense of responsibility/ownership in the child's success.
But there's a general brusqueness in her tone, and an apparent lack of understanding (or just acknowledgement) of what can go wrong with this approach that bugged me.
It started when I read the section on how when her 7-year old was unable to play a certain musical piece, she basically bullied her into keep trying until she got it. She makes the case that since she eventually got it, this made her daughter happy, and they hugg…

Quick ~review: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

A post on Isaac's blog was a reminder for me to pick up a book I'd meant to read for a while: Alan Cooper's The Inmates are running the asylum.
If you're interested in building software, I can't recommend the book highly enough. Cooper makes an incredibly compelling case for how and why so many software products are terribly broken. He goes over how the software process prevents us from building awesome products even when smart people are well-intentioned, how attention to interaction design pays off in the long run, why engineers are often exactly the wrong people to make interaction decisions, and how the introduction of a design function in the product development cycle would actually work.
I was characteristically skeptical of a few things before I started on the book, but I quickly lost count of the number of times I shook my head with "oh yeah, I remember when that's happened." I'm going to avoid a typical review and summarize the points that…

Of the New Year and resolutions.

Happy New Year!
Its been a while since I've made New Year's resolutions, but I ended up making 5 this year. In the Google parlance, I'm still just at the O stage of OKRs, i.e. I know what I'd like to get done next year (both professionally and personally - but mostly personally), but need to nail down how I'll take to get there. More on these... perhaps... when I get around to it tomorrow. :)

In most years, I go with the "it's just another day; its kinda silly to give it more importance than that" approach, but there's something about a long-ish (almost 2 weeks) vacation at the end of the year that makes it easier to step back a bit and re-think what's really important and what you should do in the coming year. I ended up looking at quite a few things anew, and am pretty excited about 2011.
Happy New Year everyone! :)