Sunday, September 26, 2010

An answer to the why me question ...

The only proper answer is "Why not you!!"

From Fresh Air interview with the writer David Rakoff

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Workplace as an orphanage

Some workplaces are designed in a way that people who work there act like orphans in an orphanage.

  • That is, bigger/older boys take away toys from smaller/younger boys.
  • Everyone cries for attention from caretakers.
  • Everyone operates in a survival mode.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fighting for the POWERLESS

Powerful messages from Steven Colbert from his answer to the question of "why he donates his time to the migrant farm workers out of all possible causes":

“I like talking about people who don’t have any power, and it seems like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work but don’t have any rights themselves,” he said. “Migrant workers suffer and have no rights.”

Steven Colbert's testimony to the House immigration subcommittee

Reminding myself of the three questions

"Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in this world."

From "The Three Questions" by Jon J. Muth adapted from Leo Tolstoy's story

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Debating the definition of cyberwar

There is an interesting article on NPR web site today. Here is the link to the full article:

Here is what I learn from this article:
  • Under the U.N. Charter, states have the right to go to war if they come under an "armed attack" from another state. This is a traditional way to determine when a country can engage in a war against another country. However, this definition does not help a country answers a question of "should it go to war when it experiences cyberattacks on its networks?"
  • Some people argue that it depends on "the underlying purpose" of an attack. If it is a deliberate attempt to destroy computer networks. Then, what is the extent of damage that warrants a wage of war?
  • Another piece of important treaty is the Hague and Geneva conventions. They require militaries to minimize the damage to civilians in wartime.
  • So, when you engage in cyberwars, this means that you cannot incur damages to private networks.
  • Several questions remain: (1) how can we determine consequences of cyberattacks?, (2) what actions are considered out of line and illegal in cyberattacks?, (3) how can we catch (real) attackers considering the anonymous nature of the Internet?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happiness: A holistic development paradigm

These few days, world leaders are gathered to discuss the progress and future plan of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. The important speech came from Bhutan's prime minister. Here are a few things that he said:
  • "Since happiness is the ultimate desire of every citizen, it must be the purpose of development to create the conditions for happiness. This requires a proper balance of consumption, leisure, good governance, and attentiveness to nature, biodiversity, and environmental sustainability."
  • Seeking a more holistic indicator of development that transcends the "materialism" of Gross Domestic Product, Gross National Happiness measures four criteria -- sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the environment, and good governance.
  • "It does not demand much imagination intelligence," the prime minster told the summit, "to understand that endless pursuit of material growth in a world with limited natural resources within a delicately balanced ecology is just not sustainable -- that it is dangerous and stupid."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Body and mind

"... waiting without thought or feeling until the decay of the body catches up with the decay of the mind and they can cross the finishing line together."

In "Other People": A Family Portrait of Depression by Alan Bennett

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The question of value depends on the frame of reference.

From the book "Becoming Enlightened"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Searching ...

Civility ... Caring ... Courage ... Competence

Friday, September 3, 2010

The paradox of power

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "The Power Trip". Here what it has to say about people in power:

  1. According to the article, people give authority to people whom they genuinely like. In other words, people who climb up to a powerful position are those nice people.

  2. However, once they rise to the top, they change. "When you give people power, they basically start acting like fools. They flirt inappropriately, tease in a hostile fashion, and become totally impulsive." said Professor Keltner.

  3. Why does power lead people engage in unethical behaviors (think Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky or Blogojevich's bribe case or Mark Hurd's expense account fudging here)? Psychologists argued that one of the main problems with authority is that "it makes us less sympathetic to the concerns and emotion of others."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good leaders VS. Great leaders

What are the differences between a good leader and a great leader?

(1) A great leader is not afraid to make the "right" decision no matter how controversial that decision may be.

(2) A great leader is not afraid to admit his/her mistakes.