Computer scientist Leslie Lamport to [Brandeis] grads: If you can’t write, it won’t compute

I like introducing my English majors to coding. Here’s a computer scientist who’s returning the favor, advocating the importance of writing skills. “If you succeed in attaining a position that allows you to do something great, if you do something that really is great, and if you realize that it’s great, there’s still one more hurdle: You have to convince others that it’s great,” he told the graduates. “This will…

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Survivorship Bias – You Are Not So Smart

Successful people may just be lucky; focusing too much on their successes can silence the honorable failures that we can all stand to learn from. People who consider themselves “lucky” take more risks, and are therefore more likely to discover opportunities. They brush off their failures rather than dwell on them. People who consider themselves unlucky tend to stick to the same safe patterns. Wiseman speculated that what we call…

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Saints and Poets, Maybe They Do Some

I wrote the following in 2004, when my son was 6 and my daughter was 2. The time is waning that my son will want nothing more than to play Battleship and The Magnificent Race with me all afternoon. Some day I’ll make a silly joke, and my daughter won’t giggle with glee, she will roll her eyes and say, “Dad, you’re embarrassing me.” I played the Stage Manager in…

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Think Before You Tweet In the Wake of an Attack

Sobering analysis. Would I be able to follow this advice in the unthinkable event I had a personal account to share? Terrorists use social media to recruit, but they also depend on you and the media to use it to amplify their message….  The motivation for terrorism is not mere murder or maiming but the incitement of deep fear in an entire community or nation. To achieve that aim, terrorists…