Archive for Quote

The importance of bad ideas

“The next time a project is being discussed in its early stages, grab a marker, go to the board, and throw something up there. The idea will probably be stupid, but that’s good! McDonald’s Theory teaches us that it will trigger the group into action.”

– Jon Bell (via John Gruber)

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Gender equality

“If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal.”

-Anne-Marie Slaughter (in her Atlantic article)

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“Those who wish to protect natural ecosystems learn, to their stupefaction, that they have to work harder and harder — that is, to intervene even more, at always greater levels of detail, with ever more subtle care — to keep them ‘natural enough.'”

-Bruno Latour, in Love Your Monsters

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“The history of the design professions is largely a history of overqualification, of men and women who have insisted on doing more than either clients or public ever asked for.”

-Ralph Caplan, By Design

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Statistics on a daily basis

“Statistics: that’s a subject that you could and should use on a daily basis. It’s risk, it’s reward, it’s randomness, it’s understanding data. I think if… all American citizens knew about probability and statistics, we wouldn’t be in the economic mess we’re in today.”

-Arthur Benjamin [TED talk]

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Educating for the future

“Children starting school this year will be retiring in [2070]. Nobody has a clue what the world will look like in even 5 years time, and yet we’re meant to be educating them for it. The unpredictability, I think, is extraordinary.”

 – Ken Robinson [TED talk]

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Advice from Steve Jobs

I thought this was worth coming back to. From an article titled “Heart Before Head: The Legacy of Steve Jobs.”

Jobs: “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

You: What do my inner-voice and heart want most for me to do with my life?

Jobs: “Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.”

You: If I trusted that eventually the dots will connect when I follow my heart, what would be my vision and what would I do next?

Jobs: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”

You: What big choices would I make if I only had a short while left to live?

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Data manipulation

To plan a statistical hypothesis test, specify the model you will use to test the null hypothesis and the parameter of interest. Of course, all models require assumptions, so you will need to state them and check any corresponding conditions.

When the conditions fail, you might proceed with caution, explicitly stating your concerns. Or you may need to do the analysis with and without an outlier, or on different subgroups, or after re-expressing the response variable. Or you may not be able to proceed at all.

Intro Stats (De Veaux, Velleman, Bock)

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School gridlock

“Schools are government-run and their employees are unionized; how do you expect to get anything to change?”

-Evan Miller

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Agents of change

“Children are phenomenal agents of change.”

-Jaime Lerner (former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil; via Scientific American)

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“I was on the side of righteousness, and like any fundamentalist, I could only stay there by avoiding information.”

-Lierre Keith, The Vegetarian Myth

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The myth of ability

“Historically, societies have always been divided by myths of difference: between peasants and nobility, slaves and slave owners, or minorities and majorities. Today, the most pervasive and enduring of those myths — the myth of ability — is being challenged.”

-John Mighton (The Myth of Ability)

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Automation vs. ownership

“Where once workers enjoyed their work but were unable to produce enough to give themselves leisure and material satisfactions, now they are gaining the leisure and material satisfactions while losing the enjoyment of work.”

-Melvin Kransberg & Joseph Gies, By the Sweat of Thy Brow (1975)

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Being too clever

“Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you are as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?”

-Brian Kernighan

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Don’t reinvent the world

“Our job is not to reinvent the world; it’s to take stuff that we know exists already — but hardly anyone’s got it — and get it out to them.”

-Steve Jobs, 1997 [link]

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The basic elements of creativity

“Creativity isn’t magic. It happens by applying ordinary tools of thought to existing materials…. These are the basic elements of creativity: copy, transform, and combine.”

-Kirby Ferguson, Everything is a Remix

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When students realize who school is for

“When teachers are judging them, students will sabotage the teacher by not trying. But when students understand that school is for them—a way for them to grow their minds—they do not insist on sabotaging themselves.

“In my work, I have seen tough guys shed tears when they realize they can become smarter. It’s common for students to… adopt an air of indifference, but we make a mistake if we think any student stops caring.”

-Carol Dweck (Mindset, p.201)

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Math interfaces

“Mathematics, as currently practiced, is a command line. We need a better interface.”

-Bret Victor [link]

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Ability is learned, not fixed

“After forty years of intensive research on school learning in the United States as well as abroad, my major conclusion is: What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.”

-Benjamin Bloom (via Mindset by Carol Dweck)

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Comfort zone

“If you don’t work at the edge of your comfort zone, your comfort zone will shrink.”

-Alan Oppenheim

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By design

“For the sake of design integrity, a professional designer will put up with vast amounts of discomfort, and resent any consumer unwilling to make the same sacrifice.”

-Ralph Caplan

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Fighting for values

“Much energy has been wasted fighting for things, when we should have been fighting for values.”

-Rajni Bakshi

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There is always enough time

“There is always enough time. Listen to your intuition to find out what doesn’t really matter.”

-Amber Tande

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Innovation everywhere

“In every area, no matter how archaic, there’s innovation to be had. That’s a surprise to me.”

-Vinod Khosla

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“The academics had nothing to do with the industrial revolution.”

-C P Snow

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