TITLE: Humility and Revolution AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 03, 2006 4:55 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Three quotes for what amounts in most American workplaces the middle of a long holiday weekend. The first two remind me to approach my teaching and administrative duties with humility. The third reminds me of we in America celebrate this holiday weekend at all. ... from Gerald Weinberg:
When I write a book or essay, or teach a course, I have one fundamental measure of failure, which I call Weinberg's Target: After exposure to my work, does the audience care less about the subject than they did before? If the answer is Yes, I've failed. If the answer is No, I've succeeded, and I'm happy for it. Perhaps you consider my goal too modest. Perhaps you aspire to something greater, like making the student learn something, or even love the subject. Oh, I'm not dismayed by such fine outcomes, but I don't think it's a reasonable goal to expect them.
We can do much worse than communicate some information without dampening our audience's natural enthusiasm. ... from Steve Yegge:
If you don't know whether you're a bad manager, then you're a bad manager. It's the default state, the start-state, for managers everywhere. So just assume you're bad, and start working to get better at it. ... Look for things you're doing wrong. Look for ways to improve. If you're not looking, you're probably not going to find them.
Steve's essay doesn't have much in the way of concrete suggestions for how to be a good manager, but this advice is enough to keep most of us busy for a while. ... finally, from the dome of the Jefferson Memorial, via Uncertain Principles:
I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
A mixture of humility and boldness befitting revolution, of thought and government. -----