Archive for October 2005

Will All Mentats Please Call the Office? There’s a Lengthy List of Pressing Assignments That Need to Be Tackled Now.

Remember the mentats in Frank Herbert incomparable Dune books?
A mentat was a citizen especially trained to think. And think, as the late John Wayne might have drawled, “Damn well!” If Herbert’s mentats understood anything, they understood that thinking is the art and science of understanding what leads to consequences and how to produce—or avoid—them. Mentats [...]

The World Now Has Nine Billion and Two Blogs. That’s Because Dilbert Has Started One. And, Of Course, There’s Mine. And Dr. David Cox Is Making Noises Like Maybe He’s Testing the Waters.

Dr. David Cox at Arkansas State University, a long-time and valued friend, has always been good for my ego. That’s because he doesn’t put up with it much.
And he’s back. He writes, “Soon after you announced your blog, the attached came in my Dilbert Newsletter.”
The attachment he sent read:
“When I see news stories about people [...]

There Are Few More Important “Thinking Skills” Than Being Able to Think At Least Once a Day About How to Best Take Care of Your Teeth

There are few things that make it more difficult to think straight than a bad toothache. So, even if it’s a bit of a stretch, I’m going to use that reality as justification for what I’m about to say on a blog about the brain and the mind and thinking skills. And it really isn’t [...]

What Do I Think of Edward de Bono, the King of Po? Well, the Man is a Walking, Talking, Sometimes Floating Encyclopedia of Information

A reader in India writes, “I am quite impressed by Dr. Edward de Bono’s continued presence in media reports out here. His presence with the Indian cricket team has made terms like ‘lateral thinking’ and ‘six thinking hats theory’ extremely popular here. But the only problem is that the cricket team has been consistently losing [...]

I Often Say, “Argue For Your Limits And You Get to Keep Them.” Otherwise, Simply Assume That You Are Going to Change Perhaps More Often Than You Realize

Sometimes I’m bemused at the question, sometimes a little exasperated: Can people really change?
I suspect the reason that anyone would ask the question has to more to do with the nature of consciousness than anything else. Consciousness appears to be the paragon of immediacy. “We” may have trouble staying in the here and now, but [...]

Forgive Me, But I Need Moment to Revisit One of My Favorite Topics: Dolphin Strategy and the Pools Where Sharks Routinely Bloody the Waters

In their omnipotent beneficence, the gods of the Internet have led me to a tool for searching that I’d not known to exist before. If you aren’t aware of it either, then you may want to bookmark it. The site is It purports to index 10 million articles “not found on any other search [...]

The New Sign on the Door of a Restaurant I Frequent Says “Dinner Is No Longer Served.” And Therein Lies a Story About the Importance of Niches.

As much as I’ve seen the principle demonstrated, it never ceases to make my brows go up when I encounter another example of just how nitche-specific the Universe is.
My co-author, David Neenan, and I discussed the importance of nitches in Evergreen: Playing a Continuous Comeback Business Game. We introduced the idea this way:
“When we talk [...]

Riddle: When Is a Lawyer Not “Thinking Like a Lawyer”? Answer: When He Hits His Thumb with a Hammer While He’s Watching Himself in a Mirror

Lawyers I avoid like the plague, unless, of course, I have to have one, and then, of course, I want a very good one.
That’s because in the domains of the Alpha worldviews, which includes most of the world’s population, lawyers are a world (and a law) unto themselves. Everyone else—plaintiff or defender, victim or accused—is [...]

I Just Hope I Haven’t Won the Lottery in Beijing Or Been Named a Beneficiary of a Long Lost Irish Ancestor Who Struck It Rich in Shanghai

I am now getting spam in Chinese. At least, I believe it to be Chinese. Here is the subject line from the latest e-mail: 最大的2006年全球建材展.
Now, if that turns out to be scatalogic or instructions on how to do something illegal, please don’t notify Dr. Dobson or the FBI. To my eternal regret, I don’t read [...]

I Think I May Have My Epitaph: “He Was Born to Handle Books.”

I love books.
People who know my family history know that this love almost assuredly has its roots in my father’s love of books. Nearly all the time I knew him, he surrounded himself with books, sometimes when the family would have been better off had he spent the money on other things.
In spite of my [...]