Steve Jobs was a jerk, and other lessons in business administration



Partner’s work friend Rose recently turned me on to a very interesting blog about work.



(Yes, I know, this is a dull topic. But if you work in an office environment for a living, keep reading.  You may benefit from this.)



The blogger’s name is Bob Sutton.  He writes about work: office life, office dynamics, good bosses, bad bosses, communications issues.  He writes about them with great immediacy, and he uses vividly concrete examples that any office worker can understand.



One recent entry concerns the whole Steve-Jobs-Was-God phenomenon, and how it has muddied the waters re effective management and general good business behavior.



Jobs, by all accounts, was a genius.  He ramrodded Apple, once a small company, into a big company, a huge company, one of the most innovative companies in the world.  His products are everywhere.  They are light…

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Interdict in Wisconsin, AD 2012



First of all, a disclaimer. I converted to Catholicism in 1975, while I was attending a Catholic college. Like most modern American Catholics, I have run hot and cold on the Church over the (many) years since then. About six or seven years ago, I decided to give the faith one more try: I attended a downtown Mass almost every day at lunchtime, and even joined my local parish.  I found that it was more than enough, and that I couldn’t do it. There was just too much dissonance: so many good people trying to believe so many ridiculous things. I couldn’t bear to look at it anymore, and I left.






There was an article in the Wall Street Journal recently about a parish in Wisconsin which is going through a miniature civil war. Some years ago, a couple of ultra-conservative priests were sent…

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The Library of America



The Library of America has been around for a couple of decades now.  They print little blue-covered books with black paper covers, and they use onion-skin paper. 



They are assembling the definitive collection of the Essential American Writers.



They started with the obvious: Melville, Hawthorne, Twain, the letters and speeches and writings of the Founding Fathers.



Then they started to think about what made someone an “American writer.”



I own their edition of George Washington, and two volumes of Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson, and Wallace Stevens (everything he wrote fits in one book!), and Flannery O’Connor (ditto!), and Philip K. Dick, and one of their Thoreau volumes, and probably a couple of others I’m forgetting. We have a huge literary history in this country, and LOA is memorializing and perpetuating it in this series.  Their books ain’t cheap, but they’re…

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Six articles that you should have read this fortnight

Shopping Malls

Pamplona: More than just bulls, booze and bedlam

Parallel Worlds

[words and photographs © Mark Eveleigh]

“Pamplona is changed, of course, but not as much as we are older. I found that if you took a drink that it got very much the same as it always was.” – Ernest Hemingway.

At noon on the sixth of July the chupinazo (rocket) explodes above Pamplona’s baroque town hall, heralding the start of the Fiestas de San Fermin. Every year a million revelers storm this normally sleepy Northern Spanish city for nine days and nine nights of non-stop mayhem, converting it into what has been called ‘the hell-raising capital of the world.’

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Genetic origins



Partner and I are doing one of those DNA analysis things.  Some of them give you health information, and possible relationships with other test subjects; this one is a bargain-basement test (basically the same test the FBI uses to identify murder suspects) which checks and identifies thirteen genes.  It will then compare our genome (or, rather, those thirteen bits of it) to an international database, and tell us our (possible) countries of genetic origin.



Nothing for sure, of course; it’s too generic for that.  But the results will be interesting.  Origins are mysterious; maybe even a rough idea would be nice.



The modern USA was founded by lots of Europeans who basically swamped the original population, wiped them out with war and disease, and replaced them.  Australia followed the same pattern.



But in much of the rest of the world, this was not…

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