Scientific communication in the present day has become very complex. In the past, even as recently as the late nineteenth century, the preeminent scientists of the time - Newton, Galileo, Darwin, among others - wrote not only to communicate with other experts but also to inform the general public. Things are vastly different now. Modern … Continue reading On the need for scientific literacy
There’s an oft-cited quote in the Bhagavad Gita that explains the role of work in a person's life. Loosely translated, it states that one should “perform work in this world without selfish attachments [desire for money, fame etc.], and alike in success and defeat.” In other words, when performed with attention and without regard for consequences, … Continue reading Csikszentmihalyi on autotelic work and the conditions that create “flow”
Embracing the confusion and constraints in your life might be the way to finding focus and fulfilling work. AR Rahman is a world renowned composer, winner of two Academy Awards, two Grammy awards, and numerous regional and national awards in India. In June 2015, he visited San Jose on 'The Intimate Concert Tour" and participated in a fireside chat at … Continue reading AR Rahman on technology, tolerance, and the creative process
Information graphics, and the data visualization techniques that support their use - plots, charts, graphs, maps - have become important tools in disseminating information. A well-designed graphic, devised to clarify or confuse, depending on the designers motive, holds the power to influence decisions we make every day about the food we eat, the products we buy, … Continue reading Visualizing statistics with maps
It's that time of year when you start to act on plans to hone existing skills and develop new habits. When the young Anne Lamott decided to start writing short stories, her father, also an author, provided some guidance about how to get better: As you chug along with your plans keep this nugget of … Continue reading Do it every day for a while: how to get better at a skill
Why do a lot of Americans hate Obama? From outside the US it feels like he was a good president and implemented good laws but I can see there is this hate against him. Recent Gallup polls show that President Obama’s approval rating, as he nears the end of his second term, has improved significantly from an all-time low of … Continue reading Do Americans approve of Obama’s presidency?