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Why Kindergarten children beat Business School graduates at finding solutions

Posted on May 10th, 2010 at 19:42 by John Sinteur in category: awesome

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  1. Let’s make a video where teams of 4 are asked to create Excel spreadsheets to do something-or-other, showing kindergarten kids failing miserably and biz school students succeeding beautifully, and title it “Why Business School graduates beat Kindergarten children at finding solutions”.

    Yes, there’s a lesson here about “fail early and often”, but the conclusion that “kids are better at finding solutions” is a weeeee bit overgeneralized. Kids happen to spend a lot of their time repetitively tinkering with physical objects. The challenge is idesigned to favor them.

    In the business world, there’s a limited amount of maneuvering room for experimentation. Your employees don’t like it if you change directions all the time; your customers get confused about what it is you’re trying to sell and annoyed that you keep abandoning your products. Maybe it’s OK that MBAs are not trained to take that approach. Presented with this problem in the real world, they’d call in an engineer to help them out, and hey look, the engineers do pretty well.

  2. @Maarten: I fear you are missing the point. The challenge is not designed to favor the children, it simply shows a weakness most people develop when growing up: we think we know the answer, and then get stuck thinking rather than just doing and learning from that. The task is very simple, so how come some of the graduates don’t have anything built at the end of the test? There lies the answer, and this is what sets the children aside. Consider this: how do children learn to walk? By sitting down, designing a plan and thinking about it, or by actually just getting up and failing miserably dozens of times, but eventually getting it right? Do the children fear failure? Do they stop when something doesn’t work? They just do, again and again, until they get it right.
    In the business world, the ‘maneuvering’ room you describe is about what the business wants to offer and how it wants to present it. The above is about how to solve problems *within* that ‘maneuvering room’. And there you see people performing in the same way as described above for the graduates: thinking a lot, and not doing much to find out what works and what doesn’t. So what is stopping people from just doing? It usually is the boss, that will not accept failure. So you can’t learn from experience, and this kills creativity.
    Besides, those with a lot of knowledge through experience – the architects and engineers – outperform all. So the kids don’t actually win the contest.


Posted on May 10th, 2010 at 17:17 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Controversial terror bill creates unlikely allies, foes

Posted on May 10th, 2010 at 14:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


A new bill that would permit the State Department to strip Americans of their citizenship if they support terror networks has drawn a cool reaction from the White House, even as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared to embrace the measure.

“I have not heard anybody inside the administration that’s been supportive of that idea,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Thursday.

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the administration would take “a hard look” at the measure, the New York Times reported. “United States citizenship is a privilege,” she told the Times. “It is not a right. People who are serving foreign powers — or in this case, foreign terrorists — are clearly in violation, in my personal opinion, of that oath which they swore when they became citizens.”

I wonder how they make newborns swear an oath…

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  1. I think the context here is that Faisal Shahzad was a naturalized citizen and thus swore that oath.

    (Disclaimer: Don’t take the above comment as support for the bill in question.)

  2. Of course, I know – I’m just mentioning it to show an increased distrust of immigrants – there’s the unspoken assumption that taking away citizenship only happens to immigrants, thus my remark.

    It’s not just Arizona that has this problem.

  3. It is insanely stupid and dangerous, as it would open the door for those infants to one day lose their citizenship based on their political affiliations. Every time we year some Orwellian measure will not be used outside the confines of “the War on Terror” we find authorities abuse their new found powers by using them against common citizens who have nothign to do with terrorists.

oh, post-it notes..

Posted on May 10th, 2010 at 13:53 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Maine Republicans Adopt Tea Party Platform

Posted on May 10th, 2010 at 13:52 by John Sinteur in category: What were they thinking?


The official platform for the Republican Party of Maine is now a mix of right-wing fringe policies, libertarian buzzwords and outright conspiracy theories.

The document calls for the elimination of the Department of Education and the Federal Reserve, demands an investigation of “collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth,” suggests the adoption of “Austrian Economics,” declares that “‘Freedom of Religion’ does not mean ‘freedom from religion'” (which I guess makes atheism illegal), insists that “healthcare is not a right,” calls for the abrogation of the “UN Treaty on Rights of the Child” and the “Law Of The Sea Treaty” and declares that we must resist “efforts to create a one world government.”

It also contains favorable mentions of both the Tea Party and Ron Paul. You can read the whole thing here.

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  1. Actually, half of the propositions make sense. That’s what makes it worrysome, you can cherry-pick, and present it as a sensible proposition.


Posted on May 10th, 2010 at 13:48 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!

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  1. John, I think you forgot the link!

  2. I wish – all I have is the picture.

New analysis of 40-year-old recording of Kent State shootings reveals that Ohio Guard was given an order to prepare to fire

Posted on May 10th, 2010 at 13:06 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Ohio National Guardsmen who fired on students and antiwar protesters at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 were given an order to prepare to shoot, according to a new analysis of a 40-year-old audio tape of the event.

“Guard!” says a male voice on the recording, which two forensic audio experts enhanced and evaluated at the request of The Plain Dealer. Several seconds pass. Then, “All right, prepare to fire!”

“Get down!” someone shouts urgently, presumably in the crowd. Finally, “Guard! . . . ” followed two seconds later by a long, booming volley of gunshots. The entire spoken sequence lasts 17 seconds.

The previously undetected command could begin to explain the central mystery of the Kent State tragedy – why 28 Guardsmen pivoted in unison atop Blanket Hill, raised their rifles and pistols and fired 67 times, killing four students and wounding nine others in an act that galvanized sentiment against the Vietnam War.

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  1. I was trying to tell a 20 something year old about the horror of this act and he said “they did burn down the ROTC building”. Comments like this convince me the national guard probably knew (planned) what they were doing.

  2. The “they” fired upon was massive groups of young people, primarily students of Kent State and other schools, like Ohio University at Athens, which had already been closed by the Governor, so they went up to Kent, as well as the general Student Body not actually taking part in the protests – some of those shot were among the non-protesters.

    The “they” that set fire to a building was an small percent of the first they.

    On the other hand, the guardsman in question were by and large around the same age as the students, a far cry from professional soldiery and genuinely in fear for their own safety from at the time they fired on nearby protesters. Unfortunately a steel jacketed 30 caliber bullet can travel a very far distance and still kill or cripple. It was tragic from all points of view.

  3. I don’t see how anyone can symphasize with the guardsmen and blame the victims. I guess this is the american way.

  4. I’m not going to defend the national guard but I recommend you read James A. Michener’s book on Kent State. It was written almost immediately after the tragedy when memories were fresher and a fairly complete picture was gleaned. There was a massive confluence of events that put this match to the powder. There was a lot of blame to be passed around.