If books are so great, why is it so hard to give them away?

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Books are great individually. But in big bunches, they’re not as sacred as they once were. I’m in the process of moving and I have a lot of books. I’ve been collecting science fiction books since I was a teenager — I’ve accumulated hundreds of hardbacks and hundreds more in paperback, with special bookcases to … Continued

My positive COVID test and how we dealt with it

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I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. So far, I’m fine. Here are some thoughts on that experience for you. How I got the virus I don’t know how I got the virus. My family and I are all fully vaccinated, having completed our vaccine doses months ago. My family has limited our outside contacts. Over … Continued

Buying a house? Where’s your imagination?

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My wife and I are preparing the house we’re selling for buyers and an open house in a month or so. We fell in love with the house almost immediately. It’s on a beautiful piece of ground in a nice part of our town. It’s big but 100 years old, with personality. It has four … Continued

Fear, friendship, and solidarity

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A shared enemy can connect people in amazing and ironic ways. There was once a man — let’s call him Ernest. Ernest was troubled. Much of the time, Ernest seemed like a typical suburban neighbor, keeping mostly to himself. But Ernest had a major problem with alcohol. When Ernest had been drinking, he terrorized the … Continued

We have trouble trusting machines. Ask a Tesla owner.

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Is a Tesla safer with autopilot? That’s a challenging question to answer, because it’s not just about statistics — it’s about human psychology. According to Tesla’s statistics for Q1 of 2021, for every mile driven with a Tesla on Autopilot, you’re half as likely to have an accident as without the autopilot feature. Here’s the … Continued

The epiphany: why people end things

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Things tend to go on as they always have — until somebody has an epiphany. A decade ago, I was the lead on hiring a new social media analyst at Forrester Research. A woman with a strong and positive social media presence interviewed with us, and got to the final stages, which included doing a … Continued

The ideal collaborator

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I’m thinking back on all the projects I did with a partner. What qualities made for an ideal collaborator? They were passionate about ideas. Their ideas were different from mine. They have skills I didn’t have, and that the project needed. They were good at arguing without becoming nasty. They understood what a logical argument … Continued

God’s test

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God is testing you. But maybe not the way you think. I am betting you are a committed person. The values you hold close are sacred to you. You put a lot of energy into living and sustaining those values. But that is not always easy. There will come a moment when you are tested. … Continued