Author Archives: betsym

Restarting from wherever I am

Over the holidays I was down in LA with family—it was the first time in three or four years that we’d all been together at the same time. We mostly succeeded in avoiding the holiday craziness of shopping malls and … Continue reading

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Attention Deficits

I’ve recently been paying some attention to the commentary and research surrounding questions of whether and how the “always on” lifestyle we currently are subsumed by impacts our ability to maintain focus. Daniel Goleman has a new book out on … Continue reading

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Should we teach problems instead of disciplines?

A couple weeks ago I was chatting with a colleague about how we can do more to encourage STEM education (a topic that comes up a lot in Silicon Valley), and someone chimed in saying no, no we need STEAM … Continue reading

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What is it to be human?

Last night I read this utterly depressing article about organ transplant. I used to be a huge fan of organ transplant, I’ve opted in of course and have a little dot on my driver’s license. It just seems so … … Continue reading

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Habits and technology

Last month I read a great book, The Power of Habit, which explores the neurological science behind habit formation. There are a lot of interesting tidbits in the book—the most frequently cited (and somehow least interesting) one I’ve seen is … Continue reading

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Compete to win. If you lose consider creating a new game.

A student in Peter Thiel’s class on start-ups blogged notes of one of the lectures, which led to a NYT article, which led to a blog post by a colleague. The general argument being put forth is that intense competition … Continue reading

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Startups aren’t the answer, data-driven system-wide innovation is

The folks over at Edge have a really interesting read on innovation, creativity and culture by Mark Pagel. I had a couple reactions to this: (1) Is innovation always data-driven? Mark makes a rather compelling argument that innovation is rarely the … Continue reading

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To learn how the Internet works is to learn civics

*Update* This post was originally titled “Teach not coding but architecture,” which is still reflected in the permalink. I have however updated the title to reflect a far better one proposed by Jonathan Zittrain on Twitter. My colleague Nicklas Lundblad has a … Continue reading

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Using social networking behavior to predict behavior problems

I was really struck by this article last week describing research that used publicly available Facebook profiles to predict students likely to suffer from alcohol abuse. The article suggests toward the end that there is an open question of how … Continue reading

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The future of health research depends on more than bio data

Last week I spent a bit of time learning about the Quantified Self movement—a group I’ve been following from the shadows for a couple years now, but which I’d not really engaged with closely until recently. The group is an … Continue reading

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