Category Archives: Uncategorized

Physician, Heal Thyself

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I never thought of myself in Dear Abby territory, but I do give advice to people for a living. (In response to one client’s question last week about what to do with a sticky situation, I replied, “Fire them all. And then quit.”) A lot of my advice has to… Read more »

Peak Faculty

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A few years ago, there was a lot of talk about “peak oil.” The idea was that we’d passed the midway point of easy crude oil extraction, and were now on the historical downhill side of petroleum. To some extent, that was good news; it signaled a peak of hydrocarbon emissions… Read more »


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I wrote a few posts ago about rejection letters, a genre in which nobody ever says, “That book sounds really awful,” or “You write terribly,” or “You have no possible future in academia, as far as I can tell.” We’ve developed a veneer of civility over the whole thing, an… Read more »


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We most often divide businesses like an org chart, into work groups and supervisory lines. And while that reveals some things about the institution, it conceals others. If you were interested in one lake, you might make an inventory of every living thing in that lake. That would be ecology…. Read more »

Sterile Hybrids

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Mules and hinnies. Ligers and tigons. Zonkeys and zorses. The tiger muskie and the bloodball python. The animal world is filled with inter-species and occasionally inter-genera crossbreeds known as hybrids, from the Latin ibrida or mongrel. A lot of them have come specifically from human intervention, the work of farmers… Read more »

PIE Chart

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In a highly viewed article published on LinkedIn Pulse, Beth Crocker of Crocker Finance gave some advice to women in the business world. And while I think there’s plenty there that’s useful to think through, there was one part that I really wished I’d known better at a much younger age…. Read more »

How Do You Describe an Ecosystem?

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When I was in grade school, there were a couple of summers when the beaches at Lake Michigan were covered with dead fish. To be specific, alewives. The alewife was an eastern fish. In Boston, the terminus of the MBTA Red Line is Alewife Station, which you can reach by driving along… Read more »

Combat Narratives

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We seem to have a limited vocabulary with which to describe cultural phenomena. For instance, when my wife and I bought our house, we converted an unused loft over the garage into my pool room. A room of contemplation and meditation, a room in which the pool table itself was… Read more »

Who ARE these people?

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It’s probably been twenty years since I first saw this bit of photocopier humor. (Now that it’s on the internet, it’s called a “meme,” but it used to just be called “this thing I put on my bulletin board.”) The caption at the bottom read, “Times are getting tough. We might… Read more »

Filed Away

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Many years ago, I was working with a consulting company that focused on planning services for county and state criminal justice agencies. I used to joke that I never went to juvenile hall until I was 40, and then I went every week. Anyway, I got a kind of harsh… Read more »