Mnemonic Devices and Learning

On January 1, 2009 CNN published an article on memory. Now would be a good time to review and expand on that article, in the hopes of improving our own memory. It may be useful to conceive of the Art of Memory as having four broad application areas, a set of techniques (often called mnemonic ... Read more

The Next 40 Years

This is the sort of post that generally makes me laugh out loud. No one can predict anything like 40 years out. I myself routinely mock anyone who tries to do such a thing. However... However, it is possible to draw out trend lines, even though we can be certain they will shift. And in these trend lines, like so many fate lines creased within our palms, like so many tea leaves, we can see a vision of a changed future. It is this act of imagination, along certain known trajectories, which can bring insight.

Read more

Power Law & Second Languages

The original formulation of Zipf's law was based on naturally occurring word frequencies and their rank order in a given English language corpus. For one example, merely 135 words accounted for 50% of the total word frequencies. This could be extended to phrases as well. For foreign language learners, this means that there is some ... Read more

Maria Montessori Education

I am a great fan of Maria Montessori and her ideas about education. This page are some thoughts and links. First we have the core pedagogy. Then we have the actual learning environment, tools, tasks, etc. Third, we have montessori training of teachers. Fourth, we have the actual 6-12 grades (which Montessori herself did not ... Read more

Work Hard, Have Fun, Make History

Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs have similar insights when it comes to hiring the best. This is equally relevant when one is building a school. Hire the best teachers possible, if you want a high-performing school. Three Questions When Making a Hiring Decision From the 1998 Amazon Shareholder Letter: It would be impossible to produce ... Read more

So Good They Can’t Ignore You

This book is badly in need of an editor. That is not surprising as it appears to be a collection of blog posts, but the redundancies and useless repetition truly get in the way of the important points. Also, stylistically the first person voice is also a bit pedantic. Agreed, the author points out that the book is in manifesto form, but there are fine manifestos without such glaring flaws (The Communist Manifesto being a good example).

Read more

2016 Postmortem

Instead of a post about 2017, I want to postmortem 2016. It has been an enormous year of reckoning, being faced with previous decisions and facing them anew. Client chaos, a move into the suburbs, my son's development from months 2 to 14, and several injuries have made this a stressful year. In any case, ... Read more

Sakichi Toyoda and the Five Whys Root Cause Analysis

Sakichi Toyoda and the Five Whys Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motor Company, is considered one of the greatest if not the greatest inventor of Japan and the father of Japanese Industrialization. His impact on the world should not be underestimated. As with most historical figures, our tasks are different because we live in ... Read more