Thursday, September 22, 2011


Started reading Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum's That Used to Be Us last night.  I'm with them. Realist optimism is the order of the day. (two days later, I've read 40 pages and am not all that optimistic about the book.  Simplistic and high level thus far.  Must skip forward to anecdotes)

Had started reading Matthew Ridley's The Rational Optimist back during the Japanese nuclear thing earlier in the spring, but crapped out in the middle of that one. It just read too much like a long New Yorker article without an editor.

The New York Times Magazine had a piece this last weekend about the principal of Riverdale (that's Archie, Veronica, and Jughead's nabe, you know) who's focused on a character-building initiative at the school.  He and a peer at a charter school have isolated 7 factors that they believe are correlated with success for students:

  1. Zest
  2. Grit
  3. Self-control
  4. Social Intelligence
  5. Gratitude
  6. Optimism
  7. Curiosity
I wrote these on a piece of paper and pasted it next to my desk.

Of course, I remember well reading another study that said that the best predictor of success amongst college seniors was not just having a plan for one's future, but writing it down.  I know I didn't do that.

Meanwhile, my renovation is coming along.  I keep meaning to write about it.

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