so totally sick and


The Purpose Motive

Dan Pink, in this informative, entertaining presentation, provides further credence to my anti-bonus argument. Studies across the globe, by top scholars in the fields of economics, psychology, and sociology all indicate that throwing excessive monetary incentive toward complex problems does not maximize positive outcomes. These studies, as Mr. Pink eloquently relays, all indicate that the best performances and the best solutions arise from humans’ natural inclination for purpose, mastery, and autonomy. In other words, create a work environment that allows people to exercise their brains, their creativity, to feel their work has a greater purpose, to feel they are bettering themselves and those around them, and to self-direct will create not only a happy, highly-productive workforce, but it will also maximize positive outcomes for your business.

Why Bonuses are Bad…

What’s wrong with a bonus?  Advocates of this method of compensation argue that a bonus rewards performance above and beyond the expected — but that is just the problem with a bonus. The message it sends is, “it’s ok to just be good, we’ll still pay you a salary and you’ll keep your job.”  Are you satisfied with employees who are just good?  Don’t we all want to work with people who routinely perform above and beyond expectations, who are naturally driven to achieve the best results possible?  The bonus-carrot just sends the opposite message to employees – that it is ok to be mediocre.   I should clarify that I am not talking about commissions, and that I don’t believe that everything is black and white – ie I am not saying rewards for great performance are bad.  It is great to reward people for exceptional performance, but don’t set the bar at mediocre by building an expected bonus into the compensation package that clearly communicates ‘good enough’ is acceptable.

Instead set the expectation that performance should always be exceptional, and roll any anticipated bonus into the base compensation.  Then, if an employee is not meeting those exceptional standards, reward them with a nice severance and find someone who naturally seeks excellence to fill the void.  Harsh?  Perhaps.  But would you want anyone less than great working for you?

Beyond sending the wrong message, traditional bonuses often lead to short-sighted business decisions and ‘juking the numbers‘ just to hit quarterly bonus goals.  Again, do you want to encourage short-sighted, myopic behavior, or do you want to cultivate a culture of expected excellence and long-term visionary thinking?

Ron van der Ende: thanks for blowing my mind

You must MUST check out this dude’s work.

Ron van der Ende

It’s so sick I can’t even talk about it. I’ll never do it justice.

van der ende plymouth custom suburban sculpture

what resonates?

I used to struggle with stuff that was too nostalgic / sentimental (ironic because I am so much both).

The peeps at Uppercase Gallery threw this flickr set out there and it totally resonates with me.

I found an old mechanical pencil sharpener the other day – the grey cast ironish and aluminium [sic] kind that mounts on the wall and cranks – and I stole it. As soon as I saw the thing I dredged up the smell of freshly sharpened pencils from the meatlocker of my mind.

One of the most influential books I have read is The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard.   Bachelard dissects the influence of space — in particular, our childhood spaces / home — on memory, perception, and the subconscious.

It’s pretty intriguing.

Some Bachelard quotes:

One must always maintain one’s connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it.

Ideas are refined and multiplied in the commerce of minds. In their splendor, images effect a very simple communion of souls.

The subconscious is ceaselessly murmuring, and it is by listening to these murmurs that one hears the truth.

…when we discover a nest it takes us back to our childhood or, rather, to a childhood; to the childhoods we should have had. For not many of us have been endowed by life with the full measure of its cosmic implications.

I also just read this passage from Martha Grimes’ book Foul Matter

Imagine how you’d feel if I were, say, an oncologist telling you you only had a couple of months to live. You’d be shocked out of your mind not just by death but by the realization you’d squandered a big part of your life. Think about that. It’s my theory that none of us really believes he’s going to die. We think we believe it, given all the evidence, but we really don’t. Freud said a man can’t imagine his own death. Probably, we think there’s something more due us, and maybe that’s the reason immortality is such a popular idea. What we really want is another chance, and we think we’re going to get it–hte chance to straighten out everything, to get it right.

The Unclear Origins of Oil

Crude oil is almost $140 per barrel.

By now you’d think we would know where it comes from. But No one really knows.

There are 3 main theories:

  1. Oil comes from algae “The conventional wisdom is that oil descends from algae from eons ago. Lots and lots of algae. Unimaginable mounds of dead algae in quantities no longer found on this planet, pressed, and cooked into hydrocarbon liquids.”
  2. Oil is abiogenic (non-organic) “Others, notably the Russians, have an alternative theory that oil comes from non-biological carbon compounds deep in this planet, like the methane oceans we find on other planets.”
  3. Oil is produced by bacteria “An emerging third theory is that bacteria living within rocks produce oil. In this theory there is a biological component (the bacteria) which constitute the oil-generating process, but the originating material in not degraded organic material, but rather geological carbon gases.”

errl [[Via: Wave Geek ]]

defining so totally sick and rad

Terje gets it….this clip is pretty much the best video definition I’ve ever seen of sototallysickandrad. Terje flat out kills it. If I did that I’d probably be high for a couple weeks.

Billy Poole – Missed but never forgotten

The Elephant in the Room

Language is a wonderful, fluid, organic medium that adheres to a structured logic of assembled units of meaning. Like design or architecture, the underlying structure follows laws of organization, geometry, temporality, and so on, yet the most exceptional writers, like the most impressive designer builders, have the facility and gumption to push, bend and break those rules intentionally in order to create something unexpectedly wonderful, visual, harmonic, or even discordant.

I love how sensual our brains’ connection to and interpretation of language is. Language is a symbology that stimulates visual, oral, aural, olfactory, even somatosensory systemic responses. Physical response through the interpretation of a symbol of meaning. Words trigger memory, associations, imaginations.

I often struggle with my place and meaning in the universe. What do I contribute? What value do I add, and what is my cost to the universal balance? Words are ideas. Ideas don’t consume physical resources, they don’t add physical waste. In today’s hip vernacular, words are carbon neutral, yet they have the power to build and destroy civilizations.elephant

The Elephant in the Room

is a wonderful idiom and it induces that sensory response I relish. Big. Smelly. Feel the texture of its skin, the warmth of it. It’s trying to hide itself in the corner right up against your book shelf, behind your cherished mid-century modern lounge.

I have more than one elephant in my house, and it’s getting pretty damn crowded in here.

Shellhouse – portable cardboard shelter presents a simple shelter one can fabricate using a large piece of cardboard and a pen. Great design is functional, socially responsible, and aesthetically resonant. The beauty results from the perfect fusion of concept and function to create form, rather than setting out to be beautiful. The simple use of origami folds to create a shelter is a wonderful solution.




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