Thursday, October 28, 2010

About Fear, and the Job Search

I had lunch today with someone who has offered to help me with my resume and my Linkedin page, both of which need some serious polishing now that I'm so actively hunting. It is an uncomfortable process having someone critique the resume, even though I was 100% aware that it wasn't the best document in the world. It's not that I'm not committed to putting forth my best effort. I think it's more that it's hard not to get emotional about job seeking.

So she looked at my resume and gave me plenty of feedback and advice, which I really, really appreciated. For example, she suggested I move my education down and put my job experience first, which makes sense. It's amazing how much of my resume is a hangover from the days when my education was all that I had to be proud of on my resume. I also got some new ideas, like adding a "reading now" list to my Linkedin page. I jumped on that suggestion right away!

But the advice that inspired the above title was simply to remove the picture of myself hugging my children and replace it with a more professional headshot. Now, the picture of me hugging the kids was out of date (and before I started going to a salon for a professional haircut, to boot). It just so happened that I had replaced the photo already with a recent headhot, which I specifically edited to remove my daughter from the frame. I think there is something to the "appropriate forum" idea: Larry Winget said something similar about political campaigns: "I want to know your position, not that you can breed." Understood, and agreed. LinkedIn is a professional network, therefore, I should be using a photo that makes me look like the professional I am.

But a note entered into our conversation at this point that gave me pause. She advised me first of all to Google myself. (I have- nothing terrible comes out of it.) But then she asked if my Facebook profile is public. I wasn't sure. She advised me to lock it down ASAP. Basically, she said, you don't want to go into an interview where the interviewers know more about you than you can tell them.

Um. This blog is a BIG problem, in that case. So I have been thinking this over and wondering, am I oversharing? Chris Brogan mentions this in Trust Agents, as well. Being in public and using bits of your personal life to connect with your audience is one thing. Oversharing, apparently, is another thing. I can see this. It reminds me of my husband's grandmother when she was in her eighties, and I would sit down to talk with her. She would tell me all the details of her health issues, and what she'd had for breakfast, and every exchange of the last conversation she'd had with her sister, and so forth. She was utterly open and charming and I loved her dearly, but I really didn't want to know everything about her daily life.

Still, I am a mother and I have young children. It's impossible to pretend that that won't affect my future or my job performance, and impossible for me to write them out of my life, even if I wanted to. I don't. The best part of applying for a job at the other day was that I didn't have to HIDE my family.

I don't want to live in fear. This blog was begun as part of a project of radical honesty. I have this little core of people that I am able to be radically honest with if I want to. They include my husband, my best friends, and my immediate family. Outside of that inner circle, I wear a protective mask. Exposure feels like death. But do I really want to be hired into another place where I have to keep still all day long? No!

Fear and shame are closely related, and I've tried to tackle shame in this blog before. I am not ashamed of myself. I am not ashamed of my family. I am not ashamed of my past mistakes, sins, failures. I am thirty-one years old. I have done and said stupid, foolish things before. I have done and said things that I am ashamed of, but I am not ashamed to tell you what those things are. I learned from them. I endeavor not to repeat them. But I can't erase them, and hiding them behind a screen will only make me more fearful.

Still, this is a complicated problem. I want to get into customer service and social media marketing. This means my reputation will need to be stellar. I don't want people stumbling across this blog, or looking at my Linkedin or Facebook page, and drawing negative conclusions about me. But won't the truth come out anyway? If I am all over the internet, and Twitter and Facebook and everyplace, the good and the bad truth are out there. My failures are already out there. Why pretend they don't exist?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

@jackiness: The Strange Magic of Twitter Reply

Yesterday, a member of the Palo Alto Research Center posted that he was looking for someone to work 10 hours a week or so, paid social media training. I replied; no answer. I've gotten rather used to influential people ignoring my replies to them. I try not to overuse the function. I'll do it once, and it they ignore me, I leave them alone after that. But I have been exploring the potential of this new medium to see if I can join the conversation going on between these really awesome people.

So, this morning I noticed that the CEO of ZURB had posted yet again that they are hiring for Customer Service. I immediately responded with: "@ @ I still think I would make a fab CSR for you guys, but didn't make the first cut. Maybe in a few years!"

I didn't expect a reply since he's clearly a very busy guy. But lo and behold, a few minutes later: "@ Thanks for reaching out! There was an incredible response- it's always difficult to cut talented people."

The guy took a few seconds out of a busy day to respond to my tweet. This completely made my day. I am continually surprised by the in-the-gut reaction to the social exchanges we make online. Oddly, "Thanks for reaching out" is the same response I received, word-for-word, from the HR person at Ning, last week. Even the language divides the in-speak group from the out-speak group!

Likewise, I have continued to read Chris Brogan's book, Trust Agents, which is taking me much longer than it usually takes me to finish a book. This is because it's more of a guidebook or manual packed with information and tips, and every five minutes I end up putting it down and jumping over to the computer in excitement to try out one of his suggestions. This is an awesome book for N.A.D.D. (Nerd Attention Deficit Disorder) people like me.

Midway through Brogan's book, he suggests that readers put the book down and go to a service like Twitter and update their status. His suggestion is to write "Reading Trust Agents," because it's short and simple. He also says that this will enable him to find you, because he will be listening. So I did. I put the book down, went and updated my status to "@ Reading _Trust Agents_ :) Thank you for the first commonsense guide I've found to this strange new world!" And you know what? Within a few minutes he had tweeted back to say thank you. How cool is that? He really does what he says he will. It knocked my socks off.

It's something to remember. These little exchanges have a lot of power. I have to figure out how to use this force for good when it comes to customer experience.

I had a perfect case this morning, in a pleasant phone call with a customer. I've been itching to move on so badly that I forgot there are still things to learn where I am.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When the Going gets Tough...

I’m stronger than I give myself credit for! On Friday I got my rejection for my #2 company and my biggest hope. I guess there’s no need to be coy at this point- the company is in Palo Alto, and I had passed an initial screening, so I had my hopes up a bit. I received my rejection email and was feeling a bit despondent. Then, on my way home on Friday, it hit me that the HR person, who I had started following on Twitter, had just tweeted about a different opening for a Recruitment Coordinator. I had recommended a friend, but the position was full time and my friend was only available for part time work.

So I was driving home and I thought, “Wait, why not write back and ask if I could be considered separately for the other position?” I’m organized and good with people, and these people had already seen my work, so they knew what I could do. SO I did. Friday night. Saturday I got another rejection, but only because she was already close to closing the deal with someone with actual recruitment experience. Door closed! But oh, how proud I was of myself for bouncing RIGHT back. What do I have to lose, anyway, by putting myself out there? I know my own value.

Saturday night, I applied at another startup- no response yet. But there I was putting self out there again, and I intend to keep it going. Sunday I met a UI designer for a very well known company in San Francisco. It’s a little far for me to go, but I don’t care- I asked for her contact information and applied for the Community Manager position. So two more irons in the fire, and an inside contact, to boot! I also made friends with a lady who offered to pass my Linkedin information on to her friends. Opportunities are everywhere once I start really looking.

Sunday when I was shopping for baby shower cards, I ran across the “encouragement” section of greeting cards. I picked up one for a friend at work who is having a rough time of it lately. But I also bought one for myself. It reads, “You are talented, You are needed, You are Valued, You are loved. (Inside) Sometimes we just need to be told- and I am telling you, with all my heart. I left it blank and will keep it for someone else in the future who is in a similar place, where they will need to be reminded of the same. But I bought it for myself. From myself, too myself. Is that strange? It makes me think of the Dalai Lama and _The Art of Happiness_, where he points out that we must have compassion for ourselves if we are to have compassion for others.

I’ve been thinking of my experiences with all of these startups lately, and I may begin profiling them here (after I am eliminated as a candidate, of course.)

Now I've reached out to another friend, and she's responded by offering to help revamp my resume & linkedin page. I am so grateful for all the love in my life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Missed Opportunity Redux

Ok... I was braced for rejection from my #2 company choice, but I didn't expect to feel it quite so much. Man, it just hurts every time, doesn't it? Feels like I've been punched in the gut. It seems I have some more work to do before I can move on.

This brings my pending opportunities down to none. Time to pick self up, dust off AGAIN, and go back to work. I'm giving some thought to starting my own business one of these years. Every time I go through this search process it just increases my resolve. I'll keep my eyes open for unfilled needs.

In the meantime, grateful for current job. I could be out in the cold, like so many people. It may not be exciting, but I know how to do it and do it well, and my managers are good guys. Things could be so much worse.

I still have my new interest in social media, so now I have nothing to lose. I intend to plunge back in, starting this weekend. Last weekend was devoted to job-hunt projects. This weekend is all mine.

Edit: Good friend just texted: "They don't know what they're missing!" Totally needed to hear that.

On Relationships, Honesty, and Trust

Another thought on the note of family appreciation, but also about relationships. I have continued to reflect on what I have to offer in the world of social media. The next step in my journey is to begin contributing and teaching others. Despite my background as a Professor, I haven’t been considering my potential to educate other people. I’ve been wanting to help others, but sometimes it’s seemed like the best I can do is just stay out of the way.

I started thinking about what I have to teach, and one thing that is coming to mind is that these social media platforms are all about relationships. I have good relationships. I have been married for coming on 9 years. I’m still close to some of my childhood friends. I have good connections to people at work. It’s not that I’m always outgoing or extroverted. I have a tendency to let things drift, and I can be quite reserved. But I understand the value of trust in relationships.

This leads me to an example. About a week ago, I had a video project that I wanted to do and in my typical determined way, I jumped in feet first. The first day on the project, I waited until my children were in bed, set up the camera as best I could, and started shooting. I don’t know much about film, but I was committed to follow through on this project and I knew that the sooner finished it the sooner it could be out communicating to others. I just focused on getting there. That night I struggled for several hours to figure out how to connect the camera to my computer, to update the software, understand the help guide. Mind you, this was after a full day’s work at my regular job, and my job as a mom, and I was darn tired. Night #1, and I fail to solve the dilemma of how to get the videos from tape to digital. Finally at 1AM my two year old daughter woke up, and I took her back to bed and gave up for the night.

Night #2 was a Friday night.  The kids were happy to spend night at Grandma’s house – 1st time Harmony has ever done so. (They live 1 mile away- I love being near family!) So I had a very most unexpectedly kid-free evening. This made me 110% determined to finish the video clips, as I could have equipment set up and no little ones to interfere. With my husband’s assistance, I solved the mystery of how to download the tape to the computer. He had done this before, so it helped that he knew where to look. I downloaded the clips, found my thumb drive, transferred them to the computer that had Windows Movie Maker, (ah software incompatibility issues) and with a quick tutorial from Matt, my husband, I was editing away.

About an hour later I had my first edited clip to show for all the work. I asked Matt to review the clip. He took a seat at the computer and hit “play.” Now, I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I was actually quite proud of this clip. I had worked very hard on it and was feeling pleased with myself. So what happened next quite literally burst my bubble.

Matt said, “Honey, this video clip sucks. You need to do it over again.”

Needless to say, this wasn’t what I wanted to hear. For a second I felt like saying something impolite. I was hurt and angry. But, I have been with my husband for over 10 years now. I knew that he always tells the absolute truth. I knew that he studied film in college. I knew that he wanted me to succeed.

I also knew that if I asked him for help, he would tell me how to do it over and do it right. So I said, “Help me. Tell me what I need to fix.” And he did. My framing was off. My lighting was wrong. I hadn’t used a script. I had said “um” too often. The cuts were awkward.

15 minutes later, Matt had the camera framed properly for me, had adjusted the lighting, and made a few suggestions for the script. He went to bed. I stayed up until three in the morning re-shooting and editing my clips. They still weren’t exactly professional quality, but they outmatched my original by a factor of about 3:1.

My husband is not always nice, but he is always honest, and he is often right. I trust him to tell me when I’m doing something poorly. It’s cliché, but a good marriage is in part about knowing each other’s strengths and leaning on them. So, I guess I might have something to say about relationships. Maybe something to teach, too.

Middle Night Thoughts

It's been an intense couple of weeks. I'm great when there's actions to be taken and things to be done, but not so much when it comes to sitting back and waiting. Continuing adventures in twitter, and still having the time of my life. I am more and more convinced that my next move is into social media, but still working out the details. I've continued to read Chris Brogan's book, Trust Agents, and am processing it in the background while I go about my daily life.

I'm balancing a lot right now, and behind the general fog of exhaustion this week, trying to keep my priorities straight. Yesterday I took my four year old son to the dentist. The last time he went he climbed right into the chair, full of confidence & trust. This time he unexpectedly shied away from the overhead light and then wouldn't take his hands from his eyes. Even after they offered him a child-sized pair of sunglasses, he kept scrunching up his body in the chair. I could see that he was getting upset. Luckily this is a pediatric dentist that specializes in children with difficulties, so they took this behavior in stride and didn't make a fuss.

I held my son and wrapped my arms around him protectively, and I could feel how small he still is and how he needed reassurance. The hygienist suggested that I lay in the dental chair with my son on top of me, and we put the sunglasses back on. This time with Mama as his dentist chair, he relaxed and let her clean and examine his teeth with no further difficulty. How many dentists would have let us do this? Big gold star recommendation for Dr. Natalie Vanderkamm in Cupertino.

He's been getting so big and independent that the moments when he is vulnerable like this are getting to be fewer and more subtle when they do appear. My beautiful son is growing up. In the middle of all the stress and scramble lately, I really valued this moment with him.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Missed Opportunity

Rejection is no fun! I heard back from ZURB today, and even though it was the answer I expected, it still unexpectedly hurt. I feel like the old days of dating when I would ask people out and they would turn me down- sometimes you just don’t get a satisfactory answer as to why. I always kept asking, though!

“We received your resume and wanted to thank you for your interest in working with us here at ZURB. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like ZURB is a fit for you at this time. Please keep in touch, as our needs are always changing.”

OUCH! I just had another rejection earlier this week. I know the right thing to do is pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep on going. I just haven’t found the right door yet.

Still, it has been a disappointing set of results. I might have to go back to square one and start fresh.

I just know that I am valuable- I am bright, creative, determined, energetic, motivated, ambitious, educated, and experienced. If they can’t pick that up from my resume or my email, it really is their loss. But it’s my loss, too. I want to work for the best company I can find- this one was at the top of my list, and I didn’t even get to the phone screening, so I didn’t get much of a chance to show what I am like or what I can do.

All I have is the determination to make something of myself. I keep sensing that the opportunity is out there, if I can just grab on to it. But which direction will it come from?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What do I know? What can I share?

I'm fairly tired from a packed weekend full of projects and family activity, and little sleep. I'm proud of my hard work, but impatient. A close friend told me at lunch yesterday that she believes there is a purpose to each of our lives and that the disappearance of one opportunity in life simply means that a better one will come along later that was meant to be. I don't believe that my life is predestined or that I have a purpose, other than those created by myself and other people. Fate is something that I don't trust and don't believe in. Neither am I fatalistic, as I actually do agree with my friend that I believe the future holds better things ahead and have a generally optimistic outlook; if none of the companies I've applied to extend me an offer, I will think of something else to try. Nevertheless, I see no benefit in sitting back and passively accepting disappointment. I want to make my own destiny if I can.

I've changed my profile setting on Twitter. It now reads: "Former Professor, future CEO. The middle part = work in progress." So that gives you some clue where I now think I am headed. Why aim low? After all, I want to change the world. I'm tired of pretending otherwise.

I am reading a book by Chris Brogan called Trust Agents at the moment, which is helping me reframe my sudden passionate interest in social media. Brogan talks about the power of the internet and in particular, suggests helping others through blogging and other tools. His suggestion in the book was to find topics to share that would teach other people, and to build on my own expertise in order to become a "trust agent."

This has me thinking: What do I know? What can I share? How can I help other people?

I know I started this blog with a piece on breastfeeding because I successfully breastfed my children, and I believe my experience could help other women to do the same. So originally I had intentions to help others through writing.

Writer and speaker Larry Winget has said before that people should stand up for their convictions. He has no respect for people who stand for everything and nothing. What are my convictions? What do I believe in? How can I share these things with others in a way that would make a powerful impact on the world? And, most of all, how does the internet fit into this picture? These are the questions that are on my mind tonight.

Friday, October 15, 2010

In Which Jackie Goes Questing

I pulled out of my mild slump with a vengeance about a week ago when I made the decision to focus my attention on hunting for a new job. No sooner did I begin to look than my energy level began to return. I feel energized, delighted and excited.

This actually started a couple of weeks ago when I followed a waft of interest in entrepreneur Caterina Fake, one of the co-founders of Flickr. Her current venture is, and I joined and created a profile. This was the first new social media website that I had adopted since the advent of Facebook, which itself had basically replaced my previous use of LiveJournal.

So I started late one night and within a couple of hours found myself completely absorbed in navigating the social landscape of the site. It was fascinating. And since I had just been thinking about Fake and her connection to startups, and since I have been thinking of hunting for some slightly more challenging work, I thought I would check for job listings on the site. However, it turned out that they are located in New York. No good, as I don't want to go from one crazy-high cost of living world to another with worse weather, to boot. That's assuming I could convince them to hire me.

So then I had the thought, why not take a look around for startup companies closer to home? A few search queries later, I had landed on, a web design startup in Campbell, CA with possibly the coolest benefits package I have ever seen in my life (free drycleaning-free housecleaning- I'm sold!) AND a current opening, currently listed, for a Customer Advocate position. Nearly fell off my chair with excitement. This was a strong clue that it might be time for me to move on.

My company has treated me very well, and it's no shame to them that I'm going slowly but surely insane from utter boredom. Excel spreadsheets have their place, mind you, but I like to have a goal in mind and need food for the intrinsic motivation to reach the kind of heights I'm dreaming of. I do a good job, but out of duty and respect, not out of love.

I spent four hours on my application letter. Afterward, I lay awake for most of the night. I'm not kidding when I say that I have strong passions about things.

A few days of incessant obsession later, with no word from Zurb (not even a form letter- you guys break my heart!) I figured out that there might be MORE cool companies to work for in the area. (I know I pride myself on my intelligence, but sometimes certain ideas take time to percolate ;) Also as part of my application to Zurb, I included the URL to this blog, and decided it might be time to be a bit more active on Twitter, as it was one of the components of the listing. I've been aware of Twitter in a distant way for some time now, but hadn't really figured the whole thing out.

Yes, here I am just dipping a toe into the waters of web 2.0. Jackie, who has been active on the internet since the mid 90's, has fallen behind the early adopter curve.

Job hunt stage two began, and I pulled another all nighter.,,,, and are just some of the miraculous things I discovered popping up all around me. I also applied at LinkedIn, SRI, Quova, etc. Of course, to be qualified for any of the open positions, I needed to be familiar with the products, so I signed on and started creating. Here I am a week later following 60 people on Twitter (having only been active on it for a few days) and having the time of my life. I'm excited to go back to working on this blog. I might even start having readers one of these days!

I've had two phone interviews this week already and both were fabulous (but I won't tell you who, shhhh!) and I feel completely alive and energized again, even though I have stayed up half the night two nights in a row attempting to create, download, and edit my video clips for YouTube (how could I forget~ I now have an active YouTube channel as well). Really happy. There are smart people out there in the universe, and apparently I can listen to them anytime I want- on Twitter. I can learn from them- on YouTube. I can read things that they say - on their blogs and websites and social pages. Utterly amazing.

So, this job search may pan out or may not. Either way, I'm still employed, so feeling pretty upbeat. I feel really qualified for a lot of positions now, with both education and experience to back me. The random passing interest I had in programming might even return now that I see some of the development possibilities for all of these social media websites.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Speed of Social Media

As people are starting to trickle in (other than XeeSm employees, who I did at least expect) I thought I had better post a quick update to the blog. A visitor has just pointed out to me that the “adult content” warning was still in place on the page, and I have removed the restriction.

To anyone else who wanders in, welcome. I started this blog in an effort to polish my writing skills and to have a forum to develop ideas and experimental writing. I intended this to be a place of total honesty, and deliberately did not advertise its existence until I was confident that I could sustain the project. My ideas are partially related to the book _Radical Honesty_ by Brad Blanton, , which I had recently read in the San Jose State Library collection. I wanted to experiment with writing on topics of interest, related to my personal life, but not necessarily in a diary format.

I have taken this blog public (in the sense of having actual readers rather abruptly and therefore expect the tone and content to shift, given the presence of actual viewers (and potential employers!) and my new fascination with social media. I’m not going to change the basic principle of honest content or take down any of the increasingly personal musings I was delving into thus far. The internet is what it is!

Welcome to whoever you are, and feel free to say hello.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weclome to XeeSM

Dear XeeSM,

Welcome to my experimental writing project. I recommend the following entries as my favorite to date:

A Small House

Longer, and Probably Still Incorrect

I really hope I get the chance to come and meet you. If not, I am sure we will cross paths some time in the future. Thank you for your visit.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Reading Journal: Intro to Occasion

I'm going to work my way through this one, in an attempt to jump back into the literary scene. (These are working notes, so excuse me in advance if obscure or boring).

The introduction begins with a quotation by C. P. Snow, from The Two Cultures, 1959:

I believe the intellectual life of the whole of western society is increasingly being split into two groups. When I say the intellectual life, I mean to include also a large part of our practical life, because I should be the last person to suggest the two can at the deepest level be distinguished.... Literary intellectuals at one pole—at the other scientists.... Between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension—sometimes (particularly among the young) hostility and dislike, but most of all lack of understanding.... This polarisation is sheer loss to us all. To us as people, and to our society. It is at the same time practical and intellectual and creative loss, and I repeat that it is false to imagine that those three considerations are clearly separable.
I've never heard of this guy, or his book, but I can see from its prominent placement at the top of the page that this is probably someone important. So I think before I can go further, I might want to go find some basic information about who he is. I also note that this is a quotation from the end of the 1950's, so this tells me I'm jumping into a conversation that has been going on for some time. I might not have a good sense of the /kairos/ as I understand the term from my old English 1B textbook.

I've gone and looked at the wikipedia article on this, (if you're an academic, you can feel free to cringe now) but if it's accurate I get the general idea that Snow was British, a scientist, and that the quotation in question is probably from the published version of a "Rede lecture" (which also seems to be something important and influential that I should know about, but don't) and he gave the lecture in question in 1959. Further reading through wikipedia would indicate that the lecture/publication/subsequest follow up sparked a larger discussion in the literary and scientific communities, and that the "two cultures" phrase is often used in discussing these ideas.

Ok, I get the general idea that there's some context here that I might need to know in order to fully understand, and that this issue of Occasion is going to address an ongoing and existing dialogue.

The second quotation is by E. O. Wilson, Consilience, 1998:
If the natural sciences can be successfully united with the social sciences and the humanities, the liberal arts in higher education will be revitalized.... The future of the liberal arts lies ... in addressing the fundamental questions of human existence head on, without embarrassment or fear, taking them from the top down in easily understandable language, and progressively rearranging them into domains of inquiry that unite the best of science and the humanities at each level of organization in turn.

Another wikipedia search and I note that (if accurate) he was also a biologist, this time writing in the late nineties (which I at least have the advantage of having lived through, so that helps.) He also seems to be talking about a desire to unite, or "marry" is the word that comes to mind, the humanities with science.

OK, so we are beginning with two different quotations, one from the late fifties/right before the sixties, and one from the late nineties/right before the (what the heck is this decade called? the early tens?? Millenium?). Just went and searched online for what to call this decade. I'd settle for the British "naughts" ;) but the consensus seems to be the 2000s. Yuck. (And a really loooong decade). I guess numerically, it should be the zeroes, right? The tens will be the next decade. No wonder everyone likes the twenties and never talks about the tens except as "turn of the century."

Anyway... back to the article.

The essays in this inaugural issue of Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities,
So this is the first issue of the journal. And given that this is meant to be an interdisciplinary effort, I can see why they would pick this topic as worth addressing in the first one. Let me look up interdisciplinary:

accoring to merriam-webster free online dictionary, it's "involving two or more academic, scientific, or artistic disciplines." I also had a nice detour into finding out what the word "Sanctimommy" meant. Ah, the web!
are precisely focused on confronting, head-on, the idea of “two cultures” via a sustained interdisciplinary conversation
So the essays in this journal will "confront" (which seems to mean something like "face" here- only more agressive overtones- they will be confrontational?) and "head-on" also implies more emphasis, something like "directly." They will directly confront an idea. The idea they will confront is the "two cultures" idea (by which I think they mean the larger, ongoing discussion implied in the wikipedia piece, not confined to the actual words of the first quote). These essays (and by extension, the authors of the essays) will take on, confront, the "two cultures" idea, by a "sustained" conversation. I guess that means an ongoing one? I'm not sure what the sustained word implies here. But a sustained, or ongoing, "interdisciplinary conversation." I don't know if this means a conversation between authors from different disciplines? I guess it must, since I don't think they are just talking about the content being more than one discipline.

I'm tired and I'm only through a few lines at the beginning! These essays will talk about the idea of "two cultures" by directly facing the idea, using talk that will go on over a period of time, between people from different academic disciplines. I think implied here also is that the different talking people will be some from science and some from humanities, since those seem to be the two main "cultures" talked about in the quote.

I know that's a very bad breakdown, but I am trying to get this. Oh, I'm not even done with this quote yet.

surrounding a key object—human behavior.
So the object
Deemed by many to be the most powerful tool for understanding human action, rational choice theory has been the subject of extensive debate in the social sciences, in particular, in the fields of economics, psychology, sociology, and political theory. Embraced by some as a normative tool and others as a descriptive one, rational choice theory can be linked to what I will call "rational choice thinking," a term I use to name the assumptions that undergird rational choice theory and find even greater mobility than rational choice theory within and without the aforementioned fields and disciplines. These suppositions that grow out of the belief that human choices and behaviors can be evaluated in a way that transcends (or subordinates, at least) particular issues of history, culture, gender, class, and race have colored, it seems, a broad range of intellectual activities and, indeed, have become a key element in discourses about globalization, which relies on certain notions of translatability, if not universalism.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Books in my Nook


by Dan Barker


Added: 10/01/2010


by Paul H. Wender


Added: 09/29/2010

It's Nobody's Fault

by Harold Koplewicz


Added: 09/28/2010

The Invisible Gorilla

by Christopher Chabris, Daniel Simons


Added: 09/28/2010

The Book Whisperer

by Donalyn Miller, Jeff Anderson


Added: 09/23/2010

Cognitive Surplus

by Clay Shirky


Added: 09/23/2010

How Pleasure Works

by Paul Bloom


Added: 09/23/2010

Being Wrong

by Kathryn Schulz


Added: 09/23/2010


by David Eagleman


Added: 09/23/2010


by John Allen Paulos


Added: 09/23/2010

The Greatest Show on Earth

by Richard Dawkins


Added: 09/23/2010

The Grand Design

by Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow


Added: 09/23/2010

Vegetarian Myth

by Lierre Keith


Added: 09/15/2010

Breaking Night

by Liz Murray


Added: 09/13/2010

The Price of Altruism

by Oren Harman


Added: 09/08/2010


by Andrew Morton


Added: 09/03/2010


by Dean Ornish


Added: 08/31/2010

Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

by Edgar Allan Poe, Benjamin F. Fisher


Added: 08/30/2010

The Genius in All of Us

by David Shenk


Added: 08/23/2010

The Pain Chronicles

by Melanie Thernstrom


Added: 08/19/2010

The Murder Room

by Michael Capuzzo


Added: 08/16/2010

Sentimental Education (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

by Gustave Flaubert, Claudie Bernard


Added: 08/13/2010

Madame Bovary (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

by Gustave Flaubert, Eleanor Marx Aveling


Added: 08/07/2010


by Kitty Kelley


Added: 08/02/2010

Wuthering Heights (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

by Emily Bronte, Daphne Merkin


Added: 07/30/2010

Getting Things Done

Medium Raw

by Anthony Bourdain

The Joy of Living

by Yongey Mingyur, Eric Swanson, Daniel Goleman

Strength in What Remains

by Tracy Kidder

Added: 06/25/2010


by Daniel J. Siegel

Unseen Academicals (Discworld Series)

by Terry Pratchett