Friday, December 29, 2006

Seriosity and the email conundrum

One of my pet peeves about working in an email-oriented company is the fact that I receive a flood of emails with no prioritization whatsoever.

In the end, my de facto priority system is a function of the sender and the recipient (hint: frequent senders to mailing lists end up at the bottom). But I've always wanted something more elegant.

Now I've discovered that my friend Helen Cheng and her company Seriosity, have an actual product, integrated with Outlook, that brings virtual world economics to the workplace. Employees receive a virtual currency, Serios, which they then use to bid for their co-workers attention.

That's pretty darn cool.

Of course, I suspect that many companies will also suffer the ravages of inflation after certain senior managers discover just how many Serios it will take to get their employees to read VP-level emails!

Book Summary: The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness
by David G. Myers, Ph.D.

While this book, which came out in 1992, is not as up to date as recent texts like Seligman's "Authentic Happiness," it is still an excellent primer on the question it asks in its subtitle: "Who is happy--and why?" It is well-written, and definitely a good read, especially for its section on religion and happiness. The author is a devout Christian, and makes a very personal but well-written argument for the importance of faith in happiness.

Myer's final sentences are themselves an eloquent summary of his book:

"Well-being is found in the renewal of disciplined lifestyles, committed relationships, and the receiving and giving of acceptance. To experience deep well-being is to be self-confident yet unself-conscious, self-giving yet self-respecting, realistic yet hope-filled."

For the full summary, visit the Book Outlines Wiki.

Book Summary: The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness
by David G. Myers, Ph.D.

While this book, which came out in 1992, is not as up to date as recent texts like Seligman's "Authentic Happiness," it is still an excellent primer on the question it asks in its subtitle: "Who is happy--and why?" It is well-written, and definitely a good read, especially for its section on religion and happiness. The author is a devout Christian, and makes a very personal but well-written argument for the importance of faith in happiness.

Myer's final sentences are themselves an eloquent summary of his book:

"Well-being is found in the renewal of disciplined lifestyles, committed relationships, and the receiving and giving of acceptance. To experience deep well-being is to be self-confident yet unself-conscious, self-giving yet self-respecting, realistic yet hope-filled."

For the full summary, visit the Book Outlines Wiki.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me

My new friend Isabel Wang tagged me with Jeff Pulver's latest blogosphere craze. I'm assuming that if I break the chain, I'll contract some hideous disease, so without further ado, here are some things you might not have known about me:

1) When I was growing up, I was labeled a disruptive influence. In comparison to my well-behaved, straight-As sister Caroline, I got mediocre grades and was always the one the teachers warned each other about.

2) I am a huge military history and hardware buff. Together with my old friend Alvin Fu, we must have watched every war movie that ever existed. I can still identify nearly every plane, ship, and vehicle in the US military, and in most cases, tell you the defense contractor(s) responsible and operational history.

3) I once took a baseball bat and went after a friend for damaging some books that I loaned him. My friend JP from Geometry class had borrowed some of my science fiction books (can't recall all of them now, but one of them was my Stainless Steel Rat omnibus edition), and returned them folded, spindled, and mutilated. Fortunately for JP, this happened while a bunch of friends were over, and they prevented me from doing any harm.

4) Continuing my history of violence, in the 7th grade, I made a bomb threat to my science teacher. She had developed quite a grudge against me for all the times I had embarassed her in class by correcting her errors, and when she finally had a chance to take revenge, she went for it. We were taking a test, and I zoomed through it even more quickly than usual. As part of her pettiness, my teacher didn't allow me to read or leave the room after finishing, so I had to twiddle my thumbs while I waited for my classmates to finish. When she finally called time, I was horrified to see that the test had two sides, and that I had only finished one. When I asked for 2 minutes to finish the other side, she gleefully refused. So naturally, I told her, "Watch out for car bombs."

Thank goodness this took place in 1987. Today, I'd probably be expelled. As it was, I had a stern lecture from the principal, and an offer of voluntary counseling, which naturally, I refused.

5) I am a fan of country western music. One of the presets on my car's radio is set to 95.3 KRTY. Alas, today's country is too poppy for my tastes. We need to bring back George Jones and Merle Haggard!