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  1. I think The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick Brooks is about as straightforward as you will get, considering that the field developed out of the military and has always been overladen with jargon. It's also available for free online: https://archive.org/details/mythicalmanmonth00fred If they have the basics under their belt, a fun exercise might be to watch the film Office Space, as it is a film that pokes fun at what happens when project management is done badly (the multiple disconnected bosses of botched matrix management, the passive-aggressive bullying of getting things done without a project charter, the convoluted organizational charts, the obsession with progress reports -- it's really a classic of what-not-to-do).
  2. Different personality types have different blind spots. I find that with solutions-driven thinkers, usually the struggle is to navigate complex problems without missing how the individual parts relate to one another. Dilbert used to love poking fun at this: ​ ​
  3. Is there any chance that this is just the media describing a new youth subculture? Kinda reminds me of the Juggalos of the late 90s.
  4. The concept of middle age suffers from some degree of vanity sizing, I think. It seems like a lot of people aren't middle-aged until the alternative is being old; then suddenly they are middle-aged. :)
  5. Saying anything useful about the U.S. as a whole is tricky -- it has more people than almost any empire in human history, and is up there even today as the 3rd most populous country in the world. It's also huge -- one country that is almost the size of the whole of Europe, including Eastern Europe. While tools exist that allow me to start to interpret things on that scale, it is very different to most of my day-to-day experiences. When someone says "15,696 murders" it sounds staggering -- I mean, in my day-to-day life, it is staggering. If someone dropped a bomb on the capital of South Dakota, obliterating it from the map, they'd still have a few murders left over -- so it seems like something to be alarmed about. Yet applying the same ratio of murders to population used for the U.S. to the South Dakota capital, a single person being murdered would be a greater quantity. For me at least, I try to focus on local rates, as they are easier to mesh with my day-to-day world.
  6. ​Well, let me ask -- in order to have the ability to see someone as clever, that means that you can distinguish cleverness from non-cleverness, right? Otherwise everything would seem clever, and the word would not have clear meaning. If I understand correctly, you are saying that the way you distinguish the cleverness of some people can be done without having it relate to the non-cleverness of others; I suppose my confusion is that, to me, this sounds like someone being considered tall without other people being considered short. Can you elaborate a bit?
  7. I suppose what I was trying to say is that clever isn't a blanket term. When something a preschooler does is called clever, it is not meant in the same way as when a doctor does something clever or a crow does something clever; the cleverness of crows, preschoolers, and doctors are distinct from eachother because the word is relational. So even if a kid thinks they and their schoolmates are both clever, the question has to be, "OK, your whole group is clever; but clever in relation to what other groups, and what is your connection to those groups?"
  8. Clever is a relational term; someone is clever in comparison to others. So thinking of yourself as clever is not necessarily arrogant, but it raises the question of why exactly you have surrounded yourself with people whom you consider stupider than yourself. One fairly obvious answer is that you could be mistaken -- in that case, the claim of cleverness could be arrogance. It isn't the only answer, but it is one worth considering.
  9. Finding out what former residents of a house are up to can be a nice way of building out the history of a place. Of course, sometimes that history is a sad one. As far as helping debt collectors track down the former homeowners, there isn't any responsibility -- that one is up to your discretion.
  10. OER Commons for lesson plans and The Internet Archive for primary sources are two good places to browse.
  11. I could see a use for segway to mean the actual opening to segue rather than the act itself, sort of like how someone can go for a drive on Gofora Drive. On the other hand, from a clarity perspective I think it's probably best for one spelling to just supplant the other -- English has too many "a lighter lighter is a match's match" type opportunities to begin with. :) They are fun to say, but rough to use.
  12. ​ ​I'm not the grave-digger, but I would argue that reviving old threads shouldn't be considered universally bad. The Great Books curriculum is basically one giant zombie thread, after all. ;) ​ ​For context, this particular piece of netiquette is related to technical issues in old message board systems. Reviving old threads placed a greater burden on the back-end database. At the time, many of the questions people asked were technical ones, like "How do I get X version of Y software to run on Z machine?" People would answer that specific question definitively, and then people would resurrect the thread with a related question, like getting a new version of the same software to run on a different machine, jumbling together the questions and answers to distinctly different but related topics. ​ ​With more conversational topics of long-term concern, however, I don't think there's any problem with resurrection -- the topic remains unanswered definitively, and the question has not changed fundamentally. By being able to continue the conversation rather than start over again and again, it's possible to see the development of thought over the years. (Not sure if resurrecting old threads causes database complications anymore.)
  13. 80s synth is also having a minor revival. I think it started humorously, in a Kung Fury kind of way, but it seems to have generated new bands who are genuinely excited about that 80s B-movie soundtrack sound. :)
  14. Has he taught karate to younger kids before? If not, it might provide perspective on what exactly he would end up doing if he follows that route. Some people find that while they enjoy practicing, they do not enjoy teaching. You might also see if he could volunteer at his instructor's dojo doing the more menial tasks -- sometimes it's easy to forget that someone running their own space has to be willing clean the mirrors and mop the floors.
  15. Any time there is a financial incentive, there will be people who care more about the money than about the long-term consequences to others they've never met. It's like how companies figure out whether to do something that might get them sued; they calculate the odds of being sued, multiply it by the financial damages of the lawsuit and lost sales due to negative publicity, and then compare it to the odds of not being sued multiplied by the amount of money they'd make from the sketchy practice. Then they go with whichever one has the highest return. ​ ​Often in complex issues there are no heroes -- people who make more money promoting one side promote that side, while the ones who make more money promoting the other side promote the other side. Each side will of course claim to be champions for the truth who only care about your well-being. :) ​ ​Identifying problem ingredients is particularly complicated -- most prepared foods are not simple, especially after being modified to maximize sales and shelf-life. Even if you have the ingredients list in front of you, it's not always the whole story, as there are many processes and practices which change a food in some significant way but which aren't really new ingredients -- unless you are familiar with how the food brand is made in particular rather than how the food is made in general, none of those practices will be obvious. ​ ​Something as simple as "ground beef, ingredients: beef" may have an incredibly complex history. ​ ​I find that the best way to make good food choices is to focus on the supply chain first; if I understand why and how something in particular is made, it makes it easier to put the ingredients into context.
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