The Cult of Collaboration -- Fernando Gros
...We often need to collaborate in order to solve really big problems. And, as humans, we also need to work alongside other people to satisfy more basic emotional desires for community and belonging.
But, the hard slog of creating, innovating and thinking is something we largely do alone.
That’s something I totally agree with. And, it worries me that in many parts of society, including schools, we are not encouraging people to develop the skills required to work alone, for extended periods of time, on complex problems.
Add in the fact that smartphones mean that we need never be alone again, and this is an issue worth thinking about. Alone. Or together.
Religion for Atheists -- Alain de Botton
We are far more desperate than secular modernity recognises. All of us are on the edge of panic and terror pretty much all the time – and religions recognise this. We need to build a similar awareness into secular structures. Religions are fascinating because they are giant machines for making ideas vivid and real in people’s lives: ideas about goodness, about death, family, community etc. Nowadays, we tend to believe that the people who make ideas vivid are artists and cultural figures, but this is such a small, individual response to a massive set of problems. So I am deeply interested in the way that religions are in the end institutions, giant machines, organisations, directed to managing our inner life. There is nothing like this in the secular world, and this seems a huge pity.
The above link is to an FAQ about Botton's TED talk on Atheism 2.0, which is outstanding and available here.
If you're not familiar with the pomodoro technique for time management, it's incredibly simple and very effective. I wrote Sabbath in the Suburbs primarily using techniques like this one.
Poke around the website to learn more about it, though for heaven's sake, I don't know why you'd need a $26 book to understand it, let alone the tomato-shaped timer, although it is cute.
And along the lines of time management:
The Biggest Myth in Time Management -- Harvard Business Review
In a nutshell: That we can get it all done. (Comments are interesting, trying to diagnose "Brad's" problem in the article.)
I think this simple realization has profound spiritual implications, way beyond simple time management. But then again, I would think that, I just wrote a book about Sabbath...
Have a good weekend. It's a long weekend for us, what with teacher work days on Monday and Tuesday. We have our congregation's annual meeting on Sunday, after which the kids and I head to Johnstown, Pennsylvania for a short visit with Robert's grandmother.