Archive: March 18, 2008

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remembering Daniel Jacoby

Tuesday,  03/18/08  11:23 PM

Today, in Aperio's monthly all-staff meeting, I made mention that last week was the fourth anniversary of my good friend and ex-partner Daniel Jacoby's death, at the hands of a brain tumor.  In thinking about this brief mention - what I was going to say, and what I ended up saying - I realize that he was a profound influence on me.  A few days may go by without me thinking of him, just a few, but more significantly not a day goes by without me thinking like him.  In a real sense he is still alive, in my mind.

We humans learn by copying.  It is easiest to copy other humans, but when we think of something ourselves, we are also copying - we're copying in the real world what we've already done in the fantasy world of our heads.  This "trial and error" of forethought is the primary evolutionary advantage of brains.  Much better to think of falling off a cliff - and think through the consequences! - than to do it; and yet the experience gained ("don't fall off cliffs") is the same.

When you get to know someone, there is another form of learning by copying, too; you copy what they are thinking!  Or even how they are thinking.  And so it is, with me, with Daniel.  As situations arise, I find myself thinking ahead, and also find myself thinking ahead like Daniel would have thought ahead, which gives me a point of view and a learning I wouldn't have had otherwise.  Very valuable, and very interesting.

So here's to you, Daniel.  May you always remain alive - in my head - so I can keep learning from you.


Tuesday,  03/18/08  11:29 PM

Hendrik Hertzberg often writes editorials in the New Yorker, and he usually engages in relentless Bush-bashing (or Republican-bashing).  He writes well and thoughtfully, so much so that although I disagree with him, I don't mind reading it.  This week however he wrote about John McCain in a pretty positive way, and makes an interesting suggestion: Condoleezza Rice for Vice President!  "This space is usually devoted to pristine moral reasoning, but, hell, it’s an election year. Let’s get down and dirty. If McCain really wants to have it all—to refurbish his maverick image without having to flip-flop on the panderings that have tarnished it; to galvanize the attention of the press, the nation, and the world; to make a bold play for the center without seriously alienating “the base”—then he can avail himself of a highly interesting option: Condoleezza Rice."  Hey, I could go for that.  Not because she's a woman, and not because she's black, but because she's a pretty interesting choice; experienced, intelligent, and balanced.  Unfortunately I fear it won't happen because McCain will have to avoid any link to the present Bush administration. 

Did you know that Rice is third in line to be President?  I didn't...  apparently the succession order is Vice President, Speaker, Secretary of State.  That would make her the closest a woman has ever come, already.  Update: Of course that is wrong, Nancy Pelosi is Speaker.  How quickly I forget :)  Another update (thanks, Shawn): Apparently Henrik Hertzberg got it wrong; the succession order is VP, Speaker, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, so Rice is fourth.  BTW I had to look it up, President Pro Tempore is the most senior Senator of the majority party; currently Robert Byrd...

Barack Obama made his case with me for being President by giving a great speech yesterday.  It wasn't what he said, it was what he did; there was a problem (his association with Jeremiah Wright), and he took immediate action to deal with it (gave the speech).  He didn't disown Wright, and he didn't deny his involvement in Wright's church - both of those things would have made him look defensive - instead he used the opportunity to move forward.  I don't agree with Obama on many things, but he does have the Right Stuff to be President. 

So it begins: Landis begins final appeal against doping ban.  Good Luck, Floyd!  I give him no chance at all, but yet I profoundly believe he is innocent, and more importantly that no proof has been made that he is not.  One might well say - as Floyd has - that the system itself is on trial.  Update: Velonews has a nice timeline of the case

How to IPO in a tough market: Visa shows how it is done.  (Having a massive network effect is nice :) 


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