Monthly Archives: February 2007

After a few years apart,

I am back to emacs.

Emacs, I left you once, but like those couples who divorce and then remarry again when they are older and wiser with the kids all grown up, I am back with you and your escape and control keys.




I am writing a paper for a conference volume. The line will carry little weight on my vita, but the paper is still taking a lot of work. Why can’t I write a fast easy paper? What am I missing that I cannot just cut and past from other stuff, instead of doing a new and somewhat ambitious thing for this publication.


The Gambler

A song popular in my youth was ‘The Gambler’ by Kenny Rogers.  The chorus goes something like “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”

I have some research projects which resulted in hard to publish papers.  Today I read a book which referenced once of those papers in a complimentary way.  Now I wonder if I really made the right decision when I did “fold ’em.”

But at best, the paper would appear in a low ranking outlet.  It might not help for glory, but it certainly would help for lines for people outside my field.  I never know exactly how to make the “hold ’em or fold ’em” trade-off. 

Decision making under uncertainty is hard, especially when you yourself are trying to determine your own ability.

I wonder if overconfidence is good or bad in these situations.

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Useful to know

as I update my powerpoints for class:

beyond bullets: Headline news: Research shows that it matters what you write at the top of a slide

Although I am more and more convinced that the powerpoints are the least important part of doing well in the classroom…

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I hope my papers are never discussed in a promotion review meeting

the way the Zune is in this piece.

Ouch. And ouch again.

Global Nerdy :: Zune’s Disastrous CNN Appearance

Getting things done

This came up on the ‘Getting things done’ technorati tag just now. It’s pretty funny. Not safe for work.

The Future of Getting Sex Done

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Once on a seminar visit I had dinner with a former student of the most productive researcher in my field. And the advisor has been the most the most productive researcher for an incredibly long stretch of time—decades. The former student explained that the advisor’s rule was to write one page a day. No more, no less.

I have never achieved that. Nor will I ever. But just one page a day doesn’t seem to hard in theory. In practice though. Ouch.