Why I left Qiqqa for Mendeley

02 November 2013

I love software that makes my life easier. As an academic, I do a lot of reading. I read a lot (I mean a lot) of PDF articles on a huge variety of topics. I have a virtual stack of papers that would probably reach half-way to Phoenix and cost a forest if I printed them all out. Of course I’ll never get to read them all, but just in case.


I have nothing to say

30 October 2013

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes. I just sat down at the computer to write a blog post, and within seconds my mind had gone completely blank. I stared at the “Your Post Title” block at the top of the page, and the two giant white block for writing, and absolutely nothing came to mind. Absolutely nothing.


The Problem with Trolleys

03 May 2013

What is it about the Trolley Problem that is so compelling? What is the trolley problem you ask. It goes a little like this:

Imagine you are the driver of a trolley that has gone out of control. Ahead of you is a split in the tracks, and you can send your trolley careening down either path. Down one path is a group of people crossing the track. Down the other is one man. You know that whichever path you choose, the people on the track will die. Which way should you go?

Clearly the answer is to go down the path with only one person. It is obviously better that only one person should die rather than five. Of course, it is through no fault of his that he will die. Wrong place, wrong time. That is all.


On Perfectionism

29 April 2013

"If your fidelity to perfection is too high, you never do anything." Those words hit me hard when I read them last week. This is a constant struggle I've had for the last couple years. In my head I have a perfect vision of a completed research project or paper. I knew, though, that there was no chance that the paper I wrote would be nearly as perfect as the one in my head, so it was easier to just leave it there as a perfect dream than to do deal with my horrible writing or completely cobbled-together knowledge of statistics.


Lift and Writing

28 April 2013

I got an invite to the web version of Lift, which is an amazingly simple application designed to help you get started and stick with daily habits. It is most beautiful in its simplicity. There is no failure. You simply stop by the website every day and check in with the habits you've completed.