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Martha’s Rules

A group I’m part of is using Martha’s Rules for consensus-based decision making. It’s working pretty well, and I hope the summary below will be useful to oth...
June 13, 2019

An Exchange with DataCamp

I haven’t spoken publicly about my experience with DataCamp out of respect for Kara Woo’s privacy. Now that she has so bravely come forward, I can say that a...
April 15, 2019

Afraid of Change

A few months ago, I had the misfortune to take part in an awful one-day workshop based on an equally awful book called Radical Candor. For those lucky enough...
November 24, 2018

Meetings

This thread on Twitter sparked a lot of interest, so I hope it’s useful if I publish the whole section on meetings from the upcoming revision of How to Teach...
May 11, 2018

Cigarettes and Shopify

When I was seven or eight, my teacher told my class that cigarettes cause cancer. My dad was a chainsmoker–a pack a day, sometimes more–so that evening, just...
May 06, 2018

Goodbye, Jeff

In the end you think about the beginning. We weren’t close as children, but he moved to Ottawa to start university the same year I went there for my first jo...
March 20, 2018

Just Keep Swimming

I had a conversation a few days ago with a young colleague who said (basically), "Nothing I do ever seems to take off the way your projects do." Coinc...
December 06, 2015

Daddy, Why Don’t You Ever Laugh?

We were eating dinner last Friday night when my daughter asked me, "Daddy, why don't you ever laugh?" Coincidentally (or perhaps not) I had just fin...
November 09, 2015

Goodbye, Dad

At the end, you think about the beginning. I remember being at the beach one summer, seeing my dad dive into the lake off a log boom and thinking, "...
September 22, 2015

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

In the beginning, there were tables: rows upon rows, with columns separated by commas or tabs or something more exotic. They were elegant but limite...
June 11, 2015

Correctness Isn’t Compelling

The final report from the ICERM workshop on Reproducibility in Computational and Experimental Mathematics is now available, and its appearance has prompted m...
February 11, 2013

Twenty Percent

I realized a couple of days ago that I'd never blogged about what Software Carpentry needs to accomplish in order to change the practice of science fundament...
October 23, 2012

We Have Nothing To Give Them

I have sometimes dreamt that when the Day of Judgment dawns and great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards&mdas...
January 21, 2012