How to Save the World

Dave Pollard:

Dick Richards’ new book Is Your Genius at Work? is designed for people contemplating a career change. Its focus is on helping people find their genius — the one thing they are especially and uniquely good at, and then finding application for that genius in the work world. Its audience is anyone who believes they are currently doing less than they could or should, both for their own fulfillment and to make a contribution to the betterment of the world. It’s especially valuable for those who are in need of an ego-boost — those who don’t believe they have genius, and don’t believe they are especially good at anything.

This is an excellent review of what sounds like an excellent book. It’s enough to convince me to add the the book to my wishlist.

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Rainforests Paying the Price for Biofuels

Fred Pearce reports for New Scientist:

The drive for “green energy” in the developed world is having the perverse effect of encouraging the destruction of tropical rainforests. From the orang-utan reserves of Borneo to the Brazilian Amazon, virgin forest is being razed to grow palm oil and soybeans to fuel cars and power stations in Europe and North America. And surging prices are likely to accelerate the destruction

How to Make People Appear Stupid on the Internet

Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, lists seven strategies for making people sound stupid:

If you are new to the Internet, allow me to explain how to debate in this medium. When one person makes any kind of statement, all you need to do is apply one of these methods to make it sound stupid. Then go on the offensive.

As someone who used to spend lots of time lurking on Slashdot and Usenet, I’ve got to say that Scott’s nailed it.

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Administrivia: Switching to Feedburner

I’ve been using FeedBurner to manage my feeds on Startup Fever since I started it. I really like. It helps me understand how people are reading the blog in ways I can’t see just by looking in the server logs.

I’ve found it so useful, that I’m going to start using a FeedBurner feed as the main one for this blog. So starting today, there’s a new feed for this blog.

If you’d like to switch to it, you can find the new feed at

Here are a few buttons that may help ease your transition:

Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Subscribe in Rojo
Add 'Ken's Meme Deflector' to Newsburst from CNET
Subscribe in Bloglines

If you’d rather not change anything, that’s fine, too. The old atom feed will continue to be available and will be updated with all the latest content.

Your choice: switch or stay. You shouldn’t notice any difference either way.

Louisette’s Legal Fund Website

Louisette Lanteigne, the Waterloo stay-at-home mother of three who is being sued for libel by Activa Holdings Inc. to the tune of $2 million for comments she made on her watchdog site (covered here), has set up a website to gather contributions for her legal defense. There she writes,

Currently I am in the process of aquiring a certificate from a lawyer to open up a Legal Trust Fund to assist in covering the legal fees in regards to this lawsuit from Activa Holdings.

If anyone is interested in contributing, I have opened this paypal account. All funds in this account as of November 14th will go directly into the Legal Trust Fund.

My paypal user id is or you can just click the button below.

This was built in response many inquiries from folks who have emailed me wanting to help. Thank you.

Why Isn’t Work as Fun as a Video Game?

Of Steve Barth‘s recent talk at the KMWorld & Intranets conferences, Dave Pollard wrote:

Millions of people voluntarily spend 20 hours per week or more playing multiplayer online games that are essentially complex collaborative role-playing activities. In doing this they do many of the same things that are essential to effective business collaboration: set goals, select roles, identify appropriate teammates, accumulate capabilities (i.e. learn) and experience, and engage in strategic social interaction. So why is it so hard to cajole employees, when they are paid to do these things, to do them as enthusiastically and with as much engagement as gamers do them for free?

Dave attributes much of the appeal of video games to their complexity. Video games offer a rich, complex environment, where business, on the other hand, is merely complicated. The entire article is well worth the read, if you have the time.

While I agree with Dave, I’d say there are additional reasons that people love to play video games more than go to work. One of them is dependency on their work. Folks don’t enjoy their work as much because they depend on it for their livelihood. They don’t depend on video games in the same way. If everybody depended on playing video games to live, many would find it as exciting as responding to email.

And that, in fact, is the case. Every office worker is forced to play a video game, and its name is Microsoft Office.

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