Tag Archives: Bucknell

Theory and Practice and… Blueprints

So, in my classes, I emphasize how management, and our approach to it, is the nexus of theory and practice.  Moreover, there is always negotiation, always “play” in the ways theory and practice align or don’t.
And I see it everywhere…
Walking into Taylor today, I noticed the workmen hunched over a very formal-looking blueprint that said “School of Management.”  They were clearly engaged in some collective problem-solving about how to translate from blueprint to whatever they are doing (must be above my paygrade).
I pointed out that the blueprint had stamped in the corner “not for construction.”
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Filed under humor, Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies)

A Clutch of Random Goodies- finance, net neutrality, deficit…

Here is just a clutch of good randomness that has been accumulating on my desktop…

PS featured image is Simon Johnson.

Bucknell and Truth

Bucknell gets unexpected reward for being honest about a mistake.  Is this worthy of an ethical snap?

Net Neutrality?

What the hell is net neutrality?  Baratunde Thurston  one of our tech/no speakers, explains it so well, it got picked up by Raw Story.   I love how Bucknell can be a producer of information and wisdom and not just a user. 

Organization Theory is Cool

A book review about organization theory I really need to read.  Orgtheory.net is the one blog I wish I read more.

Learn from Nice Rich People

Lessons for failure and management from philanthropists.

We are drowning in deficit! (are we?)

Compare your answers to the US public and, um, the reality.

Change Doesn’t Happen.  Until it Does.

From AFL-CO vs Home Depot, through Frank-Dodd, to Citigroup.  Is corporate governance and executive compensation changing?  Maybe.  Read abotu some pretty big changes at the link.

Is a Tax Better than Regulations?

You want policy ideas?  You like finance? You dislike “regulation” that tries to dictate firm behavior?  Try this one.  Instead of trying to tell financial firms what they can or can’t do, how much capital to have on the books, and so on, how about you tax a vice- like we do with alcohol and tobacco- and simply tax financial transactions to make trading for the sake of microscopic gains on immaterial price shifts non-economic?  Read. here about Europe’s experiment with a different, and I would argue,  less intrusive form of regulation to change financial markets and firms.

You want even more financial regulation news?

You are really, really troubled.  I hope Vinny, Loukas, Mike, and… (who else are finance jocks?) are reading this. Simon Johnson.  yes, THAT Simon Johnson, had this blog post about the 12 “angry bankers” of the Fed and their ideas to push for transparency in money market fund valuations as part of the (yes, that same one) Frank Dodd bill reforms that created the systemic risk council.  In a nutshell, the financial industry does NOT WANT such valuation while the regulators do.

I am never surprised when practicing “capitalists” fight against actual free markets (with liquidity and transparency).  Businesspeople are often, perhaps usually anti-capitalist if you define capitalism not as maximum wealth accumulation, but as free markets that expand the prosperity of a society.  Am I alone in seeing this?

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Filed under Business, Government, innovation, macroeconomics, management, organization theory, policy, Political Economy, Politics, Power, Activism, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship [SiSe]

Ideas for Questions and Themes for Arianna Huffington

Today, as part of the tech/no Forum series at Bucknell, we are hosting Arianna Huffington.  I had imagine I would do some deep research on her background, her role as founder of HuffingtonPost, her role as CEO of the merged AOL-Huffington company  her ideas on the relationship between media, democracy, and profit, the death (?) of the newspaper, and so on.

Well, that didn’t happen.

Instead, I’ll have to generate some from what I have in my head (as opposed to research-based).

If you are coming to the afternoon session, feel free to read these, use these, modify these, and so on.

Business and Technology

* Is the content-for-eyeballs formula of the Internet dying?  Are advertisers not willing to pay?

* Are we at the end of an innovation burst as the Internet and mobile platforms are merging?  Is the heady period of “social media” and its rapid expansion done?

* Who are HP’s or AOL’s competitors?

Media and Profit

* Is it the responsibility of the media company to provide what “customers” want or what they need?  Does a media/news company create its own demand and then project that onto the audience.  “See, they want _____________ (tits, blood, murders, horse-race politics)?” Continue reading

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Filed under Business, economics, Future of Technology, higher education, Information and Communication Technology, innovation, Media, Network Society, Politics, Power, Activism, Social Networks, sociology, technology, Technology history

The Schedule Rules- Schedule Reform Ideas for Higher Education (Bucknell)

I have a conflict.  I can’t go.  I have a meeting.  I have to be with my kids.

Read on to take the poll!

These are the various reason why students, staff, and others can not come to various worthy events at Bucknell.  For example, Tuesday nights are the one day without classes at night (lol except Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).  So the Bucknell Forum, as well as others, use Tuesday as the ideal night for these events.  Guess what?  It is also when students schedule their various clubs and organizations including the powerful Greek orgs.

At the same time, I have ahd students avoid 4-5 or 02-5 commitments because of sports practices or games/events.

Meanwhile, no one likes 8 a.m. classes.

And, most weeks there are 2-3 events which I would like to participate in but can’t because they are in the 7-9 at night window when I am with my family.

The schedule rules.  It is not sexy.  It is not “cool” like smart boards in classrooms, service-learning, or student-led expeditions to tag pythons for an ecology class.  However, I suggest that in terms of making life better AND using current resources better (as in more attendance at more events), the schedule is the most over-looked and also most urgent area of reform.

I have imagined various STRUCTURAL changes to the schedule which might help lessen some of these inherent conflicts.   Continue reading

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Filed under higher education, liberal arts, Org Design, Uncategorized

Nodes and Notes (I’ve Died and Gone to Heaven)

So, a Senior, who took my “Six Degrees” foundation seminar many years ago is a dancer.  She tells me she is choreographing a piece that will link the idea of connectedness and thresholds into a dance piece in March.

Specifically, she wants to express the idea that the little things we do can spread and ripple out across the world, a world bound up by far-flung networks that still have short paths.  She didn’t quite say that, but that is where she was headed.  Like, not “just the six degree effect” she said.

I’ve died and gone to heaven.  This is the perfect intersection of my love for music and for netcentric thinking.

Of course, I immediately thought of the great John Guare play, Six Degrees of Separation.  (Yeah Wendy West for directing it back at Carleton!).

She is interested in spoken word OR music.  I started an RDIO playlist of ideas.  I’ll add more.
And of course, I’ll be sure to ask the good folks at SOCNET, still the lifeblood of much netcentric talk and thought.

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Filed under Bucknell, digital culture, economic sociology, Network Society, Networks

How to use laptops in a classroom…

Some ideas I am including in my syllabus for today about how to manage technology:

Digital Copies and Classroom participation.  The reality is we live in a mixed technology environment of digital formats for materials and concrete classrooms of boards, overheads, and each other.  I am figuring out how to balance the two.  These policies are a work in progress.

1)      Expect you to be ready to discus and share the materials.  You will have to figure out what this means for you.

2)      You may bring a laptop.  I reserve the right to ask you to put it away for certain activities.  I reserve the right to call you out for letting it distract you in class.

3)      I expect you to be good citizens of the information world.  Pay for protected copyright.  Respect other content’s creators by citing them, ALWAYS.  Any image, presentations, link or whatever should be somehow noted or cited depending on the context of the usage.  SO, on a power point lisde, pu a little note at the bottom.  On a blog post, hyperlink.  On a paper use normal citations, and so on.

 

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Stoves and Service

Two bits of Bucknell News intersect with some of my interests.

First, the “Service” movement for lack of a better term continues with BU showing up at an interfaith call to service the white house.  I like how food is being incorporated thematically.  We live in an agricultural area.  Plus, wasting less is just good old fashioned American thriftiness.

In contrast, students in a spring 2011 waste audit found that about 850 pounds of food per day were being discarded in Bucknell’s main dining venue, Bostwick Marketplace. Bucknell Dining has addressed the waste issue in part through a composting program and the removal of trays, but, Fujita said, there are more opportunities to help students learn about consumption and waste.

I am not sure how no trays cuts down on waste.  People take less?

I wish there were some legal/organizational way to share unused food.  People usually say they can’t give it away due to safety regulations.  Well, then, is it possible to shield more food from being un-givable?  DO we need to shift attitudes about abundant food spreads?  Or, is it possible to have a way for recipients to agree to take on the risk of food problems in exchange for access to mostly fine food?  A way to have a middleman broker of unused food?
Second, in the general theme of experiential education that links service and this story,  we have BU students working with a local manufacturer to see a super-light-weight stove come to market.  What if this was the norm instead of the exception for our students? I don’t mean they all design objects, but that they all do a project with real world potential value before they graduate.  What would that look like?  Would it produce a generation of hackers, entrepreneurs, and “makers.”

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Filed under Hacker ethic, higher education

Good Event in Lewisburg

Two of my great former students, James and Paige, organized this!

Lewisburg’s Cheers to Charity

Event Details

This event was originally inspired by Professor Johnson Cramer’s Strategies and Policy management class. We are a group of six seniors who aspired not only to exceed in the class, but also achieve a lasting effect on the Bucknell and Lewisburg communities. Our original goals were to: find a way in which we could raise a substantial donation towards a charitable cause, stimulate the local business in downtown Lewisburg, and bring together the Lewisburg community with Bucknell’s staff and students. We aim to reach these goals by hosting a downtown event called “Lewisburg’s Cheers to Charity” scheduled for Saturday, April 10th. We have partnered with various downtown businesses such as The Bull Run Inn, Temperance House, Brasserie Louis, and the Towne Tavern to ensure various discounts on food and beverages during the event. The event will be open to all customers and donations are strongly encouraged. This event will be co-sponsored by Jessica Hess and the Multicultural Student Services.  While event t-shirts will be on sale to all customers, the shirt will not gain you admittance into the establishments during bar hours. The rules and restrictions of each individual establishment will apply to all patrons. This includes presenting a photo ID in order to gain admittance during bar hours.

We feel that this event will not only benefit the Haiti relief effort, but the Lewisburg and Bucknell communities as a whole.

The following locations will be participating in the event and offering specials on food and drinks:
Bull Run Inn (12 pm – 2am) – $1.00 Lionshead, Specials on Rum & Cokes, Beer pitchers, and Wings
Temperance House (5pm-10pm) – $4 LIT Specials, $5.00 Appetizer Sampler
Brasserie Louis (5pm-10pm) – 2-for-1 Appetizers, $4.00 Martinis, $4.00 Beer Sampler
Towne Tavern (12pm- 2am) – $1.00 Bud Lights and 1/2 price Apps all day, $2.75 Vodka drinks from 10:00-12:00 pm

Sincerely,

The Cheers to Charity Event Staff

Samuel Nana-Sinkam

James Phelan

Paige Kasschau

Kyle Barndollar

Chris Brian

Leonard Wilson

Lewisburg’s Cheers to Charity

Event Details

This event was originally inspired by Professor Johnson Cramer’s Strategies and Policy management class. We are a group of six seniors who aspired not only to exceed in the class, but also achieve a lasting effect on the Bucknell and Lewisburg communities. Our original goals were to: find a way in which we could raise a substantial donation towards a charitable cause, stimulate the local business in downtown Lewisburg, and bring together the Lewisburg community with Bucknell’s staff and students. We aim to reach these goals by hosting a downtown event called “Lewisburg’s Cheers to Charity” scheduled for Saturday, April 10th. We have partnered with various downtown businesses such as The Bull Run Inn, Temperance House, Brasserie Louis, and the Towne Tavern to ensure various discounts on food and beverages during the event. The event will be open to all customers and donations are strongly encouraged. This event will be co-sponsored by Jessica Hess and the Multicultural Student Services.  While event t-shirts will be on sale to all customers, the shirt will not gain you admittance into the establishments during bar hours. The rules and restrictions of each individual establishment will apply to all patrons. This includes presenting a photo ID in order to gain admittance during bar hours.

We feel that this event will not only benefit the Haiti relief effort, but the Lewisburg and Bucknell communities as a whole.

The following locations will be participating in the event and offering specials on food and drinks:


Bull Run Inn
(12 pm – 2am) – $1.00 Lionshead, Specials on Rum & Cokes, Beer pitchers, and Wings
Temperance House
(5pm-10pm) – $4 LIT Specials, $5.00 Appetizer Sampler
Brasserie Louis
(5pm-10pm) – 2-for-1 Appetizers, $4.00 Martinis, $4.00 Beer Sampler
Towne Tavern
(12pm- 2am) – $1.00 Bud Lights and 1/2 price Apps all day, $2.75 Vodka drinks from 10:00-12:00 pm

Sincerely,

The Cheers to Charity Event Staff

Samuel Nana-Sinkam

James Phelan

Paige Kasschau

Kyle Barndollar

Chris Brian

Leonard Wilson

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Elaine Pagels and Book of Revelations

Elaine Pagels, the noted  Biblical scholar and author, came to BU this week. I was super excited as I find the early history of Christianity fascinating.  How did such a marginalized sect become so dominant?  I had heard Pagels a few times on the usual suspects: Fresh Air, Bill Moyer’s, and so on.  Add to that the intoxicating aroma of fire and brimstone and I had high hopes for a mind-blowing lecture.

I was not alone!  Trout Hall was packed to the gills.  Curious students?  Nervous Christians?  Wild-eyed present day prophets?  All there!

The lecture was a bit of a flop.  She presented three interesting questions, in this order (which is also the order of interest to me):

  1. What is Revelations about?
  2. How did it make it into the canonical Bible?
  3. What explains its enduring popularity?

The strength of the lecture were her clear explanation of the content of Revelations.  She had several images from Western art from the 15th century to now.  She explained that Revelations was anti-Roman propaganda meant to counter Roman propaganda.  Babylon, in Revelations the source of worldly, political, profane, hedonistic power and society, is a stand in for Rome and is then shown to be an ally or pawn of monstrous, dark forces.    I am not a religion scholar, but I thought this point was already well-established.

As to the other two questions, she did not get very far in exploring or answering them.  All right, that is excusable.  She did say it was a work in progress. She went to Q&A after about 50 minutes or so.  She did not really engage in dialogue with anyone and her response was usually a variation of  “I’ll look into that.”  Disappointing.

You would think someone as visible as she is, writing on such touchy topics as religion and original texts would be used to lots of challenging questions from the folks who take the Bible VERY seriously.  The man asking a question before me really got into his rambling groove.  The long beard and switching between Hebrew (I think) and English added to his modern-day Ezekiel quality.  To me, and most, it was incomprehensible.  I think he was saying that that Ctaholic church is the “whore of Babylon.”  In fact, it is the Catholic Church literally, that the author of Revelations is doing the future and not his own times.  Anyway, the whole audience went from polite indulgence to awkward silence.  I almost asked him to wrap up after five minutes of this before Pagels cut him off.  She needed to step in earlier and politely dispatch him.  Take a page from Obama v Republicans!

The upside of his ramble was it gave me time to formulate my own suggestion to her about the staying power of Revelations.  Caveat: I am not a religion scholar and this is all off the top of my head.  Take it or leave it, but I won’t be doing more witht his than what I write here.

Premise 1: Revelations is full of multi-valent symbolims.  This is part of its appeal.  The reader can see many possibilities in any one image.

Premise 2: Revelations is about the tension between socio-political struggles of this world and how to understand them from a religious worldview.

My assertion: For any present day reader, Revelations DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.  I mean, it can not cohere in its entirety.  It offers the illusion of total allegory with the first two premises.  But it can never really deliver.  So, it’s very nonsensical essence is part of its enduring popularity.

Furthermore, there is a deep resonance with the ultimate incoherence of the text and the inability of interpreting it to reach a final resolution because the socio-political struggles of the messy world of human affairs also never really resolve.  I heard someone quoting some British politician recently who said that all political careers end in failure.  The point: there is never any enduring permanent victory for any side or actor in any of the many struggles that define our wordly existence.

Revelations can not make sense in terms of a final conclusion.  The real world also can not make sense.

But the multi-valent imagery and symbolism invites the reader to try to wrangle coherence out of Revelations, and by extension the real world.  The result is that the act of reading becomes an act of heroic interpretation.   The heroic interpretation then becomes a binding moment.  The reader becomes their own prophet, becomes one who sees the implications of the future in the present.

Revelations is popular because it doesn’t make sense.

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Filed under higher education, religion, Scholars, sociology

Through the Wardrobe Door

My wife, Virginia Zimmerman, starts her own blog about Children’s Literature, Victorian literature, writing, and teaching. She launches with a nice post explaining a quotation from CS Lewis.

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