Skip to main content

10 Ways to Beat Your Boss

Somebody told me: 'start every blog-post with blood!'. I do, sometimes. They get twice as many clicks as the others. Or mention sex. Five times as many clicks.
A combination of both (last post)? One seems to annihilate the other or was it the mention of 'science'?
Some years ago, when everybody claimed that GooglePlus was the Big Thing and Facebook was evil, clicks were still the most important reputation-currency in the virtual world. Shady companies sold 'likes', 'friends' and simple clicks to bolster your ego-metrics.
And in those days I wrote a little snippet about one of the then upcoming blog-sites, which I hated and adored. It stood out in the deluge of self-help sites which babbled about 'ten ways to beat your boss' (and they did not mean physically). This guy essentially wrote about 'ten ways to beat your boss' - and he meant it. Physically.
It was amazing how he built a reputation by an incredibly honest and direct style of writing. He gives away his books for free, he tells you everything about e-publishing, he does not hide. He got thousands of clicks a day then, it must be close to a million a day now. He now sold probably hundreds of thousands of books, has podcasts, lectures, gives speeches, is back to financial advise, interacts wildly on twitter. It is an empire.
I dared to write slightly critical about his blog years ago.
And he contacted me.
He thought I was injust. My blog had about 30 clicks a day - 21 from myself and five from my mother. Still, this huge communication genius seemed genuinely hurt by *one* person on the other side of the atlantic possibly not loving him. And for this and the fact that he told me so, I admire him even more.
I thought I'd tell you.


Popular posts from this blog

Academics should be blogging? No.

"blogging is quite simply, one of the most important things that an academic should be doing right now" The London School of Economics and Political Science states in one of their, yes, Blogs . It is wrong. The arguments just seem so right: "faster communication of scientific results", "rapid interaction with colleagues" "responsibility to give back results to the public". All nice, all cuddly and warm, all good. But wrong. It might be true for scientoid babble. But this is not how science works.  Scientists usually follow scientific methods to obtain results. They devise, for example, experiments to measure a quantity while keeping the boundary-conditions in a defined range. They do discuss their aims, problems, techniques, preliminary results with colleagues - they talk about deviations and errors, successes and failures. But they don't do that wikipedia-style by asking anybody for an opinion . Scientific discussion needs a set

My guinea pig wants beer!

Rather involuntary train rides (especially long ones, going to boring places for a boring event) are good for updates on some thoughts lingering in the lower levels of the brain-at-ease. My latest trip (from Berlin to Bonn) unearthed the never-ending squabble about the elusive 'free will'. Neuroscientists make headlines proving with alacrity the absence of free will by experimenting with brain-signals that precede the apparent willful act - by as much as seven seconds! Measuring brain-activity way before the human guinea pig actually presses a button with whatever hand or finger he desires, they predict with breathtaking reproducibility the choice to be made. So what? Is that the end of free will? I am afraid that those neuroscientists would accept only non-predictability as a definite sign of free will. But non-predictability results from two possible scenarios: a) a random event (without a cause) b) an event triggered by something outside of the system (but caused).

No theory - no money!

A neuroscientist I was talking to recently complained that the Higgs-research,even the Neutrino-fluke at CERN is getting humungous funding while neuroscience is struggling for support at a much more modest level. This, despite the undisputed fact that understanding our brain, and ultimately ourselves, is the most exciting challenge around. Henry Markram of EPFL in Switzerland   is one of the guys aiming for big, big funding to simulate the complete brain. After founding the brain institute and developing methods to analyze and then reconstruct elements of the brain in a supercomputer he now applies for 1.5 Billion Euro in EU-funding for the 'flagship-projects' of Blue Brain -and many believe his project is simply too big to fail. Some call the project daring, others audacious. It is one of the so very few really expensive life-science endeavours. Why aren't there more like that around? Why do we seem to accept the bills for monstrous physics experiments more easily? Is