Huang Family Newsletter, September 2014

 We squeezed out the last drops of summer by going on vacation right before the school year started.  We spent four days in Williamsburg and three in DC, and reveled in roller coasters, hotel pools, and fast food.  Then we crashed right back into the school year: 4th grade for Jada, 2nd grade for Aaron, gymnastics and choir for Jada, and karate for Aaron.  Amy and Lee have been quite busy at work as well.


Lazy Linking, 136th in an Occasional Series

Man stands by deforested area
Stuff I liked lately on the Internets:

136.1 The economics of outsourcing handwriting tasks bit.ly/1ulY1qK @medium

136.2 A sign of more climate change transactions to come? Norway pays Liberia to stop deforestation bbc.in/1rsUi8S @bbcnews

136.3 What's the most impactful climate change action of the last 25yrs? (hint: has to do w/Montreal) econ.st/XQC991 @economist

136.4 What should US MBAs learn about Chinese management? econ.st/1uyVMxO @economist

136.5 Upending the myth about "motherhood penalty, daddy bonus" (but why no quotes from non-white moms?) glmr.me/1t0qQav @glamour


Too Long For a Tweet, Too Short for a Blog Post X

Here's an excerpt from an article I recently read: "Academic Ignorance and Black Intelligence," Atlantic Monthly (June 1972).

There is no reason to believe that any nonstandard vernacular is in itself an obstacle to learning. The chief problem is ignorance of language on the part of all concerned. Our job as linguists is to remedy this ignorance: Bereiter and Engelmann want to reinforce it and justify it. Teachers are now being told to ignore the language of black children as unworthy of attention and useless for learning. They are being taught to hear every natural utterance of the child as evidence of his mental inferiority. As linguists we are unanimous in condemning this view as bad observation, bad theory, and bad practice.

That educational psychology should be strongly influenced by a theory so false to the facts of language is unfortunate; but that children should be the victims of this ignorance is intolerable. If linguists can contribute some of their valuable knowledge and energy toward exposing the fallacies of the verbal-deprivation theory, we will have done a great deal to justify the support that society has given to basic research in our field.



http://images.fastcompany.com/magazine/157/features/157-features-74-matt-damon-gary-white-water.org-tamil-nadu.jpgThis was a nice piece in Philanthropy Age about movie star Matt Damon's efforts around water access.  I've been a fan of Damon since his Bourne movies, and am glad he's been able to translate his fame, fortune, and desire to serve into a great vehicle to do so, which is water.org.

I got a chance to meet Gary White, the guy who helped make that non-profit possible, when we both attended our first British American Project conference in Los Angeles in 2008.  I found Gary to be extremely nice, extremely funny, and extremely thoughtful.  One of my favorite memories of that conference was going to a water bar in Santa Monica with Gary and watching the merchant extol him on the purity of their offerings.  Gary took the whole sales pitch in with a straight face and then schooled us after we left the establishment on what a load of crock it all was.  (See the video below: Gary's in the red shirt, and the woman in the grey shirt is giving us all the hard sell.)

The next year, he had hooked up with Damon, and water.org has been doing good stuff worldwide ever since.  Kudos to Damon, White, and water.org, and let's not forget that basic water access is not yet available to so many millions of our brethren.


Join SBN

http://atrsystems.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/sbn_seal.jpgThis post is pulling double-duty as my promotion of Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, which I'm on the board of and which is having its fall membership drive.  So I'm motivated to make the case for ponying up the annual dues, which my own firm does and which I'm now going to try to convince you to. 

People evaluate membership organizations in different ways, and it's not my job to tell you that one way is better than the other.  Rather, I'm going to say that however you want to think about being a member, SBN makes sense:

If you want it to be a charitable contribution, as in "I support what they're doing so I'm going to give them money," we'll take it, and you can take the tax deduction as well as the comfort that you're supporting a well-run, impactful organization.

If you want it to be about advocacy, joining SBN is a great way to amplify your voice and SBN will be sure to step up for what you're about.

If you want it to be about affiliation, as in "I'm part of this club," that'll work, too, because all the cool companies are doing it (don't you want to be cool like us?).

If you want it to be about the network, you'll get your money's worth, because you'll be joining a group that is thick as thieves - numerous, diverse, and hyper-willing to help you out.

If you want it to be about the perks, it's a good deal - you get all kinds of access, resources, information, publicity, and so on. 

Here's the link.  Click through, join, and get involved!


Lazy Linking, 135th in an Occasional Series

Stuff I liked lately on the Internets:

135.1 Did the Scottish vote prove prediction markets are more accurate than polls? nyti.ms/1sd1Caw @upshotnyt

135.2 Best free things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area bit.ly/1ykv699 @trekaroo

135.3 Best food items to buy in Philadelphia bit.ly/1uOGrth @zagat

135.4 The cost of solving climate change bv.ms/1wAH3Dc @bloomberg

135.5 Is gender inequality an inefficiency that'll eventually get competed away? nyti.ms/1BGwDEQ @upshotnyt


Park it Here

Today is Park(ing) Day, so all over the city parking spaces will be converted into mini-parks.  Go here for a map of where you can find them.  (There will be approximately a bajillion near my downtown office.)  If you're local, step outside for a few to soak up some green.