Emphasize Choice

Frank Jordan told us: “I tell people they have a choice, and at first they don’t believe me. But I say, ‘I’m like you; I grew up with one parent and not much to do, and I chose a life of service, and so can you.’” There are two aspects of his pitch that are noteworthy. First, he doesn’t look down on people, no matter their cultural stage, and as a result he slowly builds rapport. Second, he emphasizes the one thing that Stage One doesn’t see: choice. As he told us: “If people can see that they have a … Continue reading Emphasize Choice

A Lost Generation

“In August 2010, the International Labor Organization (ILO) published its report on Global Employment Trends for Youth 2010. The report concludes that there are approximately 620 million economically active young people worldwide. At the end of 2009, 81 million of them were unemployed; the highest number ever, and almost 8 million more than in 2007. The youth unemployment rate increased from 11.9 percent in 2007 to 13.0 percent in 2009. The ILO argues that these trends will have “significant consequences for young people as upcoming cohorts of new entrants join the ranks of the already unemployed” and warns of the … Continue reading A Lost Generation

Specializations On Coursera

I was wondering today why Coursera hasn’t yet got the initiative to implement full programs, that consist of multiple courses, on specific domains. It will be, for instance, like specializing in particular topic in universities master programs. That thing is I was very delighted when I searched for it today and there you go! Here it is! Coursera has really done it! It’s a very big opportunity for us to get on with online education FOR REAL now. I hope that I can enroll in one of the courses. Continue reading Specializations On Coursera

The Story of “0”

“ZERO had a long history. The Babylonians invented the concept of zero; the ancient Greeks debated it in lofty terms (how could something be nothing?); the ancient Indian scholar Pingala paired zero with the numeral 1 to get double digits; and both the Mayans and the Romans made zero part of their numeral systems. But zero really found its place about AD 498, when the Indian astronomer Aryabhata sat up in bed one morning and exclaimed, “Sthanam sthanam dasa gunam”—which translates, roughly, as “Place to place in 10 times in value.” With that, the idea of decimal-based place-value notation was … Continue reading The Story of “0”

The Story of “Free!” – Cont.

“Let me tell you a story that describes the real influence of FREE! on our behavior. A few years ago, Amazon.com started offering free shipping of orders over a certain amount. Someone who purchased a single book for $16.95 might pay an additional $3.95 for shipping, for instance. But if the customer bought another book, for a total of $31.90, they would get their shipping FREE! Some of the purchasers probably didn’t want the second book (and I am talking here from personal experience) but the FREE! shipping was so tempting that to get it, they were willing to pay … Continue reading The Story of “Free!” – Cont.