Too many adjectives - image for article by Greg Alder

Too many adjectives

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A new apartment building boasts ‘quality Miele appliances’. I guess that’s to differentiate them from the other sort of Miele appliances. A news headline announces, ‘Astronomers set to make groundbreaking black hole announcement’. Is groundbreaking physically possible in a black…

Prisoner of your mind - image for article by Greg Alder

A prisoner of your mind

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Two students. Michael believes he was born with the gift of intelligence. He believes his intelligence is fixed and there’s nothing he can do to change that. Tania believes intelligence is a mindset. She feels she has the power to…

Every word a picture - image for article by Greg Alder

Every word a picture

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A picture is worth a thousand words. True or false? True in the case of Ikea assembly instructions. How much more difficult would they be without illustrations? False in the case of literature. How often have you been disappointed in…

A finger pointing at the moon

A finger pointing at the moon

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There’s a story often told about Buddha instructing a student on the difference between truth and belief. Buddha explains to the student: “My teaching is not a dogma or a doctrine. My teaching is a method to experience reality and…

Do you have the D factor - image for article by Greg Alder

Do you have the D factor?

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Before you answer the question, you’ll likely want to know what it is. First up, I can tell you that the D factor isn’t as sexy as the X factor (although sex is sometimes involved). Second, the D factor can…

SOFT SKILLS, HARD FACTS

Soft skills, hard facts

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A Canadian documentary on work featured two men who worked for General Motors at the car maker’s plant outside Toronto. One of the men had operated the same machine for 15 years, the other for 17 years. The men had…

The magic kettle - image for article by Greg Alder

The magic kettle

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Cameron Meadows looked at the magic kettle in his hands and felt worried. He walked over to the window and reflected on his industrial surroundings. He had always loved beautiful Oxford with its putrid, panicky parks. It was a place…

WHERE THE SOUL RESIDES

Where the soul resides

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“Alright, children, I’d like you to point to your brain.” The kids point to their heads. “Very good. Now point to your knee.” The kids point to their knees. “OK. Now point to your heart.” The children point to their…