Friday, May 18, 2018

Why I'm a native American

I don’t know if I have any particular kind of ancestry, but I often claim to be “native American.”

Why? I do so when some institution is “surveying” so-called-race, which is a bogus concept to begin with. See 

Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race, by Ashley Montagu.


People say I should choose “White,” but I’m definitely not white. My skin is pinkish yellow, or yellowish pink, and it grows red and brown when I’m out in the sun. I can’t imagine why its color would be important to anyone, except maybe a fashion consultant.

So, when surveyed, I choose “native American (small n)” because I was definitely born in America, so I’m a native. It’s a protest. I would be proud to be a Native American (capital N), but as far as I know, I have no such ancestry.

An interesting sidelight. Years ago when the university insisted I make a “race” choice, they assured me that the information was completely confidential. A year later, when I returned from a trip out of town, I found a note on my desk from Russell Means, a prominent Native American who had visited the university.

I wondered why he would write a personal note to me, until I found out that the administration had sent him to see me, their token “Native American Professor.”

So much for confidentiality. So much for the trustworthiness of bureaucrats.


In such a world, I shall remain “native American,” and I hope Elizabeth Warren and other smart people follow my example. 

Saturday, May 05, 2018

What is the difference between a good manager and a bad manager?

Because a previous blog of mine asked about good and bad managers, the question naturally came up about what's the difference.

There are, of course, many ways to be a bad manager. Or a good manager. But if I’d been asked for a single difference (and you didn’t use the plural) I’d say that the First Law of Bad Management is this:

If what you’re doing isn’t working, do more of it, faster and louder.


For more on good vs. bad management, take a look at