Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Desks: Beautiful or messy?

There has been an interesting coincidence (there always is) in two blogs I read for beneficial procrastination: Lifehacker had a competition for the coolest workspace, and the winner (and all contestants, it seems) had a very clean and simple -- and very beautiful -- workplace. And Andrew Gelman linked to a fascinating discussion on Ed Tufte's page on Thinking and Paper, which discusses how to use stacks and folders of paper to organize complex information. This thread is interesting for several reasons: First, Ed Tufte is one of the main authorities on the visual presentation of information, so it's interesting to see how he organizes the information he works with every day. Second, the thread has been active since March 2002 -- nice to see that lengthy discourses can be maintained in the electronic world. Third, there are several very interesting and detailed contributions. I haven't read all of them yet, but there is a lot to think about.

Where do I stand? I tend to favor the messy workplace. In contrast to Tufte et al., however, this is not to organize information , I just don't want to spend time cleaning up every day. Plus, a messy workplace gets me into work mood. (And, to be fair, the Tufte workplace is not necessarily messy but crowded and organized.)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

How to make yourself go to class

Okay, okay -- the term just ended and you have other things in mind than making yourself go to class. Well, maybe you are taking Maymester classes.

Anyway, there is an interesting discussion on Ask MetaFilter: What can I do to stop skipping classes in college? Bookmark for fall!