Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Read fiction …

Novel advice for incoming STEM freshmen. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
If you are tempted to underestimate a co-worker or a potential employer emphasizes prestige over performance, read Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark to learn how exceptional talent and ambition can emerge from unexpected and overlooked places. The pioneers and missionaries in Cather’s novels venture into the vast frontier of the New World without any assurance of success. They seek new opportunities without losing reverence for worthy traditions. In business, you will be tempted to view every custom and practice as a bureaucratic artifact, but some things endure because they are proven. In Death Comes for the Archbishop, Bishop Latour praises Father Joseph’s French onion soup but it ‘is not the work of one man. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition. There are nearly a thousand years of history in this soup.’

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