passion and dedication = talent and money?

After a mighty fine partnership with Dan Rubin at SuperfluousBanter, Didier Hilhorst has gone off on his own with an even more excellent solo effort: Nundroo.

One of his first entries describes how he is going to be leaving the field of economics and going into interaction design, attending the exclusive Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy.

While such a step seems pretty enormous, he obviously has talent to spare, so more power to him, right? What I find particularly interesting however is the point he makes that:

Follow your passion with dedication and talent and money will follow.

I would agree that for success (in this case, money), you need both dedication and talent. But what if I’m reading this wrong and Didier is trying to make a different point? Could it be said that talent and money follow passion and dedication, that so long as you have a desire, you can gain the talent necessary to be truly remarkable at something?

Take art, for instance. I enjoy drawing and at one time in my life it could have been called my passion, but I soon figured out that I didn’t have the innate talent and skill that others had, so it slowly lost its importance in my life. Did I just give up too early? Did I miss the dedication part and so lost out on a chance to become a “great artist”?

Or, more likely, Didier is saying that success requires both dedication and talent, and I’m just getting worked up over a compound sentence with ambiguous clauses.

No wonder people love Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves, currently number 8 on Amazon’s Bestsellers List.

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My political leanings

In the current political season, I am decidedly undecided.

At first I thought I might not be really undecided, that I might be one of the persuadables, a group that just might be the real NASCAR dads and soccer moms of this election. But then I came upon some pretty thorough online quizzes, with the following results:

At Advocates for Self-Government, I came up as a Centrist, with a Personal Self-Government Score of 50% and an Economic Self-Government Score is 40%.

After a visit to Politopia “The Land of Really Pathetic Avatars” I found myself in the middle of Centerville (i.e. Squaresville).

At Political Compass, I was momentarily startled with the results that on the Economic Left/Right scale, I was a -2.00, putting me in Kucinich, in Gandhi, in Mahler territory—yes, I want to smash the machines of our industrial overlords and join with the proletariat! But then on the Social Libertarian/Authoritarian scale, I came back to the middle with a modest -0.46.

Armed with this knowledge of my centered-ness, I reached the only conclusion possible: I’m politically boring.

Sigh. Maybe if I move to a swing state…

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What to do with GMail?

I recently snagged a coveted invitation to become a GMail email account holder, and I excitedly signed on.

Umm…now what?

I have a new email account with all these really great potential features, but I have no incentive to use it. Let’s count how many emails i have:

  1. yahoo – my first web-based email, now almost completely unused because of spam
  2. ideoverse – my email for this site and my usual personal email
  3. e-utah.org – from when I worked at our Utah office
  4. neinetwork – for the Vermont office
  5. hotmail – which I have only for IM’ing
  6. byu – which I have for life and gets forwarded to my yahoo account

That’s 6 email accounts. 6! And that’s excluding the two email accounts which I administer at work! All of these accounts have access via the web and most have pretty good spam control, both of which GMail provides as well. And then some of my accounts are POP3, allowing me to download into a mail reader, which is something GMail doesn’t offer.

So my question is, what does GMail give me that nothing else does?

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a family update

My brother has been bugging me to update this site, and Alison’s site has been neglected for even longer. I am currently working on some modifications to both but in the meantime, I’m throwing up some eye-candy for all to enjoy.

The month of June in pictures – chronicling our trek west from Vermont and Alison’s birthday.

On an aside, that photo album was made using iPhoto. It took all of 1 minute to resize, thumbnail, and page-ify that. I’ve been looking at other photo album blogging packages but with something as quick and easy as iPhoto, I think it will be an uphill battle.

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