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Soundbite Theology December 4, 2006

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Language, Learning, Morality, Religion, Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
6 comments

Tonight, a good friend of mine was complimenting me on my speaking voice after I did some narration for my church’s Living Christmas Tree. (Note: The link is to a tree similar to what my church does. That’s not my church, or our tree.) In accepting his compliment, I acknowleged that I felt that God had blessed me with a voice for public speaking, and felt compelled to put forth my best effort.

He responded by saying “Collossians 3:23… Whatever you do, do it as you would do it unto the Lord and not for men.”

In spite of the fact that I have been active in the Baptist church all of my life (including my time “in utero”), there are times that someone quoting scripture rubs me the wrong way. “Why?” you might ask, since what my friend said seemed completely valid, and perfectly in-context.

megaphone

The best way for me to describe my negative reaction, is to introduce you to the term that comes to mind, which is the title of this blog: Soundbite theology. It drives me absolutely nutty. (more…)

Art of Failure Part 2: 3 Ways to Learn from Negative Feedback November 10, 2006

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in anger, Coaching, Discipline, Education, Exercise, Family, Football, Learning, Love, Management, Parenting/Children, Self-Worth, Sports, Success, Workplace.
6 comments

In the first half of this essay, I talked about ways to give effective negative feedback. This is difficult, because we’re conditioned to be negative in unhealthy and destructive ways, which encourages some to abandon negative communication altogether.

cowher

I’m convinced that negative feedback has been given a bad rap. Regardless of whether it’s in connection with correcting the behavior of children, players, or subordinates, I’ve seen evidence that some of the greatest in any particular field seem to draw inspiration and strength from past failures. Ultimately, where’s the balance? Why is it that negative feedback has such a positive effect on some, but such a negative effect on others? How much is it dependent on the recipient? (more…)

Books, Books, and More Books October 2, 2006

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Books, Communication, Education, Family, Language, Learning, Memory, Parenting/Children, Reflections, Religion, Self-Worth.
5 comments

Tiffany tagged me, so I am therefore obligated by blogging tradition to answer the same list of questions. The theme here, as the title suggests, is books.

Time Enough at Last

Before I dive into the list and my answers, I should point out that I used to read far more books than I currently do. This is in part a result of the Internet, and its vast array of possibilities for reading. (Unfortunately, most of the fiction on the Internet is material that is presented as non-fiction.) I love books. Hopefully, that love will be obvious in this list. (more…)

The Art of Failure Part 1: 3 Ways to Make Negative Feedback Effective September 25, 2006

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Coaching, Communication, Discipline, Family, Football, Learning, Love, Parenting/Children, Self-Worth, Sports.
2 comments

In electronics, taking the output from a circuit and sending it back to the input is called “positive feedback.” This configuration tends to find an optimum mode or frequency, and reinforces it. However, if left unchecked, positive feedback can “runaway.” Even if you’re unfamiliar with electronics, you’ve probably experienced the downside of this phenomenon when a microphone starts picking up the output from a speaker (even in a hearing aid), and you get a telltale “squeal” (more formally called “oscillation”)

amp_formula

In contrast, changing the polarity of the signal and doing the same thing is called “negative feedback.” Done properly, this tends to reduce distortion at the output, and makes the amplified signal more closely resemble the input. Though not as susceptible to “runaway,” too much negative feedback in a circuit can be bad too, as it can completely negate any gain of the circuit. Nature abounds with systems that depend on both positive and negative feedback, and social systems are no different. After looking at the nature of both, I’m going to share three ways that I’ve found to make the most of negative feedback. (more…)

Dumbed Down Sports: The Poor Player Subsidy September 21, 2006

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Baseball, Coaching, Football, Fun, Learning, Parenting/Children, Sports.
2 comments

This afternoon, a friend and I were talking about “Fall Ball” in a local recreation league. She was complaining that an obscure rule (no infield plays made by outfielders) made this league very frustrating for her son, who plays in several other leagues. Due to scheduling issues (she’s a single parent), it’s not practical for him to participate in the more competitive leagues.

batter

This reminded me of when my sons played YMCA Basketball (where the players were required to stand on “X” markers placed on the floor), and other youth leagues where the already confusing rules of adult game become even more complex when the adults try to “help” younger players learn the game by coming up with countless variations of the rules. (more…)