The Barnes Family

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Notes from the Road

  • Whither the Workplace?
    Silicon Valley and San Francisco combine to make the most vibrant technology center in the world. Both startup and established companies recognize they are taken more seriously when they have a Silicon Valley presence, and increasingly companies that peripherally rely on technology are adding think tanks and research centers in Silicon Valley as a way Read more about Whither the Workplace?[...]
  • Passion and Potential
    Does your passion maximize your potential? I wrote recently about how to evaluate potential careers, and suggested that the advice to “follow your passion” might be less than helpful. One reason is that not everyone has a singular focus, or a specific interest or talent that is consistently rewarding. There is beginning to be a Read more about Passion and Potential[...]
  • Professions and Professionalism
    What does it mean to be a professional? Stephen Waddington, who used to do public relations for me when I was living and working in Europe, has just written a piece about professionalism and professional status for The Drum, in which he argues that there are five tests for a profession:barrier to entry, community of Read more about Professions and Professionalism[...]
  • Will you love your job?
    How does a young person know what career to choose? We are all encouraged to “follow our passion”, but this is very general and non-specific advice. There are a few people who are fortunate enough to find one thing that is their lifelong passion, and who are able to turn it into a career. But Read more about Will you love your job?[...]
  • Pick your Mistakes
    Some mistakes teach, and some can kill you. The challenge is to know one from the other. We all make mistakes. It’s part of our untidy human condition. The interesting question is how to reduce the severity of the mistakes we make, and how to deal with them when they happen. Making the right mistakes Read more about Pick your Mistakes[...]
  • On Dying and Being Known
    When we encounter a death, we are apt to spend time thinking about the qualities of the deceased, often in ways that we did not during their lives. Perhaps this has to do with our search for meaning – our need to associate purpose and significance with important events. By engaging in this process of Read more about On Dying and Being Known[...]
  • Hope for a Better World
    Violence seems to be all around us. Journalists and politicians, especially in the run-up to an election, love to create the burning platform – a sense of urgency that sends adrenalin pumping through our veins, and justifies their sound-bites and simplistic talking points.  But it turns out that our sense of danger is not supported by the Read more about Hope for a Better World[...]
  • The Ides of March
    Today is the 15th of March – the Ides of March. It’s a Roman day of religious observances, but perhaps best known as the day of Julius Caesar’s assassination, in 44 BC. It’s important to me for another reason – my mother’s birthday. She is far from my home in California, living in the south of England, Read more about The Ides of March[...]
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors
    I wrote a play some years ago, exploring the relationships and perspectives of three very different people, caught in wartime Afghanistan. At an early stage, my friend Michael Sanie expressed interest in writing an opera based on the play, and after several years of delays and struggles, here it is. The opera is in three Read more about Rock, Paper, Scissors[...]
  • Architecture and Income
    It’s well known that architects are poorly paid. With a lengthy degree, followed by three or more years of apprenticeship and professional exams before they can even use the word architect, it seems crazy. It’s not crazy, even if it is unfair. I believe that people’s willingness to pay for a service has to do Read more about Architecture and Income[...]

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