Carl's Papers

The papers below are on a variety of topics that are of interest to me. I hope you find some of them thoughtful as well. 
I think they are novel and unique ideas.  If you find them interesting, agree, disagree -- send me a note. They are copyrighted, but I would   encourage you to copy them -- just keep the copyright intact on the document.

  • BookList .  There have been a few books that I really enjoyed. Some were fun, some extremely insightful. I'd like to share them with you, and ask that you consider telling me about some you have found.
  • Irrational Politics.  In the Fall of every other year, my brain goes bonkers over all of the political signs and campaign ads.  This is craziness.  I think there is an underlying cause for all of this. Tell me what you think.
  • Ethics.  I have a lot of interest in Ethics. I have a background in Moral Theology and Law, and have been teaching Business Ethics for a couple of decades. If anything along those lines would interest you, check this out. I have some pieces on Human Moral Reasoning, Ethical Principles, etc.  If you have similar or different ideas about these things, I would love to hear them.
  • Rules of Thumb for Life.  This is a simple, pragmatic approach to the foibles of human kind, that has greatly reduced my stress levels. See if it does the same for you!
  • Rules For Managers  I had the good fortune to manage groups of people for many years. They taught me quite a few things about the human condition. This is a somewhat too long summary of those ideas. If you have better ones, or suggested improvements (like shorter ones), I'm open!
  • Rules for Politicians  Well, why not? Running for office is extremely demanding. Follow these simple rules and it will make life much simpler. Trust me, it works - unfortunately.
  • An East African World View  I had the good fortune to spend a month in Tanzania in the year 2000. I stayed with old friends who have spent most of their lives there. I learned a tremendous amount from them and from the experience. The most profound thing I learned is that people of different cultures are really, really different. We have fundamentally different views of how things work.
  • Culture and Communications.  I have been traveling about the planet a bit lately - and I spent some time looking at this puzzle of development.  Why is the wealth of the planet so unevenly distributed? Is it a function of these selfish capitalists in developed countries, or what? I've come to some very simplistic solutions about it. This piece talks about the problems of communicating across cultures, based on some different world views.
  • Culture and Development.  I think people researching this area have come up with some genius ideas. Why is Africa so poor?  Why is Latin America struggling?  You can find this one on my blog - what do you think?
  • Stories.  We all love stories. Here's a collection of some of my favorites. These are things I've done or seen. Let me know if you enjoy them too - and tell me a couple in return.
  • Face to Face Democracy   
    I think that our direct election of legislative types is so ineffective and broken, that we need to fundamentally change what we call democracy. Here's a suggestion on how to fix it. We could move to a face to face democracy, where people elected someone from their neighborhood to an electoral body.
  • Adoption and Diversity  
    Adoption is a great thing. Three of our children are adopted, as were my wife, and her 2 siblings. But it is so important to recognize how different and unique each of us is, based on the genetics we come with. It took me a very long time to realize that. This might help others recognize a bit sooner that they themselves are part of the problem and the solution.
  • And A Little Child Shall Lead Them
    We recently spent some time in Nicaragua. We had some presentations on their history and economic and political status, and relationships with the World Bank, etc. It dawned on me as I was listening to this tale of woe, that there is real parallel between how people grow and how nations grow. It helped me a bit to see this, perhaps it will help you as well.
  • Reflections on Nicaragua.  Connected with the above trips, I have given a bit of thought as to just why I go there, and what good it is doing for myself, my parish and the people there.  This might help you understand that a bit, and how you might help in the developing world.
  • What If Jesus Was a Human. This needs a little explanation. I was a lay preacher in our parish church for a number of years. I had the opportunity to reflect on the message of Christianity, and to share it with an audience. I think this paper was the result of one of those opportunities. As I recall, it was a very small group in Onamia, during our Family Program retreat. I remember that the priest who celebrated the Mass thanked me afterward. This reflection is what I would call "progressive Christianity". You do not need to believe in any deity to make sense of this, but it doesn't hurt if you do. Let me know what you think.
  • Sixteen Steps to Software Metrics
    At one point in my life, I had the privilege of leading a large software development group that successfully installed a quality and productivity metrics program. We did really good work, and had fun at it. I also managed to stuff some ideas about how to manage such a group in this document.
  • Design Principles
    I have worked in software for some time. Over the years, I developed a set of guidelines for designing systems that makes them robust and easy to manage. If you have additions or suggestions, please let me know.
  • Cosmology  
    This is a little strange, and I am almost reluctant to put it here, but I’ve shared it with a few people that have not laughed out loud, so here it is. When I was studying theology, I had a prof who had a totally unique view of the way everything worked. It was based on the idea that one of the underpinnings of all cosmology was not correct. He theorized that if we simply accepted the premise that things could operate on other things at a distance, with nothing needing to travel between them, all cosmology and physics got much simpler. This paper describes how that might work, and it also points to a much more detailed work that was recently published, that uses this approach to fundamentally alter our view of what matter is.