Today is George Plimpton Memorial Monday. Get your blazers on. Then read your Organization Man.

The MacArthur Fellows 2003 were recently announced. Leland said a quick IQ guide is your SAT score divided by 10. Perhaps, but genius (at least MacArthur genius) involves a great deal of effort.

Memory is a old curator. Sometimes we ask for more than they can carry to the door of the museum. Other times we ask for something too small for them to find. I bet that with proper exercise, the curator can become a bit more hawk-eyed and bull-backed than before.

Recently, I repeated the idea that most people most experience flow (alignment of rat brain and higher cognitive functions) while driving. Another good example is while taking a shower alone. It's an easy oft-repeated ritual with reduced stimulus (for most people?) which sets the ground for thinking.

Why we buy. Paco Underhill (bless his parents) studied under William H. Whyte, graduated, and then started Envirosell, a retail space analysis company. Paco simply took Whyte's environmental psychology and applied it to retail sales efficiency. While the firm worked, the book doesn't, as it lacks a cohesive framework for understanding environmental psychology, and just concentrates on presenting anecdotal evidence. However, 'Why we buy' does remind us that it's ok to experiment with humans, if conducted empirically. Just change a variable and observe the two-legged rat attempt to cope. Happily, that's reason enough to read this book.

More rat notes:

  1. Lead it through the space; the longer it stays, the more it spends (page 80).
  2. Think large. How many retail offerings are seen on average per rat (page 85)?