Michael C Hogan

Agile Product Development & Innovation Strategy

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Sequoia Time: a tool for solving sequoia-scale problems

In an experiment, I posted a brief reflection on Sequoia Time on hitRECord. Here it is…

Towering nearly one-hundred feet above me, and below an additional two-hundred feet of living wood, grew a single branch larger in diameter than any tree east of the Mississippi River. Even more impressive, the branch’s bearer had seen the surrounding wood arise over a period spanning three millennia. Standing in the shadow of such a giant, I experienced the sequoia as a connective tissue, transcending the traditional boundaries of the human life span and time measured on a human scale.

I imagined time as it might appear from a sequoia’s perspective, a frame of reference I refer to as sequoia time.

Hypothesis: Many of the recurring problems faced by humanity (wars, segregation, bigotry and others) arise due to a combination of the human tendency to accept a given truth only once having experienced it firsthand and a lack of accessible recorded information about the missteps of our ancestors. To overcome these sequoia-scale issues, we must think in sequoia time.

If you have comments, please share them on Twitter — @mch82 #SequoiaTime. For more on Sequoia Time, check out my original essay on Sequoia Time from 2001. It’s a little wordy and academic, but I still think it’s worth a look.

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Jefferson explaining church/state separation

Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to an association of Baptists explaining the separation of church and state.

The text of the letter as a sent and an earlier draft are part of the Library of Congress collection and make for an interesting read.

The line that jumps out at me:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

So Jefferson intended that government authority be limited to actions, leaving thoughts and opinions unrestrained.

I vaguely remember reading about this letter during American history class many years ago, but this is the first time I recall reading it… Fascinating.

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My Three Rules for Twitter

It took me some time to figure Twitter out + a need to become more influential as a Design and Innovation thought leader.

What I’ve learned is that who a person follows says a lot about who they are. It’s not like Facebook where you’re saying “these are people I know” it’s more like “these are people who influence the information I prioritize and base opinions/decisions on.”

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