Sharon Ruwart (卢飒)分享 CEO Elsevier S&T China


Around the world....and back again 精选

已有 7072 次阅读 2007-12-3 19:14 |个人分类:My Life|系统分类:生活其它

So sorry to all for the long silence - bloggers are not supposed to go "offline" for a month, like I just did. I've been traveling around the world on a series of work-related projects and conferences. I'm relieved to finally be back home in Beijing! I've made a resolution that I'll blog every day that I'm in Beijing from now on as my own contribution to the ScienceNet community.


Elsevier is a truly global company, so even though I'm responsible for China, on any given day I'll interact with colleagues and/or scientists in many other countries and time zones. It's part of the fun and also a challenge, but very appropriate for a scientific publisher, since science is, of course, a totally global



A glance at Harvard

It's amazing how much smaller the world is today compared to when I was a university student and just afterwards. I came to China to teach English in 1985, way before the internet or even inexpensive international phone calls. I spoke to my parents twice, I think, during my time in China, and letters home to the States took over one week (if we were lucky). But just for some perspective, I had some students from remote areas in certain provinces, like Guangxi or even Hebei, whose letters home took even longer.


Anyone reading this who's under 30 won't really remember those days well, and you younger folks take for granted that you can get in touch with almost anyone, almost anywhere at almost any time. My kids are this way as well. They have definitely seen more of the world at ages 12 and 13 than I had at age 30, and through the internet they have access to more information than I ever did even for years after university.


But I have to say, in my view, the smaller, more information-rich world can sometimes be a little too much to take. Sometimes, while on a plane, or at home on a weekend day, I turn off my MP3 player and computer, put away my book, and just sit and look out a window as a way to give my brain a rest and let it think about....anything at all. Not my next project, or the schedule for the week, or making mental lists - just thinking. Try it for five minutes - just look out a window (no music on in the background!) - don't close your eyes, that's "napping," not "thinking" - and allow your mind to wander at will. I bet it will feel like a lot longer than five minutes - and for your under-30s it might feel like an hour! Can you do it?


It's amazing to me that five minutes "doing nothing," with no electronic stimulus to distract, can feel as long as a 14-hour plane flight. As small as the world is becoming, the greatest distance of all is still 'between the ears."

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