And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekend Linkee-poo Redux

Because in the only weekend since the beginning of January that I didn't have class, work, or some prescheduled event, I was able to get a lot of reading done. Also as a reminder, starting tomorrow Steve will have very little unscheduled time for the next 8 weeks. So if it looks like this blog has gone dark, I'm still here, just no time to read or post (now, like all past prognostications, I'll be completely wrong and probably make several posts everyday… nah, I don't think so either).

The 2012 Nebula Award Winners.

The abandoned Star Wars set decaying in the desert. (Grokked from Camille Alexa)

Terri Windling with the importance of breathing. There is a long tradition in buddhism in focusing on the breath (actually many spiritual traditions have this focus). We are reminded when we hear a bell that we should breathe. Also, I think it was Toulouse-Lautrec who was once asked what he did during a polite dinner conversation. He replied, "I breathe."

"(A)ccess to the deathbed has been barred. No one seems to linger long there, conversationally or otherwise: too often, a death is treated like an embarrassing fact, a regrettable failure of life that is best hushed up." There's also an un spoken bond between people who have experienced death up close and personal. Just this week a friend lost her mother. It wasn't unexpected, although it was sooner than expected. She and I have talked about it before. We both know each has faced death before, so conversations are a little easier. We know we don't have to lie to each other to preserve the fragile lies surrounding death. The more we talk amongst ourselves about death, without falsity or avoidance, the better we're prepared to face what is the ultimate, natural conclusion of our lives. Also, just like everything else in life, people have both a right to privacy (they don't have to share if they don't wanna) and a right to their own experience and feelings. The rest of us don't get to dictate how they live or die. (Grokked from Morgan J. Locke)

The rise of mental illness in children. Mental health problems affect an estimated 20% of children. Do I think a lot more attention needs to be paid to this aspect of our children's development? Yes I certainly do. But before we hit the "ZOMG!" stage, if you look at the breakdown, most of that growth was in diagnosis of ADHD. One of the things that isn't discussed so often is the use of ADHD drug to calm students in the classroom (you may have heard this in the stories about, "Are we over drugging our children?"). Also, parents of some means have been working hard to have their children diagnosed with ADHD so that those children get benefits in school, such as extra help on tests, access to tutorial services, and even longer times to take their SAT/ACT and advance placement tests. In the "competitive" environment these parents act in, that extra help, they feel, can mean the difference between getting into their college of choice or having to go to a state college (scholarships are also on the line). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Are there going to be any jobs left? While the article is hopelessly optimistic and tinged with the various dreams William Gibson wrote about in The Gernsback Continuum, it's some of the thought process I went through when I went back to school. "What can I do that still will be a job in 20 years?" The problem with "transformative technologies", or as we used to call them, paradigm shifters, is that you can never see them for what they are until after the transformation/paradigm shift has happened. The author also hasn't contemplated the fundamental economic ramifications of what he thinks will happen (hint, if nobody has a job that can afford the product or services, no one is going to be able to produce them). Also, there is a lot of automation happening within health care (which the author kinda discounts). And while I quibble with some of the generalized statements the author makes (like most of what we consume now wasn't made 20 years ago is only true when you look at the SKUs, not at the actual product, and oh, BTW, most of what we consume is food and energy, which, while produced differently, is pretty much the same) it still something to think about, especially if you have decades of your working life ahead of you. (Grokked from Jason Sandford)

Know how all the climate deniers like to talk about just how costly transforming our economy to deal effectively with climate change would be, and then who stands to benefit from that spending? Well, yea, it's already costing us money to not begin that transformation. Not to mention, the longer we delay the greater both the disruption and final cost will be. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Just like who with think discovered DNA isn't who actually did the key findings, who actually did the hard work of solving Linear B isn't who got the credit. (Grokked from MrsTad)

A photo tour of Ft. Irwin's "Box". The simulated cities and towns our troops train in before going over seas. This is the part of training that has been prioritized in the face of the sequester. Ft. Irwin isn't the only place these towns exist, but it is the most extensive training facility we have. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"'House Republicans' budget hypocrisy knows no bounds,'… the Democrats’ leader on budget issues, told TPM. 'This Obamacare repeal vote … exposes the mother of all budget gimmicks — the fact that the Republican claim of balancing the budget depends on the savings and revenues from Obamacare. The minute they vote to repeal the law, their budget is out of balance — they can’t have it both ways.'" Not that it's ever stopped conservatives before. Besides, as it's become painfully clear, these votes are nothing else than a way to pad their conservative credentials on their newsletters to their constituents.

"The GOP tried to put lipstick on this pig of a so-called 'scandal' by forging texts and sending them out to the media. Luckily for us all, CBS actually does fact-checking, and the culprits were caught with their pants down. Their credibility with the reporters is mud from here on out." If only that last part was true. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

"Carolyn Compton, who was granted divorce from her ex-husband in 2011, is facing a forced separation from her current partner Page Price with whom she’s been in a relationship with for three years… Locked in a custody dispute over the two children… Compton has now been slapped with a 'morality clause' that says anyone who isn’t related by 'blood or marriage' can't be around the children past 9 pm." Ah those good morals of the conservative set. (Grokked from lnmorton)

Tweet of my heart: @WritingQuotes_: "Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the internet." Anonymous

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