Saturday, September 15, 2007

What I've been reading

While I did recently finish rereading the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (which I had first read sometime during high school -- man, I missed a lot of details back then), I really just wanted to mention a few articles that I've stumbled across on the 'net over the past few weeks and wanted to mention, for one reason or another.

  • A group is its own worst enemy

    It's largely writing in the context of social software development, which I find interesting in and of itself despite the fact that I'm not a social software developer, or even a regular old ordinary software developer, but rather because I find the whole massive online community phenomenon totally fascinating and a bit frightening as someone who only skirts the edge of social network applications and whose spouse harbors a significant distrust of the lack of privacy on the net.

    I also find it interesting because one of the things that I really value in life is the connection and community I have with other people, and I've fallen into the trap (if a trap is really what it is) of wanting to be inclusive and wanting things to be fair. And oftentimes, I equate fair with equal, which may not always be the case, but which is probably one of the simpler ways to deal with things because at its core, it at least *seems* fair. Even when it's not. But regardless, I've seen groups get too big for their own britches and implode, I've seen the inclusion/exclusion behavior, I've had the unfortunate experience of trying to "protect the group" when the group had no formal rules or protocols for doing so. It was helpful to read something that gave me some perspective on the social dynamics.

  • Childhood TV viewing can cause teenage problems

    Not to vilify TV or anything, but I'm kind of glad we don't have cable right now. Still looking into buhgiant front projection systems, FWIW.

  • How Callous are Republicans?

    National news just depresses me these days. Well actually, in general. And it seems like the politicos are all about Iraq, Iraq, Iraq and troop numbers, and staying the course or bringing them home. It's rhetoric, media posturing, politican partisanship and it's all bullshit. They fucked up. We're there. If we stay, it's going to continue to suck balls. If we pull out, it's also going to suck balls. It will probably suck even more balls, actually. In the meantime, ya think maybe you guys could maybe try fixing health care?

    Matt Miller comes up with the HCCAT, the "Health-Care Callousness Assessment Test":

    "Question 2: Do you believe individuals' buying their own solo health insurance can be the answer to the problem of the uninsured? The only noncallous answer is no. The problem with the individual market, as anyone with the most innocuous ailments can attest, is that profit-seeking insurers want to cover only younger, healthier people who don't need insurance. The very idea of individual insurance is an oxymoron, since insurance is about spreading risks across a group. Group coverage creates little socialized-health republics in which the young subsidize the old, and the healthy the unwell, with all those in the group paying the same premiums."

  • Doctor Warns Consumers of Popcorn Fumes

    Yeah, I mostly stopped eating this stuff after I learned that it was full of trans fats.

  • The 411 on High-Fructose Corn Syrup

    Too bad it's not actually the 411, it's more like a ... ok, I don't have a clever phone-metaphor. Basically, it's just saying: "ooh, HFCS is bad, whoOOOOOoooo!" It'd have been nice if they could have actually linked to the research or something. Not that I don't believe it or anything, just sayin'.

  • Vitamins 'could shorten lifespan'

    More advocacy for eating a balanced diet rather than trying to make up for your deficiencies through pill-popping. Feeling pretty good about that soup that's cooking on the stove right now, made almost entirely from vegetables from the CSA community farm. (the onion and organic chicken were from the supermarket. And I think the zucchini was from the SOOTTAD's parental homestead.)

  • Things that Running Teaches You About Life

    The funny thing about this article is that while I don't wholly disagree with the author's conclusions (I see value in what he's said), I feel like I take away a much different set of lessons. Running isn't about weight loss for me, although it is about staying healthy, both physically and mentally. Anyway, here's my take:

    1. This is not a race. Sometimes when I go running, I need to remind myself to slow down -- I'm focusing on conditioning, I've trying to avoid injuries. I time my runs, but it's really just feedback to let me know how I'm doing.
    2. Sometimes, even when it is a race, it's still not a race. Again, with the feedback. And the sense of accomplishment. My plan is still to run a marathon next fall -- when I hit, um, a particular age milestone. I wonder if this will still hold true if I'm trying to make a qualifying time.
    3. Enjoy the scenery. Look flowers! Critters! Whoops, car! (Have you smelled the grapes yet this fall?)
    4. Remember to breathe. In. Out. In. Out. Good stuff.
    That's all I got right now off the top of my head. I suspect there a few other things, but there you go.

1 comment:

Kate said...

you have a spouse!

tee hee