Category Archives: Musings

the social media problem – 230 bloody hands

So, the recent congressional hearing Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis reminded me of social media’s ongoing saga of good, bad & ugly – both its direct impact and parallel political drama. Perhaps there’s a path forward with collaborative bills, updates to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, …

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more anger does not equal a vision

Is it all just about anger and money (power)?

This year (2024) I’ve already got unsolicited (and somewhat puzzling) emails from novice political candidates in other, far away states. Likely cranked out by the tens of thousands from compiled, commercial mailing lists. The contents always have a dire tone.

The latest one used the political trope of “I’m a fighter,” as if any other advocacy is a cop-out. As if everything’s a smackdown. As if political worthiness is only gauged as a warrior (in a righteous cause).

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Profiling aging well

“Becoming a person of character” is a lifelong process … with challenges of growth vs. stagnation … and meeting “our intrinsic need for recognition and affirmation” [1].

Profiling successful people is an interesting exercise. Trying to characterize their key traits. Two articles …

This article discusses letting go of behaviors which subvert respect.

• Hack Spirit > “If you want to be respected as you get older, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors” by Mia Zhang (January 18, 2024) – The behaviors we hold on to and those we let go can make a huge difference in how others perceive us.

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Gut justice – what could possibly go

Gut justice

[Draft 7-1-2021]

Jared awoke to silence. That was odd. His mempories were clouded, but he felt that noise was a more common experience. And he felt calm. Which also seemed odd.

He was in a sparsely furnished but clean room. Styled with calm colors. Daylight filtered through drapes on a nearby window. A comfortable place. But where?

He heard a door open. A female voice asked, “Jared, how are you feeling? Do you remember our last chat?”

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Authentic – word of the year 2023

My personal word of the year is kayfabe. But …

Otherwise, in the wider, mainstream buzz: AP News, NPR, CNN, CNBC, …

So, in an info-verse awash in fake info, misinfo, disinfo, Merriam-Webster’s word for 2023 reflects erosion of the line between “real” and “fake.” And as traditional news sources are replaced by social media, presentation is everything – performative charm displaces deeper character [2].

[M-W article below] Authentic is what brands, social media influencers, and celebrities aspire to be. … Ironically, with “authentic content creators” now recognized as the gold standard for building trust, “authenticity” has become a performance.

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‘Good’ thinking is hard work – intellectual traits

I had an interesting chat last week with a member at my health club. Not just about sports. At one point, we agreed that not knowing what we don’t know is an issue. He said, “I can tell that you’re a thinker.” [2] Is that unusual?

So, this recent article (below) caught my attention.

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building attitudinal acceptance – personal testimonials

In today’s milieu of polarization, is there any path to acceptance of attitudes between different groups on controversial topics? And decisions and behaviors related to health? Particularly “when logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.”

• phys.org > “Study shows testimonials can open acceptance to differing opinions on controversial topics” by University of Kansas (October 11, 2023) – Movies and larger productions have long known the influence of an engaging story on audiences.

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AC as necessity, not amenity – a future of life-support

Imagine Prometheus bringing ice rather than fire, to a new age.

The age of air conditioning. A complicated history. Conspiracy theories. Fading stoicism. Where would we be without AC? Something we take for granted. Yet, increasingly a Catch-22.

When I taught public school in the 90’s, there were times when I brought in my own fans for the classroom. Multiple fans. Is learning possible in sweltering school buildings not designed even for cross ventilation? No AC. Distant water fountains.

When will air conditioning be standard in cars and trucks – no longer optional?

Heat zones, longer summers, wildfire smoke, grid instability, … climate migration …

This article has historical photos and useful visuals, including a timeline chart “How air conditioning arrived in U.S. households” from 1915 to 2020.

• Washington Post > “Addicted to cool” by Philip Kennicott (Sept 21, 2023) – How the dream of air conditioning turned into the dark future of climate change

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