So, You’ve Made a Mistake…

  • Acknowledge you’ve made a mistake to yourself.
  • Think about the mistake. Why did it happen?
  • Think about making the same mistake again in the future.
  • Acknowledge the mistake, describe it and the damage it caused precisely, apologize to those impacted, suggest how it might be redressed, and then listen.
  • Agree on a course of action to address the mistake, and do it.

https://meta.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/So_you’ve_made_a_mistake_and_it’s_public…

Hold the Line

This both begins and ends this blog’s election coverage. Fare thee well.

“The list of potential and real challenges we face is long. Whether it’s cuts to the US Postal Service; malfunctioning voting equipment; voter suppression; misinformation; intimidation at the polls; violence among political supporters; or the President improperly using the powers of the executive branch and possibly refusing to accept defeat; we are witnessing ongoing actions that destroy our democracy bit by bit.

We the People need to prepare ourselves to take on these threats swiftly, strategically, and in ways that protect the Constitution and restore accountability. This guide is designed to help people from all walks of life take action to ensure that the election is free and fair, and that the results are respected. There is a role for everyone in this effort, and your help is needed.

Hold the Line

Intro to Storyboarding

“Kevin Senzaki, confirmed sound wizard and also storyboard artist for VGHS and other RocketJump projects, covers the basics of what storyboards are used for and why. He also covers who typically creates them, what formats they come in, and the different styles and elements that are most often used to create clear and informative boards. If you are totally averse to drawing of any kind, you’re in luck– Kevin also shows you some alternatives to storyboards that can help you achieve the same goals in planning out your film.”

Investigating Normal: Disability, Technology and Engineering by Sara Hendren

“‘Every day every body is at odds with the built environment.” This…is about those odds, those ‘mis-fits,” and the ways designers might open up space for the reality of interdependent life…

…Five years ago, Sara gave a talk about her work that remains one of my favorites, ever, on any subject. There’s the kind of talk where you find yourself nodding along, engaged, agreeable; those are fine. There’s another kind of talk where you find yourself tingling, aware of electricity rippling across the surface of your brain; this is that other kind.

—Robin Sloan, “‡ Lo! So! Bro!The Society of the Double Dagger. September 20, 2020.

Not So Simple: Notes from a Tech-Free Life by Mark Boyle

“I intended to begin a new life without modern technology. There would be no running water, no fossil fuels, no clock, no electricity or any of the things it powers: no washing machine, internet, phone, radio, or light bulb…

…What are we prepared to lose, and what do we want to gain, as we fumble our way through our short, precious lives?”

—Mark Boyle, “Not So Simple.” Plough. July 4, 2019.

Conversations on Political Economy

Capitalist: Capitalism provides for the most efficient allocation of resources, wealth creation and individual choice. It’s the best economic system we’ve got.

State Socialist: There are other values than efficiency, prosperity and choice. Capitalism tends toward oligarchy and monopoly. As industries concentrate and gain economies of scale, wealth creation is concentrated for the benefit of society’s elite, and non-elite individual choice declines, and over a long enough time period, with limited or no competition, resources are not allocated efficiently. State socialism solves these problems.

Capitalist: State socialism is inefficient. There are few incentives and options to create wealth, and it limits individual choice. State socialism tends toward dictatorships and state monopolies. When the state takes over an industry, it benefits elite government officials rather than society as a whole. Bureaucracy and corruption lead to a squandering of resources, and kills individual initiative.

Small Socialist: Small socialist enterprises — such as employee ownership, cooperatives, and collective ownership — solve both the problems of Capitalism and State Socialism at the cost of economies of scale. Decision-making is distributed across the industry or enterprise. Employees and/or customers are also owners and have incentives aligned with the business. What’s not to like?

Capitalist: Without economies of scale, small socialists remain small. Some industries cannot exist without economies of scale. In others, it is impossible to compete with capitalist or state enterprises without them. Small socialists will stay small, with all the poverty that entails. Capitalism solves this problem.

State Socialist: Small socialists also have the problem of capitalists, except it concentrates power into decision-makers hands. They, in-turn, have incentives to collude to extract benefits for themselves or for their industry at the expense of the enterprise or society as a whole. Good stewards and state ownership solves this problem.

[Continue, ad infinitum and adding in small capitalist, communist, anarchist, fascist, etc.]

Discussions of political economy are ultimately discussions of what you value and which system you believe is most likely to give it to you. See also: Revolution for One.

Oliver Burkeman’s Last Column: The Eight Secrets to a (Fairly) Fulfilled Life

  • There will always be too much to do – and this realisation is liberating.
  • When stumped by a life choice, choose “enlargement” over happiness.
  • The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower. 
  • The advice you don’t want to hear is usually the advice you need.
  • The future will never provide the reassurance you seek from it.
  • The solution to imposter syndrome is to see that you are one.
  • Selflessness is overrated.
  • Know when to move on.

“If you’re prone to thinking you should be helping more, that’s probably a sign that you could afford to direct more energy to your idiosyncratic ambitions and enthusiasms. As the Buddhist teacher Susan Piver observes, it’s radical, at least for some of us, to ask how we’d enjoy spending an hour or day of discretionary time. And the irony is that you don’t actually serve anyone else by suppressing your true passions anyway. More often than not, by doing your thing – as opposed to what you think you ought to be doing – you kindle a fire that helps keep the rest of us warm.”

-Oliver Burkeman, “Oliver Burkeman’s last column: the eight secrets to a (fairly) fulfilled life.” The Guardian. September 4, 2020.

Mary’s Room

“The questions raised by ‘Mary’s Room’ – including whether anything about experience transcends physical facts – remain some of the most perennial and unsettled in philosophy, even if Jackson himself actually reversed his position, concluding that the experience of colour vision does indeed correspond to a brain state, albeit one we don’t yet fully understand.”

—TED-Ed, “Mary’s Room.” Aeon. September 3, 2020.

The Last Acceptable Prejudice

“We should focus less on arming people for a meritocratic race and more on making life better for those who lack a diploma but who make important contributions to our society — through the work they do, the families they raise and the communities they serve. This requires renewing the dignity of work and putting it at the center of our politics.

It also requires reconsidering the meaning of success and questioning our meritocratic hubris: Is it my doing that I have the talents that society happens to prize — or is it my good luck?

—Michael J. Sandel, “Disdain for the less educated is the last acceptable prejudice.” The New York Times. September 2, 2020.