11.18.2019

Lazy Linking, 228th in an Occasional Series

Stuff I liked lately on the Internets:

Image result for nick foles jaguars press conference sports spectrum228.1 Rampell, Mankiw, Saez, & Summers debate whether a wealth tax can help combat inequality (spoiler: things get frisky!) @piie bit.ly/344tKln

228.2 You ever think to yourself "being stuck on a crowded plane for hours at a time is awesome!" you're in luck bc now there's a game that simulates exactly that @engadget engt.co/33TYvt7

228.3  Having devoured the Pop Tarts cereal I bought them, my kids'll rejoice to hear Twinkies cereal is in the works @cnbc cnb.cx/33UmlET

228.4 Respect for Yu Darvish who, in light of Astros sign stealing scandal, still owns that he failed in 2017 WS G7, and can see how he's grown from the failure @latimes lat.ms/33SlTHe
 
228.5 Respect for Nick Foles who, whether winning Super Bowl MVP or getting hurt and losing his starting job, gives glory to God and seeks to do His work in all circumstances @sports_spectrum bit.ly/353jGZI

11.15.2019

Too Short for a Blog Post, Too Long for a Tweet 200

Image result for Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and WorstHere are a few excerpts from a book I recently read, "Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst," by Robert M. Sapolsky:




Your heart does roughly the same thing whether you are in a murderous rage or having an orgasm. Again, the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.




It is extraordinary neural circuitry that bucks temporal discounting enough to allow (some of) us to care about the temperature of the planet that our great-grandchildren will inherit. Basically, it’s unknown how we humans do this. We may merely be a type of animal, mammal, primate, and ape, but we’re a profoundly unique one.


11.12.2019

Recommended Reads, 35th in a Quarterly Series

Image result for books and books and booksStuff I read recently that I'd recommend:

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World (Winchester).  Well-written and well-organized account of how far we’ve come in our ability to achieve the pinpoint accuracy our modern economy

Robin (Itzkoff).  What a fascinating life Robin Williams led, and how incredibly sad what he struggled with which ultimately took that life away from us.

Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction (Grisel).  Really neat to learn more about the effect substances have on the brain from someone who is both formerly addicted and now a neuroscientist.

The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created (Leavy).  Man, no matter how many sports/entertainment/political characters we get to follow in today’s 24/7 social media world, we’ll still be talking about the Babe a thousand years from now.

American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures (Ferrera).  I really enjoyed hearing from other famous peoples’ experiences being hyphenated like me.


Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (Sapolsky).  A dense and thought-provoking foray into what drives human psychology and behavior.

11.11.2019

Lazy Linking, 227th in an Occasional Series

Penn’s Landing sites up for development, with plans for apartments, shops
Stuff I liked lately on the Internets:

227.1 Do open offices = less interaction? @harvardbiz bit.ly/32hsKs4

227.2 A history of the Internet (and tech + pop culture), as told through this list of the 50 most important websites @popmech bit.ly/2qkW1F5

227.3 Sleep literally cleans your brain up, so hey make sure you get enough ok? @wired bit.ly/2Nh2xFU

227.4 Climate expert says NY Times deliberately fear-mongered w/incorrect data+extrapolation of S. Vietnam in 2050 from sea level rise @bjornlomborg bit.ly/2NgCRsV

227.5 More evidence that where I'm going to move in 2029 is by then going to be hopping w/retail+restaurants+residential @phillyinquirer bit.ly/2qgJEdb

227.6 Theodore Roosevelt famously called national parks "America's idea; China plans to build up its own system in the next 10 years @thepandaily bit.ly/2p49MaW

227.7 Nazis are more prevalent now than we think; but Nazis in WWII were less formidable than we remember @notesonliberty bit.ly/34Oa4Ss

227.8 A running list of all of the multi-national brands that have offended and subsequently apologized to China @supchinanews bit.ly/2K8nqRM
227.9 Ascribing intelligence, communication, and empathy to trees isn't animism, it's science @nautilusmag bit.ly/2Q4CcwI

227.10 Dance + theater + tech + lit + AR = super cool & super trippy "book" @thisiscolossal bit.ly/2CHjjrT

11.06.2019

An Acquired Taste

Image result for melting pot salad bowlThe “melting pot” and “salad bowl” analogies, as applied to diversity in America, are somewhat played out, so apologies for rehashing them.  It remains a useful metaphor, up to a point. 

A melting pot kind of blurs everything together into mush, which is at its best bland and at its worst a not so subtle message from the “assimilation” crowd that coming to America means shedding your past distinctiveness and conforming to “our” way of life. 

In a salad bowl, individual ingredients are allowed to be themselves.  Indeed, that’s what makes good salads good: differences, in taste and texture and color, rather than all of one or two things. 

11.04.2019

Shut Up and Listen

Image result for i'm all earsA recent Plan Philly article asked, "Can Gentrifiers Be Good Neighbors?"  Fred Rogers was invoked, in the spirit of what it means to be a good neighbor.  The thing about gentrification, though, is that complex dynamics come into play independent of the behavior, posture, and motivation of incoming residents.  In other words, given the fraught nature of the past, present, and future of displacement dynamics in urban settings, the very presence of newcomers sets emotions and narratives into motion.

This can seem terribly frustrating for folks who mean well and who want to make life choices that lean into diverse settings.  We want neighborhoods to not be segregated, but our very actions to insert ourselves into new places can set into motion certain dynamics that perpetuate past and present inequities.


10.30.2019

He Loves Me, He Really Really Loves Me

Image result for you like me you really like me memeAmy and I had a funny exchange the other day.  Asher was absolutely inhaling dinner, all items made by Amy the day before.  I told him he ought to be saying thank you to his mommy for all the delicious food, and then I sidled up to her myself and said with tongue firmly in cheek, "Because I don't really love Mommy, I'm just nice to her because she makes me stuff!"  I know, even in jest it was a mean thing to say.  Without skipping a beat, she said something (with her tongue also in cheek) that made me love her all the more: "Well I don't care, because you're so good to me, so if it's all because I cook you stuff, then fine by me!"

Of course, Amy and I love each other, deeply.  And that love is independent of the fact that she makes me stuff and is smoking hot and does nice things for me and is smoking hot and have I mentioned that she's smoking hot?  It's loving to tell someone that they look good and that you appreciate the nice things they do for you.  But it's also loving to love someone independent of any way they look or anything they do for you.  Indeed, love in its purest form is unconditional like that.