This week's interesting conversations, ending 3/30/13


I don't think I'll ever tire of the beautiful drama in J. M. W. Turner's paintings. 

Interesting conversations, week-ending 3/23/13


Antidesign is an inquiry into 'that which is not designed'—recognizing that design can sometimes obstruct or detract from function and beauty. It examines human constructions (and sometimes natural occurrences) that have zero focus on aesthetics.

Interesting conversations, week ending 3/16/13

  • Genetic modification, neo-feudalism & patents: "I got Monsanto to genetically modify me so that I produce my own caffeine." (link)
  • Non sequitur: "Suburban moms are worse. Throw SUVs at them." (link) - "I just made a regression of my relationships. In chronological order vs. length of relationship and the results are very very depressing." (link)
  • Racism, morality: "Albert Einstein called racism 'a disease of white people.'" (link) - "A liberal Muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor was teaching a class on Karl Marx…" (link) - "If you lack empathy, then you are evil. It's just that simple." (link) - "properly implemented (ie no bias) eugenics is fully functional" (link)
  • Economics: "Free markets are excellent at allocating resources in the short term. But they fail miserably at steering society in beneficial directions." (link) - "Perfect example of why capitalism doesn't always work: Male baldness research gets more funding than malaria." (link)
  • Religion: "Francis totally needs to get laid // Preferably with an adult." (link) - "Right…Wing…Nut…Job…ALERT! - 'Society Never Gave Single People The Right To Engage In Sexual Intercourse'" (link)

Welcome, cats.

Introducing Hades (front) and Jiji, the newest members of our family.

Lin Yutang Quote #1

"The world I believe is far too serious, and being far too serious, is it has need of a wise and merry philosophy."
From The Importance of Living (1937)

Thoughts on RISK as one gets older

I just turned 40, and there is something I've been thinking a lot about recently: RISK. But perhaps not in the sense you might suspect. …

… I've been thinking about risk in the sense of 'opportunity cost'—one of the few useful philosophical constructs from business school. …

…At some point in one's life, it becomes more 'risky' NOT to take a risk, than to take a risk, start a business, pursue a passion, whatever…

… At some point, the opportunity cost of waiting around, forgoing your passion, overwhelms the potential risk from the venture itself.
Assembled from several of my posts to Twitter (1, 2, 3, 4)

Interesting Twitter conversation round-up, week ending 3/9/13

  • Life: "… At some point, the opportunity cost of waiting around, forgoing your passion, overwhelms the potential risk from the venture itself." (link 1link 2)
  • The Beautify of the World: "'I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.' - Michelangelo Buonarroti" (link) — "I found the National Trust for Historic Preservation Barn Again.program. Texas has the most old barns!" (link) — "The…object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land. - G.K. Chesterton" (link)
  • Religion: "Question for Christians: Does God deserve credit for creating HIV as punishment for homosexuality, or credit for the cure being developed?" (link) — "Why does God miraculously heal cancer sometimes, but never, ever, ever amputees?" (link) — "The Bible story of Job teaches us that God wants followers so mindless & utterly servile that they will praise him even as he tortures them." (link) — "Mental illness - 'Jesus is watching you vote!'" (link) — "Growing up Baptist, I can report that the parties hosted by preacher's kids were always the wildest." (link)
  • Social Media: "Even though Twitter is public, people sometimes don't seem to like being challenged in their views. Seem to prefer the echo-chamber. Not me." (link)
  • Economics: "I love this - 'Warren Buffett to American CEOs: Please Stop Complaining About Uncertainty'" (link) — "Wealth in an age of corporate personhood…why should it exist at all?" (link)
  • Politics: "Racism: Israel introduces 'Palestinian only' bus lines, following complaints from Jewish settlers" (link) — "Most experts believe North Korea's latest rhetoric is just the usual propaganda engine cranked up to 11." (link)
  • Gun Control: "Gun nuts talk about 'a second American revolution', call themselves 'patriots'…they're really just terrorists by a different name." (link) — "So stupid, it must be true: 'NRA Official Barred From Carrying Guns Because Of Domestic Violence'" (link)

Twitter roundup, week ending 3/2/13

So many (too many?) great conversations on Twitter this week:
  • The best one was about, of all things…MILK! "Headed out to milk the cows, milk leaves my farm driveway in pure whole form." - @NYFarmer (link
  • More on CATS: "OMG…and just like that we have cats…" (link) — "By the end of today, two black #cats will have taken up residence with us. We're almost as nervous about this as we were about having kids." (link)
  • More on GUN CONTROL: "Owning a gun for anything other than hunting is a signal that you do not believe in our ability to maintain a civil society." (link) — "#Facepalm: Walmart Customer Shoots at Shoplifter to "Mark" Him for Police" (link) — "One year after fatal Chardon High School shooting, superintendent isn't interested in having teachers carry guns" (link) — "MIT campus on lockdown after reports of armed gunman wearing body armor" (link)
  • On MEDIA: "Last night I watched the entire Oscars. I truly hope I never have to do that again." (link) — "Considering how intertwined 'real' life is with 'digital' life, I believe that all of existence is becoming a sort of #AugmentedReality." (link) — "My brain is starting to function in 140-character bursts. #SocialMedia" (link)
  • On PHILOSOPHY: "'God sees murder and homosexuality as the same level of sin.' Sure He does, Sweetie!" (link) — "'I learn by going where I have to go.' - Theodore Roethke" (link
  • On URBANISM: "I love being a tourist in my own town." (link) — "Rankning the happiness of cities by tweets: #CLE is 329/373 (bottom quartile). Buck up people!" (link) — "Well said - RT @schmangee: "'In NE Ohio, we treat land with the same respect we treat toilet paper.' And the reason is: Land is cheap here." (link