Open Conspiracies

Open Conspiracies, Exhibit A: Whitewashing Sugar — Confessions of a Supply-Side Liberal:

Apparently, a large number of Americans and other people around the world believe in what I consider to be implausible secret conspiracies. A key thing that makes a conspiracy implausible is the number of people who are supposedly in on the secret and faithfully keeping that secret. Once the numbers get large, someone usually breaks ranks.

I wish those outside of law enforcement would pay less attention to the possibility of secret conspiracies and more attention to the certainty of open conspiracies: conspiracies that are not secret at all, that anyone can pierce who is motivated and properly equipped with the ability to read, digest and interpret technical material, or simply have the patience to wade through large amounts of text. Open conspiracies are still conspiracies because they aim to deceive those who are ill-equipped to interpret technical material or who don’t have time to wade through reams of documents—and who make a bad guess or bad judgment about who to trust to do that for them.

The truth in the above paragraphs is self-evident to me. I like the way it’s phrased here.

Read the article for the links to the journalism around the sugar industry, which is impressive all on its own.

bon vivant

Word of the Day: Bon Vivant by :

Word of the Day : December 2, 2019
play
noun bahn-vee-VAHNT


Definition

: a sociable person who has cultivated and refined tastes especially with respect to food and drink

Did You Know?

Fans of fine French wine and cuisine won’t be surprised to hear that the French language gave us a number of words for those who enjoy good living and good eating. Gourmet, gourmand, and gastronome come from French, as does bon vivant. In the late 17th century, English-speakers borrowed this French phrase, which literally means “good liver.” No, we don’t mean liver, as in the organ. We mean liver, as in “one who lives (in a specified way)”—in this case, “one who lives well.”




Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of bon vivant: _ _ ic _ re.
VIEW THE ANSWER


Video

play alt-5ddc30d17b5b4
‘Bon vivant’ — Video Word of the Day 12/2/2019
noun – a sociable person with refined tastes


ART19
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Published
Categorized as general

Brain grinding & other ailments

Not my brain but a good representative image
The Fight You Don’t See – Rhoneisms:

All of these happen. Daily. Often, many times a day. I’m pretty sure no one around me can tell. Most of the time no one is around when they occur.

And, I know I’m not alone. I know from speaking about it to other mental illness survivors that it happens to them too. Maybe not exactly the same things or thoughts but similar enough to let me know I’m not alone. These are the types of things we deal with while getting through every single day of our lives. A battle so many wage. A fight no one sees.

So, this month especially, take some time to simply be more aware of this. Just based on the numbers we know, you have someone in your life who, like me, is living with this. Living like this. Maybe that is you. Every single task, choice, decision, effort, and breath is happening with things like I described above also going on.

See them.

The three scenarios Patrick describes are me, err, mine. He describes his as The Piggyback Guy, Churchill had his Black Dog, and mine is like a orangutang that sits heavy on my chest when I’m laying down or has his long arms (sometimes he uses his legs, orients himself hind end up, and it’s stinky).

Published
Categorized as health

Good advices

The young man of Baghdad solicits advice from a friend as his slave girl, who is adept at music, awaits, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Forty-eighth Night
The Problem with Newsletter Advice — CJ Chilvers:

The good advice for business (and life) is boring and readily available.

  • Deliver value.
  • Save money automatically.
  • Diversify.
  • Strive for more agency in work and life.
  • Be kind.
  • Be generous.
  • Put family first.
  • Without your health, nothing else can happen.
  • And so on…

CJ talks about newsletters, but does a nice abstraction about the key elements of doing a successful one. Newsletters have been around for centuries.

Nothing has changed but the means of delivery. [edit mine]

Also true for life.

Published
Categorized as I84D

Skill as art, peer review as expression

A writer practicing the craft
A friend and colleague asked me to review a section of an already sent customer deliverable. The customer expressed strong negative views about the content and how it was communicated in one specific section. “The customer is always right,” and the customer also happens to be correct in their assessment.

I’m not throwing the person who wrote this material “under the bus”. Most people in IT and cybersecurity are not strong communicators. Maybe this person is usually a strong communicator but had an off day. Maybe sunspots interfered or Mercury was in retrograde or the U.S. tax filing deadline directed focus elsewhere.

Hello, peer review! Peer review should help level out the various stimuli and bias the original writer brings to the table. The message should be clarified, if the peer reviewers are worth their salt. That was not done here.

Hello, editor! Editing should take the technical skill expressed in the writing and translate it into art (a non-technical artifact with technical components) a customer will understand and hopefully embrace. That also was not done here.

A creative, visual expression of complex technical issues requires more than a good template and the liberal application of industry buzz words.

Published
Categorized as business

Twelve Golden Rules to the Art of Conversation

Conversation in Autumn 講秋圖
The Art of Conversation: Twelve Golden Rules by Josephine Turck Baker (web | index)

  1. Avoid unnecessary details.
  2. Do not ask question No. 2 until No. 1 has been answered.
  3. Do not interrupt another while they are speaking.
  4. Do not contradict another, especially when the subject under discussion is of trivial importance.
  5. Do not do all the talking; give your tired listener a chance.
  6. Be not continually the hero of your own story; and, on the other hand, do not leave your story without a hero.
  7. Choose a subject of mutual interest.
  8. Be a good listener.
  9. Make your speech in harmony with your surroundings.
  10. Do not exaggerate.
  11. Indulge occasionally in a relevant quotation, but do not garble it.
  12. Cultivate tact.
Published
Categorized as books, I84D

Mask Policy

Paul wearing a mask
Here is my current approach to masks and general public health things.

※ I am not yet vaccinated as of 210606 but my veins yearn for that sweet, sweet elixir.

※ Science changes as new data comes in. I reserve the right to change any and all of the below based on that.

※ This post will move to a page.

In all contexts

If I am mandated or asked to wear a mask, I will wear a mask.

If I am ill, I will wear a mask.

If I am on public transportation, including private conveyance, I will wear a mask.

If I’m around anti-vaxxers – of any stripe – I will wear a mask.

I will carry a mask with me at all times and probably have a few spares littered about my person/car/everyday carry.

If I am asked to wear a mask and, for some reason, I do not have one, I will happily leave to go get one.

If a place or person mandates that no masks are allowed, I will exercise my freedom to go elsewhere. I reserve the right to comment about where masked people are not welcome.

Gloves, hand sanitizers, and other surface measures are performative hygiene. I will not do those things unless asked or required to do so.

Outdoors

I will not wear a mask … mostly. If it’s a dicy environment I’m masking up.

Indoors

If I am in exclusive company of vaccinated people – COVID and flu and the usual battery, I will not wear a mask.

Otherwise, I will wear a mask.

Narrative

My time in South Korea, and my time in Japan to a certain extent, taught me that masks are polite. In the before times, people who were ill or were around people who were ill would wear masks. On the trains and subways on any given day, 5-10% of the people might wear a mask.

I acknowledge that wearing a mask all day long takes getting used to. They’re hot. They’re not comfortable, especially if you have a beard that you like and don’t want to remove.

If the discomfort of wearing a mask is the worst thing in my day, I’m living a good life.

I do not feel/believe/think that my civil liberties are violated by wearing a mask, but I don’t measure such things by how many droplets my respiratory system can expel onto other people. Other people get certain unalienable rights like “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” just like me, and my unrestrained viral-teeming respiratory droplets might impede someone else’s.

Published
Categorized as health

KR dating, contract tracing & Clubhouse

Somewhere between distance, intimacy: Love in the time of coronavirus:

Nearly 80 percent of singles aged between 25 and 49 stopped looking for romance since February last year, according to a May survey by the Korea Development Institute’s School of Public Policy and Management. About a third of them cited the coronavirus as the prime reason.

The pandemic has raised the stakes for falling in love. For one thing, it means risking one’s health.

On top of the threat of catching the disease, for Park [Sara], what prevented her from “putting herself out there” was the horror of her pre-diagnosis itinerary being alerted to all her close contacts should she get infected.

“Imagine having to explain to contact tracers you might have caught the coronavirus from a blind date or something,” she said. “I would be mortified.”

(Via Korea Herald)

Imagine, indeed. There is a different cultural dynamic in Korea, but I’m sure this would cause anxiety for singles in other places, assuming contract tracing is a prevalent as it is here.

All is not lost. Many singles are doing what I did (very successfully, I might add) last summer: hopping on dating apps. One big, surprising change to my approach:

As mingling in the real world is stunted by social distancing, virtual dating is booming, with Millennials and Gen Zers flocking from platform to platform in the hopes of finding new love. The hot app at the moment is Clubhouse [emphasis mine], according to Yeo Hyun-min, a developer in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, in his mid-20s.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, the social audio app brims with blind date sessions where people “check each other out” and if things work out, eventually hang out offline. The chat’s moderator plays matchmaker and invites some of the listeners as speakers. They are given about 30 seconds to introduce themselves, including what they’re like as a romantic partner.

That is a great Clubhouse use case! I wrote about my indifference to the app and lamented the lack of a killer reason for it to remain. Maybe it transitions to dating?