ddhr.org | 2020 (38) about | archives | comments | rss

Half a bridge Thu, Oct 29, 2020
I like this analogy from a Freakonomics episode about developing a Covid-19 vaccine
Any biotech company ... has to manage their finances properly. 

Without money, they can't conduct clinical trials. They can't do research. And so, all the progress that we see will stop if they run out of money. And the asset that they worked so hard to develop actually gets destroyed. 

It's like building half a bridge. A half a bridge is not half as good as a full bridge.
The primary purpose of a bridge is to link two pieces of land across a body of water or a valley.  A bridge that's 50% complete, or 90% or 99%, while it may provide other uses, doesn't accomplish it's primary function. #business

Clean desk Thu, Oct 29, 2020
One of my favorite coworker interactions was when my next-cube neighbor was defending his messy desk by trying to quote Einstein:  "Empty desk, empty mind."  This particular person is the last person who should be quoting (or misquoting) Einstein, and also the last person who should be claiming to not have an empty head.  So when I said to him, "I have a clean desk; what are you trying to say?", the look on his empty-headed face was priceless. #business

Political identification Tue, Oct 27, 2020
There's a house in my neighborhood we refer to as "the Trump House".  There's been some sort of Trump-branded paraphernalia on or around their house since before the 2016 election.  In the months leading up to the 2020 election, the Trump House has added a little sign by the mailbox, several signs along the curb, two banners on either side of their front door, and a gigantic flag flapping majestically in the breeze directly below the American flag.  It's a bit over-the-top. 

Political signs aren't too uncommon, especially around election season.  But this president is the first I can remember whose followers are active advertisers even in the off-season.  And what I find especially weird about this is that a lot of people seem to have their identity centered on being a Trump-supporter.  Like that's the first thing they would answer if asked to "tell me a little about yourself".  I just find it odd that people are building their sense of self around a political candidate, of all things.  Some people are into sports ("die-hard Jets fan").  Some people are into activities (hiking, biking, etc.).  But those qualities are "some of" not "all of" a person. 

I like whiskey.  I like it quite a bit.  Do I like it enough to hoist a flag?  Put a poster on my lawn?  A bumper sticker on my car?  No.  Part of it is that I have better taste than that [:-)].  But the other, more important thing is that my identity is wrapped up in a handful of things I enjoy and am interested in or passionate about. And politics isn't even in the top 50 for me. #politics

Sacred rocks Mon, Sep 28, 2020
This is really insensitive of me, and it's probably racist or elitist or ignorant:  I'm really not swayed by people claiming some area or rock is culturally significant to them and as such, other people shouldn't be allowed to go there or look at it.  The latest example is Uluru in Australia.  Before that, it was Mauna Kea in Hawaii.  This rock was important to your ancestors?  So?  It's a rock.  It was there before you decided it was culturally significant.  It was probably there before human beings existed, and it'll likely be there well after our species goes extinct. #sociology

Alcohol proof Thu, Sep 17, 2020
The fact that there's a word that simply means "two times" another word is completely ridiculous.  "What proof is this?"  86.  "Ah, 43% alcohol.  Nice."

Contrarian followers Tue, Sep 08, 2020
I'll never understand people who follow people and groups on social media just to be argumentative and contrarian with every single post and idea that the author presents.  Like, you're from team A, why are you wasting your time with team B?

Mark Amenity Grape Asian Tue, Sep 08, 2020
It's 2009, I'm in my blue "Hope & Change" hat, driving my zero-emission vehicle to the nearby stadium for an Obama rally, where we'll chant things like "Socialized medicine!" and "Save the environment!" while we gleefully sing Obama's praises and curse his political opponents.  Nothing weird about that.  Nope. #politics

On life Tue, Sep 08, 2020
"The celebrated Parisian doctor Professor Xavier Bichat developed a fully materialist theory of the human body and mind in his lectures Physiological Researches on Life and Death, translated into English in 1816. Bichat defined life bleakly as 'the sum of the functions by which death is resisted'." - Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder

On learning Tue, Sep 08, 2020
I think pretty much anyone can learn pretty much anything.  I don't think people are born to be good at math or science or art.  Most skills can be learned by most people.  But a lot of it depends on things like nature, nurture, personal interests, role models, geography, economics, politics, school systems, teachers, and personal learning style.  Most people can learn most things, but do they want to?  Did they live in an area with a decent school system?  Did their family and friends value education?  There are a lot of variables at play. 

Another thing I've noticed is that learning usually involves a combination of desire, ability, and speed.  I had a friend in school who had the desire and the ability, but not the speed.  He tended to score poorly on tests because he couldn't finish on time.  I had another friend who had the ability and the speed, but not the desire.  Neither friend pursued or succeeded in much education after high school. #education

3072 Sun, Sep 06, 2020
I didn't want to be doing it, I didn't enjoy it at the time, and I wouldn't want to do it again:  My quarantine childcare experience

← olderpage 1 of 4