Is the world getting better or worse?

https://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_is_the_world_getting_better_or_worse_a_look_at_the_numbers

We will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one. But there’s no limit to the betterments we can obtain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing.

~ Steven Pinker

I feel constantly pushed to take on a myopic and biased view that the sky is falling, that this moment right now it the last chance to avoid catastrophe, that the human race has never been closer to the brink of– blah, blah, blah.

I choose to celebrate progress. I choose to shine light on the people who are making a difference. I choose to point out the positives. I choose to engage with only a tiny few of the myriad of complex issues the world faces because that’s the scale where I can make a difference. That’s the scale where each person makes a difference: Individual reasoned thinking, enlightened discourse, and responsible action.

Men without chests

https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/men-without-chests/

If one believes in objective order and value, then the failure to feel the proper sentiment in the face of a particular stimulus cannot be justified on the basis of mere personal preference, casually categorized under the rubric of “to each their own”; rather, it must be frankly countenanced as a deficiency in one’s human make-up. As Lewis confesses, “I myself do not enjoy the society of small children: because I speak from within the Tao I recognize this as a defect in myself — just as a man may have to recognize that he is tone deaf or colour blind.”

~ Brett McKay

…from C.S. Lewis‘s, 1934 The Abolition of Man.

The more I read, the more I find I want to explore and continue learning.

Time management

http://www.asianefficiency.com/productivity/coveys-time-management-quadrant/

The caveat is that this quadrant can be mistaken as something that shouldn’t be part of life, but that is not true. It is really important to have a balanced life between work and your personal life. You need downtime to not get burnt out and that is where quadrant four comes into the picture. The challenge is you allocate most of your time to quadrant two, with just enough of time spent in quadrant four to get by.

~ Thanh Pham

I disagree.

Everything in the UN-important half (the lower half in the diagrams) of the quadrant is the Bad Lands to be avoided. There’s no such thing as “work life balance.” I spent decades trying to fiddle with that balance. There is only life. I strive to do only important things. I strive to only do NON-urgent things by paying attention to what I should be doing. I strive for a wide variety of activities which are all necessary, important and not urgent. One might even say: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

I have control over only two things: My thoughts and my actions.

Supply-and-demand is a model

https://ourfiniteworld.com/2018/05/11/how-the-economy-works-as-it-reaches-energy-limits-an-introduction-for-actuaries-and-others/

The reason for the strange behavior of energy prices near limits is because the system is very interconnected. It is a self-organized system that gradually changes over time. New customers are added over time. These customers are often also wage-earners. They decide what to buy based on their own wages, and based on other considerations, such as the prices of competing products and whether inexpensive financing is available.

~ Gail Tverberg

Supply-and-demand is a model. There’s nothing wrong with the model. Does the model still fit reality as we approach the limits of how much energy our economy can consume? (tl;dr: it does not.)

Programming is terrible

https://programmingisterrible.com/post/173883533613

Writing code that’s easy to debug begins with realising you won’t remember anything about the code later.

~ Tef

Most of the programming I do — if you were to watch — looks very much like me sitting and staring suspiciously at my computer. Occasionally I sip a beverage. Occasionally I will rub my chin. Sometimes I will grudgingly type some code, knowing full-well I’m building something I’m going to curse about later.

Michelangelo’s private papers

https://www.brainpickings.org/2011/06/16/michelangelo-a-life-on-paper/

What makes Michelangelo: A Life on Paper all the more intriguing is that, by extending an invitation into Michelangelo’s private world of words written for his eyes alone, it raises the question of whom we create for — ourselves, as tender beings with a fundamental need for self-expression, or an audience, as social creatures with a fundamental desire to be liked, understood and acclaimed.

~ Maria Popova

I have reached the point of no-return on books. The first, undeniable demonstration of my mortality is the stack of “to read” books. Every year I read more than in the previous year. And every year the stack of books gets taller. I am saddened when I find books such as this, and know that I will never get around to reading them.