Cast Your Eyes Upon the Sky

The room darkened. I stood to turn on the lights. This done, I turned. And looked out the window. The Internet samples pretty pictures from others’ lives. Turn your attention to the world, and see the beauty in yours. A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:  Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass […]

Step Away From the Computer

Nestled among the advertisements for upscale apartments (Enjoy Four Seasons Fort Lauderdale! Only $4,300,000!) in this week’s edition of The New York Times Magazine  is a thoughtful piece by Kyle Chayka not entirely about Roam, a company offering a selection of live-work spaces for the discerning digital nomad: “The World is Your Office.” And this one time I’ll […]

Science Fiction was never entirely about The Future

I’ve been reading stories from the November/December 2017 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine that I picked up at Barnes & Noble before Christmas. They seem so immediate. The first I read, “I Met a Traveler in an Antique Land,” by Connie Willis, was a pleasant tale of a new media guru encountering an archive […]

Qualification

Certain things aren’t talked about — or at least are avoided because they are uncomfortable to talk about — in polite society; that is, beyond our immediate circle of intimates: politics, religion, race, gender, sex, salary, feelings, whether or not I’m happy at work and seeking other employment. The strange personalized anonymity of the Internet […]

Sorry. Procedures.

I’m reading an excellent book right now that’s discussing how we surrender our judgment to detailed rules and procedures: The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America, by Philip K. Howard. These problems plague any large organization, not just government. An example from today: One of the applications I support needs to increase […]

You Missed a Spot

In housework, as in any field primarily concerned with the reduction of chaos, the work itself is not noticed; only the failures are. Take a few moments today to thank your spouse, your domestic help, your secretary, your department of public works, your firefighter, your sysadmin for keeping chaos at bay.

Statistical Enquiry of the Devil’s Playground

Certain laws and regulations, and policies related to those, have a non-trivial impact on statistics which are not normally thought of in concert with those laws. For example, mandatory sentencing increases incarceration rates, which in turn will decrease the employable population. Child labor laws directly impact the employable population, but so do mandatory attendance requirements […]