…the solution requires us to acknowledge a split in our ability to respond to justice: the more perfectly one attends to the gravity of the wrongs done, the less sensitive one becomes to the gravity of the wrongs one is poised to commit in response.…Sometimes other people help us exactly by not feeling what we feel, exactly by remaining resolutely who they are.
Attributing Intent to Animal Evolution
It annoys me considerably when some says something like:
And the REASON wombat poop is cube-shaped is so that they can stack it on a variety of tall, uneven surfaces, such as logs or rocks, without it rolling away.
flowers also emit heat to advertise themselves to insects
Animals do not create traits or decide to have traits “so that they can do XXX”. Having traits allows them to do XXX better than their kin which does not have those traits and so allows them to live longer, produce more offspring, and spread those traits further.
Having the traits is mostly an accident of evolution for animals, not a self- (or species-) directed choice.
I get that it is a manner of speaking about these things more than anything, especially in non-technical writings. And I generally bite my tongue, wince, and move on. But it does bug me.
I get stunned and tongue-tied when attacked after posting or saying something about preferring capitalism over other systems. All the attacks seem to not be arguments against whatever topic I mentioned, but general rants against the idea that capitalism could be the least bad option for anything.
The worst of it is that I get sucked into the same behavior as soon as those attacks start. I respond in defensive mode with nearly a identical form but form the other viewpoint. I hate that I do that.
For example. I posted an article about how a free market for vaccines could work and would have benefits over the tightly controlled process currently in use written by a widely-known, well-respected economist.
The immediate responses were along like these:
I couldn’t get past the first two lines. Disgusting article.
I don’t need to read past a premise that the FDA is responsible for 284,000 deaths because they didn’t release a vaccine.
Yawn. Could have saved a lot of reading by marking the top of this article as free market fanfiction.
Yeah, we don’t need the FDA and experts when Deus ex Market can do all the work for us.
Nothing in their comments suggesting that the article was actually read and considered. No cogent counter arguments to any of the points. No questions about any aspects of consequences of it. Just rants against free markets and capitalism.
I, of course, responded pretty much in kind. I threw my own rants back at them instead of asking the Ranters to clarify what specifically they saw as not workable and what they knew, or had read, that would provide a counter from their political viewpoint that would have been better than the existing process. Then I left the conversation. I am certain that many of them viewed that as success and vindication that they absolutely must have the better argument. I was just frustrated with myself and tired of the non-productive rant-tossing.
This is what happens when your hosting provider goes bust without notice and you have not made a backup in over a year. I don’t post much, but have made a few in the last several weeks which have now gone into the bitbucket. I’ll try to reconstitute some of them eventually.
(ps: I was able to get access to the old server for long enough to grab a current backup. Maybe I’ll be able to use the data within to put the posts here. We’ll see.)
(pps: I grabbed the data from the old site, manually edited the sql for the posts, and used it to restore the posts older than this one. Most are missing images which I might or might not re-edit in. How the ones that do have images do is a mystery. None of the restored posts have a Category; maybe I’ll fix that at some point. Let me know if you notice any weirdness in the older posts and maybe I’ll fix them. )
Cheer up! Things could always be worse.
Context is everything.
Everything is much more complicated that you imagine, no matter how deep your knowledge of the topic.
I believe almost all people are good, caring, and generous. Of the others, most of them are indifferent or at least not motivated to do bad things. I also believe that the remaining, very small percentage, are unlikely to honor any law preventing them from doing whatever they will do.
I believe our legislative and regulatory regimes should operate with the above assumptions. Any regulation or legislation which is built on the assumptions that most people have bad intent, or are too stupid to manage their own lives, is inherently immoral and destined to cause more harm than good. Legislation and regulation should be there only to punish the use of force, in all its various forms. Courts should be there to adjudicate contractual disputes. Everything else is, at best, a waste or, more likely, harmful.
I guess one post every 10 years is alright, yeah?
When last I left you, I was in a pause between adventures.
Spoilers: The pause ended and a different adventure began. That adventure is over, and now another begins.
Yeah, sorry to leave you hanging. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I’ll give the the short version to catch you up.
After the pause, I joined about 60 folks at this company:
Some interesting work with quite a lot of learning about ways to build and support teams developing products ensued. I helped many clients build many products. I helped open a couple of Forges.
Particularly the one in Des Moines. I also worked on many projects at the Ann Arbor Forge and the Columbus Forge.
Pillar grew to about 400 people doing some cool work in many industries. About 2.5 years ago, Pillar was acquired by this company.
This part of the adventure had some potential. I helped open a new Forge in Chicago.
Many interesting things happened and much fun was had. There was, and is, great potential for exciting, interesting work finding much value for great good. It was Mostly Good. Other than the difficulties meshing with a Multinational Corporate Behemoth. Some of the edges were rough and the meshing was not especially smooth.
I decided a short while ago that it was time to move to something other.
So, here we are at a new juncture on the cusp of a new adventure. So, let’s see how this goes.
Geez, I might have some time and some inclination to post some again.
Today begins my last active month at my current employer. I have worked with basically the same group of fine folks for the past 12 years, other than for a few months between when I was out then brought back in.
This time, I think the layoff will stick. My entire team is being cut loose along with other fairly huge changes throughout the company as it tries to adjust to changes in the mobile device markets.
The exit program being offered is very generous and affords me the chance to take some time to consider what I want to do next.
Let’s see where the path leads from here.