February 7th, 2012

a-links

[links] Link salad samples sensual tastes

Dickens v. Lawyers

A Month of General & Trauma Surgery — Excellent, moving short piece by doctor and author Blake Charlton.

What An Autopsy Looks Like — and Why You Need One — I plan to donate my cadaver to the medical school associated with the hospital where I receive my cancer treatments. (Via @marynmck.)

Tweet lightly: How social media could someday affect your credit score, insurance, and more — (Thanks to [info]lillypond, a/k/a my sister.)

Jurassic cricket's song recreated

Earth Station: The Afterlife of Technology at the End of the WorldThe Jamesburg Earth Station is a massive satellite receiver in a remote valley in California. It played a central role in satellite communications for three decades, but had been forgotten until the current owner put it up for sale, promoting it as a great place to spend the apocalypse. It stands feet from a trailer park and down the road from a Buddhist retreat. This is the story of one of the old, weird ties between Earth and space. (Via Curiosity Counts.)

Signs of Ancient Ocean on Mars Spotted by European Spacecraft

Upgrade eliminates Atlantis from Google EarthData glitch explanation won’t satisfy true believers.

Rabbi's 'Kosher Jesus' book is denounced as heresyShmuley Boteach's book focuses on Jesus' Jewishness, portraying him as a hero who was not resurrected or divine. But some other rabbis express contempt for the book and forbid followers to read it.

Running Against America — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Clint Eastwood Superbowl commercial. I just watched the ad seconds ago, after reading about the Republican freak-out, which I have to say is bizarre. This is the exact sort of gauzy nationalism (to paraphrase Jonathan Chait) that corporations have put out for years and Republicans have, themselves, often alluded to.

Why Mitt Romney should open up on Mormonism

Gingrich spokesman defends Wikipedia editsWhile some of the changes were minor, Joe DeSantis has removed or asked to remove factual references to Gingrich's three marriages as well as mentions of ethics charges brought against him while he served as speaker of the House. Remember kids, character counts! (At least it does if you're a Democrat. Republicans appear to be immune to their own moralizing.)

The Citizens United catastropheIn fact, this decision should be seen as part of a larger initiative by moneyed conservatives to rig the electoral system against their opponents. How else to explain conservative legislation in state after state to obstruct access to the ballot by lower-income voters — particularly members of minority groups — though voter identification laws, shortened voting periods and restrictions on voter registration campaigns? Nope, no activist judges in conservative America. No sirree, Bob. Move along, citizen, nothing to see here.

Tea Party ‘Is Dead’: How the Movement Fizzled in 2012’s GOP Primaries — Remember when we were being so loudly told by Your Liberal Media how the Tea Party was "independent" and "non-partisan." Yeah. Uh huh. Funny how that worked out.

Why Romney is winning — Money.

?otd: How dark do you like your chocolate?




2/7/2012
Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (solid)
Weight: 230.8
Currently reading: n/a (between books)

sanguine-pipe

[personal|writing] Choice or biochemical destiny?

Last night, [info]mlerules and I went to OMSI Science Pub, specifically a lecture entitled "Lust, Chocolate and Prairie Voles", about the biochemical basis of attraction, lust, love and commitment. It was a lot of fun, and I learned some interesting things. I'm always amazed at how much of what we think of as conscious behavior is influenced if not outright programmed by physiological and biochemical factors.

I sometimes wonder how many of the behaviors of successful authors are rooted in similar factors. I've often commented only partly in jest that I'm diagnosably hypergraphic as well as hypomaniac, not to mention scoring very high on ADHD self-assessments. I'm no clinician, and I've never asked my therapist or my doctor to comment formally on any of these conditions, but I certainly exhibit many of the traits of all three of them. Not to wretched excess — I don't write on the bedsheets with bodily fluids, for example — but I definitely have those tendencies.

And really, someone who hyperfocuses, writes obsessively, and is persistently overenergetic and self-confident would seem a natural fit for being a writer. My day jobbe also has a work pattern optimized to that cluster of behaviors. Throw in strong verbal facility and a powerful sense of social ease and you pretty much have me. And I've optimized my life's work around these behaviors.

So am I creature of my pathologies? Surely I am. Surely all of us are. But I do find myself wondering how deep the tendencies run. Could I have chosen to go into some quiet, meticulously detail-oriented field like accountancy? Could I succeed at an avocation where repetitive action is valued at a premium?

And does it matter, since I'm quite happy where I am in life? A few less pounds and a bit more money and my life would be ideal for me.

What about you? How does your personality and psychological profile fit what you do?