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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2010-06-25 04:59
Subject: [links] Link salad reaches for its Maker hooks
Security: Public
Tags:books, culture, gay, health, healthcare, iraq, language, links, personal, politics, process, reviews, sex, stories, writing
A brief reader review of my story "The Dead Man's Child" — With an interesting set of remarks at the end.

Marty Halpern with more info on the Fermi paradox-themed anthology, Is Anybody Out There? — Check it out.

The Writer Who Couldn't Read

Controlled Access LickometryLanguage Log compares me to tech spam. :: laughing :: (Via @LeviMontgomery.)

If Men Could Menstruate — A classic reprint from Gloria Steinem. (Via goulo.)

The 10 Most Important Things They Didn't Teach You In School

Targeting mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) for health and diseases — Some serious anti-aging science. (Via shogunhb.)

Are Your Friends Making You Fat? — The role of social circles in behavioral adaptations. Some thinking in here that reflects my observation that cancer is a social disease. Gives me a lot to consider about social networks, too. FYI, headline is very misleading, the article is about much more than implied. (Thanks to willyumtx.)

'Party of Parasites' author took $1M in farm subsidies — Ah, that famed intellectual consistency of the conservative movement. Somebody please explain to me why it's welfare when somebody else gets the money, but a vital government program when a conservative gets the money?

Military Discipline — Elizabeth Moon on General McChrystal. Very well stated.

Lessons of Petraeus’ Iraq for Petraeus’ AfghanistanIt is frequently asserted that Gen. Petraeus "succeeded" in Iraq via a troop escalation or "surge" of 30,000 extra US troops that he dedicated to counter-insurgency purposes in al-Anbar and Baghdad Provinces. [...] But it would be a huge mistake to see Iraq either as a success story or as stable. See also Daniel Larison's remarks, which I think I largely agree with.

Scrivener's Error with interesting squibs on McChrystal (and the military-civilian interface in general) as well as a Supreme Court ruling on the right to privacy of anti-gay bigots to have their petition signatures hidden — Because you know, it's so dangerous to be straight and homophobic in America, what with all the violent gay mobs out bashing straights, and special legal rights for homosexuals and stuff. How's a Real American supposed to stand up to "San Francisco values" if they can't conceal their identity?

?otD: Water of life, or spice beer?

Writing time yesterday: n/a
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.75 (fiftful)
This morning's weigh-in: 222.6
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 8/10 (post-infusion)
Currently (re)reading: Dune by Frank Herbert

Post A Comment | 3 Comments | | Link

User: mastadge
Date: 2010-06-25 13:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Interesting social stuff. If only they would phrase it less stupidly. “You may not know him personally, but your friend’s husband’s co-worker can make you fat. And your sister’s friend’s boyfriend can make you thin"? Really? How about something along the lines of, "Even if you don't know him personally, the fact that your friend's husband's co-worker is fat means you're ten percent more likely to get fat than if he weren't, assuming there aren't other fat people also in your social network"? This is about likelihood, not certainty, and it's about social environments wherein certain behaviors or attitudes are accepted or not accepted, consciously or unconsciously, not about sympathetic magic whereby the fat of someone else in your social network starts growing on you, too.

It's very interesting stuff, statistically backing up a lot of common sense, but a lot of the phrasing in that article really rubbed me the wrong way. "[W]e have often thought that having a small cluster of tight, long-term friends is crucial to being happy [but] the happiest people in Framingham were those who had the most connections, even if the relationships weren’t necessarily deep ones." How are we measuring happiness? (For that matter, what constitutes a friend?) Is this all based on self-reports? Why is this being looked at as an either/or? Ever since I came out of my shell in college, I've had both: a small group of very close friends and a huge network of acquaintances with whom I'm friendly. Are people who have close friends and a broad network of friendly acquaintances less happy or more happy than those who only have one or the other?

"On average, a person with five friends has different genes than a person with one friend." What does that even mean? A person with one friend has different genes than another person with one friend, too, and different people have different predispositions.

I guess I see too much in here that, the way it's phrased, could be used hurtfully more than helpfully. Further stigmatization of obese people because "if they're fat they can make my kids fat". Further privilege of extroverted behaviors, positive thinking and the need to be nice rather than professional or even competent in the workplace.

An article full of compelling information or at least food for thought that I wish had been packaged a bit differently.
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User: shsilver
Date: 2010-06-25 13:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
'Party of Parasites' author took $1M in farm subsidies

And to further confirm his hypocrisy, if you look at the earlier article, he explained that he "didn’t mean to direct his sign at local Democrats," but rather at the more amorphous Democrats who he doesn't actually know.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-06-25 15:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The social connection article is interesting. You run into similar concepts in student behavior management theories such as Positive Behavior Support.
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my journal
January 2014
2012 appearances