Thursday, July 02, 2009
There and Back Again
Objectivist Summer Conference 2009 will be starting in Boston tomorrow, but as chance would have it, I'll be out of the country for the first half of it. However, I will be around from as early as noon to late in the day/early evening for the last three weekdays of it. If you'll be there and you'd like to meet up on one of those days, drop me a line. I may not be able to reply until about the sixth or seventh, though.
And, most likely, there won't be a post here tomorrow.
Rational Jenn will be hosting it this week.
Lord of the Files
I see that, by coincidence, Rational Jenn has also decided to improve her implementation of David Allen's Getting Things Done productivity system. I'm not sure whether I'll blog it beyond taking the occasion to toot my own horn, but I just made a huge improvement in my own implementation: Until today, the year-long stint Mrs. Van Horn and I did in separate cites had kept me from getting all of the clutter -- I mean filing -- under control.
That had, in fact, been the one thing I had never fully implemented, and it has occasionally driven me nuts over the past two years. When? Any time I needed something that was still "outside the system." One of those times, it was a car title.
Of course, the camera, not being made of paper, is apparently "outside the system" and doubtless hiding in some still not-quite unpacked corner of our place. That's a shame, because I came up with a really clever way to convert a hanging file drawer to one that can hold manila folders properly.
Nonetheless... What a load off! Especially given how small the new place is.
They're Going after NyQuil!?!?!
Not only are some idiots hoping to run the financial sector as brilliantly as the FDA oversees pharmaceuticals, but others, not content with it preventing new drugs from hitting the shelves, are trying to get it to take what we do have away!
The drugs that could be pulled off shelves are combination medications, such as Procter & Gamble's NyQuil or Novartis' Theraflu, which combine acetaminophen with other ingredients that treat cough and runny nose.So since some people choose to take too much acetaminophen, I might be forced to be even more miserable every time I get a cold in the future.
I just had this perverse thought -- I get this way when I stay up all night -- "There is nothing so stupid that someone, somewhere doesn't take it seriously." So I throw the most idiotic thing ("ban flushing toilets") that immediately comes to mind into a search engine and get this:
It's a subtle difference in emphasis: from an optimistic vision in which simple technological innovation was used to reshape the planet for human happiness, innovation is now qualified in terms of environmental damage. It becomes a question of "balance", with human health now a factor in a trade-off.No, I'm not watching the clip that follows.
Non-flushing loos are a feature of Britain's "Eco Towns", the harshly regulated and monitored new settlements proposed by the government. Here, where water is in abundance, they're needed to raise "awareness" of resource consumption. But the argument has now become entrenched in development, illustrated by a new documentary Flush It!
"Prepare for the War on Toilets," the article warns, and ends with an African woman hitting the nail on the head: "It's not only money that's stopping development any more, it's ideas and organisations telling us we need to consume less, and we don't need what the west has." [bold added]
More here, and the date line isn't April 1.
Back to OCON, and Boston
And ideas, as the paternalists of the FDA show us, can reverse development. Boston is steeped in such ideas, but it's still alive and kicking, so why not enjoy it?
If you're going to OCON and had to pinch pennies to do so -- or you just want more money left over to give to ARI in the vein of helping save Boston from itself-- here's a list of 25 Free Things to Do in and around Boston. I will do #6 sooner or later, perhaps on one of those afternoons. And here's an article about Boston pizza, which I haven't tried yet. Last but not least, I was in the area where OCON will occur a few weeks ago and saw that my favorite Boston restaurant chain so far, Legal Seafood, has a test kitchen there. Nice.
Happy Independence Day!
I'll be in America only in spirit this July Fourth, but I, like Joseph Kellard, can thank one of its immigrants for helping me appreciate it much more fully than I might have otherwise.
This post was composed in advance and scheduled for publication at 5:00 A.M. on July 2, 2009.
7-14-09: Changed a hypertext anchor.