5-5-12 Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 05, 2012

May Day!

Cry for help -- or Communist holy day? After viewing Zombie's photo essay on the May 1 Oakland Oakland "General Strike", I'd say that the answer is both. Here's one amusing caption:

The range of extreme ideologies led to some hilarious vignettes. Here, for example, a guy from the ultra-libertarian anti-federal government conspiracy site InfoWars somehow convinced a guy with a "Single Payer Health Care" hat to sign a petition -- even though one advocates the abolition of governmental authority and the other advocates the exact opposite, a totally centralized economy and power structure. WTF???
These people are mindless -- but far from innocuous.

Weekend Reading

"Painful, expensive memories keep us away: rather than fight, we take flight and move on ... often to our own detriment." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "The New Case for Real-Estate Stocks" at SmartMoney

"Sometimes people want what they think they can't have, when in fact they really could have it, or at least something like it." -- Michael Hurd, in "Do you want what you can't have?" at DrHurd.com

"Just as Americans have become increasingly skeptical of 'global warming' policy proposals based on questionable government-funded climate science, they should be skeptical about mandatory medical practice protocols based on increasingly questionable government-funded medical research." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Government-Funded Medical Research Is Hazardous to Your Health" at PJ Media

My Two Cents

The Hsieh piece cites this gem from a New York Times report: "The higher a journal's impact factor… the higher its retraction rate." I strongly suspect that the problem this piece discusses deserves a large share of the blame for the findings of Dr. John Ioannidis, who once published a paper titled, "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False".

Generally, unless I have a good reason independent of the hype to suspect otherwise, I greet any widely-trumpeted government recommendation regarding my health with great skepticism.


A blogger called "curious rat" is abstaining from the written word for a year:
You might be saying, "Harry, why would you try something like this? Giving up something that enriches our lives on a daily basis is stupid." I'll tell you why. It's because I am too involved with words. I feel like I've only examined books and magazines up close. I spend, on average, 18+ hours a day reading things. Whether they're milk cartons, subway signs, or even bumper stickers, I am way too connected to the written word.

Now I want to see words at a distance. By separating myself from written language, I'll be able to see which aspects of reading are truly valuable, which are distractions, and which ones give me explosive diarrhea.
I, too, have noticed a small rash of bloggers giving up such new technology as social media or even the Internet for a year, as satirized at Curious Rat. That amount of time is patently ridiculous.

I don't deny the value of doing something like this for a shorter amount of time and possibly adjusting one's habits based on the experience: Not only have I blogged on the possible value in being less plugged-in, I take a week off from blogging each year and completely unplugged (save for phoning and minimal texting) for a few days around my daughter's birth nearly a year ago.


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