11-9-13 Hodgepodge

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Cruising to Work

I am always interested in learning about offbeat places to work, and this blog posting on the advantages of working during cruises did not disappoint.

The number one enemy of productivity is distraction, either in the form of entertainment or things like chores and phone calls which feel productive but break up the day. Cruise ships are a remarkable way to eliminate all of those things. Efficiency can be so high on a cruise ship that I schedule things like entire rewrites of major sections of Sett or the writing of a brand new book for the two-week cruise.
Having a wife and two young kids, I am unlikely to avail myself of this option any time in the near future, but it's definitely filed away. For anyone who might be able to use the idea now, the author has supplied a link to a tool that can help find very cheap cruises.

Weekend Reading

"At least when the Mafia shakes down local shopkeepers, they don't try to pretend that it's for the victims' own good." -- Paul Hsieh, in "ObamaCare and the Wages of Spin" at PJ Media

"Anyone looking for inspiration from a turnaround situation -– whether in business, career, or sport –- can find plenty of it in the amazing story of the 2013 Boston Red Sox." -- Richard Salsman, in "How Those Amazing Red Sox Did It Once Again" at Forbes

"On the other hand, I have observed that parents who believe that raising a child is not automatic -- that one must decide upon principles and strategies to guide them -- derive more satisfaction from being a parent." -- Michael Hurd, in "Are You Really Happy?" at The Delaware Wave

"[T]he fact that so many humans disappoint gives pets a potential edge they wouldn't otherwise have." -- Michael Hurd, in "For the Love of Pets" at The Delaware Coast Press

"Hatred for the achievers is the outward projection of their own self-loathing." -- Harry Binswanger, in "When It Comes to Hate, the Left Beats the Right, Hands Down " at Forbes

"The bottom line is that Atlas Shrugged isn't an economics text or a business how-to manual, it's a brilliant novel of ideas that challenges conventional thinking on every major issue in life -- not just money, but work, family, politics, and even sex." -- Steve Simpson, in "Atlas Shrugged Is a Book About Pride in One's Work, and the Success That Results" at Forbes

In Further Detail

The Hsieh article linked above provides quite the litany of bugs (i.e., broken promises) regarding ObamaCare that are now being touted as features.

Compassion for Cockroaches

"Roboroach", a phone app and a small electronic circuit that can be attached to a cockroach and used to control its movements, is causing quite the uproar:
Animal behaviour scientist Jonathan Balcombe has been quoted on US scientific websites as saying that the insects are harmed in the process.

"If it was discovered that a teacher was having students use magnifying glasses to burn ants and then look at their tissue, how would people react?" he is quoted as saying.

Likewise Queen's University philosophy Professor Michael Allen warned that the device will "encourage amateurs to operate invasively on living organisms" and "encourage thinking of complex living organisms as mere machines or tools".
Regarding the first of Allen's points: How are "amateurs" to become professionals (or at least come to realize they might want to become professionals)? Regarding the second, read on.

While I don't condone being cruel to animals for the hell of it, I oppose the notion that they have rights, specifically that harming them for the sake of learning or advancing scientific knowledge is wrong. As for whether using the device can stunt empathy, isn't that where parents and educators should be stepping in? This tool controls the motions of a cockroach, not the mind of its user.


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