Friday, May 09, 2014
1. I won't quite swear to it, but Little Man
already appears to be using different sounds to refer to his parents: I am
Da-da and Mrs. Van Horn is Ma-ma. He may even be trying to say his big sister's
name. (That last is hard for kids, which probably helps explain why her name
has so many variants and generates so many nicknames.) You can't just ask him,
"Who is that?" to comfirm. (He doesn't understand the question.) I think this
because I have seen him catch sight of one of the others (or me, when Mrs. Van
Horn is holding him) and react with different utterances.
Never one to be out of the limelight for long, my daughter told me yesterday evening that I am her "best friend in the whole world".
We also learned yesterday that their twin cousins, due around fall, will be a boy and a girl.
2. Writer Matt Gemmell, who has done it full time for seven years, offers his advice for working from home. Along with the usual admonitions about things like setting firm boundaries between work life and home life, Gemmell's post is unusual in offering the following reminder:
... Being successful and productive is great, but there comes a point where you're not taking advantage of the fact that you're at home - and you absolutely should.Lots of things about working from home come up over and over again because having to go elsewhere to work makes many of them non-issues for most people. (Who's going to drive to work in pajamas, or not stop by to chat with co-workers?) Others -- like dealing with kids -- come with the territory. The potential for flexibility is great, but it can be very difficult to attain.
3. Pacific Standard carries a thought-provoking story that draws parallels between modern "life hacking" and the "scientific management" movement of a century ago:
In a more spectral fashion, something similar is happening with life-hacking. Rather than putting people in greater control of their lives, it puts them into the service of a stratum of faceless managers, in the form of apps, self-administered charts tracking the minutiae of eating habits and sleep cycles, and the books and buzzwords of gurus. They hum distractingly in the background, like a growing cloud of blackflies.The conventional wisdom is that both movements went "too far", or that process monintoring is useful "up to a point". That's understandable, but wrong. Where both movements go off the rails is when they are pursued regardless of actual priorities. If office workers collectively walk five extra miles a day due to the location of a water fountain, so what? Whatever time that loses may indeed be less of a waste than installing more fountains or permanently hiring someone who concerns himself with such minutiae. (And the chance meetings among workers it causes could indeed offer unseen benefits in terms of comeraderie.) It is when "efficiency" is pursued for some process in near-total disregard for its greater context that such efforts become ridiculous.
4. One Lee Sallows has written a quine-like palindromic sentence. Follow its instructions and you will have reproduced it. That gave me a chuckle.