Friday Four

Friday, December 04, 2015

1. An HBL member recently pointed to a near-prophetic cartoon about "microaggression." (Trigger warning: Some white devil wrote it.) Gary Trudeau could have quit while he was ahead, one frame early, but artistic license demanded it, as my chuckles attest.

2. Carsten Dominik is speaking about his creation, Emacs Org-Mode, but he could just as well be discussing how to adopt any personal productivity system:

Don't try to set up the "final" task managing system from the start. Because you have no idea yet what your system should look like. Don't set up many TODO states and logging initially, before you actually have a feeling for what you working flow is. Don't define a context tag "@computer" just because David Allen has one, [and] even though you are sitting at a computer all the time anyway! Start by creating and managing a small TODO list and then develop your own system as the needs arises. I wrote Org-mode to enable this development process.
Another possibility is that the attempt to swallow a whole new way of doing things will cause one to give up entirely -- ironically from the feeling of being overwhelmed that such systems are supposed to prevent or mitigate.

By the way, although I haven't gone through it and can't vouch for it, I recently encountered something that purports to be "The Ultimate Guide to Personal Productivity Methods."

3. What would you do if you were paid to do nothing?
The first thing you deal with in a work environment with no work to do is the insecurity that comes from the peering eyes of your co-workers. Even though you have been told to do nothing, it still feels wrong to graze on the Internet or read a book at your desk while, all around you, actual work is being done.
The author of the above quit. The job that is. Living beings can't really do nothing, anyway.

4. Allow this dark meat guy to greet the most recent advance in growing chicken meat in the lab with some skepticism (on top of the fact that I regard using animals for food as good):
"We are targeting the development of a tissue-engineered chicken breast, which is a popular choice for a main course in many cultures and countries, to test feasibility of the concept and, in particular, to identify gaps in knowledge and challenges on the route to commercial production," said [Amit] Gefen, who hopes to develop a meat free of animal tissues or byproducts.
Ugh. Chicken breast. Tough, flavorless meat does nothing for me. But at least this lab isn't turning perfectly good thigh meat into breast, like the one I heard about years ago.

Perhaps after enough of this junk hits the market, dark meat will evolve into a delicacy in the same way lobster did. Heh.

-- CAV


Steve D said...

I have to agree with you on this one. The dark meat is superior in taste and texture. I can't figure out why so many people prefer white meat to the point where some places don't even give you a choice.

Same principle with MacDonald's French fries, dry and taste like cardboard (compared to what you get at a chip truck) but people go nuts over them.

Same goes for bread, rice, Molson or Labatt's beer etc.

Gus Van Horn said...


On the list, I think acculturation is the driving factor: Most people don't question what they grow up with, at least until they see a good reason. Even then, blandness sometimes wins. That's true in my case with rice. (Perhaps I just don't like rice. I see it the same way I see bread or pasta, as more of a platform for the real entree than actual food, and for which flavor would be an intrusion.)

But with white chicken, there's another factor or two: Most people buy the idea that it's a healthy food, or at least "healthier" than dark meat. (Perhaps also feeding into the idea is the common notion that for something to be good for you, it should be less enjoyable.) I think you have to take that into account because (until that nefarious lab I mentioned), we haven't been processing meat, and the choice has usually been available.