Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, March 31, 2017

Three Things

1. Months ago, my son acquired a flimsy blue plastic bracelet and lost it within days. He may have won it when I took him to a friend's birthday at a Chuck E. Cheese's, but I am not certain. In any event, he lost it within a day or so and seemed to have forgotten it -- until the next time he got upset, when he cried, "I can't find my blue bracelet!"

It took me a few moments to realize what he was talking about, but I eventually figured it out. Mrs. Van Horn later purchased for him a couple of nice blue bracelets, but still, he will sometimes make the same complaint when he gets upset or tired. "It's his Rosebud, I guess," I said to Mrs. Van Horn the last time this happened.

2. Discussing our next shoe purchase for the kids, my sleep-deprived wife told me of a shoe sizer from the web site of the store. "Print two," she said.

"Why do we need two?" I asked.

Then, feeling mischievous, I added, "I'll print four."

Justice came swiftly in the form of a quick poke to the ribs.

3. Ayn Rand has become required reading in the UK:

A-level students in the UK will now be called upon to know and understand the core tenets of Rand's philosophy, along with those of other conservative thinkers like Thomas Hobbes and Edmund Burke. (The A-Level politics course also includes the study of liberalists like John Locke and John Stuart Mill, socialists like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, feminists like Simone de Beauvoir, and more.)

"Students will get to grapple with a diverse worldview and build up their own respective intellectual muscles through this new curriculum," says Yaron Brook, chairman of the nonprofit group The Ayn Rand Institute...
The government shouldn't interfere with education at all, much less run it, but given that it currently does, it is good to see an improvement like this.

Weekend Reading

"Unless someone is holding a gun to your head or is outright lying to you, you are never really a victim." -- Michael Hurd, in "Victimhood: Mostly a State of Mind" at The Delaware Wave

"By piously preaching to others, the hypocrite is trying to wish away his or her problems." -- Michael Hurd, in "Hypocrisy is a Full-Time Job" at The Delaware Coast Press

"[W]e face not some nebulous threat from 'terrorists' or 'violent extremists,' but a distinct enemy: the Islamic totalitarian movement." -- Elan Journo, in "The Jihadist Attack in London" at The Times of Israel

"The federal government essentially mandates the increasing use of electronic medical records by doctors and hospitals, which places patient information at increasing risk for being data-mined by any current -- or future -- unscrupulous government authorities." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Doctors Should Not Record Immigration Status Nor Gun Ownership in Patient Charts" at Forbes

Baffled by Nonconformity

Framing a bizarre question for Allison Green of Ask a Manager, a boss sounds completely flabbergasted by the habits of an employee:
She is different, she is under 25 and does not have social media or any internet presence and when her name is searched for nothing comes up. She has a landline and no mobile phone and she doesn't own a TV or any kind of streaming service, and when she isn't job searching she only checks her email once or twice a week. But she doesn't see why using cash [for] a business meal or event is a faux pas or misstep. As her supervisor, am I able to mandate her to use an electronic payment? She has refused all attempts so far and says she won't change.
Except for the television and possibly the credit cards, everything about this person would have been almost unremarkable as little as twenty years ago. In fact, when I was about that age, I went for a few years without owning a television, come to think of it.

-- CAV


Today: Added Hsieh op-ed to Weekend Reading. 


Dinwar said...

That last story goes back to a conversation we had previously, about technology and how people react differently to the different ways people handle it. If this woman were 60 no one would even bat an eye at her lack of internet presence. The only reason it's considered odd is that she's violating expectations--she's not fitting the mold. And I say, good for her! No one should be under any obligation to conform to arbitrary standards they aren't even aware of. Technology is supposed to provide us with tools to improve our lives, not be leashes choking off any sense of individual autonomy.

The cash thing is just weird, though. I do a lot of traveling for work, and while there are some purchases where cash isn't an option (hotel rooms, rental vehicles, airline tickets, etc), I've seen numerous people purchase meals and make small purchases at events using cash. The only way I can see using cash being a faux pas is if the company's paying expenses, and using a corporate credit card to track expenses--in that case, using cash is considered a red flag, because it raises the specter of fraud (an issue easily circumvented by requiring receipts for purchases over $20 or so). This seems like nothing more than another salvo in the war on cash, which means: the war on privacy.

Gus Van Horn said...

Regarding both the cash and the use of technology, Green is with you, and gives great answers, both to the question about cash and the one the manager indirectly raises about technology.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write: Then, feeling mischievous, I added, "I'll print four."

Oh, are you getting a new cat?

(Sad to say, that was my first thought when I read it. Not enough coffee perhaps?)

Gus Van Horn said...

Hah. Could be -- the lack of caffeine, not quite yet on the cat.

My daughter wants a fish, so that might be in the works.

Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write, "Hah. Could be -- the lack of caffeine, not quite yet on the cat." This all reminds me of an amusing story. Many years ago one of my physics professors went out of town for a conference for about a week. He came back on a Saturday night and inspected the lab the next morning (he was an experimentalist), and he left a note on the door, "The cat is BACK." Unfortunately, the point was generally lost--most of his students were Chinese, so when he went in the next morning several of them asked, "Oh, did you get a new cat?!?"