- AOTD on 9/3/20 - Scout: jlciprianijlcipriani3 weeks ago
Hard to explain why this moved me enough to post. Not extraordinary in any way - except how evocative it is of the kind of day where watching an animal move across the yard seems like a mediation and a blockbuster movie in one.
- -0 pts - Scout: jeffthemarkup.org | 5 min5 reads5 comments10themarkup.org5 min5 reads10jlcipriani4 months ago
I have to be the Lorax here and speak for the towns. Many municipalities have all employees working from home. Even if that is not an overall policy, the law provides that employees who have school-aged children or have been in contact with someone who has the virus, etc. can stay home. If the records that are requested are easily accessed via computer it should be no problem to provide them in a timely fashion. If someone is asking for an older record or for a document which is otherwise not accessible, it is not unreasonable to take additional time to provide same.
- -0 pts - Scout: billjlcipriani5 months ago
Thank you for writing this- for being willing to keep your toes feeling for traction on the slippery pool bottom.
Sometimes making a simple declarative statement - shorn of any claim to eloquence or insight or other dazzle dazzle - can be that toehold.
I love reading your writing. See you on the other side of these particular strange days.
- AOTD on 3/4/20 - Scout: Alexajlcipriani6 months ago
I like this idea a lot. My management responsibilities have recently ratcheted up to 11. Figuring out how to have others to make choices and take the responsibility (and let go myself) is now critical.
- AOTD on 2/27/20 - Scout: deephdave
Terrific article about an amazing endeavor - with the same engaging tone and inclusion of odd little facts that makes Wikipedia such a joy. You can feel the pleasure the Wikipedia contributors get out of writing the articles - and you can feel how much fun this guy has writing this article.
- AOTD on 2/21/20 - Scout: bill
Excellent article. Marling does such a great job at describing the existing paradigm- and the difficulty of creating a new model from something close to scratch.
Although my job is approximately a gazillion miles away from Hollywood - the question of how to function and lead and succeed in an environment which only values male attributes and approval has recently moved from the background into sharp and daily focus. While I am nowhere near figuring this stuff out, asking the right question - so well-framed by Marling - feels like fresh air.
- # 47217 pts - Scout: jbuchana
Absolutely what I am grappling with right now. Waking up from a year of tremendous work absorption to find I have forgotten how not to be either busy or in a busyness recovery coma. Looking forward to remembering/learning how.
- AOTD on 1/14/20 - Scout: AlexaGEN | Elizabeth Wurtzel | 1/8/20 | 26 min7 reads4 comments10GENElizabeth Wurtzel|1/8/20|26 min7 reads10jlcipriani8 months ago
Absolutely wonderful. How it is to be a person presented in the Percy and accurate mix of bracing clarity and glorious jumble.
- AOTD on 12/28/19 - Scout: billjlcipriani8 months ago
Wonderful writing. I just wish it lasted a tiny bit longer - I want him safely on the ground. I am unsettled by leaving him up there, so far from the ground.
- -0 pts - Scout: jlciprianijlcipriani10 months ago
Such a definite and heartfelt yes for me. Early on in the blog post you touched on something I feel so strongly about - the importance of making room for surprise by avoiding overly curating our experiences. Increasingly we are invited to preselect what comes our way - to listen, watch, read only what we already know we will like and agree with. Country music is a revelation partially because we have been told that we won’t like it - even though millions of our fellow humans love it. We have been way oversold on the high of being/knowing better than - and way undersold on the joy of humble non-judgmental pleasures.
- AOTD on 11/15/19 - Scout: billjlcipriani10 months ago
What I remember being kind of fun was the commonality of experience when there were fewer shows- the closest thing to that I have experienced in years was Game of Thrones. Now there are devoted fandoms for almost everything- but those fandoms are less likely to contain loads of diversity, so the conversations engendered aren’t quite as rich.
On the whole, this piece seems to fall squarely into the,”something lost, something gained through change,” rubric which applies to everything in the universe except the invention of dishwashers.
- AOTD on 7/25/19 - Scout: tdsimpson90
The difference between, “this is a super hard step on the right path,” and. “this is a super hard indicator that I must change something and reconceive my path,” is so difficult to perceive while in the thickest part of the thicket.
- -0 pts - Scout: jlcipriani
Appreciation a really seeing, feeling, smelling the thing - whatever the thing may be - that is the whole game. This piece is such a good reminder of that - it doesn’t matter what the road to appreciation is - or what the thing being appreciated is - is is somehow getting to that place where the wonder almost anything can engender seeps around the edges of our perpetual distraction. The sunset and the shower and the WiFi and the deer and Andrew Carnegie are all there - just usually so hard to really see. Thank you.
- -0 pts - Scout: erica
Loved this. And it seems to me that the Cuyahogans enthusiasm for their modest park and average river and Bill’s enthusiasm for his crusty mug concoction and muddy runs are the same thing- almost musical satisfaction with what suits the particular soul.
- AOTD on 1/18/19 - Scout: bill
I am afraid of this phenomenon in myself. I feel the jittery hunger for constant small dollops of experience and information. I am like a duck that has been perceptually been fed bread chunks thrown directly at it and has lost the patience for the unreliable dive.
- AOTD on 1/20/19 - Scout: bill
I liked this a lot. It felt very true to me about how decisions are made. The aspiration part of decision making is like making a vision board and taking actions in support of those visions - where the actions are not necessarily enjoyable in the short run- but are believed to be beneficial at creating a better, more satisfying future life and/or version of one’s self.
I find making small decisions easy- because the consequences of such decisions are often easy to see and are low risk. Larger decisons are often paralyzing for me because I both see so many potential consequences for myself and others - and because I am vividly aware that there are multiple consequences that I cannot imagine.
It is a complete cliche - but not actively making a decision actually is making a decision - it is opting for the status quo- but it is also choosing to allow event to unfold and move your life without attempting to steer - a risky path- but not always a negative one.
The best and most important change I ever made - becoming a mother- was more acceptance of the outcome of ignorance (there are no residual effects of ingesting birth control pills last month) and being in circumstances that didn’t militate strongly in favor of termination (recently married, working a job I hated, law school deferment easily gained) and a sense of unexpected adventure - like someone offering me a free flight to Tanzania. And from that collection of half thoughts- three new people came into being - my daughter, my husband as father and myself as mother.
- AOTD on 1/16/19 - Scout: billThe Guardian | Alexandra Spring | 1/10/19 | 5 min14 reads7 comments-The GuardianAlexandra Spring|1/10/19|5 min14 reads-
I really see no reason that Marie Kondo has a responsibility to address the environmental crisis in any way of she does not feel internally compelled to do so. Alexandra Spring clearly felt so compelled - but instead of trusting her position on wastefulness to persuade on its own merits - Spring hitchhikes on Marie Kondo's fame to get where she wants to go while carping that Kondo didn't buy a Prius.
Kondo makes her own excellent point and has improved the quality of many people's lives in her own way, delivering her own message. There is nothing about being successful at delivering a message in which she believes (message A) which make Kondo responsible for delivering a different message (message B) because someone else believes that message B is positive and important.
Jillian - maybe the term you are looking for is self-righteous fame parasite?
- AOTD on 1/10/19 - Scout: bill
The tricky part about this particular delusion is both that there is so much actual observation of one all the time - and that we are encouraged to be fascinated by ourselves as a sign of self-love and self-care. It’s not hard to see how mental illness could easily latch onto these phenomena.
Is it super weird that I might watch a Truman Show-type show about a bipolar Olympic sailor?
- AOTD on 1/2/19 - Scout: geolina
I found this moving and lovely and deeply sad - which I guess is really just a response to our bone-deep human need for connection and care - and the wrenching emptiness when that connection and care are absent. I was initially most troubled by the deceptive aspects - not the man hiring a fake wife and daughter, where all parties are aware of the nature of the interaction- but the fake weddings and apologies and thinner parents (ouch) and boyfriends. Some (but not all, I am too American for that) of my outrage was abated by the passage describing the significance that societal expectations play in Japan and the gratitude that the wife expressed for her husband hiring fake parents to save her the difficulty of dealing with the fact that his actual parents are dead. I think that the issue of whether there can be unconditional love without the exchange of money mistakenly conflates the concepts of love and care. Love is the feeling, and care can be either the expression of such feeling, or a commodity. It is the concept of unconditional love which is blindly exalted in our society without examination. Love that survives ill-treatment is certainly a reality - but that is not the same as an unlimited willingness to provide care in any form for an unlimited amount of time or regardless of one’s own circumstances and emotional or financial resources.
- AOTD on 12/25/18 - Scout: erica
I have never been prouder to be from New Jersey. This is clearly (as one would have suspected) a story about magic. Glitter (like magic) defies comprehensible explanation. It is more phenomenon than product. It is the thing that shines without reason - and without purpose other than to enhance reality.
- AOTD on 12/12/18 - Scout: TrashMinky
Being involved in a lot of negotiations, I definitely recognize the way the asshole/non-asshole dynamic plays out. It also matters what happens once the negotiation is concluded. If the result is that no deal is reached, it is seldom actual Yahtzee-playing and smiles. That may occur on the surface, but the failure to conclude a needed deal actually generates more long term bad feeling than reaching a deal where neither side is completely satisfied with the terms initially. In essence, being an asshole in negotiation is advocating for long term benefit while being super agreeable in negotiation can be just playing for the short term benefit of maintaining pleasant feelings at the moment at the expense of long term goals. Note: I find it way easier to be an asshole on behalf of others than in situations where I am advocating for myself.
- AOTD on 6/14/18 - Scout: bill
Is this actually a problem or just another phenomenon to which people respond positively or negatively based on personality and habits? I completely understand that social media can be experienced as destructively hypnotic and energy draining or merely boring/unpleasant. And I certainly know people (see the other comments on this article) who have tried it and decided it was taking more than it was giving and exited left. However, I do not know anyone (not old, young or even wildly young) who has lost the ability to engage in person - to express interest and compassion and make eye contact and gather round a pizza and crack jokes. Does anyone else actually know people who have been socially hobbled by Facebook and its progeny?
- AOTD on 6/5/18 - Scout: bill
"Local papers in Albany portrayed him as an eccentric, appealing genius, noting that he slept only a few hours a night and could juggle and unicycle."
It feels like his whole piece in the organization was a combination of juggling and riding the unicycle. Juggling all the manipulated and exploited needs (including the need for a sense of empowerment) and riding the unicycle of his own ego gratification and goofy self-aggrandization ( I am super special and have always been super special -watch me do Rubik cubes and have sex slaves and find mysterious polo shirts).
- AOTD on 6/4/18 - Scout: billThe Outline | Drew Millard | 5/31/18 | 3 min7 reads3 comments-The OutlineDrew Millard|5/31/18|3 min7 reads-
I have never felt so old in my life. These guys really seem to lack the élan needed to fill this particular ark. There is something so silly about starting your revolutionary new governmental structure by writing a check for $44.50 to record a deed with the Clerk of Elko County, Nevada. It all feels like the Shakers without the nice furniture.
- AOTD on 5/30/18 - Scout: billThe Cut | Jessica Pressler | 5/29/18 | 45 min17 reads7 comments-The CutJessica Pressler|5/29/18|45 min17 reads-
These stories of fabulous fabulists are so satisfying - somehow marrying the pleasures of fantasy and detection. At a distance the absurdities and falsehoods seem so evident - but persuasive charm doesn't often survive distance. It's much harder to question someone right in front of you whose implausible assertions are swaddled in total confidence and and unlikely charisma.
- AOTD on 5/25/18 - Scout: billThe New York Times Company | Charles McGrath | 5/23/18 | 21 min3 reads6 comments-The New York Times CompanyCharles McGrath|5/23/18|21 min3 reads-
Clearly extraordinary output and outsized influence - I feel like I should get to know his books better, but I don't actually want to read them. I have the same itchy bemusement now I remember from reading Portnoy's Complaint 35 years ago. Roth seems so interested in himself that he feels like a closed set within which writer and reader must have the same mindset to be admitted to the club of mutual self-regard.
- AOTD on 11/7/18 - Scout: ericaWIRED | WIRED Staff | 8/24/17 | 15 min27 reads12 comments-WIREDWIRED Staff|8/24/17|15 min27 reads-
The realization that life is fragile. that tomorrow is never guaranteed - is so powerful, and so counterintuitive, that it lands with a thud each time. In all likelihood, tomorrow will come, and the day and year and decade after that. So we all plan for the uncertain future. Even those of us (like me) who are not future thinkers and don't have real plans still have a general vision of things the future is likely to contain.
It is unsettling to read how all assumptions about and hopes for the future have to be revised so completely. Suddenly the future means a year, two years at the outside, five at the outer edge of hope. Once that happens - it makes sense that what feels important is so much about love and fun. If I knew I only had that kind of time, I don't think I would be willing to give very much of it to work - but I probably would because of money. Note to self: buy more lottery tickets
- AOTD on 7/7/18 - Scout: billNational Archives | 11/4/15 | 25 min5 reads13 comments-National Archives11/4/15|25 min5 reads-
I enjoyed this tremendously! Please forgive me in advance for how much I am about to rant and ramble.
It is interesting to read the original text without the Bill of Rights - especially since the Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments) were adopted simultaneously - and the Constitution would likely not have been ratified if those Amendments were not in the hopper. Except for setting up the initial elections and appointment of the Supreme Court, the Constitution was never really interpreted in the absence of the Bill of Rights.
My overriding though on reading the Constitution is what an unbelievably good job they did at creating a workable model of addressing many of the problems of the day - particularly in balancing federal and state powers and rights.
Bill - the word soup of Article VII is mostly interesting in that it establishes that the ratification of only nine states out of thirteen was required. I did not realize that unanimity was not required - which contrasts with the Declaration of Independence which required unanimity. Difference between declaring rebellion and in setting up governmental structure? It is indicates a willingness to risk withdrawal of certain states -which is very surprising.
A few other things which struck me as I read through were the way Article I balances big state/small state concerns. Big states (in terms of population) get more power in the House, but all states get the same representation in the Senate. Skillful compromise. No one is completely happy, but everyone can live with it. The differing terms of the Representatives (2 years) and Senators (6 years) are the clearest model I know of the representative theory of government (elected officials need to do exactly what constituents want) and trustee model (elected officials are trusted to exercise judgment). Representatives are essentially always running for office while Senators have a cushion of years in which they can prove their judgment to constituents before having to run again.
I am a trustee fan all the way - in my vast experience of local government - many issues are far more complicated and far more effected by existing laws than most people have the time (or sometimes the capability) to grasp. Government by popular vote on all issues would be a nightmare. The whole point of much of the Bill of Rights - like the First Amendment is to establish certain values which are protected from the majority - attempts to ban flag burning is a perfect example of that phenomenon. Majority wanted to ban, courts said no - protected expressive speech.
It is interesting to me as a lawyer how interpretation of such seemingly innocuous provisions as the Commerce Clause (Art. I, Sec, 4) have been so deeply impactful in the waxing and waning of congressional power over the states.
I kind of love the language in Art I, Section 5 that Congress can compel members who are not present to attend. I have this image of drunken Senators being hauled out of bars and brothels.
The balance of power between the Legislative and Executive branches is primarily established by Art. I Section 7. The control over the money and the ability to override a veto are the core of Congressional power over the President. This Congressional ability to thwart the President feels positive or negative depending who the President is - right now, I am all for it.
I also like the fact that Art I establishes all these things we completely take for granted, but which were obviously issues at the time - no nobility, no state can tax exports from another state, no state armies. I thought it was interesting that immigration was up to the states until 1808 - so the Constitution provided each state wit a ten year window to let in whoever it wanted.
Article II contains the suddenly popular Emoluments Clause. The interpretation of this in the coming year will be fascinating. Modern definition is compensation or benefit arising from an office - but the definition at the time of ratification was simply any benefit.
The simplicity of Article III establishing the federal judiciary is brilliant - and almost compelled by the separation of powers doctrine. If the judiciary is to be independent, it cannot be subject to too much regulation or oversight by any other branch. Appointing federal judges for life risks old cranky or loopy judges - but it also enhances independence.
Oe of the provisions which may have outlived its usefulness is the creation of diversity jurisdiction. The diversity referred to is diversity of state residency. In 1790, it was far more likely that a state judge sitting in Virginia would automatically favor a Virginia resident over a Maryland resident (and therefore the Maryland resident would need a more neutral federal forum) than it is today. However, I suppose that could still be a factor in states which have elected judges - which I think is an absolutely terrible idea - the last thing we need is judges who are more concerned with being re-elected than in interpreting the law.
There are about thirty other things which struck me - but I realize I have already written way, way too much. So I will stop.
- AOTD on 11/4/18 - Scout: ericaThe United States has had the most ambitious researchprogram in Antarctica for 50 years. But our reportersjourneyed there and found the infrastructure is agingand deteriorating, and the new price tags are high.The New York Times Company | JUSTIN GILLIS, JONATHAN CORUM | 7/17/17 | 12 min16 reads21 comments-The New York Times CompanyJUSTIN GILLIS, JONATHAN CORUM|7/17/17|12 min16 reads-
Definitely read more like a human interest story about the rugged-yet-festive inhabitants of McMurdo than an informative piece about the importance of the research being done. I am prepared to believe that the ice and space research is enormously significant - but this article does not enable to explain why. The author appears to believe that every reader will have an pre-existing grasp on the work being done and an intuitive response that anything Republicans want to cut must be worth preserving.
- AOTD on 4/15/18 - Scout: carrie23
OMG!!!!! What godawful pretentious self-involved twaddle! I disliked this piece and this author so much on first reading that I may try to go back and read it again on a different day to see if my capacity for compassion will reassert itself. Right now I just feel dismissive and rejecting. I find his tone throughout to be unbearably self-congratulatory - he is impressed with himself for going to Ivy League schools - and equally impressed with himself for how insightful he is at noting the perceived ill-effects of attending Ivy League schools. A little less narcissism might have helped him to notice that hardworking people are as common as ID card systems - even out among the plumbers, public university-attendees and other incomprehensible members of the hoi polloi.
He takes no responsibility for his own social skills – and apparently he entered college bereft of any other influences and has never spoken to anyone since who didn’t attend an Ivy. Parents (a frequent source of social skills training), friends, teachers, TV, Stephen King – nothing seems to have impacted his view of the world at all. It’s actually pretty sad. Now I kind of feel like a jerk for railing about him.
The most interesting thought in the article was the Emerson quote that, “one of the purposes of friendship is to equip you for solitude.” I see how friendship – with its joys and rigors may equip one to enjoy solitude – but am less sure how it equips one to handle solitude except through reflecting on pleasant memories and the anticipation of future time with friends.
- AOTD on 10/7/18 - Scout: tomcfadAn 18-Year-Old Girl Died From a Synthetic Opioid She Bought Online. Here’s How Portland Police Cracked the Case.Willamette Week | 22 min32 reads50 comments-Willamette Week22 min32 reads-
I thought the article (allowing for boosterism and a amateurish repetitiveness) was well done. There is little I understand about the dark web and synthetic opioids, but this article did inch me forward.
The Len Bias rule debate is essentially the difficulty of distinguishing but-for causation (X would not have died in the car accident but for the fact that the man in front of her at 7-11 had not bought 30 lottery tickets) and proximate causation (X would not have died in the car accident if the guy who hit her had not run a red light). Foreseeability is the distinguishing factor. Some of the comments on the article itself (which were on the whole distasteful n a wide variety of ways) posit that Aisha's voluntary ingestion of a substance she knew to be potentially lethal negates any legal responsibility that "Tedalicus" (which itself should be a felony) has for the foreseeable consequences of selling that substance. There are many, many things which are sold which can foreseeably cause death if misused (guns, alcohol, rat poison, cars) but this seems different to me in that this substance (at least as presented in the article) foreseeably causes death when used in the amount and manner intended by the seller. I would not hold the gun manufacturer or dealer responsible if Aisha really had died playing Russian roulette because the use of holding the gun to one's head is not an intended use - but if there was a one in six chance of a fatal backfire every time one shot a gun, I would feel differently.
- -0 pts - Scout: billThe New York Times Company | DAVID SHIMER | 6/20/17 | 4 min2 reads4 comments-The New York Times CompanyDAVID SHIMER|6/20/17|4 min2 reads-
While I am not familiar with German law post-Hogan's Heroes, a statute requiring removal of questionable speech and lacking any appeal process would definitely not survive a First Amendment challenge in the U.S..
The availability of easy public expression of uninformed ugliness of all kinds reduces rational public dialogue and creates a craving ever-increasing levels of inflammatory rhetoric. Nonetheless, government regulation of speech is both inherently intrusive and unlikely to be ineffective.
- -0 pts - Scout: jamieCNN | Jay Croft and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN | 6/5/17 | 5 min4 reads13 comments-CNNJay Croft and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN|6/5/17|5 min4 reads-
This article states that it did not appear that this particular shooter had a conceal carry permit for the weapon used. It does not indicate whether he had any kind of permit to own the weapon, or if an owner's permit (as distinguished from a carry permit) is required for this weapon in Florida. In New Jersey, the DUI conviction would not render him ineligible for a gun permit unless there were additional proofs that he was a, "habitual drunkard." The marijuana possession charge would only disqualify him if it was a felony conviction carrying a sentence of more than 6 months. The article noted that the police had been called to the same workplace where he committed these murders for a battery complaint. However, there is no indication of a conviction. A charge without a conviction would not be a disqualifier in the absence of additional negative indicators.
I find the most chilling aspect of this incident is that it illustrates the impossibility of assessing the risk of violence from an offended employee or co-worker or casual acquaintance or work contact. In short, how does one distinguish between the merely odd, the definitely weird and the deeply crazy?
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