Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mouse vs. Pen

It seems that even the sturdiest off-brand laptops have their limits in terms of durability. When a keyboard's circuit board cracks after three years and a frequently used number key becomes significantly less reliable, it's time to shop around.

I had not been aware of Microsoft releasing its Surface Go line of products this year. Apparently it's an attempt to win an increasing slice of the student market. I saw a deal for one on Craigslist and picked one up this weekend.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Future of Value, Travel Edition

Travel options are becoming increasingly granular, both in time and space.

Just as one person once owned a vast amount of land and now a smaller area is home to more than a million people, so, too, travel options can become increasingly small.

For instance, Hilton has launched a micro-hotel chain called Motto. “The average Motto guest room will be 163 square feet, which is about half the size of a room in Hampton by Hilton.”

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Future of Value

There are two trends in employment of which we would do well to maintain awareness in the decades to come.

The first is increased specialization. People don't just go into the law anymore, they become a specific type of lawyer. People don't just work in technology, IT, or even Web development anymore, they focus on and specialize in very specific parts of that which have grown into fully developed and established positions. Expertise has become more granular.

This extends down the chain, too. Some things that paralegals once did may now be broken up into eight different specialties. Sometimes these specialties may be part of a process, so, like circuits, they may not just be parallel areas of expertise, but may operate in series at times.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Drifting Into Monarchy

Human nature being what it is, I suppose we must expect to drift into monarchy by and by. It is a saddening thought, but we cannot change our nature: we are all alike, we human beings; and in our blood and bone, and ineradicable, we carry the seeds out of which monarchies and aristocracies are grown: worship of gauds, titles, distinctions, power.

We have to worship these things and their possessors, we are all born so, and we cannot help it. We have to be despised by somebody whom we regard as above us, or we are not happy; we have to have somebody to worship and envy, or we cannot be content.
Twain, Mark. Chapters from My Autobiography (Kindle Locations 1408-1412). Kindle Edition.

This is why vigilance against tyranny is always necessary.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Nothing More

I came across a description of a beloved form of work:

“The definition of superb animation is that each character on the screen makes you believe it is a thinking being. Whether it’s a T-Rex or a slinky dog or a desk lamp, if viewers sense not just movement but intention—or, put another way, emotion—then the animator has done his or her job. It’s not just lines on paper anymore; it’s a living, feeling entity. This is what I experienced that night, for the first time, as I watched Donald leap off the page. The transformation from a static line drawing to a fully dimensional, animated image was sleight of hand, nothing more, but the mystery of how it was done—not just the technical process but the way the art was imbued with such emotion—was the most interesting problem I’d ever considered” (Creativity, Inc., Kindle Locations 270-275).

There was a familiarity to me in this description:

“They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat” (Psalm 115:5-7). “They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there any breath in their mouths” (Psalm 135:16-17).

Sunday, December 9, 2018

John Chau's Lingering Question

Missionary and martyr John Chau wrote in his journal that he didn't want to die, and then asked, “Who will take my place if I do?”

It's a powerful question because the North Sentinelese people still need to know about Jesus.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gene Editing

I once read there was a time a couple thousand years ago when the great ethical question in medicine was whether or not piercing the skin was morally acceptable or not. Since then we've discovered and become quite familiar with various internal organs. Surgeons who operate on them are internists.

The great ethical question in medicine during our time seems to center on our arrival at the cusp of being able to modify and control the human genome. Will the human genome become as familiar to medicine as internal organs are today? Will we even have a name for specialists who can reprogram human development?

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Seth Godin