Friday, November 15, 2019

Jargon File

The very next year, between March and April 1977, we see the beginning of the social acronyms.

This version describes them as “a special set of jargon words, used to save typing” in Talk mode, an early kind of chat. These acronyms include the now unremarkable R U THERE? but also the now obscure BCNU (be seeing you), T and NIL for “yes” and “no,” and CUL, “see you later.”

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tasks of mourning

Many people don't know that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's familiar stages of grieving—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance—were conceived in the context of terminally ill patients learning to accept their own deaths. It wasn't until decades later that the model came to be used for the grieving process more generally.

It's one thing to “accept” the end of your own life… But for those who keep on living, the idea that they should be getting to acceptance might make them feel worse (“I should be past this by now”; “I don't know why I still cry at random times all these years later”).

Besides, how can there be an endpoint to love and loss? Do we even want there to be?

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The reason prices work in a free market

A price is an agreed-upon amount of money for a buy to pay a seller in exchange for goods and/or services.

The definition is not as exciting as reality.

• Sometimes they don't agree.
• Sometimes the price fails, and there's no transaction.
• Sometimes prices exclude some people and not others.
• Sometimes the seller reinvests from what was paid at a high price to enable more product delivery at a lower price.

A potential transaction starts an interaction. Mutual exchange of value is sought. For the seller, the price must be high enough; for the buyer, the value must be high enough and the price low enough. If buyer and seller can agree, then begins the great mystery and intrigue of negotiating over how much overlap there is in the price range for agreement: How much can the buyer pay? Will the seller go lower? If they agree to meet on a price, the transaction can proceed. If not, the transaction fails. In a free market, there is no guarantee, and that uncertainty is exactly why it works so well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

500 Days

I'm half way toward my goal of 1,000 days of writing.

Since I last posted a 100-day update, I realized I do have a single way to see stats on my last 100 days of posting. My two most popular posts in that time were:

• What makes students thrive or flounder

When I first undertook this commitment, I had a lot of writing ideas I wanted to force myself to develop. Once I started, I found many of them I had saved were not as useful as originally thought, mostly due to their now-stale nature. They would have been more useful the time.

Another thing I've noticed in this first half is a daily commitment is a commitment to a very specific length of writing. Some of my posts are more drawn out, and with the nature of blogging it's acceptable to have some be quite short, too. If a point can be made very succinctly, why draw it out further?

What is not as conducive to a daily commitment is longer-form writing. I've had some ideas for longer writing projects, and they've had to take a back seat to the daily writing. I can think of two ways to free myself up for the longer writing.

Monday, November 11, 2019

'We knew we were in the hands of a genius'

Jack Armstrong, my track coach at Abington, was medium height, medium build, with gray hair swept back behind his ears. Every day, he wore the same maroon sweatshirt and windbreaker, the same stopwatch on a lanyard around his neck. And every day, he brought the same positive, cheerful demeanor to work. He never shouted or got angry, just raised or lowered his voice within a narrow range, the slightest change in cadence to get his point across.

“Look at what those guys have just done. And you’re making pretend you’re working out!”

There wasn’t a day I didn’t throw up after practice, sick from the effort.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

An alternative to being judgmental

It's easy to hear something about someone and think nothing but condemnation for them. This helps no one.

Instead, pray for them. Do you believe God can change a person, can deal with whatever is messed up in a person's life?

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

Friday, November 8, 2019

Old early adopters

Some Old Internet People eventually became early adopters of blogs or Twitter, and their facility with internet-mediated social interaction often made them highly visible, influential users.

Some became the first generation of internet researchers, writing up the practices of their own communities.

Others just kept puttering along in their familiar internet byways, and now find themselves having to explain to young whippersnappers that just because they’re older doesn’t mean they don’t know technology—they were programming computers and dialing in via phone lines before said whippersnappers were even born.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

8 life stages

In the mid-1900s, Erikson came up with eight stages of psychosocial development that still guide therapists in their thinking today. … Erikson's psychosocial stages focus on personality development in a social context (such as how infants develop a sense of trust in others).

Most important, Erikson's stages continue throughout the entire lifespan, and each interrelated stage involves a crisis that we need to get through to move on to the next.

They look like this:

Infant (hope)—trust versus mistrust
Toddler (will)—autonomy versus shame
Preschooler (purpose)—initiative versus guilt
School-age child (competence)—industry versus inferiority

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The filthiest language of all

Some people reject the idea of dirty language in the first place. “Who has a right to declare some words dirtier than others,” they ask?

Just like we know we have rights because there are commands against violating those rights, so we know there is unclean language because we are instructed not to use it.

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

Corrupt words are either words that become corrupted or represent corruption. There are things that are clean and holy, and there are things that are—or become—unclean and profane. Words associated with the latter can become profanity.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Why wireless carriers need to allow independent eSIM activation

The Apple Watch is like a mini iPod touch strapped to your wrist.

That was the analogy used by an Apple Store employee in a conversation I had with her last week.

Except an iPod touch doesn't require an iPhone to operate. In fact, an iPod touch has long been known as being like an iPhone without the phone part. It includes everything else such as the ability to use most apps an iPhone can use.

The Apple Watch with just standard GPS has required a phone to operate. It can also then provide a remote control interface to the phone part of the iPhone, along with its own variety of apps, watch faces, etc.

There's also an Apple Watch with LTE. Sprint has a very nice plan that allows for use of the Apple Watch with LTE that includes unlimited talk, text, and data, for $10/month (after $5 autopay discount). Pair that up with some AirPods, and my phone bill would drop yet again.

Last week I was seriously considering porting my number to an Apple Watch. Then I found out that's not allowed.

Monday, November 4, 2019

A cost of ambition

If you want something badly enough, you can find a way. You can create it out of nothing. And before you know it, there it is.

But wanting something isn’t enough.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Unforgivable Sin

A few years back I had the privilege to be part of the teaching rotation for a high school Sunday School class. One week a topic came up that reminded me of a conversation I had in college with a professor. He made the point that not believing in Jesus is the unforgivable sin.

I mentioned that same point in class, and a young man promptly raised his hand, and then said, “Excuse me, isn't blaspheming the Holy Spirit the unforgivable sin?” According to Matthew 3:29 and Luke 12:10, he is correct. It wasn't a primary point I had prepared to address in detail, so I acknowledged he was correct and moved on in the lesson.

My professor had argued that the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is when one rejects the Holy Spirit as He is drawing someone to salvation (John 16:8-11). If you reject salvation in Jesus, then one is “subject to eternal condemnation” (Matthew 3:29).

Friday, November 1, 2019

Old Internet People

As a group, Old Internet People have the highest level of average technological skill, generally knowing a decent inventory of keyboard shortcuts, the basics in a programming language or two, and how to look at the inner workings of a computer behind its graphical user interface.

They’re often skilled in some other specific area, such as computer hardware assembly, browser encryption, Wikipedia editing, or forum moderating.

They’ve got a lot of browser extensions or other custom configuration tools on their computer and can’t imagine living without them.

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You don't launch a popular blog,
you build one.
Seth Godin