We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Via Insty, "... many religious Christians of a traditionalist bent believed that liberals not only reduce their deeply held beliefs to bigotry, but want to run them out of their jobs, close down their stores and undermine their institutions."
With Obama in office all of the news was good… or at least spun to look as positive as possible. For the next four years at least you can expect to see headlines like the one linked above. Everything is terrible and there is nothing good upon the land as long as Trump is in charge.
There are no set strength or endurance goals that fit everybody. Reasonable strength goals for general fitness - not for great power - vary by body type, neuro-muscular constitution, age, sex, talent, etc.
I know a gal, much younger than me, who can deadlift 300 comfortably. She is a school teacher.
My trainer and I, after 18 months, have decided that realistic goals for me are to bench my body weight (which is 165 lbs now - up ten lbs of muscle and sinew in the past 8 months as my boss predicted and required, while my waist is down to where it was 15 years ago - from 37" to 35"), barbell squat my body weight a few times, deadlift 200 a few times, and do maybe 5 pull-ups. Have you done a pull-up lately? I remember when I could do ten or more. Never again, for certain. I can not do military press, alas, due to shoulder damage.
That is realistic, not ambitious and I am certain many readers are much stronger. After reaching those strength goals, it will be mostly about maintaining, preventing decay and deterioration. Sure, I'd like to be stronger, but I wouldn't mind being taller, more handsome, and smarter too. Regarding endurancegoals - that's a different topic.
So yes, those are relatively modest goals for many but I have an ectomorphic runner's build, some grey hair, and I am about fitness and conditioning anyway, not body-building.
How are our friends doing with their efforts? Do you have goals? Goals are necessary in every endeavor, I feel.
Here's what I told my 15 year old daughter: "Hillary's loss does not mean that your hopes and aspirations can't be fulfilled. And the path that Hillary blazed is still the best path for achieving those hopes and aspirations. So go to college, find a man who is bright and engaging and ambitious. Do everything you can to help him reach those ambitions. Stick with that husband, no matter how badly he treats you, because it is through his successes (and the credit that you deserve for those successes) that you can achieve your own success. "
So what does a Master Persuader do when he needs to create a good first impression to last for years? He looks around for any opportunity that is visible, memorable, newsworthy, true to his brand, and easy to change.
Once again, we are seeing what is a core failing of technocracy. Public policy is about trade-offs. In a liberal democracy, the people, through their representatives, wrangle over these trade-offs and arrive at a compromise that satisfies most people well enough to keep the peace. Logic is not what drives these deliberations. Tradition, culture and vested interests play the leading roles. Smart people know how to create a better health system, for example, but getting everyone to go along with it is impossible.
Mrs. Barrister and I update our address book whenever we feel forced to, but only get around to revising our Christmas Card subset of the address book every several years.
Doing Christmas cards is an important tradition, an annual rite of connection. Also, one more holiday hassle. At our house we tend to get around to sending Christmas cards biennially because of the challenge of getting good, full-family photos but we are giving up on that challenge this year. It just didn't happen. We wanted everybody on horses in Montana, but assembling family is herding cats. The purpose of the photo is to prove your continued existence, but all it reveals is your aging and the touch of grey.
Anyway, what I wanted to say was that revising the Christmas list is mostly sad, not cheerful. You see how many have died, moved far away, divorced, or moved entirely out of your lives with no known address. The cheerful side is to stay in touch with those who have moved too far to see with any frequency or at all, and to acknowledge the new good friends you have made since your last revision.
We have been blessed with lasting friendships going back to grade school and prep school, and ones as new as this year. I will never move, as many do, to Florida for taxes or hot weather or, God forbid, California, as many friends seem to do. It pains me when people move away. Some people can not stay put, can live happily with shallower roots. Like restless pioneers, they move on and build rich new lives wherever they go. We do not have that ability or that restlessness; we do not want to rip the relationship fabric or the Yankee territorial fabric of our life however imperfect or highly-taxed it may be - and it is not meaningfully imperfect anyway - just expensive.
This post is my Christmas Card from Connecticut to all of our good readers, site visitors, fellow contributors and friendly bloggers. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Cheery Solstice, and God bless us, every one.
People who rise to the top of organizations generally have more important skills than pure IQ. Knowing how to manage people up, sideways, and down is an essential organizational skill. So is knowing how to keep emotion out of it all, how to maintain a professional distance from others without being cold or aloof, how to gain authority without being a jerk, calm social and organizational judgement, and so on.
People who start their own businesses or other organizations often learn such things slowly, by trial and error. In my career, I found Covey's classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to be quite useful.
Perhaps professionalism can be learned, but not taught.
A nice benefit of Maggie's website management are notifications when posts are shared.
Validation is always welcome. It's great to see someone pick up on your writing and think "I am glad I was able to add to the discussion." I believe this holds when a piece is shared on a site opposing what you've written. I'm not interested in an echo chamber.
Twenty months after writing this post on data, I received notification of its inclusion on another site. Upon reading, one might be inclined to believe I'm not a fan of data. Not true, I just don't put my full faith in everything as it is presented, or simply because it's presented, to me.
Since my post, 20 months have passed and nothing has changed. In fact the 2016 election was an example of organizations simply accepting data, becoming reliant on it, while few questioned its value. The data left me, and many others, inclined to believe Hillary would win. At the same time, it left me angry about how it was presented in a "See? We have more information and you don't know what's really going on" manner. The day of the election, however, the long lines I saw (in New York City) left me with the impression the data may not be telling the whole story. If Hillary voters in a safe city were turning out in droves, I came to the conclusion turnout would be high across the board, and high turnout usually coincides with a desire for change. The data itself may not be 'wrong' but whoever was using it was doing so improperly.
Higher Ed today entails so many more things than it seemed to in the elite colleges that I was familiar with as a lad. They were mostly general education/acculturation/cultural transmission schools for gentlemen (separate schools for ladies) with majors which often had nothing to do with any planned vocation.
In my provincial New England bubble-world, there was no awareness of vocational higher-ed other than the Major of pre-med, and Engineering. I guess I had vaguely heard of Ag schools but never heard of a "business major". It might be my ignorance, but it seems to me that a proliferation of vocationally-oriented higher ed programs has altered the historical meaning and purpose of "higher-ed." Perhaps I am a dinosaur.
To what extent does it make sense for higher ed to be vocationally-oriented? Much of it already is. But can educational institutions even judge what sorts of training will be of value in the future? Educating the workplace.