Soundscape in San Jose

June 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm | In cities, urbanism | 2 Comments

This morning I was walking along South Market Street in San Jose, California. I didn’t see a market on this street in the south end of downtown, but instead a generously laid out linear park, almost the width of a city block, running north for about two blocks from the convention center at its south end. It’s named for Cesar Chavez.

On either side of the park, there are at least two lanes of one-way traffic, northbound on the right, southbound on the left. Paralleling the roads, two walkways run the length of the park, separated from traffic by wide lawns planted with trees. In the middle, there’s another wide swathe of lawn and trees. The walkways are lined with barrier-free benches (meaning: it’s possible to lie down on them).

To the south (where the public toilets are), the benches are populated by men – homeless, sleeping, waiting, listening to radios. In the middle of the park, there’s a ground level water feature consisting of about twenty-two water fountains shooting straight up from the pavement. They create a pleasing, regular (if impermanent) architectural feature. But best of all, they’re a fantastic playground for a growing horde of children on this pleasantly warm day. The parents (mostly mothers) come to the downtown specifically for this, and the park and water feature are clearly a success. Since the fountain is placed in close proximity to the tech museum (which draws school crowds) and the art museum, and is in the middle of a pedestrian thoroughfare, it gets both actual traffic and eyeballs. The latter is very important.

But the reason I really stopped to write about it has to do with ears, not just eyes. San Jose airport is nearby, and the roar of jet engines regularly interrupts the soundscape as low-flying planes descend immediately overhead. Sweetly, the sound of continuously gushing and splashing water provides great aural comfort, and is better than any set of ear plugs.

An ice cream peddler with a pushcart hung with brass bells on its handlebar makes his way to the fountain area. The jingling of his bells is easily heard above the water, children, road and air traffic.

When I pass the fountain again in early afternoon, the peddler is still there, standing under a tree for shade. By now, every social and ethnic group has increased in number: children, adults, skateboarding teens (no anti-skateboarding metal braces on the low walls or steps), tourists, and more people who are homeless, including a few women.

A great public space all around, Cesar Chavez Plaza successfully draws a diverse community together for play and recreation.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

June 19, 2011 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)
  • Health care is local.
    Large swaths of the United States are showing decreasing or stagnating life expectancy even as the nation’s overall longevity trend has continued upwards, according to a county-by-county study of life expectancy over two decades.

    In one-quarter of the country, girls born today may live shorter lives than their mothers, and the country as a whole is falling behind other industrialized nations in the march toward longer life, according to the study.

    Those are among the conclusions of the study by a team of researchers that has spent years teasing apart the regional and demographic differences in longevity in the United States. It sketches a picture of widening inequality among regions and is likely to add urgency to the debate over health-care reform and spending.

    tags: usa health_care longevity ageing public_health

  • Found this via Twitter: Cost of 2,000 calories: $5 via a McDouble; $19 via canned tuna; $60 via lettuce.

    tags: calories laphams_quarterly food cost_of_living

  • Part 4 of a 5-part series; excellent reading:
    What makes for an economically great place? I asked Bruce Katz, head of Brookings’ excellent Metropolitan Policy Program, and he emphasized that smart growth alone is not enough. “What you want is great places that are built on great economic bases,” he said. “The two really need to go together. What I argue for is economy-shaping, talent-preparing, and placemaking, all together.”

    So smart density cannot yield economic flourishing all on its own; cities need to focus on their tradeable sectors, research institutions, and worker training programs. Nonetheless, smart density lays the groundwork for agglomeration economies to emerge and can accelerate and strengthen them when they do. So how can places do density right, to encourage great (economic) places to take root and grow?

    tags: cities urbanism density grist david_roberts

  • Helen Walters on design thinking:
    Just as design thinking does not replace the need for design specialists, nor does it magically appear out of some black box. Design thinking isn’t fairy dust. It’s a tool to be used appropriately. It might help to illuminate an answer but it is not the answer in and of itself.

    Instead, it turns up insights galore, and there is real value and skill to be had from synthesizing the messy, chaotic, confusing and often contradictory intellect of experts gathered from different fields to tackle a particularly thorny problem. That’s all part of design thinking.

    tags: helen_walters design_thinking

  • Really like this, have experienced it myself.
    Part of your mission is teaching “creative confidence.” What does that mean and how do you do that?

    It’s pretty amazing to watch. Students come in and say, “Oh I’m not creative.” That just makes my skin crawl. I really think everybody is creative. There are just some blocks in the way. Lots of CEOs, when I go in their office they say, “Geez, you’re so creative and I’m not a creative person.” It’s not that I’m creative and they’re not. I need to unlock that. The best way to unlock that is to give them creative confidence. Sometimes it’s getting them to be able to stand up and draw stick figures. Sometimes it has to do with getting them to make their strategic plan visual. But the main thing is you have to give them an experience. Creative confidence comes from us teaching organizations, individuals, CEOs, students, or whoever, a methodology. We call it “design thinking” but it’s really an innovation methodology. It’s a little prescribed, but that makes them feel more comfortable because they have this kind of step-by-step approach. It takes them down the path of doing a project and then there’s this moment where they realize that they’ve come up with ideas a lot better than what they would have come up with using their normal method. All they have to do is be mindful of that methodology and continually improve it.

    tags: ideo david_kelley creativity ideas design_thinking

  • This is really fascinating: Washington Post journalists acting as online teachers. Interesting melding of online/distributed learning, claims to expertise-ism, and attempts by old media to find new business / profit models. Fascinating.
    Prestigious. Washington Post MasterClasses are written by Washington Post experts renowned in their fields, many of them Pulitzer Prize and major award-winning journalists.

    tags: washington_post journalism online_learning distributed_education business_model

  • It’s very interesting when you fall into one end of this demographic, …while your own children fall into the other. Interesting times…
    Students now finishing their schooling–the class of 2011–are confronting a youth unemployment rate above 17 percent. The problem is compounding itself as those collecting high school or college degrees jostle for jobs with recent graduates still lacking steady work. “The biggest problem they face is, they are still competing with the class of 2010, 2009, and 2008,” says Matthew Segal, cofounder of Our Time, an advocacy group for young people.

    At the other end, millions of graying baby boomers–the class of 1967–are working longer than they intended because the financial meltdown vaporized the value of their homes and 401(k) plans. For every member of the millennial generation frustrated that she can’t start a career, there may be a baby boomer frustrated that he can’t end one.

    tags: atlantic_monthly workforce unemployment socialcritique

  • This is unreal. I fear for my country.
    The search was part of a mysterious, ongoing nationwide terrorism investigation with an unusual target: prominent peace activists and politically active labor organizers.

    The probe — involving subpoenas to 23 people and raids of seven homes last fall — has triggered a high-powered protest against the Department of Justice and, in the process, could create some political discomfort for President Obama with his union supporters as he gears up for his reelection campaign.

    The apparent targets are concentrated in the Midwest, including Chicagoans who crossed paths with Obama when he was a young state senator and some who have been active in labor unions that supported his political rise.

    Investigators, according to search warrants, documents and interviews, are examining possible “material support” for Colombian and Palestinian groups designated by the U.S. government as terrorists.

    tags: america politics fbi terrorism justice resistance

  • Can’t say I disagree…
    I think appointments are caustic to creativity.
    (Aside from the above, lots of other good stuff in this article. Go read.)

    tags: tumblr david_karp gtd productivity

  • Quite an interesting series of photographs (mugshots)…
    …musicians seem to land themselves in a little bit more trouble than people of other professions. Maybe it’s because they’re living the high life, thinking they can get away with it all, or maybe they’re just negatively influenced by their surroundings, but we think it probably has something to do with the same personality trait that makes them want to be performers in the first place. Just a theory, though. In any event, we were inspired to dig up a few vintage mugshots of famous musicians, many of which are actually quite beautiful in and of themselves, although that could just be Sinatra’s good looks shining through.
    Jimi Hendrix looks extremely dignified and intelligent in his ‘mugshots.’ Statesmanlike. A shame he died young.

    tags: flavorwire mugshots photography musicians celebrities prison

  • I wouldn’t say Jobs responded “shyly” – more like “slyly,” which is appropriate to silly attempts by councilors at extorting amenities where they don’t belong…
    The individual members of the Cupertino City Council seemed like they were in awe the entire time the infamously charismatic Apple CEO spoke (which isn’t surprising), asking Jobs for free Wifi and iPads for constituents as well as for an Apple store that’s actually in Cupertino and not in the Valley or Los Gatos. Jobs shyly responded to the requests, “I think we bring a lot more than free Wifi.”

    tags: apple steve_jobs architecture

    “Wikipedia is forcing people to accept the stone-cold bummer that knowledge is produced and constructed by argument rather than by divine inspiration.”

    tags: wikipedia

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Parenting. Such a riot.

June 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm | In canada, leadership, social_critique, vancouver | 2 Comments

I want to tell you a story of parenting, as I’ve observed it among my Canadian peers. I’ll try to convey how and why this parenting style shocked me. It’s just a story (albeit a true one), but perhaps it illuminates a small part of the dynamics at work in this Wednesday’s Canucks Riot that erupted in Vancouver.

It happened about seven years ago, when my daughter, then ten years old, was singing in a local Victoria BC children’s choir. If it was seven years ago, it was only two years after my family and I had left the US to move to Canada.

The parents of the children in this relatively expensive and well-regarded choir often hung around during evening rehearsals, or else they returned early to wait for their children, which allowed for a lot of casual chit-chat among the parents. One night, the father of a pair of kids in the choir – a girl around 14 and a boy around 11 or 12 – complained to another parent about his son’s school.

I’ll call the dad Don and his kids Caitlyn and Ted. These aren’t their real names, but it makes telling the story easier. I want you to focus on Don, a reasonably educated and relatively feisty man – the kind who knows what he likes – and his son, Ted, a somewhat clunky pre-teen who was often sullen and not particularly co-operative about being in a choir.

But his parents had paid for the privilege, and by gum, he was going to sing and learn about music and about being part of a group, because everyone knows that sort of stuff can give you social advantages.

Don, who had choir pick-up duty that night, was telling another mom about Ted’s troubles at school. Apparently, Ted often caused disruptions in class. There was nothing “wrong” with him: he wasn’t labeled with any of the alphabet-soup-style afflictions so often ascribed to boys – no ADHD, no ADD, and none of the Autism Spectrum Disorders. He was just ill-behaved.

That week, the school had phoned Don to say that Ted had again disrupted the classroom (which meant that every other kid in that class was denied an opportunity to learn), and the teacher had marched him to the principal’s office. From whence came the phone call to Don, asking him to pick up his offspring, whom the school wanted to suspend for the day.

Well! That didn’t sit well with Don, who didn’t want his brat child at home. As he told the story to the other mom:

I let them have it. I told them, “You have to keep him, it’s a school day and you HAVE  to keep him in school, you can’t send him home!”

You have to keep him. I-the-parent can’t be forced to deal with him.

What struck me about his story:

  • he was puffed up with pride at having told the school “off”
  • he was indignant that the school was asking HIM to discipline HIS child
  • he was absolutely convinced, without any shame WHATSOEVER, that it was indeed the school’s obligation to deal with his brat child
  • the school CAVED and acquiesced to Don’s demand

I can’t say I was so much in sympathy with the school. Hey, we were homeschooling our kids, and considered schools a mixture of toxic peer pressure, jail, and industrial-style conveyer-belt rote “learning,” armed with massive budgets and an arsenal of institutional power to shore up their status. Hooray for a tiny David who aims his slingshot at that Goliath. But Ted didn’t strike me as any sort of tribe worth defending, that’s for sure. He needed parenting, from parents who acted authoritatively (not authoritarian). He didn’t need palming off on authorities (eg. school) – yet that’s exactly what Don thought was the right thing to do: the school should deal with him.

Amazing. Don’s little conversation made my jaw drop. He was serious: he wanted the school essentially to do the parenting of his child, a job that he and Mrs. Don should have been doing.

Fast-forward seven years, and Ted is now about 19 years old. He’s a hockey fan, but most of all, he still hasn’t learned about accountability. Sure, the schools have tried to drum it into his head, but what the fuck does he care? His parents insist they’ve spent good money on him, made sure he had advantages, and made sure they always sent him to schools where they could expect other people to exert the heavy-lifting authority that they themselves shunned.

Ted breaks a few windows along Granville, helps tip a car over, sets a few newspaper boxes on fire.

I blame the parents.

They’re probably the ones screaming for more police action, too. It fits with their earlier demand for more school action. Anything to get them off the hook.

I’ve seen some amazing parenting around here. People with the patience of saints, making a difference and helping to shape their kids into terrific young adults. I’ve also seen some outrageously bad parenting here, made worse by a (imo) crazy belief that it’s somehow the responsibility of others (institutions, cops, schools, CCTVs, television, Ministries, governments, Health Authorities, etc.) to provide authority in their children’s lives.

We boomers mostly hate authoritarianism. I know I do. But the one Big Thing that becoming a parent taught me is that there’s a huge difference between being authoritarian and being authoritative. Some of my selfish boomer peers have let others be the authorities. In my experience of raising kids, that doesn’t work so well.

See Identify the Rioters for images of Wednesday night’s event.

The Times-Colonist also has a page, called The 40 most dramatic photos of the Vancouver riots, which kind of smacks of salaciousness, as if there’s a competition to find the photos that drip with the most mayhem. Includes dramatic, if representative, shots. This video (also linked to in the first paragraph) is graphic in showing the ugliness of the crowd. Another good read: Vancouver Riot: Psychology (Not Hooligans) Responsible for the Chaos by Bobbie Brooks. See also 2011 Stanley Cup riot “worse” than 1994 in the Vancouver Sun.

Update 6/19 – More links: On Youtube, A Billion Dollars Worth of Bad Publicity for Vancouver, says 94 Riot Investigator, worth a look; and a historical video, from 1968, of Vancouver Mayor Tom Campbell calling out “the hippies” (historical and somewhat hysterical), Mayor Tom Campbell versus the Hippies.avi. This video is of interest to some people critical of the current mayor, Gregor Robertson, who has tried to paint the 2011 rioters as isolated “anarchists” and louts, a tactic that resonates with then-mayor Campbell’s. One additional link (newspaper article), View from Calgary: Seedy side was there before Cup riot in Vancouver, can’t say I disagree, having lived in Vancouver in the early 80s.

Education K-12 and status anxiety

June 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm | In education | 2 Comments

There have been many calls over the years for an education “reboot,” but two early-June articles this year in prominent East Coast national newspapers (one Canadian, the other American) illustrate how difficult any kind of reboot will be. It’s sort of like trying to stop genital mutilation (ok, I can just feel the firestorm exploding over my head, but…): as long as the mothers and grandmothers are in cahoots with this crap, good luck trying to stop it.

Exhibit A, from June 2: Want your kid in prep school? Students reveal how to score a coveted spot (from Canada’s Toronto-based Globe & Mail). Read this and wilt (or throw up). The parents – all of them – are driving this pony show:

In an era of intense competition for private school admission, many parents have already done their homework and know the merits of various schools. What they’re really looking for is the inside scoop on how to ace the SSAT and win a coveted spot. Enter the admissions prodigies.

“In general, parents are very anxious about the SSAT. They want to know any behind-the-scenes information,” says Agatha Stawicki, the publisher of an annual guide to Canadian private schools called Our Kids Go To School and a sister site,

Today, Adam [Lam] delivers. In both one-on-one chats and in a short speech to the crowd, he says that before the SSAT, he’d never taken a three-hour test. He did 11 practice tests, revisiting his mistakes and learning the material. After making the first cut-off, he signed up for a second round of tutoring to ace further tests and interviews, saying he wanted to be “battle-ready.”

(This business about taking the standardized tests reminds me, by the way, of an excellent Quora topic, Is Amy Chua right when she explains “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” in an op/ed in the Wall Street Journal? Just go and read the top-rated Jan.8 2011 answer by anonymous, which includes a fascinating update on how Chua is marketing her book in China – where it’s branded as an “American” success strategy… The killer in this comment is, of course, the description of the sister’s suicide: Asian children, especially girls, have a very high suicide rate, sadly. One wonders why – or does one?)

Re. the child mentioned in the Globe and Mail article, above: he may be “battle-ready,” but the question is, what exactly is this battle?

Well, perhaps it’s just a question of beating out the other guy to make it into the Ivy Leagues?

And then what?

I have a total of six nephews and nieces (three each, actually) whose fathers are Japanese: oldest sister with one son and two daughters; sixth oldest with son and two daughers. All of us (in our family, that is) used to marvel, laugh, and – being relatively uneducated ourselves – slightly bow to the drill-and-kill method that intermittently ruled the lives of those children, particularly my oldest sister’s kids. Piano lessons? Check. Violin lessons? Check. Math tutors? Check. Homework tutors? Check. Ensuring they got into the “right” preschool so they could get into the “right” grammar school? Check. From the right grammar school to the right middle and high school? Check. To the right university (that is, #-1 rated University of Tokyo for the most Japanese of the two Japanese boys)? Check. It is a truly ridiculous system. Several of them escaped, as children, to the US (or, if periodically returned to Japan by their father’s work schedule, to international schools), several didn’t and made the whole K-12 journey in that lockstep method.

This educating-the-children business became a little less abstract when I had children of my own, and – living in Greater Boston – I could begin to see “Japan” writ large in their lives. I actually knew people whose friends registered with the “right” preschool when they found themselves pregnant, so that their little offspring could “get in.” From there, it was clearly imperative that the child would have to get into the right grammar school, from whence s/he would enter the right middle and high school. The goal? Getting into one of the Ivy Leagues or into one of New England’s well-known small, but elite and terribly expensive, colleges like Bowdoin or Colby.

It was the parents, their fears, and the culture they endorsed that drove the system.

Exhibit B, from June 7: Push for A’s at Private Schools Is Keeping Costly Tutors Busy (from The New York Times), which describes the doings of a private-school tutor, Siddarth Iyer, and sheds light on the revolting world of East Coast private schools:

“He’s been prepping my son all week,” said the mother of one [student], a senior at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, speaking on the condition that she not be named because Riverdale discourages both tutoring and talking to reporters.

“Prepping” — in this case for an oral exam in Riverdale’s notorious Integrated Liberal Studies, an interdisciplinary class laden with primary sources instead of standard textbooks — did not start the week before the exams, the mother pointed out. She said she had paid Mr. Iyer’s company $750 to $1,500 each week this school year for 100-minute sessions on Liberal Studies, a total of about $35,000 — just shy of Riverdale’s $38,800 tuition.

Last year, she said, her tutoring bills hit six figures, including year-round SAT preparation from Advantage Testing at $425 per 50 minutes; Spanish and math help from current and former private school teachers at $150 an hour; and sessions with Mr. Iyer for Riverdale’s equally notorious interdisciplinary course Constructing America, at $375 per 50 minutes.

I know these parents will never stoop to reading John Taylor Gatto and just pull their kids out of this nonsense (we did, although – WARNING – it’s not a simple panacea). But you have to wonder how tightly wound this spring is going to get, at a social and at an individual level.

…Of course we’ve already bred plenty of psychopaths to head up banking and investment firms, so maybe the whole private school and SAT/ test-prep racket is just another way of ensuring that there continues to be a steady supply of more. Because, if you don’t end up suiciding yourself and you instead play the game, where are you on this game board, anyway?

If ever there was a status quo worth smashing, …well, standardized tests and their ability to cement a rotten system seem a worthy target.


Ecothinking and Marx

June 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm | In canada, green, guerilla_politics, nature, politics, scandal, social_critique | Comments Off on Ecothinking and Marx

There’s a great video available on YouTube right now, A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never. Based on a 5/23 Washington Post op-ed by Bill McKibben of (and narrated and illustrated by Stephen Thomson of Plomomedia), it sarcastically tells us that “It is vitally important not to make connections.”

Of course the intent is the opposite: McKibben does want us to make connections. These days, however, we’re often so bedazzled by spectacle (including disaster footage) as to feel powerless about the point of information that connects to anything else.

But if not connect now, when?

In the video we see extreme weather events, including recent tornadoes in the Midwest; wildfires in Texas and droughts in New Mexico; flooding in Mississippi, and record rainfall elsewhere. “Do not wonder if they’re somehow connected,” the narrator warns. Do not wonder…. because it’s imperative to have a passive populace, of course – one that’s transfixed by looking instead “at the news anchorman standing in his waders in the rising rivers as the water approaches his chest,” or similar “oh-wow”-human-interest angles.

It’s far too hard to look at facts, or to ask whether government policies (such as allowing more coal mining or exploiting Alberta’s tarsands) even begin to make sense when it comes to global welfare…

So how about some facts for the next time you get up off the couch and head to the fridge? According to The rising cost of food – get the data (published on June 7, 2011), global food prices this year are still 37% higher than they were last year. And there’s no relief in sight as “high and volatile food prices are also likely to prevail for the rest of the year, and into 2012.”

What’s driving this rise, which has propelled the food price index from 92 in January 2001 to 232.4 in May 2011? Theories abound, including ones around weather (too much and/or too little rain fall); a growing population (including a demand for meat in China); concentration of corporate control; and the use of food for biofuel.

But maybe the following angle, alluded to in The Guardian, reveals an aspect that vitally deserves to be connected to other facts and insights: As the article notes, there is a

massive influx of big investors into deregulated commodities markets – searching for a “safe bet” after the dotcom bubble burst – who speculate on the future price of food. On Sunday, a UN conference on trade and development said it may be necessary for governments to intervene with regulation to rein in rising food prices. The FAO adds that more must be done to improve transparency in global food markets. (source)

Ok, let’s take that “dot” and connect it to another approach, courtesy of Bob Burnett’s recent article, Roll Over, Karl Marx (June 10, 2011). When you start to think about climate change and weather disasters in conjunction with environmental despoliation and rising food prices, and plug some of that into a political analysis, you have to get politicized …which is probably very dangerous to our ruling class.

Ruling class? Why, what’s this? Class warfare?

Well, yes, it’s shaping up that way, isn’t it? Except, of course, for the lethargy of the key players…

Burnett summarizes Marx and marxist thought in broad strokes, from the Industrial Age to the later 20th century, when income inequality (Johnson Administration) lessened …before picking up again. By 2007, income inequality had reached a historic high. What’s up with that?

In the meantime, our more recent Great Recession has hugely exacerbated that imbalance while it’s also busily eviscerating the middle class – which of course leads to more polarization. Yet the populace remains docile, even in the face of environmental despoliation (which is causing disasters world-wide) and significant rises in the cost of living, particularly food prices.

Burnett addresses several factors Marx (who expected that any class under such pressure would revolt) could not have foreseen: multinational corporations; a corporate-controlled mainstream media that owns the airwaves and your eyeballs; a PR campaign that remade our perception of corporate strategy (convincing us that trickle-down economics actually work, for example), or that “markets are inherently self correcting and there is no need for government regulation.” Burnett notes, the “consequences were devastating to workers, the environment, and the American economy,” particularly as jobs went overseas while wages stagnated. Union power / collective bargaining rights were undermined or destroyed, and – most significantly – instead of being perturbed by this loss of real power, people became distracted with questions about fundamentalist religion and issues like abortion – both of which “ divert attention from poor wages and living conditions.”

It doesn’t help that the Democratic Party is (as Burnett puts it) “capitalism lite,” leaving the non-capitalist crowd without a champion in the political arena.

And yet we wonder why Obama has been so wishy-washy on the environment. Why we continue to rape the earth – frack it for all it’s worth, for example.

But of course, “It is vitally important not to make connections.”

You should not wonder

You should instead continue to be distracted by “human interest” stories and ridiculous debates about religion and abortion and other matters that keep people on a slow boil, instead of directing them to fix real problems.

Above all, remember how important it is not to disrupt the record profits of our fuel companies…

Relevant images (links included)


Click on image for link to source article



Click on image for link to source article



Click on image for link to source article



Click on image for link to source article




The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

June 12, 2011 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

[Note: Extremely sparse pickings in the weekly Diigo links this Sunday. This is due to my being near-paralyzed with a weird mix of ennui and procrastination. IOW, loss of motivation. I’ve got nine browser tabs open to interesting items, as well as numerous links I mailed myself, all of which I wanted to “process” in some way. Well, as per the lone link (below), I too need a new operating system. 😉 ]

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

June 5, 2011 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)
  • Well, d’oh. If you’re depressed, you FAIL to remember joy. Self-reinforcing crap. Re-learn to remember joy. That would help. This, too:
    Dr. Williams has found that specificity can be increased with training in mindfulness, a form of meditation increasingly popular in combating some types of depression. Subjects are taught to focus on moment-to-moment experiences and to accept their negative thoughts rather than trying to avoid them. It may help by making people more tolerant of negative memories and short-circuit the impulse to escape them, which can lead to overgenerality.

    Meditation means that for some, the past is no longer such a heavy burden.
    In other words, pay attention. Just pay attention.

    tags: nyt depression mindfulness

  • Going to be fraught territory…
    I suspect that IARC’s tenuous conclusion — that cell phones “may” be linked to cancer — will be fully justified by the research. It also will be largely ignored by the public, since most people long ago learned to discount cancer risk stories when the chemical or technology involved is extremely popular.

    tags: science cell_phones health risk cancer

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Theme: Pool by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds.