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blackbootz's profile

"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?"

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blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

Thanks! Im trying to acquire every leg up. I started a video lecture series on calculus, but I've been so busy that I haven't devoted as much time to it as I'd like. But I'm really happy with the timing of my precalculus as well.

I also am reading Calculus Better Explained and it's interesting! I'm happy to learn the math in a way that I understand it, and not have a "fragile knowledge" as R. Feynman puts it.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

First off, that album is amazing. That place looks so homey, cozy, and WARM. I don't sense any of the hang-ups that people might perceive when looking at a hospital room, so if that was part of the mission, mission accomplished. And your little secretary is such a cutie pie.

I don't think I have anything very helpful to say as to the birth center's clientele. That is a bit of a conundrum. But let me be the first to say that, for the past two years, I have loved reading your updates. You sure do love your wife.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

I'd recommend starting with that NYTimes article Dr. Reiner wrote, and then moving on to his muse, Dr. Kimmel -- A Master’s Degree in ... Masculinity?.

In the academic sense, I'm ignorant of the field of masculinities studies. But my father is a hard-nosed Soviet (born Moscow 1970). The second-most formative adult male in my life is a Baltimore black man, former-US Marine, 25-year correctional facility veteran with 19 years experience quelling prison riots as my high school lacrosse coach (think insane Drill Sergeant). I am myself a total softie, yet at ease in a locker room. I embrace vulnerability and human frailty, and strive to be as good a listener as possible (though lord knows there is always progress to make). I've also coached poor groups of Baltimore high school-aged boys. I basically can't wait for the course.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

I just took a precalculus course in a local community college, which was enormously helpful. I actually loved the class, as basic as it was. It has me jazzed for the upcoming semester.

The only downside is that ratemyprofessor has the calculus professor I'm slated for as apocalyptically bad. I'd appreciate any help I can get. I love learning with Khan Academy, as well as Mathway and WolframAlpha. Invaluable.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

I'm buckling up. I don't think I've ever embarked upon so many colossal living adjustments, taken up so many responsibilities, and added as much to plate as I'm about to. I'm exhilarated. I really wouldn't have it any other way. But damn.

I'm about to start up college again after having taken a four year break. I was accepted into the honors college at my university, which entails more challenging but more interesting classes, like the Changing Face of Masculinity course I'm taking, or the honors variant of macroeconomic principles. The professors are world class (here's a NYTimes piece by my Masculinity professor). I'm also taking Calculus and an Economic Statistics course. And ballroom dancing : ) so the schedule is loaded. And I'll be commuting.

I'm also buying a house as part of a subsidy program in an up and coming neighborhood. The other parties involved are dragging their feet in the extreme, and I'm learning a lot through the process. Like how much an agent from the get-go would've helped to keep up a good pace. But it seems all but assured that it'll happen, and that I'll move in--and start paying a fucking mortgage, jesus--sometime in March. I'm really eager to put my budgeting skills to good use, but sometimes I have trouble falling asleep at night because of the worry. Thankfully the PITI is very small, the house is in excellent shape (brand new everything, roof, plumbing, appliances) and there's a lot of demand for rental spaces in the area due to the proximity to Johns Hopkins Hospital. I've been accruing a small nut to cover a few months of expenses. But still. Holy fucking shit.

And on top of that, I hope to be exercising regularly (gym and weekly soccer practices) and working a (blessedly flexible) part-time job. I'm reminded of a Homer Simpson quote when he takes on another job to pay for Lisa's new pony:

    Homer: I work from midnight to eight, come home, sleep for five minutes, eat breakfast, sleep six more minutes, shower, then I have ten minutes to bask in Lisa's love, then I'm off to the power plant, fresh as a daisy.
blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

Yea. Young dudes are the worst. My record was a little over two weeks without a shower, in the height of summer. I smelled so rank and disgusting that I broke through to a side where I smelled pleasant again (to myself). Have you ever had a bag of funyuns? That fake onion ring chip? I smelled just like 'em. Fifteen year old me thought I was the shit.

What did you think? In this article that you link, Bloomberg makes a recommendation through his twitter to listen to this Econ talk episode. I'm really glad I did.

too long; didn't listen? First off, listen to it. Just straight up stimulating stuff (although I'm not a huge fan of the Econ talk podcast host, but that's personal). And secondly, the answer is ultimately what our intuitions tell us: difficult to generalize innovations that are started bottom up. But it's more interesting than that.

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: 22nd Annual Quotations Strand

I'm reading the first volume of Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson. He grew up in Texas Hill Country, an area that straddles the imaginary east-west border of adequate rainfall necessary for farming. It's rough living, especially in the 19th and early 20th century. This passage, describing what the long, solitary months felt like to LBJ's mother--left alone while her husband was at the state capital of Austin serving in the legislature--is harrowing. Of all the things it reminds me of, it's that of the depths of a terrible psycheldic trip when you want it to end but it feels like it never will.

    When Rebekah walked out the front door of that little house, there was nothing—a roadrunner streaking behind some rocks with something long and wet dangling from his beak, perhaps, or a rabbit disappearing around a bush so fast that all she really saw was the flash of a white tail—but otherwise nothing. There was no movement except for the ripple of the leaves in the scattered trees, no sound except for the constant whisper of the wind, unless, by happy chance, crows were cawing somewhere nearby. If Rebekah climbed, almost in desperation, the hill in back of the house, what she saw from its crest was more hills, an endless vista of hills, hills on which there was visible not a single house—somewhere up there, of course, was the Benner house, and the Weinheimer house and barn, but they were hidden from her by some rise—hills on which nothing moved, empty hills with, above them, empty sky; a hawk circling silently high overhead was an “event. But most of all, there was nothing human, no one to talk to. “If men loved Texas, women, even the Anglo pioneer women, hated it,” Fehrenbach has written. “… In diaries and letters a thousand separate farm wives left a record of fear that this country would drive them mad.” Not only brutally hard work, but loneliness—what Walter Prescott Webb, who grew up on a farm and could barely restrain his bitterness toward historians who glamorize farm life, calls “nauseating loneliness”—was the lot of a Hill Country farm wife.

    Loneliness and dread. During the day, there might be a visitor, or at least an occasional passerby on the rutted road. At night, there was no one, no one at all. No matter in what direction Rebekah looked, not a light was visible. The gentle, dreamy, bookish woman would be alone, alone in the dark—sometimes, when clouds covered the moon, in pitch dark—alone in the dark when she went out on the porch to pump water, or out to the barn to feed the horses, alone with the rustlings in the trees and the sudden splashes in the river which could be a fish jumping or a small animal drinking, or someone coming, alone in the storms when the wind howled around the house and tore through its flimsy walls, blowing out the lamps and candles, alone in the night in the horrible nights after a norther, when the freeze came, and ice drove starving rodents from the fields to gnaw at the roofs and walls, and she could hear them chewing there in the dark—alone in bed with no human being to hear you if you should call.

From the article:

    There are good reasons to believe that the methodology of “Who Pays for Roads?” if anything considerably understates the subsidies to private vehicle operation. It doesn’t examine the hidden subsidies associated with the free public provision of on-street parking, or the costs imposed by nearly universal off-street parking requirements, which drive up the price of commercial and residential development. It also ignores the indirect costs that come to auto and non-auto users alike from the increased travel times and travel distances that result from subsidized auto-oriented sprawl. And it also doesn’t look at how the subsidies for new capacity in some places undermine the viability of older communities.

But couldn't some of these unaccounted for subsidies in the methodology be offset by the productivity gains of having cars? I'm curious what the norm is in the research community are regarding how to measure the productivity gain of automobiles versus the cost of roads.

One result of the allegations being proven false may be that this will provide an enormous amount of cover and sympathy for Trump. Which would be such a waste.

I mean, the golden shower thing is just patently ridiculous.

It's also significant that this wasn't an attack originating from the left, but a Never Trump operative funded by the right and providing info to McCain. So not a very "liberal" conspiracy. But at this point, I'm going sheerly off top level comments on the myriad Reddit posts discussing this. I have a feeling that CNN is too. My brain hurts.

Woah. Why have abortions steadily declined? Had we hit some zenith in the nineties? I thought the number of abortions would stay steady or increase. Have all the TRAP (targeted regulation against abortion) laws been working? Is this a result of the preaches and calls for abstinence?

blackbootz  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 4, 2017

How'd it go?!

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