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d_e_solomon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Blood Will Tell

I served on a jury about seven years ago that convicted a person of criminally abusing their child. Much of the evidence was circumstantial and relied on medical practitioners. To this day, I firmly believe we got it right, but the thought always lingers - what if we didn't. Stories like this always bring up that case.

d_e_solomon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Lawns Are an Ecological Disaster

At my old house, my wife and I let back half of the yard go fallow. It was great for saving time mowing and it actually added some charm. We don't have children though, so I get that's not a solution for everyone.

We eventually moved to a house with 6 sq ft of lawn. It's absolutely glorious. :)

Thanks for posting this. I've added a todo item for me to look at statistics about what percentage of people are on SNAP, how that's changed, whether it's getting better, and so forth.

I spent an hour this morning head scratching on why connectivity to my blog had gone down overnight. I felt a bit silly when I realized that it was cloudflare and not my server. Oh well.

The problem is that there is no guarantee that the UN will ensure that an action is moral or just. Russia continually vetoes any action against Assad in Syria. On the other hand, the only reason that the Korean War happened is that the Soviet Union decided to boycott the UN. Let's not even discuss the issues in Kosovo or Rwanda wrt the UN.

I suppose my point is that UN or NATO approval is not necessary nor sufficient for moral military action.

I'm in the desktop Linux contingent. Flash support on Linux (especially 64 bit) has always been extremely buggy and I will see massive CPU spikes whenever I have to view flash content. I also have no patience for sites that kick off sound or video automatically. So I can't functionally surf without an ad-blocker.

With that said, if I know the site doesn't use flash ads and if they don't start sound, I'll try to whitelist the domain for ads so I can support the site.

d_e_solomon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Radiohead - Ceremony

I would give my left nut to have heard Joy Division do the original. Sigh.

d_e_solomon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Sick.

My brother in law - an ER doctor - said that the flu vaccine isn't effective this year. I read a really good article about how they have to guess what strains of flu will be present ahead of flu season.

Anyway, hope you feel better.

d_e_solomon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: War Nerd on Mali

Yes, he's still on a paywall, but you can read the past month or so for free. Reading older articles invokes the paywall.

I went to a very large state school and took a reasonably challenging program in mathematics and accounting. One of the few reasons that I managed to survive and finish both degrees was that I skipped most of the general business classes and showed up and took the test. It was easier for met to learn on my own rather than spend the time in class.

On the other hand, I found the major courses in math very challenging and would routinely attend all of those lectures. So I suppose I ended up with a hybrid model, which was good for me.

Of course there's the old yarn about if you want an education, go to the library; if you want a degree, go to college.

d_e_solomon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What's your forever project?

I once had a dream where I was the proprietor of a tower, where people would visit the tower to learn, to fix their personal issues, to further their understanding of their world, to work on projects, and to progress towards their own version on enlightenment.

It's the only time I ever woke up crying (I'm not an emotional person by any stretch).

So, while I love personal projects (and have quite a few), this is the one that I want to work badly, but the one that I have no idea how to build.

d_e_solomon  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Panic Over Bullies -
After reading the comments at the WSJ, I remember why I subscribe to the Financial Times instead. Anyhoo, I had to give this one some thought.

I don't see bullying as a good or character building thing. There have been multiple studies done that demonstrate worse outcomes for kids that are bullied versus those that are not.

To me, the solution has to be holistic. Parents need to empower their kids to push back on bullies. Schools need to create an environment that reinforces that bullying isn't cool. Principals and teachers need to be prepared to discipline bullies when the issue is getting out of control. Kids need to learn empathy and that actions have consequences. Schools need to be held accountable to prevent systemic abuse. I don't think any of these items are particularly controversial.

That doesn't mean that children can't learn problem solving or conflict resolution - not every situation requires a teacher to get involved. There is a dividing line between isolated incident, personality conflict, and systemic abuse. The school's response needs to be proportionate to the intensity.

One of things to remember about being a kid in school versus an adult is that a kid has little choice on whether to go to school (or even what school to go to). If my boss is a dickwad, I can tell him to f himself and change jobs. If he assaults me, I can punch back or sue him. If he harasses me, then he gets to have a fun talk with HR. Most adults aren't in a situation where they will suffer eight straight years of abuse without recourse.

My coworker R's son was being bullied several years back. R's son was noticeably depressed and down over being bullied. R handled the situation well - he got his son a bit of therapy, enrolled him in karate classes, and discussed the issue with the school. R's son confronted the bully eventually, words were had, bully lost face, and that was that.

I would agree that the prevalence of bullying hasn't significantly increased from the good old 1960s, but I don't see that as a reason to not do anything. We don't have to tolerate the way things always were. Progress is possible.

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