Learned helplessness and domestication

We look back at the recent history and are frustrated that we can not do what they were able to do.   We live in a world with many more rules, and a lot less opportunities.   The conditions are like that of the experiment: we are frustrated in finding relief and observe what increasing appears completely random occurrences of success.   The modern examples of people who do succeed, even in the technologies, appears more to be the case of the person being lucky at being in the right place at the right time rather than being particularly visionary or brilliant.   Success is random, and consequently so is the pain of the lack of success.   Success is also increasingly rare, leaving a large population in frustration, yearning for its master to save them.

Science Fiction: Archaic Fables

A genre that fills the role science fiction played by Blade Runner in early 1980s, would extrapolate from the trends of the past 40 years.   In this period, many of the trends of the previous 40 years have stalled or declined.   New more important trends have replaced the older trends.   In light of the current conditions, introducing movies such as the latest science fiction iterations (Blade Runner 2049, Star Trek: Discovery, or Orville) seems to miss the point of science fiction.   They may offer entertainment, but they are presenting futures based on abandoned concepts instead of alternative futures based on recent experiences and memories.

Modern sensitivity to offensive speech emerged out of the prohibition

Decisive democratic action is offensive action. Some group or many groups may be insulted by the decision. This was less of an impediment when the everyday culture expected insults and offense. The nature of speech was what we today call offensive. Consequently, there was no barrier to democracy making decisions that we today call offensive.

Reflecting on baby name trends

One data project is the tracking of popularity of given names for newborn babies over the decades.   I found this site that graphs the popularity of names over the decades since the last 1800s.   This site presents a simple graphing tool that shows popularity for a large number of different names.   The…

Productivity of do it yourself

Today I am thinking about the do-it-yourself sub-culture for our lives outside of work and how this sub-culture influences our work and government. The do-it-yourself subculture takes advantage of new technologies and businesses that have grown to support this culture.   Conversely, these businesses are taking the opportunity to build this culture to drive their…

Tea time during Happy Hour

It is now happy hour, that period between 4 and 7 where bars try to attract after-work gatherings.   I am enjoying a quiet tea break instead.   Orange-spice blend herbal tea, to be exact. I live in Arlington Virginia within but at the edge of the DC urban area.   Most jobs are office…

Celebrity culture

The thought occurs to me that there was a golden era of the Internet about 10 years ago.  It is a surprising idea to look at the Internet that way.  But there was a time when it seemed the Internet was ushering in a more egalitarian period.  Egalitarian in terms of allowing more people to…