Monday Musings

This is the 90th post with the exact title “Monday Musings.” Here we go…

 

I actually had a good dream last night. I dreamt that my wonderful wife and I were at a gala during which she would receive an award for “business mathematics.” We had a splendid time.

I think, and could be completely wrong–of course, the dream is related to her heroic efforts in getting the house tidied up. In the event we do find a single-level house we want to buy, our house could not have been shown in the state it was in. We are much closer to having the house being ready to show. Besides, it was beyond time to toss out or box up/put away items not in regular use.

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It wasn’t that many years ago I would have watched 9+ hours of football on a Sunday. Contrast that to yesterday when I hardly watched any football at all and didn’t know until just minutes ago which team won the Sunday night game.

I didn’t even watch that much college football on Saturday. Some people I know continue to doubt my detachment from sports. This situation is similar, in (what’s left of) my mind, to why many people have to leave a company in order to advance in their career.

People form first impressions that are often impossible to change. If you are hired as an X, the higher-ups often can’t see you as a Y even though you may be more than capable. If you have been a sports fan for a long time–and, of course, in my case having worked in professional sports for many years–many people are incapable/unwilling to acknowledge your interests have changed, especially if they remain sports fans.

If I write this one more time some of you may scream, but the only constant in the world is change. Sports are really not an important part of my life, anymore. However, that doesn’t mean my interest is zero, witness my recent completion of a 216-game computer football season.

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Despite not posting one day last week, views for the WordPress week ending yesterday reached a level that “makes me happy.” Thanks to all of you for reading.

The number of views and visitors has still not returned to the level for the period from October, 2020 through January, 2022, but they have increased compared to the February, 2022 – July, 2022 period. Again, I have no explanation for any increase or decrease except I am fairly certain the damn virus led to a substantial rise in viewers beginning in April, 2020.

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It seems to be time for a couple of links to Why Evolution Is True. Oh,

 

 

I thought I should buy Coyne’s book; I have not begun reading it.

Pew study on what criteria Americans think should matter for college admissions

From the post:

 

“Although colleges and universities are, left and right, dropping or devaluing high school grades and standardized tests as criteria for admission, the American public still maintains that these two factors (which I’ll consider as indices of “merit”) are the most important considerations, ahead of “community service and involvement” and well ahead of being first in your family to go to college, athletic ability, race or ethnicity, gender, and whether one is a “legacy” (i.e., had a relative attend the applicant’s school)…according to this Pew study in March, all groups see indices of merit as more important than ethnicity…”

 

Obviously, colleges and universities don’t feel beholden to those parents who are footing the bill for their children to attend institutions of “higher learning.” Parents need to be more active, but American parents seem to leave a lot to be desired in many areas.

 

Academic freedom meeting at Stanford

The conference description:

 

Academic freedom, open inquiry, and freedom of speech are under threat as they have not been for decades. Visibly, academics are “canceled,” fired, or subject to lengthy disciplinary proceedings in response to academic writing or public engagement. Less visibly, funding agencies, university bureaucracies, hiring procedures, promotion committees, professional organizations, and journals censor some kinds of research or demand adherence to political causes. Many parts of universities have become politicized or have turned into ideological monocultures, excluding people, ideas, or kinds of work that challenge their orthodoxy. Younger researchers are afraid to speak and write and don’t investigate promising ideas that they fear will endanger their careers.

The two-day Academic Freedom Conference, arranged by the organizing committee, aims to identify ways to restore academic freedom, open inquiry, and freedom of speech and expression on campus and in the larger culture and restore the open debate required for new knowledge to flourish. The conference will focus on the organizational structures leading to censorship and stifling debate and how to repair them.

 

Is this a breath of fresh air, a sign that “common sense” has not been completely extinguished? I remain skeptical, but I could be wrong. Like every other human being who has ever lived, I don’t have a monopoly on truth, wisdom or good judgment.

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Some random photos to end the post. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Monday Musings

  1. “If you are hired as an X, the higher-ups often can’t see you as a Y even though you may be more than capable.”

    My first job in my new industry, another new hire got pissed and told our leadership “Before you hired me, I was a GD thought leader! Now I’m an idiot?!?” Once he left the company, he went on to launch several successful drugs as a medical director/chief medical officer/VP.

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  2. People have a tendency to put others in their own perceived slots. I am surprised at how many people have made mid-life career changes. I have heard of many lawyers who changed to chef or to engineer or some other career entirely not related to law. Or the engineer who changed to carpenter, or chef or whatever totally not related way of thinking. The key is to NOT let others define your way of working, thinking or doing what makes YOU happy.

    I love your book end. The Samuel Clemens quote alongside the “bookend” is classic and continues to be relevant to today’s politics.

    Time to go yell at the bank for totally NOT following the instructions on how to apply the payment.

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  3. “Is this a breath of fresh air, a sign that “common sense” has not been completely extinguished? ”

    Not likely. There are less and less folks these days that are willing to listen to, never mind debate, ideas that contradict what they KNOW is the real truth. And “cancel culture” has become a rot on every aspect of life. If you aren’t part of the “hive mind” on anything, you are deemed a heretic and banished, or worse.

    This is why I refrain from most all political, religious, climate, sexuality, etc, discussions as there is no benefit to be had, only anger and hurt feelings.

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      1. I meant to “capture” that sentence also.

        I’m worse than skeptical, I figure there is about 1% chance of common sense and civility returning in my lifetime. I’m starting to understand why some chose to become hermits.

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      2. No problem, DDM. I also understand why some choose to live off the grid as detached from society as possible. I seriously doubt I could ever do that, though.

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      3. I doubt I would ever live totally off the grid, I’m just weary of a lot of the interactions I have with some people. Even folks who have some common interests, can be blind to different views on other things. I think a lot of this is a result of too much time on social media where you can basically say anything, without real life consequences. There has been a meme floating around for a while regarding that, that goes something like; “There are too many people on social media that have never been punched in the mouth, and it shows.”

        I’m not an advocate for violence, but there is some truth to that sentiment.

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      4. “I think a lot of this is a result of too much time on social media where you can basically say anything, without real life consequences.”

        Truer words have probably never been spoken, DDM.

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