A mixed bag

All posts in the A mixed bag category

Oh well…Just one:

Published November 27, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

 

Whatever else contributed to the FTX meltdown, it is essential to recognize the role played by a society—backed by a legal regime of economic incentives—that valorizes wealth, spurns regulation, and worships technical “smarts” over democratic accountability. The trouble is distributed throughout a culture that is “inherently elitist, genius-obsessed, and dismissive of larger society,” as Cathy O’Neil puts it in a searing essay on tech futurism.

“Ultimately,” O’Neil concludes, “this is all about power and influence.” If we took Fried’s arguments seriously, we might actually do something about that—by reining in the power of the rich, say, and shoring up the welfare of the rest. The relentless libertarian demand to parse personal responsibility, Fried’s essay makes clear, keeps distracting us from changing the organization of society—except perhaps to build more prisons. In its zeal to identify bad apples so it can leave everything else the same, this outlook is the anti-reformist and anti-regulatory philosophy par excellence.

More at Ben at Boston Review members@bostonreview.net via gmail.mcsv.net

News

Published November 27, 2022 by Nan Mykel

France is going to be one of the first countries in the world to ban fossil fuel advertising

In August, France announced that they will become the first European country to ban fossil fuels advertising! This includes ads for all energy products relating to fossil fuels and energy from the combustion of coal mining and hydrogen-containing carbons. Ads for natural gas are still allowed but may be phased out in the coming year. Companies caught advertising these environmentally disastrous products could face fines between €20,000 and €100,000.

Originally tweeted by Theodor Kittelsen (@ArtistKittelsen) on September 25, 2022. and reblogged an excerpt by Ned Hamson.

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The new king of England, Charles III may have a bad rap with liberals due to England’s takeover-the-world past , but he’s personally involved in fighting climate change.  And he’s the first royal with a college degree and is an artist in his spare time.  His own auto, an Aston Martin DB6 — which he has owned since 1970 — uses an untraditional fuel source, in keeping with his efforts to lower his own personal carbon footprint. Instead of gasoline, Charles’ favorite vehicle uses repurposed surplus English white wine and whey made from the cheesemaking process, which is converted into bioethanol fuel. The unique fuel is created by a company called Green Fuels in Gloucestershire, who worked with Aston Martin specialists to produce the unusual energy source.

9 Magestic Facts About King Charles III:  <hello@interestingfacts.com>

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SELF ANALYSIS – I know I’m impulsive, a poor keeper of promises (I think of them as intentions), and disintegrating with age (I experienced hallucinations as I woke up a little while ago), but this blog, which was not so cleverly named, eats up almost all my time, taking it from vacuuming, taking up the garbage, doing my dishes, cooking goulash, crock potting a chicken breast and making a salad that must last for a week– not to mention the much earlier attempted organization of my files, including old photos from my genealogical workdays.  As I pause in my blogging, I hope to replace it not with my domestic duties but putting together again my abandoned novel about a transgender’s experience coming out.

(By the bye, my files got so out of hand because I developed the habit of saving informational articles to use in my collegiate  school column at the University of Florida, “S’Matter of Fact.”  Oops, sorry; that was my high school column at Miami Jackson.  In college it was called “Artifacts,” as I did postgraduate study in anthropology.  John Goggin was my  anthropology teacher and mentor who took us on digs during the weekend, and Buddy Davis was my much admired professor in journalism, who frequently spoke of “the milk of human kindness.”

(You may have noticed I have a slight problem with bragging, too, but memories are what’s left of a loooong life with many chapters.)

My cousin Barbara, who was the copy editor for my nonfiction Fallout, has declined the invite to copyedit this new fiction enterprise, saying “What do you know  about being transgender?!”  I didn’t answer, but don’t feel any difficulty in relating; they’re human and I’m human and I am sensitive and empathic with a good imagination remaining, so why not?  Earlier I abandoned the novel after someone seemed to think the beginning, maybe called the Preface, was too raw.  In fact, she questioned whether I had written it.  [I have subsequently re-written the Preface.]  Anyway, I hope to continue reading your blog posts and we’ll see how long I can keep this promise.  Oh yes, the title may be Inside Jules’ Closet;  Shady Acres; or…?

I’d like to post it chapter by chapter as I write it on this blog, but first have to explore if that would interfere with its getting published.  Let me hear from anyone with the answer, please.

P.S. Sorry about the following misleading photo of me as much younger, but I think I prefer it.  Smile.

On My Mind Today

Published November 26, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOD?  At the end, when most of us either hope or want to have something to hope for…Except perhaps the hardened folks with shattered and bitter…No, I shouldn’t overstate. I suspect there are atheists and other agnostics who are able to let go entirely of consciousness and say goodbye to themselves as their lights go out.  As for others, well, as you may have noticed I’m kinda fond of myself and hate to see the old girl go.  In fact, I wrote the following poem back in 2015:

WISHFUL THINKING

Squabbling in

the planet’s sandbox,

howling from a fistful of the stuff

into streaming eyes,

bloodline against itself.

 

Domesticated life forms,

not cloned, rather

tainted with the freedom

to differ in

their cousin rivalry.

 

Why are the earth’s many

Gods only uncles?

Let us hear from Grandfather

who in His infinite wisdom

must surely re-unite us all.

[Or not…]

The [heart] beat goes on…

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What’s the point of the annual COP27 gathering? In short, nations still strive to reach the goals they set even if they don’t fully meet them. Rather than viewing these conferences as the final word, experts argue they are part of a process in which the world’s most powerful people recommit to fighting climate change.

From <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ogbl#inbox/WhctKKXgtTcBWZFrZDSkcFtWqGqsJXdLClKxrBpvMqKhZWvfQPlMTHCkqGjbVXRhSdZgJcl>

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CONFESSION:   I don’t like to feed depression, so I read the last few pages of novels to make sure they don’t end sadly.  What a waste of time to read an entire book only to make yourself feel bad!  I forgot to do that when I read Mary Gordon’s The Rest of Life, as I may have mentioned before.

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DISQUS?  I’m trying to understand a safe way to join Disqus without making myself totally vulnerable to the world, as in info files in all areas of my life. .  Has anyone done Disqus and how did it go?  Worth the trouble?  I read a stupendous article on the 3 Quarks Daily site or platform or what have you…that I’d like to refer you to.   It was  in an 11/14/22 posting, and appears to have been previously on Disqus.  Titled We Can’t Work (It) Out by Ada Bronowski:  “A comedian is a comedian the day he or she invents their own form of ideal ugliness… The slightly sickly, un-sculpted body is what enables a comedian to say the outrageous things they say and reap the laughs.”  She traces the ungainly comedian way back and forward, including Socrates.  Sorry, I don’t know how to recapture an earlier article on 3 Quarks, but you can probably figure it out yourself, if you’re under 80.  I still had it on my read e-mail.  But it’s amazing.  See if you don’t think so…P.S. 3 Quarks Daily features published articles from the fields of  Science, Arts, Philosophy, Politics and Literature.

How many of these…

Published November 25, 2022 by Nan Mykel

...will be worn by murderers/ burglars/insurrectionists this year?  I don’t blame the Black Friday merchants but I do wonder  about how quickly laws against the wearing of masks got ignored (justifiably) with the pandemic, yet the wearing of masks just happened to coincide with looser–or no–gun controls?  I recommend them when breaking the law.  Will a number of them be found alongside discoveries of hidden caches of ammunition and aka’s?

I thought it nicer not to give credit for the photo, but these or many, many other varieties of ways to become anonymous,,,and protect against sun and cold and maybe even the winter’s anticipated viruses…can be found under black friday sales on the internet.

Why Are People Staring?

Published November 25, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Is my slip showing?

Credit: David Crenshaw/Tulsa World, via Associated Press in NY Times

Now, how did the “ears” come to pass?  Surely not as a signal to hunters, “Here I am!”

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If this you’re reading this and needing a feel-good post and you opened it out of curiosity or with hope, then I invite you to visit the  page at the top of this site called Relief–Refreshing.  I just re-read the entire page and feel much better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit…David Crenshaw/Tulsa World, via Associated Press

Strange Goings-On…

Published November 23, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(That means things that I don’t yet understand:)

A non-binary who goes by “them” committing the Club Q mass killing…

A Walmart manager killing his employees near closing time in a breakroom. (Were they supposed to be working to close up?)

Resistance to using the Red Flag law to forestall possible-to-probable mayhem.

How the 2010 Citizens United vs. the FEC case effectively blocked the ability to enact limits on campaign spending, opening the floodgates to the billions of dollars that have since poured into the election system, enabling those with access to concentrated wealth to have vastly more influence over our political system than the average American.  How can that be democratic?

Better stop now…

IN WHOSE IMAGE WAS AN EMERALD JEWEL WASP FASHIONED?

Published November 23, 2022 by Nan Mykel

So many things today blow my mind.  God made man in his own image, but who made the magic emerald jewel wasp (who can turn a cockroach into an obedient zombie that will host her larvae and serve as dinner?)  I believe it’s not curiosity that killed the cat, but that adds years to the questioning aged.

Since many of us have given up on the Why question, attention is drawn even more to the How:

First, the wasp plunges its stinger into the cockroach’s midsection to briefly paralyze the legs. Next comes a more delicate operation: stinging the head to deliver a dose of venrmin to specific nerve cells in the brain, which gives the wasp control over where its victim goes. But how does a wasp know when it’s reached the brain?  The stinger’s tip is a sensory probe.

In experiments using brainless cockroaches, a wasp will sting the head over and over again, searching fruitlessly for its desired target.

It’s enough to make me wonder, but then I’m always curious.

 

 

An Interesting Earlier Exchange by Keith and Reader

Published November 23, 2022 by Nan Mykel
  • Six times as many people died last year because their doctor screwed up while they were in the hospital than died of gun shot wounds… and that includes suicides. Nobody knows how many people died because they took medication that was prescribed for them. I think it’s time to give this gun baloney a rest.

    Americans are, and always have been, a violent and bloodthirsty bunch. NOBODY is taking any guns away. On occasion a crazy person, or, a really pissed off person is going to get their hands on a gun and blood will flow. Deal with it, or, move to a country not quite so bloodthirsty. You simply cannot expect to send hundreds of thousands of our young people [excuse me… “Heros”] out to kill “foreigners” who stand in the way of American corporate profits AND turn us at home all into unarmed pansies who calmly discuss their differences over tea and cookies. Culture don’t work that way.

    Half the people in this country have nothing left to hold on to than their guns BTG… and it is going to get worse. You have to quit worrying about getting shot. Turn the damn channel. There is too much fun to still be had before the lights go out to be wasting time worrying about nonsense that you can’t change. Nobody gets out alive and you gotta reap what ya sew… and so on and so forth.

    Nice read though
    Mrs. N.

    • Mrs. N, you always provide interesting comments. We need to fix the medical problems, too. That is an issue of its own which I have attempted to speak to in other posts. On your other points, I again would prefer not to generalize about how “we” are. Most of the people I know are not like what you describe. The ones that get the press are the ones who tend to be on the extreme side. Most gun owners do not belong to the NRA, so the NRA view could be called extreme. I think we will need to say we disagree on many of your/my points, which is both of our rights, and yes no one gets killed because we do disagree. I am not worried about getting shot, as I will die some way. I worry when kids get shot needlessly, though. As always, I appreciate your remarks. Never hesitate to offer your thoughts. All the best, BTG

      NAN asks what’s BTG? Big Tough Guy?  Bring Together?

TOO MUCH THINKING CAN LEAD TO,,,

Published November 22, 2022 by Nan Mykel

HINTING THAT YOU’RE YOUNGER THAN YOU ARE – (See image)

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FLOODING WORD PRESS – So I try to combine several thoughts in one post, like here.

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WONDERING WHY I never read anything on WP about the funny musical election parodies on  youtube. I figured they were considered to be in poor taste or yawl didn’t know about them, so I was cowed into keeping quiet about them.  My plebian self thinks they’re funny.

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LEARNING THAT Quora used to pay for entries (the wilder the better?).  In seeking how to comment to one posting I ran into a delightful “space” in Quora’s gizzards, by Alexander Lehmann who lives in Germany and has 10 “spaces” whatever that means:  https://kwalnampshneyhfo.quora.com/  I’m following him now.

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STILL STEAMING ABOUT  Saudi Arabia and other OPEC oil producers that are discussing an output increase of up to 500,000 barrels a day, the group’s delegates said:  WSJ News per Dr. Rex.

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I LOOKED IT UP FOR YOU:  Recently I asked how one can buy Forever U.S. stamps at cut rate over the internet, a deal apparently separate from the U.S. Post Office.  Either no one one knew either, or didn’t read my post.  What I found on Google, after giving up on getting an answer to my blogged question,  was:

If you’re scrolling through social media and find a deal on postage stamps, be wary. News 8 On Your Side is hearing more frequently from viewers with questions about stamps. For example, Susan in York sent this email: “I have seen many ads for rolls and sheets of USPS forever postage stamps for sale on Facebook. They run from $19.99 to $39.99 for 100 stamps. Are these usable? Many people including myself have ordered them and they do come, but is it legal to use them?”  The Postal Service makes it clear that it does not sell postage stamps below face value.  A first-class stamp costs 58 cents, so a roll of 100 stamps should cost $58.  So, if you spot an ad to buy stamps for $20, that’s too good to be true.  If you do buy counterfeit stamps, try to use them and they’re discovered by the postal service, your mail could be confiscated.  The Postal Service recommends that you buy stamps from approved vendors. That can include legitimate big-box or warehouse retailers who do provide small discounts on postage stamps, but that is through resale agreements with the Postal Service:

SORT OF A CONFUSING ANSWER!!!!!!!  Hells Bells,   I STILL DON’T KNOW!

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IS FEELING GUILTY BAD?  Many conservatives appear to believe we should keep the truth from young Americans so they won’t feel bad about their forefathers.  Problem is, feelings of guilt is what fuels the conscience.  Would they admit that throwing the conscience out the window (as many of them have) is preferable to learning the truth?  You may say that youngsters shouldn’t feel guilt about what their forefathers did, but if not understanding the truth feeds current racism, what then?  I was  reminded of the destructive fuel in the impact of the Thanksgiving story told almost everywhere by almost every one, save the natural inheritors of this country.  You may have read a slightly truthful reference to it, but I learned things today that blew my mind.  I won’t repeat them here, but check it out.  A new book is David Silverman’s  This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving

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SO THERE, CONSERVATIVES! The quick actions of a retired army major and a drag performer in high heels took down the gunman before he reached a crowded patio: Times Headlines

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TOO MUCH GOOD STUFF TO REPORT:  The current New Yorker Climate Issue, especially Elizabeth Kolbert’s Annals of a Warming Planet: Climate Change From A to Z is well worth reading for yourself.   Countries responsible for half of all historical CO emissions are:

United States 24.5%

China 14%

Russia 6.8%

Germany  5.5%

One hundred and ninety countries are responsible for the other half:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/11/28/climate-change

Whew!  Almost midnight! Goodnight, guys…

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