Friday, March 06, 2009

5 for Friday

This week let's take a walk amongst the RSS Reader and find some folks to share with you. This will be a diverse listing, something for each of you hopefully that will be worthwhile reading today and adding to your daily list, or favorite RSS Reader.

1 - Christina Rosalie writes at My Topography. A wonderful photography, writer and mother of her second son just recently, you can catch up on their daily life:

Today, sun. Today water droplets falling steadily from icicles along the eaves. Today, fat buds on the forsythia, neighbors running lines for sugaring, the sky the color of a bluebird’s back. Today I am less tired. Still, it is an adjustment, a translation, a prayer.

Sprout is eleven days old. He sleeps in his bouncy seat dappled with sunlight, making porpoise noises. Under the table Bean builds with blocks and talks to himself, his fingers still sticky with mango from lunch.

Check out Christina at my topography

2 - John Medina wrote Brain Rules and his blog is a recent find.

Using the metaphor of a fishing net, I discussed 2 overall research strategies that geneticists commonly use to catch these elusive sequences of interest. One strategy is to cast nets that act like large purse seiners to collect many sequences in a single (and usually quite expensive) effort. The other strategy is akin to dropping a single fishing line into the genetic waters to see if anything “bites.”

If you have interest in how the gray matter works and what physical things we can do to help it do its thing better, then the book website with videos would be a good and easy place to see if it makes sense to pursue further. One of his brain rules is that it is impossible to multi-task. Need to check that one!

3 - You know when something has reached its peak when the articles start coming out about how much a waste of time it is. Such with Twitter, which while I use it and do find some uses for, can very well be a time sink. Leonard Pitts Jr thinks so too. I point him out more because he is a good writer than for his views on Twitter which he happened to write about this week.

Take it as one more example of the medium becoming its own message. After all, every new advance in communications from telegraphs to Twitter has been sold as a means of perfecting human relationships, allowing us to interact more easily, understand one another more readily. But it hasn't happened yet.

Indeed, you have to wonder if, as communication becomes ever easier, we have not gone in the opposite direction, crossing the point of diminishing returns as we did. More people have more ways to reach more people than at any point in history. But it turns out -- read a message board or an unsolicited email, if you don't believe me -- many of us don't have a whole lot to say.
So while Leonard may not have a lot to say to Twitter about, he does write well on the topics he does have something to say about. You can read him here

4 - Robert Fulghum, whom I have quoted regularly writes a thoughtful piece here
My final reason: The process of considering one’s legacy is instructive.

Every time I’ve undertaken the task of reviewing and revising my will I’ve been glad. It’s made me reconsider the life I live, what’s really important, and what’s really not. And reminded me that the most valuable thing left behind to others is good memories.

It’s this existential experience that makes the effort worthwhile.
Thinking about what will happen after you die makes you think about what happens before you die. Thinking about dying well makes you concentrate more on living well. It’s why I visit my cemetery lot every once in awhile, just to keep perspective.

Every time I do this I manage to put down the trivial, call up some friends to spend an evening together - like tonight - at St. Cloud’s - where Tom Bennett and the Rolling Blackouts are playing stomping good roadhouse music, the laughter is loud, the dancing spontaneous, and for awhile everybody there forgets about death for an evening because joy always trumps the darkness.

While he prepares his last will and testament, I have been working on my resume; laying out the objectives for what's next.

5 - Finally for today, we'll close by visiting with Paul Graham who write succinctly good essays. In this one, he opens with the following:

About twenty years ago people noticed computers and TV were on a collision course and started to speculate about what they'd produce when they converged. We now know the answer: computers. It's clear now that even by using the word "convergence" we were giving TV too much credit. This won't be convergence so much as replacement. People may still watch things they call "TV shows," but they'll watch them mostly on computers.

What decided the contest for computers? Four forces, three of which one could have predicted, and one that would have been harder to.

What were the forces to decide the battle between computers and TV? You'll need to click through to find out but it will be better in Paul's telling than in my re-telling.