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Posted on January 28 at 1 p.m.
I'm always really sad to see these articles. Disconnecting is fairly easy if you want to do it. But like eating healthy or exercising it really requires the desire to do so. Mainly it just involves doing it because you actually see the value of the thing (rather than simply seeing other people say it has value and opting in because it's trendy to do so).
Calling it boredom is kind of off target as well. Taking a walk sans technology and letting your brain wander with your feet is enjoyable if not outwardly productive. So is sitting around staring at nothing--very pleasant but also it happens to be an "activity" that other folks don't perceive as productive. Boredom is more akin to really being restless and unhappy with the lack of stimulation which won't lead to particularly enjoyable downtime and will probably cause a person to not truly benefit from the lack of stimulation. I've been around people who say that they are bored and typically they'll reach for the first thing to occupy their mind rather than letting it wander away.
Your mind is what you make of it.
On Remember Boredom?
Posted on November 26 at 2:16 p.m.
It is odd how often the comments on both sides talk about the innocence or guilt of Wilson or Brown. I still haven't had a chance to read all the documents that were released so I am too ignorant to declare my opinion at this point.
However, isn't the whole purpose of the police --> court --> verdict system the notion that something such as one person killing another is something we wish to happen rarely in our society and so we arrest people who do this, have them go to court wherein evidence is presented and a group of people then decides that it can be called murder (unjustified based on the course of events) or if it is something more murky like self-defense or accidental?
It seems that the major arguments I hear against having officers go to court in the event of shootings is that it is costly and annoying. But if their actions are genuinely legal and fit with self-defense, would it not be worthwhile to have that additional step? Don't we (law enforcement and lay persons) want to weed out the people who actually murder from the people who are caught in situations in which force cannot be avoided? Isn't that why we have laws at all is to separate dangerous people from people who are not?
I certainly would not want a police officer to be shot in the line of duty simply because of a uniform. Equally, I don't want people being shot solely for the skin they cannot remove.
It seems as though, from the little I comprehend of Wilson vs Brown, officers are made to be the barrier between a community that politicians and lawyers don't serve well enough. That it is a preferred cost savings for officers to sometimes serve as a military front line which leaves the community as well as the officers at the mercy of each other's fear, anger and frustration.
I don't think Brown or Wilson seem particularly sympathetic generally speaking. But I do personally know people whose dark skin or uniforms put them on opposite sides of one another and I really never want to get that call wherein someone's anger at a murky justice system resulted in their death. Why is the narrative failing to find that solid ground between the two? Why are we so willing to be characters in tragedies holding onto partisan political crap that pivot on a game of telephone, facts getting lost and replaced by fancy?
Sorry for the ignorant wall of text, maybe I'll do better next time.
On Hundreds March in Solidarity with Ferguson
Posted on January 23 at 6:20 p.m.
My landlord planted "drought tolerant" plants at the height of the summer heat last year and has proceeded to drown the plants once a week since then. Sometimes overlapping with the complex's gardeners' schedule. Personally, in years where the winter rain is sparse I take fewer and shorter showers, flush only when necessary and try to keep water usage low. Unfortunately my rental's appliances aren't efficient, they are simply old. I really hope my landlord is exceptionally oblivious and will start cutting back but sadly I doubt it.
It feels like all these announcements waited far too long because folks like my landlord aren't likely to stop until there are fines and penalties. Which is truly shameful.
On In Time of Drought, State Water in Serious Doubt
Posted on July 30 at 4:14 p.m.
Years ago when I served on Student Senate at SBCC I served on a committee with Andrea (prior to her position as president). She seemed fair headed, intelligent and most importantly she seemed to listen more than she spoke. I've followed some of the drama around her term as president and been shocked. I do not recognize the representations of her presented by some of the press and locals who have been discussing the issue. I've also heard a variety of perspectives from people I know who work at the college.
The only thing that seems clear to me is that this is more of the political nonsense that has permeated the campus for many years (since the beginning?). I've always had some hope that the individuals involved in running SBCC and its individual educational departments would stop with their petty political squabbles to focus on their work as educators. Unfortunately it seems that this is just the latest and most visible of these squabbles. I am skeptical that this decision will lead to improvements at the college though it will probably result in bettered fortunes for those seeking to fill her seat.
On Serban Placed on Leave of Absence
Posted on July 17 at 5:42 p.m.
Lars had a good point, the one I've struggled with through my time in college. The abundance of colleges and the emphasis on having a degree (rather than gaining knowledge) is part of what creates this system. An education gives us knowledge which nourishes our minds, a trade gives us the means by which to nourish our bodies. Sometimes we can find a career that also nourishes our minds. However, the expectation that this should be the motivation to rush through a degree so you can sit in an office and pretend to do work while checking Facebook--there's no real justification for that.
On Expensively Educated and Underemployed
Posted on June 15 at 7:38 p.m.
I think it all depends upon your perspective. I've been studying in the sciences for a few years and have found that it has helped me appreciate my marriage more than I had previously. So many of the art around love is about the intense, passionate love that was part of the first few years with my significant other. But difficulties of life sometimes have the effect of dampening that. Learning more about the way in which the brain generates these states helped me appreciate not just how fragile love is but gave me the courage to stop expecting love to easily feel amazing. Over time it is more work but equally--it is more rewarding.
I also think that rainbows are still inspiring and beautiful. Knowledge alone is just information, its how we interpret and use it that is actually important.
On Relationship Dissection
Posted on December 4 at 8:26 a.m.
As someone who is not in particularly great shape, I've never really had a problem walking around SB...except that the cars kind of ruin the walking experience. I've always loved the fact that I can walk from Milpas to downtown faster than I can take the bus (if I've missed it) because the walk is usually easy and fast. The traffic is a nightmare during certain parts of the day but as with anything, if you hate it that much you can adjust to make it less frustrating. For instance, having a cup of tea and reading a book while waiting out the rush hour.
I can't say that I like the changes locally (having a preference for small towns myself) but the overwhelming generalizations on both sides are disappointing. There are no perfect places on this earth, we make our homes where we can and make them work for us. If the Lompoc minister is happy in his town then he should count his blessings and not look out his window making judgements on the homes of his neighbors.
On A Lompoc Minister Pities Us
Posted on May 26 at 8:01 p.m.
Having gone to the show to see NIN, I was pleased with Jane's Addiction as the show ender. Having seen JA at the bowl before but from seats way up in the back, it was a totally different experience being in the pit. With Perry constantly moving around, everyone in the pit had an opportunity to be near him and Dave was constantly smiling at the folks on his side of the stage, it was a very intimate way to end the show.
Granted, I suspect the show felt different for those who were further back. Regardless, I loved that NIN played some songs that they've rarely played live (which really is great for the fans if this is the last NIN tour). Even though it wasn't as high energy as my first NIN shows during the Fragile tour, it was still fantastic.
On Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction
Posted on May 22 at 9:46 a.m.
I'm unclear on why it's such a big deal (on the part of the board) to allow volunteer representation. It seems like a logical thing to do and would go a long way to keeping volunteer voices involved in the process. Considering how much of the work the volunteers do, it would be a positive move.
On The Botanic Garden's Many Fires
Posted on May 18 at 2:42 p.m.
Technically what the finding suggests is that males in that age bracket are tuned for violence while playing violent video games. But, based on the wording, I do not get the impression that the researcher is saying that violent video games cause individuals to behave violently outside of the time in which they are playing the game. After all, it would be necessary to test their interactions with other post-video game play to determine how the shooter state of mind translates to interactions afterward. It would also be prudent to look at the way these people are interacting beforehand too.
Short answer, I think the researchers want to see what's going on in the brain during interactions with different types of media (in this case, shooters) to understand what's going on in general.
On This Is Your Brain on Video Games