You know that feeling when you spend a day compiling a response to a consulting RFP, only to notice at the end that it’s just for “Philippine nationals”? No? Well I do.
Otherise, it’s been a good week. I’ve been slowly getting The Blonde One into my favourite sport (as in my favourite sport to play): squash. It’s the only athletic thing I can still beat her at. But she’s a world-class athlete and will be kicking my firm muscular ass in no time. So I’m enjoying my supremacy while it lasts:
Long time readers of this blog will know that I have been squash obsessed for decades. I even used to keep a running log of my weekly (losing) battles with “Special” Ed Wong, co-founder of The Podium.
My Words. My Special Special Words.
I gave some thought to making and updating a list of terms for problematic or frustrating aspects of arguments often found in both written text and oral offerings. (Oral offerings. Heh heh.) Here’s what I have so far:
Aposiopesis – breaking off from speech and not finish a thought
Paralepsis – drawing attention to something by seeming to ignore it
Anacoluthon – purposely starting a thought in a way that creates a false expectation as to how it will finish
Can you think of any others? If so, add them to the comments below.
Speaking Of Words…
I got invited to join the editorial board of a journal. A visit to their website reveals some interesting lines. (The journal name has been redacted because I don’t want to get sued). Predatory much?
Reduce Your Social Media Time. Do It.
Do I miss Facebook? Yeah, a fair bit. But only as far as the regular contact I had with truly lovely people scattered across the world. I do miss that.
On a more concerning epidemiological note, I’ve been quietly suggesting to friends that we are in the midst of several large scale psychological epidemics. We’ve seen these before: Freudian hysteria in the early part of the 20th century; multiple personality disorder in the 1970s; claims of Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s; eating disorders in the 1990s; etc. I won’t name the present epidemics, but I’m sure you can take a good guess.
What’s interesting, though, is the role of media in the spread of such epidemics. Historically, media has been a force of skepticism, allowing rational thought to tamp down the exaggerated prevalence claims. (Well, to be fair, media has been complicit, as well as helpful.) But with social media, the effect seems to be the opposite: social media fuels hysteria.
Thus, I was gratified to see this article making the role of social media in the acceleration of psychological disease more mainstream.
In Other News…
- Both my employer (the University of Ottawa) and my alma mater (the University of Toronto) saw their global rankings increase this year!
- According to this article, Sir Isaac Newton predicted that Jesus would return –and the world would end– in 2060. Mind you, the same article claims that Newton “discovered” gravity, so it was clearly written by an imbecile.
- The Blonde One and I recently attended a wonderful panel discussion on how doctors could and should prescribe cannabis, in advance of the epochal moment in two weeks when The Herb becomes legal in Canada. I’m linking to a recording of the meeting just so I know where to find it in the future.
- Today I decided to try to publish a paper I wrote IN THE NINETIES. I have an undergrad updating the references. I will keep you informed because I know you want to know.
- It seems the new generation is fragile both emotionally AND physically.
And What You’ve All Been Waiting For…
There’s a reason I post pics of my meals. I will share that reason very soon. Well, very soon might mean a few weeks or months. But hang in there. It’s hard being a new vegan. But luckily corporate America is helping me out:
So here are my recent Overly Complicated Breakfasts….
With the recent death of my grandmother, I and my siblings and cousins are totally without grandparents now. It’s to be expected, of course. I am in my fifties, after all, and historically I would have been a grandfather or even great-grandfather at this age, some centuries ago.
But we live in a time of archived memories. It occurs to me that I have many photos of my recently passed maternal grandmother. There are no photos of my paternal grandmother, who passed away more than a decade before I was born. And so I am eager to preserve the only photos of my grandfathers. One was taken near the end of that gentleman’s life (my Aja, or paternal grandfather), while the other was taken at the very start of that gentleman’s adult life (my Nana, or maternal grandfather). Here they are, with their single names. Because in the village in those days, surnames were largely unknown:
Bye For Now.