Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-04-27

Here are this week’s interesting things I’ve stumbled across: 2015-04-28

  • “The Internet’s Original Sin” is not pornography, as you might originally conclude. In this article in The Atlantic, one of the early developers of the web outlines how the good intentions of the heady days early days of the internet evolved into our current state of “advertising-supported, ‘free-as-in-beer’ constellation of social networks, services and content that represents so much of present day web industry… Surveillance as the default, if not sole, internet business model.” This is what happens when you refuse to pay money for things, you pay with a loss of your privacy and control of your data. The linked lecture by Maciej Ceglowski in 2014 is also an enlightening, if longer, read. Both should have you at least pondering whether you want to whole-heartedly and blindly continue to support this business model on the web. And whether we want our children to not know a choice.
  • There is a name for this affliction we have with our smart phones and social media, and it’s been around since 1998- Continuous Partial Attention. This interview with the person who coined the phrase, Linda Stone, had some points that really made me sit up and notice, such as “Kids learn empathy in part through eye contact and gaze. If kids are learning empathy through eye contact, and our eye contact is with devices, they will miss out on empathy.” http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/06/the-art-of-paying-attention/309312/
  • Following that call for mindfulness and attentiveness for the activity at hand is this:How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Presence Over Productivity
  • Then when I read this article The Full-Stack Employee, the juxtaposition of these ideas on how to be hyper-productive in today’s workforce against the previous ones of presence over productivity was amusing, for sure. But it’s still relevant for me to think about as I’ve returned to the workforce, and trying to figure out how to best stay valuable so I can demand concessions to be made on flexibility in my schedule.
  • Remember back in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union decided that Pluto was no longer classified as a planet? This video gives a good explainer why in less than 5 minutes. 

~Jen

Scene from a household: If T was a dance costume designer

E1:”Guess what our dance costume is this year! ”

All across the dance-studio land, dancers and teachers are gearing up for the end-of-year recitals. The girls’ studio was no different.

T takes a pen and starts sketching on some paper. :”A hamburger! “ dance_costume_sketch_burger

E2: “Noooo! It is a circus theme!”

E1:”I’ll give you a hint. I’m an animal.”

T: “Hmm, ok, I got this.” He draws some more. “Are you a giant squid?”dance_costume_sketch_squid

E1: “That’s not a circus animal! Squid live in the oceans. Be serious Daddy.”

He sketches a new costume. “I know this is a circus animal, am I close?”dance_costume_sketch_dog

E1: “No! The animal I am is a big cat.”

T: “OK, I got this then!” He draws some more. “A big cat! And look, I gave you a nice fish accessory too.” dance_costume_sketch_catThe girls whine their protests about it not being right, all the while trying to suppress some giggles. I am outright Laughing Out Loud.

T: “Ooh, is your dance a jazz number? I add this top hat to the costume, that’s very jazzy.”

I mean, *that’s* entertainment. Who wouldn’t be entertained by a group of 12 dancers prancing around on stage in this getup?

~Jen

Parenting is hard: sibling jealousy

I’ve been noticing in the last few months that E1 has been taunting her sister more and more, or doing things just to bother her. Putting her foot on E2’s chair. Purposefully taking up more space so there is no room for E2. Belittling things or accomplishments that E2 wanted to share with the family. They still had lots of moments where they got along great and have fun together, but the ratio was starting to to the other way.

I decided to address it at our family meeting this week. Continue reading Parenting is hard: sibling jealousy

Parenting is hard: sex talks

“Mommy, how does your body know when you are married so you can make a baby?”

This is the question posed to me last night by my elder daughter, E1.

Me: “Um, that’s not how a baby gets made.”

E1: (still continuing on the train of thought that babies are spontaneously made in mommy’s belly upon marriage) “And then how does the baby get parts of the Daddy in it? Like some of his looks, or personality?” Her face was pondering this question. Continue reading Parenting is hard: sex talks

Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-04-11

It’s quite a hiatus since my last finds post, but life has been busy tossing things at me to throw my routines off balance: a road-trip vacation, a new job, and the arrival of spring. I’m attempting to resume this habit now, as a means to track things that have really piqued my interest of late. Here goes, some of the interesting finds from the last few weeks: Continue reading Jeneral finds of the week: 2015-04-11