Think Before You React. And Maybe Consider Not Being There in the First Place

(This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page.) According to more than one news report, political extremists are planning to engage in some sort of high profile behavior on Sunday, January 17. Inauguration Day is three days later. I haven’t heard where they’ll be, but I’ll plan on staying home. I live a few blocks from the Civic Center and Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, so that’s prudent. It’s each person’s judgment call to make, depending on where they live and whether it’s possible to stay home. Personally, I’ll be prepared to “keep a low … Continue reading Think Before You React. And Maybe Consider Not Being There in the First Place

Yes, Popular Music Can Be Nuanced

WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO EXPRESS THINGS WITH METAPHORS AND MUCH MORE SUBTLETY, THAT’S WHEN YOU ARE DOING YOURSELF A DISSERVICE BY MAKING A VIDEO. — GEORGE MICHAEL Editor’s Note: The 1960s television series Gilligan’s Island is mentioned in this blog post. This post was written before we were notified that actress Dawn Wells had passed. There was no intention to disparage the show or her performance. R.I.P. Dawn Wells I found the above quote online. You can interpret the statement however you want, but any of us who have seen many music videos — and thought carefully afterward — … Continue reading Yes, Popular Music Can Be Nuanced

Progress on a Vaccine, and Staying Informed During a Crisis

Please read this Los Angeles Times article (from the AP newswire) carefully, and thoroughly. A link appears at the end of this post. Most people don’t enjoy reading, or they don’t have the time. There can be a temptation to look at the bold print above a news story, or skim the first couple of paragraphs, and consider the job done. When you were in high school, your teachers probably got irritated with students who did that because the teachers had already read the material and knew how easily it could be misinterpreted by someone who was careless. The article … Continue reading Progress on a Vaccine, and Staying Informed During a Crisis

Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

Disclosure:  This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page. Local news reports often place dirty laundry entertainment ahead of informing the public. It’s all about ratings, clicks or selling papers or magazines.  There’s a combination profit-power motive. That’s partly the fault of the public, and partly the fault of people who have sold out to a competitive rumor-mongering system (the latter do that to stay in business, which is our fault because we fail to boycott sensational reporting). It’s also partly the fault of people outside the “news community” who release or fabricate information to … Continue reading Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

Accounts get Hacked. Don’t be too Quick to React to Offensive Posts

My blogsite was hacked, once.  Fortunately, I was signing in often to look at tracking data, so I discovered the problem immediately (my password had stopped working) and recovered the account on the same day.  I don’t believe any harm was done. Always use an obscure password which you don’t use on other accounts.  Ideally, every online password should be like a single fingerprint.  The advice on how often to change a password varies. The mistake I made was using a foreign word (with a correct diacritical mark, which seemed so clever at the time), followed by a predictable series … Continue reading Accounts get Hacked. Don’t be too Quick to React to Offensive Posts