Is there any particular university that's pre-eminent in Environment / Climate / Ecology / Meteorology stuff?

Seems like there's no obvious choice the way there is for engineering, medicine, finance, etc.

I'm being nudged into a marketing role where I work, and it's forcing me to re-examine a long-held belief: Advertising Is Evil.

Anyone care to play devil's advocate?

The New Yorker’s “Touchstones” essays on classic albums are quite good. The inline samples of Missy Elliott’s musical references and supercuts of other artists borrowing Janet Jackson’s chair dance are a great evolution of online music writing. (There’s also one on Nirvana 🤷‍♂️) newyorker.com/culture/touchsto

I think the best New-New-Deal would be to give young people a Guaranteed Basic Job working for one or two elderly people, as IT support.

At the local computer store:

me: "Do you have any advice about how to learn to use this [new smartphone]? Like, what do all the different swipes mean?"

repair technician: "Ummm, I'd suggest finding a small child and asking them to teach you."

US Medical Billing continued:

Bizarro Future: Instead of paying for health insurance or a legal retainer, you pay your monthly healthcare budget to a PR firm who will counterattack the service provider in the court of public opinion as soon as you receive a bill.

Has media coverage surpassed the legal system as the standard way to contest medical bills in the US?

Odd asymmetry: nobody can hire lawyers to match an insurance co.'s legal team, but no amount of hospital/insurance PR can dispute public opinion about an absurd bill.

vox.com/health-care/2018/12/18

What's the best metaphor for aggregated public opinion?

1) collective unconscious
2) mob mentality
3) psychosphere
4) overton window
5) wisdom of crowds
6) clash of civilizations
7) other?

There's a lot going on in this interview with Adam Curtis:

Politics as pantomime, narrative void, South Park.

economist.com/open-future/2018

Early new-years resolution: spend time with more negative people.

I'm such a contrarian that the most reliable way for me to be optimistic is to be surrounded by the despairing.

On a purely syllabic basis, I'd like to hear a Kirsten Gillibrand shout-out in a rap song.

100 years after cars made horses obsolete and destroyed the carriage industry, it's odd that ferriers, leather-saddlemakers, and horse-breeders earn a premium over their modern equivalents: auto-repair techs.

The Wall Street Journal has become "Rich Kids of Instagram" for old people.

Rephrasing the question:

If you had to create scientific climate data for the place you live, what events would you feel confident recording, with relative certainty about dates?

Do you have any personal heuristics you use to record annual weather patterns?

People who grow plants often keep calendars and record "first frost," for example.

Homeowners might keep track of major storms with repair/cleanup bills.

Seasonal workers might keep track of their hours, indicating a fish spawning or the beginning/end of snowpack.

There's no un-inventing addictive human creations, so the cultural response is to gradually develop immunity by establishing norms.

Historically, isolated cultures have been more susceptible to newfangled vices. Where will the gamer-slums of 2050 be?

Current moral panic about addictiveness of screens is really comparable to previous moral panics about distilled spirits.

Cultures usually established a stable use pattern with beer and wine, then liquor threw everything off for a few decades / generations.

If silent reading was the beginning of "Screen Time", then we're about 300 years into a stable use pattern.

Most people who study etiquette do so because they're interested in social climbing.

Genuine examinations of lower-class etiquette are rare and fascinating.

Case in point: Jennifer Lawrence's breakout film "Winter's Bone"

@Elmkast Do you have any public playlists? Based on how much you care about music, I'd listen to an internet radio hour if you put one out.

Met a guy this morning who was out hunting deer with a bow and arrows he had carved.

Cultures grow in a stack, like a Maslow hierarchy.

Each new layer carries assumptions from the last.

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