These are the Times

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

~ Thomas Paine, The Crisis No. I (written 19 December 1776, published 23 December 1776)

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It’s Up to You

“If you are a good person, if you are a moral person, if you are a Christian, you are not going to be allowed to succeed in the system past a certain level. It’s just not going to happen. But it’s very, very freeing to know this. Continue reading

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A Few Rules

The person who tells the most compelling story wins. Not the best idea. Just the story that catches people’s attention and gets them to nod their heads.

Something can be factually true but contextually nonsense. Bad ideas often have at least some seed of truth that gives their followers confidence.

The person who tells the most compelling story wins. Not the best idea. Just the story that catches people’s attention and gets them to nod their heads.

Tell people what they want to hear and you can be wrong indefinitely without penalty. Continue reading

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Top Ten Security Tips – 2020 Edition

Top 10 Cyber Security Tips

Summarized from a podcast with Matthew Holland, CEO of Field Effect Security. My secrets aren’t worth my doing all of this, or insisting that my spouse or children do all these, but they’re all worth thinking about. Certainly worthy of consideration by anyone involved in real journalism. Continue reading

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The absurdity of a Scrabble hierarchy

“People who are very good at Scrabble are not more kind, better judges of character, more facile with soft skills, better long-term thinkers, more fun at parties or much of anything except good at Scrabble.

“Of course we don’t decide on who should have positions of authority or who should be trusted based on their skill at Scrabble. It’s simply a game.

“Perhaps the same could be true for beauty, celebrity or the acquisition of wealth.”

Or maybe, passing tests and pleasing professors?

From Seth Godin’s blog

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Douglas2’s Law

“I’ve even postulated versions of “Douglas2’s Law”, which are:

  1. if you can’t get to primary sources within 3 clicks of hyperlinks (such as to a transcript or video of the talk or interview, the actual court decision, or the journal precis of the scientific paper), they are intentionally lying to you.
  2. sensational articles will include links but trust that very few of their readers will actually click and read what is linked, as it nearly always contains the refutation of their headline claim.”

h/t to the Assistant Village Idiot

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I Miss Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer’s Rules

The long-time host of PBS NewsHour Jim Lehrer died this January 23rd at the age of 85. In this age of news as entertainment and opinion as news, Lehrer seems like one of the last of a breed of journalist who took seriously the integrity of informing the American public about important events. In a 1997 report by The Aspen Institute, Lehrer outlined the guidelines he adhered to in practicing journalism: Continue reading

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Churches have neglected that dishonesty is a sin

Dr. Bruce G. Charlton, retired theoretical biologist and Christian blogger, had some important things to say about the Church, our management culture, and Official Science back in January:

“The real Christian churches have been pretty solid concerning the reality (and identity) of sexual sins; but have neglected dishonesty – which is surely the most pervasive sin of modernity among the middle, professional and leadership classes.

“Consequently, churches have become strategically dishonest – without awareness, hence without repentance – and this is a factor in their continuing corruption: their absorption-into The System.

“This has happened because The West has become dominated by bureaucracy; management has become the most frequent job and activity of the upper classes – and management is intrinsically dishonest in its nature and operations.

“I have seen this happen through my adult life in science, academia, education and medicine – but most strikingly in science. From 1985-2000 British science went from being almost wholly honest to being almost wholly dishonest. The corruption was earlier in other systems.

“And when the leadership have become habitually, pervasively, calculatedly dishonest – then everything will fall apart; because in a system permeated by lies and distortions, nobody knows anything about anything.”

There’s more and it’s all worth reading.

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UNIX Rules for Life

  • Keep it simple: It’s cheaper and easier to carry around.
  • Do one thing at a time: Multitasking is a lie.
  • Network: You were born to connect.
  • Say what you mean; nothing is truer than the truth.
  • Hack: Trial and error is the only way we learn anything.
  • Be who you are: Even a bent wire can carry a great light.
  • Use leverage; a bigger hammer isn’t always the answer.
  • Use what you have: never dig diamonds with a brick of gold.
  • Have faith; all’s possible, except maybe skiing through a revolving door.
  • Think ahead, but don’t worship your plans; remember today is the first day of the rest of your learning experience.
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Job Interviews

“In most cases, the best strategy for a job interview is to be fairly honest, because the worst thing that can happen is that you won’t get the job and will spend the rest of your life foraging for food in the wilderness and seeking shelter underneath a tree or the awning of a bowling alley that has gone out of business.”
— Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

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