As the long-term readers here are aware, I become scarce about this time of year, and remain that way until November. My work takes me out into the field for the next several months, and my time, opportunity, and inclination to write blog posts takes a major hit. A week from now, that cycle is going to start again. Besides the usual workload, I am once again breaking in a new assistant, which means even less time. Now, on to the other stuff.
Tag Archives: lessons
I was recently reading a very good series on West Virginia over at Al Jazeera. It’s the thing that you used to see from our media, but no longer. It’s a rather disturbing picture of what happens when an area is almost totally dependent on one industry, and one that is an “extractive industry:” Coal. The reports focus on one county, McDowell, which in the past was one of the major producers of coal. Today? Well, it’s not a very nice place. But there’s some lessons in there as well.
It’s officially “Spring,” according to the calendar, although the “look out the window” around here says “still Winter.” There are signs that spring will eventually get here, but exactly when is anyone’s guess. One of the evidences for climate change from my perspective is that “general predictability” has gone out the window in the past decade. There was a time when I could plan around when seasons would begin, within a week or two. Now, I have to guess within a month or so, and I’m usually wrong.
Milt Shook over at Please Cut The Crap has a great post up titled “10 Things All Progressives Should Understand for 2014 and Beyond.” I strongly recommend reading it. It’s common sense, pragmatic, and straightforward. In that vein, I’m revamping a post that was part of a series back at the end of 2011, the “Politics for the Far Left” series. I’m doing that not (just) because I’m lazy, but because I’m seeing many of the same … idiotic … statements reappearing that I saw back then that caused me to write it in the first place. Continue reading
As I’ve stated in the past, I’m a pragmatic liberal. Some of that pragmatism comes from my experiences in various situations, while the rest of it comes from my background in science. Get involved in enough projects that end up being of the “up to your ass in alligators” type, finding out that the plans you were given won’t work or don’t do what they were supposed to, and you become a fan of “what works.” From the sciences, it was the times spent coming up with a great hypothesis, only to have the actual experimental data totally destroy it. The result is that I tend to be not quite cynical, but definitely willing to question things. I want to see the data, and I want to see if or how something works. If the data doesn’t back it up, or it’s not working, I’m willing to chuck it and go with something else. The opposite to that is … faith.