Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘autism’

Sunday musings 10/19/14

Sunday musingsā€¦

1) Inconvenience. “Inconvenience is only adventure wrongly considered.” C.K. Chesterton (1908).

I’m gonna chew on this and visit it next week. This is really good.

2) Wedding. It’s wedding season 2.0 for Clan bingo. Our progeny and their friends are in full wedding mode. We seem to be on the 2/month plan.

v2.0 is quite a little pricier than v1.0.

3) Patent. Jonas Salk would be 100 this weekend.

With all of the hysteria about Ebola it’s worth noting that literally hundreds of thousands of children were either killed or crippled every single year in the U.S. from Polio before the Salk vaccine was developed and widely disseminated. >300,000 children were killed by Smallpox each year. Last year some 56,000 Americans died from the Flu. Every single one of these has been, or could be avoided through the use of a vaccine. All of them trace back in some way to Salk.
When asked who owned the patent on his vaccine Salk was said to have answered thusly: “Well, I guess the people, I would say. There is no patent.

Could you patent the sun?”

3) Short sale. Lots of meanings for this, especially with the whole real estate bust thing. Kinda scary words at any time, but all the more frightening when we hear that the big gov-backed mortgage giants will once again loosen their lending standards, arguably the initial step that built up our housing bubble in the first place.

As usual, though, the obvious leap is not the one I’m interested in today. The more frightening short sale is one in which you sell YOURSELF short. Settle for something that is not good for you, or not really good enough, because you think what you have is somehow all you deserve. That’s terrifying, and I’m calling you out, right now.

Why are you still in that job that makes you shudder at the very thought of waking up on a work day? That boyfriend or girlfriend who is always dragging you down, telling you you’re not good enough without them, or holding you back because they can’t handle your success? Tell me, why are they still in the picture? Seriously, you’re gonna have to help me out on this one because I just don’t get those kinds of decisions. Defaulting to the status quo only makes sense when the status quo is pretty darned good.

This is not about selling yourself, this is about assigning worth. I’ve talked a bit about this before but I was reminded of it this weekend when I met a young woman who can reasonably be described as “the whole package”, and yet she seems to have tied herself to someone who wishes to hold her back, just as the anchor holds the speed boat at bay. She is selling herself short into what should be a booming market for who she is and could be. She, you, all of us are worth so much more.

Don’t sell yourself short.

I’ll see you next week…

Think for Yourself

The world is filled with stories for which we are awash in what someone else thinks about the story. Not so much about what they think about the facts of the story. No, that would be too reasonable, and take altogether to much time and effort. It’s all about making a story fit the world view of the commentator, about coming to a conclusion often before the story itself has come to a conclusion.

Our various information highways are jammed with “drivers” who are jumping to a conclusion, with all of the dangers inherent in that. Benghazi, Ray Rice, Ferguson, Bay Village. Each of these (and others you can think of) is, or will be soon, shorthand for a class of stories in which the signature characteristic was a jump to conclusion by large groups of people holding opposing world views who sought to use the story as a gavel to be pounded upon their own personal pulpit. I offer here no opinions whatsoever on the facts of any of these particular stories, only the observation that in each of them the rush to opine on the greater societal/political meaning they might involve was in itself harmful.

You could offer that these examples are indicative only of our new “gotta know”, always on news demand/deluge brought about by the info firehose of the internet. You could expand that by saying that these stories and the societal firestorm they’ve lit could only have happened in this new age in which everyone has a pulpit, be it Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or a blog. To this I would reply that the internet and the amplifiers that ride along its rails are simply that: accelerants rather than fire starters. The issue is prematurely jumping to a conclusion for the simple reason that your conclusion confers some personal benefit to you, the jumper, regardless of the validity of your conclusion once the fire is naught but the cool embers of the facts remain.

This is not new. This is not a function of 100 or 1000 channel cable news or the internet. A million bloggers vs. a hundred columnists, Twitter vs. letters to the editor. Drew Carey’s opinion and his money. None of those. This is about waiting for the whole story to unwind and for the cold hard reality of the facts to lay bare before you, rather than parsing the meaning of one of these events through the prism of an ideologue who has a size 12 to bang, or someone famous who has an opinion, or needs some buzz. It may be “new” if we consider the timeframe of papyrus vs printing press, but that’s as new as it gets.

Proof? Tawana Brawley.

Too young to know who that is? Too old to remember the story and the associated firestorm? Google/Bing/Ask.com it (those really ARE new). It’s a tale of people with ulterior motives who took control of a story that could be twisted to fit their worldview and their agenda without regard for either the truth or the effect of their machinations on the real lives of the real people who’d actually lived the real story. All in the “archaic” age of newspapers, network news, and the infancy of talk radio. Read about it; you won’t find it unfamiliar at all.

There are two lessons here, one that enrages and one that educates. There are never any consequences for those who use supposition and spin a tale that promotes their world view, often for personal gain. Indeed, you will find eerily familiar names in the news ca. 1989 as in the news ca. 2014. The actionable lesson predates papyrus and is so oft told it would be trite were it not so often ignored, if ever learned: arrive at a conclusion when, and only when, you have real facts at your disposal.

Then think for yourself.