Teacher Tom: The Technology of Treating Children Like Fully Formed Human Beings: “Well, here I am today, the parent of a 16-year-old, a kid learning to navigate all the regular high school stuff we worry about, and I’ve yet to feel the need to ‘come down’ like a house of bricks. In fact, just as I did when she was 5, I find it much more productive to lay it all out for my daughter as honestly and informatively as possible, revealing my emotions, my dilemma as a parent, my concerns for her safety or her morals or her future or her reputation or whatever. No one makes great decisions all the time, but she’s had a lifetime of practice, and most of the time she comes up with perfectly reasonable solutions…My primary responsibility is to speak informatively, and to leave a space in which thinking can take place.”
The Metallic Snow-Capped Mountains of Venus: “Mountains on Venus are…capped with snow. Except that Venusian snow is mostly made from heavy metals.”
“This is the both the wonder and problem of being in healthy relationships: You forget just how crazy and toxic people can be. You walk around in this privileged bubble of kindness and genuine good intentions. So you can forget about how many people are abused, how limits don’t matter to rapists and wife-beaters. And you are gobsmacked when you run into people who are unkind for sport and have malicious intentions…
The experience of being loved, if it goes on long enough, makes you start to expect goodness and become less tolerant of even marginally abusive behavior. You think you are doing something right because you “attract positive people” and repel those who are toxic. People are kind to you, respectful and even fall in love with you because there is something about the privilege of being loved that reproduces itself.
Those of us who have good relationships are like people who are born wealthy and become even wealthier because of their work. Many wealthy people believe that if they can make a couple of extra million dollars a year by working hard, the rest of us should be able to make our first million the same way.”
Watts for Lunch? (Or Why Humans Are Like Light Bulbs): A human runs on the same amount of energy as a 120-watt light bulb.
What Marketers Don’t Understand About Motherhood: “…being mom is about being real.”
Deep-Sea Dump: ROVs Expose Trashed Ocean Floor: Pictures of things found on the ocean floor.
Paul Krugman: Sympathy for the Luddites: “If the picture I’ve drawn is at all right, the only way we could have anything resembling a middle-class society — a society in which ordinary citizens have a reasonable assurance of maintaining a decent life as long as they work hard and play by the rules — would be by having a strong social safety net, one that guarantees not just health care but a minimum income, too. And with an ever-rising share of income going to capital rather than labor, that safety net would have to be paid for to an important extent via taxes on profits and/or investment income.”