Pointing towards a gathered heap of dust,
Asked in my futile folly to attain
Birthdays as many as those dusty grains.
It slipped my mind to ask those years should be
For ever young. …” —Sure, it’s 2,000-or-so years old, but still, …
I’m too fearful to think about what the books and magazines in front of me right now – I’m in my office office – say about my interests:
Waters magazine (a trade magazine about the software and hardware that bank holding companies use)
The newest issue of bitch magazine
Credit Derivative Strategies (a book about, well, credit derivatives)
Making Scenes (a 2002 fiction hypertext; it’s very good)
The Associated Press Stylebook (because I had a deadline yesterday)
Strategic Management Theory (for a new business proposal)
Google Maps Mashups with Mapplets, KML, and GeoRSS (how-to guide on using Google Maps to do neat things)
Foreign Affairs (a journal)
Scientific American’s Earth3.0
And of course, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style (Fourth Edition), which I actually carry around with me sometimes
Not to get all meta — Kidding! I thoroughly enjoy it. — but launching a print publication nowadays is big news. Hell, finding a print outlet that isn’t threatened financially is tough.
But conservation and environmentalism isn’t just for unwashed hippies anymore. Today, it’s the sole focus of boardroom discussions and corporate strategies. Earth3.0, published by Scientific American, covers that space, and judging by the first issue, covers it well. From the cover story:
Water is needed to generate energy. Energy is needed to deliver water. Both resources are limiting the other—and both may be running short. Is there a way out?
It’s not clear whether this is a special print edition or a full-fledged new title. Developing…
“It’s getting a lot better. I think people are starting to come around. So I’ll come to this one.”
That’s what I said in September before I flew to another state and went to the first wedding I’d ever been to. That was around the time that the State of Connecticut was mulling over its proposal to allow same-sex unions, a proposal it ratified. That progress gave me optimism: I gave in to my long-held silent protest against the institution of marriage and went to that wedding.
Then, California rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry. Now, I really wish I hadn’t gone to that wedding. Now, I feel like a co-conspirator in the shameful intolerance of social policy.
Like other injustices, I’m not equipped to understand marriage from the perspective of its victims. Because I’m a mostly-white male, I’ll never encounter race discrimination or a glass ceiling. And because I’m straight, I’ll be allowed to marry whoever I want to. Even still, to me, denying two people the right to marry is simply enraging. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if it did directly affect me.
The issue shouldn’t involve religion or politics. Citizens of the United States should have a government that creates an environment in which they can pursue happiness. This is what our government is for. A ban on marriage between two people precludes their happiness; this is economically unproductive and hurts everyone – straight or gay, married or single.
There’s the ‘argument of the heart,’ too, that some people craft much better than I could:
(Olbermann’s remarks are transcribed here.)
I’m glad for my friends and family who are in happy marriages. But I’m sickened to have to have the mindset that, apparently, access to that happiness is a selective privilege, not a right.
The Wall Street Journal published a good read today about dress at the office. The lede sums it up well:
“… The suit, he felt, was tantamount to a lie.” (link via woodlandalyssa)
For a couple of years, I worked in investor relations. Suits were usually mandatory – failing meetings with stuffy equity analysts, there was always that
possibility latent threat of a client popping into our office. This was understandable and didn’t bother me too much.
Then I worked for around a year at a PR firm that had a mandatory, suits-only dress code. I went to work every day in a suit … to write copy and answer my phone. For me, this caused more problems than it solved. Getting back to my neighborhood before the dry cleaner closed at 7pm never happened.
Now, I work for a firm like the ones referenced in the WSJ article. I own two nice suits – my “conference” suit and my “other” suit – and cringe when I’m forced to put either one on.
So, today*: Grey skinny jeans by Kenneth Cole, motorcycle boots by Aldo, a Product (RED) t-shirt, and a light jacket by Hugo Boss. If I did wear a blazer today, it’d just be hanging in my office’s closet.
* I’m trying to follow the “What I Wore” form. I’m really not a label whore. Honest.
Michael Lewis’ “The End,” from the current Portfolio, is an astounding piece of work. … Quoting any of this out of context does not truly do it justice, but here’s a brief example of why it’s so good:
That’s when Eisman finally got it. Here he’d been making these side bets with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank on the fate of the BBB tranche without fully understanding why those firms were so eager to make the bets. Now he saw. There weren’t enough Americans with shitty credit taking out loans to satisfy investors’ appetite for the end product. The firms used Eisman’s bet to synthesize more of them. Here, then, was the difference between fantasy finance and fantasy football: When a fantasy player drafts Peyton Manning, he doesn’t create a second Peyton Manning to inflate the league’s stats. But when Eisman bought a credit-default swap, he enabled Deutsche Bank to create another bond identical in every respect but one to the original. The only difference was that there was no actual homebuyer or borrower. The only assets backing the bonds were the side bets Eisman and others made with firms like Goldman Sachs. Eisman, in effect, was paying to Goldman the interest on a subprime mortgage. In fact, there was no mortgage at all. “They weren’t satisfied getting lots of unqualified borrowers to borrow money to buy a house they couldn’t afford,” Eisman says. “They were creating them out of whole cloth. One hundred times over! That’s why the losses are so much greater than the loans. But that’s when I realized they needed us to keep the machine running. I was like, This is allowed?”
If you’re not well-versed in finance you’re going to need to read this thing a couple of times (I’m going back for the third bite right now), but as a great narrative snapshot of what went wrong—to the extent that anyone has been able to fully figure out what went wrong—I’d advise you to start here.
No, you really need to start here.
I pretty much have CNN or CNBC running all the time at my apartment.
… (snipped) …
Well, I pretty much have CNN and CNBC running all the time in my office. Smug Rick Sanchez balances out screamy Jim Cramer once mid-afternoon hits.
“Hello dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
I would like inform you that Scarlett Johansson (actress) actually is a clone from original person Scarlett Galabekian last name, who has nothing with acting career. That clone was created illegally by using stolen biological material. Original person is very nice (not d**n sexy),most important - CHRISTIAN young lady! I’ll tell you more,those clones (it’s not only one) made in GERMANY - world leader manufacturer of humans clones, it is in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Rhineland-Palatinate, Mr. Helmut Kohl home town. You can not even imaging the scale of the cloning activity. But warning! Helmut Kohl clone staff strictly controlling all their clones (at least they trying) spreading around the world, they are very accurate with that, some of them are still NAZI type disciplined and mind controlled clones, so be careful get close with clones you will be controlled as well.”
(snipped; you get the idea.)
Last week, I wrote about how political parties would start to use social media to engage their supporters and let voters see what’s behind the proverbial curtain. This week, a coalition of Republican party-members and supporters went live with a web site that seeks to crowd-source ideas on rebuilding the party.
Because, you know, opening the party’s future up to suggestions can engage their supporters and let voters see what’s behind the proverbial curtain and all of that.