April 26, 2004

Welcome to the Working Week

Your working week, in all likelihood, but not mine--mine starts on Tuesdays, making Mondays my day off.

Aha! Do you begin to suspect you're getting a link roundup? Right you are!

  • I have to lead off with Jim Peacock's excellent explanation of how progressive taxation and tax cuts work. Think you don't need any simple explanations of this subject? Think you're an expert? Well, perhaps you are--but you still may be in the market for an easy way to explain it the clueless around you. Go; steal from Jim. It's what I always do and it works wonders.

  • "Kerry's already pulling some Clintonisms that I don't appreciate... 'I didn't inhale' equates with, 'Well I voted for it, before I voted against it.'" Seems Kerry isn't rocking that 18-29 demographic quite as hard as he'd like.

  • Speaking of His Rockingness: You know the offer of a free web page from Kerry is still open, right? (Link snagged from Judith at Kesher Talk.)

  • In the course of trying--vainly--to find the correct spelling of a cardiac drug during work the other night, I ran across this article, outlining research seeming to indicate a link between poverty and obesity (stories were featured on MSNBC and CNN nearly two months ago about it as well). "Great!" I thought. "Now when I'm with some snide little cretin in the Wal-mart and they start off on 'how poor can these people be really, I mean they're all so fat, I mean compare it to what's happening in Rwanda for the love of Mike,' I'll have an answer!" Alas, no. The article starts off sounding reasonable enough and then degenerates to this howler: "Health researchers say Canada is starting to look more like Lithuania [in terms of stress responses] than Sweden these days. They blame the shift to conservative governments."

  • As well they should! Because as every educated person knows, if it weren't for rogue conservative governments, Canada would have the best health care system in the world!

  • Burnout or no burnout, I can second her on this recommendation. It is still a good field. Sadly, I have known too many women who eschew technical majors because they've got it into their heads that math is too hard, or too boring, or both. Look: I can't add or subtract in my head worth a damn, but I could get through differential equations. It's doable, and it's stupid of women to let fear of math stop them. You conquer fear by doing what you're afraid of--just ask Meryl. Now the thing you have to remember--okay, there are two things to remember. First, you know the Thomas Edison quote that his success was merely 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration?--Math is often 100% perspiration, unless you're majoring in it (and then, yes, you will need a little inspiration; but if you're thinking of doing that, you don't need a pep talk from me anyhow). Otherwise, you just work problems and work problems and work more problems and go back and work all the problems again and again, over and over, until it clicks. So that's the first thing. The second thing is, you're going to meet some of the best guys in the world and they will worship you just for being around. It's a fact, period. (Try to overlook that some of them read Star Wars novels as literature. Reading habits can be improved, but character cannot.) So knock it off with the sociology majors already. Or rather, go ahead and major in sociology if you like--but don't come crying to me that you can't find a job that pays worth a damn when you're done.

  • Indirectly, via a winding road begun from Crabapple Lane's Blog of the Day: It seems discussions on women and blogging happen just as regularly on the left. "But of course those discussions occur on the left," a conservative reader might snort. "Those people are all about rectifying imbalance and inequality, real or perceived, among groups. This is in fact a tenet of transnational progressivism, etc." Perhaps, but that's not what's interesting to me about the piece. First, there's the difference in tone from the male bloggers on the left. On the right, the most timid suggestion that women bloggers face difficulties being taken seriously will arouse not just a stern denial that this is so, but in fact an insistence that if it is so, it's because women bloggers aren't very good: "It isn't true, but if it is true, it's your own damned fault." The reaction from men on the left, however, seems to be a sort of muted obstinacy that nonetheless produces the same ultimate result as the reaction on the right: "Oh. Oh, gee, there are some women bloggers out there. Whoops. I should have looked harder before I wrote my last entry, 'Where Are All the Female Bloggers?'" Two months later, they . . . write another post wondering why more women don't get into blogging. This is where the second interesting bit about the post comes in: an analysis of "muscular" vs. "soft" politics. It's not a half-bad explanation. It is, in fact, similar to what I had in mind myself when I told Spoons in an e-mail that I wanted to write a follow-up post on the subject. Of course, that was before the damn post generated my goofiest comment thread ever and, uh, I got like super-bored with it. But not so bored that I couldn't write you another lengthy paragraph here, huh?

  • The link to the transnational progressivism piece briefly mentioned above comes from Steven den Beste, and I should probably thank Ace of Spades for reminding me of it, causing me to read it again.

  • You should consider how many different news sources you got your information from today. Then, you should consider how miserable you'd be if someone took them all away from you and left you with only Al Jazeera. Then, you should do the right thing and help the U.S. Marines correct that situation in Iraq, by donating to the Spirit of America fund request, which you can read about here. And if you want to win fabulous prizes, you should make your donation through The Liberty Alliance. That is all.

    Posted by Ilyka at April 26, 2004 03:28 PM in hell is other people
  • Comments

    Yeah, Monday's my day off, too. I have to change the words around when I sing the Bangles "Just Another Manic Monday. . ."

    Posted by: TulipGirl at April 26, 2004 04:18 PM

    Aieee! Multivariable calculus! (Hides.)

    Posted by: Pixy Misa at April 27, 2004 10:34 AM

    Awesome lead!

    Posted by: Jim at April 27, 2004 02:22 PM