Modern prophets chasing higher profits

The avenues all run north-south

I wasn't alive for this time period, but if popular portrayals like "Mad Men" can be believed, the middle of the 20th century featured a lot more in the way of drinking and sexism in the office. There was also more macho talk and presumably a lot of comfort with "locker room talk" when there were men-only meetings.

In our modern progressive area things have changed a bit, and many corporate workplaces are both more gender balanced, but also have become politically correct to the point where people have to walk on eggshells a bit with the language they use in meetings and so on.

I think it'd be interesting if a scene like this played out in a modern workplace:

Bill: ...yes, and as I was saying, the third quarter numbers for the Dayton location are just not up to par. Their volume is well below target and their same-store sales are down even from the holiday seas--

Jeff: Dammit people, what are we doing!? Are we going to just sit around here jerking each other off or are we going to get down there and fix this mess?!

Melanie: Uhm, excuse me, what was that?...

Jeff: Oh yes, you're right, I'm sorry. Let me fix that -- are we going to just sit around here manipulating the genitals of whoever happens to be in the room regardless of their sexual preferences or gender identification, or are we going to get down there and fix this mess?!

Melanie: ...

If you can't already tell - Jeff's mistake here was assuming that Melanie was objecting to his gender discriminatory masturbation language -- whereas she was actually objecting to his sexualization of workplace discussion in the first place. By alluding to masturbation at all Bill had crossed a line and it hadn't actually occurred to Melanie that she was being excluded because she was a lady - rather, she was made uncomfortable purely by the sexual content of his remarks.

Bill has missed the politically correct forest by focusing on the open-minded progressive trees, as it were. The lesson here, if there can be one found, is to stop having meetings.

What we need to have is a referendum on diets

In the world of long form writing there's a page layout technique called a "pull quote". This is when a particularly compelling sentence or phrase from the larger piece is "pulled" out and highlighted alongside the writing, usually with a larger or fancier font, and sometimes either to the side of the text or in some other noticeable highlighted way which separates it from the main text. These are in place so that readers who are merely skimming the writing get some sense of the juicy nuggets of wisdom that lie within, and to entice them to actually read the whole thing.

By the way, sometimes they modify the wording in these these pull quotes slightly from the actual phrasing used in the article, and it makes me wonder if that's an editing mistake or done on purpose for space/layout purposes, or what?! What's the deal page layout people? You're really abusing your power here.

I think it'd be funny for a page layout designer to turn the tables on their authors and start using "push quotes" instead! This would enable them to come up with their own sentences or phrases that the writer didn't actually come up with or even agree with, and just randomly insert them into the article or essay or whatever. Imagine how hard it would be to identify those amongst the full original article!

Don't forget to close the socket

There was a pretty big outcry earlier this year when the company who sells the "EpiPen" allergy treatment raised the price of one dose from just under 100 dollars to just over 600 dollars. They later bowed to public pressure and created a 300 dollar generic version of the product, which I guess is nice.

A lot of the outrage here was on behalf of the people who have severe allergic reactions to things and need to have quick access to an EpiPen as a potentially live saving treatment. Many children are required to supply their own pen to their school nurse and so their families would have to bear this increased cost burden (as an aside, it's insane that the school collects one pen from each student who potentially needs treatment! Why not just keep a few around and not label them with people's names ahead of time?!).

Anyway, I feel bad for those people with allergies, but no one talks about the writers who really like writing with epinephrine, and for whom the Epi Pen is used in place of a standard ball point or fountain pen that another writer might use to fill their notebooks. I hate to play games with claiming bigger victimhood for some group over another, but man - in a given year most people with allergies aren't even going to touch their EpiPen -- but someone who is a full time professional writer might go through a new pen every few weeks. That price increase is going to be a large burden for them. It would not shock me to find that some of them switch off of epinephrine and start writing with some other pharmaceutical.

The perfect cup of coffee is in the eye of the beholder

Some of my proudest moments come from internally observing things that I could have done but did not do. It's easy to do something and think you did a good job -- but few have the courage to reflect on their own inaction and bask in how good a decision it was to not to do whatever it was that they chose not to do.

I recently saw a post in my Facebook feed where someone who was announcing that they were pregnant said something like "So and so is getting ready to meet his baby brother, his best friend for life!" What I wanted to do was post a comment about how that's a little presumptuous and maybe these kids will someday betray each other and grow up to be bitter enemies and shouldn't we hold off a bit on the assumptions vis-a-vis their best-friendship? What I did instead of posting that comment -- was that I just did nothing. I posted no comment at all, and kept my words to myself.

I don't need a trophy or anything, but I do feel pretty good about the decision to not leave this comment on that particular post, as I feel like the nuance of my criticism may have been lost on others.