Screentime and… What is Work?

Great article from Silvia Beier on the nature of work for many of us and what this means when we worry about screen time for our kids.  That’s right… look in the mirror!  And I don’t mean that in a negative way per se.  Just that a lot of the work we do looks EXACTLY LIKE what our kids look like when they are on screens — whether they are watching a TV show or vlog, or playing video games — either alone or with a mob of friends on a minecraft or terraria server.

I sometimes feel like the hard work they are doing understanding Terraria (“OK GOOGLE: terraria vortex wings”…) is EASILY as complicated as the software engineering work that I do for a living.  (They would probably love it!)  But for now… this PLAY is their WORK.  I see no difference between the WebEx meeting I had this afternoon — sharing screens and discussing a design with colleagues — as when my kids are working on crafting and defeating bosses in the latest game while discussing it all on Skype running in the background.  Some in the same room or across the house…. others across town.  Really.  It’s awesome, it’s natural, and it’s work.

http://www.sudval.org/essays/102016.shtml

Silvia Beier, Are They Getting Their Work Done?, October, 2016

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What it’s like for our Sudbury School family

Family First and Peaceful Parenting

Our kids go to SVS.  What’s it’s like for our family is this (and forgive me if I’ve written this down before)… peaceful!  It’s peaceful.  Not that it is quiet… we tolerate a lot of “wild fun” around the house.  But there are things missing that I know are pretty common like homework battles (there is no HW, unless they choose it), getting-up-in-the-morning and get-to-the-bus-stop battles (there is no set time they have to be at school… just the 5 or 5.5 hours the state requires), no tears, none of this stuff.

It’s wonderful and amazing and priceless!

Off to Work!

What I also wanted to say was what it is like for me personally when the kids go off to school.  Frankly, it’s exactly the same as I felt when I was a kid and my parents went off to work.  Namely, they would go off and do their own thing for “a few” hours a day, they would later come back into the family fold, and we’d maybe hear a bit about their day at work, but maybe not, and that’s it!  It’s the same with the kids at school.  That’s their time to do exactly as they wish!  And we hear bits and pieces of it, but certainly not right when they get back.  They are usually physically exhausted, mentally exhausted, and/or starved, because they were too busy to eat!  So it’s usually “Hi, welcome home!” until they have recharged their batteries a bit back at the family cave.

Now granted, we try our darndest to do the same (give the kids complete freedom) around the house, but it’s not going to be quite like being independent at school for a few hours a day.  At home with Mom and Dad they are expecting a little help and parental care and we’re happy to oblige.

So that’s one of the really great things.

“There’s nothing more exciting than peace!” — Byron Katie 

I like that quote because it reminds me of a concept(and forgive me if this seems like a stretch) in technology standards and generally in technology/tools we use.  When there is “peace” (standards) at one level, it allows incredible creativity to bloom at a level up on the stack.  So in software, the standards of HTTP and HTML have allowed for the creativity of the web to happen.  In the home, the peaceful state we experience allows for the creative expression and development of all of us, especially our kids.

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(BICYCLES) MAY USE FULL LANE

Here’s a post where I will collect interesting posts discussing the flaws in the SHARE THE ROAD yellow diamond signs and why MAY USE FULL LANE (R4-11) is much better.  Some towns and cities have already begun to change their signs. (Columbus Ohio — http://road.cc/content/news/203414-us-city-replace-share-road-signs-bikes-may-use-full-lane-ones)

  1. It’s linguistically clearer
  2. It shouldn’t be a yellow-diamond warning sign.  It should be a white rectangular informational sign.
  3. The MAY USE FULL LANE (R4-11) is already in use
  4. There is even an add-on — “R4-11aP” CHANGE LANES TO PASS http://azbikelaw.org/change-lanes-to-pass/

“A yellow diamond sign is for warning drivers of potentially hazardous road conditions, whereas the Bikes May Use Full Lane signs are white rectangles, which are regulatory signs that control lane use. We believe it is more appropriate to treat bicyclists less like potential hazards and more like the legal road users that they are, and to remind other road users of that fact.”

OK, on to the links for your consideration:

1. Critique of Share the Road (2012) https://bicyclingmatters.wordpress.com/infrastructure/critique-of-the-share-the-road-sign/

2. Share The Road stinks (2010)

http://www.ohiobikelawyer.com/uncategorized/2010/09/share-the-road-stinks/

3. Crazy Driver Buzzes Cyclist and Incites a Heated Argument (Youtube 2016)

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Talk talk

“The most famous physics institute of the 20th century was the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark. Bohr is the man who created the quantum theory of the atom, which lies at the heart of modern physics. He collected around himself the greatest physicists of his time, and hung out with them. That’s what they did, they hung out. I’m using that phrase because we hear it a lot in this school. In his Institute, they’d come for a season to hang out. They’d take walks in the woods, they’d sail on the ocean, they’d swim, and what they treasured more than anything was talking. They talked about physics, they talked about theories, they talked about God, they talked about philosophy. What they were doing, all these greater and lesser physicists, was trying to understand about each other: “How does he see the world? What is he thinking?””

Article: “Conversation: the Staple Ingredient” by Daniel Greenberg at Sudbury Valley School

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This pretty much sums it up

From a comment on an article on the US health care system:

“I’m Canadian….my taxes are nearly 5% higher than yours…in 22 years of marriage and two kids later…my ENTIRE out of pocket expenses for Medical are….$60.00 for renting a TV in the Hospital…..I don’t mind paying taxes and having the exactly same Medical Coverage as my Prime Minister….sometimes I wait for an MRI or CAT but, BY LAW the most ill go ahead of me……..I don’t mind that either….Good Luck my American friend, I think that you are going to need it…..”

This is what I don’t think Americans understand. It is worth paying a little extra taxes so:
1. You can have a universal healthcare system that shares costs across ALL users. We would all save.
2. You can guarantee access to free (or at least cheap) University
3. Maternity leave (paid 15 weeks in Canada, 0 weeks in US) and up to 35 weeks more partially paid in CA. I might have the details wrong, but it’s safe to say it’s very common across OECD where the average is 18 weeks — https://www.oecd.org/els/soc/PF2_1_Parental_leave_systems.pdf
4. And similarly with sick leave and vacation time. Pretty much every OECD country has this guaranteed. But not the US. http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs/lwp/papers/No_Holidays.pdf

One can find charts that show that the “average” American supposedly makes more than many countries, even after taxes and adding in “in kind” funds like free healthcare and college in other countries. An example: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/income/
2 problems with this:

1) Using “average” is flawed because it doesn’t take into account income inequality — they should be using “median” not “average” or even better… I’d like to see the median numbers for each quintile — bottom 20%, 20%, middle 20%, 20%, top 20%. I bet the US wouldn’t do so well anymore. Income by US State by quintiles: http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org/latest/measure/state-income-quintiles-acs

2) It doesn’t take into account that it is immoral to NOT take care of all people!
(IOW, while it’s possible that in a country with high income inequality that at least poverty is not an issue… but it’s usually not the case.) There is an interesting metric called the “Relative median at-risk-of-poverty gap” that I believe measures this:
http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Glossary:Relative_median_at-risk-of-poverty_gap

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BossaCucaNova Best Of … Fresh Air with Terry Gross

I wanted to find the Bossanova-style album they were reviewing on Fresh Aire today (BossaCucaNova from Brazil) and couldn’t find it easily at NPR or Amazon so here it is for you! Hope that helps!

The Best of Bossacucanova released August 12, 2016

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Precordial catch syndrome

I am not completely sure (I am not a doctor, obviously ask yours if this sounds familiar just to make sure!) but I am pretty sure that (for me) the very occasional sharp pains in my chest I would get as a kid when playing trombone were what’s called “Precordial catch syndrome”. I imagine it could happen with anyone playing a brass instrument — trumpet, tuba, trombone (like me), etc.

Mine would last maybe 10 seconds typically and is just as this describes! Interesting! Check it out!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precordial_catch_syndrome

“Precordial catch syndrome (PCS), also known as Texidor’s twinge,[1] is a common cause of chest pain in children and adolescents. It also occurs, though less frequently, in adults. PCS manifests itself as a very intense, sharp pain, typically at the left side of the chest, generally in the cartilage between the bones of the sternum and rib cage, which is worse when taking breaths. Oftentimes the symptoms are described as a “bubble in the chest” sometimes associated with the feeling of a “bubble popping” or cracking sensation which usually resolves the pain. Patients often think that they are having a heart attack which causes them to panic. This pain typically lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes, though, in some cases, it can persist for up to 30 minutes. The frequency of episodes varies from patient to patient; sometimes occurring daily with multiple episodes each day, or on a less frequent basis with weeks, months, or even years between episodes. On rare occasions, breathing in or out suddenly will cause a small “bubble” popping or cracking sensation in the chest, which results in the pain going away. In most cases the pain is resolved quickly and completely, and medication is not needed for the pain to subside. There is no known treatment or cure for PCS.[2]”

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RELATED:
Also interesting is this! Brass players sometimes have (usually mild) allergic reactions to the mold and bacteria growing inside their instruments. Makes sense!
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/study-brass-wind-instruments-allergic-lung-disease/story?id=11569520

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