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Thursday links

Ya know, takes a lot longer to come up with a links dump of good, useful stuff than collect a bunch of interesting nooz. But we try, we try.

Finally some thanks are in order. I didn’t mean to bleg when I wrote about the latest roof troubles. Yeah, that was a shock and a blow (and not only to the structure). But it’s also … well, life in old houses. After what you guys already did, I’m not asking a thing.

But yesterday, in came two $50 donations. So big thanks, MK and SH, for lifting my mood — and helping lift that wacky roof.


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 25, 2014 5:57 am

    For a very good balance between sitting and frequent standing/moving… get a dog. Especially a smallish dog. They want to go in and out a lot, so you must get up and down constantly to accommodate them. LOL Just don’t fall for the temptation to put in a pet door so you won’t have to get up so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ I sometimes say that I would not get much exercise at all if I didn’t have a dog… (and a small bladder!)

    The very worst conditions for continuous sitting are driving long distances and any other travel that restricts movement. Used to be one could stand and walk around when flying, but certainly that is highly discouraged these days.

    But sitting for long periods affects far more than the length of your life, obviously. Long sitting spells can cause serious leg and back problems, even if one has a good ergonomic chair. And one’s posture while sitting is at least as important as the length of the “sit.”

    Hold that thought…. Laddie wants back in again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. david
    david September 25, 2014 6:09 am

    I have issues with the free will article – basically the entire thing is based on what I am predestined to believe are fallacious reasonings. (See what I did there?)

    One: the idea that ‘your brain’ might or might not control your behavior is fine, but all discussions I’ve seen of ‘free will’ treat it like they belong to two different people. I.e. if your brain decides you should do something, you don’t have free will when you do it. But without a functioning brain you couldn’t even pee intentionally. And if your brain decides you shouldn’t do something, then you can’t do it anyway? Substance abuse puts the lie to that concept. This also assumes you (the non-brain one) can’t make ‘bad choices’ because you have no ability to do that ‘choice’ thing.

    Two: Some researchers claim you don’t have free will because your brain thinks of your next move before you make it. OF COURSE IT DOES MORONS. Without that brain we’re all rutabagas and could make NO choices.

    Three: that ‘delay’ sometimes mentioned – it’s a neuro-biologically caused delay, not ‘choice time’ or whatever. There is no delay in the thought process – thought is instantaneously delivered to the recipient (me) by the brain that had that thought (mine), so it travels faster than light. Measure ‘this’.

    Four: our emotions ’cause’ as much behavior (also free will, proven by the fact that we can learn to identify an emotion and then NOT act on it) as our brains, and it’s our brains that decline to respond to emotion. But first we have to choose to not act out like infants all the time and to tell our brains to control our behavior. So, yeah, there is that free will thing again.

    Of course, one can always cop out and claim all of this is ‘predetermined’. But THAT presupposes a ‘predeterminer’ (Hat tip to George Bush!) and if everything is predetermined, we’re not even animals, we’re just – what? Flesh-bots? So why bother asking the question at all? Oh, yeah – cuz you had no choice. Duh.

  3. david
    david September 25, 2014 6:28 am

    Wow Claire – using the term “…wildly, bogus….” was an understatement. Your self discipline is amazing.

    I stopped reading after the third paragraph, at which point it became obvious that I could eat a plate of spoiled meat with more gusto than I’d be able to read that article. (I just really hate such an insult to my intelligence.) I’d love to have time to deconstruct it all sentence by sentence, word by word, but I don’t – and that ‘correction’ would be so long that nobody would read it anyway. Suffice to say, I wholeheartedly agree with your 5 word synopsis of that piece of trash-writing.

  4. Joel
    Joel September 25, 2014 7:05 am

    You really read all of that National Affairs article? Awesome, your powers of concentration are.

    As so often occurs when faced with the writings of my intellectual betters, I am inexorably put in mind of the eternal question posed by Grannie Clampett: “Does that mean he’s fer it or agin’ it?”

  5. Jim B.
    Jim B. September 25, 2014 8:34 am

    As for that article about what Richard Branson blurted out lately, it’s not going to be widely accepted. Most companies’ employees actually need to work most weeks just to make ends meet. Even if they put certain restrictions on when they can take time off. The pre-Christmas time comes to mind. Anyway I don’t believe he meant it for the lower level employees. There are many jobs that must be done every day and every week.

    Also there has to be enough other employees to take up the slack left by those who took a vacation. A lot of companies also require their employees to schedule vacations, often well in advance in time.

    Pie in the sky. Then again, must be why he started that Virgin Galactic company to take people into space.

  6. -s
    -s September 25, 2014 10:37 am

    Perhaps not widely accepted, but neither is it new. My firm has never accounted for vacation, sick, or personal time. Everyone takes what they need. There are no restrictions, no required scheduling, but the responsible kind of people who work here don’t need that stuff. You are judged by what you get done, not by hours spent in the office. It’s been that way for 17 years, and it works fine.

    If that’s pie in the sky, then I’m enjoying the pie.

  7. LarryA
    LarryA September 25, 2014 11:41 am

    (and a small bladder!)

    I read somewhere that the average medium soft drink is 32 oz; and the average human bladder holds 16 oz.

  8. Jim B.
    Jim B. September 25, 2014 9:11 pm


    You’re lucky to be with a company that is flexible about taking time off. Do you get paid for taking off? I don’t think anyone gets paid beyond the usual 2-4 weeks paid vacations most people get. There are industries that require people to be there everyday unless you have a paid vacation scheduled coming up.


    Have you or anyone else heard of this movie “Unfair” about the IRS?

    I’ve only just now heard of this movie.

  9. LarryA
    LarryA September 26, 2014 10:16 am

    What I took from skimming Freedom and the Human Person.

    1. Libertarians believe in individuality.
    2. It’s hard to make individuals cooperate with each other.
    3. Society requires cooperation.
    Q.E.D. Libertarians are wrong.

    The idea that libertarian individuals might voluntarily cooperate is beyond their ken.

  10. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau September 28, 2014 9:29 am

    On that “well being” story, it’s kind of interesting the Austrians did so well. Just goes to show that getting rid of an empire is good for people. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But you have to be careful with such surveys. Often what some people call well being is not what I would call it. Lots of these surveys can be pretty agenda-driven. You’d have to examine the questions in detail to get a feel for that.

    I think that employee-chosen vacation policy is a wonderful thing to see.

    Bogus “knowledge”? This fits in with what I call “Bonneau’s Law”, that 80% of the world is bullshit (mostly self-serving bullshit). Even Bonneau’s Law is bullshit. ๐Ÿ™‚

    [โ€œDoes that mean heโ€™s fer it or aginโ€™ it?โ€]

    No kidding. I see little point in plowing through such articles. One bullshit detector I use is that of arm-waving. If it requires so much armwaving to get your point across, you are full of shit.

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