The story we keep repeating

(We) are impressions left by something that used to be here. We have been created, molded, formed by a bewildering matrix of contingencies that have preceded us. From the patterning of the DNA derived from our parents to the firing of the hundred billion neurons in our brains to the cultural and historical conditioning of the twentieth century to the education and upbringing given us to all the experiences we have ever had and choices we have ever made: these have conspired to configure the unique trajectory that culminates in this present moment. What is here now is the unrepeatable impression left by all of this, which we call “me.” […] What are we but the story we keep repeating, editing, censoring, and embellishing in our heads?

— Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor

The Rose

You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money

Love like you’ll never get hurt
You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watchin’
It’s gotta come from the heart if you want it to work.

— “Come from the Heart” (1987) Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh

I could practice this a hundred more times and probably not get much better with it. So here it is on two takes recorded to my iPhone.

Age of robot worker will be worse for men

From The Atlantic

Two Oxford researchers recently analyzed the skills required for more than 700 different occupations to determine how many of them would be susceptible to automation in the near future, and the news was not good: They concluded that machines are likely to take over 47 percent of today’s jobs within a few decades.

Men hold 97 percent of the 2.5 million U.S. construction and carpentry jobs. The Oxford study estimates that these male workers stand more than a 70 percent chance of being replaced by robotic workers. By contrast, women hold 93 percent of the registered nurse positions. Their risk of obsolescence is vanishingly small: .009 percent.

By contrast, women typically work in more chaotic, unstructured environments, where the ability to read people’s emotions and intentions are critical to success. If your job involves distracting a patient while delivering an injection, guessing whether a crying baby wants a bottle or a diaper change, or expressing sympathy to calm an irate customer, you needn’t worry that a robot will take your job, at least for the foreseeable future.

What is better than a Republic?

IF our broken system gets fixed, it will be something along these lines. No, I don’t expect the system will get fixed in my lifetime. There’s more to this idea than I’ve excerpted here and I encourage you to read it. If for no other reason, an example of creative thinking (by Scott Adams).

Imagine a system that involves direct citizen voting on every issue. But in addition to voting yes or no on a ballot question you can also assign your vote FOR A PARTICULAR TOPIC to any other voter who is open to that assignment. For example, I might cast my own direct vote on simple topics, such as gay marriage, weed, and doctor-assisted dying. I feel I know enough about those issues to be useful.

But if the proposed law is about economic policy, I might want to delegate my vote to Paul Krugman, or whoever I thought had the best thinking on that topic. You could also delegate your vote to your better-informed spouse, a friend, or anyone you would trust making decisions for you. But I would make it illegal to delegate a vote to anyone representing an organization. And I would make it illegal to delegate more than one voter topic to another person. That keeps individuals from becoming too powerful outside their field of expertise.

The beauty of my system is that you never have to wait for elections to improve things. The minute that you hear an expert saying something brilliant on a particular topic, you call up your voting app and assign rights to that expert for all of your votes in the category. If you hear a smarter expert tomorrow, you reassign your vote to that person.