As Holidays Fade, Culture Disappears

As we step into, and away from, malleable malfeasance, we cannot but help to linger on what is, and what has been lost. In the United States, we have cheapened our culture with vulgarity, and purposeful misfortune, and cunning, evil, unrest. We have also abandoned a right celebration of our most beloved holidays.

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2016: The Year of Reckoning!

2016 was an odd year, full of surprises, and joys, and some disappointments. We want what we need, but sometimes we get what we do not deserve. Where do we travel from here, together, as a nation — while split apart at the inseams of belief, shredded in the threads of faith, and torn asunder by the warp and woof of radicalized empathy?

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How to Write a Boles Book: Call for Authors!

As the publisher of David Boles Blogs and David Boles Books Writing & Publishing since 1991, I am often asked by others to publish their works.  I’ve always been a little concerned doing that because the only way for me to effectively to publish someone else is exclusively and virtually and not under the complication of paper. Today, I introduce to you, Writing a Boles Book — a precis for learning!

BUY NOW!

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Curse of Old Men: More Creepy than Funny

Unlike women, as men age, there’s a tendency to stigmatize our awful attempts at humor by branding us “creepy” or “perverted” or “just gross.”  Plant an unfunny line on a 20-year-old guy and a teenaged woman might giggle, while the same line said by a guy over 60, to the same young teen, begets the world breaking apart as the whole tone and timbre of the conversation changes to a perceived perversion.

Why is that?

Is there always some sort of unspoken sexual underpinning to every male-to-female interaction that cannot be denied or generationally negotiated?  Why doesn’t the curse cut the opposite way against older women who are labeled creepy and perverted in the same condition?

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Are We Done with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Yet?

Yesterday, I posted what I thought was an innocuous Twitter update asking if we’ve gone too far with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because now it is more about famous people getting wet than actually raising ongoing, substantial, awareness for the disease.  Sure, we remember people doing stupid things for a video camera, but aren’t there more dangerous things going on in the world that more demand our rapt attention like, say Ferguson, Missouri and beheading Americans?

Continue reading → Are We Done with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Yet?

A Skewed Semiotic: When a Picture Speaks the Wrong Thousand Words

Nicholas Kristof wrote a fascinating couple of opinion articles for the NYTimes over the last two weeks, and the reason for some reader dissent and confusion in the first story appears to stem from a core misunderstanding — purposeful or not — about the image.

Here’s what Kristof wrote on February 22, 2014:

As an infant, Johnny was deaf but no one noticed or got him the timely medical care he needed to restore his hearing. He lives in a trailer here in the hills of rural Appalachia with a mom who loves him and tries to support him but is also juggling bills, frozen pipes and a broken car that she can’t afford to fix.

The first error Kristof makes — but has yet to apologize for, or clarify — is labeling Johnny “Deaf.”  Deafness is a cultural condition from which one does not get “healed” so the proper term should have been “hearing loss” since the “Deafness” was not actual, but imagined, by Kristof.

The real outrage aimed at Kristof was not over his inappropriate use of “Deaf” — but rather the way some of his readers felt he was celebrating a degenerate lifestyle of poverty in this image:

Continue reading → A Skewed Semiotic: When a Picture Speaks the Wrong Thousand Words

Recalling Short-Term, Outlier, Cache Memory Loss

We’ve written a lot about memory and meaning and memory on this Boles Blog over the last decade or so — and yet I am always a little bit shocked and surprised when I read elsewhere, on other blogs — revelations of how fleeting and failing memories really are in the execution of rallying a daily life.

The blog post in question was written by a fresh and successful database engineer who, at a young age, was mildly complaining, in the midst of a technical exposé, how his short-term memory was failing him.  He was trying to draw parallels between caching database memory and how his mind would clear, on its own, important, stored information he needed for short-term recall.

The young designer shared with us that if he thought of something while in the midst of working, he had to immediately stop and write down the thought on a piece of paper, or in the next thought, he’d forget what he meant to do next when he had a break in time.

The author didn’t seem to be particularly alarmed by his lack of short-term memory reception, but I felt for him because his letter read as if this were a semi-new experience that he was dealing with in the analytical manner of a software designer and problem fixer. He was using mechanical logic to solve a scientific health problem.

Continue reading → Recalling Short-Term, Outlier, Cache Memory Loss