Monthly Archives: April 2012

Things you learn you can never unlearn

A couple of years ago I worked for a famous economist (yes I did go with the funniest picture I could find of him).  His big thing was education and labor market returns, e.g. making money and having a good job.  His work focused on what you learn in nursery school, soft skills like perseverance and self-motivation, and how they doom you forever if you don’t have them.

So of course, whenever I procrastinate or have problems keeping the locomotive of my life chugging along, I immediately think of my soft skills.  Would things be better in my life if I had wiggled less in kindergarten or stuck with the song flute?  Did I somehow fuck up my life when I was four? No pressure there.

There are psych studies showing that your soft skill bank can be spent out – make you wait patiently in a room for 20 minutes and you’ll have less ability to resist the cookies afterwards.

This is a long way of saying that I’ve been feeling a little lacking in the umph-skills category right now.  I’m so excited about a few new opportunities (and sad about some bad news) that I can’t seem to focus on the day-to-day, even the fun stuff like blogging.

Ironically, I have always craved being that person who had the little minutia all tied up, never behind on anything with a clean in-box and clear conscious.  And I am so not that person as much as I refuse to accept it. Today, though, I’m going to blame it on my nursery school teacher and try to move on.

I find North Korea fascinating

I’m late, late for a very important date!

A combination of my best friend in town, trying to make my first tutorial on Pixlr (uh, still working on that), and taking an afternoon to read a few silly zombie books has put me trying to catch up all week.  Race race race!  I did take a few minutes to register for a few classes on Coursera – Vacines for fun and Computer Science 101 to fill a neglected void in my education.  I’m so excited to be “back” in school and I’m a huge fan of education being made more accessible even though a lack of classes from Princeton is by far not the biggest issue in the American education system.

I have become obsessed with high-fiving recently

high five


The first survey I designed, wrote, and programmed all by myself is about to go live!  So excited!

Other things I’m currently excited about:

  • My best friend coming for the Political Science convention
  • All of my seedlings growing in their new pots
  • Painting vintage glass for organizing my dresser
  • The potential of working for another new client

What are you excited about?


mmmm, candy

Who Owns the Story? Update

A great “field” example of my previous post just popped up.  It’s based on another divorce – this of the couple behind Apartment Therapy and shows the variety of reactions that readers can have to news about someone they don’t (technically) know but are invested in.  Again, there was a lot of sadness and “I knew its” but there was also the idea that we the readers have certain rights because we read:

Rocza summed it up most succinctly  “When you give your privacy up in exchange for money, on the premise that the exchange allows people in to your life, you don’t get to suddenly say “thanks for all the money and we’re going to lock you out now.” That simply is not how commerce works.”

The question is, of course, why?  Why don’t bloggers get to control what they sell and what they don’t?  I’m not sure – there definately is a feeling of ownership and being owed based on emotional investment.  There also seems to be a strong streak of schadenfreude.  What do you think?  Do you feel like you’re owed something by the people you read?  Why?