Our politics have become true to the moment

Standing up to the true test of history used to matter. It used to matter a lot. People would consider that weight of historical judgment during the decision making process. Our politics have become true to the moment. Decisions are no longer judged for having a timeless quality. They are triangulated in the moment based on the passions of the day. Decisions end up being situational in nature. Weighing decisions against a historical context makes the process of deciding more difficult. We have some very important decisions to make. We all get to experience the social fabric that brings us together. An increasingly mobile society finds ways to make small tears in the social fabric as people move from community to community. Each patch of the social fabric creates the potential to add strength. It has the potential to forge new connections within the community.

A very salty day on the web

Politics seems to be dividing folks at an ever increasing rate. My interests are geared toward figuring out how to increase civic engagement and help people work together. We have so many things to accomplish as a society. Opportunities exist to move things forward. We just have to decide to strengthen the social fabric and encourage a higher degree of civility.

We the people have to figure out how to work together to drive things forward. Things are complex and seem to be getting more complex every year. I spent some time thinking about complexity modeling and dealing with complexity theory. From the edges of chaos theory to evaluating machine learning and artificial intelligence my research has been focused, but it has ended up being less than fruitful. That happens from time to time.

Entertainment can be a distraction from politics. A lot of people are probably looking for a distraction from politics this week. Today one example of that is the third game of the 2017 NBA finals. Watching the NBA finals today has been somewhat disappointing. Basketball is something that I generally enjoy watching. Today the first half of the game just did not resonate with me. Overall the rise of senselessly deep three point shots and endlessly rolling offensive sets does not really entertain me. Some of the intensity within the game was interesting.

Today some notes were taken with my Parker fountain pen. Getting back into the habit of taking a few notes throughout the day is healthy. It is a good part of stringing things together. It is amazing just how much I have enjoyed the switch to fountain pens. The sheer amount of enjoyment was unexpected.

Here we go around again

…it started with a weblog post or so it goes this time around…

My time away from writing is now done. A few months were spent internalizing the nature of being in the moment. That moment of focus has become the now. The now at the edge of my thoughts is very much present in this moment. In this very moment my thoughts are racing toward pushing things forward. They are centered around making a lasting contribution. Sometimes a single-minded focus on crossing things off of our to-do-lists allows us to confuse taking action with having purpose. Winning short term battles each and every day does not guarantee long term success. We have to strive toward personal growth in positive and productive ways.

Getting back into the habit of daily writing is easier than it might seem. It does not really involve a question of talent. It more or less involves a question of willpower and persistence. My tenacity has not been questioned in years. My productivity with respect to turning out academic papers is very much in question.

2017 has to be a turning point with respect to my academic productivity. Perhaps my goals should shift to writing one academic paper a quarter. The Q2 paper will have to be a literature review. I do not have time to set up collection for an construct a dataset for a more exploratory inquiry into an academic question.

This year my creative interests shifted to vlogging. It is an interesting creative outlet. My efforts included working on some daily vlog videos and even a few live streams. Those efforts were not focused on a making a contribution to the academy. None of it was about an idea that metaphorically knocks on the sky and makes a dent in the universe. Those types of contributions are harder and harder to achieve. The amount of signals and noise is at an all time high. It has become harder and harder to figure out the difference between a distraction and a real contribution that drives the academy forward.

A day without Chromebook reboots

It appears the build from the Google Recovery Utility has stabilized my Chromebook. Dealing with constant reboots over the last few days has been highly frustrating. This weekend things have been better. Overall the Google Recovery Utility was easy enough to use. It worked well enough to get me back up and running. Getting back in the habit of daily writing had to happen eventually. In each moment we make a choice. That choice can help to push things forward.

Chromebooks are fun up until a point

Chromebooks are fun up until a point. For me that point was when it started rebooting at random. You can start removing extensions and format the device. Naturally, my thoughts turned to buying the new ASUS Flip 2 model C302CA. It looks like a solid replacement plan. That strategy does not really solve the core problem that my Chromebook software failed. Maybe something has been added that will always produce that result after login. It could be the type of error that will just follow you from device to device.

This current run is the longest my Chromebook has gone without rebooting. I switched to using the standalone Docs application. It seems to have helped bolster device stability.

Chromebook troubleshooting steps taken to recovery from a fault condition where a restart loop was occurring during Chrome tab/internet usage.

1. All Google Chrome extensions were deleted from the browser. This step did not yield any positive results. The Chromebook would boot, but during any web browsing the device would reset.

2. Settings → Show advanced → Reset Settings. This step was easy to accomplish. It did not help the rebooting condition.

3. Settings → Show advanced → Powerwash. The last of the basic troubleshooting steps for a Chromebook involved a powerwash. It was easy to delete the extensions, reset all the settings, and to power wash the device. None of those steps help stop the Chromebook from randomly rebooting after any web browsing.

4. Chromebook Recovery Utility (from a Windows box) media. This step required the use of my Windows 10 computer. I loaded the Chromebook Recovery Utility from my Chrome browser. It was easy to install the recovery files on a 4GB USB stick. That seems to have done the trick.

Dear Blog Reader

After opening Google docs today it seemed like a good idea to use the Spearmint letter template to write todays post. Even now it still appears to be a good idea. Over the years, this forum for stream of consciousness writing has produced a mix of insightful or banal commentary. Bimodal as that might be it does appear to be true. Creative forces may produce novel results, but that does not guarantee them to be interesting.

Academically my mind has been wandering to the ultimate question of what is my next line of inquiry. Figuring out what is next defines entire industries. For me it remains a simple framework of time chasing a problem. Armed with a true belief in the power of potential time chasing a problem of sufficient magnitude can be daunting. Many academic questions seem trivial in the context of evaluating life, the universe, and well everything. Picking the right problem to go after therefore is highly important.

Currently, the trajectory I have been on is leading me down a road that involves understanding the intersection of big data and artificial intelligence. It may not be as elegant as breaking down the intersection of technology and modernity, but it may end up being comparable.

Thinking about the longevity of content

Maybe Mark Cuban is right about online content having a shelf life. Content could have a set expiration and disappear. Obviously, that is not something that I have ascribed to over the years. My digital footprint has always been a little out of control. Digital content sometimes takes off on social media. Some content has a much longer shelf-life. Thinking about the longevity of content is an important consideration. Huge streams of content exist. Even by conservation standards the stream of content has grown exponentially. The number of books that could be stored in a library has gone up dramatically. That number has grown faster than the number of library shelves.

A new year a new weblog theme

2017 snuck up on us pretty quickly. I realized something important today. I need to get back into the habit of daily writing. It has been a few days. Naturally, I elected to write about a weblog update. Consider for a moment that the act of switching weblog themes was pretty easy. The change pretty much involved a few clicks. I have used the Magazine Premium theme for the last few years. It worked well. The new 2017 theme looked pretty interesting. Configuring it took a bit of effort. The layout was pretty different.

On music streaming in 2017

It should have been harder to give up using my Pandora streaming music service. Years had been spent clicking up and down training stations to play a perfected collection of sonic awesomeness. Seamlessly the Amazon Music Unlimited service has replaced my usage of Pandora music streaming. It happened without any real fanfare or celebration. Access to unlimited music seems to be my prefered listening experience.