Monday technical

You need to switch off at times. Says this blogger, who starts his day checking the weather on the phone. Two recent things that happened down here:

I was talking to a educational researcher. She says that, despite 95% of kids going to early childhood education, they are entering school with the verbal age and motor skills of children two years younger than they are. They are not getting enough talking. From adults. As kids, in the current semi neglected herds that do “play education” they gravitate to other kids who talk as well (or as poorly) as they do.

Kea has just finished a photo shoot cycle with a family who don’t have screens. (She says they have a TV but the hours are limited). She said the kids were much more verbal and interactive than what is now usual. This was normal when I was a kid, but the first video game I ever saw — Pong — did not exist until I was about 12.

Switching off is good for you. And the EU seems to have got the point.

On Wednesday, EU lawmakers passed a non-binding resolution arguing that individuals have a fundamental “right to disconnect.” The European Parliament Employment Committee voted 31-to-6, with 18 abstentions, in favor of allowing people to take time off and urged the European Commission to create rules that “catch up with the new reality” of work, according to Alex Agius Saliba, the Maltese Socialist politician who spearheaded the resolution.

“After months of teleworking, many workers are now suffering from negative side effects such as isolation, fatigue, depression, burnout, muscular or eye illnesses,” said Saliba, adding: “The pressure to always be reachable, always available, is mounting, resulting in unpaid overtime and burnout.”

The committee measure must now be approved by the full chamber before it can be submitted to the Commission and EU member state governments for a vote.

Lawmakers in favor of the resolution say the need for employees to be available via smartphone or e-mail around the clock is detrimental to mental health and well-being and that workers should be allowed to be offline without suffering employer retribution as a result.

I have two phones: a work one and a home one. The work one has confidential information on it and is managed by work, for very good reasons. When I get home, it goes on charger and is ignored. I won’t look at it until Monday.

One of the things I had to do rapidly was get the RSS reader down to those blogs that I read everything on. There are a number of commercial journalist sites that publish a lot, and most of it is dross. Most of the time I don’t want to know about it. I have other things I need to do. I can’t spend all day reading websites. I’d rather practice the viola.

Ongoing hackery

I’ve changed to Cinnamon, because it just works. The main issue I had was with a backup disk. It turned out that I did not have the NTFS reading software installed. A quick look around sorted that out. A reboot of the server and I was able to load photos over using rapid photo downloader, then copy them back to the backup disk. I’ve got the photo stream running, and have a couple of photos up at the other place.

 # pacman -S ntfs-3g

For those who are looking at doing some meta analysis (the inbred step child of statistics) then this is a good guide as to how to start. It uses R studio, which is the best IDE out there. Fortunately, that is a fairly easy install in arch.

$ yay -S rstudio-desktop-bin

Once you are in there, and it is running, you need to install (and get a cup of coffee while you are doing that).

In R or R studio on the command line:



While thinking analogue, when things get tight, as they are now, I need to have monthly, weekly and even daily to do lists. The best method I know for this involves the bullet journal techniques. No, you can't see my bullet journals -- they are messy, and the planning pages are interspersed with diary entries, sermon notes, and documentation of conversations. But you need some form of structure, which for me means paper.

So while half the geek world is discussion if the M1 Mac is any good, I'm ignoring that. It is better to cut my screen time down to those days when you can't get outside.

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10 months ago

I agree. Disconnecting is a good thing. I have never liked the TV being the centerpiece of the living room, so when we recently decided to replace our old tube TV, we bought a projector instead (for less than the TVs we were looking at). When its off, its out of sight.
Getting outside is also a good thing. I am glad that I live out in the country – I can walk and exercise as much as I want without leaving my property if needed – and nobody cares if I do leave my property. Around here, most businesses aren’t enforcing the mask mandate and NOBODY is enforcing quarantines, travel restrictions, etc.

John Wilder
10 months ago

Re: the New Yorker cover:

Is that what feminist victory looks like?