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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

Editor's Note: This is my last post until next Wednesday, September 7. Happy holiday!
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1. One of the more disappointing and disturbing developments in the past few years has been the rise of "national conservatism," which is thoroughly anti-individualistic and thus anti-American. I am glad that the good people at the Ayn Rand Institute are keeping an eye on this:
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Nikos Sotirakopoulos discuss the Statement of Principles recently released by leaders of the "National Conservatism" movement outlining the ideas they think are necessary for "recovering and maintaining our freedom, security, and prosperity." Journo and Sotirakopoulos discuss the "principles" the statement advocates, how they relate to America's founding principles and the philosophic ideas behind this movement.
I miss the days when nationalists were skulking about on the fringe (where they belong), but at least the public is being warned.

Following the above blurb is a listing of covered topics and valuable references.

2. In case anyone is under the delusion that Republicans stand for capitalism, Brian Phillips points to a major counterexample. Namely, "Rural Republicans Oppose School Choice:"
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said that he supports parents' "choice to send their children to any public school, charter school or private school with state funding following the student." The Republican Party of Texas has listed school choice as a priority in the upcoming legislative session. However, rural Republicans oppose school choose measures. They are concerned that school choice would lead to the closure of local government schools and the sense of community they engender. While that concern may be well-founded, it evades the full context.
Phillips then provides some of that missing context.

"School Choice" is, unfortunately, not the same thing as full privatization, which is what America ultimately needs for its educational sector -- but even it would be an improvement, both in terms of making educational options available and in terms of making privatization easier to imagine and easier to achieve.

3. At Thinking Directions, Jean Moroney elaborates on a very interesting anti-procrastination strategy she encountered in the book The Magic Lamp: Goal Setting for People Who Hate Goals, by Keith Ellis. I am very impressed with this because it identifies and attacks a problem lots of us are plagued with:
magic_lamp.jpg
Image by Gadiel Lazcano, via Unsplash, license.
Ellis points out that at these times, the problem is that you are disconnected from the value at stake -- from your "wish," as he calls it. The life-giving value of this activity is not real to you at the moment because it is too far away. The goal is not immediate; it is in the future. You need some way to make it real now.
The solution is quite clever, but you'll have to visit Thinking Directions to learn what it is.

4. At Tracking Zebra is a post by physician Amesh Adalja which is just as interesting for the spiritual refueling/thought-clarification technique it starts with as for the medical matters it discusses:
It's been six years since DA Henderson died and I think it is painfully obvious to everyone -- not just those in infectious disease and public health -- how much he's needed. As has become my tradition, I am going to list several questions I have for him. Though it is a pale comparison to the times when I could just walk through the office and find him at his desk reading and just ask him, I find it useful to refine my own thinking on the issues of the day and wonder how his unrivaled mind might approach the problem. Sometimes, it just makes me appreciate just what it was like to be in the presence of such a person. [minor edits]
Adalja himself does not pitch imagine what you might ask of someone you knew and admired in life as advice per se; he's setting a context for what follows. But I think it's worth doing, and I plan to try it myself.

-- CAV

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