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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

1. In "Things That Can Kill You Quickly: What Everyone Should Know About First Aid," by Jason Crawford, you get a quick and surprisingly interesting read:
The most important thing I learned is that if you find yourself in an emergency situation, it is better to do almost anything rather than nothing. Again, if someone stops breathing for any reason, they have only minutes to live. They are dead by default, unless someone intervenes. There is very little you can do to them that is worse than cutting off their oxygen.
His biggest take-home from the course as a new dad was the confidence in knowing he could do something, if need be.

Worth the visit are his flashcard deck for the course and his description of how those ubiquitous defibrillator boxes work. The image there will refresh your memory.

2. Moving along from dispatching threats to pursuing values, Jean Moroney discusses "Productive Work, Happiness, and the Value Orientation, where she discusses a very common problem stemming from being overly oriented around threats:
The real problem, and the real reason a lot of people are less productive and less happy than they could be, is that rather than adjust their commitments to match their current capacities, they fight reality by stewing over conclusions such as:
  • "I can't have everything I want."
  • "I'm not good enough to do it all."
  • "I should be able to do this faster."
  • "I don't have time to take care of myself."
This is what an orientation toward threats looks like. The focus is on what they can't do, not what they can. The emotions that get triggered concern the bad things that will happen when they don't do them. From there, it is a short step to feelings of self-doubt and guilt. If they don't know how to handle these gut-wrenching emotions, they will likely suppress them, buckle down, and force themselves to move forward willy nilly without ever resolving the underlying conflicts.

This is the kind of tragic mistake that perpetuates suffering for a lot of well-intentioned people who work hard and are trying to achieve something real in their lives.
It's a long post, but I highly recommend it -- both for insights like the above and for solutions, such as the one she proposes in the next section.

3. At The Texas Institute for Property Rights, Brian Phillips draws a good analogy between a measure that has become fashionable among city officials and their longstanding dysfunctional approach to housing affordability:
Image by Boudewijn Huysmans, via Unsplash, license.
Punishing retailers makes them responsible for the criminal actions of others. They are to be penalized, not because they have violated the rights of others, but because their rights were violated.

Shopping cart theft is not the most pressing issue facing America's cities. But it illustrates why they can't resolve more important problems, such as housing affordability. They impose a growing number of controls and regulations on housing producers, and then they blame landlords when housing costs soar. But they can day that they are doing something, even if it is making the problem worse. [bold added]
As with personal productivity, doing less, and particularly not doing things you shouldn't, can be a major part of doing a good job.

4. In "Elon Musk, Twitter, and Restoring Free Speech," Jaana Woiceshyn offers a rare, even-handed appraisal of Elon Musk, and how we can aid the cause of free speech in the wake of his exposure of government malfeasance at Twitter:
Instead of focusing solely on Musk's mistakes, we should thank him for his contributions to human flourishing, including exposing the government's violations of free speech. We should learn (or re-learn) the principle of freedom and other individual rights, demand that the government adheres to them, and apply them ourselves in business and in the rest of our lives. Only that would protect free speech in the long term. [bold added]
Woiceshyn also nicely summarizes why our society has gotten to its current state regarding this right.

-- CAV

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