Colin Rule's blog

Growth through loneliness

Peggy Orenstein the NYT Magazine: '...a study published in 2007 in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication suggested that hanging onto old friends via Facebook may alleviate feelings of isolation for students whose transition to campus life had proved rocky. Evidently they took comfort in knowing that “Dylan is drinking Peets.”

That may well be, but something is drowned in that virtual coffee cup — an opportunity for insight, for growth through loneliness...' Read more about Growth through loneliness

Building Bipartisan Habits

David Boren, senator from Oklahoma from 1979 to 1994, in the Post two days ago: "History demonstrates that bipartisanship is not an impractical, romantic notion. But it doesn't happen automatically: It requires support and structure...

Many have been urging the president to give up on his efforts to work across party lines. Those people forget that bipartisanship has been critical to our nation's success. The Marshall Plan and the doctrine of containment that served as a consistent blueprint for victory in the Cold War would not have been possible without bipartisan cooperation. Major progress in civil rights was the result of bipartisan efforts. Read more about Building Bipartisan Habits

“I’m an eternal optimist. That doesn’t mean I’m a sap."

Herbert in the NYT this morning: "In a conversation with a small group of columnists aboard Air Force One on Friday, the president discussed the fight over his stimulus package, which was in the process of gaining final passage as he flew from Washington to Chicago for a brief rest with his family.

He said that the fact that he’d been rebuffed so far in his quest for bipartisanship would not stop him from reaching out for Republican support. Read more about “I’m an eternal optimist. That doesn’t mean I’m a sap."

Pugnacious vulgarians

Thomas Frank in the WSJ: "The current recession, brought on at least in part by Wall Street's bonus lust, has claimed countless innocent victims. But in this case it has finally delivered a comeuppance to our era's loudest, gaudiest, cockiest champion of Wall Street excess... Read more about Pugnacious vulgarians

The digital generation gap

Great FRONTLINE documentary on kids online, definitely worth checking out. From an online Q&A with the producers: "The report mentions that the Internet has created the greatest generation gap since rock 'n' roll. Caitlin, you're in your 20s; did you experience that gap while working with these kids?

McNally: More than once, I'd be trying to follow up with a kid and I would discover pretty quickly that the only way I could elicit a response was through a text message or social networking site. I would place call after call, or send e-mail after e-mail -- nothing. But with a text, or a message on Facebook, a response would ping back within minutes. Read more about The digital generation gap

Empiricism vs. human nature

Ah the David Brooks I've come to know and love showed up today: "...the current financial crisis — how so many people could be so stupid, incompetent and self-destructive all at once... the crisis has delivered a blow to classical economics and taken a body of psychological work that was at the edge of public policy thought and brought it front and center.

  Read more about Empiricism vs. human nature


I just created a group on facebook to discuss this topic further... I'd love to see a discussion arise over there.


I must say, I don't like the term "shmeat" very much -- it sounds too much like another "sh-" word, which may make adoption more difficult. But it does come up quickly in google, which is a plus.


I suppose my use of it further entrenches the term. But until something better comes along, let's go with it. Read more about Shmeat

Advancing meat subsitutes

In response to my prior post on the topic of meat substitutes, I received an email from Jason Matheny, who works with New Harvest, a great non-profit organization focused on advancing research in this area - I strongly encourage you to check out their website and donate, if this is something you'd like to support...


Here's some information from the New Harvest website that puts the challenge plainly:

  Read more about Advancing meat subsitutes

Teaching Reverence for Life

Thanks to my friend Tom Fee for sharing this piece by Albert Schweitzer... "No human being is ever totally and permanently a stranger to another human being. Man belongs to man. Man is entitled to man. Large an small circumstances break in to dispel the estrangement we impose upon ourselves in daily living, and to bring us close to one another, man to man. We obey a law of proper reserve; but that law is bound to give way at times to the rule of cordiality. There is much coldness among men because we do not dare to be as cordial as we truly are.

  Read more about Teaching Reverence for Life

Nobel Lecture by Martti Ahtisaari, Oslo, 10 December 2008

On this last day of a very difficult year for the world, I'd like to end the year with a speech from this year's winner of the Nobel Peace Prize: "Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, Distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Dear Friends and Colleagues around the world...


I feel both humility and gratitude at receiving this year's Nobel Peace Prize. It is the greatest recognition anybody working in this field can be given.

  Read more about Nobel Lecture by Martti Ahtisaari, Oslo, 10 December 2008

Web-Wide Cops

John Dunn, on the PCWorld web site: "The Internet needs to be globally regulated if it is to have any chance of stopping scams such as security 'scareware', a researcher has suggested...


According to Mary Landesman of ScanSafe, the recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) injunctions against two companies accused of distributing fake anti-virus programs is a step in the right direction but against a backdrop of widespread abuse.

  Read more about Web-Wide Cops

The In Vitro Meat X-Prize

I have had a longstanding interest in non-animal based meat production. I do not believe humans will ever stop eating meat, but if meat could be made via stem cells --and if it is just as tasty and healthy -- I believe most people would eventually be willing to change over...


This would prevent the misery of untold billions of animals currently being bred and slaughtered solely for consumption. There is nothing theoretically preventing such a breakthrough, it's just a question of figuring out the science and how to scale it.

  Read more about The In Vitro Meat X-Prize

Redress and the expanding role of government under Obama

Krugman today: "...the Bushies didn’t have to worry about governing well and honestly. Even when they failed on the job (as they so often did), they could claim that very failure as vindication of their anti-government ideology, a demonstration that the public sector can’t do anything right...


The Obama administration, on the other hand, will find itself in a position very much like that facing the New Deal in the 1930s.

  Read more about Redress and the expanding role of government under Obama


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