The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life     
. . . still studying and learning how to live
 
 
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Public Policy ...

There’s an article in the local paper about the big 2008 federal cutbacks in support for basic research in science. This is not good. The cuts have followed years of federal decline, and the scientific research institution is feeling the pinch. Labs are turning from basic research to more short-term, profit-oriented work, and young PhD students are avoiding basic science because of declines in job opportunities. There’s a brain drain going on here, and it’s going to hurt America. There was never a time when we needed high level scientific research so much. We’re in the middle of a growing energy crisis and a food crisis and a global warming crisis, and we need as much technology as we can get to keep these things from bringing America down from its role as the big economic power of the world. Sure, basic research does not have an immediate payoff. But without the basic research in electronics and computer science that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, we might not have the Internet as we know it today.

Well, bottom line is that this is really stupid, and whoever gets elected President this November (hopefully it will be settled in November — there are possible tie scenarios that would be even worse than 2000) had better do something about it. Or else America is going to be heading into a tailspin by the time that either Obama or McCain conclude their second term. A tailspin that’s a whole lot worse than the one we seem to be in now. Just as Toyota overtook GM as the biggest carmaker, it’s not impossible that India and China could some day surpass the USA in science and technology.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 10:23 pm       Read Comments (2) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Friday, June 27, 2008
Personal Reflections ...

The older I get, the more I appreciate the movie 2010. You space movie fans out there might remember that 2010 was the mid-80s sequel to Stanley Kubric’s classic 2001. In 2010, a Russian space ship blasts off for Jupiter, as to find out just what all the weirdness was about between Discovery and HAL 9000 (which are still orbiting Jupiter at the start of 2010). Well, the joint Russian-American crew gets out to the big gas planet and figures things out, more or less, after an encounter with an “alien force” being channeled through David Bowman (the astronaut who was killed by HAL in 2001). But there isn’t enough fuel left between Discovery and the Russian ship to get everything back to Earth. So they have to improvise, using Discovery and HAL as a booster stage.

Yea, the older you get, the more you realize that we’ve only got so much fuel, so to speak. We can only get so much done. Are you expecting me to add the usual clause here, i.e. “so make the best of it” ?? Nope, I ain’t gonna say that. Because who knows what the best really is. We’re here to learn to appreciate that question, but not really to figure out the answer. By the time we would figure it out anyway, it’s probably too late! All we can do is hold out hope that there is something more than what we can sense, and that our trials and travails will have some meaning in that broader context.

Well, that’s my two metaphysical cents for tonight.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 10:16 pm       Read Comments (2) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Monday, June 23, 2008
Art & Entertainment ... Current Affairs ... History ... Personal Reflections ...

Just a few random notes that came to mind today.

First off, the passing of comedian George Carlin. I wasn’t a huge fan of his. A lot of his humor stemmed from the ubiquitous striving among comedians to be the “dirtiest”, the most outrageous, and the most ribald joke teller. But Carlin was one of the wittier ones. He could also work into his routine a delightful, almost innocent weirdness. So it was with some regret on driving to work this morning that I recalled, after some inner confusion about the issue, that I never did see him live. I almost did. He did a show at my college (New Jersey Institute of Tech) back when I was a sophomore, right about this time of year. I wanted to go, but it turned out to have been on the night before a final exam in an important course. So I stayed home and studied. And I don’t regret it. What did upset me was that for a minute or so today, I DID think that I had seen him. It took some effort to break thru the early morning fog in my mind as I was waiting at a traffic light in Newark, listening to “Morning Edition” on NPR.

Second. I found out today that the Roman Catholic priest who baptized me had passed away earlier this month. I never knew Father Ed as a child, as he left my home parish while I was still a toddler. But thru some odd coincidences, I got to meet him about 16 years ago. He seemed a bit upset about the fact that I had moved over to the Anglican side of Christianity. Perhaps he would have been even more upset had he known that I would later give up all forms of organized religion. But that never meant that I don’t take seriously the ideas and ideals of theology and faith. And today we found out that at least 1 in 5 atheists also do so! (I.e., the just-released Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape Survey indicates that 21% of those who call themselves ‘atheists’ also claim to believe in God).

Third. This past Thursday was June 19, or “Juneteenth”, a traditional African American day of remembrance marking the end of slavery in America (it took until June 19, 1865 for Union enforcement of Lincoln’s Emancipation to reach Galveston, Texas, one of the last corners of the former Confederacy to receive the news). I rather expected Barack Obama to have taken advantage of the fortuitous proximity between this date (an official holiday in 29 states) and his defacto nomination as the Democratic Presidential candidate as to have made a significant speech on race, history and the American future. His Philadelphia speech made back in March, however candid by political standards, still only scratched the surface. There’s yet a whole lot remaining that whites, blacks and everyone in between needs to hear and say. And Barack Obama appears to be in a very good position to keep the discussion going.

Well, there is a brief note in barackobama.com acknowledging Juneteenth. But it looks as though Senator Obama had bigger fish to fry that day . . . such as sinking the Presidential campaign fund, because it got in the way of his fundraising juggernaut. Is this change we can believe in? Or is it just the usual brand of change, change that forgets the past and is ultimately condemned to repeat it?

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:49 pm       Read Comments (2) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Friday, June 20, 2008
Politics ...

So now we see Barack Obama’s true colors. The federal campaign finance system has many faults, admittedly. It needs revision. And a sitting US Senator would have had a decent chance to fix it. But instead of doing so during his time in the Senate, Senator Obama decided to build a killer fundraising application for his presidential bid. And once he had proof that it worked, he decided to trash the previous reforms with the excuse that they have their problems. Ah yes, the truest of true Chicago politicians. The guy who revives the old patronage situation and calls it “real reform”. The guy who asks us to throw away the system and put our trust in him instead. Ah yes, the classic urban politician, with an “I am the law” mantra. Something like that also happened in Germany during the 1930s. OK, that’s extreme, but I am getting worried about the demagogue effect that Obama is having on a large chunk of the American populace. The guy is starting to scare me.

Really. I’m not kidding. There’s something about Barack Obama that reminds me of some cheezy science fiction story, the one where the aliens manage to create various copies of the perfect human leader (one for each powerful nation; i.e., an American version, a Russian version, a Chinese version, etc.). Then they sneak their guys down here to earth and bide their time while their humanoid agents rise in power and gain the trust of the unsuspecting human race. When the time is finally right, the big saucers show up in the sky and announce the formation of a ‘new world order’ (i.e., we’re taking over your planet). And their judas goat leaders on earth urge the people of the world to stay calm and cooperate, saying that it will be good for everyone. Yea, I definitely could not picture Barack Obama leading the revolt in Independence Day!

So don’t blame me if Obama is elected and we find out that he isn’t such a do-gooder after all. I’m not voting for him.

Now as to McCain and his flip-flop regarding domestic drilling in environmentally sensitive areas: Let me make it clear that I won’t vote for John McCain either. McCain is definitely pandering to the GOP powers-that-be, after a career where he gained fame for thumbing his nose at them. Perhaps McCain is as much as a phony as Barack Obama has turned out to be.

As to the actual idea of drilling offshore and in northern Alaska: it might make some sense, but only as part of a compromise. (A compromise which neither Obama nor McCain would seem to appreciate). Offshore and northern Alaska oil is perhaps the United States’ last significant untapped oil resource. If exploited, they wouldn’t nearly satisfy our need for oil, but they might make things a bit better for our economy for a decade. They might lower domestic energy prices by 5 or 10% over that period. But after those fields dry up (as has happened to Great Britain about 20 years with the big North Sea oil find from the late 1970s), we’re back in the same bind that we are now in — or worse. The USA has an awful track record in terms of energy foresight. So I have no doubt that if McCain were to allow an oil drilling free-for-all and gasoline prices started coming down over time, we’d go back to the same wasteful ways for another decade, with big houses and big cars, etc.

So if we are going to use our last untapped oil reserves, it would seem to me that a lot of conditions should be placed on the whole enterprise. First off, extreme caution and oversight regarding environmental despoliation is necessary. I realize that oil drilling technology has advanced since the bans on off-shore and Alaskan drilling were imposed back in the 1980s, and the specter of big oil spills is a good bit less likely now. Second off, the public would have to realize that we are NOT going back to the days of cheap gasoline again. One good way of doing that would be to set a federal taxation plan such that the prices of oil products would not go down, even if increased supplies would otherwise cause that. The increased taxation revenues could be put to good use, perhaps to pay for the various wars that we are now involved in and also pay down some of the federal debt. If anything is left over, it could be used to fix our crumbling roadways, railroads, bridges, schools, etc., and to increase energy conservation and alternate energy research.

I was around back in the energy crisis of the mid-1970s and in the early 1980s. Commentators were saying that by the turn of the century, perhaps new technology would allow our economy freedom from petroleum dependence. Well, here we are, almost 10 years into the new century, and the end of our petroleum dependency is nowhere in sight. So if we are going to use up our last shots of domestic oil, we’d better do it very smartly and carefully. Otherwise, the SUV era may come back for a few years, but the angst that will result once it ends will make today’s pain at the gas pump seem like a mosquito bite. Too bad that McCain isn’t independent enough to say something like that out loud.

Bottom line: the choices for the 44th President of the US aren’t looking too good right now. Especially considering the huge problems that our nation will face over the next eight years. Blame it on the men themselves or the political system, but no one is able to say AND DO the things that will need to be done if the USA is to maintain its strength and leadership throughout the 21st Century.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 10:10 pm       Read Comments (3) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Monday, June 16, 2008
Brain / Mind ... Science ...

I’m currently reading a book called “Microcognition” by British philosopher Andy Clark. It’s basically about human efforts to model human intelligence using computers. Until a few years ago, the popular term for this effort was “artificial intelligence”. But today, that term isn’t very popular. Our scientists have made a lot of progress in understanding just what it is about our brains that makes humankind intelligent (well, at least in certain situations . . . . ). And in doing so, strangely enough, the stuff of our own brains has taught us a new way to compute. Through the 1950s and 60s and into the 1970s, our scientists attacked the problem of intelligence using standard computer programming, the classic realm of do-loops and if-then logic based on combinations of AND – OR gates (in the tradition of mathematical logician John Von Newman). They came up with some wonderful inventions, like those powerful chess-playing computers that no human can beat.

But those super computers couldn’t and still can’t do what people really do in life, i.e. figure out how to survive in confusing and changing circumstances and learn from their experiences and mistakes. The “AI” programmers couldn’t figure out how to make a computer form an “abstraction”, e.g. how to derive the common-ground concept of ‘cold’ from varied examples such as ice, Arctic fronts, and refrigeration. Over time, they finally considered the actual structure of the brain and noticed that it really wasn’t set up like a digital computer. Instead it was like a spider web of intricately connected little things, i.e. neurons, each of which are relatively dumb in themselves. What we slowly learned from the brain was that if such webs of relatively simple information processing objects were set up in the right way (through trial and error, the general process of nature), then abstract ideas and creative re-combinations of them could “emerge”, almost as if by magic. I.e., we found a way to mimic abstraction and creativity.

Today, “parallel processing” and “neural nets” and object-oriented programming are hot items in computer science; they are allowing all kinds of advances such as voice recognition that really works. We haven’t yet been able to do what our brains do in terms of flexible thinking, but our machines are certainly getting better. Once we decided to put aside the “old fashioned artificial intelligence” approach based on man-made rules, and started listening to “mother nature”, computer science progressed by leaps and bounds.

The brain still hasn’t yielded all of its secrets, and I hope it will be a while yet before humankind figures them out. But it is certainly humbling to see another example of how we ain’t so smart after all; and that whatever smartness we do have is not our own invention, but was a gift from nature. Hopefully we will learn to use that gift wisely enough as not to continue punishing and exploiting the source of that gift, in the quest for wealth and independence. Nature is still smarter that we are, and if we keep pushing her past her limits, she may well find the need — and the means — to shut us down. And all the parallel-distributed silicon chips in the world won’t be able to stop that.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:51 pm       Read Comments (2) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Society ... Technology ...

Here’s a quick review of my “interesting article of the week” for the second week of June (the one with Friday the Thirteenth in it). The article is from the July/August 08 Atlantic, titled “Is Google Making Us Stupid”, by Nicholas Carr. Mr. Carr is worried that the Internet is changing things for our youth and for our society, in terms of how they get their information and how they do their thinking. He’s worried that people, especially young folk, are relying too much on Google searches and hyperlinks and video clips. They are getting too accustomed to skimming massive volumes of information, flitting from site to site and subject to subject, instead of sitting back and reading deeply on one topic from one author. Carr thinks that perhaps our brains will be re-wired because of this. Because of the social forces and corresponding biological factor set off by modern information technology and its close cousins, the electronic media and the entertainment industry, there will be no going back to the good old days of reading (and finishing) books and long magazine articles. Except for old timers like myself who grew up in the days of libraries with paper card catalogs, no one will even have the ability to sit back and deeply ponder things such as the effects of racism on the deindustrialization of American cities during the second half of the 20th Century.

Well now, there certainly seems to be a lot of truth to this. Blog sites that provide short information blips every hour on the hour seem to be a lot more popular than those publishing longer essays every week or so (which helps to explain why this blog never made it!). But then again, the book isn’t dead yet. Amazon still sells a lot of them on line. Technology still hasn’t come up with a substitute for that good, comfortable feeling that you get when you sit down with an interesting book. I think it’s much nicer to read from something that comes from other living beings, i.e. paper from trees. It’s just not very cozy and comfortable reading from an electronic screen, no matter how light and portable they have now become. You just can’t curl up to a good flatscreen and while away a rainy afternoon.

So the book is not dead yet; it might be around for decades to come. But still, the statistical trends regarding book sales are somewhat disturbing. I checked out the annual sales estimates from the Association of American Publishers (www.publishers.org) going back thru 1992 (with the help of the “Wayback Machine” on archive.org). Anyway, in 1992, the estimated net sales for the book industry in the US were 9.46 billion dollars. Five years later, in 1997, they were at $17.2 billion. So the average growth rate in sales from ’92 to ’97 was 12.7%. Sales for 2002 were $22.40 billion; so the average growth rate for the next five years was 5.4%. In 2007, net sales were estimated at $24.96 billion. Sounds good, but the average growth rate from ’02 to ’07 slowed down to 2.2%. Remember, these are nominal dollars; during this time, inflation was chugging along at around 3% per year. So, after 2002, there isn’t any “real growth” in book revenues. Anyone want to bet that nominal sales will go flat and real sales decline from ’07 to 2012? (I’m surely not betting against it!). You can see why Amazon is expanding into music downloads, electronic goods, and all kinds of other household stuff and personal items.

Carr says that “as we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.” Personally, I don’t think that “good old-fashioned intelligence” is done for. But it may become a rarer and rarer trait over the next 80 to 100 years. The masses are already increasingly enthralled with entertaining technologies provided and controlled by a small band of international media corporations and cooperative big governments; meanwhile a small class of really smart people direct those corporations and governments — yep, sounds much like science fiction. According to such fiction, most of those really smart people will get together over time and figure out a way to gain totalitarian control of the brainwashed masses. Meanwhile, a small band of loners and rebels will realize what’s going on, and will seek to “unplug” people from “the net” as to fight back against the powers that otherwise keep them contented. It’s The Matrix without the body vats.

Perhaps that won’t happen; just little old me trying to be dramatic. But if it does, and if somehow my little scribblings floating on the vast digital seas of the Internet are preserved and readable in 100 years (which I doubt will happen, given the fact that Google hardly takes my site seriously), well then. Don’t say that Mr. Carr and I didn’t warn you!

◊   posted by Jim G @ 12:13 pm       Read Comments (2) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Monday, June 9, 2008
Food / Drink ... Personal Reflections ...

We’re having a very early heat wave here in northern Jersey, with temps above 95 and near-liquid humidity too. In times like this, most people’s minds do not turn to cooking. Only the truest of the true fans of food preparation still think about baking cookies and soups on the range and steamy plates of pasta or rice and stir fry on days like this. And that includes me. Salads and cold dishes? BAH! My mother cooked even in late July and mid-August; no “too hot to cook” excuses for her! And by goodness, so will I, as long as I can stand!

I just bought a copy of an old classic vegetarian cookbook, one that helps keep me inspired at the stove even on days like this. It’s called The New Laurel’s Kitchen Cookbook (the original one was from the 1970s, and the “new” version came out in 1986, which is now old enough to make the ‘new’ version old). I have to say that just leafing through that book makes me feel good, even when its blazing hot outside. Laurel Robertson and her associates really have a love for vegetarian cooking, which comes through loud and clear in her cookbook. As with any cookbook, at lot of the recipes are too complex or too exotic for me. But I manage to pick up some ideas from every cookbook that I get, and Laurel’s Kitchen seems to have a lot of good ideas. And I’ve only breezed through it thus far, still have to give it a more detailed examination. My only disappointment is that many of the recipes depend on milk products such as cottage cheese and yogurt and hard cheese. I haven’t completely eliminated milk from my diet, but I’ve managed to cut back quite a bit; I’m not anxious to go back to the rich, cheesy casserole dishes that Laurel and company seem to value.

I somewhat regret not becoming a Laurel’s Kitchen fan back when I first started my vegetarian ways (in the late 80s). I did just fine with Nikki & David Goldbeck (American Wholefoods Cuisine) and Molly Katzen (Moosewood Cookbook), and managed to adapt a lot of basic recipes from the old classic Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook. But Laurel and her friends make you feel really good about being a vegetarian and a vegetarian who knows how to cook. Well, better late than never on that account. But there is another account in my life where late is too late.

Back around 1989 when I was trying to get through the changes of life stemming from a recent divorce, I tried to meet women through the personal ads (in the newspapers, pre-internet). Unfortunately, that just didn’t work out so well for me. One reason was that personal ad dating pushes people into making evaluations and decisions quickly, based on very limited and hazy information about who they are meeting. Well, one of my replies was from a lady who had an engineering degree, who liked to buy and read books, and was a fan of Laurel’s Kitchen. At the time, I still wanted to get out and ‘change the world’, not just sit around reading books about it. I also had an engineering degree, but I felt that I had to go out and impress other kinds of people, such as literature and social science majors. And I didn’t know what Laurel’s Kitchen was or what it represented. As such, I didn’t follow up with that woman. And now, almost 20 years later, I look back and regret that. I’ve found out that books can be a source of wisdom and a pleasure in themselves; engineering and science are really beautiful things (it’s just that they are exploited so easily in this greedy world); and Laurel’s Kitchen is a truly wonderful approach to the vegetarian way of life.

Oh well, the woman in question is long gone; I threw out her letter (along with various others that weren’t meant to be) some years ago, and I don’t even remember her first name. But at least I finally found a cheap copy of Laurel’s Kitchen. Even on a sweaty, uncomfortable night like this, even in a life that hasn’t exactly been full of warm and assuring personal relationships, that’s still a nice, comforting thought.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:47 pm       Read Comments (2) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Religion ... Science ...

The NY Times had a recent article on cosmic physics and the increasing pessimism within it that we will ever truly understand the nature of the universe. The discovery some years ago of dark energy threw all of the “big picture models” out of whack. Most everything now being proposed as a mathematical / conceptual explanation for what has been observed about atoms and galaxies seems messy and ad-hoc. And even worse, there isn’t just one explanation; there are plenty of different forms and formats of equations that, with the right tuning of their parameter values and starting conditions, can equally well explain what is going on. But when you get four or four hundred explanations and they’re all unique, but they all give the same answer, than which one is right?

So, a lot of the high-powered theorists are abandoning the notion that there is “one truth”, and are adapting a “multiverse” view. This posits that our universe isn’t anything special; there have been, are, and will yet be trillions of universes out there, each with different sets of parameters regarding stuff like gravitational attraction and internal atomic forces and quantum sizes. For some universes, nothing much happens. But for just a few that randomly hit the right balance, time evolves and little convergence points occur amidst the vast expanses of nothingness, tiny points where interesting things occur. One of those things is nuclear fusion, that which makes the stars shine. Another is the gravitational collapse of certain stars which causes great explosions, supernovae, which form and scatter a wide variety of heavy elements like copper and silicon and carbon. When these various elements come together in just the right way under the right conditions, the phenomenon of life somehow occurs.

And in some super-tiny portion of that tiny portion of “convergence points”, conscious / sentient life occurs. We just happen to be in the right spot in the right kind of universe; we’d never know a “wrong universe”, because we couldn’t exist in it. So, the cosmic science institution is a rather atheist undertaking these days. After reading the article, I couldn’t help but imagine the start of a conversation between a typical atheist cosmologist (e.g. Neil Grasse Tyson) and the relatively rare “believer” scientist.

Atheist: We and our consciousness, and the matter and energy which support us and in which we delight, represent just a tiny spec, a “disputatious froth” in the vast, bizarre voids of the universe.

Believer: This is just one way that God tells us that we are important.

Atheist: The equation parameters are bizarre, there is no ‘harmony of the spheres’ behind it. It’s ugly, no beauty and elegance to it at all. We just happen to be in one of the extremely few ‘cosmic accidents’ that supports sentient life — and not much of it, and not always a very sensible version of it, for that matter.

Believer: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s mess is another’s work of art. Ever been to a museum of modern art? And how could we ever know what is ‘sensible’ if we hadn’t come from a mixed reality?

Atheist: Just as life here on earth evolved over unimaginable time spans from random, senseless forces, the biggest of the big pictures must involve a multiverse, something that just keeps on stupidly and randomly knocking out universes. Some involve time and space and tiny congregations of interesting events, like ours does; most probably do not. To the degree that we do have “sense”, despite our wars and crimes and cruelties, it is overwhelmed by the insensate randomness of the cosmos.

Believer: Why do you apply evolutionary theory to the cosmos? Evolution is responsible for your “tiny spec” of life, the “disputatious froth” that humanity is. I would not disagree with that. But why should something that applies on the scale of this ‘froth’ apply across the vastness of the ‘vacuum reality’? Why shouldn’t the bedrock reality behind everything surprise us just as evolution surprised the 18th century worldview, and quantum physics the 20th? Have we experienced our last meta-surprise?

Atheist: [TILT — not that there aren’t arguments that a smart atheist cosmologist could make at this point; but for now, I can’t think of what they would be. So I’m gonna leave it here for now, unfairly enough.]

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:22 pm       Read Comments (2) / Leave a Comment
 
 
Monday, June 2, 2008
Personal Reflections ... Society ...

I recently had occasion to meet-up with some former co-workers from the non-profit community agency that I worked for back in the 1990s. The Catholic priest who founded the organization was celebrating his almost-50th anniversary of ordination, and his underlings were nice enough to include me on the invitation list. Actually, there weren’t all that many people that I remembered, and those I did know were often ex-employees themselves. Nonetheless, I was still glad that I went. (The priest-in-question considers himself to be a pro-black community activist; but no, he didn’t perform any anti-Hilary tirades, a la Father Pfleger. Still, the African nuns who serve at his parish had an interesting little dance step that they perform when marching up the aisle, so there was some entertainment after all.)

Perhaps the most interesting comment that I received was from a fellow about my age who still works for this agency. He is a fairly well-known community activist within the agency’s service area, and not long ago he began dabbling with politics by running for and being elected to the city school board. Unfortunately, he recently ran for a second term and was defeated. Some of the local political power factions put together a block of candidates that did not include him. He was no doubt hoping that his boss and his agency would rally to support him, given the fairly large number of people that the agency-in-question serves each day.

But I got the feeling during my brief conversation with the community activist that his boss (the priest) decided not to get in the way of the powers that be. No doubt the agency needs their cooperation in matters such as tax collection leniency and unused land sales and grant funding assistance. The activist’s disappointment and disillusionment was rather clear when I told him that I was hoping to become involved again with a community-based outreach agency at some point (I went over to a governmental law enforcement agency in 2001). Only two or three years ago, the same fellow was encouraging me to consider returning to the non-profit fold (unfortunately, pension considerations and financial support commitments to an aging parent make that idea impractical at present). But yesterday, when I expressed such interest, his fact took on a grave expression, and he said “be v-v-v-e-e-e-r-r-r-y-y-y careful”.

Ah yes, good old “burn out”. Today, when I got back to my insignificant little desk job in the law enforcement world, I didn’t feel so bad about it. I guess that you have to just make the best of things where ever you are, whatever the cards you’ve been dealt. And actually, I’m not totally giving up on the non-profit world. The government gives me a fair amount of vacation time, and I might eventually start using some of that to do part-time work in “the community”. That’s perhaps one reason why it’s good for me to stay in touch with my former non-profit colleagues. Like many of them, I experienced burn-out, but maybe I’ll eventually get past it. And I’m sure that my community activist colleague will also get past his.

As Governor Schwarzenegger once said (before he was Governor): I’LL BE BACK.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 9:54 pm       No Comments Yet / Leave a Comment
 
 
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