Inside Tumblr’s Reblog-Worthy Digs

The popular technology blog TechCrunch has features on the office spaces of start-ups. I think its pretty interesting to see how these individuals work so I wanted to link it for your viewing pleasure.

TC Cribs: Inside Tumblr’s Reblog-Worthy Digs | TechCrunch.

Louis Brandeis

It’s Friday night and I took the time to finish the biography of Louis Brandeis that I’ve been reading. It was a dense tome. I started reading it months ago and in some places it was painfully boring and detailed. I did enjoy the descriptions of his early years. If there is one take-away I had from the book it is the importance of preparation and knowing your subject matter better than anyone else in the room. That is how Brandeis was able to succeed. I also cannot help but to be surprised but also approve of his desire to serve as counsel to the situation as opposed to individuals in many matters. By encouraging collaboration Brandeis was able to craft better solutions for all parties involved. Otherwise the book explored nearly every facet of Brandeis’s life in meticulous detail. It is worth the read if you are interested in Brandeis but otherwise too dense and boring at parts to be enjoyable.

Getting into Google+

I recently acquired a Google+ account. I think its a nice meld of features from Facebook and Twitter. The idea of being able to follow people and place them into circles where I can hold different discussions is great. This avoids the problem of posting geeky things that my WPI friends enjoy but my fellow law students do not care about or vice-versa. The downside is that we may be creating more of a filter bubble than we previously had. I think the one nice thing about facebook was the idea that it forced us to see each other as full people instead of merely a co-worker or merely a classmate. We may be mitigating the problem of employers possibly seeing the pictures of us drinking but we are not solving the problem of employers expecting their employees to not have fun or be social people outside their jobs. The greater transparency championed by Zuckerburg may be doomed.

I still have yet to explore all the features of Google+. It does not have all my friends from facebook or twitter in it. I wish there was a way to import them. When I discussed this with my friends they suggested that it was unnecessary because everyone was already on facebook. That just demonstrates the power of incumbency and defaults. I do not see Google+ as having additional cost other than the time to reform my contact lists. It’d be nice to have a feature to import my history from facebook, twitter, etc. for archive purposes but unfortunately those companies do not have that option.

"I Used to Believe That"

I was struck today by a comment I overheard in the student lounge in the law school. One of the ladies in the room saw Obama talking on the screen on of his riffs about hope and she quipped that she could not believe she used to believe that. Then her accomplices proceeded to denigrate the President. While I understand people are disappointed in Obama I do not think they are thinking about the entire situation. They fail to consider and concede the Obama successes such as student loan reform and healthcare reform. Many are also unable to articulate any specific complaints instead making a more general criticism of Obama not doing well. Even when they do make the specific criticisms they do not seem to understand the political system and how it works. Unfortunately people are not bothering to dig deeper into these issues.

Overall it shocks me how easily the media is able to shape the mindsets of the people. Cynicism seems to serve as a replacement for critical thinking. Since people see more stories about corruption than the things the government succeeds at they assume its corrupt. The thing that really drives home the ignorance of many is this chart about the percentage of people participating in government social programs that do not believe they are.

Walking the Reservoir

One of Connecticut’s not-so-hidden gems is MDC Reservoir #6 in West Hartford. It is a little out of the way but the 20 minute drive was worth it. The weather was warm but with a breeze it was quite comfortable. I walked it with a high school friend of mine and we just kept exploring. Some of the trail was more beat up than other parts, but I did notice that they were doing some work around the entrance. The walk makes for a nice change of pace from going to the gym. Also I enjoy observing some of the wildlife about the trail. The last time I was there we encountered this turtle and watched with amusement as it attempted to walk to the other side and crawl a somewhat large hill.

Between walking the reservoir and going for a boat ride on the Connecticut River I’ve come to realize how enjoyable exploring some of the nature in the state is. What are your favorite spots?

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