Thursday, August 11, 2016

Some thoughts on "Serious academics take the media seriously"

I found this post over at Small Pond Science fascinating. As a fan of science, if not a scientist, and deeply interested in social media's presence in our society, Terry's McGlynn's post is very relevant. Terry calls out an anonymous article over at The Guardian basically dismissing efforts by scientists to engage with their work in the world of Facebook & Twitter.

I, for one, think there's great value in the public debate. Not everything on social media is fluff. And, if it's to be taken seriously, we need to encourage more, not less engagement by scholars online.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Olympics, costs and benefits

Though I love the Olympics, the institution faves a major problem. The massive costs of hosting a Games almost never balance out against benefits.

This article considers the financial impacts upon cities which host the Olympics.

A fitting postscript to my post yesterday.

After considering such details as infrastructure investment, marketing and meeting the expectations of the International Olympic Committee, most often the Games cost more than they earn. In some cases the loss is massive.

My first thought: the IOC must start considering the long-term impact. With that, they must seek to mitigate the effects of over-enthusiastic boosters. They struggle with a perception of boondoggle. Several cities' citizens shut down bids for games.

I feel it important to note that LA actually pulled s profit from the games. Utilizing their existing infrastructure, the cost control worked nicely. The article actually notes several hosts who successfully navigated development and execution. Key considerations for anyone desiring to host a Games.

I see an Olympics as several months of headache with little upside. Most of the promised benefits never materialize. I'm not alone. Seattle's few attempts to garner support to bid to host a Games failed miserably. And that's happened elsewhere, too.

Anyone wanting a Games near me must account for this study before I give my support. And I love the Olympics.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Abandoned Olympic Venues

I adore the Olympics. Pageantry and drama, magical moments brought out by ages dedication, training and sacrifice. I love stories of humanity resisting adversity. None better exist.
Counterbalancing this, images of waste, neglect, rotting decay. These images tell another story of the Olympics. A sadder story.

Often hosting the Games gets presented as this transformative event. Great economic rewards heralded. I wonder how often such manifests. How much positive actually happens, and how much of the investment crumbles into dust.


As these kids go off to college

Looking at these great young men and women I know going off to college, into the service, into the world I'm struck by their potential greatness. I see this in them all.

I don't buy the trap, though, of the unit form of greatness is one of public accolade. Really, most of the great things in life are done quietly, un-lauded, just done. Society grinds to a halt without this work. With the quiet doers in our world, we freeze, with nothing valuable happening.

There are downsides to fame. I'll leave the specifics for another day.

But greatness is immensely satisfying. Arrogant as it may sound, I've felt greatness roaring through. Often counterbalanced by moments where I feel minimal competence.

I wish for these dear ones to feel the greatness within. Knowing their value. Whether thousands come out to see you, it you only hear the positives from friends and family, I want them to have that sense deep within them. Knowing they're valuable and unique. To feel the deepest of the loves. 

Monday, August 08, 2016

A thought for your Monday

Came across this and thought I'd share this with you. Hope it gives you energy and focus.