Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The problem with boys in the US and Canada

The Current (my favourite podcast) had a great episode interviewing Dr. Leonard Sax regarding his book called Boys Adrift on 23 January.

"Leonard Sax is a family physician and psychologist as well as the author of a new book called "Boys Adrift: the Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men." In it, he lays out a mix of social and biological factors underlying the increasing number of young males with lackidasical approaches to school, jobs -- and life."

Not only is his insight interesting, but its very timely, putting together multiple trends that (even) I've recently noticed. People are wondering about the effects of sexual homogenization, plastics and hormones in bottles and foods, and the rise of videogames and ADD. Women now make up more than 60% of university graduates and, according to a guy from Princeton, it would be about 70% if there wasn't a gender bias.

Dr. Sax's theory seems to explain a lot of these phenomenons very succinctly and, frankly, it's scary to predict a future where these issues aren't addressed. And no, it's not scary because women will dominate society, but because it's a world without marriage, declining social interaction and lazy, mutated, ignorant men. If there hadn't been an argument for the superiority of the female gender, society seems to be artificially creating one.

On a personal note, being a drinker of bottled water, an eater of hormone-laiden foods and ex-aficionado of videogames, I wonder if his theory had anything to do with my parents' difficulties in "launching me." When I look around at my friends I see a lot of the same patterns.

Upon returning from Spain I was a changed man. Is it because they don't have the same chemicals in the plastic and hormones in the meat?

So yeah, go download the mp3 now (right click, save as...)

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The problem with boys in the US and Canada

The Current (my favourite podcast) had a great episode interviewing Dr. Leonard Sax regarding his book called Boys Adrift on 23 January.

"Leonard Sax is a family physician and psychologist as well as the author of a new book called "Boys Adrift: the Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men." In it, he lays out a mix of social and biological factors underlying the increasing number of young males with lackidasical approaches to school, jobs -- and life."

Not only is his insight interesting, but its very timely, putting together multiple trends that I've noticed more and more these days. People are wondering about the effects of sexual homogenization, plastics and hormones in bottles and foods, and the rise of videogames and ADD. Women now make up more than 60% of university graduates and, according to a guy from Princeton, it would be about 70% if there wasn't  gender bias.

Dr. Sax's theory seems to explain a lot of these phenomenons very succinctly and, frankly, it's scary to predict a future where these issues aren't address. And no, it's not scary because women will dominate society, but because it's a world without marriage, declining social interaction and lazy, mutated, ignorant men.

On a personal note, being a drinker of bottled water, an eater of hormone-laiden foods and ex-aficionado of videogames, I wonder if his theory had anything to do with my parents' difficulties in "launching me." When I look around at my friends I see a lot of the same patterns.

Upon returning from Spain I was a changed man. Is it because they don't have the same chemicals in the plastic and hormones in the meat?

So yeah, go download the mp3 now (right click, save as...)

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Reseting your mysql password in MAMP on leopard

I was searching everywhere for a config file to edit, googling "mysql reset password leopard MAMP" and couldn't find it.

Then I found this page on reseting apache/mysql/php on Leopard and one of the comments (Lazeez's) got me close:

/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqladmin -u root password ’somepassword’


where ’somepassword’ is the password you want for the root user of Mysql.

This doesn't work for MAMP obviously, but it led me to search for the "mysqladmin" file. I found it at

/Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/mysqladmin

Therefore, the following command, pasted into terminal did the trick:

/Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/mysqladmin -u root -p password ’somepassword’

It will ask you for your existing mysql password, so hopefully you have that. In my case the whole problem was caused when I decided to delete the existing root password in phpmyadmin (setting it to "") while that account was still set to require a password.

Hopefully this helps someone.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Choice wisdom from a lonely pessimist

This is really interesting stuff. As an ex-pessimist I can definitely sympathize and tell you that much of it works. It's also a recipe for continued pessimism, under which life can, really, only be bearable.

"Life, then, is suffering (an idea well-known to Buddhists). The answer for Schopenhauer was not to seek happiness, but to try and get through life with the minimum of suffering. His goal was for a bearable life.

Our relationship with ourselves

Here are some practical suggestions Schopenhauer put forward for managing ourselves:

    * Live in the present, making it as painless as possible.
    * Make good use of the only thing we can control, our own minds.
    * Our personality is central to our level of happiness.
    * Set limits everywhere: limits on anger, desires, wealth and power. Limitations lead to something like happiness.
    * Accept misfortunes: only dwell on them if we're responsible.
    * Seek out solitude, other people rob us of our identities.
    * Keep busy.


Our relationship with others

For Schopenhauer relationships with others are mainly sources of stress and hurt. As far as he was concerned true friendship is a near impossibility. As a result his advice is mostly aimed at protecting us from the inevitable damage other people will cause us:

    * People are selfish: they are easily flattered and easily offended. Their opinions can be bought and sold for the right price. Because of this friendship is usually motivated by self-interest.
    * Behaving with kindness towards others causes them to be arrogant: therefore other people must be treated with some disregard.
    * Displaying your intelligence makes you incredibly unpopular: people don't like to be reminded of their inferiority.
    * Truly exceptional people prefer to be on their own because ordinary people are annoying.
    * Accept that the world is filled with fools, they cannot change and neither can you."

From:
http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/01/schopenhauers-extreme-self-help-for.php

My two cents here. If you agree with the above characteristics of "ordinary people" and "others" (easily flattered, arrogant, dislike for displays of intelligence, etc) then by all means, ensure that YOU are not an ordinary other!

Down with the sheep! :)

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