Amy Orben on tech panics of the past

In 1941 Mary Preston published “Children’s Reactions to Movie Horrors and Radio Crime” in The Journal of Pediatrics … The American paediatrician had studied hundreds of six to sixteen-year-old children and concluded that over half were severely addicted to radio and movie crime dramas, having given themselves “over to a habit-forming practice very difficult to overcome, no matter how the aftereffects are…

Amy Orben on tech panics of the past

In 1941 Mary Preston published “Children’s Reactions to Movie Horrors and Radio Crime” in The Journal of Pediatrics … The American paediatrician had studied hundreds of six to sixteen-year-old children and concluded that over half were severely addicted to radio and movie crime dramas, having given themselves “over to a habit-forming practice very difficult to overcome, no matter how the aftereffects are…

Amy Orben on tech panics of the past

In 1941 Mary Preston published “Children’s Reactions to Movie Horrors and Radio Crime” in The Journal of Pediatrics … The American paediatrician had studied hundreds of six to sixteen-year-old children and concluded that over half were severely addicted to radio and movie crime dramas, having given themselves “over to a habit-forming practice very difficult to overcome, no matter how the aftereffects are…

Grace and mistakes

I’m a big believer in grace and second (and third) chances; I wouldn’t, couldn’t live without them. In the absence of enough information to make an unambiguously correct decision (for example, in a disciplinary matter) I think it’s better to make a mistake on the side of generosity, kindness and benefit of the doubt rather than than to make the…

Nameless dread (2): calling HALT

My occasional feeling of nameless dread goes something like this: I’ve forgotten to do something something; I’ve let someone down; I’ve neglected something important; There isn’t enough time; I’ve been wronged; I’m a terrible person; I’m going to be found out; I’ve squandered something good; Everything’s going to go wrong; Everyone’s going to die (eventually); It’s possible, eventually, that I…

Responsibility: who pays?

Taking responsibility means that you commit to doing what’s necessary to make something happen – and that you pay for your mistakes. We are often reluctant about the second part – I think with good intentions. But if people keep making the same mistakes at someone else’s expense, there’s a good chance that they don’t really understand the cost. Having…

Inconvenient values

A good test of your values is asking when they last cost you something else that you wanted. For each of your values ask: Do you donate to the cause, or otherwise pay to make it happen? Do you give up opportunities? Do you pay a financial penalty for avoiding something? Do you work to change things by writing or…

tl;dr

We live in an era where people will spend days of their lives – hours at a time – to watch a box set or series of movies. We spend hours listening to podcasts. We still read novels. Long isn’t a problem; “too” is. So if “too” means “It would have been better for the people it was made for…

A brief presentation

Is it?* Don’t say it unless you’re sure.** *Brief depends on context, but in the absence of a clear norm a 5 minute presentation – 10 minutes including pre- and post-amble – is a good rule of thumb. **Even if you are, it’s probably better to say how long – and always say it will be five minutes longer than…