Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Term Search: Iago Moment

There are many concepts that are clear to my way of thinking that - as far as I know - have not entered into our general language. My vocabulary is large and I have multiple degrees and yet I feel that these ideas have not been given social expression via a word or phrase. So I'm going to use this blog to flesh these ideas out. If anyone knows a term for these ideas, please comment below.

The Iago Moment: when a new piece of data changes your previous understanding to the exact opposite conclusion.

This is based on the game 'Othello' which has black pieces that will switch to white, and vice-versa, when bookended by that color. This is the closest item in my culture and experience that depicts the time of idea switching inherent in the concept. A row of black pieces, when you add one more datum, all turns to white.

The name 'Othello' comes from the Shakespeare play and since it's a game of black-and-white pieces, and the title character's race (African) is instrumental to the plot, I understand why the game was named that. But it still feels racist to me. Iago, on the other hand, is the play's antagonist, so I might as well keep the game & name but evade the overt racial message.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Whoa, I have 1066 Drafts

Not sure if I should be scared or elated but blogger tells me I have 1066 drafts of unfinished blog posts, compared to 1699 published. This will be an exciting exercise in reconstructing my brain patterns from years gone by

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

What's Been Happening Anyway?

So, what content can you expect in the contemporary Styx?

1. Sports (my biggest hobby, see a future post for why)

2. Jewish studies across the board, mainly social sciences and the old fashioned Rabbi-Doctor topics (i.e. what all rabbis with Jewish Studies doctorates seem to do: Jewish life issues with a glaze of scholarship)

3. Politics (none of this should be new, but the age of Trump (ym"sh) has made this crucial)

4. Footnotes, in a way, for my Twitter feed

5. Medical sociology stuff. My dissertation was on end-of-life issues but I've done work since then on the anti-vax movement and disabilities

6. I'll try to publish my sermons here as well. I don't speak often, though

7. Parenting, and things my kids are into and experiencing. All of my kids are in middle school or above

Yeah, for old time readers, this sounds familiar. But I am trying to be thorough.

Back after 4 years

I curtailed my blogging when I was finishing my dissertation and - foolishly - felt that I'd be better off writing 'blog' style posts on F*acebook rather than this clunky ol' website. But right after the election of Trump (ym'sh), I fled FB for two big reasons:

(1) I discovered that they were stealing my phone text messages, which prompted me to research & realize that they were basically operating as a computer virus
(2) I saw normal people become deranged by FB's polarization. I think it's a destructive & evil platform. Basically the computer equivalent of Oxycontin: designed to help, has a veneer of beneficence, but operationally addictive and destructive

I always knew that the near future would be fought by tech titans - much like the oil/energy companies of decades past - and I need to choose sides: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, and/or uh, AOL? Do they still exist? Anyway. I guess I currently trust google more than others, but all are robber-baron style octopi and we must all be careful

All told, I will try to write more on the blog, because I have a big backlog of material. I do have a twitter feed and I spend most of my time there, but decent writing is hard to produce (limits of the form etc, I'm sure there's some good scholarly work on this)

Anyway, it's good to be back. Let's see if it sticks