The Big Think

March 7, 2012

Fiat Morte

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 6:59 pm

It’s Time to Clean House – Philip K. Howard – Politics – The Atlantic: “Congress treats most laws as if they were the Ten Commandments — except they’re more like the 10 million commandments. Most legislative programs do not codify timeless principles of right and wrong. They are tools of social management. These laws allocate social resources — almost 70 percent of federal revenue in 2010 was consumed by three entitlement programs enacted a half century or more ago. Congress almost never goes back to rationalize these programs. Running government today is like trying to run a business using every idea every manager ever had.

At this point, Democracy is basically run by dead people. We elect new representatives, but society is run by policy ideas and political deals from decades ago. Congress has a tragic misconception of its responsibility — it sees itself as a body that makes new law, not one that makes sense of old laws.

The problem of obsolete law is not theoretical. It’s concrete, affecting daily choices across the country. It adds to cost, and slows productive activity to a crawl. “

Build It

Filed under: Games,Humor and Fun — jasony @ 5:20 pm

Building Blocks: Awesome Lego Science Models | Wired Science | Wired.com: “”

(Via .)

Purpose

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 12:16 am

You may be a carpenter. You may be an accountant or a teacher or pump gas for a living. Each of us does with his or her hours duties that define our time here. However, each of us is also constantly working- whether we know it or not- on the deeper work that will define us when we only exist in other people’s memory. We are not, after all, just “teachers”, we may be mentors to someone without realizing it. We’re not just an accountant, but rather we get to be the conduit that adds the figures up that lets someone realize their dreams. The surface activities that we call “work” aren’t everything that there is to it.

Every so often we get a small window into the deeper job that we’re about. Very occasionally we get some sort of feedback that lets us know we’ve made a difference in someone’s life. I am privileged in that my job allows more frequent contact with this layer of work than most. Tonight I got to see some of that evidence and it makes the long hours, hard decisions and sacrifices worth it. It may not be as dramatic or cathartic as a doctor saving a patient’s life or a teacher seeing the once-troubled student graduate with honors, but it’s still deeply meaningful to see that your contributions matter. I am grateful for these moments.

This is just a reminder to myself, really, for those long days of frustration and aggravation that are sure to come. That there are moments like this make days like that easier to handle.

Go and do good work.

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