it’s a small world

Jan. 29th, 2015 05:55 pm
[syndicated profile] crooked_timber_feed

Posted by Eric

California’s measles outbreak has now reached more than 70 cases. 1

Populations especially at risk are those born after 1957 and vaccinated between 1963-1967 or not vaccinated. People born before 1957 would have been exposed to measles naturally and are ok; those not exposed to the virus in the wild will be vulnerable. People vaccinated 1963-1967 might have got the “killed virus” vaccine, which the Centers for Disease Control now say is ineffective, and they will be vulnerable.

Unvaccinated people will be vulnerable for what ought to be obvious reasons.

California permits unvaccinated students to enroll in public schools if their parents file a form saying their beliefs do not permit vaccination.

The percentage of unvaccinated students in Sacramento-area schools is over fifty percent in some cases.

As the historian Robert Johnston remarks, scholars used to treat anti-vaccination activists as “the deluded, the misguided, the ignorant, the irrationally fearful” but now they command ‘If not sympathy, at least a modicum of respect.”

I suppose we should respect those whom we can rationally fear.

1This is the outbreak that the press keep saying, correctly if punctiliously, began at “Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure,” as if there were some important meaningful reason they couldn’t say “Disneyland”; Disneyland is offering a pretty good discount right now, by the way.

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by The Voice

The outline agenda for the Liberal Democrats’ Spring Conference in Liverpool has been published.

Spring Conference outline agenda


On Friday, a series of policy consultations, and a consultation on the plans to take forward One Member One Vote take up the afternoon before the rally.

On Saturday, there are speeches by Danny Alexander, Vince Cable and Jo Swinson with a question and answer session with Nick Clegg. Policy debates include mental health, the manifesto (surprisingly titled Stronger Economy and Fairer Society), green laws and workforce rights.

On Sunday, as well as Nick’s keynote speech, we have debates on free speech in Europe and education funding as well as an emergency motion.

The motions will be published in a couple of weeks or so and then people will be able to start thinking about putting in amendments.

Spare a thought for poor old Sal Brinton and Tim Farron. They only get 5 minutes to do the presidential handover.

This, of course, is only the business in the main hall. There will be oodles of exciting things to do on the fringe and excellent training sessions to attend.

The Conference before an election is not likely to be a hotbed of controversy, but it is well worth attending for no other reason than to enjoy the company of other Lib Dems from across the country, to swap ideas and pick up the latest tips to enhance your campaign. The strength you gain from these events is utterly invaluable.

yhlee: Gunn pointing his finger (AtS Gunn)

more on dreams

Jan. 29th, 2015 11:08 am
[personal profile] yhlee
They weren't kidding about trazodone dreams. This last one included characters from Dragonlance, Angel, Planescape: Torment, and the Malazan Book of the Fallen. I would sort of kill for that crossover fic, actually.

Also, more highlights from last night:
- L5R pageant including Lady Doji and Hida Osano-wo intercut into a Bones video showing Seeley Booth (I see my fannish roots are...colliding). I was disappointed at the absence of Unicorn characters.

- visit to an absurdist hell where Joe wisely warned us that anything we bought in a store in hell was unlikely to help us escape hell (this proved to be true)

- Peanuts puppetry on the walls of buildings on a rocket ride up to Valhalla. Also, I got lectured by Odin on the ethical correctness of smoking meat that gave you immortality (?) if you ate it. (It had been raw, so would have gone bad quickly. I think the idea was that the meat wasn't supposed to last long?)

- cleaning the floor with a small bottle of white vinegar only to realize I'd accidentally grabbed a bottle of some BPAL limited edition scent instead, whoops. And yet I kept cleaning!

- a run in with Faith (Buffyverse) in a bilingual (Korean/English) prison. It's cool; she didn't hurt me.

(I wake up multiple times in the night right now, which really sucks and I don't recommend it. Getting sleep in 1-2 hour snatches is unfun.)
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Catherine Royce

To be frank, as a doctor, I have been underwhelmed by our Liberal Democrat offering on health issues over the years; certainly we are not as strong on health as we should be.

The almost daily drip feed from the right wing press on NHS shortcomings and failures is demoralising to staff and frightening to patients and designed to be so. It serves no-one except those who want to undermine the public’s confidence in the NHS. The service treats three quarters of a million patients every day of the year, and for most people there is no alternative.

So I am  relieved that at last we have something distinctive to offer with Norman Lamb’s ideas on mental health; parity of access and delivery, more  research and funding. This is important, and we need to ‘own’ it as Liberal Democrat policy.

Mental health is a bit like cancer in that it touches every family at some point, but no one wants to talk about it or admit they might get it. One in four of us will suffer directly and all of us know someone in our family or circle of friends who has had, or is suffering depression, or psychosis. Quite a lot of us will know someone who has attempted suicide, or even succeeded.

The need to tackle suicide specifically is long overdue and important, but don’t let’s fall into the trap of having a zero suicide target. This is unachievable and will be yet another failure to beat the health service with.  Instead, I hope we can settle for steady downward pressure, year on year, on the numbers of attempted and completed suicides and celebrate each year what has been achieved.

However, we clearly need to offer more on health so here is my idea for a no cost policy which will grab headlines AND be very welcome to all hard pressed NHS staff.

Dump the 4 hour A&E target.

This ill-conceived target helps no-one, neither patients nor staff, and is universally hated by staff because it distorts the work flow on the basis of need. As the clock ticks towards the 4th hour patients are juggled around and given priority their condition does not deserve in a desperate attempt to avoid the inevitable ‘breach’ and newspaper headline.

In a big, busy A&E (and with the current reconfiguration there will be no other kind of A&E) only the simplest casualties can make it through the system in this timeframe. Yes, you may be able to get a cut finger stitched, have your tetanus booster and be out of the door in four hours, even if you have to wait a while to be seen because there are other patients in the queue before you, the reality of any public system, but sadly most A&E patients have more complex needs.

This 4 hour target is not about everyone being seen within 4 hours. That’s relatively easy. It requires assessment, diagnosis, treatment and discharge within that time frame. First you’ll be seen and  investigated with whatever tests are needed, such as X-rays, scans or blood tests. To have these done, you will need to go to other parts of the hospital and sit in other queues. You might even have to see a specialist. You then have your test results analysed, receive the  appropriate diagnosis and  treatment (or none) and are discharged. Achieving all of that in 4 hours is a huge and unnecessary challenge. This target sets up A&E to fail, and guess what, it’s failing. Let’s dump it and get on with treating patients according to their needs, and if it takes 6 or 8 or even 12 hours, so be it. The important thing is that each patient gets the time and attention they need. That’s an equitable service.

* Catherine Royce is a medical doctor, Lib Dem activist, Lib Dem Women Exec and ALDES member

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Caron Lindsay

Normally on a Thursday morning, Scotland’s political leaders are thinking of how they will tackle the gladiatorial environment of First Minister’s Questions.

This morning, Andy Murray, playing in the Australian Open semi-final, provided them all with a distraction. Tory leader mentioned it on Twitter and look what happened next:

After that interlude, FMQs proceeded with, I’d like to think, a bit less rancour than usual In fact, when Ruth Davidson rose to ask her question, she was able to announce that Andy had won. Nicola Sturgeon teased her for checking Twitter in the Chamber

You would never find David Cameron and Ed Miliband doing this before their weekly duel. Maybe it would do them some good if they did treat each other like human beings. It might then be more difficult for them to hurl such horribly personal insults at each other.

These weekly sessions are supposed to be about scrutinising the government but they turn into nasty, childish affairs that make most people despair. The truth is that they are not an accurate representation of how politicians behave for most of the time.

By the way, I am not speaking to Nick Clegg today. He was talking about the futility of PMQs on Call Clegg this morning and said that Danny Alexander had suggested that he play Candy Crush while Cameron and Miliband slug it out. I tweeted that and have had to put up with a timeline full of Candy Crush spam ever since.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Opinion: Housing – yes, we can

Jan. 29th, 2015 12:58 pm
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Chris White

It is probably (I am sticking my neck out here) the belief of most councillors that the power to build council houses was abolished by Margaret Thatcher. This, coupled with right to buy, has led to a crisis in social housing which governments fail to tackle and councils can’t.

But a report commissioned by the Government as part of the Autumn Statement in 2013 has challenged local councils to have more confidence in what they can already do.

The Elphicke-House Report (pdf) published earlier this week, following a review by Natalie Elphicke, chair of Million Homes, Million Lives, and Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, contains 30 recommendations to both Government and Councils.

Councils should:

· not just process planning applications but enable housing completions

· look to develop themselves, either directly or in partnership with Residential Social Landlords

· use their existing borrowing powers and leverage to facilitate new housing.

The Report adds that councils are as efficient as housing associations in developing new stock.

Putting it bluntly it always has been possible for councils to build more housing, using its normal borrowing powers. There are some restrictions on how many homes can actually be owned outside the Housing Revenue Account but this is not actually the issue.

The real problem is simply getting bricks and mortar on the ground in units that people can afford to occupy asowners or tenants.

* Chris White is a Hertfordshire County Councillor and Deputy Leader (Policy) of the Liberal Democrat Group at the Local Government Association

[syndicated profile] markpack2_feed

Posted by Mark Pack

Welcome to the latest in an occasional series. Today: Labour boasting before the 2010 general election how it would slash public spending during this Parliament, with cuts bigger than Thatcher. Odd how Labour doesn’t mention that much these days…

Alistair Darling - Labour will cut more than Thatcher

[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by TSE

If so, who will be more grateful? The Lib Dems or their opponents?

One of most striking things of this parliament, is the Lib Dems’ unshakeable calm whilst the national opinion polls suggest in May the Lib Dems are headed for an epochal defeat that may end up being a modern Charge of the Light Brigade. We regularly get polling with the Lib Dems in single digits nationwide, and recently, in fifth place behind the Greens, yet there’s no appearance of outward panic.

There’s probably been more talk about Ed’s leadership than there has been of Nick Clegg’s leadership in the last few months. So why haven’t the Lib Dems replaced their leader or even discussed it publicly?

I think the answer is because Lord Ashcroft’s constituency polling which shows the Lib Dems doing better than national polling indicates, a recent batch in Lib Dem/Con marginals showed only a 2% LD to Con swing in these seats. Without this polling I think the Lib Dems would have removed Nick Clegg as it is easier to reassure colleagues worried about losing their seats, that there’s non internal polling showing them holding their seats.

A few years ago, Nick Clegg criticised Lord Ashcroft’s influence on British politics and tax status, but today he might be very thankful for the Good Lord’s intervention, which confirms we live in interesting times, with a Tory MP urging his constituents to back the Greens and the Tories hoping for the SNP to do well. This all tells us this is going to be a fascinating election.

We should also remember today’s political opponents, may soon become tomorrow’s allies.


[syndicated profile] skepchick_feed

Posted by Amanda

[syndicated profile] liberal_bureaucracy_feed

Posted by Mark Valladares

I read the piece by Maelo Manning the other day with some interest and found her thoughts on the question of hope intriguing. She is, of course, right - when times are hard, as they still are, giving voters a prospect of better times ahead is a means of convincing people that short-term pain will lead to long-term gain. There is, however (and you just knew that I was going to say that, didn't you?), a catch, in that such hope has to be based in reality.

Frankly, I fear for the Greek people. The decision of the incoming Syriza-led administration to unpick significant chunks of the agreed package of reform will frighten the markets - the Athens stock market is already in severe crisis. And, whilst the attractive option is to tell the markets to go screw themselves (that's a technical term, you understand), the fact that government spending is already dependent on the funds supplied in exchange for those reforms will inevitably lead to a gap between income and expenditure. You can, naturally, fill that gap by increasing income through taxation (slow and by no means guaranteed) or, more likely, through borrowing. So, let me ask you this, would you lend money to Greece right now? Could you be confident that Tsipras and his colleagues wouldn't renege on the debt? I wouldn't be.

You might say, "Ah, but Europe couldn't allow such a thing to happen, a deal would be cut, surely?". And yes, it is possible, but given the sacrifices that the likes of Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia have made to reform their economies, why should they give the Greeks an easy ride? And what message does it send to others if the Greeks do get to keep their bloated public sector and relatively generous welfare provision, neither of which they can afford?

But the message is equally true here. I won't bother with the Greens, as their economic policy is verging on laughable, but Labour's talk of cutting the deficit whilst apparently not making any cuts that will upset people is equally absurd. Saving the NHS by giving it more money is merely a short-term fix unless we are going to use that window to reform it in a sustainable way (Liberal Democrats please note...), and ring-fencing key budgets only means even greater pain for the remainder of the public sector if an aim to eliminate the deficit by 2020 is to be credible.

No, there will be more pain, more "blood, sweat and tears" to be endured over the next five years. The possible reward is an economy that can be sustained, a welfare system that protects the vulnerable and a public sector that delivers what we need, rather than what we desire.
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Today’s the day: Midnight Rises, my first ever graphic novel, is out today, for iOS devices, via a downloadable app. I wrote it, and Mike Choi illustrates it. It also includes music by Serj Tankian (System of a Down). The first chapter of the graphic novel is free, with the subsequent two chapters available in-app for just 99 cents (and for fans of Mike Choi’s fantastic artwork, alternate covers are available for $1.99). I’m super proud of it, and of the world it introduces, which will be further explored in the video game Midnight Star, which debuts very soon. But Midnight Rises doesn’t just introduce the characters and situations of Midnight Star — the choices you make as you read Rises influence what happens for you in the game.

You have questions. Let me answer them.

What’s going on in Midnight Rises?

It tells the story of Charlie Campbell, the character you will play as in Midnight Star, and the crew of the science vessel Joplin, who support Charlie and share their knowledge and skills with him. Before the events of the game, Charlie and the crew have another adventure — a race against time to solve a mystery involving the Joplin and a shadowy group that will stop at nothing to disrupt the ship’s mission… a mission that could change humanity’s understanding of its place in the universe.

Why is Midnight Rises its own app, and not in one of the online comics stores?

Because Midnight Rises was designed from the ground up to take advantage of the mobile computing interface and all the things it can do. We’re not just talking about “motion comics” — we looked at all the advantages the mobile platform could provide us for visual storytelling and baked that into how we designed the graphic novel. Which meant giving Midnight Rises its own app — its own environment to do everything it can do.

What do you mean that choices you make in the graphic novel influence the game?

This is one of those “capabilities of the mobile platform” things — In the story we’ve put places for you to explore and to make choices for Charlie Campbell. If you play Midnight Star, the game will talk to the graphic novel, see the choices and explorations you’ve made, and tweak things in the game to reflect those choices. There’s no downside to any exploration — you’re not penalized for one choice or another, including the choice to simply read through the story. It just means that when you play the game, it’s personalized for you. Which is kind of cool, and again, something that reflects that both the graphic novel and the game are built for the mobile experience, not just on phones and tablets.

Why make a graphic novel at all?

When we did the initial worldbuilding — me and Alex Seropian and Tim Harris and all the folks at Industrial Toys — we knew that we were creating more than we could put into the scope of a single mobile experience. The motto of Industrial Toys is “Mobile to the Core” — and we didn’t see why that motto had to be confined to video games. We wanted to give people more things to explore in this universe we created. So when we started developing the game, we also started developing the graphic novel. Which is to say one was not the offshoot of the other; they were developed concurrently, with each informing the development of the other.

Also, personally, I’d never done a graphic novel before, and so this was a chance to try something new, with folks who knew what they were doing. Mike Choi in particular has tons of experience in comics and graphic novels. There’s a special joy in working with people who are at the top of their games.

Do you have to read Midnight Rises to play Midnight Star?

Nope. We designed both Midnight Rises and Midnight Star to be unique standalone experiences. You don’t have to experience one to enjoy the other. That said, if you experience both, you know more about the universe we created, and the characters who live in it. Like I mentioned before, we did a lot of worldbuilding. I think you’ll have a blast exploring both the graphic novel and the game.

When will Midnight Star be available?

Soooooooooon. I’m waiting for clearance to tell you the exact date. But! Soon!

Any other thing you want to tell us about Midnight Rises?


One, that as a project I rank this right up there with one of my novels, in terms of its importance to me — this is something I’ve been working on for a couple of years now, with Mike and with the whole Industrial Toys crew, so finally having it out in the world is something that makes me very happy.

Two, if you have an iOS device, please download it and check it out! As noted, the first chapter is entirely free (and the two subsequent chapters are pretty cheap!) and the more people who download and experience it, the happier I will be.

Three, please feel free to tell every single person you know about it. It’s fun and it’s cool and I think people are going to love this story. Let them know! And thank you.

Four, it’s been an honor and a privilege working with the Mike, Alex, Tim and all of the Industrial Toys crew on the graphic novel, and also on the game (which I did a lot of work on too, but more on that… later). Midnight Rises is Industrial Toys’ official first release, and I’m delighted that something I wrote gets to carry the flag for the company. They’re good people.

So: Midnight Rises! Out now! Check it! And thanks.

The left's ideas

Jan. 29th, 2015 02:03 pm
[syndicated profile] chris_dillow_feed

Posted by chris

In the Times, David Aaronovitch accuses the left of being "completely without ideas" and of sinking into the politics of "symbology" because they have "nothing else." I'm in two minds about this.

One the one hand, it seems wrong. A few decent ideas get us a longish way towards leftist ideals: an expansionary fiscal policy including massive housebuilding to get us away from the zero bound; a citizens' basic income; a serious jobs guarantee (pdf); and worker democracy. One might add to this higher taxes on inheritance and top incomes and (though I'm more sceptical of these) wage-led growth and participatory economics. The left has lots of decent ideas which are reasonably well grounded in evidence and logic: see, for example, the real utopias project.

This, though, merely poses the question: how, then, can someone as intelligent as David think otherwise?

The answer is that such ideas, for the most part, are outside the Overton window; they're not discussed in mainstream media-political circles - or if, they are, it is appallingly badly done.

There are several reasons for this.

One is that the media filters out such ideas. "Mediamacro" has constructed a hyperreal economy in which the deficit is the economic problem. And deference towards bosses prevents journalists from even posing the question: mightn't worker control sometimes be more efficient?

Our warped media, though, in part reflects public opinion. Numerous cognitive biases serve to support hierarchy and inequality and so close off thinking about alternatives. (In saying this, I'm not making a specifically Marxian point. It was Adam Smith who complained of our "disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition" (Theory of Moral Sentiments I.III.28).)

Another problem is that there's adverse selection in politics. Whatever other abilities Natalie Bennett might have, they do not include an ability to argue for even well-founded policies. And this highlights a wider problem. Politics selects  against intellectuals: as Nick Robinson said of Jonathan Portes, "he would not have a chance of getting elected in a single constituency in the country." Instead, what's valued is a perceived ability to "connect" with the voters. And this means following public opinion, not changing it.

But there is, though, also a problem with the left itself. Since the 80s much of it has lost interest in economics - except, it seems sometimes, to dismiss  the entire discipline as neoliberal ideology. As Nick says:

I have seen half my generation of leftists waste their lives and everyone else’s time in petty and priggish disputes about language. They do it because it’s easy, and struggles for real change are hard.

What I'm saying here is that, if David is looking for leftist ideas in the media-political bubble, he's looking in the wrong place. As a great man said, the revolution will not be televised.

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

The Final Chippening…

Jan. 29th, 2015 09:30 am
[personal profile] jimhines

Welcome to the Final Chippening!

Here’s your backstory:

This has been a lot of fun. At least for me. Hopefully you’ve been amused as well.

So, now that this is over, should I start planning what to do when I get to twenty thousand Twitter followers? :-)





 Sean Williams Maurice Broaddus Wesley Chu Stephen Leigh Deborah Blake Ferrett Steinmetz Kelly McCullough John Levitt Harry Connolly Elizabeth Bear






Well, that was fun! My thanks to guest Chipmunks Sean Williams, Maurice Broaddus, Wesley Chu, Stephen Leigh, Deborah Blake, Ferrett Steinmetz, Kelly McCullough, John Levitt, Harry Connolly, and Elizabeth Bear.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

kareila: "Mom, I'm hungry." "Hush, I'm coding. You ate yesterday." (coding)

Changelog Digest for Thu, Jan 29

Jan. 29th, 2015 08:18 am
[personal profile] kareila posting in [community profile] changelog_digest


c66d987: Issue #1160: Use S2-based monthpage for style=site
Remove the last remnants of BML for journal views.
4fb8750: Issue #1162: Shrink authas select width, space apart the button a bit
Tweak the appearance of the authas selection menu on Foundation pages.
e3310ab: Issue #1031: Remove CProd from the codebase
Remove LJ::CProd and associated code, data, text, etc.
f3c88db: Issue #1167: Cleanup 2015-01-27
Remove repeated use module statements in
1e3cf54: Issue #1167: Cleanup 2015-01-27
Add "use LJ::Directories" statement in DW::Template.
38b4c0a: Issue #1167: Cleanup 2015-01-27
Fix undefined warning in DW::Template::Plugin::FormHTML::checkbox.
c5c4749: Issue #1167: Cleanup 2015-01-27
Fix similar warnings in other DW::Template::Plugin::FormHTML functions.
daf46e8: Issue #1169: Tweaks for /entry/new redesign.
Round 1 of tweaks to /entry/new based on dw-beta feedback.
e18b0cc: Bug 3965: better organization of LJ functions
Move comment-related functions to LJ/
10cd1b7: Bug 3965: better organization of LJ functions
Move auth-related functions from into LJ/
6c28bce: Issue #918: Remove MSN Messenger from profile
Remove code related to discontinued MSN Messenger service.
542151f: Bug 5162: still refers to friends-only in email notification
Change terminology from 'friends-only' to 'locked'.
[personal profile] strangecharm
(thanks [personal profile] andrewducker)

It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.

You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.

But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, having difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.

Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.

Is a pony a horse?

Jan. 29th, 2015 01:25 pm
[syndicated profile] markpack2_feed

Posted by Mark Pack

A few years back I ran a series of curiosities found by perusing the back copies of Hansard, which included the big question: Is the horse an agricultural animal?, something which came up not only in the 1980s but also in the 1990s.

I was reminded of this by a more recent horse-definition exchange, as reported by the York Press:

MPs have agreed expanding the definition of horse to include ponies is not necessary for proposed new laws on controlling fly grazing, being sponsored by a York MP.

In bizarre exchanges, Tory James Arbuthnot moved an amendment to the Control of Horses Bill which would have added pony and jennet to the included animals covered by the Bill…

Liberal Democrat David Heath intervened and said: “I do think the normal definition of a horse would involve anything which was of the same species as a horse, which is to say equus ferus caballus, which ponies and jennets are.

“The reason donkeys are separately identified is because they are not the same species – they are equus africanus asinus if I remember correctly, so they have to defined separately.”

Hat-tip for the York Press story: Helen Duffett’s emails with Lib Dem news.

andrewducker: (Default)

Procrastination is not Laziness

Jan. 29th, 2015 01:36 pm
[personal profile] andrewducker
This describes a whole set of my behaviour - and is far worse for a chunk of my friends:
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.

You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.

But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.

Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.

(I've actually reached the point where the word 'lazy' doesn't mean anything more to me than 'This person doesn't spend their energy doing what I want them to.')
[syndicated profile] lynnefeatherstone_feed

Posted by Lynne Featherstone

Here’s my latest Ham and High column – also available here

It seems like every time we watch the news, we hear about another conflict or incident. And the awful terrorist attacks in Paris were so close to home.

The whole world felt the impact of the horror that unfolded at the Charlie Hebdo office.

But here in Haringey we have a proud history of uniting against violence, hate, and extremism.

Less than two years ago, the community response to the terrible attacks on the Somali Bravenese Centre was overwhelming. We all came together in a show of solidarity – and helped them to rebuild.

Unity is the best way to respond to the atrocities committed by terrorists, and extremism. It’s so important that we don’t allow the politics of fear and hate to creep in.

To be blunt, those seeking to create division are parties like Ukip, who would use the actions of terrorists to create fear and animosity towards certain communities.

I’m proud that my party, the Liberal Democrats, have stood up to Ukip from day one. Our beliefs and values really are the polar opposite of theirs!

But I know it’s not enough to just say these things – politicians, communities, everyone needs to take real action, and search for the right solutions.

That’s why I’m arranging even more local visits to community groups and religious groups, to discuss how they feel about the current situation; ask what they think can be done to stop further attacks, and how to prevent division in the aftermath.

There are going to be difficult moments, and tough conversations. But it’s what needs to happen for us to find an effective, long-term solution to tackling extremism.

This is the harder path. But it will ensure that the voices of all those in our community are heard – that our youth understand the value of engagement over argument.

This is a conversation that needs to be ongoing. We need to build forums and platforms that allow for a continuing discussion in our community about these difficult issues.

I want to hear as many views as possible – if you have thoughts you’d like to share, please contact me. This is a conversation we all need to be part of.

matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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