Dark Side of the Horse (AMS) takes a second look at a silly expression and I’m glad I’m not the only person who thinks that dying young doing something pointless is not a good idea.
I gather the expression is supposed to balance the values of a short, thrilling life and a long, boring life, but you should be able to find interest without just chasing risk. And if you do crave risk, channel it.
Back when people were leaping off things, someone set up a crane near our house and was charging people to do bungee drops from it.
My son, a newly minted firefighter, suggested that, if they wanted an adrenalin rush, they try walking into a burning building, since it lasts longer and is useful.
Hard to argue with that.
On the other hand, as Non Sequitur (AMS) points out, it is pointless to keep expecting that people will make intelligent and rational choices.
I have more than a slight suspicion as to which island Wiley thinks is which, but he’s smart enough not to bother labeling them because that’s not his point. Rather, it’s the foolishness of thinking the two are the same.
Choose whichever you prefer, but don’t fall back on the excuse of not being able to tell the difference between them. It’s an admission of stupidity.
If you have no sense, at least have a bit of pride.
Moderately Confused (AMS) offers a bad decision in a different setting, and the issue here requires a look at the point of college.
In the Olden Days, colleges tended to be how the children of privilege became more well-rounded, but both Tom Brown at Oxford (1859) and Stover at Yale (1912) were remorseless in contrasting their spoiled, indulgent lifestyles with those of students of lesser means and more focused intentions.
The expansion of collegiate education led us to middleclass kids going into five-figure debt with no sense of what they intended to do next, much less how they were going to pay back their loans, a result of too many years of hearing “the college of your choice” as a goal in itself.
I’m a big believer in gap years. A year of working for a living can help you figure out what you really want out of life, while taking a break in the conveyor-belt of a K-16 education can also stimulate some more adult thought.
I had a friend who was getting Phd at Great Prestigious University while teaching at Workingclass College, and he found the older, more gritty students he taught more interesting than his classmates.
Being practical and being interesting are not incompatible goals.
Still on the topic of practicality, Pearls Before Swine (AMS) hits on something I was just pondering the other day, seeing yet one more person walking around with airpods or some sort of connectors in his ears.
My first response was my usual one of “Who do you think you are?” which is about businesspeople who are just too darned important to ever be disconnected. But it also occurred to me that I’d lose the damn things anyway.
They’d wind up under the sofa cushions along with my car keys and the TV remote, and then only if I were lucky.
As for romantic relationships, I may not have held onto them either, but at least I know where they are, whether or not they want to be found being a different question entirely.
Betty (AMS) spent the week complaining about apps that go to a subscription mode, and at least when you lose something under the sofa cushions, it’s your own fault. Losing something because someone else got greedy is another matter.
It’s a good reason to avoid dwelling in the cloud, where you’re much more at the mercy of the Cloudholder.
When Photoshop became a rental a decade ago, I was lucky enough to have a disk and also to have no need for all the bells and whistles that have been added since CS3, which I mounted on each successive computer until my latest.
At the risk of indulging in a conspiracy theory, I suspect Windows 11 can recognize and reject my disk. In any case, it wouldn’t accept it, so I went out and got Corel, because I may be vulnerable but I’m not complicit.
Subscribe to this, pal.
It’s not just the young people who can’t translate the mumbling, though I saw the same survey Rabbits Against Magic (AMS) is citing. I have also flipped on the closed captioning in order to follow the dialogue, and my curse is upon James Dean and Marlon Brando and whoever taught them that mumbling is authentic.
Now the latest assault is that entire channels have gone into Mumble Mode, and I don’t know if it’s them or my TV or my ISP, but I’m having to adjust volume within substantial ranges from one to another and I’m tempted just to mute everything and go to closed captioning.
Or read a damn book.
Which brings us to Off the Mark (AMS) and a good joke that comes with a substantial load of baggage.
I certainly agree that the lists of banned books contain a lot of things kids should read, but its real value is clues as to what the fascisti don’t want them to read. That is, the reason a book is on the list can be of interest and yet the book itself may not be worthwhile.
One of the disconnects in kid lit is that teachers and librarians — not kids — hand out most of the awards, and a lot of truly mediocre “message” books are greatly praised by the grown-ups while the kids are reading something else entirely.
I had to teach my young book reviewers that they were supposed to say if the book was interesting and worth reading, but that they were not required to say what its message was, because some interesting, worthwhile books don’t have one.
I often point out instances of fortuitous, coincidental timing but I was flabbergasted to see today’s Wide Open (UU) the morning after Rich Powell won the award for best on-line, short-form comic at the NCS convention.
I don’t know if he’s got a Cintiq or a Wacom, but I know what he does have and they’re spectacular.