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The Film for This Moment

Jia Tolentino:

“Coco” is also a definitive movie for this moment: an image of all the things that we aren’t, an exploration of values that feel increasingly difficult to practice in the actual world. It’s a story of a multigenerational matriarchy, rooted in the past—whereas real life, these days, feels like an atemporal, structureless nightmare ruled by men. It’s about lineage and continuity at a time when each morning makes me feel like my brain is being wiped and battered by new flashes of cruelty, as though history is being forgotten and only the worst parts rewritten. It feels like myth or science fiction to imagine that our great-great-grandchildren will remember us. If we continue to treat our resources the way we are treating them currently, those kids—if they exist at all—will live in a world that is ravaged, punishing, artificial, and hard.

Read the article, especially the second half, at The New Yorker.

On Blogging

Om Malik:

What people don’t realize about blogs is that they are never a complete story. They are incomplete and by nature more mysterious, more episodic, and thus more interesting. Blogs are meant not to leave you with everything. The whole idea is to think to deliberate, and to come back again and again, to finish what was started a long time ago. But there is no end, just a pause, for a voice to start, talking again. I think somewhere along the line I forgot what it is to blog.

Brent Simmons:

Here’s a provisional thought (all thoughts on a blog are provisional) — to read a good blog is to watch a writer get a little bit better, day after day, at writing the truth.

Teenage’s Depression and Suicidal Issues

Jan Hoffman

The numbers of teenagers reporting “feelings of sadness or hopelessness,” suicidal thoughts, and days absent from school out of fear of violence or bullying have all risen since 2007. The increases were particularly pointed among lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students.

Nationally, 1 in 5 students reported being bullied at school; 1 in 10 female students and 1 in 28 male students reported having been physically forced to have sex.

Read more about the disturbing rise of depression and suicidal thoughts from teenagers.

Asian’s Attitude Problem

Anemona Hartocollis:

Harvard consistently rated Asian-American applicants lower than others on traits like “positive personality,” likability, courage, kindness and being “widely respected,” according to an analysis of more than 160,000 student records filed Friday by a group representing Asian-American students in a lawsuit against the university.

Asian-Americans scored higher than applicants of any other racial or ethnic group on admissions measures like test scores, grades and extracurricular activities, according to the analysis commissioned by a group that opposes all race-based admissions criteria. But the students’ personal ratings significantly dragged down their chances of being admitted, the analysis found.

If this discrimination toward Asian is true, our kids have no chance of going Harvard. Oh well, there are plenty of schools to choose from.

Exercise and Standing

Gretchen Reynolds:

Over all, the results suggest that exercise and standing up have distinct effects on the body, says Bernard Duvivier, a postdoctoral researcher at Maastricht University, who led the new study.

Moderate exercise seems to hone endothelial and cardiac health, he says, probably in large part by increasing the flow of blood through blood vessels.

Standing up, on the other hand, may have a more pronounced and positive impact on metabolism, he says, perhaps by increasing the number of muscular contractions that occur throughout the day. Busy muscles burn blood sugar for fuel, which helps to keep insulin levels steady, and release chemicals that can reduce bad cholesterol.

Read the article at The New York Times.

Gay Kids, Be Careful Online

Jack Turban:

It’s common for gay, bisexual or questioning minors to go online to meet other gay people. It’s normal for these kids to want to explore intimacy. But most online social networks for gay men are geared toward adults and focused on sex. They have failed to protect minors, who simply have to subtract a few years from their birth date to create a profile.

Read the article at The New York Times.

Busy at Work

The past two weeks have been crazy at work. We managed to upgrade to PHP 7.2 on our server for Scalia Law site. I worked with a talented developer who pulled a copy of our current and tested on PHP 7.2 to make sure MODX worked correctly. I am glad we got it done before he left the University to move on to something else.

Today we completed the migration of Scalia Law School’s WordPress Multisites to WP Engine. It was a massive undertaking, but we worked with a vendor to do so.

As far as technical things, we are now in a good spot. I am looking forward to some winding down time over the summer.

Chee’s Proverbs

Karen Chee:

Always look beautiful, for one never knows if one may be seen by one’s father that day.

Read “More Chinese Proverbs by Ivanka Trump” at The New Yorker

Digital Longevity

Zach Leatherman:

Digital content longevity will continue to be highly variable, depending only in part on the file format used. HTML has existed for about 27 years and I wouldn’t venture a guess to say how much longer it’ll go. I can say that a reduction in ceremony around opening and reading a file is better for that file’s longevity. Relatedly, the ubiquity of software necessary to read a file lends to its future proofing as well. And what software has been historically and continues to be more ubiquitous than the lowly web browser? I’m not sure such software exists.

So feel free to keep creating your content in Microsoft Word or in Markdown or using JSX or Mustache templates or in your WordPress database. But if you want the content to live a full and happy life, publish it in HTML on the web.

HTML rocks!

Self-Censorship

When I started this blog, I believed I could write whatever I wanted. For a long time, I did write whatever the fuck was on my head. My inspiration was drawn from listening to hip-hop. If rappers could rap about drugs, sex, and money, bloggers could blog about anything. Sure, I got myself into trouble here and there, but I corrected myself and learned from my mistakes. I was young and vulnerable, but I didn’t give a fuck. My writing was raw and uncensored.

Almost two decades later, that mentality has changed. I am now a grown-ass man with a family. I have responsibilities and I can no longer put myself at risks. These days if I write the wrong thing, I can be called a sexist, misogynist, racist, or even homophobic. As a result, I have to check myself before hitting that publish button. The stakes are much higher these days.

I don’t think I will ever go back to read my earlier posts because they will make me cringe. I don’t think you should either unless you want to dig some dirt on me. Other than what I was thinking at the time, I don’t think there were anything horrific. Why am I writing this post? I have no idea.