Is ‘Blue Monday’ a thing


According to Snopes (snopes.com), it is not. As in, there is not a specific day that is the most depressing day of the year.

That said, if you read carefully, you can see why people accept this notion. January can be a difficult month for many reasons. You might feel that the entire month is filled with Blue Mondays. Take it easy on yourself, especially if you have challenging resolutions you are trying to complete.

Good luck. Stay healthy.

(Image, via The Sun, shows the so called formula for calculating Blue Monday)

Instragram = advertising

Each social media has an implicit purpose. The stronger ones have a purpose that is clear. Facebook: stay connected to family and friends; LinkedIn: connect with employees/employers. For Instagram, the purpose is advertising. For most people, it is advertising your life. For certain people, with many many followers, it is advertising products.

To get a sense of how much Instagram is about advertising, see this: Confessions of an Instagram Influencer – Bloomberg. While many of us are amateurs at advertising on Instagram, this article will show you how the pros go about it.

I have often looked at people Instagram proposes I follow and I have wondered why people take the photos they do. This article helps explain that. It also helps one understand why some people’s photos look nothing like yours.

Facebook shows why we need augmented intelligence (Artificial and Human Intelligence)

Because if you don’t have augmented intelligence, and if you solely depend on AI like software, you get problems like this, whereby automated software triggers an event that a trained human might have picked up on.

AI and ML (machine learning) can be highly probabilistic and limited to the information it is trained on. Having a human involved makes up for those limits. Just like AI can process much more information quicker than a limited human can.

See the link to the New York Times story to see what I mean.

Eric Holder has a new role – defending California against the Trump Regime

The State of California has a new lawyer to represent it: Eric Holder. The New York Times has the details, here. A good piece, showcasing what we can expect from that State while Trump occupies the White House.

As an aside, I found it fascinating to see how Americans perceived Holder. For a number of Americans, they saw him and his Justice Department as inhibitor of liberty due to how his department cracked down on leaks, among other things. For African Americans, they likely saw him as a provider of liberty, as his DOJ went after those looking to restrict their voting rights.

I think both those activities reflected the wishes of his boss, as well as his own goals.

I think he will be formidable in the next four years as he and his law firm defends the interests of California. It will be interesting, for certain.

A good new year’s resolution: unsubscribing to mailing lists

Unsubscribing to mailing lists you no longer read or want is a good resolution to make and keep. Here’s why it’s a good idea:

  1. It doesn’t take long.
  2. It’s not something you have to do every day.
  3. It let’s you put off getting deep into work on your first day/week back from vacation. (Assuming this is you.)
  4. It will save you much more time than you think over the next month, season, year. If you spend 5 minutes a day deleting such email, over the year, that’s over 2 days of meaningless activity.
  5. It will help you get your inbox under control. It won’t get you to Inbox Zero, but it helps.

By the way, if you’ve been wanting to do a New Year’s resolution but haven’t come up with any, this one is easy.

If you like Teju Cole, you can find some of his things here

Two pieces by Teju Cole related to Trump.

This first one he wrote about Trump was a Facebook post, captured here. It struck me at the time, for he seemed to want to pivot from Trump’s bigotry to attack something else. The attack against something else was understandable to me: the downplaying of Trump was not.

Now he has a new piece out, making parallels between Trump and Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros”, here.

If you like Cole, you might like them.

I used to follow Cole on twitter, and much of what he wrote was interesting and thought provoking.

I do not care for these pieces. Downplaying Trump was a terrible idea in the first case. In the second case, I do not believe that Trump is going to lead to widespread fascism, though many bad leaders and followers are going to stampede out from the worst places and take center stage for awhile. Unlike Ionesco, I don’t believe everyone will turn into a rhinoceros: a small minority crashing about is enough to make it feel like everyone has transformed. They will be taken down, in due time or well past due time, but never made extinct.

A better symbol than rhinos may be snakes or reptiles. The political climate is such that these cold blooded animals feel they can come out and cause havoc. It seems like others are transforming into them, but there are just more of them and less warm blooded creatures in our midst in this time of transformation. When the climate changes, they will retreat. Until then, we have to wrangle with them as they appear.

Some loose thoughts on the magic of Christmas

When you are very young, Christmas is a magical time. We all know that. But
it is magical when you have children, too, for .then you are the magician.
I realized that the hard age for Christmas is in your 20s. The magic
bypasses you then. No wonder people of that age cut up Christmas. The magic
they once held is lost.

Christmas is magic not because the day itself is magical, but because we
invest the magic that we have within us on that day. It would be better if
we brought forward that magic every day, but one day is better than no
days. We have such, well, .. Magic!..within us. We need to be reminded to
let it out.

(Originally posted on posterous, December 24 2011, 9:24 PM)