Showing posts from August, 2015

Me and Math

I used to be known as a math-y person in the circles I hung in. That seems to no longer be true, which has me feeling not understood at times. This is an edited excerpt from a private conversation where I felt the need to give my background in order to have any hope of being understood. In 11th grade, I was inducted into Mu Alpha Theta. That is a college level math honor society. Eleventh grade is the earliest you can be inducted. I was also one of only three students who qualified for the higher level math class they made available an hour before the start of school the following year when I was a senior. I opted out because of my health. I didn't have the energy to get up that early, nor could I afford to take on additional unnecessary classwork. So I was one of the top three math students of my graduating high school class. Except for the two students who did take that class, no one else had more math than I did.
As a member of Mu Alpha Theta, I tutored math for a year. One …

Rumor Has It

What is told in the ear of a man is often heard 100 miles away. ~Chinese Proverb
I read once that back when most people lived their entire life within a five mile radius, rumor traveled 20 miles per day. Of course, this was back before radio, TV and Internet, so the grapevine was a critical source of news. In recent years, an incident at my corporate job has been enormous food for thought for a lot of sayings or beliefs that no doubt come from that era in human history when the grapevine played such a large role in the dissemination of valuable information or "news."

When I worked at BigCo, one of my career-savvy, very competent teammates made seeming casual conversation with our boss one day in which he laid out what position he would like to move into as his next rung on the ladder. It was not the usual next rung for his job slot, but it was certainly one possibility. Not very long thereafter, maybe two weeks or so later, a woman came to his cubicle to say they needed peo…

How Aflac got its name

I periodically see questions on forums asking for help naming a new project -- a website or business or other project. I like participating in these. In addition to tossing out suggested names, I often give some general suggestions about how to avoid a bad name, like: make sure you don't have to spell it for people and make sure that it doesn't sound like something offensive. I also know a few things about real business names versus fictitious business names, which has legal implications if you are creating a business. In short, I know the name does matter and how you name it can have significant consequences.

Over the years, I have named lots of different websites of my own and my first one had a really terrible name, which was bad for a variety of reasons. I have gotten better with practice and with thinking about what all makes for a good name or a bad name and generally reading up on the subject. I have sympathy for why people get wrapped around the axle about this and I d…

Sex and Monogamy

There is currently an Ask on the green on Metafilter of the sort that always makes me tempted to jokingly comment "Can I have his number!" (or some variation thereof, like "Can I have your phone number?" if it is the guy in question trying to resolve his own problem). I never do, in part because it is snarky and doesn't answer the question and in part because it takes a lot more to make a relationship work than just wanting sex about equally often and, also, because I don't really need my memail/email to fill up with a billion messages from total strangers who want to treat me like a whore. (Ugh.)

So, I didn't do it this time either, though I did start my initial draft with commenting on my temptation to ask for his number, then edited that out. I think I did a good job of replying in a tactful way while largely disagreeing with the majority view that the man who wants sex a lot is simply an asshole.

Of course, the majority view is that he is too pus…