Sunday, December 8, 2013

Binge, Distracted By Breasts

I’ve gone off on a binge, a reading binge, which has effectively starved me of any time for writing. It started when I offered to do some research on Daniel Kahneman’s and Amos Tversky’s prospect theory for my friend David Marquet, a retired submarine captain and author of the book Turn The Ship Around. When I discovered that I had online access to academic journals using Kellie’s community college account, I spent days looking up and reading all manner of papers related to the theory because that’s what we obsessive-compulsive types do when we fixate on something. Subsequently, I decided it would be worth reading Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow. This forced me to put aside the other two books I was reading, Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday:What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? and E.F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered


Then one morning I came across an article in the New York Times about the 2009 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407. That got me thinking about an incident David described in his book where one of his sailors made a serious mistake while connecting the ship to electrical power from shore. I needed to know more about the plane crash to understand the similarities, so I read the National Transportation Safety Board’s 299-page aircraft accident report.

The accident was attributed to pilot error. But why do skilled professionals, and everyone else for that matter, make mistakes? To answer that question, I picked up Human Error, an excellent but dense work by James Reason. It was more like a book length academic journal article rather than the typical trade paper fare. Of course, this forced me to go back and reread portions of several other books: How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer, Why We Make Mistakes by Joseph T. Hallinan and Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. The end result of all this reading was that I began to appreciate the theoretical basis for the actions David took in response to the mistake made by his sailor. Right now I’m about 870 words into an unfinished article for David’s Leader-Leader blog.

Interspersed with all the above reading, I’ve been doing some research for my other blog, Solar Power Joe, on why solar power and other distributed generating technologies will destroy the traditional utility company business model

Eventually, I was distracted by an article about the effect of women’s breasts on men’s health. Explaining cutting edge science to the masses is my forte, and I just knew I had to write a post on the subject. It was nearly complete when my neighbor with ray guns moved his weapon closer my vacation rental property and started scaring off my guests again. He claims his ray gun neutralizes radioactivity and improves the weathers. That sent me on a 15-hour car ride from San Diego to Oregon where I’m now being subjected to a low frequency acoustic version of Chinese water torture

Once I finish dealing with crazy, I should be able to get back to writing posts for both my blogs. I have several drafts in progress, some more complete than others. Here are just a few of the working titles:

  • Disruptive Power
  • We All Make Mistakes
  • Doggie Butt Floss
  • I’m Not Gay (Not That That Would Be Bad)
  • 
Breasts To Die For

I just thought you should know why I haven't been writing.
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17 comments:

  1. The original title for post was just Binge, but I thought it might get a few more Google hits if I added the word Breasts.

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  2. You obsessive, intellectual you! I await with loin-tingling anticipation your 'breasts to die for' post.

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  3. The human male brain is such a mystery to me. I'd be grateful for any clarifying material from you :-) Especially if it makes me laugh.

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    1. There's no mystery, Marilyn. Men are either hungry or horny, and it's generally easy to see which one is controlling our behavior.

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  4. You are quite thorough in your research! It's like I am when I geek out about anything biology related. Your titles at the end are hilarious. Those last 3 will bring funny search terms! Glad your crazy neighbor is alive and still generating blog fodder for you.

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    1. I do like research. The upcoming "Breasts To Die For" post has a graph of male life expectancy versus breast size.

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  5. Good thinking with the title... but, breasts have gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years...

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  6. I know I have OCD issues, but you my friend, have got me beat. I lost track trying to follow your logic. Just let me know when you publish the Doggie Butt Floss :)

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    1. That one is probably a week or two away. The breast post is next.

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  7. Is this neighbor with ray guns for real? *That* is funny.

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    1. So real, look at the post I put up last night.

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