I spent a challenging and wonderful time in the woods last week. To an old spot, Hamilton Lakes, where I was going to do a 5 day loop through Precipice Lake, Little Five Lakes, Redwood Meadow and Bearpaw Meadow. The going got tough on the first day. I was making great time from High Sierra trailhead through the Giant Forest at about 2-3 miles/hour up to Bearpaw Meadow. Walking about a mile through the giant Sequoia and red fir groves, you feel the immensity and ancient nature of this forest. Met a cool couple coming down from the mountains where I was headed, must have been in their 70s and they shared a bunch of great beta on Precipice Lakes andFive Lakes. They bivvied the whole time and showed a ledge they had cut out in the snow to sleep on. They showed me some great pictures and told me about the 6-8' of snow. That was when I started thinking about how audacious this journey was. Solo trip for about 60 miles.
The trail opens up to amazing Kings Canyon vistas over the next four miles and hugs the cliffside with a few ups and downs but mostly flat to Bearpaw Meadow. Bearpaw Meadow is situated in this beautiful granite outcropping overlooking the valley. There used to be cabins and a little lodge there but they have all been stripped bare and need to be rebuilt. There was no water, which was a bummer as there was a stream there when I was in the same spot in 2019 and I was counting on it.Snowpack is 30% of what it should have been this year, which explains it. This is one of my favorite spots in the Sierra and it felt good to be there. The pressure to get in the miles quickly over rode my desire to rest and I moved on...
When you come out of Bearpaw Meadow, the High Sierra trail really opens up and shows you its beauty. For the first time, you can see the falls coming out of lower Hamilton Lakes and the immense valley you are climbing through. It is four miles from Bearpaw to Hamilton Lakes but it feels more like five. I scarfed down some food at Bearpaw as I really wasn't maintaining my calories fast enough and was bonking. I had enough energy to go and I knew I could make it by 4 PM or so, plenty of time to set up a tent and have dinner. About a two and a half miles from BearPaw you hit the river and then have a massive wall to climb it. This is where I really bonked but knew I could make it (and had to make it).
Once you get over the wall, you can see the waterfall again, the trail levels out for a while, and you feel like you are cruising in the most epic place. The trail is amazing at this point, the views spectacular. This is also where it got cold. No longer climbing uphill, I was feeling the chill and was sweaty from the climb up. Not a great combo. So glad I brought my sweatshirt, which I wasn't going to bring but I really needed it the whole trip.
Before hitting Hamilton Lakes, you get to the most beautiful waterfall, you are finally there! The crossing of the river is technical and I decided to just get in the water in order to cross safely. This means my shoes, socks and pants were wet for the last mile of the trip as the sun was getting lower in the sky. Right choice at the time to be safe but made me cold on the way to Hamilton Lakes
Finally landed at Hamilton Lakes and the best tent spot of them all. Only four other people here this night (May 29th, 2022). The lake got socked in with fog and it got cold real quick on my cold, wet feet from the waterfall. Aaah, the joy of sitting and having a hot coffee/whiskey eased the pain a bit.
It was a cold night... Soon after dinner, the lake really socked in, the tiredness set in, and the coffee and whiskey wore off. I started getting really cold and quickly packed up my kitchen and put away my food in the bear locker, and crawled into my sleeping bag around 7 PM. 17 miles was hard and I could feel it now that I was laying flat. My legs were twitching, I didn't do a good job of maintaining fuel and electrolytes. Lack of electrolytes and the altitude made me feel icky. I started second-guessing my motivation for this trip. I originally set out to complete this loop to finish the job from three years ago when me and five of my buddies set out to do it for my 50th birthday. We all bonked at Bearpaw and called it quits for the full loop but still had an amazing out and back with good friendship and conversation the whole way. I had a goal and was second-guessing my motivation to do it solo. I spent a cold night of fitful sleep, woke up to frost on my backpack and a beautiful clear day.
I woke at 5 AM and laid for a while in the tent, not ready to brave the cold. Around 6 I started making breakfast and watching the sun slowly creep down the mountain towards me. I sat in the chair and looked up at the snowfield and the pass that I was planning on crossing that day. I laid out my socks to dry in the sun as it hit my campsite and I started feeling better. However, in my mind, I had already given up and was ready to go home. I battled with myself for about an hour, procrastinating over wet socks, coffee, and loneliness. I made a compromise and convinced myself to make it to Precipice Lake to check out the snow. I quickly packed up and started up the beautiful trail to Precipice Lake.
Once I packed up, I had a mission, my legs felt pretty good despite the hard mileage the day before, and I was fueled. The hike up to Precipice Lake is gorgeous and hard. Big switchbacks with heavy altitude gain for four miles. You can see where you are going most of the time, which is nice but also misleading. There is a really cool tunnel you walk through around a canyon which is amazing to experience. Then, very quickly after that, I lost the trail due to snow. I could see some faint footprints and thought that Precipice Lake was pretty close as I could swear I could see the walls of Precipice Lake which I have seen in pictures before. After slogging through the snow and route-finding, I finally found it. I walked as close to the lake as possible, didn't think I could climb the wall out of the lake if I went to the edge so dropped my pack on a 10 foot ledge and sat on it on 6 feet of snow and had a Snickers. It was here that I made the decision to turn around and immediately realized joy. I didn't realize this until later but I lacked the passion and motivation to move long distances through the mountains solo. I have completed a lot of solo trips and would thrive. I wasn't thriving. I was cold, wet, lonely, and missed my family. As soon as I decided to go home, I felt relieved, a weight off my chest, and a strong motivation to get home safely. I stayed for maybe 20 minutes enjoying the view and headed back downhill.
Going back down felt great. I started breathing better, I had more energy, I was smiling and singing through the mountains. Kerri's directions of "be safe, don't feel like you need to do the full loop" was repeating in my ears. If I slipped, or tripped, I would repeat "pay attention, be careful" which really helped me get down safely with tired legs. I cruised back through Hamilton Lakes and achieved flow for several hours back to Bearpaw Meadow, where I camped for the night.
I was beat when I got to Bearpaw. Thankfully, I filled up my water in advance, remembering that Bearpaw had none. However, I didn't fill up enough and only had one liter for dinner and one liter for breakfast, which left me little for the night in the tent. It was cold here too. No one else was around. In fact, I saw no one that day, which was surprising. A couple deer kept me company, walking right up to me and my campfire. One pawed and sniffed the ground where I peed within 5 minutes of peeing. I was content and had a nice fire since I was below 9,000 feet.
On the way out to Crescent Meadow, I was reading Steven Kotler's Art of Impossible and realized why I didn't feel flow on the way up the mountain - I was missing passion and purpose, two triggers for flow. Once I turned around and headed down, back to my truck, to the cabin, to my family, I had purpose and passion and every step was important. The challenge/skills ratio was perfect. This was not the hardest hike I had done in my life, but it certainly was the hardest physical thing I had done in a decade. This combination put me into flow for large chunks of time. I was floating down the trail, super efficient. My awareness expanded, I experienced joy and no-self. It was beautiful. Lesson learned - if your activity lacks purpose and passion, you will struggle. My family is my passion and purpose and outweighs my desire for high mountain travel.
II experienced a flow state for several hours the other day while doing some carpentry. I was wrapping up the wellhouse at the Be Well Retreat and had about a day's worth of work left. I was overcoming an illness and still not 100% which forced me to work very mindfully. There was a fresh foot of snow on the ground, turning into ice as I tromped a path from the truck to the wellhouse over and over again. Every step required attention to avoid a spill. The remaining work required custom cuts of siding, lots of measurement and some ladder standing. The snow and my fatigue forced me to be deliberate and thoughtful with each action. I started by laying out all my tools onto boards in the snow and setting up a table and sawhorse for cutting boards. Got my batteries charging and assessed the situation. The work was pretty straightforward, no hard decisions to make, just execution. I wrapped the siding on the front of the wellhouse and turned the corner to the more complicated cuts on the sloping side. This is where effort became effortless and things just worked. The sun was shining, the snow was melting off the roof, and the cuts were perfect. At one point, I looked up and I was done with the side and it seemed like I had just started. I had to re-work some work from a couple weeks' prior as the boards had expanded and shifted. I would normally be disappointed in myself for a while and complain while doing it and, instead, I calmly started removing boards that took me hours to put up until I got to the problem boards. Motion took over and my mind was not attached. It seems I met the characteristics for flow:
I purchased a Flowtime device to better understand this company's approach to creating consumer devices to help enter flow states. Flow, as defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is a highly focused mental state conducive to productivity. This device, as advertised by the company, "FLOWTIME makes meditation intangible into tangible. Brainwave data, heart rate, breath coherence, attention, relaxation, etc." and "Learn meditation guided by leading teachers, a calmer, less stressed, and healthier life is within reach." It seems they are addressing two different markets in one device - the ability to measure bio and EEG information, and an app that can deliver guided meditation. So, not quite real-time neurofeedback like the Muse devices, but has potential to become a real-time neurofeedback device. The biologic/neurologic metrics the device captures are:
From these data, the app then calculates the following:
I decided to complete a very simple test to better understand the capabilities of the Flowtime device. I would record my brain states in three different ten minute sessions:
I separated each session by about 10 minutes to reset my brain state and then test again. The goal of this test is to understand the capabilities of the device and understand its potential in measuring brain states accurately.
Analysis of the data
I created a spreadsheet to compare some of the primary bio and neuro metrics across the three sessions. This uncovered one of the limitations of the Flowtime device - it doesn't make it easy to extract the raw data into a CSV format for analysis, I had to manually create the spreadsheet. It would be nice to be able to easily export the data for more detailed analysis.
Here is that sheet:
The first thing I noticed after creating this sheet is that there is very little difference between the times spent in the measured brainwave bands. It looks statistically insignificant. Other measurements show significant differences including:
There is a lot of potential with this device and these early tests show that the device is detecting differences in brain states based on the activity performed. The application is easy to use, albeit somewhat cluttered in the user experience with help articles. The application could become a more serious device for clinical research if it had more advanced export capabilities. It is hard to find detailed data on how the device works including sensitivity, sampling rate, and how the calculated metrics are calculated.
A friend of mine asked me the other day "why do you meditate?, ya know, some people go to the gym because they want to look good, others run because it makes them feel good, what makes you meditate?" My first response was not the highest quality response and was something like "well, I do it because it is the path to enlightenment", which, upon further inspection, is not really why I do it. I told him I would spend time on it and get back to him with an answer. This blog is my attempt to answer it for myself before responding to my friend...
There are all the physiological benefits that are well documented in Altered Traits and have been studied by the scientific community for decades now and the practitioner community for millennia now. I have enjoyed many of these physiological benefits including reduced blood pressure, lowered resting heart rate, and better sleep. These are nice benefits, and, after inspection, not why I meditate.
I then inspected enlightenment and the reduction of suffering as the reason to meditate, which was my initial response. I probably said this as a mostly follow the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism and one of the goals is to reduce the suffering of all beings. When I inspected this, I couldn't find any indication that this is my reason other than an aspirational belief that this is the right thing to do. I believe it was ego that answered this way, wanting to have some higher purpose for spending hundreds of hours practicing meditation. Although meditation might create necessary pre-conditions for enlightenment or accelerate the path to enlightenment, it is not really the reason why I meditate.
Yesterday, as I was meditating, l realized how good it makes me feel. I also know that attachment to that feeling can be a hindrance to further insight. I believe I have benefited in three ways from meditation that encourage me to continue:
1. More calm and blissful moments
2. Better decision-making
Calm and Bliss - I have become a better parent, husband and colleague because of meditation. The quality of my response when under stress is better, and I have more compassion and empathy for my colleagues, friend and family. Due to my practice, I can feel thoughts and emotion arise, and choose to attach or not attach. I am aware when a transgression is triggering a programmed response and can interrupt that programmed response with a higher quality one. Also, the feelings of bliss and happiness, while a trap, feel really good while you are in them and can be accessed easily now after practicing for a few years.
Better decision-making - With meditation (or from the benefits of focus), I can better inspect a new condition and the filters that my mind applies to it. This skill enables me to see the condition or situation more clearly and objectively which leads to better decisions.
Wisdom - Maybe this is the overriding purpose or reason why I meditate. I have always searched for more meaning since I was a young kid, questioning the religion I was raised in, looking for alternate states, and reading philosophy to understand why we are here. With Buddhism, I have found that you don't have to engage in a leap of faith (which I always struggled with), you can follow the practice and know the results. You can experiment and prove or disprove the philosophy with your own practice. With each experiment I find that I get slightly closer to seeing things as they are, with equanimity.
We lost our dog today to a mystery illness. He started wincing out in pain about six weeks ago. We visited four different vets in Los Angeles who diagnosed it as a cognitive illness. It wasn't. We took him back to Iowa and he went downhill really quickly. A vet in Sioux Falls identified a lump in his throat and scheduled a surgery to remove it. In the next couple days, he declined quickly and he went into kidney failure. We hospitalized him at Best Care Pet Hospital, an amazing place run by caring people. Dr. Lamp and his staff, a wonderful and talented vet, cared for Ollie for a week and it seemed like he was getting better. His kidney and liver values were improving and we checked him out of the hospital. In the next few days, he declined quickly, to the point of not wanting to eat or drink. He had already gone about nine days without food but was still drinking. When he stopped drinking, we knew he was leaving us. Ollie had gone through a lot and was giving up. He couldn't fight any more so we made the decision to help him leave us compassionately. The kids were able to be there and give him lots of love. We used to have a tradition of "Ollie love time" where he would jump on one of the kids beds and we would smother him in love. He was a smart dog and would jump on the bed proactively, roll on his back and wait for "Ollie love time".
What a great dog. He was so sweet and gentle with Ayden who could run across the room and tackle him without him fighting back. He was also a fierce protector and would not hesitate to defend himself or his people when pushed. He has been a mystery since he joined us as we adopted him from a shelter in April 2020 without much of a background. We think he was about 10 years old, lived on a ranch, and had a brother. That's about all we got. His personality started coming out after a month of living with us. He loved food and gained a few pounds, which the vet always chastised us for. He and I would take long walks, touring the neighborhood, chasing squirrels, and saying "hi" to other dogs. When he didn't want to go somewhere, he would just lay down on the sidewalk and refuse to go and there was no way of getting him to move until you turned around and went home. Stubborn, smart, kind, and tough.
Ollie loved going to our cabin and would lay under his favorite tree and observe all things. He liked to be able to keep an eye on us, while simultaneously napping.
Ollie and the chickens achieved a stalemate. He knew that he would get in trouble if he went after them. They knew they could go right in his face without him going after them. He chose to sneak glances at them but mostly pretended they didn't exist.
He was such a good dog. He brought so much love and compassion into our lives in such a short period of time (15 months). I wish we could have been with him longer and maybe that is the lesson. Rest in peace, Ollie.
I am reading The Future of Spirituality, why it must be integral and really enjoying how Ken Wilber brings together pre-modern, modern, and post-modern into an integral view of spirituality. From what I understand:
"I am-ness" - profound core truth of identity. He connects the more advanced stages of development from the ancient traditions to more modern theories like Piaget. They all describe an enlightened state of one-ness and immersion. The witness dissolves into everything witnessed. You no longer feel the rain, you are the rain.
The experiential practices of Buddhism blend the pre-modern with the modern to validate the stages via experimentation (mostly on yourself). That is why I like these practices, you can feel the development and test different practices, gaining more and more insight into one-ness. The meditative states, developed pre-modern, predicated the most recent research into Flow.
Decades we researched how human development works. There are these two different types of components of mind:
Both are part of evolution and Integral contains both. You can be a Zen master and still be a mythic level - that is a problematic. Structures grow and become world-centric eventually. Without understanding the stage of development you are at, you will be interpreting your meditative sages with whatever structure you are still in. You don't see them in meditation. They are third-person deductions that western researchers that make when studying human growth and development. While stages in meditation are personal experiences of growth and development.
The structure stages were created by the evolution of the mind, from primal survival (limbic) to communal/tribal (grow together), to global/integrated (more one-ness but still dual). Society can be in a certain stage just as an individual is.
I am going to need to listen to this book (a series of interviews) a couple times to really understand the more advanced concepts. So far it is great! What I took away so far is that you can be in an enlightened "state" while still being in a magic "stage". You may have glimpsed one-ness, emptiness while at the same time explaining the world through magic or myth. There is a great discussion about why achieving enlightenment does not automatically make you kind, ethical, or moral. The yoga teacher that abuses their students, the enlightened meditation teacher that lacks emotional intelligence. You have to grow up and wake up in Integral Spirituality.
"That which is form is not other than emptiness. That which is emptiness is not other than form"
As the CIO of a cybersecurity company, the massive breach of Solarwinds through a supply chain attack has been keeping me up at night lately. Security and IT practitioners around the world did not have a restful time these last couple weeks and holidays as they responded across public and private organizations to understand the impact and scope. Let's take a look at the timeline of the Solarwinds supply chain attack:
This supply chain compromise enabled the attacker to deploy malware through someone else's software delivery mechanism. It seems targeted to US Federal agencies while also enabling access to corporate, state, and local entities. The update was digitally signed by the Solarwinds cert which begs the question of how they got access to that (insiders?). The download site was insecure but they still had to sign it to be trusted by Windows. The list of affected organizations now includes Microsoft, Treasury Department, US Department of Commerce, NIH, CISA, DHS, US Department of State, NNSA, DOE, three states, and the City of Austin. The impact of these breaches will not be known for some time. This points to the need (just like EternalBlue did) of modernizing our stack to reduce reliance on vendors with high rates of vulnerabilities such as Microsoft, Oracle Java and Adobe and to step up our pace of patching and ability to monitor anomalous user behavior.
To sum it up, it seems like while we were arguing about wearing masks, we got owned by the Russians.
I first learned about brain entrainment when I was a senior in high school by reading Mega Brain Power by Michael Hutchison. It was fascinating and I was looking for alternative ways to achieve altered states that did not involve chemicals. Back then, light and sound machines were pretty expensive, like $1000+ and required computers to connect to. I decided to build my own by buying some cheap sunglasses, LEDs, parallel port adaptor, and wire from Radio Shack, and writing the code to turn on and off the pins on the parallel port Used mostly for printers, the pins would put out 5V which was enough voltage and current to power the colored LEDs. I wrote the first code in Visual Basic and then rewrote it later in C++ to progress from high beta brain waves down to delta in 5 s increments, while matching the tones in the audio at the same frequency delta (30 Hz -> 4 Hz -> 30 Hz). I got the lights working well and was kind of amazed that it actually worked. My code for the audio was not as good and so I mostly used it with lights only. The goggles were cheap Rayban Wayfarer knock-offs, had two LEDs in each eye, and the cable ran out the back of the left ear (RJ45 telephone cable) to the parallel port adapter plugged into the PC. I dug through my electronics cabinets last week to try to find the set but I must have gotten rid of them along the way somewhere.
The IQ-Tutor by Inner Quest was one of these early devices that did the same thing that my home-built device had but with adjustments on the fly to go up or down in frequency. No built-in programs or extensibility, but did the trick. Can't remember what I paid for it but I think it was like $100 used. Can't find them any more on ebay or other markets so they may not have had a long life. From the mindmachines.com website:
"The InnerQuest IQ jr was one of the finest mind machines ever produced. The late founder of Psych Research, Rob Robinson, worked with Gayland Hurst, Ph.D. and Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D. to compile fourteen highly effective built-in light and sound brainwave frequency sessions that during the 1990’s proved beneficial to thousands of light and sound mind machine users worldwide."
Next I upgraded to the Dynamind Mind Machine system which was extensible and PC-based. This was a huge upgrade and got me excited about programming new sessions.
This device was amazing and had a bunch of existing preset sessions with fun names like "mystical journey" and you could create your own sessions with their software. This machine required DOS so in order to keep using it in the late 90s, I had to create a DOS-boot disk, put together an old AT device and install all the drivers manually. It worked and I still have that old PC under my desk!
I discovered the Kasina Mindplace about five years ago and that has been my go-to device. It travels well as it requires no other devices, you can use the ganzfeld goggles and keep your eyes open, and it is super easy to use. It's like the iPod of light and sound machines:
This device is really fun to use. It has 10 min to 1 hour sessions for all kinds of different scenarios including deep meditation, sleep, hypnogogic images, and psychedelic journeys. Really fun. I started pairing this with Neurofeedback to study the effects of the light and sound entrainment to actual brain state changes as measured by the neurofeedback device (I use the Muse S and an app for that).
That's my short history of light and sound devices! I will share more stories about specific sessions in the Kasina Mindplace. I also am starting experimentation with neurostimulation using the Neorythm device, which deserves its own blog.
Here are some cool references to light and sound:
Online learning has been tough on educators, students and parents. Many kids don't have reliable access to the Internet, laptops or mobile devices, or the support they need at home to be successful. Many parents are balancing work, parenting, and teaching all at the same time. Many educators have not been enabled effectively and are struggling with the technology and policy, which is taking them away from what they love - teaching. As a parent, there are some things that I did to help get the best out of the situation we are in and am collecting my thoughts here for others to enjoy.
1. Schedule everything in one place
The first thing our kids struggled with was where to be and when to be there. We decided to use their school Google id to schedule everything into GCal so that we could mimic the physical school day with a virtual one. Instead of the class bell indicating it was time to move to the next period, we set up reminders so that they knew class was starting in ten minutes. We created the calendar by scouring all the emails, the PDF schedules, and Google Classroom to find the zoom links, the passwords, and the class names and created recurring calendar entries for all of them. We also scheduled in lunch and breaks as well to encourage our kids to eat and exercise once in a while. Once this calendar was created, we shared it to our personal calendars so that we could see when our kids were supposed to be in class and not playing Minecraft. This took away all the inefficiency of trying to find the zoom link for English and removed any excuses for not showing up for class on time. Pro tip - put in the school holidays as well (most schools already have an online calendar you can just add to your kids' personal calendars). This gives you something to look forward to when you have been online all week.
2. Learn Google Classroom well
If you are used to GSuite (Sheets, Documents, Slides, folders) then this will be an easy transition. Just think of it as adding a conversation stream, assignments, and check in/check out features. Google Classroom is just a new UI on top of GSuite with those added features. Learn to navigate the Stream, the Assignments, and the To-Do views. The "To-Do" view is the first place to go to see what assignments are due, overdue, or do not have dates on them:
This list should be pretty small if your student is staying on top of their assignments. This view allows you to click directly on the assignment to review your student's work. The next view to get used to is the individual classroom "Stream" view. This is where you will stay on top of the discussion and it helps you find links to external resources, zoom recordings, and important assignment information. Some teachers use this instead of the assignment object to convey information so you have to dig through this sometimes if your child needs help figuring out an assignment:
The "Classwork" view will give you all the assigned work in one place, per class. It is somewhat useful but you should be able to get everything you need with the views above.
Pro tip for Google Classroom - Once an "Assignment" is submitted, you can not see the teacher's comments until you un-submit the assignment. This is a handy trick if the teacher tells you that they graded the assignment and you can't see the notes. You have to "Un-submit" and then you can view them. This seems like a design flaw to me but I haven't filed it yet with Google.
3. Learn the grading system well
Since Google Classroom does not include grades, schools typically deploy a separate technology for grades such as Schoology, MySchoolApp, or ThinkWave. I am most familiar with the first two as that is what my kids' schools use. Here are my general tips. If the LMS is different than the grading solution, then there will always be a difference between what you see in the LMS and the grades. This is just because teachers are busy and don't always post their grades immediately after submittal. Therefore, your kid may have completed the assignment three school days ago but still has a zero in the assignment. Now, the teacher should not post the grade until the assignment is graded but some do and this can cause concern. My recommendation is to be patient and only reach out to the teacher if it is really outdated (like a week).
MySchoolApp has a messaging capability in it as well. I don't use that capability and prefer to stay in the GSuite environment so that everything is readily accessible from one place.
4. Zoom setup and configuration
Make sure your kids show up with their full names so that you reduce the burden on the teacher to take attendance and let kids in from the waiting room. Make sure their Zoom client is fully patched to the latest version of Zoom by clicking on the zoom menu and selecting "Check for Updates":
On the "Video" tab of the Zoom "Preferences" menu, you should select "Turn off my video when joining a meeting" and on the "Audio" tab, choose "Mute my mic when joining a meeting". This will avoid any embarrassing situations for your kid accidentally clicking on a Zoom link before they are ready. Also verify that "Automatically adjust microphone volume", "Automatically join computer audio when joining a meeting", and "Press and Hold Space key to unmute".
Pro tip - use the space bar to unmute yourself to say something quickly and go back on mute.
4. Be involved at the school
Being a parent with kids in online learning right now is not easy. It takes a community of teachers, parents, and students to work together to make the best of it. For some of the tips above, you can work with your school administrators and teachers to make improvements for all students. For example, we had success at convincing one of our schools to make the calendar trick a school standard. So instead of hundreds of students having to set up their own calendars manually, the teachers send out calendar invites to all students and the students' calendars will automatically populate and automatically be updated with no work by the student. This works way better than making the kids do it themselves. Don't be a critic, be a constructive critic with a positive attitude and you will have more success!
I will repeat the sentiment from my last post that you can't believe the news from media and government regarding the flattening of the curve because we are not testing enough to understand the real numbers. There is good journalism about the lack of testing, I just don't see a lot of good challenges to the "we are at the top of the curve" messages that are being put out by the White House. Today we see the largest number of incoming positive cases in the US with 40,000 new cases at the time of this blog post (7:30 PM PT 4/21/2020). The number of new cases globally is the highest in four days and well above the average for the last fourteen days. I don't believe the University of Washington model that predicts 65,976 that the federal government keeps citing. At this rate, it would take only ten days to blow past that number.
To be fair, I don't understand the models being used. I am just looking at and tracking daily incoming rates, death rates, and testing rates over the last thirty days and it doesn't appear that we actually are decreasing or flattening at all. It just seems like more and more suffering is happening to people due to financial, mental health, and physical health concerns. There is little compassion from our leaders and lots of compassion with each other. It's weird to go out in LA and see hardly any cars, people walking their dogs with face-masks on, neighbors crossing the street when they encounter you. These are strange times and getting stranger.
Eric is a traveller, hacker, and experimenter who is currently researching how to become a happier, calmer, and more compassionate human being.