Some time back, someone invented a game the object of which was to write a blog post that used a phrase unique to Google. If I recall, you got the most points for a single word, then for two common words together, then for three in a unique order, and so on. Ironically, I have no recollection of who invented it, or where it appeared, or even what search terms to use to find it, which is why I can’t link to it now. (If it wasn’t Making Light, it probably should have been.)
I happen to hate Palsgraf for all sorts of reasons, not least what I consider the opinion’s dishonesty, and try to teach it as fast as I reasonably can. Even so, or perhaps particularly so, it’s fun to read the account of what a contemporary hornbook, James M. Henderson’s Questions and Answers with Problems and Illustrative Matter on the Law of Torts, Based on all the Standard Text and Case Books made of it back in 1933.
This is an early effort from a promising legal history blog, noncuratlex.com, one that seems to offer just about the right mix of history, whimsey, and obscurantism.
No stranger or unknown company will ever contact you by mail or by phone with an actual method for making money easily or in your spare time. And if the person or company contacting you asserts that they are someone you know, double check before taking action.
Don’t have back surgery. See a physiatrist first, then exhaust all other options before wondering if you should have back surgery.
Borrow money to buy things that go up in value, but never to get something that decays over time.
Placebos are underrated by almost everyone.
It’s almost never necessary to use a semicolon.
Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite.
Cognitive behavorial therapy is generally considered both the quickest and most effective form of addressing many common psychological problems.
Backup your hard drive.
Get a magnetic key hider, put a copy of your house key in it and hide it really well, unlabeled, two blocks from your house.
A rice cooker will save you time and money and improve your diet, particularly if you come to like brown rice.
Consider not eating wheat for an entire week. The results might surprise you.
Taking your dog for a walk is usually better than whatever alternative use of your time you were considering.
I guess I’d endorse ## 1, 6, 8 & 10. I’m not at all on board with # 5, although it’s certainly the case that many people get them wrong. [Update: And why is it wrong to borrow to buy a car, so long as you understand how it depreciates?]
Maybe I’ll start accumulating a list and post it some day. Once in class, I told my students to make a will, especially if they had kids or assets, and was shocked by how many got a startled look in their eyes.
Meanwhile, what’s your best piece of random life advice?
Grant McCracken, my favorite contemporary ethnographer-provocateur, writes:
We are adding a new name to our blog roll. Please welcome Ruby Kariela. Ruby is 10 and I believe this makes her the youngest ethnographer working today. I like to think of her as “reporting from childhood” but she will have her own way of describing what she does. Please visit her blog at here.