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Showing posts from August, 2019

Review: Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

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Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Invoking Upton Sinclair's sentiment that one's understanding of a problem is not likely to happen if their salary is based upon them not understanding it, Giridharadas explores how today's elite--benefactors of increasing market-driven forces and ideologies increasingly claim that they have the know-how to fix the world's worst problems. However, so many of these problems (poverty, environmental degradation, racial/gender tension, crime) are often created, sustained, or aggravated by the viewpoint that the unregulated market can solve all problems. But Giridharadas does more than just lay the argument and the evidence out. Rather, he interviews some of the successful and vocal in this realm (the elites advocating for social change, but not so much social disruption that it affects their bottom line or personal activities) and draws out the tensions in their ideas and e…

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 11

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.  
Part 11: ReflectingA year has passed since this all started. Our lives have moved one. The house was cleaned out. We carry or have dispersed with his ashes. Plenty of days go by for me that I don’t think of him.

Yes, there are ti…

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 10

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.  
Part 10: AppreciatingAccepting that my father was dying in itself was not as hard as it might be for some. At an early age, he had me read The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia, a children’s …

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 9

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.  
Part 9: PassingHis breathing slows to one breath a minute. I time the breaths to understand how close he is. My mom holds his hand, the rest of us sit or stand around his bed. His breathing has changed significantly in the last fe…

Review: Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing

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Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing by Marie Hicks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fascinating read on so many levels. On one, it captures the ways in which institutions (named the British government) perpetuates inequalities (namely, sexism) in explicit and implicit ways and then tracks the ways in which that structural inequality results in the loss of opportunity and resources for the nation. Hicks also unpeels a deeply problematic history of erasure of the prominent and important roles that women played in the rise of the computer and digital age, as the original and dominant group of programmers throughout the UK from the 1940s to the 1970s. Through her analysis, interviews, and archival recovery, she shows the ways in which women were muted, perceived as (and undermined as) threats by men for their abilities with computers. She shows how for many years Britain tried to conceptualize programming as a skill-less and femin…

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 8

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.  
Part 8: MendingA different doctor altogether helps me resolve the tensions of watching my father die, the bureaucracy of care, and my own unresolved emotions.

The emotional exhaustion and fleeting thoughts are drowned out by a pro…

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 7

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  


Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us.   Park 7: CrackingAt least once in this process, I get asked if I’m a robot. Some assume that I’m putting on a front or trying to be strong. My emotional expression in this whole ordeal is largely absent in the ways that people exp…

Mudty Relationships: An Essay in Closure - Part 6

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This post is part of an 11 part essay that I have written in memory of my father, Tod “Mudty” Eaton, who passed away in August 2018. On this blog, I had previously shared the eulogy I gave at his Celebration of Life, which I think was a meaningful public goodbye to him.  This essay though is a bit more complex and nuanced in drawing out the final days of my father’s passing and how I reconciled his life, his death, and our relationship.  It’s a deeply personal essay that I have spent many hours on for the past year and with the encouragement of kind friends, have chosen to share.  

Additionally, if you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to my fundraiser for Care Dimensions, the hospice home that made his final days more comfortable for all of us. Part 6: TransitioningFrom entrance into the hospital to exit of life, my father spent nearly the entirety of those final 18 days or so in three different rooms. The first room invoked the tedium of modernity. Between paying ten buc…

Review: Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

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Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The supposed quest to create more efficient systems within government programs through automation and algorithms--particularly those that focus on social welfare--is not so much a cost-saving, efficient, and effective approach to caring for society's most vulnerable but rather a means of making the process harder, more-complicated, and near-impossible to challenge for those who suffer from the many bugs (or features as the case may be) of the technologies being used. Starting first with a look at the rise of poorhouses and the ways in which the poor have been penalized and punished in US history, Eubanks then moves into looking at the introduction of more technological solutions that are often purported to improve services, save money, and reduce fraud and abuse. So often, as Eubanks shows in case after case, the reduction in fraud and abuse more or less comes …