From Pine View Farm

2023 archive

The Myth of Multitasking 0

Many years ago, I tried out for a tech support job where my potential employers had built “multitasking” into the job description. One was expected to deal with phone calls, emails, and chats simultaneously. It was a great experience, but I ended up not making it through the training period.

Now comes Peg Streep at Psychology Today Blogs to explain that multitasking is a myth (emphasis added); follow the link for the complete piece.

Yes, the very organ that sets us apart from all the other creatures, and it is truly fabulous in myriad ways. But it does have its limits and those limits come into play when we try to multitask. The brain’s huffing and puffing in these moments makes us think we’re getting more done but, in Marci’s words: “When we multitask, we don’t get more done. We just expend more effort and strain areas of our brain.” The area of the brain in question is the prefrontal cortex, the command center of executive function, and multitasking just creates bottlenecks, disrupting communication between the parts of the brain as neuroimaging makes clear. But our thought processes collude and, because multitasking feels like more work, we’re likely to believe that, like a physical workout, feeling the strain is a good thing and that we’re being more productive. Nope.


The rock that sank my boat had nothing to do with my technical or people skills. Rather, this company placed great emphasis on telling callers and chatters when you would get back the them. I wasn’t able to get that down.

Driving away from that office for the last time was one of the two times in my life I have felt as if a physical weight were being lifted from my shoulders.


Republican Family Values in This New Gilded Age 0

Republican Elephant to little boy:  I outlawed drag shows because your safety is my number one priority.  Not, get going, you're late for your shift at the slaughterhouse.

Click for the original image.


War and Mongers of War 0

It was two decades ago that U. S. started the Great and Patriotic War for a Lie in Iraq. I remember standing outside in the smoking area at work. It was the same spot where we had stood and looked up at empty skies in the days following September 11. Though we were just a few miles east of Philadelphia International Airport under one of the approach routes, there were no planes for days . . . .

I was chatting with my boss (who was, by the way, one of the best bosses I ever had). He was opining that “Iraq will be sorry that we have a Texan for president.”

My response was simply, “Dave, I have a bad feeling out this.”

I take no comfort in my qualms having been justified.

That moment came to mind because of something my old friend Noz wrote yesterday about the run up to the Great and Patriotic War for a Lie in Iraq. Here’s a bit of his post:

Don’t buy the 20 years after the fact spin that the Iraq War only appeared senseless in retrospect. The ridiculousness of the idea was right there in the open from the start. Lots of people tried hard to tell the public how ridiculous it was, and they were mocked and marginalized for it. Meanwhile, the people who mocked and marginalized them mostly kept their influence to this day, without ever paying a real price for the death and destruction they made happen. That’s a big legacy of the Iraq War.



Jean de La Bruy:

Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.


Sugar Bombs 0

Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss cereal offenders.

I remember when I was a young ‘un, back in the olden days, when Coco Puffs first came on the market, my brother and I talked my mother into buying a box.

We found them–er–less than desirable.


Extra-Special Bonus QOTD 0

Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards and Gavin MacLeod as Murray Slaughter:

Moore: You said you voted for Peterson, didn’t you?

MacLeod: Yeah.

Moore: You mind my asking why?

MacLeod: Sure. He was a Moe.

Moore: What’s a Moe?

MacLeod: Eenie Meeney Miney Mo.

And that’s how democracy dies.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

The holstered gun of a lunchroom parent/volunteer at Pinckney’s Navigator Upper Elementary School landed on the floor when the holster fell off the man’s belt as he was “engaging with students in the gym” on Friday, according to a letter that went out to district parents after 3 p.m.

One more time, “responsible gun owner” is an oxymoron.


Woke to the Misdirection Play, Reprise 0

You can see the “woke” misdirection play in all its gloried story in one of the most appallingly bogus pieces of deceptive drivel that I’ve read in years. I hesitated about mentioning it, but it illustrates how a misdirection play spreads and pollutes dis coarse discourse.

For one thing, the author claims that “woke” is a movement, when it is, in fact, a right-wing pejorative. There is no “woke” movement except in the minds of bigots who resent being called out for their bigotry.

Then he argues that somehow “woke” is a mirror image of MAGA, whereas, if there were a “woke” movement (remember, no such movement), it would not be a mirror image, it would be the antithesis of MAGA, of bigotry, the antithesis of hate, of–oh, heck, words fail me.


This New Gilded Age 0

Focusing on a proposed law in Iowa, labor leader Tom Conway warns of the consequences of the return of child labor. Here’s a bit (emphasis added):

(Boy Scout leader Brad–ed.) Greve vehemently opposes a proposal moving through Iowa’s Republican-controlled legislature that would allow 14-year-olds to work in industrial freezers, meatpacking plants and industrial laundry operations. The legislation also would put 15-year-olds to work on certain kinds of assembly lines and allow them to hoist up to 50 pounds.

In some cases, it even would permit young teens to work mining and construction jobs and let them use power-driven meat slicers and food choppers.

Just three years ago, a 16-year-old in Tennessee fell 11 stories to his death while working construction on a hotel roof. Another 16-year-old lost an arm that same year while cleaning a meat grinder at a Tennessee supermarket,

But these preventable tragedies mean nothing to Iowa legislators bent on helping greedy employers pad their bottom lines at kids’ expense.

We are a society in regression.


Denial Is Not Just a River in Egypt, Reprise 0

Southern planters at slave acution.  Off to the side, one says to another,

Click to view the original image.


Denial Is Not Just a River in Egypt 0

It’s also on the curriculum in a nearby county’s public schools.

The Isle of Wight County School Board last week narrowly passed a revised policy that, among other things, states that “there is no systemic racism or bigotry perpetuated by the United States or any governmental entity.”


Other new principles outlined in the policy include that “parents or guardians have the sole responsibility for guiding their children’s views on controversial topics” and that “no one is inherently a victim or oppressed due to their race (consciously or unconsciously), skin color, gender, religion, national origin, sex, medical condition, age, martial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or disability.”


Oh, yeah, by the way, it’s this county.



William Tecumseh Sherman:

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.


Unimaginable 0

Little girl:  Grandma, how are kids today different than kids before video games, the internet, and cable TV.  Grandma:  How do you think they are different?  Little girl:  I have a hard time imagining.  Grandma:  I think you just answered your own question.

Click to view the original image.


Devolution 0

Title:  The Great Replacement.  Frame One, captioned

Click to view the original image.


Freedom of Screech 0

David points out that “projection is the name of the game.”


Breakers on the Rocks 0

Frame One:  Tech Bro aims a hammer at a piggy bank labeled

Via Juanita Jean.


Woke to the Misdirection Play 0

In an article about the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Jamelle Bouie gets to the gist of the “woke” misdirection play (emphasis added).

. . . there is no evidence that any diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives were responsible for the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. It is nonsense. And while it shouldn’t be taken seriously on its own terms, this deflection is worth noting for what it represents: the relentless effort to mystify real questions of political economy in favor of endless culture war conflict.

Follow the link to the article, where Boule delves into what really happened at SVB.


Speeding to Crazytown on the Disinformation Superhighway 0

Sam and Emma talk with Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer about how conspiracy theories, from Jade Helm to Pizzagate to QAnon, have taken hold with more and more Republicans.


The White-Washing 0

Why am I not surprised?

A Florida textbook publisher removed all references to race from a lesson about Rosa Parks, the Alabama civil rights hero, in an effort to get its books approved by a Florida committee, The New York Times reported Thursday.

. . . which is, natch, exactly what the New Secesh want: to pretend–and to teach the children–that the past never happened.

Full story at the link.



Quentin Crisp:

Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.