Restructuring top jobs

Mat Miller in this New York Times Op-Ed column advocates for restructuring jobs to allow more work/life balance.  Jobs should be more flexible in order to allow people room and time to realize their passions both inside and outside of work.  I really liked his reference to weekends and minimum wage:

Skeptics should recall that everyone once "knew" that a weekend or a minimum wage would spell economic ruin, too.

We’ve made big changes in our work life over the past century, hopefully we can continue the trend.  Too many jobs require too much travel, too many weekends and too many evenings.

I’d be happy living off half of my salary, but work wouldn’t be happy with me doing half of my job.  I would no longer be on an upward career path.

Your Profession Might Affect Your Child’s Gender

According to this article, engineers are more likely to have boys and nurses are more likely to have girls.  I think they need to do a little more work on cause and effect – does being an engineer cause you to have boys or is there some other factor that causes you to be an engineer and to have boys?  Anyways, it raises some interesting questions.

Blokey jobs encourage baby boys, study says. 22/05/2005. ABC News Online.

Forget Getting Rich!

There’s a good wake up call article in the New York Times, You Really Can’t Be Too Rich; the article says we’d all be happier if we just gave up on being rich because it’s not going to happen anyway.

You should focus on what you want to do with your life.  A bucket full of money or a lottery ticket is not going to tell you that.  Lying on a beach and flying around in a private jet might be fun for a while but I bet you eventually come back to "what do I want to do with my life?"  I bet the true answer to that question won’t cost a million dollars and it will be much more satisfying than a winning lottery ticket in the end.

MyFoodPhone: the new nutrition log

Surveys show that dieters that keep a food journal lose more weight and keep it off.  Now a new service allows you to take pictures of your food and somebody else figures out how to journal it: MyFoodPhone.  At a $100/month, it’s not cheap.  You do get personal advise from a dietitian though.

Very cool interactive data on Class in America

The New York Times has a very cool graphic, How Class Works – New York Times, that displays the results of a data they gathered on social class.  Their theory is that class is composed of four factors, occupation, education, income and wealth.  Your social status is a combination of all four.  On this web page, you can select your stats and see how you fit and you can play around and see how changing different factors could change your status.

One of the reasons this was interesting to me is that I currently manage a team of software developers, 65-73rd percentile (depends on whether you think programmers are information technologists or engineers).  However, I’m going to massage school (for fun) and everyone keeps telling me not to quit my day job.  Now I know why they might be saying that.  Massage therapists are in the 16th percentile as far as occupational prestige goes.  That’s regardless of what they make or how much education they have.  Occupation is one of the four cards that affect your class according to this model.

Playing around further in the "How Class Breaks Down" tab, you can see that people in the "Computer, Math" field are almost exclusively in the top two fifths of income and almost all have at least some college.  Pick "Health Support" (which is where massage therapy fits in) and you can watch the graph flip.  Very few are in the top two fifths of income and very, very few have a college degree.  (Although quite a few have some college which is probably massage school.)

The graph also shows data on income mobility and lots of other interesting data.  It’s worth playing around with.

What’s a Successful Blog

Anne’s blog pointed me to this post on Asterisk about what makes A Successful Blog.  It’s a pretty good list, just check out the top five:

  • Well written.  Good content will make or break your blog.  Period.  This it the #1 thing that makes a blog successful in my book.
  • Frequently updated.  Unless you’re a guru of some sort you really need to stay on top of it.  This can be a real challenge.
  • Consistent.  This is kind of a combination of the first two.  I like sites that are able to maintain quality and frequency overtime.
  • Open.  I like to read people who are honest and willing to talk about tough issues in a free and open way.

However, I think the question you need to ask first, is "what are you trying to accomplish with your blog? " Some people want a journal, others want to keep friends and family informed, others are trying to influence political views, … Unless you know what you are trying to do, you won’t know if you are successful or not.

Which brings us to the question of "what’s the purpose of this blog?"  I started it to learn about blogging.  For me, it’s become a place to show what I’m interested in and what piques my interest in the world.  I think it has primarily three audiences:

  1. friends and family
  2. people looking for esotric information on topics like double dutch jump roping
  3. people looking for book reviews

I’ve often thought about starting a topic specific blog, but at the moment, I feel more like a jack of all trades.  There are way too many things to learn about to limit myself to studying and talking about just one!