cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

On being a carrot

On Being A Carrot in God’s Garden

You can be sure the hand will pull you from the ground.
You can be sure.
No matter how longingly the earth presses against you.
No matter how sweet the mineral sips at the tips of your roots.
No matter how comfortable your somnolent, unchanging days,
When you are ripe, you will be taken.

In this slumbering time,
in this tiny, dark cradle,
you cannot imagine sky
or the cloud shadows that splatter the surface above,
or the green lace of your own intricate leaves.

When the hand comes,
may your flesh be sweet in surrender.
When the soil falls away from your snapping roots,
may you slide easy into the light.
When you lie naked in the basket,
may the hand rub the last soil from your skin
and carry you — singing and fresh —
straight to the mouth of God.

Barbara McAfee

Death and smallness

No one can grow if he does not accept his smallness.

This reminds me strongly of the idea that we cannot live fully unless we’ve come to terms with our mortality.


# rename columns
> View(ghq_elsa)
> ghq_elsa <- setNames(ghq_elsa, c("ghqconc", "ghqsleep", "ghquse", "ghqdecis", "ghqstrai", "ghqover", "ghqenjoy", "ghqface", "ghqunhap", "ghqconfi", "ghqworth", "ghqha"))

# export to .txt file
> write.table(ghq_elsa, "c:/[path]/data.txt", sep="\t")

Male, la capa

Escrito por Malena Daich Varela, para IntraMed

Concluyo que una de las mejores universidades del mundo forma médicos para trabajar exclusivamente en hospitales de alta complejidad, no para ejercer la medicina en cualquier parte. Aún cuando la mayoría de la población no puede acceder a dichos establecimientos. Esto me recuerda que el ranking de las mejores facultades se realiza principalmente en base al número de publicaciones, de citas y de graduados galardonados o con doctorados. Aquello no necesariamente se relaciona con formar mejores médicos.

Recipe app by Dieticians of Canada

Cute! Think I should tag my recipes like this, because I forget about them

Pa’ informarse

Katherine Bersch lecture

Quick notes from lecture entitled “When Democracies Deliver: Governance Reform in Argentina and Brazil”

problem-solving approach more effective than “powering” reform (sudden, all-changing, used in Argentina) or laggard reform
incremental changes over time by actors inside
– allows for corrections and learning
– de-emphasizes contentious political issues – not take opposition head-on
– sequentially builds support and extends reforms – evolve along the way
brazil and argentina both federal countries
govt contracting 10-30% of GDP, can be heart of corruption, but also how taxes turn into roads schools and vaccines
– will look at health and transportation

PAMI: argentina’s medicare: health to elderly/pensioners
exemplar by World Bank, but in crisis by 2000s: billions in arrears, endemic corruption,
– NESTOR Kirchner appoints Graciela Ocaña to intervene, to fundamentally restructure
– reduces personnel
– restructures contracting system
– creates internal pari auditing body
– publishes contracting info online
– put PAMI on sound fiscal footing
– 2007, CRISTINA promotes her
– de Cesere appointed to her old post, near reversal of her policies

example of power reform that made changes but left few defenders.
after confrontation with el campo, gives more power to La Cámpora.
same factors that allowed Ocaña to change things were the same things that allowed them to be reversed.

pregão – reverse auctioning. public (online), takes the lowest bidder who can do it
some years later, gains steam, non-corrupt servants can use it to avoid political pressure to do what their superiors want
Dilma signs a measure making it more mandatory, but still without forcing it on the giants that would crush it.
sequential, incremental changes that slowly gains ground. a very small group did this!

problem-solving more effective over the long term. both countries have used both approaches, but argentina TENDS to power.
– exclusionary governing facilitates power in Argentina
– multiparty coalitions work with presidents frustrate large upheavals, but favour small, modest changes

benefits of problem solving
– continual adjustment benefit from learning
– incremental approach makes reform more durable and preserves bureaucratic autonomy
state capacity
implications for policymakers and practitioners

Las flores

Podrán cortar todas las flores, pero no podrán detener la primavera.

Pablo Neruda

Ser amerindio

De Página 12: sesente por ciento de los argentios tienen componentes amerindios. Yo soy una de ellos!

Sexual assault prevention, The politics of —

From the Globe and Mail: RCT shows that self-defense courses lead to less sexual assaults.

Last week I took one such 12-hour course offered through McGill, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It is difficult to explain just how empowering it is to feel — and have seen in action — many new tools and options that you have when someone is trying to get you to do something you don’t want to do. Or, a bit more morbidly, to realize just how much pain and damage you can inflict on someone who is a threat to your safety, no matter how big or strong they are. From losing the fear of seeming impolite, to firmly yelling “No” while delivering a knee to the groin, there are many ways to stop a coercive situation that every girl and woman should be familiar with.

It may seem politically incorrect to suggest that teaching women to defend themselves is an important way to reduce assaults, but I would suggest that empowering women is part and parcel of dismantling the idea that assaults will end when perpetrators stop attacking their would-be victims. What if those supposed “victims” were seen as too dangerous to target? What if attacking a female represented a tricky and high-stakes risk to the assailant? What if we played in such a way that the field were more equal? When it came to education, we had no compunctions about offering all those weapons to women so that they may be intellectual equals of men. Why not extend that logic to our physical bodies? If we made a priority of showing girls and women just how unhelpless they are, then no one would think of us that way, starting with ourselves.


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