Let’s Get Single Payer Healthcare in California Now

As someone who’s been involved in promoting single payer in California for years, it’s easy to sink into cynicism. Too easy.

Cynicism is an excuse to give up.

Sometimes, giving up is the best response to a dilemma. However, single payer is not a cause worth giving up on. Too many places in this world show that single payer is a vastly superior system to the price-gouging “healthcare” system in the United States. The first single-payer system in Canada faced fierce opposition too from people who benefited from price-gouging in health care too, yet Canadians established it.

On January 31, AB 1400, a bill which would establish single-payer healthcare in California, will go to the California assembly for a vote.

People who have been pushing single-payer in California for decades say that this moment feels different. Some politicians who adamantly opposed single-payer in the past now offer lukewarm support, we have a governor who campaigned on a promise to bring single-payer health care, and, well, you know what major health crisis has been going on for about two years.

This bill might turn into law. For real.

If you are a California resident, I urge you to go to this page and learn how you can pressure your assembly representative to vote yes on AB 1400.

Designing Lighting for the Written Word

Lately, I’ve been applying lighting design principles to my fiction.

Wait, how is that possible? Prose doesn’t have lighting.

Well, it does have lighting, if it’s read with the eyes and not the ears or the fingertips. But how can I design it? I can’t even control what device it’s read on, or what the lighting settings are for that device. And even if I could, controlling the lighting for words printed on paper is impossible. What is there to design?

First, why lighting design?

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The Underestimated Elegance of Email

Social media accounts/feeds/etc. are like mushrooms—they pop up fast, they blow up fast, they’re highly visible, they burst with umami flavor, or they poison consumers.

But mushrooms are only small parts of the organisms which grow them. Most of the fungal activity is underground, out of sight, in the mycelial network. That’s like email.

True, emails aren’t as private as most people believe. But compared to Facebook/Twitter/TikTok/etc., emails are hidden.

More importantly, emails are a much more robust network of online social connections. Even more people have active email accounts than Facebook accounts. Whereas social media platforms can disappear (RIP MySpace) or change how they operate, emails have such cross-platform compatibility that moving an email list from one tech service provider to another is workable, unlike, say, moving one’s YouTube subscribers directly to one’s Instagram’s followers. And part of that robustness is the higher level of privacy—people will say things in emails they aren’t willing to say on Twitter, and that fosters a higher level of honesty and trust.

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This Blog Is 10 Years Old

When I started this blog, I didn’t know it would last ten years. Yet here we are, at this blog’s 10-year anniversary.

I picked this blog’s scheduled time based on when I felt ready to publish the first post while sitting on the brown plastic-fake-leather sofa in my taofang in Taoyuan City, and I’ve stuck to that same time every week ever since.

I feel a pressure to do something grand to mark this occasion. But what is this really? Ten just a number, and a year is just a measurement unit of time.

The celebration is the blog archive. What matters is not what I do at this moment when this blog becomes a decade old, but the body of work spread over the past ten years—and the work to come.

Will this blog last another ten years? I don’t know. But for now, it’s moving forward, on the same schedule.