Hi, all! Today I’d like to provide a few updates, some pertaining to this website and others pertaining to topics of previous blog posts.
This website runs over https. The “s” means that communications to and from the website are secure and encrypted. The site gets an A+ rating by the SSL Server Test (woo-hoo!). The security of this blog is very important to me. People who leave a comment, sign up for the newsletter, or contact me through the website provide their name and email (and, in the last case, a subject and message), and these must be kept private and safe from the hands of unscrupulous marketers, spammers, and other bad agents.
This brings me to the subject of privacy. You may have noticed that this website asks visitors to indicate whether or not to accept cookies; every 365 days, the site will ask visitors to confirm their choice again.
Earlier this year, the European Union’s GDPR law went into effect; I have taken steps to comply. GDPR—which stands for General Data Protection Regulation—requires, among other things, that websites with users in the EU give them the chance to opt in (a.k.a. consent) to services that affect the privacy of their personal data. Spamming people in the EU is not allowed! (Sheesh, spamming people anywhere is not cool in my book.) This law is having a large effect on the way tech operaters conduct business, not just in the EU but everywhere. The Guardian article What is GDPR and how will it affect you? contains further information.
I have been thinking about your comments on my post Who Cares About Meditation? and testing your suggestions. Your ideas helped me—thank you so much. I have been working on improving my ability to relax and “just be,” and I find myself “succeeding” to a greater extent than before. I still find meditation difficult, but I have finally established a routine. I feel that my new daily practice is helping me stay calm and avoid anxiety.
Also helpful to me have been reading the books 10% Happier, by Dan Harris, and Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, by Dan Harris and Jeff Warren with Carlye Adler, as well as downloading and using the 10% Happier app. The app offers an unguided meditation timer, as well as guided meditations by different meditation teachers. I especially appreciate that the app has a setting to automatically silence my phone while I’m meditating, which helps immensely in avoiding interruption.
My news on the superstition front isn’t quite so rosy. I have been thinking about this topic since writing the post Superstitious and reading your comments. For a while, I was actively trying to avoid being superstitious. And I was excited to stumble across ace pilot Mark Stucky’s view of the matter, in the New Yorker article Virgin Galactic’s Rocket Man:
“As adventurous as Stucky was, he didn’t believe in lucky stars, or lucky breakfasts. ‘The only superstition I have is not to be superstitious,’ he said. The same empiricism led him to keep urging Virgin Galactic engineers not to be spooked by the past.”
Recently, however, the stars have conspired to lead me back into my old superstitious ways. . . .
And Back to You
That’s alls I’s gots for now. Any of yous gots any updates you wish to share?