Be the boss of me! — or, what should Tod Kelly write about next?


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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54 Responses

  1. I have a few things that I would like you to write on, but only if you have the time or desire.

    1. More risk management. What I’m especially interested in is principles of risk management in terms that a layperson like myself can understand. Is it only about insurance? (I don’t think so, but I recently bought a used book called “Introduction to Risk Management” or some such, and it was about insurance.

    2. Principled pragmatism. I know that I have been one of the people who have insisted that “principled pragmatism” must get its ideas from somewhere, therefore it is not non-ideological. But I really would like more on how you define it, perhaps especially in regard to a) specific regulations or controversies (you already do this, but I really like it when you discuss it) and b) your thoughts on what other pragmatists have said, e.g., William James or George Orwell. I realize that just because James called himself a “pragmatist” doesn’t mean his pragmatism is the same as yours, but I’d be fascinated to hear your insights. I also realize that Orwell might not even be a pragmatist by many definitions of the term–and to my knowledge, he didn’t identify as one, although I could be mistaken–but his approach to things strikes me very much akin to your own.

    I’m sorry I don’t have anything more concrete to offer as a suggestion, and again, I understand if you don’t wish to write about these things. (Like you, I generally dislike “philosophy,” although I really like James.) Just some thoughts on my part.Report

    • Avatar Murali says:

      I’d second the principled pragmatism one too. What is it? Where does it come from? What makes it principled? What makes it pragmatic?Report

  2. Avatar Cascadian says:

    I’m still beating the drum for combining breast feeding rights with MRM. How many dads here would breast feed and of those that would how many would be willing to do so in public. That should bring in some interesting commenters.Report

  3. Avatar Steve says:

    Video: Batkid to the Rescue – Leukimia kid Dream come true! AMAZING

  4. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I want to know about your time in an 80s cover band. I can see you on keyboards.

    The cheap-ass gourmet is a wonderful series that should continue.Report

  5. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Open ended question:

    What is to be done?Report

  6. I totally endorse Pierre’s suggestion re: more risk management perspective. I find your thoughts from that angle really captivating.

    But then, I would happily read your thoughts about Froot Loops. So you’re guaranteed at least one reader, regardless.Report

  7. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    If you had to bet the ranch, which fringe political group is most likely to achieve its goals on at least a regional basis over, say, the next 20 years? Regional defined as greater than two adjacent states. Not allowed to say “None of them.” And why. I’m particularly interested in the why, since I see myself as currently being a political fringe group of one. But I have hopes for expansion :^)Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    How can a person who is otherwise principled, intelligent, and good-natured root for the Dodgers?Report

  9. Avatar Not Me says:

    I think you should write about Obama’s lie about folks being able to keep their insurance and how Obamacare has turn into a farce. None of the liberals here will acknowledge the issue or write about.Report

  10. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I believe you should write the sort of thing I would write and then sign my name to it.

    Too self-serving?Report

  11. Avatar Kazzy says:

    1. (Stolen from an 8th grader) Would you rather find one elephant-sized duck or 100 duck-sized elephants? Show your work.
    2. What is the single best decision you’ve ever made? Single worst?
    3. (Getting meta) Why should we be interested in Tod Kelly writing about things Tod Kelly has no apparent expertise in?
    4. From a risk managemt perspective, are schools right or wrong to curtail the responsibilities of men when working with young children (e.g., rules against men changing diapers/facilitating in bathrooms; avoiding placing two men together in a classroom but having no qualms with two women) (Note: I’ve encountered both these in my career)?Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      3. (Getting meta) Why should we be interested in Tod Kelly writing about things Tod Kelly has no apparent expertise in?

      Heh. Going back to the 80’s-cover wedding band, I think all those requestathons terminate when a guy shouts “play something you know!” and everyone nods in agreement.Report

  12. Avatar Will H. says:

    More food stuff.
    With an index of previous entries.Report

  13. Avatar Roger says:

    I was hoping for more on health care.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Yeah, I’d like that too. And not necessarily the website rollout fiasco, tho that’d be interesting too. I read somewhere (TPM?) that 2-3 people in Cali (I think) spent a day or two writing code for a site to navigate the exchanges and compare prices under the new regulations and their system works perfectly fine. Hmmm. Questions.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Really? You’re surprised at the difference between a site to do some simple comparisons and calculations vs. a site that has to comply with a few thousand pages of brand-new (and thus only murkily undrstood) federal regulations?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        The site I’m referring to isn’t the backbone of the system nor does it pretend to be. But it allows people to actually find out what they want to know: prices and coverage options, and apparently navigates them thru the enrollment process lickitty split.

        That’s all anyone on the retail end wants, and it’s where the rollout is failing miserably. From what I’ve heard, anyway.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Here’s the TPM article talking about the The Health Sherpa site.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Don’t see how it can run them through enrollment, given that it lacks the interfaces to the IRS, DHS, Social Security, and individual states’ Medicaid eligibility/enrollment systems (said state systems also subject to federal requirements). I’ve never had to work on such interfaces myself (thank God!) but have sat through state-level failed-system post-mortems; such interfaces are notoriously difficult to meet. Most of those interfaces are dynamic in the sense that they are changed often, but not on any sort of consistent schedule. And they carry enormous amounts of baggage. For example, if your system is going to interface with a state Medicaid eligibility system, it’s going to take you weeks just to figure out what physical security requirements your servers are going to have to meet.Report

      • Avatar Not me says:


        The public was promised the website would be ready given the schedule for when folks have to sign up. Of course folks were also promised that they could keep their insurance so what is one more lie?Report

  14. Avatar dhex says:

    i want to see him write about this

    because i am sending this essay to everyone so that they too can gaze upon its majesty.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      That’s an interesting article. If you buy those arguments, or at least the principles behind them, there’s no reason to stop at social media.Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch says:

        It seems a bit silly in a couple of ways.

        First, the author claims that “they attempt to profit from activity that, precisely because it is social, is basically non-economic and non-productive.” That’s a much more radical claim than the author seems to understand.

        Second, if it’s such a social good that it needs to be made public, then why not just have government create its own social media service? I’m no Randian, but it is notable that Rand specifically criticized the tendency to take over, on the basis of the public good, innovations that were created privately.

        And in the end, who the hell cares if foolish investors lose money?Report

      • Avatar Mal Blue says:

        I thought he made a really good point about the established monopolies and the inability of new players to break through due to incompatibility. I was make a similar point on MySpace just the other day.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I remember people begging me to be their Frienster friends, not because they liked me, but because they were desperately trying to get a higher number of friends than some person they hated. Good times.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      This might be the first request I do, since I think it might have a short shelf life.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      Plus, think how much more efficient it would be if the government didn’t have to get a subpoena to spot on dissidents’ electronic communications!

      This is a bad idea at the best of times. This year, it’s just nuts.Report

    • Avatar Patrick says:

      He’s got the right critique, and the wrong solution.Report

  15. Avatar NewDealer says:

    What do you think about the longstanding problems between virtue and happiness?Report

  16. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Multiple people are asking me to talk about risk management.

    Where were you people at every cocktail party I’ve ever been to, ever?Report

  17. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Speaking of risk management:

    Can you write about stability and why some or many people seem to place zero value on it?

    I notice this is a lot of debates on the left when talking about economic and urban policy. Bleeding hearts like me tend to place a high-value on stability and think that policies should promote it as much as possible. Reasonable growth that keeps people employed, the environment safe, allows renters to not need to move every year, etc. A world that escapes the boom and bust cycle of economic life. Depressions and recessions should be unnecessary and considered inorganic.

    My bete noir Matt Y seems to place stability as having zero value.

    • Avatar Kim says:

      oh, good lord. Why not listen to Summers, who says Depression/Recession is the new norm.
      What of that sort of stability, good sir? The slow decline…Report

  18. Avatar Patrick says:

    Why the Seahawks won’t win the Superbowl.

    Take your time.Report

  19. Avatar Sean says:

    I’d be interested in an article about the ideal of a “frontier” as it might stand in American politics today. Fifty years after JFK and his new frontier, and 100 years after Teddy Roosevelt rough rode his way into American hearts, I still think a sense of admiration for the rugged individualism of the west and of unfettered possibility on the edge of society simmers in the American mindset. However, this sense has largely subsided in American politics in the last thirty years, or so it feels. Does this tradition of frontierism play a role in America today? How could politicians capture it? What are the new frontiers of the 21st century? How do we inspire America to tackle the challenges of these frontiers? And how do we preserve the tradition of our frontier culture?Report