Gary Lerude

September 11, 2021

20 Years Later

On the 20the anniversary of the sudden shift in world history we call 9/11, the brazen and brilliant attack on America, I'm at a family gathering in the Great Smokey Mountains. I feel the cool morning warmed by the sun and hear the sound of Le Conte creek coming up through the trees outside our room. This morning, life is normal as our...
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August 1, 2021

Variation on a Theme

The resurgence of coronavirus infections from the Delta variant seems like a variation on the tragedy of the commons. As originally proposed, a tragedy of the commons refers to individuals acting independently in their own self interest, ultimately depleting a natural resource until it's no longer available to anyone. The players pursu...
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July 31, 2021

The Master Interviewer

I've heard Studs Terkel's name at various times throughout my life, the mention generally lauding his interviewing skills. Most recently, Ezra Klein recommended his books; Klein's favorite: Working, Terkel's survey of people's jobs. That led me to an audio compilation of about a dozen of those actual interviews, produced by Radio Diari...
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July 31, 2021

Writing Prompt

Thank you, Len Edgerly, for the writing prompt. Although I spend my days working with words, my usual role is editing. Or writing stories of technology companies or short technical descriptions of products. My writing as introspection and making sense of this life has languished. I feel the void. There's so much in this world to contem...
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June 6, 2021

On the Road Again

It seems a bit surreal to be packing a suitcase for an early departure to Atlanta tomorrow morning. Bucking the odds, the 2021 International Microwave Symposium (IMS) refused to cancel the physical event and, thanks to the vaccines, will be one of the first conferences in the industry to act as though life is "normal" — although the at...
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May 31, 2021

Back to Normal

Except for many wearing masks, our dinner in the North End last night seemed strangely normal, the coronavirus already fading into memory. Despite the chill and rain, the streets and restaurants were full — lines of people waiting patiently to order cannolis at Modern, Mike's, and Bova's, all of us celebrating the May 29 "reopening" of...
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May 29, 2021

Politics Trumps All

A Republican filibuster today blocked the formation of an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capital while Congress was receiving the Electoral College votes from the states. To proceed, the proposal needed 10 Republican Senators to join the 50 Democrats in an affirmative vote. Six Republ...
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May 22, 2021

Follow the Science. Unless It's Wrong.

One of the distinctions between the Trump and Biden administrations: their different views of science. Describing how his administration would manage COVID-19 and climate change, President Biden talks about "following the science." During a trip to California, former President Trump, when told warming temperatures, a sign of climate ch...
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May 16, 2021

To Mask or Not to Mask?

The U.S. has made significant progress fighting the coronavirus since the FDA authorized the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Developing the vaccines began during the Trump administration — Operation Warp Speed — and the Biden administration moved swiftly to deploy the vaccines across the country, which are now availabl...
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May 12, 2021

Sometimes Caring is Just Being Quiet

Driving home from work last Thursday, I was listening to a Timber Hawkeye podcast and finding myself being enlightened, which is what usually happens when I listen to him speak. He reflects on some aspect of life, boiling complexity into a simple and cogent perspective — often counter to what I think. In this podcast episode, he was mu...
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