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What Are The Top 10 Things You Should Be Informed Of In Life

Again, these are not my answers, but are an interesting read on people.  It will offend some, but God is number one for me.  The rest of the lists below should offend someone or many.

1. Human psychology. It’s a young field, and no one has all the answers yet. But you can get a better understanding of why other people do what they do — and how to thread your way through life’s complexities — by studying at least a little of this field.

2. The basics of accounting. This will greatly reduce your chances of being swindled in life. It also will make it much easier for you to do some systematic planning, while keeping track of how you’re doing vis a vis your plans.

3. Music. It will calm you. It will inspire you. It will build bridges to a more interesting set of friends.

4. Your own family’s story. Where did your parents grow up, and how did that shape who they are? What are the formal or informal communities that help define your identity? (“We are athletes … we are Irish … we are restless spirits who move from city to city.”) Having an enduring sense of identity that goes beyond the ups and downs of your own life will be a source of comfort and motivation all your life.

5. The way your government really works. Find out why some laws are tightly enforced and others aren’t. Learn the best ways of influencing your government — whether it’s on matters of national significance or something as personal as winning a zoning variance for the cafe you run. Finally, gain some non-bitter insights about why society doesn’t always work the way you’d like.

6. Good nutrition and how to incorporate it into your life. Mike Leary is right.  In a poor society, this is the difference between life and death. In a rich society, it’s — surprise! — the difference between a long, robust future and chronic illness that can turn deadly far too soon.

7. Different cultural values. If you’re going to be effective outside a small cluster of people like you, you’ll need to understand and appreciate how other tribes work, too.

8. How to communicate your ideas to the wider world. Justin Freeman is right. Learn how to speak clearly and persuasively. Or to write well. Or to create useful and appealing computer code, video, music, etc. Pick the medium that works best for you, and make sure you don’t go through life being mute.

9. Effective parenting. Just because your parents didn’t quite get it right (no one ever does!) doesn’t mean that you can’t do better. Find your own style, stick with what works … but keep refining your approach as you learn from others. You owe it to the species.

10. Quora. It’s one-stop shopping for biased crap! Be aware of what’s on Quora, and you’ll know what not to believe.

Here’s another:

  1. Realize that nobody cares, and if they do, you shouldn’t care that they care. Got a new car? Nobody cares. You’ll get some gawkers for a couple of weeks—they don’t care. They’re curious. Three weeks in it’ll be just another shiny blob among all the thousands of others crawling down the freeway and sitting in garages and driveways up and down your street. People will care about your car just as much as you care about all of those. Got a new gewgaw? New wardrobe? Went to a swanky restaurant? Exotic vacation? Nobody cares. Don’t base your happiness on people caring, because they won’t. And if they do, they either want your stuff or hate you for it.
  2. Some rule breakers will break rule number one. Occasionally, people in your life will defy the odds and actually care about you. Still not your stuff, sorry. But if they value you, they’ll value that you value it, and they’ll listen. When you talk about all of those things that nobody else cares about, they will look into your eyes and consume your words, and in that moment you will know that every part of them is there with you.
  3. Spend your life with rule breakers. Marry them. Befriend them. Work with them. Spend weekends with them. No matter how much power you become possessed of, you’ll never be able to make someone care—so gather close the caring.
  4. Money is cheap. I mean, there’s a lot of it—about forty thousand billion dollars floating around the world, largely made up of cash whose value is made up and ascribed to it, anyway. Don’t engineer your life around getting a slightly less tiny portion of this pile, and make your spirit of generosity reflect this principle. I knew a man who became driven by the desire to amass six figures in savings, so he worked and scrimped and sacrificed to get there. And he did… right before he died of cancer. I’m sure his wife’s new husband appreciated his diligence.
  5. Money is expensive. I mean, it’s difficult to get your hands on sometimes—and you never know when someone’s going to pull the floorboards out from under you—so don’t be stupid with it. Avoid debt on depreciating assets, and never incur debt in order to assuage your vanity (see rule number one). Debt has become normative, but don’t blithely accept it as a rite of passage into adulthood—debt represents imbalance and, in some sense, often a resignation of control. Student loan debt isn’t always unavoidable, but it isn’t a given—my wife and I completed a combined ten years of college with zero debt between us. If you can’t avoid it, though, make sure that your degree is an investment rather than a liability—I mourn a bit for all of the people going tens of thousands of dollars in debt in pursuit of vague liberal arts degrees with no idea of what they want out of life. If you’re just dropping tuition dollars for lack of a better idea at the moment, just withdraw and go wander around Europe for a few weeks—I guarantee you’ll spend less and learn more in the process.
  6. Learn the ancient art of rhetoric. The elements of rhetoric, in all of their forms, are what make the world go around—because they are what prompt the decisions people make. If you develop an understanding of how they work, while everyone else is frightened by flames and booming voices, you will be able to see behind veils of communication and see what levers little men are pulling. Not only will you develop immunity from all manner of commercials, marketing, hucksters and salesmen, to the beautiful speeches of liars and thieves, you’ll also find yourself able to craft your speech in ways that influence people. When you know how to speak in order to change someone’s mind, to instill confidence in someone, to quiet the fears of a child, then you will know this power firsthand. However, bear in mind as you use it that your opponent in any debate is not the other person, but ignorance.
  7. You are responsible to everyone, but you’re responsible for yourself. I believe we’re responsible to everyone for something, even if it’s something as basic as an affirmation of their humanity. However, it should most often go far beyond that and manifest itself in service to others, to being a voice for the voiceless. If you’re reading this, there are those around you who toil under burdens larger than yours, who stand in need of touch and respect and chances. Conversely, though, you’re responsible for yourself. Nobody else is going to find success for you, and nobody else is going to instill happiness into you from the outside. That’s on you.
  8. Learn to see reality in terms of systems. When you understand the world around you as a massive web of interconnected, largely interdependent systems, things get much less mystifying—and the less we either ascribe to magic or allow to exist behind a fog, the less susceptible we’ll be to all manner of being taken advantage of. However:
  9. Account for the threat of black swan events. Sometimes chaos consumes the most meticulous of plans, and if you live life with no margins in a financial, emotional, or any other sense, you will be subject to its whims. Take risks, but backstop them with something—I strongly suspect these people who say having a Plan B is a sign of weak commitment aren’t living hand to mouth. Do what you need to in order to keep your footing.
  10. You both need and don’t need other people. You need others in a sense that you need to be part of a community—there’s a reason we reflexively pity hermits. Regardless of your theory of anthropogenesis, it’s hard to deny that we are built for community, and that ‘we’ is always more than ‘me.’ However, you don’t need another person in order for your life to have meaning—this idea that Disney has shoved through our eyeballs, that there’s someone out there for all of us if we’ll just believe hard enough and never stop searching, is hokum… because of arithmetic, if nothing else. Establish your own life—then, if there’s a particular person that you can’t help but integrate, believe me, you’ll know.
  11. Always give more than is required of you.

Go to the link above, there is more.

Add more in comments if you have a better suggestion than these.

Are High IQ People Better Off With Fewer Friends?

So says an article published by the Washington Post.

Having discussed high IQ people including those with a perceived higher intelligence a number of times (this one with the highest Google ranking), I like to ponder on these things.

The first in this article tends to reference dwelling among all people as it relates to happiness:

They use what they call “the savanna theory of happiness” to explain two main findings from an analysis of a large national survey (15,000 respondents) of adults aged 18 to 28.

First, they find that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their life overall. “The higher the population density of the immediate environment, the less happy” the survey respondents said they were. Second, they find that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness.

Why would high population density cause a person to be less happy? There’s a whole body of sociological research addressing this question. But for the most visceral demonstration of the effect, simply take a 45-minute ride on a crowded rush-hour Red Line train and tell me how you feel afterward.

One would tend to think that if you weren’t in such a densely populated area, that it might lead to greater happiness.  No wonder New York, Chicago and other highly populated cities have such low rankings in this category.

THE NEED TO BE ALONE

I can’t prove it, but there is a tendency for “Smart People” to be either introverted or have a need to spend time alone to gather their thoughts when making contributions to inventions, theorem’s, calculations and other notable achievements. (Note: the link above describes things introverts won’t tell you, but you should know).

Being an author, I know that I prefer quiet to gather my thoughts and increase the powers of concentration on what I am trying to write.  It’s hard to clear your mind when there is a bombardment of distractions either from people, social media or other causes.

The article does state the obvious, long commutes, traffic, waiting in line and crowds are tedious, monotonous, and can grate on anyone over time. The infrastructure is usually older (see the lead in the water in Flint, Mich.)  I’ve often wondered why anyone would want to live in a place like that if they really had a choice.  Maybe that is why there is such a large population outflow to Florida upon retirement.

Kanazawa and Li’s second finding is a little more interesting. It’s no surprise that friend and family connections are generally seen as a foundational component of happiness and well-being. But why would this relationship get turned on its head for really smart people?

I posed this question to Carol Graham, a Brookings Institution researcher who studies the economics of happiness. “The findings in here suggest (and it is no surprise) that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it … are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer term objective,” she said.

Think of the really smart people you know. They may include a doctor trying to cure cancer or a writer working on the great American novel or a human rights lawyer working to protect the most vulnerable people in society. To the extent that frequent social interaction detracts from the pursuit of these goals, it may negatively affect their overall satisfaction with life.

The article and researchers discuss a “Savannah theory of happiness” which is a bit of a reach since there weren’t iPhones for cavemen, although an ability to deal with new challenges seems obvious.

FEAR OF MISSING OUT OF SOMETHING FOR SOME, LOATHING PEOPLE FOR OTHERS

There is a need for many in the general population to gain happiness from their social interactions.  I have relatives who suffer from FoMo syndrome, generally indicating that they derive their happiness and/or satisfaction from others or the perception of others.

When drilling down and specifically targeting high IQ people, there is a distinct difference from the last sentence in the above quote:

Second, they find that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness.

But there was one big exception. For more intelligent people, these correlations were diminished or even reversed.

“The effect of population density on life satisfaction was therefore more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-IQ individuals,” they found. And “more intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently.”

Let me repeat that last one: When smart people spend more time with their friends, it makes them less happy.

Again, an observation from the high IQ group and personal introspection, there seems to be less of a need to find your happiness in others or what others think of you in this space.  It might be in the above stated pursuit of goals:

Hell might actually be other people — at least if you’re really smart.

That’s the implication of fascinating new research published last month in the British Journal of Psychology. Evolutionary psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Norman Li of Singapore Management University dig in to the question of what makes a life well-lived. While traditionally the domain of priests, philosophers and novelists, in recent years survey researchers, economists, biologists and scientists have been tackling that question.

There’s a twist, though, at least as Kanazawa and Li see it. Smarter people may be better equipped to deal with the new (at least from an evolutionary perspective) challenges present-day life throws at us. “More intelligent individuals, who possess higher levels of general intelligence and thus greater ability to solve evolutionarily novel problems, may face less difficulty in comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations,” they write.

It appears that the high IQ might actually have another less socially accepted skill that is less politically correct as defined by the masses.  They may just have thought out that they are able to be happier or more satisfied while being alone rather than by having to try and satisfy others definition of their happiness.

Conversely, they might find being around other people annoying, especially the chatty or needy.

Once you are able to happy alone, the ability to be happy with others is icing on the cake, but shouldn’t be the definition of the cake.

 

Internet Road Rage, You Are Probably a Coward Hiding Behind The Screen

internet road rageWhat is Internet Road Rage?  My definition is that you are willing to engage in hateful, spiteful language aimed at someone whom you either don’t agree with ideologically/religiously/politically/any excuse to vent, or a counter attack to someone who got on you or your ideas.

Here is the caveat.  You most likely wouldn’t act or speak that way in person or to someone’s face with that tone or language.  Most of you have either more self-decency in person or a survival instinct that would prevent you from getting your ass kicked.

Worse, you could or are likely a Porch Dog, one who barks severely, but is no real threat.  In other words, you yap by tapping the keyboard but pose no intellectual threat.

ACTUAL ROAD RAGE

Most people have road rage inside them.   Here is how it works:

Polite drivers may think that dialogue like that is the territory of deranged, out-of-control, or terrible drivers, and maybe they’re right. But according to a new survey from AAA, most drivers in the United States display signs of road rage. So too bad, you supposedly polite drivers.

The survey, published today, polled 2,705 drivers 16 years old and older about their road rage habits. Seventy-eight percent of drivers—more than three-quarters—reported engaging in some kind of aggressive driving maneuver, including tailgating, yelling, honking, gesturing angrily, purposely blocking another vehicle, cutting someone off, confronting someone, and intentionally ramming another car.

The breakdown of each category was fairly unsurprising. Fifty-one percent of drivers reported tailgating at least once; 47 percent reported yelling at least once; 45 percent reported honking at least once. The more bats**t responses—confronting another driver and ramming another vehicle—polled much lower on the list.

INTERNET ROAD RAGE

There is every flavor in the book, more than I can write about.  It started with email flaming.  As soon as forums or ideological websites like Quora, Instagram, Facebook, The Huffpo, Fox News, etc., etc.  The net of it was that people were able to transfer their hate to others online.  The comments are mendacious, eviscerating and frequently ad hominem attacks that most wouldn’t do face to face.

I call B.S. as  most of those people are cowards and wouldn’t stand up to others in real life.  There are of course some that do speak their minds, but they generally have more of a life than pissing on each other online.

What would the other person do?  Back in the schoolyard days, you say something like what is written almost everywhere now and you’d have to fight.  Most people don’t like to fight and there are a few who know very well how to protect themselves.  I’d even bet that a lot of folks who are right wingers fully explore their second amendment rights.  Who wants to walk into that?  There are some who would be very able to kick your ass and would.

WHY DO YOU DO IT?

I use the word you in its’ plural and direct form.  I’m pointing at everyone who reads this because most of you have crossed the line when someone pissed you off.

The reason is that you envision some curtain of invisibility or invincibility because you are typing to a screen.  You wouldn’t say it in person, or wouldn’t say it that way.  Therefore, you are either a coward or a bully.  Most people lose considerable IQ points when you think this way.

So stop it.  Grow up and act like an adult.  Be big enough to pass over some typed letters of venting.  More than likely, there isn’t enough reason for responses that are so harsh.  Before you type it, imagine saying it face to face and see if you would do it, or risk either your reputation or an ass whooping.

can of whoop ass

How Do High IQ People Read Books

Note: intelligent people generally read a lot.  There are many ways to read a book.  Authors read for story arc’s, character profile and emotional connection.

Many people learn from textbooks, but for general reading, here is a good list I found on how high IQ people read:

1) Find a personal angle: You need to relate to what you’re reading

2) Get a bird’s eye view: Get the basic outline of the book by skimming through the table of contents (and the rest of the book); try finding a central theme

3) Drum up curiosity: Draft a few “curiosity questions” based on the theme; consider these questions as you read the book

4) Create your own structure: Identify key points in the book and leave space for you to take in-depth notes

5) Record key insights: Take in-depth notes based on the elements you mentioned in Step 4; think about what the “Takeaway Message” is.

6) Review your notes: Now that you have a summary you have created in your own words, it’s now time to review; try to remember the details related to the messages you recorded 10 minutes, 2 days, 1 week after finishing the book.

7) Repeat with another book.

Here is the link to this list.

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High IQ Humor – Acute Joke Geometry Style

How Facebook Causes Depression

Scroll down a few posts and you’ll see other articles I’ve posted that talk about Social Media ruining people’s lives.  It’s their outside daring you to compare, unfortunately to your inside.

Spending too much time on “social media” sites like Facebook is making people more than just miserable. It may also be making them depressed.

A new study conducted by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania has shown — for the first time — a causal link between time spent on social media and depression and loneliness, the researchers said.

It concluded that those who drastically cut back their use of sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat often saw a marked improvement in their mood and in how they felt about their lives.

Many of those who began the study with moderate clinical depression finished just a few weeks later with very mild symptoms, she says.

The study, “No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression,” was conducted by Melissa Hunt, Rachel Marx, Courtney Lipson and Jordyn Young, is being published by the peer-reviewed Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

For the study, Hunt and her team studied 143 undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania over a number of weeks. They tested their mood and sense of well-being using seven different established scales. Half of the participants carried on using social media sites as normal. (Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat did not respond to request for comment.)

The other half were restricted to ten minutes per day for each of the three sites studied: Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, the most popular sites for the age group. (Use was tracked through regular screen shots from the participants’ phones showing battery data.)

Net result: Those who cut back on social media use saw “clinically significant” falls in depression and in loneliness over the course of the study. Their rates of both measures fell sharply, while those among the so-called “control” group, who did not change their behavior, saw no improvement.

This isn’t the first study to find a link between social media use, on the one hand, and depression and loneliness on the other. But previous studies have mainly just shown there is a correlation, and the researchers allege that this shows a “causal connection.”

So I ask, why do you do it to yourselves?  Facebook has a model to make you feel worse while they steal your privacy and track you to sell your profile to everyone and anyone.

11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the sounds of the guns went silent

Today is Veteran’s Day. the 100th anniversary

World Leaders gather to mark the 100th anniversary of WW1

The commemoration is the centerpiece of global tributes to honor the 10 million soldiers killed during the 1914-18 war and mark the moment the Armistice, signed in northeastern France, came into effect at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.

World leaders, including Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, will be seated under a glass canopy at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, built by Emperor Napoleon in 1806, for the ceremony.

Macron is expected to speak and light a flame in honor of an unknown soldier who was killed in the war and whose remains are buried with others under the triumphal arch. Afterwards, Macron will host a lunch for the dignitaries at the Elysee.

We honor and remember those who fought for the Freedom of our country and fought side by side with those who are now or were friends of ours.

Remembering WW1

It is important to never forget that Freedom isn’t Free. Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Man has been at war since he was put on the face of the earth.

We appear to be on that track until the end of our existence. While I don’t advocate war, pacifism has always lead to tragedy because of the ruthlessness of those who seek power, ignore borders and human rights.

Here are links to Veterans Day that I found interesting:

From John Ray: Click on it to see these pictures.

The 11th of November in 1918 was when the First World War officially came to an end. And that day has been formally marked every year since in remembrance of those who died. When I was growing up it was known as Armistice Day in Australia and I still think of it as that. It is however now formally Remembrance Day. It is Veterans Day in the USA. It is perhaps a little more significant this year as the 90th anniversary of the event. Britain certainly seems to have been engaging in more than the usual amount of commemoration in the last few days.

Anything by Blackfive (a 4 part series this time)

Likewise for Murdoc

A great Picture from Knowledge is Power

Dedicating the Intrepid. A Carrier that saw plenty of action and sacrifice.

Michelle Maulkin Linkfest

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Grammar Humor

grammar humor

Gallery

Introvert Meme’s and Cartoons, But They Say Everything Extroverts Should Know (stop trying to change us)

introvert coffer

introvert energycalvin hobbes doing nothing

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Things That Tell The Truth – Humor

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Corporate Flow Chart

A Lot of People Are Going To Be Disappointed When They Discover The Center of The Universe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hat tip to Mark Manson

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High IQ Humor – You Matter

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Great Moments in Philosophy

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Introvert Animal Humor

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Aristotle Comments On How We Should Observe Politics, Social Media and Most Things That People Want To Be Offended From

Paraprosdokians (Figures of Speech)

First time I heard about parasprosdokians, I liked them. Sometimes known as Arasprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.
 (Winston Churchill loved them)
1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you … but it’s still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up — we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
10. In filling out an application, where it says, “In case of emergency, notify…” I answered, “a doctor.”
11. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
12. I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.
13. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
14. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
15. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
16.  I’m supposed to respect my elders but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
17.  I’m not arguing with you, I’m explaining why you are wrong.

A Senior’s Version Of Facebook

 

 

 

 

The Circle Game – Childhood Games That Are Still Fun, Punch You I Will

Even though I like to write about intellectual subjects, this one will have nothing to do with that.

Disclaimer: This game has been around for decades.  It is not the somehow now evil OK sign that the evil PC police have condemned.  When it was invented, no one cared about the OK sign.  FWIW, the circle is upside down in this game.

If you know or have played the game, you will get this whole post without reading it, but I’m posting for those who do get it.

I searched this on the Interweb and it stated that this started in the 1980’s.  Since I was in middle school way before this I’m calling BS and guessing that those before me have played it a long time.

So when I saw these examples, I knew what it was and it took me back to childhood, but I understood it without explanation.

The rules of the game are here:

Basically, you get someone to look at the circle below your waist against their will and you get to punch them.

It’s a game designed to be able to hit your friends and have them be ok with it.

The link provides other instructions like breaking the circle and not brushing it off, but they are just variations on being able to punch your friend.

We took it to all kinds of limits like drawing circles on the floor and other variations, but it’s simple.

I think the girl is giving a sign as to the play to make, but if not, it’s a really good Internet punch.

The Walmart guy is funny on many levels.

The black hole circle is a Universal punch.

The duck is just funny.

 

 

 

10 Canine Commandments

I read 100’s of blogs a day.  I’m sorry I don’t have an attribution for this, but will give it to the person who posted it first.

The point is that Dogs are faithful friends that are with us for a much too short of time.  Treat the well and they will be your best friend

Social Media, Ruining Your Life Part 2

I recently posted how Social Media is probably making your life worse, especially those who have to look anything up to know everything.  Even more, those whose lives and feelings are governed by their online image and how many likes they got vs. others are losing out on life to a device.

The other issue is having your face buried in your phone while walking.  You are clueless to the world around you.  See the video above.

UPDATE: Getting Cosmetic Surgery for Snapchat Dysmorphia

This is by far the most narcissistic thing I’ve read.  People (tide pod eaters) are getting surgery to look like the filters they use on their Snapchat because they don’t look good enough in life because it is wreaking havoc on their self-esteem.  The report in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery claims that these filters can sometimes trigger body dysmorphic disorder, a mental illness that can lead to compulsive tendencies and unnecessary beauty procedures, among other negative outcomes.

A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who were regular users of social media were twice as likely to feel lonely than those that were light users.

Another study released found that social media, especially Instagram, deepened feelings of anxiety and inadequacy for 15 to 24 year olds.

Go play outside and leave your phone in your pocket.  Also, don’t live your life on social media and you won’t be so self-obsessed.

UPDATE: A study came out stating that good social media don’t out weigh the bad:

(Reuters Health) – For young adults, the adverse effect of negative social media experiences on mental health outweigh any potential benefits of positive experiences, a study of university students suggests.

Each 10 percent increase in a student’s negative experiences on social media was associated with a 20 percent increase in the odds of depressive symptoms, researchers found.

But positive experiences on social media were only weakly linked to lower depressive symptoms. Each 10 percent increase in positive social media interaction was associated with only a four percent drop in depressive symptoms – a difference so small that it might have been due to chance.

“This is not inconsistent with the way we see things in the offline world . . . The negative things we encounter in the world count more than positive ones,” said study leader Brian A. Primack, director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

“If you have four different classes in college, the fourth class that you did poorly in probably took up all your mental energy,” he told Reuters Health by phone.

Primack said he believes social media lends itself to negativity bias because it is saturated with positive experiences that leave people jaded.

YOU ARE BEING WATCHED

I talked with friends at the gym who are or were in law enforcement  In cop terms they are always made by others because they are constantly looking around.  They are aware of their environment, potential danger, potentially dangerous people and escape routes.  As you can see in the video of fails, these people are vulnerable to all of the above.

Guess how else you are vulnerable with your head buried in a screen?  It doesn’t take a genius to know that Facebook, Google, Amazon and every other site is not only tracking your clicks, but are tracking where you go and what you do.

We used to have instructions, a map and intuition to get where we were going and for the most part, we got there.  millennial’s can’t get to the 7-11 without Google Maps now.  It’s also funny how they can know everything, but have knowledge of very little.  Take away their phone and not only would they not run into things, they’d have to actually learn about how things really work and how to navigate (I’m not discriminating here, I know directionally challenged relatives my age who fall into this category).  Looking up something on your phone doesn’t make you smart.

YOU ARE GIVING THE PERV’S A FREE TICKET

I’m not in law enforcement, but I put my phone away and watch others, especially those watching girls.  It’s almost a sport.   It used to be if a guy was looking in the wrong part of a girl, they got busted immediately.  It was like watching a tennis match seeing the heads turn when a cute girl walked by.  They had to use mirrored sunglasses and just glance when they could and not let their wives/girlfriends catch them.   Now, instead of having to glance behind sunglasses, the perv’s just look down or up (or up and down) anyone they want and modesty just goes out the window.  It’s truly tasteless, but if you had your head out of the phone, you wouldn’t be getting eyeballed so lasciviously.

GET A LIFE

It’s amazing to watch people now escape to their phone in what used to be a social situation.  So stop running into things and get a life.

FACEBOOK IS DESIGNED TO EXPLOIT HUMAN VULNERABILITIES

Recently, former Facebook president Sean Parker pointed out how Facebook is hurting people.

When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, ‘I’m not on social media.’ And I would say, ‘OK. You know, you will be. And then they would say, ‘No, no, no. I value my real-life interactions. I value the moment. I value presence. I value intimacy.’ And I would say, … ‘We’ll get you eventually.’

Parker discussed the possible psychological effects of social media and Facebook in particular, especially for children who are now growing up in a digitally connected age:

I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.

The former Facebook President discussed the company’s initial aim, which was mainly centered around drawing in and building their audience:

The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.

Parker described Facebook’s appeal as a “social-validation feedback loop” which exploits human psychology to keep users coming back to the app:

It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.

Parker also briefly discussed how his vast wealth is likely to allow him to live longer than the average person due to advances in medical science

Social Media, Making Your Life Worse Just By Using It, And it Proves Sturgeon’s Law

I tend to notice trends early.  I quit Twitter 4 years ago as soon as work didn’t (unofficially) require it.  Almost every time I used it, the conversation degraded by the 3rd or 4th tweet into something political, followed by unsubstantiated name calling.  You have to have a thick skin and a terse personality to want to survive out there.

A few years later I tried helping a friend get on Facebook and we both decided that it was like a high school reunion, or being in high school where you make up stuff to seem like your life is better than others.  He finally told me to stop and to not put him on.  At that point it dawned on me that most of social media falls under Sturgeon’s Law:

Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything is crap.

 

There might be a corollary that 99% of social media is crap.

The trend I noticed besides people acting false was that I never felt better after being on twitter and I loathe Facebook for the same reason.  This was 5-8 years ago and now the studies are coming out proving what I noticed.

A recent article in the USA today talked about another high schoolish trend, mob mentality.

Social media also has polluted our more general life, with the ability to form online mobs increasing, as Prof. Glenn Reynolds aka Instapundit recently wrote in USA Today:

People enjoy forming mobs. Mobs allow people to do things they’d be afraid to do on their own, to steal, to hurt and kill, to burn and destroy — and also to feel set free from the bonds of civil society, to experience a kind of atavistic catharsis, a feeling of power and a solidarity with their fellow rioters, in a way that’s otherwise difficult to achieve, especially without suffering serious consequences….

But now there’s a new kind of mob, an online mob. And judging by the events of the past week, this new mob is becoming a more frequent problem. Part of that is because it’s easier (and safer) to be part of an online mob than one in the real world.

Joining a real mob requires you to leave your house, go somewhere else, and experience risks and discomforts. Joining an online mob can be done from an easy chair at home.

There are times that I post something and bizarre comments come it, so much so that I have to moderate them according to the policy on the sidebar.  Some just violate the policy too much.  It’s like twitter, if it can get political it usually does.  Since I’ve posted a lot about the military and patriotism, I caught a lot of crap.

I read a blog post by Legal Insurrection that noted the increase in suicides and the link that may exist between the two.

A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel

Social Media and Teen Depression: The Two Go Hand-In-Hand

Rise in teen suicide connected to social media popularity: study

Suicide rate’s increase can be tied to social media, technology: Dr. Marc Siegel

Using Many Social Media Platforms Linked With Depression, Anxiety Risk

Why don’t people just put it down?  It looks to be like the new next cigarette, just as addictive and equally as bad for you.

As for me, I can go about my day enjoying not getting into useless tweet storms and having my head glued to my phone.  Hell, I won’t even put Facebook on because I don’t want them in my life.

I’d like to say the higher IQ people would be immune to this, but it’s not true.  They are just as susceptible to this and it goes under things they shouldn’t do.

WHAT FACEBOOK KNOWS AND IT ISN’T TELLING YOU

It preys on Women’s emotions and other mind altering and interfering techniques and the company KNOWS THAT IT IS DOING IT.

Even former Facebook President Sean Parker realizes the pitfalls of Facebook:

The former Facebook President discussed the company’s initial aim, which was mainly centered around drawing in and building their audience:

The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’ And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.

Parker described Facebook’s appeal as a “social-validation feedback loop” which exploits human psychology to keep users coming back to the app:

It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology. The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.

Comments such as this from Facebook former President, combined with Facebook’s mishandling of user data, has led to a greater level of distrust around the company. What was previously seen as just a website by many users was becoming better known as a data collection company.

It turns out that platforms like Facebook are the “Junk Food For the Soul”.  In other words crap that isn’t good for you.

When the name of the article is Facebook was designed to exploit human vulnerability, there is a big problem.

THE CESSPOOL OF HATE AND DISCRIMINATION BY TWITTER

Just say something, anything and pretty soon it can turn into a hate storm if you offend someone or anyone.  I saw someone post here’s a picture of a rock, let the arguing begin just to prove it and it did.

Now, it looks like Twitter the company is shadow banning users and groups of users just because someone complained that they don’t like the person’s views, even if they aren’t a follower.

When I check I often find that a user who has blocked me is someone I have never interacted with. So why the block? Often, it’s due to being on a block list created by a liberal activist group. Twitter supports block lists and makes it easy for users to mass-block entire universes of people they don’t even know.

But Twitter now uses factors such as the number of people who have blocked an account to determine whether to classify it as “low quality” content. The company also uses the number of complaints or reports on the account. If the number of these exceeds certain thresholds, an account can be deemed low quality and access to tweets from that user are severely diminished.

I couldn’t wait to leave that platform of time-wasting and hate and my life is better because of it.

High IQ Humor – Math Version

Hat tip to What’s Up With That

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Possibly The Worst Website Names One Could Pick Or How NOT to Combine Words

Things Men Have Said During A Rectal Exam – Humor

Something to laugh at, especially if you are a many over 40 and go through this yearly.  I choose women doctors because they have smaller hands and fingers and are more compassionate.

Reflections On Growing Older

I’ll bet if you ask most people of a certain age, they are going to realize that this is true.  I remember asking my father for life advice on his 75th birthday.  He answered, “where did it all go so fast?”  You’ll find that one below also.

Read and learn if you are young, commiserate if you agree.

    #1  –  I talk to myself because there are times I need expert advice.

    #2  –  I consider “In Style” to be the clothes that still fit.

    #3  –  I don’t need anger management.  I need people to stop pissing me off.

    #4  –  My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance for idiots that needs work.

    #5  –  The biggest lie I tell myself is, “I don’t need to write that down.  I’ll remember it.”

    #6  –  I have days when my life is just a tent away from a circus.

    #7  –  These days, “on time” is when I get there.

    #8  –  Even duct tape can’t fix stupid – but it sure does muffle the sound.

    #9  –  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes, then come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller?

    #10  –  Lately, I’ve noticed people my age are so much older than me.

    #11  –  “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering why I’m there.

    #12  –  When I was a child, I thought nap time was punishment.  Now it feels like a mini-vacation.

    #13  –  Some days I have no idea what I’m doing out of bed.

    #14  –  I thought growing old would take longer.

    #15  –  Aging sure has slowed me down, but it hasn’t shut me up.

    #16  –  I still haven’t learned to act my age and doubt I’ll live that long.


Unfortunately, these are all sadly true!

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Humor – How to Write More Better

California Humor

Here is a little Friday humor, inspired by all the recent going’s on in the news about housing prices, immigration, pot, high taxes, overburdensome government regulation and the usual stuff you read about.

1. Your coworker has 8 body piercings and none are visible.
2. You make over $300,000 and still can’t afford a house.
3. You take a bus and are shocked at two people carrying on a conversation in English.
4. Your child’s 3rd-grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Flower.
5. You can’t remember . . . is pot illegal?
6. You’ve been to a baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.
7. You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and you can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.
8. You can’t remember . . . . is pot illegal?
9. A really great parking space can totally move you to tears.
10. Gas costs $1.00 per gallon more than anywhere else in the U.S.
11. Unlike back home, the guy at 8:30 am at Starbucks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses who looks like George Clooney really IS George Clooney.
12. Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.
13. You can’t remember . . . .is pot illegal?
14. It’s barely sprinkling rain and there’s a report on every news station: “STORM WATCH.”
15. You pass an elementary school playground and the children are all busy with their cell phones.
16. Or it’s barely sprinkling rain outside, so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents.
17. HEY!!!! Is pot illegal????
18. Both you AND your dog have therapists, psychics, personal trainers and cosmetic surgeons.
19 The Terminator was your governor.
20. If you drive illegally, they take your driver’s license. If you’re here illegally, they want to give you one.

Hat tip to American Digest for this one.

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What Is The World Coming To? – Humor

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How Men and Women See Colors Differently

Being Rude To Others At Work; Who is Worse, Men or Women?

I love controversial subjects, especially among the sexes.  Nothing gets the hackles up quicker than something that offends what you hold close to your heart.  I’ve worked with the media for decades and sensationalism is what sells.  It’s sex, death, murder, immorality, bankruptcy, divorce and other vices that can be cherry picked to place on the headline.  This is not real life, like…..

Ye old workplace.

It is a petri dish of human interaction that has been infected by #MeToo, harassment, incivility, sexism, partiality, affairs and occasionally competent work and results.  I’ve already discussed if Men and Women can work together here, and Women now swear more than men, so I found this article and it looked either like a headline maker or a trend.  I decided to find out.

Having sat through weeks of diversity training that is beyond boring and is a CYA for the legal department, I’ve been told that you can’t say certain things, act in a ways that could be demeaning or sexually suggestive or anything outside of plain vanilla.  I choose to keep to myself and observe.  That is why this study caught my eye.  The behavior is far outside of my diversity training, yet it goes on unabated.

WHO ARE THE BIGGEST OFFENDERS?

A recent study shows that women are reporting that it is other women who are the most rude and uncivil towards women.  It goes like this:

In terms of how it is acted out:

“Across the three studies, we found consistent evidence that women reported higher levels of incivility from other women than their male counterparts,” Gabriel says. “In other words, women are ruder to each other than they are to men, or than men are to women.

“This isn’t to say men were off the hook or they weren’t engaging in these behaviors,” she notes. “But when we compared the average levels of incivility reported, female-instigated incivility was reported more often than male-instigated incivility by women in our three studies.”

THE QUEEN BEE SYNDROME

The article at the link above states:

The phenomenon of women discriminating against other women in the workplace—particularly as they rise in seniority—has long been documented as the “queen bee syndrome.” As women have increased their ranks in the workplace, most will admit to experiencing rude behavior and incivility.

Who is at fault for dishing out these mildly deviant behaviors? Has the syndrome grown more pervasive?

“Studies show women report more incivility experiences overall than men, but we wanted to find out who was targeting women with rude remarks,” says Allison Gabriel, assistant professor of management and organizations in the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.

 

I worked with a female named Sandy.  No one was harder to understand or trust as a senior manager than she.  My friends would dread working for her and it was a success not to get fired before your term was complete.  Everyone tried to get out as fast as they could, or would not seek a promotion just to not work for or with her.

I WANTED TO KNOW SO I ASKED THEM IF IT WAS TRUE, WHAT THEY SAID, PERHAPS NSFW

I like to look at things from the point of view of how would an intellectual view this.  Normally, this would entail a scientific study without bias, with control groups and so forth.  My observation is that people’s behavior is not scientific when it comes to emotions and I’ve been told by  those of the female persuasion that they are more likely to be emotional.  I couldn’t argue the point, nor did I care to.

Therefore, I figured that asking some females if this was correct and what they’ve seen at work would be my best estimate as to whether this is true.  Please note that some of the comments while stated verbatim are not always complimentary and some are off-color.  Commenters:  Note, if you get pissed off, these are answers by women to a question I asked about working with females and is the study accurate.  If you just want to hate, please go elsewhere as if it’s directed at me, it’s a fart in the wind and that’s how I’ll treat it.

Here are some responses:

Females can be bitchy, catty. other names.

She slept her way to her position.

She got there because of her looks (or tits), not her ability.

She dresses like a whore.

There is one bitch who leans over in front of guys to get her way.

Women are the biggest backstabbers.

Sure there is an occasional guy who bugs me or tries to hit on me, but girls are far worse as a group.

Sure she was nice when she was one of us, but as soon as they gave her a little power, she turned on us like we’d done something to her.

She’s great to work for if you are female.  She only promotes women and you can get your way over any guys.

Women here can only manage 2 inches in front of their face.  They don’t get the big picture or work towards the company’s goals.

Once you make it clear you aren’t going to sleep with them, the men are much easier to work with or for.  The mission and strategy are clear and they can focus on that.

Guys will either just not say anything or will tell you how it is.  The girls say something to your face and f__k you over behind your back if you aren’t in their group.

Guys handle success and failure better than the girls I work with.  One of them always takes it personally and spends weeks trying to get back at you instead of trying to get work done.

I can never trust what a woman says to me.  Guys don’t lie as much or as well as girls do unless they want in your pants.

Women talk too much and I can’t get my work done.

When aunt Flo comes calling honey you better hide from that bitch.

Just get more than one female together in a group and watch the fireworks.

Guys are used to joking, I think they learned it in a locker room or something.  They can cuss each other out in a meeting  and it’s like a punch in the arm and then go have a beer.  A woman will hold something you say to her against you for the rest of your life.

Enough!  Most of these I got multiple times, which is why they made the list.  I stopped asking because this attitude was overwhelming me.

CONCLUSION

I can only surmise that it is tough for women to work with women.  I didn’t give it much thought until I read this study, but it does appear that women are more difficult towards other women at the workplace

 

 

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High IQ Humor, Or Grammar Junkies

All The National Lampoon Covers

 

Fun Facts Like Betty White IS older than Sliced Bread, A Break from The News, Fake News and Shitholes

With all the crap that is in the news today, I’m taking a break of levity with some interesting facts.  Since I got this from someone else, some of it could be disputed, like peas on pizza, but it’s a hell of a lot closer to the truth than you’ll read in the news.
1. A strawberry isn’t a berry but a banana is.
2. Avocados and watermelon are berries, too.
3. Cashews grow on trees like this:
4. And Brussels sprouts grow in long stalks like this:
Flickr / Creative Commons / Katy Stoddard / Via Flickr: 68067047@N00
5. Chocolate milk was invented in Ireland.
6. Ketchup used to be sold as medicine.
7. Carrots were originally purple.
8. McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers every second of every day.
9. Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing
10. Ripe cranberries will bounce like rubber balls.
11. An average ear of corn has an even number of rows, usually 16.
12. Betty White is actually older than sliced bread.
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for TV Land
13. Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas.
14. Honey never spoils. You can eat 32,000-year-old honey.
15. Peanuts are not nuts. They grow in the ground like this, so they are legumes.
16. Vending machines are twice as likely to kill you than a shark is.
17. Coconuts kill more people than sharks every year. So do cows.
18. Pound cake got its name from its original recipe, which called for a pound each of butter, eggs, sugar, and flour.
19. The probability of you drinking a glass of water that contains a molecule of water that also passed through a dinosaur is almost 100%.
20. Honey is made from nectar and bee vomit.
21. Pineapples grow like this:
22. Quinoa is the seeds of this plant:
23. Kiwis grow on vines:
Bignai / Getty Images
24. Ginger is the root of a plant:
25. And cinnamon is just the inner part of this tree:
Flickr / Creative Commons / Abby Flat-coat / / Via Flickr: 22912005@N06
26. And artichokes are flowers that are eaten as buds. This is what they look like when flowered:
Flickr / Creative Commons / Wayne Marshall
27. “Spam” is short for spiced ham.
28. Popsicles were invented by an 11-year-old in 1905.
29. Apples, like pears and plums, belong to the rose family.
30. The official state vegetable of Oklahoma is the watermelon. 
31. Peas are one the most popular pizza toppings in Brazil:
32. There are over 7,500 varieties of apples throughout the world, and it would take you 20 years to try them all if you had one each day.
33. The twists in pretzels are made to look like arms crossed in prayer.
34. Canola oil was originally called rapeseed oil, but renamed by the Canadian oil industry in 1978 to avoid negative connotations. “Canola” is short for “Canadian oil.”
35. And no matter what color Froot Loop you eat, they all taste the same.

Actual Maps of Where The #Shitholes Are – An A-Polititical Post On Where They Exist

First, I am not going to weigh in on what a world leader has said.  Every time I have ever tried it, nothing is gained as everyone has their own opinion and trying to sway it is not what I care about.  Enjoy your center, left, right or whatever political position you wish.

I was looking for whether this actually exists.  Here is what I’ve found.

UPDATE: Portland is the newest shit hole. Click on the link: Portland: American epicenter of degeneracy, depression, and ANTIFA.

Here is a link and a screenshot of a map from the Rice Institute based showing countries with the most open defecation.

Forbes published a list of the world’s dirtiest cities.  Without passing judgement, they seem to line up with the shitholes in the map so the facts seem to be in order.

Next, is it possible that the United States has places where there is open defecation?  I found that map also.

Below is the link and screenshot also, but in case you don’t recognize it, this is San Francisco.

Now, after reading this, one can add it to their travel plans to go and help, or avoid for sanitary purposes, you choose.  If you go to San Francisco, zoom in and you can see where to not step in a pile of poop.  As I type that, I realize that it is sad for what is supposed to be one of the leading cities of the US, and one so close to silicon valley.

It also gives everyone equal political fodder to take shots at whomever.  In these days of political partisanship, nothing or nobody is safe by the 3rd or 4th comment, so I expect the same.

I just got curious and I wondered if what was said was true or not. Apparently it is.

Here is the link to the recent study of sanitation including feces, used syringes and other disease carrying trash in the heart of San Francisco.  It’s a shame since it is in the heart of the restaurant and hotel area.  You’d think that the tourism officials would do something about this, but looking at the graph indicates the problem escalating.

UPDATE: San Francisco is getting over 80 calls a day to report human feces for clean up.  In the same report were almost as many instances of needles despite the fact that there are safe injection spaces for shooting up an illegal drug that destroys lives.

 

UPDATE: It turns out that Denver is now officially classified as a shithole also.  They passed an act that you can drop trou and pinch a loaf right on the street.  Here is the story and the reason why they passed the law.

UPDATE: It looks like Hawaii isn’t as pristine as one thinks of it.  The cesspools and the water around the islands are contaminated enough to make it a shithole also.  There is a link within this link that goes to the WSJ.

Video Update: A large portion of Orange county is now a 3rd world shithole also.

After all is said and done, I thought that having to have a map to not step in a pile of human feces makes a city the biggest shithole.  It turns out that I was wrong.

According to the Government services including the EPA, ACS and the Census bureau comes this little gem:

The City that Never Sleeps ranked the highest in three out of five categories, placing it as shittest-city-in-the-nation of 427.9 on Busy Bee’s “dirtiness index.” The next closest competitor for all the wrong reasons is Los Angeles, which has a dirtiness index of 317.8. To complete the top five list, the remaining dirtiest cities are Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

So not only do you have to pay way more more to live in these places, they have worse air, bigger rats and more cockroaches, they turn out to be the shitholes that we all thought they were.  Why anyone would choose to live there knowing there?

SR-71 Speed Story: Aspen 30, I show you at 1990 Knots Across the Ground

It’s a dog’s life

I got good response on my dog, Boxer Rebellion as well as my interview series, so I thought I’d interview her by describing her day.

Here’s how it goes…..

Wake up, Oh boy, it’s Christmas day, every day! my favorite!
Go for a walk, Oh boy! my favorite!
Eat Dog Food, Oh boy! my favorite!
Play with my toys, Oh Boy! my favorite!
Bark at the kids leaving for school, Oh boy! my favorite!
Nap, Oh boy! my favorite!
Lunch with Dad, maybe some people food, Oh boy! my favorite!
Go for a walk, Oh boy! my favorite!
Bark at the mailman, Oh boy! my favorite!
Kids come home from school, Oh boy! my favorite!
Nap, Oh boy! my favorite!
If I’m good, I get a treat, Oh boy! my favorite!
Dog food, Oh boy! my favorite!
Bark and play with my toys, Oh boy! my favorite!
Go for a walk, Oh boy! my favorite!
Time for bed, sleep on Dad, Oh boy! my favorite!

Here is a similar version I found on the web, but includes cats.

Ferrous Wheel – High IQ Humor

I saw this on the Interweb.  Those either quirky enough, with a certain strain of humor; or perhaps Chemistry, Geology or similar majors will get it.

Schaeffer’s Law’s of the Digital Age – The Non-Racial Master/Slave Paradigm Through Digital Monitoring

Schaeffer’s First Law of the Digital Age:

The Global Digital Infrastructure (GDI) connects all human life on the planet into a single, giant, metastasizing organism throbbing with incredible potential for advancing human good, expanding knowledge exponentially, invading our lives with unimaginable malice and evil, and transforming unsuspecting users into helpless and obedient cyborgs.

Schaeffer’s Second Law of the Digital Age:

Each breakthrough in utility deriving from advances in the Global Digital Domain is accompanied by equal or greater vulnerabilities and potential detriments to quality of life.  Anything that can do amazingly great things for you can almost always do terribly awful things to you as well.

Schaeffer’s Third Law of the Digital Age:

It’s impossible to make or enforce laws to guard the people against the dangers of global digital power and impossible to prevent exponential growth in this power.  The Zuckerbergs and Bezoses and Googles of the world may propose to use their power benevolently, but they plan to use it and grow it without limit.  They claim they’ll be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

I’m not a conspiracy person, rather an observer of trends and patterns.  Haven’t we been down this path before in history where there are classes of people?  This time, they start as digital helpers like Alexa, Echo, Google assistant or Siri, but at what point are they re-directing our lives?  Aren’t there always people who try to control your lives thus enriching their lives both in money and power.

Since there are hackers constantly attacking the cloud, where your data is stored and accessible, when you lose control over your life?  The digital hacks can be found at Krebsonsecurity.com.

It has already begun with your digital footprint being tracked, monitored and being sold off to advertisers, but where does it stop, the Jetson’s?

I advise that you carefully monitor who is monitoring you, even the government.

Now for fun, why is that in the movies that the robots always try to take over the world and kill humans?

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Ronald Reagan Reviews The Book What Happened, by Hillary Clinton

Nobody Cares About Celebrities Opinions, Or For Celebrities For That Matter

This post was inspired by Candace who states:


Actors are people who are famous for being able to imitate and to pretend.  This does not qualify them for NASA, Weather Condition determination or basically anything else.  They are something to look at, listen to on-screen and forget.  Rinse and repeat.

They used to be respected more when they cared for their country, their fans and people in general.  Social media, fame and fortune have convinced them that someone actually cares what they think.  There have been some who actually contributed to the betterment of the world, but most of them were in the WWII class.

These days, they seem to have a delusion that their opinion on politics, climate change, gender identity, what to eat and anything else would actually matter to someone outside of Hollywood.  They are a part of the do as I say, not as I do crowd.  In fact they are the president of the club.

TRAIN WRECK

The basic nature of people is that they care about people who think like they do or conversely, are looking for a train wreck.  Celebrities and now many sports figures fit into these categories.

Last night, the Emmy’s were a train wreck, at least in ratings by reaching an all time low in viewership.

People are tired of them pontificating about anything or their pet cause, even if it is noble.  Shut up and act and don’t tell us what to do.  Most of us who live real lives are smarter and have more common sense.

SPORTS ALSO

The overpaid sports stars are now getting into the act by trying to inform us on how we are to act with respect to our personal patriotism.  Again, shut up and play the game.  They are entertainment for us to distract us from daily life at best.  We don’t care about your personal vendetta’s that you thrust upon us because somehow your millions don’t make up for your perceived injustice.

How do I know this?  The NFL is now worried about dwindling numbers both at the stadiums and the TV numbers.  Go to the link and find one team who can’t even sell out a 27,000 seat stadium.

Some of the athletes think that we care what they think because they can play a kids game.

I read this at Diogenes Middle Finger and found it enlightening on the subject as he called out the assholiness of LeBron James.  BTW, you should follow DMF, a blog I read daily and recommend it.

It’s not as if we’re talking about some of the real heroes in sports of my youth, here. The Lebron James’ of the world did not have to struggle, and in the process, advance the character and quality of American Life by their example, like some of my childhood heroes did. Lebron James is no Hank Aaron, suffering death threats for being good enough to threaten a cherished record, or being a — maybe THE — visible symbol of the pernicious, past influence of racism.

James wouldn’t be judged worthy to hold Muhammad Ali’s jockstrap, on his best day. He certainly couldn’t make you think about a common humanity, couldn’t be a universal symbol of hope, like Ali did and was.

Jim Brown would run Lebron James over and trample him into the dirt, demanding respect. Just respect. James will never have the grace, the quiet dignity, or garner the universal love, of a Gayle Sayers.

In fact, James is most likely the visible symbol of the moral decay and decadence of the Modern Athlete, and symptomatic of the greater trend in society wherein people who obviously couldn’t find their own asses with both hands and a road map consistently have microphones shoved in their faces with an expectation that they will — as if by magic — make some profound statement that will occupy the intellect and nourish the soul.

VOTING WITH OUR WALLETS

The net of it is that movie sales are declining, there are fewer attendees in sports and the only people who care about actors are other actors, and I’ll bet they don’t like each other that much either.

WHEN CELEBTARDS ARE BETTER NOT TALKING BECAUSE THEY DON’T THINK

Barbra Streisand should just stick to singing, or retiring.

Update:  The 2018 Oscars were last night.  They went on about #MeToo, yet it was their ilk that were the worst offenders of moral debauchery.  Instead, they chose to reduce their likeability and their relevance by again making it political.  I wonder how they justify in their minds that the rest of the country actually cares what they think about anything (except millineals who believe anything and eat Tide pods). Jennifer Lawrence, with her 8th grade education is going to save democracy while she is taking a year off from acting.

 

 

 

The most relevant tweet of the event was this one:

The Real Nature Of Freedom, Economic and Political and the Interrelationship Between The Two

In these days of divisiveness, there are some facts based on economics that are hard to refute, even if you don’t want to admit it.  I enjoy discussion by people of high IQ and of great wisdom, something the world of Political Correctness is sadly overlooking.

What Is the Hierarchy of Identity Politics?

The 2008 and 2012 election showed that a coalition of minorities was the winning formula.  As for 2016, not so much.

With all the minority identity groups out there vying for political power, social media control, fund raising and media presence; how do they stack up when they compete for hierarchy?  At some point, when the power and money is being doled out, the queue is determined by some order.  Who are these groups and how do they vie for power?

Author disclaimer: I have no dog in this hunt.  I am a pattern watcher and try to learn from them.  Human nature is hard to understand and explain due to it’s ever changing allies and favored group status depending on circumstances.  I was watching the groups at the last election and wondered how you coalesce a group of disparate people with conflicting causes as a voter block.

Who are they?

While this isn’t a comprehensive list and I am not discriminating as I just Googled it, the last election revealed the groups of Black Lives Matter (BLM), LGBTQ (apologies if I omitted a letter), Islam (including ISIS), socialists, Antifa, environmentalists and feminists.  They each compete for their cause and have usually selected an enemy with whom they are opposed to, but are now conflicting with each other in the power grab.  They for the most part have an ideological position (some more than others) and garner the lion’s share of media attention.

What happens when the identity groups who desire to command the headlines conflict for attention and finances?

 

Before the haters come out, I write this post because of my position that one of the characteristics of a higher IQ is the ability to argue from multiple positions on a subject. I will proceed with this post from that premise.

I also am merely an observer of trends. The consolidating power of the above listed groups is becoming a relevant discussion regardless of where you source your information. I’ve excluded the typical mainstream media as sources of information on both sides as their coverage is either too conservative or liberal.  Their inherent bias excludes them from this conversation.  I also excluded Hollywood and celebrities since they have a limited integration with the real world and often spout declarations for others which they do not adhere to.  When you get to the heart of their talent, they pretend to be others and to take their opinions seriously is difficult at best.

Here are non-comprehensive, yet representative examples of identity group disagreements.

BLM vs. LGBTQ

I first noticed this when BLM shut down a gay pride parade.

These are two significant voter populations when added together.

What surprised me that it was during the last election cycle and both groups made up a voting block for the same candidate.  From said article:

BLM held Toronto Pride hostage, unless their demands, which included excluding police from the parade, were immediately met.

(Pride parades typically have contingents of LGBT cops and firefighters, and booths set up by the local LGBT officers’ group at the accompanying street festival.)

Judging by their success in forcing Toronto Pride to capitulate, I suspect we’ll see Black Lives Matter groups protesting more Pride parades in the future. And as a longtime national and international LGBT rights activist, I have a problem with that.

In my internet search for protests, it seems that BLM also protested and shut down Bernie Sanders and Hillary whom they supported.  It goes without saying that they all protested Trump, but that is not the point of my curiosity as I assumed this was a given.  This alone is surprising since both are a part of the coalition of voters candidates need to be elected per the aforementioned 2008/2012/2016 campaigns.

ISLAM vs. Feminists and LGBTQ

I later observed the Muslim and ISIS positions that women are treated poorly and that homosexuals were declared wrong and being executed. On a side point, they also considered most pets as unclean and black dogs should be killed (animal cruelty), which brings in the animal rights group, but they don’t be as significant as the other groups currently.  Apparently, women don’t have the same rights as men and must be subservient.

Then there is the recent Linda Sansour dust up revealing this dichotomy:

  • What the West needs to know is that in the Muslim world, jihad is considered more important than women, family happiness and life itself. If we are told, as Linda Sarsour said, that Islam stands for peace and justice, what we are not told is that “peace” in Islam will come only after the whole world has converted to Islam, and that “justice” means law under Sharia: whatever is inside Sharia is “justice;” whatever is not in Sharia is not “justice.”
  • Rebelling against Sharia is, sadly, for the Muslim woman, unthinkable. How can a healthy and normal feminist movement develop under an Islamic legal system that can flog, stone and behead women? That is why Sarsour’s jihadist kind of feminism is no heroic kind of feminism but the only feminism a Muslim woman can practice that will give her a degree of respect, acceptance, and even preferential treatment over other women. In Islam, that is the only kind of feminism allowed to develop.

It further goes on to say:

Sarsour apparently identifies as a feminist. Sarsour’s kind of feminism, however, embraces the most oppressive legal system, especially for women: Islamic religious law, Sharia. Sarsour’s feminism is supposedly for empowering women, but it twists logic in a way similar to how Muslim preachers do when they claim that beating one’s wife is a husband’s way of honoring her.

Here is the dichotomy:

Pro-Sharia feminism is a perverted kind of feminism that could not care less about the well-being of oppressed Muslim women. Sarsour’s logic concerning women does not differ much from that of Suad Saleh, an Egyptian female Islamic cleric, who recently justified on Egyptian TV the doctrine of intentional humiliation and rape of captured women in Islam. Saleh said, “One of the purposes of raping captured enemy women and young girls was to humiliate and disgrace them and that is permissible under Islamic law.” There was not even a peep in Egypt’s civil society about such a statement.

On 7/25/17 a direct conflict happened when this occurred: An Oakland Muslim plotted to attack a gay club in San Francisco and talked about killing thousands of innocents on behalf of ISIS.

Finally, there is this non-sequitur that I can’t fathom:

“Feminist” Muslim women calling beatings by their husbands a “blessing from Allah”!

Who wants a beating?

ISLAM (ISIS) vs. Antifa

I don’t fully understand this one.  It has the trappings of a sibling quarrel at best.  ISIS is claiming that Antifa has culturally appropriated their uniforms, that being their black flag and terrorist tactics. 

Here are some details:

Based on this proof, we hereby request that the UNHRC’s CESCR begin an immediate investigation into this matter, and, if you concur that ANTIFA is culturally appropriating ISIS, that you use all means at your disposal to put a stop to it. You could start by visiting this ANTIFA website, which contains links to many of its affiliates throughout the world.

Sincerely,

ISIS High Command

PS: You might mention to the ANTIFA punks that in quite a few aspects, we are at war with the very same people, organizations and ideas, and, in fact, Western civilization itself. So, if you could arrange a sit-down over tea with us, and them, it might serve all of our interests, and provide a holistic, inclusive resolution to our complaint.

Islam appears to have support from the media and the left side of the political sphere as does the other listed minorities claiming status.  One can see the obvious conflicts.

Socialists

It appeared that quite a bit of traction was gained by the Bernie Sanders crowd.  It seemed to have enough momentum to be a winning group within its’ primary. Somehow, it was defeated by a political machine by what is being revealed as suspicious activities.

Nevertheless, a discussion of the socialism movement by Ross Wolf summarizes some of my points:

Ross Wolfe argues in The Charnel House, the identity politics that arose in the 1960s, ‘70s and ’80s developed in reaction to the identity politics of actually-existing socialism itself:

The various forms of identity politics associated with the “new social movements” coming out of the New Left during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s (feminism, black nationalism, gay pride) were themselves a reaction, perhaps understandable, to the miserable failure of working-class identity politics associated with Stalinism coming out of the Old Left during the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s (socialist and mainstream labor movements). Working-class identity politics — admittedly avant la lettre — was based on a crude, reductionist understanding of politics that urged socialists and union organizers to stay vigilant and keep on the lookout for “alien class elements.” Any and every form of ideological deviation was thought to be traceable to a bourgeois or petit-bourgeois upbringing. One’s political position was thought to flow automatically and mechanically from one’s social position, i.e. from one’s background as a member of a given class within capitalist society.

Questions I Have

If you are courting one group, how do you avoid alienating another group if there is acrimony?  At some point you step on the wrong toes.

If there is limited money, how does the donor decide who gets it without upsetting other groups?

How do you herd this group of cats to vote together when trying to win an election?  It worked twice, but failed recently and there is finger pointing as to why.

What is Racist?

In Seattle, they can’t clean the sidewalks with pressure washers because it could be racist.

Council member Larry Gossett said he didn’t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.

It seems that non-black people using gifs are being racist also.  I don’t understand this one though.

Finally, who wins this victim’s game?

I found this, which is someone else’s answer and not necessarily my view, but it seems to apply here:

The criteria used to judge that is two-fold: the perceived grievance and victimhood status of the group (more = better), and the amount of room within it for ideological and political pluralism (more = worse).

So I guess you have out victim everyone else.  By doing so, it disrupts the coalition of identities required by one of the political parties to win elections.  I suppose it is a popularity contest to win the money and the status.

My final observation is that human nature is the constant here.  People are selfish enough to grab power and money when possible.  Most do not have the ability to argue from multiple positions on the same subject and are ideologues for their cause.

This alone is going to make a coalition such as the one that voted in the president in 2008 difficult.  Being a female wasn’t enough of a victim status in the 2016 election.

These are things I ponder as we wind our way down the path of being a country.

 

What You Had To Know In 1910 To Pass The 8th Grade Test

For my fellow High IQ readers, see how you would do on this test.  It’s not are you as smart as a 5th grader.  No, it’s much tougher.  No wonder that our public school system is turning out under educated students.  It appears that not only did our ancestors have to walk to school in the snow, they had to actually learn more than google on a smart phone.

Perhaps if they could pass this test, they wouldn’t have as much time to spend on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Press on.

Image

Happy Pi Day

Indicator That Harvard Might Not Be A Good Place To Study For Intellectuals

This post was supposed to fall in the intellectual category for people to decide if Harvard has the qualities that high IQ people still desire (such as being able to see/argue multiple sides of an issue).  They have managed to ruin any hope of defending both sides of an issue given the updates as you read them below.  I’ll leave it for those who may be on the fence, and wish them the best in their decision.

Original Post Begins Here

If you look at the previous post, you will see some of the traits you might have indicating a high intellect.

One of them is the ability to see and argue from multiple perspectives.  To have this trait, you have to shut out ideological thinking or persuasiveness of others before developing a hypothesis.  Many have preconceived thoughts on a subject, political stance or values influenced by others rather than examining all aspects of a subject.  In other words, they read one side of a subject on the Internet and believe what they want to.  Everyone has a bias, but one needs to come to problems with an open mind and use facts and history to evaluate the solution otherwise you run at least a 50% chance of being wrong.

Harvard has released their list of Fake News sites.  This is a popular subject given the 2016 Presidential election.  If you look at the coverage and predictions of the various news sites, you can come to a conclusion which ones were actually wrong (based on forecasts, coverage and predictions) and if their coverage was biased or indeed “Fake News”.  You have to make up your own mind where you stand on this.  I am not saying their position is necessarily wrong, rather questioning their intelligence.

The list is decidedly one-sided, showing a bias.  This is unfortunate.  Again, readers have to decide if this is correct or not.  No one or news institution is right or wrong 100% of the time.

In fair disclosure, one trait may indicate nothing, or it may be the bread crumb down the trail of truth if they are the institution they claim to be.  Once more, each must reach his or her own conclusion.  I show later in the post how I came to my decision about the title based more on empirical evidence.

Given the perceived prestige that comes with a Harvard degree (note: I did not say education), one would hope that the inflated price for such would be well spent money.  It would appear that their logic in such a one-sided position on what is “Fake News” doesn’t indicate that they show this intellectual trait.  You take a chance where to get an education or where you send your kids.  One just hopes that it is the right decision.  Since almost every decision is a cost/benefit analysis in your mind, one now must question if it is worth it.  Maybe your kid isn’t really an intellectual so the point might be moot.

I realize that you can develop relationships with power people at college that can advance a successful career.  It is not the point of this discussion.  I am merely observing a perceived status and whether it is justified or not.

Worst Update: Harvard is one of the top 10 suppressors of free speech, a further indicator that they are pushing away one of the attributes of intellectuals

Update: Harvard now supports segregation.  MLK would not have wanted this.

Update: Harvard Grad students have organized themselves to start a resistance school.

Update: Students don’t understand the danger of ISIS.

Update: You can now submit a rap album as a senior thesis instead of actual academic work.

Update: Harvard discriminates, avoids meritocracy and endorses legacy of the privileged

Update 2: Apparently, they have now abandoned diversity and have become racist, albeit not in the traditional way.

The grad students, who consider themselves a progressive version of “Dumbledore’s Army,” have enlisted former Obama staffers to teach the class sessions. The syllabus includes readings on “Black-Palestinian Queer Reciprocal Solidarity.”

They have decidedly taken a position of only viewing issues from one side.  One should greatly question the concept of critical thinking ability being taught there.  For those of us who can balance multiple views of the same subject, it is clear that these snowflakes will be under-educated and might be damaged goods in the marketplace of talent.

I formed my own opinion having worked for decades with Ivy League educated employees, albeit somewhat weighted towards Harvard and Columbia.  It was made exceedingly clear by a PR flak who after having worked with a number of Harvard MBA’s stated that they had obviously wasted their money on their education.  We were working for a prestigious company that attracts genius level talent.  She showed remarkable intuition that caused me to further observe the Ivy’s. The majority didn’t last as they had a piece of paper saying that they should be smart, but lacked an education in people or the understanding that life is a series of challenges and hurdles.

Some of the most successful executives and workers I’ve encountered didn’t rely on their degree in school, rather what they learned in life and how they applied it to the next problem.

While history reveals that many leaders and intelligent people came from Harvard, the direction they are heading and the principles that they now uphold should add some cost to the side of the cost/benefit decision making process.  I hope it’s worth it if you choose it as your place for an education.  You will apparently get an institution that has a bias.

Are You Intelligent, Or Just Think You Are? – The 5 Indicators That You Can’t Fake

Most people think the are smarter than they are but usually are wrong.  This has nothing to do with whether they have a high IQ or have trained extensively in an area (discussed throughout). These are indicators of whether you possess intelligence, but does not discuss whether you use it.

You can go anywhere on the Internet and find any research you want, but here are 5 indicators that show that you have potential for intelligence.

  1. You learn from mistakes
  2. You read for fun
  3. You can argue from multiple perspectives
  4. You think before you speak
  5. You don’t care what others think

I saw this at My Domaine which show 3 of them you can’t fake.

You Learn From Your Mistakes

Intelligent people are able to accept their own failures and re-purpose them into lessons for future success. In fact, a study on decision-making skills reports that critical feedback from a mistake results in better performance the second time around. So while errors and setbacks can be frustrating, highly intelligent people are able to perceive them as growth opportunities.

It could of course be argued that humans are not that intelligent to begin with as we’ve continued to make the same mistakes throughout history.

I would argue that you learn more from a mistake than success.  In giving one of my prodigy advice for life, I told him I didn’t remember every success because I expected it.  I remembered every failure as it hurt and I vowed never to do it again.  Some however never learn. They reveal narcissistic behavior which prevents them from admitting they were wrong.

You’re an Avid Reader

If someone doesn’t cite their sources but insists upon an opinion regardless of evidence, they’re likely exaggerating expertise. A simple way to check is by asking them what they do for fun. Beyond being a good way to gain knowledge about history or experiences that are different from your own, research shows that reading increases memory function, communication skills, and focus.

I am intrigued to talk with people with good vocabularies.  To a person, they are readers of books, not social media.

One of the most intelligent fellows I’ve met was an avid reader, but couldn’t put life together due to lack of common sense.  That is another subject altogether.  He was obviously intelligent, but he couldn’t make good life decisions.

I see people in the gym taking selfies (or at the party, or anywhere) to garner likes on their Instagram or Fake Book (ok Facebook, but it is edited and acts a lot like a high school reunion).  Those who are contemplating intelligent thoughts aren’t as concerned about likes or emoji’s.  They are enjoying a book.

You See Both Sides of an Issue

When someone can articulately and convincingly argue every angle of an argument, they’re genuinely smart. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, reveals the issues with assumptions; if someone is thoughtful and well-informed, they’re probably not faking their intelligence to get ahead. So while they’re really passionate and well-versed on a topic from their own perspective, if they haven’t evaluated all sides of an issue, they don’t understand it (or how to respond to it effectively).

This to me is one of the biggest indicators. The less intelligent can become so fixated on being right that they fail to observe the whole issue.  You can intrinsically know what is correct by understanding which part of the subject being discussed is not correct or what part is flawed.  The logic presents itself when you view it in its entirety.

I exempt lawyers here.  Some of them may actually be intelligent, but they are trained to argue any side of an issue.  Training is not an indicator that you are intelligent other than that you can learn.

You think before you speak

Truly intelligent people have a brain that is quicker than their mouth.

If you take your time to answer people’s questions and think them through to provide a genuine answer that you’ve thought about, you’re one step ahead. 

It is also related with being overly concerned with what others think of you and the idea that you must be right.  Many times, it is best to hear everything that is to be said before you respond.  This point helps clarify celebrity behavior.  They more often than not speak before they think or hear what is being said and then not thinking out the entirety of a subject.  Combined with living in a bubble, the few that are intelligent are overshadowed by the celebtards who have to be heard.  They expose themselves by opening their mouths, most often without their brain in gear.

You don’t care what others think 

Seriously intelligent people don’t consider other people when making decisions.

They don’t think about how others will feel as a result of their own actions and do things regardless of other people’s judgement.

The net of it is look at yourself or your behavior.  If you have these traits, you are likely more intelligent.

There are lists that say more intelligent people are messy and swear more, but I’d rather look for good qualities in people.

How Meetings Are a Waste Of Time and How To Avoid or Get Out of Them

facepalm  I read a WSJ article on ineffective meetings.  It is about the manifesto to end boring meetings.

This brought back thousands of hours of meetings I wished I could have back or would certainly decline to attend had I realized what I know now.  Most of this post is tongue in cheek unlike the WSJ, but I’ll bet everyone wishes they weren’t in so many meetings.

First, let me start out with some quotes I found from The Quote Garden, starting with the one that reminded me most of the meetings I’ve attended:

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.  ~Barnett Cocks, attributed

worfgif

A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.  ~Milton Berle

To kill time, a committee meeting is the perfect weapon.  ~Author Unknown

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”  ~Dave Barry, “Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn”

Our age will be known as the age of committees.  ~Ernest Benn

If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.  ~Arthur Goldberg

A committee is an animal with four back legs.  ~John le Carré, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods.  ~H.L. Mencken

A “Normal” person is the sort of person that might be designed by a committee.  You know, “Each person puts in a pretty color and it comes out gray.”  ~Alan Sherman

A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour.  ~Elbert Hubbard

A camel looks like a horse that was planned by a committee.  ~Author Unknown

A committee is a group of the unwilling chosen form the unfit, to do the unnecessary.  ~Author Unknown

If you live in a country run by committee, be on the committee.  ~Author Unknown

Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club?… Creative ideas do not spring from groups.  They spring from individuals.  The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam.  ~Alfred Whitney Griswold

We always carry out by committee anything in which any one of us alone would be too reasonable to persist.  ~Frank Moore Colby

I don’t believe a committee can write a book.  It can, oh, govern a country, perhaps, but I don’t believe it can write a book.  ~Arnold Toynbee

There is no monument dedicated to the memory of a committee.  ~Lester J. Pourciau

Any committee that is the slightest use is composed of people who are too busy to want to sit on it for a second longer than they have to.  ~Katharine Whitehorn

Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.  ~John Kenneth Galbraith

People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.  ~Thomas Sowell

AND OF COURSE, THERE IS BRADLEY’S BROMIDE: “If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee — that will do them in.”

I WORKED FOR “THE” MEETING COMPANY
I worked a large part of my career either for or with IBM, which many have joked that it stands for I’ve Been in a Meeting. I could have been years more productive and retired earlier if it hadn’t been for all of the meetings I’ve spent time in.  Projects would have been completed weeks in advance were it not for meetings.

Usually, the meetings were a way to get other people to do your work for you, or to assign work to others they wouldn’t do or volunteer for were it not for the fact that they were at a meeting.  The only time this didn’t work was when I actually needed to get a speaker for a press briefing for an interview with Time Magazine when print media was important.  His manager, John Callies then VP of Netfinity or X series at IBM(x86 servers), wouldn’t let the speaker leave the staff meeting stating, “it’s only your job” as the reason.  See how manage executive ego’s for more on this. I’d have never imagined having to cancel an interview with what was then an important publication due to an executives’ ego. I’ve seen bad manager moves in my time, but this was top 10 worst of the worst for me.  He still ranks as the number one suit I’ve ever worked with.  The below meme was how it felt to be in a meeting with him.

Execs have also had meetings in places that they wanted to visit (click on the link to see who it is), and most people knew that.  That was a waste of travel time and money for a wasted meeting. There were other reasons they had meetings, but read the quotes at the beginning to find out why said were held.

Avoid training meetings, unless it was a way to be busy during a meeting you want to avoid.  This is especially true of diversity training.  It is a waste of time (same exact meeting every time every year for the required legal reason) but is more important than almost any other meeting, so it serves 2 purposes.  No one will go against diversity training for fear of being politically or legally incorrect.  It does allow you to miss another meeting and no one pays attention anyway.  It’s an opportunity to get work done while the training is going on in the background.  Your attendance is recorded so you are twice as effective as you complete your work, earn your mark for training and ignore the same speech you went through last year all at the same time.

MEETING RULES TO SURVIVE

The best way to deal with a meeting is to avoid it.  If you can already have a meeting at a time that the scheduler proposes it or be busy and/or somehow away or out of the office.  Teleconferencing kills that strategery  unless you can be found traveling, but sometimes it’s unavoidable (see how to get out of a meeting below if you have to go).  The people calling the meeting are really only people who want the meeting anyway.

For things to do to avoid meetings or how to goof around during a meeting, go to the link How to goof around at work.

HERE IS MY RULE WHEN TO DECIDE TO ATTEND IF I HAD A CHOICE: if there were more than 4 people, don’t go.  Nothing will get done other than resulting in another meeting to have to attend.  This is especially true if there are more than 1 executives, as each brings a team of competing players who guarantee the death of productivity.

The WSJ agrees with me, but goes on to say that if it has 17 people, there is no chance anything will get accomplished.
Don’t speak at a meeting if possible. It usually wastes time and extends the meeting length.  There are only a couple of people who really have something to contribute, the rest want to hear themselves talk, show off their PowerPoint skills to bore you, or think they are more important if they speak.  These show offs can be  insufferable, but they offer time to check your email at best while pretending to listen.

This is in the department of redundancy department, but it is so important to note is to be careful when attending because the meeting leader’s purpose is to assign their work to others or get people to do work they wouldn’t do because they can’t decline in public (this is a corporate tradition).  This further kills your ability to be productive at your real job.  There are some who want to look important by accepting work magnanimously to show off, thinking they were climbing the ladder.  Gladly accept their offer as most people have 10 hours of work for an 8 hour day anyway. Only accept it if it produces revenue or if you are the only one qualified to do it, but generally don’t, especially if you perceive it as a make work project.

Especially avoid planning meetings.  A meeting to plan another meeting is one to be skipped unless you are the project manager and called the meeting, then you have to do it.  Avoid these at all costs.  Once nobody shows up, the meeting gets cancelled for email updates, which is a far better use of your time.  As my grandfather said, they are as common as pig tracks and as useless as teats on a boar hog.

Avoid staff meetings.  These are like planning meetings, but they occur regularly and when you miss one, nobody really cares (especially if there are more than 4 people). Only attend them occasionally as you work with these people everyday anyway, it’s not like you don’t know what is going on.  Email your boss on a regular basis with your activity and you can plan something more productive during that time.

HOW TO GET OUT OF A MEETING

The tongue in cheek part really goes here.  I’ll bet there are folks out there far more creative about this than me.

My favorite methods are to have a customer who needs you.  They are your business and that overrides almost everything.  Even your boss can’t deny this.

Pre-plan an emergency.  I occasionally had another employee phone or knock on the door to call me out (email or text isn’t as good as that is not public enough) to get you out of a meeting.  The trick is to never return. You’ll get the notes anyway, I promise. Since I worked with the press and analysts, I sometimes had a co-worker say that a reporter needed me right now.  They were my customer and no one could say no.  Many times there was no real emergency even if the press did call, it was the best and most efficient use of my time to leave the meeting so as to be actually working instead of being at a meeting.  I usually dealt with the press immediately unless I had to do some digging to get back to them.

Attend meetings by phone if possible.  You can always put the phone on mute and get your real work done, or surf the web or watch TV, which is usually just as productive.  It’s easier to go to the bathroom, which brings me to…

Go to the bathroom.  Offer to get a water to others when you go, then take as much time reading the sports page in the stall as you can.  You are just as productive as listening to someone prattle on about their project.

Send your meeting information in by proxy.  See above where someone is willing to talk.  Give them your results or input so you don’t have to be there.

 THE KIND OF MEETING TO HAVE

I realize that some meetings are necessary, so I understand that it’s the only way to get some things done.  For the other majority of the time, see above.

The best meeting is a hall meeting.  You run into the person you need help from and in 5 minutes, you’ve explained your need, what they can do and your time frame for doing it.  Problem solved.

I also recommend having meetings with introverts and/or men.  They don’t like to talk much (most of them) and want to get it over as quickly as you do.  Attire requirements are less of a priority as is small talk.

Here is the net net, don’t go to a meeting if you don’t have to, get out early if at all possible and above all, don’t speak unless you have no option.  Consider it a victory if you don’t attend, or a minor victory if you have to attend but don’t come out with anyone else’s work. You are a complete failure if you open your mouth and double your workload on something that is not tangential to your job or career.  Enjoy your job more by having the time to actually be productive.

The Electoral College Has Made A Decision

uninstalling-obama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hat tip to Curmudgeon, a blog that I like and follow

I like the Microsoft slant as humor.

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Dear Introvert, Why Are You So Quiet? Introvert, Here Is Why

introvert-thoughts