When Artificial Intelligence Can Be Beat (And How To Do It)

I expect a lot of clicks from China on this, they always do when I write about either them or technology.

I found this out playing Duo Lingo, where you learn a new language. They use marketing tools to keep you interested and try for more points such as doubling your score if you finished a lesson before 12.

The AI program does one of two things. Foremost, it gets you involved and competing at a higher level trying harder and spending more time on the app. For learning it is a good thing. For an App company selling advertising, the more time on their site, the more ads they sell.

The second thing it does is discard those who give up killing themselves when they are put into groups with more aggressive players. The lower performing scorers are segregated into a less-competitive group. This group isn’t worth trying to squeeze more money or time out of because they are casual App users.

One of the marketing techniques is a tournament where only a few advance, the aggressive players whom the AI has developed. I’ve ignored it twice because it becomes a 3 week time suck. For me, spending time only on one thing burns me out and I lose interest. I only want to play on my terms, something they didn’t calculate.

THE KOBAYASHI MARU

I love to win and do a lot, like last week. I wanted to beat not only the other players in my division, but the AI behind the game. This is the fault of much of AI. It has to assume human behavior, but goes on perceived behavior. Humans can be random thinkers or those outside of the AI logic.

Winner!

Any reader of my blog knows I look for patterns to make my life easier and better. Sometimes it is is just for the satisfaction of figuring it out. It was like learning the jab was poison and avoiding it while the sheep lined up to get their daily ration.

It’s almost like living in the Matrix and avoiding the Mr. Smiths of the world.

I was at IBM during Watson and knew the tech companies were seeing this as a potential holy grail. I couldn’t out develop the great minds that write AI, but beating them at their game was equally gratifying. I observed what they were doing and always considered the weaknesses.

Ken and Brad didn’t have a chance

Why did I want to do this? I know the Snidely Whiplashes of the world want to take over and control others, like Big Tech and the WEF. Knowing that they are beatable at their own game is valuable. It is like taking the red pill and being in the matrix.

MY STRATEGY

I found that in between the two groups above is where the programmers weakness lies. Those that don’t seem to try or or try outside of the AI rules. It’s AI learns at a machine rate, but not at a human rate.

It’s like when Watson learned to hunt for Double Jeopardy clues and was faster to the buzzer than humans, but AI can be out thought or out maneuvered.

I decided to hold back my scoring for a few weeks to fool the AI into putting me into a lower scoring crowd. I’ve done many thousands of points and finished in the top group without winning, only to be promoted to a higher scoring group. I wanted to see if I tried to score less, would the AI would “learn” that I’m a low scorer.

As I suspected, the groups I got put in were less and less aggressive. The point totals to keep advancing were less and less.

I knew I was gaining ground on the AI weakness and could be manipulated.

Last week, I kept to my minimal effort while learning (both foreign languages and the AI engine behind the App). I noticed that I have been put in lower performing groups. I did my daily amount I’d allowed myself to have and was slowly advancing up the ladder. I was using the AI engine to put me where I wanted to be, not in it’s calculations.

By Friday, I was in the lead with far less points than I’ve done many times in only a day (it starts on Sunday). I had to rely on human behavior that my group weren’t aggressive players, but that was my AI bet that we would be with each other. I was right. I predicted the AI pattern and beat it.

Beating the AI was far more of a challenge than beating the other players.

CONTINUING TO BEAT MACHINES

I knew I’d won by Saturday and did the minimal on Sunday to score. Why? To keep fooling the AI into believing I am a low scoring player. My goal was to win at the lowest level to keep getting promoted into groups that I could predict, and to keep proving that AI is beatable and malleable.

I’ll find out this week if that is fully true as I’m in a tournament for winners now (another marketing ploy) and I will try to finish last and keep advancing. I normally like to crush the competition, but winning by thinking is far more satisfying than winning by brute force. It’s as if you are running the game and the other players.

THE TURING TEST

Of course this is famous, can a machine behave like a human (roughly translated by me). Of course Duo Lingo isn’t as complex as war or landing on Mars, but there are hundreds of millions of humans. That is what they want AI to control, humans (like their free speech on social media).

I wanted to beat a machine, AI and find the holes that are in AI. It is programmed by humans still and can always be beat. They are not sentient. Find the pattern.

OTHER AI CHALLENGES

I play Wordle like a lot of others. I’m not busy trying to win right now, I’m trying to trick their AI into a pattern that I can out think their word selection.

Euphemisms for Stupid

This is the first update in a while, but it was well worth it.  If I missed one, please comment and I’ll include it.

 

If one of these offends you, take the complaints elsewhere, I’m the one that got dissed here.

A beer short of a six pack
A brick short of a load
A couple of eggs shy of a dozen
A couple of gallons short of a full tank
A few ants short of a picnic
A few beers short of a six-pack
A few bricks short of a pile
A few bricks short of a wall
A few cards short of a deck
A few clowns short of a circus.
A few feathers short of a whole duck
A few fries short of a Happy Meal
A few peas short of a casserole
A few tomatoes short of a good thick sauce
A few trucks short of a convoy
A fortune cookie short of a Chinese dinner
A pepperoni short of a pizza
A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on
A sandwich short of a picnic
A train short of a full service?
About as bright as a burnt out 20 watt light bulb.
About as useful as a chocolate fireguard
Ah say, that boy reminds me of Paul Revere’s ride; a little light in the
belfry
An experiment in Artificial Stupidity
An intellect rivalled only by garden tools
As much use as a hedgehog in a condom factory
As much use as an ashtray on a motorcycle
As quick as a tortoise on Prozac
As smart as bait

As smart as Joe Biden
As useful as a screen door on a submarine
As useful as a wooden frying pan
As useful as tits on a bull
Body by God, Mind by Mattel.
Bright as Alaska in December
Couldn’t pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel

Could screw up a one car funeral
Doesn’t have both oars in the water
Doesn’t have all his corn flakes in one box
Doesn’t have all his dogs on one leash
Doesn’t have all the dots on his dice
Donated his body to science before he was done using it
Dumb as a corn cob.
Dumb as a stump.
Dumber than a bag of hammers.
Dumber than a bag of rocks

Dumber than a lobotomized rock

Elevator don’t quiet make the top floor
Fell out of the family tree
Forgot to pay his brain bill
Goes surfing in Nebraska
Golf bag doesn’t have a full set of irons
Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together
Got into the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn’t watching
Gross ignoramus — 144 times worse than a normal ignoramus
Has an IQ of 2, but it takes 3 to grunt

This is the one —> Has delusions of adequacy.

Has two brains, one’s lost and the other is out looking for it
Having an intelligence rivalled only by garden tools.
He fell out of the Stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down
He had a little too much chlorine in his gene pool.
He is so dumb, he would look for a wishbone in a soft-boiled egg.
He is so dumb, the only thing he ever read was an eye-chart.
He played too much without a helmet
He’s got a mind like a steel trap, rusted shut
He’s got a leak in his think-tank
He’s got a mind like a steel sieve
He’s got his feet firmly planted 3 feet above the ground
He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer
He’s so dense light bends around him
He’s so dumb he couldn’t pour the water out of a boot if the instructions
were on the heel
His belt doesn’t go through all the loops
His cheese has slipped off his cracker
His porch light ain’t on
I say, that boy is about as sharp as a sack of wet mice
If brains were chocolate – he wouldn’t have enough to fill an M&M
If brains were dynamite – he wouldn’t have enough to blow his nose
If brains were dynamite, he wouldn’t have enough to blow his hat off
If brains were gasoline, he couldn’t ride a moped around a fruit loop
If brains were taxed, he’d get a rebate
If he had a brain, he’d be dangerous
If he had another brain, it would be lonely
If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week
If stupid were a talent, he would be considered gifted

If stupid could fly, you’d be a jet.
If you gave him a penny for his thoughts, you’d get change back
If you stand close enough to him you can hear the ocean
Isn’t firing on all 6 cylinders
Isn’t firing on all thrusters
Its hard to believe that he beat out half a billion other sperm

If I wanted to kill myself I’d climb your ego and jump to your IQ
Kangaroo loose in the top paddock
Like a pair of children’s scissors, bright and colorful, but not too sharp
Million dollar body and a 2 dollar engine.
Mind is in neutral, body is in gear
Mind like a rubber bear trap.
Needing a few screws tightened
Not firing with all spark plugs
Not the brightest light in the harbor
Not the brightest light on the Christmas tree
Not the sharpest hook in the tackle box.
Not the sharpest pencil in the box
Off his rocker
On/off switch is broken in the off position
One Fruit Loop shy of a full bowl
One neuron short of a synapse
One taco short of a combination plate
One turbine short of an airplane
One-celled organisms out score him in IQ tests
Prime candidate for natural deselection
Proof that evolution CAN go in reverse
Requires directions to lay sod
Room temperature IQ
Running about a quart low
Running on empty
Sets the lowest possible goals, and consistently fails to achieve them.
Sharp as a bowling ball.
She is so dumb, she couldn’t tell which way an elevator was going if she
had two guesses.
She is so dumb, when I asked her to pass the plate, she said: “Upper or
lower?”
She’s not tied too tight to the pier
Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, he only gargled
Strong like bear, smart like tractor.
Takes him 1 1/2 hours to watch 60 minutes
The elevator is stuck between floors.
The lights are flashing, the gate is down, but the train isn’t coming
The lights are on, but nobody is home.
The wheel’s spinning, but the hamster’s dead
Too dumb to pull his head in before he shuts the window
Too many yards between the goal posts
Two hub caps short of a Buick.
Warning – Objects in mirror are dumber than they appear
Was left on the tilt-a-whirl too long as a baby
Would be out of her depth in a mud puddle.
Your the flower of my life (you blooming idiot)
You can’t call him an idiot, you’ll insult all the idiots in the world.

Your mouth is writing checks that your intellect cannot cash

The Rosenberg’s Were Executed For This Kind Of Treason, And Yet The Biden Family Flaunts The Ties To China’s CCP Intelligence

Story:

The Biden family scored $31 million from five deals in China, all with individuals with direct ties to the Chinese spy apparatus, according to a bombshell new book.

Multiple financiers with direct ties to Chinese intelligence partnered with Hunter Biden during and after his father’s time as Vice President — including the former head of the Ministry of State Security and the head of foreign intelligence recruitment — and some of those relationships remain intact, according to Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win, by Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer.

Schweizer explains that Beijing saw a financial relationship with the Bidens as an opening for “elite capture,” which allowed Hunter Biden to secure meetings and score major deals with people in the highest levels of Chinese financial institutions and the Chinese Communist Party — and in return they would be able to leverage the Bidens’ power for their interests.

One of the central early players in the Bidens’ Chinese deals is a tycoon by the name of Che Feng, or “The Super Chairman,” as Hunter and his partners referred to him.

Che, the son of a PLA soldier, has been described in Western media as “a shadowy and discreet investor,” whose father-in-law was the governor of the People’s Bank of China, and whose business partner was the Vice Minister of State Security, a man by the name of Ma Jian. Schweizer writes that Ma was reportedly the director of the ministry’s No. 8 Bureau, overseeing North American operations targeting foreigners with its counterintelligence apparatus.

“The hazard of a Chinese businessman with close ties to the top ranks of Beijing’s spy agency conducting financial transactions with the son of the U.S. vice president cannot be overstated. How this did not set off national security or ethics alarm bells in Washington is a wonder in itself,” Schweizer writes in Red-Handed.

The Super Chairman was meant to “fuse Chinese financial might to those with access to the highest levels of power in the Western world,” which led to the creation of Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), “funded by China’s biggest government-backed financial institutions,” with the Biden scion and his American partners.

Another partner the Bidens were introduced to via “The Super Chairman” is Zhao Xuejun (aka Henry Zhao), who formed Harvest Fund Management. Zhao was the chairman and Chinese Communist Party general secretary at the firm.

Zhao had another company called “Harvest Global Investments,” which he co-founded with Jia Liqing, the daughter-in-law of a member of the Politburo Standing Committee at the time. Jia Chunwang, Liqing’s father, is the former minister of state security, “in charge of secret service, espionage, and domestic and overseas intelligence work.”  That firm, Harvest Global Investments, wired $5 million to another Hunter Biden business called Burnham.

“There is no one more powerful in the world of Chinese intelligence,” Schweizer writes. “The seductive and lucrative deal that Hunter was now putting into place, creating BHR, involved two financiers with ties to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, a billion-dollar private equity deal that we first exposed in Secret Empires. What we now know are the roles played by the spy-connected ‘Super Chairman’ and Zhao.”

“According to Michael Lin, another Chinese partner, Hunter’s role in the venture was pretty straightforward: ‘Open as many doors as possible in the western world for this very famous Bohai professional team.’ There was also the expectation that Hunter and his partners would ‘join some of the meetings in HK and China they arrange’ when communicating with possible financial partners,” Schweizer adds.

The Super Chairman and Ma Jian were eventually arrested and charged with money laundering and bribery, taking them out of the deal with Biden, however, the connections Hunter had made through them were already established, and Zhao would serve as a conduit for more deals ahead.

Eventually, BHR began buying or investing in companies in China and the U.S. with strategic importance.

For instance, Schweizer reports that one of their early investments was in China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), with Hunter’s firm as an “anchor investor.” The FBI ultimately busted CGN as a “conduit for nuclear espionage in the West,” with CGN and a CGN engineer being charged by the Obama DOJ with stealing nuclear secrets in 2016.

BHR also bought an American company called Henniges Automotive, which created anti-vibration technologies with military and civilian applications. BHR partnered with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China to close the deal — one of China’s largest military contractors and a major culprit in the theft of U.S. defense technology.

Between the BHR deal and the $5 million wired by Harvest, Hunter received some $25 million from Chinese businessmen tied to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, Schweizer writes.

Eventually, Hunter would be introduced to CEFC China Energy Chairman Ye Jiemaing (Jainming), with whom he would develop a close working relationship and would speak, according to Hunter, “on a regular basis.”

Hunter served as Ye’s “personal counsel,” and also worked with him to broaden CEFC as a global energy company with holdings in Oman, Romania, Colombia, and Luxembourg.

However, Ye also had close Chinese intelligence ties: “CEFC was housed in a complex in Shanghai’s French Concession section, an area ‘primarily controlled by China’s military.’ One of Ye’s early business partners was the granddaughter of ‘one of the founders of China’s military,’ Marshal Ye Jianying.”

“The corporate logo of the company Hunter Biden was now advising, and which would pay him millions, features a star. According to company records on its English website, it represents ‘civil rights.’ However, on the company’s Chinese-language site, the star signifies that ‘this organization will play a strong and powerful role for the interests of the Chinese state and nation,’” Schweizer writes.

CEFC was also a direct beneficiary to the Chinese military, as the company played a central role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and was an oil supplier to the People’s Liberation Army.

Hunter would set up two entities with Ye, Hudson West IV and SinoHawk, to allow the Chairman to invest in U.S. infrastructure. In total, the Biden family received some $6 million from Ye’s companies.

There is more here, but after harassing Trump for 3 years for something that the Biden’s are actually doing, it kind of seems like there are 2 sets of rules going on here.

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for selling secrets. I don’t want the Biden’s executed, although it would solve a lot of problems, but I do wish they would quit hurting the USA and just go the hell away. Take your money with you. You’ll burn in hell so I hope it was worth it.

IBM Selling Watson, See My 2012 Prediction

IBM announced that it sold Watson, the Jeopardy winning computer spend-a-thon marketing ploy that was at best a failure in AI.

I wrote in 2012 that it was an advertising gimmick, and that it wouldn’t succeed.

I was in a meeting with Sam Palmisano (then chairman), who said that it wasn’t that big of a deal. It could have been, but wasn’t.

I worked with the people in IBM Research and they are some of the most creative and intelligent people on the planet. Some are so far out there that we couldn’t let them talk to reporters as they’d tell the world the keys to the castle. There has been stuff that never made it out the door, which would have started billion dollar businesses. TPTB at IBM couldn’t recognize this, or it wasn’t strategic (read make money on mainframes). They dropped the ball again on this one.

It is the marketing pukes that grab onto something at IBM and try to ride it for publicity and sales. I saw through it then and it is coming to fruition. That’s why I wrote what I did in 2012. Gini Rometty failed on this one. Sam handed her a golden goose and it got fiddle farted away in the AI world.

Here is an excerpt from the WSJ (you may need a subscription, but look at the last line about it not being a success).

International Business Machines Corp. IBM -1.12% agreed to sell the data and analytics assets from its Watson Health business to investment firm Francisco Partners, the companies said Friday.

The deal is the latest step by IBM to refocus its core business around the cloud. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that IBM was exploring a sale of its healthcare-analytics business as a way to streamline the computing giant’s operations and sharpen its focus on computing services provided via the internet. The Watson Health business uses artificial intelligence to analyze diagnostic tests and other health data and to manage care.

IBM had big aspirations for its Watson artificial intelligence to help in medical research and improve patient outcomes, but the technology’s impact has fallen short of early hopes. Partners and clients have moved away from projects that were built around Watson technology in recent years, although IBM had spent billions of dollars making acquisitions to bolster the business.

“IBM took a risk of becoming a disrupter in the complex health care industry but was only able to garner limited success,” UBS analyst David Vogt said in a note Friday. He added that the Francisco transaction probably wouldn’t have a big financial impact for IBM because of the unit’s limited success.

The big IBM secret is that it is a mainframe company still. It’s software sales are all big iron related. It’s re-focused cloud strategy runs on, you guessed it, a mainframe. They have jettisoned divisions that weren’t money makers and Watson had outlived it’s marketing hype and didn’t cure cancer.

IBM is admitting AI failure by calling it the sale of a non-strategic asset. This message of course like most of the stuff coming out of IBM is bullshit.

At the end of the day, it won Jeopardy. Deep Blue won chess. IBM sells mainframes.

January 2nd, World Introvert Day, How To Celebrate

Actually, every day is national introvert day for me. I couldn’t be happier not having to deal with the drain and drama that other people are.

Now, how to celebrate? I’m not telling anyone other than what I type here. It’s my day and no one else needs to know. I’m sure other introverts know, but they don’t want to make a big deal of it either. It’s like birthdays and holidays. I’d rather not have them as too much is made of them when in fact they are just another day.

Here are some things I will be doing:

Members Of Introverts Anonymous Meeting Fail To Show For ...
Meeting of the Introverts anonymous support group

And finally, a great article on the 7 things Introverts can teach you on Introvert Day, like why alone time is important, how to recharge, deeper relationships with people and introverts superpower.

Eight Struggles of A Highly Intelligent Person (or an Introvert Because It Seems The Same To Me)

Here they are if you don’t want to watch a short video, but it was enlightening to me. It literally is how my life is. I identified as an Introvert rather than an intellectual however. I was interested in the video, but found that I related on that completely different level. All it took was the first trait and I was in on this one to the end.

I don’t struggle to make good friends though, I just am very protective as to who can get to know me.

1) You get bored with small talk 2) You’re careful with your words 3) You are socially awkward 4) You struggle to make good friends 5) You don’t get out much 6) You’re overly analytical 7) Your mind constantly craves exercise 8) You’re always feeling pressured to succeed.

In the comments, I found this, which reminds me of my offspring:

I was told I was always egotistical and a know it all. This totally baffled me because I only offered answers or advice when asked. Then I met my fiance who consistently tells me that its not me being standoffish or egotistical but that my lack of empathy when explaining my ideas makes people feel intimidated or stupid. No one wants to feel stupid. Therefore no one wants to be around a living encyclopedia. The older I got, the more people valued this trait. It’s taken a lot of time, but now I just do not care if someone is offended by my large gray matter.

What It’s Like To Have An Extremely High IQ?

Editors note:  Since I published this, the comments have been coming in and are now far better than the blog post.  I encourage you to read about the lives and struggles of those who have high IQ.  Their stories are quite revealing.-> It’s in the comments, hint, hint, hint.

Authors disclosure: I won’t disclose where I am on the IQ chart, but I do have some in my family with very high IQ.  My father had a gigantic IQ.   Here are the stories of those with high IQ and their travails. See if you identify with any of them.

The blog post actually starts here.  It is a compilation of individuals with their names mostly redacted who have written about the travails of a high IQ:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – “The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.”


Update: 10/3/16 from Alison Craig

It sounds like you are in the beginning stages of an existentialist crisis. http://plato.stanford.edu/entrie…  I know the word “crisis” looks alarming, but it shouldn’t. In this case it just means you are examining the point of your own existence. Will I always be alone? Why am I here? Eventually you may even question all existence and come to the seemingly frightening conclusion that we’re all born alone and die alone and nothing in life has purpose.

“Well, that’s horrible! You’re depressing, why would you say such things?”

Again, I repeat- it is nothing to be alarmed about. Those things are true – to a degree. We are born alone and die alone, but we work to make connections with people who can support us, and that we can support in return. Intelligent or not, there will always be like minded people in the world somewhere and they are never easy to find for anyone. To me, making those connections is why I am here and is a large part of my purpose.

No matter how intelligent, wealthy or attractive a person is – it can always be difficult to find true connections so that all of the sharing and giving is not a one way street. Intelligent people may have stricter standards for making friends (in fashion or other), but so might a wealthy person, or a very attractive one. All people fear being used and some are just more cautious than others. An intelligent person can read books on understanding human nature ( Ten Keys to Handling Unreasonable & Difficult People), body language Psychology Today and other psychology tools to assist them in making life long connections with other people.

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From Shah Rukh Qasim on hiding your intelligence:

If you could generalize, the most common would be:

  1. You keep talking to a person, telling him something you think he doesn’t know. He keeps listening. Then he shares his insight which makes you think he has already known everything you told him. Smart people at often silent and active listeners.

Other signs will include:

  1. Good problem solvers. Not just mathematics problem. But even daily life problems. They’ll quickly find what’s wrong and take the best course of action to solve the problem.
  2. They’ll be different in views. And their views will always come with reason. A quote goes around: Small minds discuss people. Average mind discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.
  3. A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare
  4. They often look for reasons. It goes in four levels (worst to best):
    1. What?
    2. How?

=========================================

It sucked when I was younger, but these days it’s just awesome.

There is a very common pattern among highly gifted people, namely:

  • When you’re young it’s very isolating, and it feels like everyone else is just stupid
  • As you grow older, you realize your gift. You also realize that raw intelligence isn’t everything, and that things like social skills matter a lot. Plus, you meet others like you.
  • Your social life improves as you get older and learn to connect on things other than intelligence or go to elite institutions where you can meet other highly gifted people.

Honestly, at this point in my life I feel like there are literally no downsides to having a high IQ. It’s like being born good looking or with great physical health: it’s not a silver bullet to a happy life, but it makes a lot of things much easier.

I only found out I had a high IQ (161) because my professional life was such a mess I had to see a psychologist.

If I had to sum it up in a few sentences, I would say that the most aggravating thing about being very intelligent is that you quickly see and understand things at a level of depth that most people don’t (or can’t), and it is very frustrating.  You want to move on, you want to be pushed, you don’t want to spend time explaining the details of things you have already grasped, but no one else is caught up yet, so you have to pause.  It is particularly painful when dealing with complex topics where the mental models involve feedback loops and non-linearities.

But that said, I’ve learned there is much more to life than intelligence, and being successful is more about hard work and good communication skills than anything else.

====================================================

“One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person.”

Working successfully in society and business is limited by some really important social choke points.  One of them is that other people, even if they are intellectually slower, must be treated with respect.  Another is that even if you are correct you will have difficulty getting people to act on your insights until they understand why you are correct.  A third thing is that most important activities are done as a team and so taking action requires breaking down your insights into something that your slower peers and employees can understand.  If you try to blow past these choke points you will destroy relationships and even if you are right, your career will languish.  I try to remind myself that being successful is not well correlated to being right.

My career is going pretty well now that I’ve understood these constraints.  It is possible to turn intelligence to practical life-advantage but our educational system doesn’t really give a blueprint for this.  I left school thinking that it mattered that I understood things 5 minutes or 5 years before my classmates did.  It doesn’t.  Most people’s functioning adult lives are not spent solving tough problems.  They are spent going through well established rituals and patterns of relating to each other punctuated by an occasional tough problem.  In most cases, people can even skip the tough problems and still do okay in life.  So how do you convert a parlor trick (like knowing the ending of a movie after 5 minutes) into something that will make you happier?  Mostly, you don’t.  Use it when it’s valuable and relax a little when it’s not.

There’s a great Dilbert where someone invites him to join the company’s Mensa chapter and Dilbert asks why people who are so smart continue to work at the company.  The president of the Mensa chapter answers, “Intelligence has much less practical application than you’d think.”

==========================================

In a word, I find it alienating.

Extremely so, in fact.

And I think this is not only because of what makes me “smart”, but also because of what my brain has to sacrifice to be “smart” in that way.  (More on that in a sec.)

For the record, my IQ was measured (years ago) at 178. [ETA: Just looked up the percentile, and that’s about 1 in 2 million, for some perspective.]  I have 3 advanced degrees and a solid career.  But I’m still single and spend very little time around other people.

It took me some time as a young kid to figure out that the people around me weren’t interested in the same things I was.  And that, often, to talk about the things I found interesting turned people away.

So I hid that.

When they announced that I was valedictorian of my high school, I was in 1st period art class, and one of my classmates refused to believe that they’d said my name.

But I never felt like I belonged anywhere, and I still don’t.

I don’t have kids, TV doesn’t interest me, I don’t follow celebrities or watch sports.  My time is spent with my work, and researching the things that are important to me — astrophysics, particle physics, consciousness research, and although this might seem strange to some people, Biblical scholarship (tho I’m not a believer).

As a result, chit-chat is impossible for me, or else it’s so boring that it becomes impossible.

But like I said, the problem isn’t only that my brain is interested in things that most other brains aren’t.  It’s also what my brain can’t do.

There’s only a certain amount of space in the brain, and if one area is eating up the real estate with more neural power, some other part of the brain is likely losing out.

For me, it’s some of the automatic social functioning which tells you, for example, what emotion another person is feeling based on their facial expression, or whether someone’s being sarcastic or not.  (Sarcasm is a minefield for me, and meeting another person in a hallway is a nightmare — I cannot interpret when to look, or not, what to say, or not, etc.)

That said, I have an enormously rich life, and I’ve adjusted to it.  When I stopped trying to fit in, things got better.

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HOWEVER…..STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES

The smart can do stupid things such as:

  • Ignoring the importance of design and style – When the iPod originally came out, technical people complained about its lack of features and perceived high price (“ooh, who cares about another MP3 player, I can go buy one at Best Buy for $50” http://forums.macrumors.com/show…).  In the meantime, it was so cool and easy to use that normal people went out in droves to buy it.
  • Using terrible tools, and taking pride in their awfulness – Especially common with programmers, who take pride in using programming languages and text editors that have been designed by programmers, not updated since the 1970s, and never touched by anyone with a modicum of design sense. They believe that mastering arcane, overcomplicated commands and processes are a mark of pride, rather than a waste of time.  I will refrain from singling out specific programming languages and tools here, because smart people also like to get caught up in pointless flame wars about this sort of thing.
  • Following the pack – Many smart people often seem to be followers, probably because they grow up spending so much time pleasing others via academic and extracurricular achievement that they never figure out what they really like to work on or try anything unique.  Smart people from top schools tend to flock into the same few elite fields, as they try to keep on achieving what other people think they should achieve, rather than figuring out whatever it is they intrinsically want to do.
  • Failing to develop social skills – Some smart people focus exclusively on their narrow area of interest and never realize that everything important in life is accomplished through other people.  They never try to improve their social skills, learn to network, or self promote, and often denigrate people who excel in these areas. If you are already a good engineer you are going to get 10x the return on time spent improving how you relate to other people compared to learning the next cool tool.
  • Focusing on being right above all else – Many smart people act as if being right trumps all else, and go around bluntly letting people know when they are wrong, as if this will somehow endear others to them.  They also believe that they can change other people’s minds through argument and facts, ignoring how emotional and irrational people actually are when it comes to making decisions or adopting beliefs.
  • Letting success in one area lead to overconfidence in others – Smart people sometimes think that just because they are expert in their field, they are automatically qualified in areas about which they know nothing.  For instance, doctors have a reputation as being bad investors: http://medicaleconomics.modernme….
  • Underrating effort and practice – For smart people, many things come easily without much effort.  They’re constantly praised for “being smart” whenever they do anything well.  The danger is that they become so reliant on feeling smart and having people praise them, that they avoid doing anything that they’re not immediately great at.  They start to believe that if you’re not good at something from the beginning, you’re destined to always be terrible at it, and the thing isn’t worth doing.  These smart people fail to further develop their natural talents and eventually fall behind others who, while less initially talented, weren’t as invested in “being smart” and instead spent more time practicing.  http://nymag.com/news/features/2…
  • Engaging in zero sum competitions with other smart people – Many smart people tend to flock to fields which are already saturated with other smart people.  Only a limited number of people can become a top investment banker, law partner, Fortune 500 CEO, humanities professor, or Jeopardy champion.  Yet smart people let themselves be funneled into these fields and relentlessly compete with each other for limited slots.  They all but ignore other areas where they could be successful, and that are less overrun by super-smart people.   Instead of thinking outside the box, smart people often think well within a box, a very competitive box that has been set up by other people and institutions to further someone else’s interests at the expense of the smart person.
  • Excessively focusing on comparing their achievements with others – Smart people who have been raised in a typical achievement-focused family or school can get anxious about achievement to the point of ridiculousness.  This leads to people earnestly asking questions like: Success: If I haven’t succeeded in my mid 20s, could I be successful in the rest of my life? and Are you a failure if you are not a billionaire by age 30? What about 40?
  • Ignoring diminishing returns on information – Smart people are often voracious readers and can absorb huge quantities of information on any subject.  They get caught up in reading every last bit of information on subjects that interest them, like investing, lifehacking, or tech specs of products they’re planning on buying.   While some information is useful in making a decision, poring through the vast amount of information available online can be a waste of time.  They end up spending a lot of time gathering information without taking action.
  • Elitism – Smart people often use smartness as measure of the entire worth of a person.  They fail to see the value in or even relate with people who are different.  This is illustrated by the Yale professor who doesn’t have the slightest idea what to say to his plumber: http://www.theamericanscholar.or….  And questions like Am I an elitist to think that most people are stupid?

 

Cyclic Numbers, Interesting Math Fun

Not really a joke … just a tiny bit of math fun.

142857 is a cyclic number – its digits always appear in the same order but will rotate around when multiplied by any number from 1 to 6:

142857 x 1 = 142857
142857 x 2 = 285714
142857 x 3 = 428571
142857 x 4 = 571428
142857 x 5 = 714285
142857 x 6 = 857142

Pretty cool, huh? Now multiply 142857 by 7. (Spoiler below.)

142857 x 7 = 999999

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.

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.

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.

Vocabulary Tricks Dumb People Use to Sound Smart – Also A Good Meeting Bingo List When You Are Bored

I have heard most of these 89 sophisticated clichés that typically form the trick vocabulary of such people, almost always by management, whom I’ve indicated:

Note: these are also meeting (BS) bingo words when you are bored. Please let me know if anyone is ever in a meeting that can cross off all of these words.

One of my favorite sayings is: A meeting is a cul-de-sac where ideas are strangled and usually eliminated.

1. It’s a paradigm shift = I don’t know what’s going on in our business. But we’re not making as much money as we used to.

2. We’re data-driven = We try not to make decisions by the seat of our pants. When possible, we try to base them in facts -SC.

3. We need to wrap our heads around this = Gosh, I never thought of that. We need to discuss that….SC

4. It’s a win-win = Hey, we both get something out of this (even though I’m really trying to get the best from you)

5. ROI [used in any sentence] = Look at me, I’m very financially minded, even if I never took any finance classes in school

6. Let’s blue sky this/let’s ballpark this = Let’s shoot around a bunch of ideas since we have no clue what to do

7. I’m a bit of a visionary = I’m a bit of an egomaniac and narcissist EB

8. I’m a team player/we only hire team players = I hope everyone on the team thinks this is a meritocracy, even though I’m the dictator in charge EB

9. Let’s circle back to that/Let’s put that in the parking lot/let’s touch base on that later/let’s take this off-line = Shut up and let’s go back to what I was talking about

10. We think outside the box here/color outside the lines = We wouldn’t know about how to do something innovative if it came up to us and bit us in the behind

11. I/we/you don’t have the bandwidth = Since we cut 60% of our headcount, we’re all doing the job of 3 people, so we’re all burned out

12. This is where the rubber meets the road = Don’t screw up

13. Net net/the net of it is/when you net it out = I never studied finance or accounting but I sound like someone who  can make money if I keep talking about another word for profit

14. We’ll go back and sharpen our pencils = We’ll go back and offer you the same for 20% less in hopes you’ll buy it before the end of the quarter – RA

15.  It’s like the book “Crossing the Chasm”/”Blue Ocean”/”Good To Great” / “Tipping Point” / “Outliers” = I’ve never read any of these books but I sound literate if I quote  from them. And, besides, you cretins probably never read them either to  call me out on it

16. Let’s right-size it = Let’s whack/fire a bunch of people – RA

17. It’s next-gen/turn-key/plug-and-play = I want it to sound so technical that you’ll just buy it without asking me any questions

18. We need to manage the optics of this = How can we lie about this in a way people will believe?

19. This is creative destruction = I’ve  never read Joseph Schumpeter but our core business is getting killed so  it’s your responsibility to come up with a new product the market will  buy

20. We don’t have enough boots on the ground = I don’t want to be fired for this disastrous product/country launch,  so I’m going to sound tough referring to the military and say I don’t  have enough resources

21. Deal with it = Tough cookies – SC

22. By way of housekeeping = This makes the boring stuff I’m about to say sound more official

23. That’s the $64,000 question [sometimes, due to inflation, people will denominate this cliché in millions or billions of dollars] = I don’t know either

24. Let’s square the circle = I’m someone who can unify two team members’ views and sound important

25. It’s our cash cow/protect/milk the cash cow = If that business goes south, we’re all out of a job

26. It’s about synergies/1 + 1 = 3 = I don’t get the math either, but it sounds like more and more is better, right?

27. Who’s going to step up to the plate? = One of you is going to do this and it’s not going to be me

28. We’re eating our own dog food = It sounds gross but we seem like honest folks if we do this.

29. We need to monetize/strategize/analyze/incentivize = When in doubt, stick “-ize” on the end of a word and say we’ve got to  do this and 9 out of 10 times, it will sound action-oriented.

30. We did a Five Forces/SWOT analysis/Value Chain analysis = We didn’t really do any of that, but none of you probably even remember Michael Porter, so what the heck

31. It was a perfect storm = We really screwed up but we’re going to blame a bunch of factors that are out of our hands (especially weather)

32. At the end of the day…. = OK, enough talking back and forth, we’re going to do what I want to do  – LS

33. Who’s got the ‘R’? [i.e., responsibility to do what we just spent 20 minutes talking about aimlessly] = If I ask the question, it won’t be assigned to me

34. Let’s put lipstick on this pig = plug your nose

35. I’m putting a stake in the ground here… = I’m a leader, simply because I’m using this cliché

36. We’re customer-focused/proactive/results-oriented = That can’t be bad, right?  This is motherhood and apple pie stuff

37. Our visibility into the quarter is a little fuzzy = Sales just fell off a cliff

38. That’s not our core competency/we’re sticking to our knitting = We’re just glad we’re making money in one business, because we’d have no clue how to get into any other business

39. Well, we’re facing some headwinds there = You put your finger on the area we’re panicking over

40. It’s a one-off = Do whatever they want to close the sale

41. Incent it = That’s not a verb but I just made it into one because I’m a man/woman of action

42. I’m an agent of change = This makes it sound like I know how to handle the chaos that our business is constantly going through

43. We’ve got to do a little more due diligence there = Don’t have a clue but does that legal term make me sound detail-oriented?

44. Don’t leave money on the table = Be as greedy with them as possible

45. We take a “ready, fire, aim” approach here = We totally operate on a seat-of-the-pants basis

46. Hope is not a strategy = I don’t have a strategy, but this makes it sound like I’m above people who also don’t have a strategy – BO

47. We have to tear down the silos internally = Our organizational structure is such a mess that I’m going to be under-mined by other departments at every turn

48. I don’t think it will move the needle = This won’t get my boss excited

49. Good to put a face to the name = I’d really rather talk to that person behind you

50. Let’s take the 30,000 foot view… = I like to think I see the big picture

51. It’s the old 80-20 rule = I really have no idea what the rule was, but I just want to focus on the things that will make us successful

52. We need to manage expectations = Get ready to start sucking up to people – AL

53. It’s not actionable enough/what’s the deliverable? = You guys do the work on refining the idea. I’m too tired.

54. My 2 cents is… = This opinion is worth a heck of a lot more than 2 cents

55. I’m going to sound like a broken record here… = I want to clearly point out to you idiots that I’ve made this point several times before

56. We’ve got too many chiefs and not enough Indians = I want to be the Chief

57. Going forward = Don’t screw up like this again – AL

58. My people know I’ve got an open door policy = I’ve told my direct reports to come to me if they have a problem, so  why should I feel bad if they complain I’m too busy to talk to them?

59. It’s gone viral = Someone sent a tweet about this

60. I know you’ve been burning the candle on both ends = Get ready to do some more

61. It’s scalable = We can sell a lot of it in theory

62. It’s best-of-breed = We hired a market research firm to say that – too many – SC

63. We’re all about value-add = Unlike our competitors who seek to add no value

64. What’s our go-to-market? = Has anyone planned this out, because I’ve been too busy? SC

65. I’m drinking from a fire hose right now = I want a little sympathy over here, because I’m tired of carrying this company on my back

66. We’re getting some push back = They’re not buying it JB

67. We need to do a level-set = I’ve never been inside a Home Depot, but this phrase makes me sound handy

68. It’s basic blocking and tackling = How could you screw this up? I also played high school football and those were the best days of my life.

69. Let’s put our game faces on = Get serious, guys

70. We’ve got it covered from soup to nuts = I have no idea what that means, but don’t you dare question my prep work on it

71. We don’t want to get thrown under the bus = So let’s throw someone else first – RGorman

72. But to close the loop on this… = Always the more theoretical Business Development/Strategy guys who say this, so they can sound thorough

73. What are “next steps”? = Did anyone take notes during the last 90 minutes of this meeting?

74. This is low-hanging fruit = Get this done quickly

75. We need a few quick wins = We’ve got to trick people into thinking we know what we’re doing by some successes we can point to and claim as ours DHP

76. It’s a [Insert Company Name] killer = Did I get your attention yet with the Freddy Kreuger imagery associated with the company who’s currently eating our lunch? SC

77. I want to address the elephant in the room = I know you think I’m trying to cover up/gloss over something, so I might as well talk about it

78. This is the next big thing/new thing = Some of our 20-somethings have told me this is really cool

79. This time it’s different because… = Don’t wait for the explanation… simply run for the hills.

80. What are the best practices on this? = How can I cover my behind that we’re just doing stuff the way other good people have supposedly done this?

81. This is our deliverable = I know this sounds like something that comes in a body bag, but it makes our PowerPoint sound tougher than it actually is

82. We’ll loop you in when we need to = You’re not that important to know about all the details on this

83. We want this to move up and to the right = I failed high school algebra but someone said this means we’ll be making a lot of money if this happens

84. We’re going through a re-org = No one knows what the heck is going on at the moment, we’re going to lay off a bunch of people.

85. We’ve got to increase our mind-share with the customer = I think I would have been happier as a doctor doing lobotomies than in marketing as a career path

86. I don’t think you’re comparing apples to apples = Let me tell you how you should really think about this issue = DHP

87. Let’s peel back the onion on this = I want to sound thorough so this is a better way of telling you that than simply clearing my throat

88. You phoned it in = I was too busy checking my email during your presentation that I didn’t listen _ JC

89. I want you to run with this = I just threw you into the deep end of the pool and you’re on your own to figure it out -JC

8 Basic Truths Even the Smartest People Forget

This is the Background for my Facebook page, the reason I thought this article was so interesting.  Perhaps you will also.  Even the person some regard as the smartest surely forgot some things, especially on his desk.

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Even the smartest people out there sometimes forget some of those obvious concepts:

1. Not feeling ready can be a good thing

Opportunities rarely come when we are 100% ready to seize them. They are more likely to knock on your door when you feel insecure with your preparation, knowledge and skills. But that doesn’t mean you should be ignoring them until you feel ready. Most of our lifetime opportunities force us to grow both emotionally and intellectually. They push us to give the best of ourselves, even if that means getting out of our comfort zones. But sacrificing our comfort can give us the chance for personal growth. If you want to change your life for the better, you should open yourself to the opportunities that arise, even if you don’t feel 100% ready.

2. Success and failure go hand in hand

Often times people tend to misinterpret the meaning of the word “failure”. Why are we so afraid of failure? It is just as natural as succeeding. Failure doesn’t mean not succeeding. It is actually a part of the circle of success. And success itself shouldn’t be measured by the achievement of a particular goal. Success is a state of being and therefore everyone can feel successful.

3. Action is the key for all success

We often hear that knowledge is power. But it only is power if you use it. Knowing how to do something and actually doing it are two completely different things. It doesn’t matter if ,for example, you read books and articles on fighting procrastination, and take no particular action to overcome that problem. Knowledge and intelligence are useless without action.

4. Even mistakes mean progress

If you look back in your life, maybe you will realize that the mistakes you have done in the past have taught you valuable lessons. So why should we be scared of making mistakes, if they help us grow stronger and wiser? Every mistake you make on the way to a particular goal brings you one step closer to achieving it. It is highly possible that the mistake you will regret the most in your life is not taking action because of the fear of making mistakes. This way you will always be wondering what could have happened, if you hadn’t been so scared. And most importantly- you wouldn’t have made any progress. So don’t be afraid of feeling uncertain about something- give it a try and see what happens.

5. Making decisions is impeded when there are too many options

We live in times when there are so many opportunities for us to choose from when it comes to determining our career and life paths. But when we have so many choices before us, we can often times get confused and indecisive. Business and marketing studies prove that when a consumer has more product choices, he’s predisposed to buy less. If you think about it, choosing one product out of three product choices feels much easier than choosing one out of three hundred. Most people will give up easily, if the buying decision process is tough.

6. Success doesn’t necessarily mean happiness

Many people believe that they can only be happy if they accomplish a particular goal. In my opinion, we can choose to be happy every day, no matter where on the path to our goals we are at the moment. “The monk who sold his Ferrari” by Robin Sharma is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. One of the main ideas shared by the author is that you don’t have to wait to accomplish your dreams to be happy. The main character was one of the most successful layers in the country but even though he had everything he ever wanted, he wasn’t a happy person. The most important thing is to cherish every moment of every day and to be thankful for who you are and what you have now.

7. You can be the best at something even if you don’t like doing it

Some people say that in order to be good at doing something, you should love doing this thing. In my opinion, this isn’t necessarily true. If a person devotes their time and effort to learn a particular skill, they can become excellent at it. How they feel about the activity doesn’t determine their success in it.

8. What we see in others exists in us

When we have a problem with someone, this can actually help us learn more about ourselves. It can help us learn why we see that problem in the other person, and the reason can be that we hold it inside of us, too, and seeing it exposed before us can be frustrating. But acknowledging that what we see in others is a reflection of ourselves, can help us overcome our unsolved issues.

Hat tip to Intelligence.com