Archives for category: Thoughts

Here’s an experiment to do. It was fun for me. Maybe you hate it.

Kill your dream.

Maybe not forever, but just for right now. There’s a good chance your dream is poisoning your food and tripping you when you’re not looking. Dreams are sneaky bastards that won’t be any fun if we blindly adopt them. Not that you shouldn’t ‘go for it’, it’s just that the ‘it’ is usually not IT.

I know this sounds dumb. Having a Dream is part of the American Religion. But so was having a house, going to college, and having sexuals with Angelina Jolie. Killing your dream will give you a second to actually Read the rest of this entry »

2012 is going to be nuts… but probably not as much as we think. It seems everyone has a prophecy for the end of that year. Of course the Mayan calendar ends, that’s spooky, right? Terrence McKenna said something about it too. I don’t know about any of that stuff really, but it’s kind of interesting and I heard Wikipedia is pretty hip with it.

I couldn’t think up any sweet supernatural things to predict. I’m not good at that stuff. My future-sense does not work like the magical lot. I’m just looking at shit around me and then making assumptions about what they’ll look like later. I’m sure to make an ass out of myself, but only you believing my batshit crazy ideas will make and ass out of you. Or won’t, because maybe there isn’t anything to even do about them. Either way:

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE.

…ad infinitum…

The future is copyrighted, and loves retro street signs

1. To start out strong, I’m going to use an idea that’s not mine. There will be the most ever Black Swan Events of all time. Papa Talib define’s his Black Swans in three simple steps.:

Read the rest of this entry »

My father wants me to give him a lesson in social networking online. He wants to use these magical platforms for business. So here’s my thinkings in brief:

Dear Father Dana,

There’s a lot of material out there on “harnessing the power of social media to drive business!” but most of it isn’t repeatable and frankly just common sense or dumb. I think the most important things are:

  • Be interesting
  • Be useful
  • Be consistent
  • Be authentic

Authenticity being the most important. If you don’t make a human connection with people then you lose. Read the rest of this entry »

Ken Robinson’s ideas are the kind that make me ashamed for not assuming. The gist of the talk is that (1) you need to be okay with being wrong to innovate and (2) intelligence is diverse, dynamic, and distinct.

Robinson provides context to create an interesting perspective when looking at our system of education. It was created in it’s current form around the time of the industrial revolution and to serve that revolution. This means that the most ‘useful’ subjects are given priority and that academic ability is the only form of intelligence we recognize in most people.

There’s a problem with our definition of ‘useful’ now. We don’t need as many people who are willing to follow directions perfectly now. Math and science are important, but creativity trumps them every time. Nowadays people are less likely to be rewarded for being a good computer programmer than they are to have a creative idea. More now than ever, the people who win are those who can solve problems.

The thing about problem solving and creative thinking is that it requires that you be wrong often enough to come to a solution. We go through school learning that mistakes, not knowing, and being wrong in general is unacceptable. We’re tested to measure how well we can remember what they told us and regurgitate it in a specific way. If you don’t do well, if you can’t concentrate on exactly what want you to, in the way they want you to, then process it in their specified way, you’re not intelligent. You get thrown on a medication so you can win their game. You may have been a brilliant artist or a hyperactive, manic-depressive serial entrepreneur, but now you’re focused on long division. And that’s worth something, right?

It’s widely recognized that there are serious problems with our system of education and there’s a lot of great talk about how to fix it. What I don’t understand is why so many parents and kids realize this and still submit to themselves to it. It’s tough to get around the system in place up until high school graduation. Then there is a question to be asked, one that I don’t think is considered a legitimate question often enough, “should I go to college, and should I do it now?”.

Champ-Gramp

People often comment how ‘material’ others are. Usually the commenter has less than the material person and usually I sense a bit of jealousy. Also, the person doing the pointing is wearing a piece of clothing with a logo, a logo that they paid extra for. We’re all ‘material’, just some more than others.

I once saw an interview with Warren Buffett where he said that he only spends on things that improve his quality of life. I’ve heard that he lives in the same house he got married in years ago and he wears some of the cheaper suits around. He uses a marquis jet service, not to impress but because it makes his life a bit better. Buffett is the least ‘material’ person I know (actually, my grandpa has a similar philosophy on spending).

I think that consumption is uncomfortable for a couple of reasons: (1) excess spending puts us in an economically uncomfortable position and (2) we don’t like to think about why we consume the things we do. Read the rest of this entry »

I solicit a lot of advice. If somebody is winning at something I’d like to know why. The thing about getting advice from the winner (as opposed to somebody who studies how they win) is that it usually isn’t advice in the positive, but the negative.

Asking for advice from someone may be the best way of revealing their regrets. You have no idea how many married men have told me, “Get with as many chicks in college as you possibly can.” I’m not saying it’s bad advice, but they sure as hell aren’t spreading their seed (hopefully…). Advice should only be taken as a positive ‘do this!’ if you can see evidence of that advice being used in the other person’s life.

Then there’s the hypocritical advice. A fatass may be giving you dieting advice or a virgin may be giving you girl advice. Just because they can’t follow their own advice doesn’t make it bad. In fact, a fat man may have better dieting information than a guy in shape because he has more incentive to research diets.

Chances are a guy who’s ripped will give you better workout advice than a fatty and that a billionaire businessman will have better business sense than a franchise owner, but you should still think about what they tell you. The point is that just  someone’s suckness or awesomeness doesn’t dictate the quality of advice they can bestow upon you.

Today I was required to go to a ‘career luncheon’, I tweeted that the attendees of a brothel brunch would have more self respect. The visitors were from PayLess shoes, who have been doing well. So I’m in a room with these PayLess representatives and about thirty peers. The experience couldn’t have been more painful. These kids spent almost the entire hour (a full sixty minutes, I was literally on the verge of tears) asking about their fucking resumes. The genius girl in the room dropped the ‘social media’ bomb (and used the words ‘integrate’ and ‘implement’!) and by the reactions in the room you’d think she had cured cancer. This sent the PayLess rep on a very long speech about making a Facebook page. A later answer triggered what I think might be the answer to why so many companies fail in their social media campaigns.

The PayLess rep had spent an amazing amount of time talking about how great the company culture is. “I just have so much fun!” “All the senior executives are so accessible!” “We are going to go on a ropes course!” Then, when talking about how he hired people, he told us all about how he didn’t hire someone because they were drinking in a picture. Then the other rep, a young woman, chimed in, “Yeah, it’s a really comfortable situation at work and I’m friends with everyone on my team. I just have to be very careful about what people see. Like, I went to a friend’s bachelorette party the other day and I had a blast but I can’t just put those pictures up. Like [and this chicita  said ‘like’ A LOT], I saw a co-workers Facebook partying and I just thought it was wrong. Like, we’re co-workers… I want to keep things professional.” REALLY!? If your job requires that you be sober and celibate (not saying putting nudez online is a good idea…) and that’s not who you are, you’re selling your soul. If keeping things professional means that you can’t enjoy yourself or actually make friends within the workplace, you’re done.

Tony Hsieh has built Zappos on the culture of real people . The only way social media can work for a company is if it feels real, not like a censored Facebook page.

I never let my schooling interfere with my education – Mark Twain

This post has been sitting unfinished and unpublished for about two months. With the release of new studies showing that 45 percent of students “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” during the first two years of college I thought it was time to finish it up.

My purpose for this post is to (1) show that college is not always the right way to go and (2) give ideas for alternatives. Essentially that the question isn’t always “where”, but should also be “if”. You’ll see that I don’t believe college is useless for all people or for all reasons, but that there are a lot of better ways to get an education. Ironically, the University of Florida will be giving me my degree in Economics this May. What might make that slightly less ironic is that I will have spent just 2.5 years in classes to get that degree. Nearly every person I’ve told this thinks I’m crazy, they think I’m giving up some of the greatest time of my life. I’ve enjoyed my time here and have had fantastic experiences, but if I were to graduate high school again there’s no way I would go straight into college. Read the rest of this entry »

 

But what if they were millionaires?

 

Today my professor was teaching my class about Keynesian economics. I watched in awe as he drew graph after graph explaining how governments can eliminate recessions. Apparently when the Fed increases the money supply by 10% it means we completely avoid a recession and prices increase by 10%. But that price increase doesn’t hurt because everyone has 10% more money – money going exactly where it needs to is another perfectly reasonable assumption. Many Libertarians and other advocates of free markets will spend a huge amount of time explaining why Keynes’ theories don’t actually lead to economic success. I have spent a lot of my time pointing to terrible economic consequences of Keynesians running the show; however, I think that this focus misses the point. Even if a manipulative government outproduced a hands-off government would we want it? Read the rest of this entry »

I find myself pointing to more production and higher standards of living as arguments for free markets.  While these are important and valid points, they are secondary to moral issues.  A free market is needed for a free mind.

If you believe in self ownership – that you own yourself, not another person, not a group of persons – then you realize that a free market must be the only moral option.  The biggest problem people have with this is that they want to ‘be their own person’ without the responsibility.  Self-ownership means responsibility for that self.

This shouldn’t be difficult to defend. If you don’t own yourself, who does? If you’re not responsible for yourself, who is?

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