Owners Vs Managers

I had an interesting meeting with a client this morning. The clients business is a very big one, so the people we work with there are not connected in any way to the founder / owner.

It is fascinating to compare the difference between business owners and business managers. Owners understand the trade offs between branding and revenue generation. Business managers generally don’t and generally seem to pick one or the other to focus all their energies on.

The client this morning had chosen to focus all of their energies on branding at the expense of revenue generation – they refused to do any optimized copy and have extremely strict branding rules that basically make it impossible to get any real work done.

Fascinating to see the contrast, I am not sure how you prevent it though if you don’t have the business owner involved directly.

USA Bomb Yesterday Kills 30

On the same day that a tragic event happened at the Boston marathon, another tragedy on the other side of the world occurred. US airplanes in Afghanistan came under anti-aircraft fire and responded with close air support bombings… but one of the bombs missed and hit a wedding party killing 30 people and wounding 120 more.


How To Know If You’re Getting Old

Consider these following facts to know if you are getting old:

  1. A 6th grader who watched Avatar become the highest grossing film ever, wasn’t yet born when the last highest grossing film (Titanic) came out.
  2. Most high school seniors weren’t born yet when Bill Clinton became president.
  3. The Little Mermaid just celebrated it’s 21st birthday.

Youth Is Wasted On The Young

Living with my grandparents while I was growing up, I heard quite a few old timey sayings from them and their friends.  One saying that has stayed with me through the years is “youth is wasted on the young”.

When I was younger, my take on the saying was that it rang true but the meaning didn’t really apply to me.  Actually experiencing growing older has forced me to experience it myself.  It’s very hard for young people to visualize what it will be like when your body and mind reach physical maturity and how your body will even begin deteriorating before then.

When you have nearly bottomless energy, no wrinkles, and a fresh excitement for the world it is very difficult to understand you have a finite number of days to live and where you spend your time & energy is extraordinarily important.

Youth makes you think that you can party like a rockstar forever, you can spend your time on silly things, and with unimportant people.  Age & experience teaches you that taking care of yourself and people important to you is your top priority.

I may sound a bit silly as I’m only 26 years old, but I most likely have now lived a full third of my life (and the majority of my most active days).  I want to live my life to the fullest and without regret.

I Can Say Fuck On the Public Internets!

And the world didn’t explode.

People are nazis when it comes to self-policing their names online.  Many people hide all of their activities under various pseudonyms.

Under their own names, they are only willing to do super bland & inane activities like create a LinkedIn profile or write an Amazon review.  Many of these same individuals then go to other websites and spew hatred, racism, child porn, troll comments, and many other idiotic activities under hidden pseudonyms like “2Cute4U” and “YourMomisaHo56382932847”.

I would like to make much of the internet traceable back to specific human beings… you would see most of the riff-raff clean up their act.  Privacy is only useful for criminals.

If you want to share offensive comments like “I can say fuck on the public internets!”, then go for it.  Just have some courage and say it under your own name so that people recognize who you are.

For certain activities, such as whistle-blowing, it is necessary to have a few sites online where people can be completely anonymous…. but the whole internet does not need to be anonymous as many child molestation advocates like Rebecca Jeschke, Michael Ostrolenk, Chip Pitts, and Susan Grant. Those four people are leaders of some of the strongest privacy advocacy groups online.

Disguising Your Online Identity is Pointless

In this post, I am discussing hiding your blog with a pseudonym… not your illegal downloading activities.

95% of my blogging friends disguise their blogs so people can’t figure out who they are by just looking at the blogs, nor can people Google them and find the blogs.  People generally disguise their blogs because they think family & friends will judge them or that their boss will fire them.  I hold the opposite point of view: sharing yourself online helps create more human connections even when people disagree with you or find your ideas distasteful.

Hiding your blog is wrong for 3 reasons:

  1. No one wants to read blogs that are bland or anonymous.
  2. Better ideas & theories are built by discussing your concepts, not stashing them away.
  3. Its cowardly.  Stand behind your opinions or shut up.

So why do people hide their blogs in spite of these 3 strong points?

  1. Fear that their boss will see it and fire them
  2. Fear that their family will read it and disown them
  3. Fear that their friends will read it and not like them
  4. Fear that their future children will read it and behave badly
  5. Fear that what they have to say is stupid, trivial or wrong

The points can be answered easily: Even when people disagree with you, they are still getting to know you better.  Most of the time when you know someone you care for them more its basic human nature.  Anyways, if you go through life hiding & disguising who you are, what’s the point of living at all?

If your opinion is ignorant or silly or incorrect, why would you want to hold it any longer than you already have?  Posting your theories, ideas and beliefs publicly opens them to examination by other intelligent people and may lead you to better understand the world.  You can always go back to an old incorrect post and put a link at the top pointing to a new post on how your opinion has changed.

Three blogs that need to go public:

Pull your balls out of your rear end and believe in yourself!

Tradition is Evil

My title, “Tradition is Evil”, may surprise and upset you.  Human nature is to avoid change and cling to the status quo.  Please understand this and consider the thought I am about to lay before you carefully.  I suggest that instead of blindly clinging to tradition that we use data, logic and rational thought to govern our lives.

Since before the time of the early Greeks, mankind has thought that everyone should have his place and that change should come slowly if at all.  Plato claimed that tradition is justice. His utopian society was one in which there would be three classes and people would rarely switch between them.  Plato’s system of belief laid much of the philosophic foundation for later totalitarian regimes, from monarchies all the way to communism and national socialism. 

People today continue to have the same mindset of avoiding and resisting change.  I believe the default human reaction of fighting change is something that is genetic since many changes can be potentially bad and you are less likely to come to harm by sitting tight.

Many traditions though cause direct harm to humanity.  Most countries incorporate some form of class system into their government to keep people in the same roles they were born into: this prevents the strong from rising or the weak from falling.  Carried to an extreme, you end up with Medieval government structures with inbred idiots ruling countries and intelligent people forced to do manual labor.  Galileo was executed for having correct ideas that opposed traditional ideas.  Many other great ideas have also been suppressed throughout history by tradition.

Tradition, by definition, is not necessarily what is best for people.  It’s just how things have usually been done or how human myth says they should be done.  Much of the strength of superstitious beliefs come from tradition: if people logically thought about whether knocking on wood, astrology or prayer affects real life outcomes and studied the actual evidence they would quickly discard those beliefs. 

Even supposedly harmless traditions aren’t good: dressing in ridiculous outfits and singing old songs keeps people from accomplishing tasks related to human progress.  If people wish to study history and performing these traditions helps, then it is a positive.  I think it is probably overdone though.

In business and political life, America has been turning away from using evidence and logic to decide outcomes and has begun to rely upon tradition.  The Kennedy family’s political power and George W. Bush’s election is a prime example of this: much of the reason they achieve office in our country is because of family name recognition and not any amazing achievements they have done in their own right.  The bailouts of the automotive companies and the banking corporations is another example of tradition defeating logic & evidence: if those companies had failed, it would have made room for newer & better corporations like Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Mint to take market share.  Instead, trillions of dollars were wasted to maintain the status quo.

Democracy itself is a concept based on using evidence and logic to run the government instead of tradition.  If you don’t want a king, queen, emperor or aristocracy determing your fate then you should think twice next time your mind defaults to maintaining the status quo. 

Use your reason & observed evidence in the world around you to make decisions, not just the default tradition that first comes to mind. Listen very carefully to anyone who uses arguments based on tradition to justify their positions.  Oftentimes, those positions won’t be in your best interest.


Need, Want, and Love

Spanaway elementary school was small and all the same kids were in the same classroom every day.  I spent every year with the same group of friends.  Upon reaching middle school, those kids all dispersed to different schools and I was completely lost.  I had no idea how to make friends and was desperately lonely and needed my old friends back.  It took me two years to learn how to make new friends and establish a new group of people.  In the years since that first time, it has become easier and easier to leave old friends and establish new ones.  I love all my friends I’ve had through the years, but I no longer need them.  I desire to spend time with them, but that desire has slowly been tamed from an intense need to a peaceful want.  I am not so silly as to think I don’t need people, but I’ve realized that I can make friends and establish a strong social network for myself wherever I go.  Each type of friends, old and new, have special qualities that I enjoy.

Dating relationships have gone through the same cycle.  Becky was my first love and when she broke up with me it was extraordinarily hard.  It felt like I would die if I didn’t have her with me.  Two months went by before my hysterical desire to see her faded, and occasionally I still think of her wistfully to this day.  Breakups after her have become easier and easier, just like the cycle of not seeing old friends as often and meeting new ones has become easier.  I understand that my first girlfriends and first friends were not necessarily better than my later friends, but that I have become a more mature and seasoned person through these experiences.

Maturity in friendships and relationships has given me a fierce independence and freedom.  I don’t need any one person and am able to make new friends and find lovers wherever I find myself.  People are vital to a happy, healthy life but no one person is irreplaceable to me now.  I love my friends, girlfriend and family and they are very important to me.  I am also happy to be a free, independent person who does not need any one person and can freely spend time with people I want to be with.  True love is not based on need, it is based on want that is freely desired.  Think of abusive relationships… why do beaten wives stay with drunk demon husbands? It certainly isn’t because they freely desire and want the treatment they get… it’s because  they are emotionally dependent and need their partner.  The most beautiful relationships are ones in which both parties are happy, strong and independent and can leave at anytime and still be happy… but they choose to stay with one another.  Those are the relationships I want in my life.

My strength came through circumstances that were forced upon me and my reaction to those times.  I wonder if it is possible for someone who is never forced to go through such circumstances to develop into a robust, free person?  I’m not sure.  I can say that many people I know who either have not been through those problems or reacted badly to them are in need-based relationships, not want-based love.  What do you think?  Do you have any need-based friendships or relationships?

Suffocating Existentialism

Amazon had good ratings on a book, “The Stranger” by Albert Camus so I bought it.  Reading it took only about two hours tonight and I found it to be a fascinating book about a man who kills another man and goes on trial and is condemned.  Throughout the whole ordeal, the man just does not seem to care much one way or the other, he only exists for the moment and the short term future.  Interesting philosophy that made a bit of sense to me, though I think there are some fundamental flaws to it.  Too much I have seen in life is highly structured and ordered for me to believe that it doesn’t matter how you live your life.  My joy is quantifiable and reacts directly to the world around and inside of me.  I am able to directly manipulate it through my actions and observe changes in it from the actions of others.  I can agree with the viewpoint that one man’s life may have a different path to joy, but it is still a defineable and usually manageable path.  I also think that many people think that they are more unique than they really are; our DNA is 99.99% the same and satisfying the same basic needs gives universal joy.  Still though, existentialism makes much more sense than any religion.

Fremont Solstice Parade: Naked Bicyclists

I attended the Fremont Summer Solstice Fair yesterday and had a blast… lots of sun, hippies, drinks, and fun.  I actually sadly missed the nude bicyclists, but I did see about a thousand of them in Portland last weekend.

I do have a question though: As much as I like naked bicyclists, isn’t it against the law?  Do the police just not enforce nudity laws on one day of the year because their is too many people doing it?  This doesn’t make much sense to me: what if a local UFC team decided to have a “Fight Club” parade and walked down the road punching people?  Would the police not enforce assault laws either? Hmm… that may not be the best example since no one is physically injured by nudity- though viewing some of the older, plumper cyclists may cause intestinal distress lol.

Nudity is something that I’m all in favor of, but I think that the law should be changed rather than just have the police selectively enforce it.  I understand the concept of passive protest, but these naked cyclists should still be arrested and pushed through the court system.  Then if nudity is something that should be allowed, people can campaign to change the law.

Some individuals were arguing on the SeattlePI website that nude cycling was a form of “freedom” that people who want freedom from the government in other areas always seem to oppose.  I disagree with this viewpoint: I want the freedom to spend my money as I please, but these same people who want free nudity also want my money to sponsor their government handout programs.

Oregonian judges have made the best argument for public nude bicycling: they claim it is a form of “protected expression”.  Basically, that the bicyclists nudity is a political statement and thus covered under free speech.  I am a bit skeptical of this, but it certainly makes more sense than things I’ve heard.

What do you think? Is it joyful free-swinging wangs or unlawful conduct flaunting order & justice?