Plato Interview

Plato and I had a bit of a rough night out on Friday night and so yesterday we didn’t feel like doing much. After our workout in the afternoon, we went and had dinner at Cedar’s followed by a viewing of The Simpson’s movie at the Metro. The Simpson’s movie was exactly like the show, but stretched out over an hour and a half… decent hangover entertainment. Both of us were bored and so we decided to go play a game of chess at the Trabant cafe and I brought a notebook in case of the advent of an idea. My chess game was off and after getting my ass kicked twice I started to ask Plato questions and writing down his answers. Here is what I found:

Joel: For or against gay marriage?

Plato: For

Joel: If there was a woman who was your perfect match emotionally and intellectually, but was ugly, would you date her?

Plato: No

Joel: Should we have the death penalty?

Plato: No

Joel: Are you into Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering?

Plato: Yes

Joel: Hahahhahaha

Joel: Who would you vote for for president, based on what you know right now?

Plato: Probably Hilary.

Joel: What is your opinion on universal healthcare?

Plato: Everyone should have access to medical care

Joel: Would you rather live the rest of your life with no testicles or having testicles, but never able to have sex or masturbate again?

Plato: No balls

Joel: Be 7 feet tall or 5 feet tall?

Plato: 7 feet

Joel: What about 8 feet versus 5 feet?

Plato: 5 feet. 8 foot tall people are sideshow attractions.

Joel: What will be your last drink on earth?

Plato: Excellent scotch, straight.

Joel: If I was going to put you in a box for the rest of your life with no music, but told you you could listen to one final song, what would it be?

Plato: “Help” by the Beatles. Really, really loud.

Joel: What should we do about the homeless? Put them in concentration camps? Light them on fire?

Plato: The government should help them.

Joel: 🙁

Joel: Would you rather have Stephen Hawking’s life or Michael Vick’s

Plato: Stephen Hawking

Joel: What is the meaning of life?

Plato: I don’t know.

Joel: Jebus!

Other things learned about Plato: He likes pain during sex, thinks the government can put people in gimp boxes, would rather have sex with Thomas Jefferson than Karl Marx, only likes sports he won’t get hurt in, believes being dumb is worse then being bad at sex/ physically unfit/ poor /unhappy, Native Americans should have no tribal rights or sovereign nations and he is a fan of prostitution. He exercises to look good naked. Only parents should be allowed to have the right of corporal punishment. Strangely, if given the choice, he would put a coma victim in a gimp box.

Eastpak Backpack Review

I have owned my Eastpak backpack since my junior year of high school. The trusty Eastpak bag has seen me through my final two years of high schoo, my four years of college and one year in the working world and has never let me down. That’s 7 years of daily hard usage put onto one backpack and it has held up extremely well. I have one small tear in the bottom of one of the pouches and that’s it. Other than the regular wear and tear and some stains and a funny smell (that is mostly due to me), the Eastpak bag is in great condition. I recommend anyone who is looking to buy a backpack give Eastpak backpacks a hard, long look. I sure would love to purchase another one in the future.


Last August, I had a brilliant idea. I rarely call my own ideas brilliant, but I think that this one will be truly revolutionary for online public relations and reputation management. I call it the “TruV1ew 1ndex”, after one of my company’s two main products.

A little background: I work for Vis. Tech. on the TruV1ew team as a business analyst. We control the top 20 search results for client keywords and charge a hefty fee to do so. For example, if Jon Stewart or Chevron came to us and wanted to ensure that positive, up-to-date and relevant information filled the top twenty search results across the 4 major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL) for their brand names, we could take care of it for them. It’s a mix of search engine optimization and public relations work; techie marketing.

My idea was for the quantitatively tracking over time of how your reputation looks online- sort of a combination of the Gallup polls and Nielsen ratings. Basically, my prime goal is to create the industry standard for effectively and efficiently measuring an entities reputation in the search engines. My first problem was considering our current way of tracking search reputation- we just tracked the total number of positives, negatives and unrelateds across the four search engines. This does not work at all because it is obvious that holding the #1 result on Google is far and away more important than holding the #20 result on AOL, but we weighted each equally. Another problem was our method of rating each article- we only had options to rate it positive, negative or unrelated. Yet another issue is that we didn’t take into account the market share each search engine held, nor the importance of each individual keyword to a client (some clients give us keywords that are more important to them then others).

My system will basically fix all of these issues and give V1s1ble a far deeper understanding of how the search engine results break down (we are constantly trying to reverse engineer the engines to understand how to promote positive content). I have built an algorithm that will take into account the weighting of the search result rankings using data derived from recently released clickthrough info from AOL, it will weight the keywords and the search engine market share and establish a new 6 point scoring system that will be far more accurate then the old methodology. When you compute the algorithm for your keyword, you will get back a single number, between 0 and 500 that will tell you exactly how positive or negative or irrelevant you are to your keyword. This number will be able to be broken down by search engine, keyword and several other views. Over time, we will be able to tell you whether your visibility is improving or decreasing and whether or not you have a good online brand image.

As more and more people go to the search engines to gain insight into companies and individuals, the internet has become a very important part of public relations. I don’t have any hard numbers, but I think the search engines are where 35% of people turn to find out about other people and companies. That means that the multi-billion dollar marketing and public relations field is about to undergo a radical paradigm shift and when it’s over, hopefully my company will be on top. My goal is to establish the TruV1ew 1ndex as the leading brand in quantitative search management; the equivalent of Kleenex to facial tissue. I plan to do this by rolling out a free website where people can go and type in their keywords and receive a score back for free. We will make money from the upsell to more and better information as well as actual reputation management itself.

Yet another preacher exposed for fraud.

A scumbag preacher from Ghana just got caught having an stage magic device that he used to trick people into believing that they had experienced a “miracle”. It gives an electric shock or can charge a spoon or make a light bulb seem to magically turn on and off. Apparently, there is a lot of churches popping up through Africa that claim they can cure AIDS. Damn, religion is evil- it’s just a bunch of scam artists feeding off of the fears of the mentally weak. Sad.


Michael Vick has been accused of fighting dogs at one of his homes in Virginia. The indictment was almost pornographic in it’s sensational brutalilty; he is accused of strangling, electrocuting and drowning dogs of his that lost. They also found a bloody rug, a treadmill specially made for dogs and a “rape stand”- a bench used for mating pitbulls. All of this is very disturbing, especially when you consider the level of Vick’s celebrity. Michael Vick has been the face of the NFL over the last several years and he was my favorite active player. The NFL has rarely had such a prize athlete, a quarterback who could both run and throw. Watching him play was impressive and exciting; he could make professional athletes look like children.

I wonder how much of his brutality towards animals was learned from playing a sport that glorifies and idolizes the biggest and meanest men? Football is a sport where players are trained from a young age to hit others as hard as they can and if the other player doesn’t get back up, they are lauded for laying a big hit. The NFL especially has a culture of violence; look at Tank Johnson and Pacman Jones- both famous players also up on multiple felony charges. The Cincinnati Bengals last year were a joke- something like 8 of their players were arrested during the season. Michal Vick’s own little brother was kicked off his college football team when he brutally stomped an opponents knee after a play was over in a bowl game.

If you are a football fan and enjoy watching the games and spend money to watch these people play, don’t be so surprised when it turns out that the players viciousness and brutality sometimes finds its way into other areas of their lives.

America’s weight is growing faster than it population

I was refreshed to read a blog this morning that was very politically incorrect about the obese epidemic in America. Being obese is not something that our society should try make acceptable. Fat is a disease that is killing millions of people and causing various disabilities in millions more. Not only are they hurting themselves, but they are hurting others who have to pay for their medical and unemployment benefits via Social Security and Medicare.

You are probably asking yourself, “Who the hell does skinny ass Joel think he is?!” I don’t mean to step on people’s toes, but I think that we try to tiptoe around this issue far too much. I think that most people have far more control over their weight then they are willing to admit. There is a reason why 50 years ago this country had vastly fewer overweight people. Obviously, some people have medical conditions that cannot be helped, but this is a very small portion of the overweight population. If people were willing to take control of their lives, and monitor their nutrition and exercise, they would be shocked by how much improvement they would see. Boys, if you need any extra motivation to burn off those extra pounds, read this article about how women are more attracted to men with muscles.

The days before computers

How did people survive in the days before the internet and computers? I can’t imagine trying to have to maintain a file system instead of a database. Every time I wanted to open a file, I’d have to walk over to the files system, open a cabinet, hunt out the file i need, carry it back to my desk and open it and then reverse the process when I’m done. RIdiculous. It’s so much easier just to click an icon on my computer. What if you had to sort data (I do this regularly in excel) and you have 100,000 names? My god, it would take an army of minions to do what I can do in 3 seconds.

Or what about when you’re at work and you need a break to refresh your brain? You wouldn’t have access to all the news, articles and friends that you have today through the internet.

I wonder what people are going to think about us in 50 years? Are they going to be asking the same types of questions about our physical workplaces, large computers? Will they even have to work at all?

Dante’s Inferno Frat Bar

Fletch and I were hanging out yesterday and went to a coffee shop on the Ave called Starlife and drank some coffee and played chess. Post chess, we walked up to a little park and Fletch hopped on the merry-go-round and I spun him around till he was nauseous. As we walked back towards Trader Joes, I saw a sign outside of Dante’s (a bar) that said “$2 wells” and wordlessly pointed to it and we both just turned and went in. After 3 wells apiece we continued on to Trader Joe’s where we got a bottle of wine and blue cheese stuffed steaks for dinner. Interesting evening.