Now we see fears and the reality of coronavirus hitting the markets hard.
I’ve said it before, so this is repetition, but worth repeating. Stock markets move on emotion much more than the fundamentals. Companies are overvalued because there are more people with more money in pensions and the money has to go somewhere.
From the article: “Perhaps the best single example of the power of sowing doubt was the decades-long campaign by US tobacco companies to fog the scientific consensus over the link between cigarettes and cancer. As one famous internal memo noted: “Doubt is our product.” Robert Proctor, the Stanford historian who studied the tobacco campaigns, created a new word to capture the tobacco companies’ beguiling success – agnotology, or the process by which ignorance is deliberately produced.”
Yes, I’m a programmer and full stack developer, speaker, etc, but… at TAMU I minored in history. One of my focus areas was African history (the continent. Think 1000+ years of history.) Thus I’m really looking forward to watching Black Panther.
Let me count the ways:
First – I’ve heard it is a GREAT movie.
Second – I’m hoping to learn more from what is hopefully a historically “aware” science fiction movie that will open minds to the richness and culture. We must learn from our origin.
But, honestly, here’s the thing that nobody really talks about when it comes to success and motivation and willpower and
goals and productivity and all those little buzzwords that have come into popularity: you are as you are until you’re not.
You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. That’s just how it happens.
And what I think we all need more than anything is this: permission to be wherever the fuck we are when we’re there.
You’re not a robot. You can’t just conjure up motivation when you don’t have it.
There’s a magic beyond us that works in ways we can’t understand. We can’t game it. We can’t 10-point list it. We can’t control it. We have to just let it be, to take a fucking step back for a moment, stop beating ourselves up into oblivion, and to let the cogs turn as they will. One day, this moment will make sense. Trust that.
Jamie Varon is a writer based out of Los Angeles. You can connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, and at her Facebook page. Because we all need candid smart and fearless thinkers in our lives. This one impresses me.
Theft? Yes. – Yes I agree that the current economic structure in academics does in fact technically make this theft. So hey, Professor Elbakyan is having an American Tea Party in St. Petersberg.
Further I believe it is our current economic structure that is broken. Oh, and that JSTOR is run by boneheads who couldn’t solve a problem creatively if their lives depended on it. As we say in programming – “garbage in, garbage out.”
Taken from a behavioral perspective, if you recall, before the itunes store made buying songs easy, everyone downloaded them for free. Before the kindle made downloading books electronically cheap and convenient, everyone downloaded them for free. Make it convenient or someone else will make it really convenient!
A researcher in Russia has made more than 48 million journal articles – almost every single peer-reviewed paper every published – freely available online. And she’s now refusing to shut the site down, despite a court injunction and a lawsuit from Elsevier, one of the world’s biggest publishers.
For those of you who aren’t already using it, the site in question is Sci-Hub, and it’s sort of like a Pirate Bay of the science world. It was established in 2011 by neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who was frustrated that she couldn’t afford to access the articles needed for her research…
JSTOR was founded to be a shared digital archive serving the scholarly community. We understand the value of the scholarship and other material on the platform and that the future accessibility of this content is essential. Libraries around the world rely on us and contribute Archive Capital Fees to JSTOR for preservation activities.
To understand a Russian academics perspective, this data I found on the Internet for free, says that the overall average monthly income in Russia in 2005 was a NET total of $263 per month. Now that $25 JSTOR article for which the author was paid nothing by JSTOR is 10% of that Russian student’s monthly income.
That kind of changes your perspective a bit, huh?
I can and do understand why people would immediately view sci-hub.io as theft. Except for academics this just isn’t a black and white issue. There are a few differences.
I can’t afford to pay $45 for every research paper I want to read knowing the research was funded by federal grants, underwritten by the University and the authors were not compensated.
Why not bring the economics down to the level of the app store?
How does JSTOR add value if they don’t pay the authors and didn’t write the content? Their answer is “peer review and legitimacy,” but those can now be conveyed on the internet. Aren’t there other solutions?
And the bottom line is the TOPIC I was interested in in a peer reviewed science journal as recent at 2014 was downloaded within 5 minutes. It takes me longer to print it than find it. Not that sci-hub.io probably couldn’t do it even faster. And that is a good thing for the globe. Now back to reading….
… In our study area, despite the potential of infestation of opportunistic behaviors by workers, a fixed wage (FW) contract has been dominant for rice planting since the 1960s. To account for this puzzle of a seemingly-inefficient contractual arrangement, we adopt a hybrid experimental method of framed field experiments by randomly assigning three distinct labor contracts, i.e., FW, individual piece rate (IPR), and group piece rate (GPR) contracts and artefactual filed experiments to elicit social preference parameters. Through the analyses of individual workers’ performance data from framed field experiments and data on social preferences elicited by artefactual field experiments, Three main empirical findings emerge. First……
Life can be complex. But I got what I wanted, I didn’t use it because after scanning it it wasn’t the article I was looking for. It sent unused, I didn’t pay for it, but I also threw it away, but mainly I acquired it and came to that decision faster than I could have typed in my credit card number to buy it from JSTOR.
In this case the economics didn’t match the need. I solved it for myself, and sci-hub is apparently solving it for millions. Open our minds and find a better optimum solution. We can and should do this.
The burden of communication is on the communicator; not the recipient.
Therefore proper email communication and email etiquette is for YOU to use
Use active and strong subject lines – be exact
Link to exact content or web pages – nobody has time to google it
use numbered lists – numbered lists in email define priority
limit use of bulleted lists – bulleted lists in email are for the lazy communicator
Further, try to use reasonably short paragraphs. Use these guidelines on how to write a decent email that might actually produce results.
Specifically email communication must use:
Email Subject Lines – all emails need a well articulated and relevant Subject Line.
Examples of good email subject lines:
Client X going live on Tuesday July 29 before Friday Board Meeting
Training help file on email etiquette posted on eschipul.com
“Feast with the Beast” Presale Facebook AD text (sent to the zoo)
Bad subject lines torture your coworkers with anxiety which lowers morale and greatly reduces profitability.
Every time an email is sent with a bad subject line, a baby seal dies. This is sad. Save the baby seals! Use good subject lines!
Links to the EXACT content or subject because ease of use changes behavior.
Ease of use changes behavior. Without links people will NOT click through to see the work that has been done.
It is rare that an email goes out that is truly not about SOMETHING that should be linked. Yes exceptions occur, but they are rare exceptions. Link to what you are talking about. Or don’t waste other people’s time if you are just that lazy.
Think about it. It is not your coworker’s responsibility to overcome your unwillingness to copy/paste a link from a site you are probably looking at when you sent the email!
Every time an email is sent without relevant and specific links, a baby seal dies. This is sad. Save the baby seals! Use links!
Numbered Lists – organize your information.
Bulleted lists suck – bullets are fundamentally evil because they do NOT convey priority by the sender (YOU!). Yet the recipient invariably starts at the top assuming this is in fact the top priority.
Numbered lists with priority 1 being first – The value of forcing yourself to use numbered lists is that the sender (you) must organize your thoughts before confusing everyone else. It has been my experience that most people do not “order” bulleted lists but numbering makes them think about it.
Raise your hand if you like numbered lists! Now raise your other hand so things balance out. Or to put it another way – be kind to people who need this structure. It benefits you if people understand your message. Embrace diversity including “diversity of types of thinkers.” Structure and prioritize your content in email communication, or really any communication.
Use Short Paragraphs – with rare exceptions
Shorter paragraphs with strong subject sentences greatly increase reading comprehension.
Speed readers tend to read the first sentence of a paragraph and use that to make a decision if they should bother reading the rest. Shorter paragraphs means more of your message is consumed regardless.
They force you to organize your thoughts before wasting everyone else’s time!
Don’t use Nickel words – save them for scrabble
To repeat – the burden of communication is on the communicator, including in email, not the recipient. While it is possible to write in tongues, this needlessly reduces comprehension.
But don’t oversimplify an email as that just make it more confusing. Just make it as simple as possible and no simpler.
We all value our time. You do. I do. Everyone does. So it frequently seems expedient to send an email quickly without thought. The problem is the person receiving these emails might be receiving 500 emails a day and there is no way to Get Things Done without more data.
For example assuming you – not putting a decent subject line – costs each recipient 1 extra minute of time to comprehend (if they give you this minute), then an email that saved you 1 minute, just cost a company of 30 people 29 minutes of billable time. This is very real money. And these are very real emotions on the part of the recipient.
Don’t be mean; take the time to write decent emails. Or don’t speak.
[Note: this was an internal company help file for years, I probably wrote it around 2002 or 2003. This is just me reposting it for public consumption.]
Each of us personally, and all of us together, require attention to three basic needs: protection, provided primarily by our governments; consumption, provided primarily by our businesses; and affiliation, found especially in our communities.
With regard to the last of these, between our individualized and collective natures, we are social beings who crave human relationships: we need to belong and identify, especially in a world of so much isolated individualism. Accordingly, a healthy society combines respected governments in the public sector, responsible businesses in the private sector, and robust communities in the plural sector. Weaken any one of these and a society falls out of balance.
If the private sector is about individual ownership and the public sector is about collective citizenship, then the plural sector is about shared communityship.16
The digital divide is not only between the digital natives and the elders, between the digitally enhanced and the not, between the glassholes and the blind, but also over time. There is a time we cannot imagine anymore and those from the past could not imagine accurately the future. Hence our (my?) love ofSteampunk, historical visions of the future (past).
The big divide occurred when a third “item to be carried at all times” was introduced, an idea that I cannot properly attribute as it has sunk into our consciousness so deeply the origin is now a mystery. The third item? The first two “items to be carried at all times” being (1) something of value (cash)and (2) a method of accessing something of value (key, credit card, secret code). Every human has had these two on their person at all times without fail since the great leap forward, to quote Guns, Germs and Steel.
More importantly, these devices don’t just facilitate communication; they change how we interact at a systemic experiential level. We didn’t just watch American Pharoah (sic) win the Triple Crown, we recorded every second of American Pharoah trotting around Belmont Park. Because…
“If you don’t have a pic, it didn’t happen.” – anonymous
FORTY THREE PERCENT
43 PERCENT DROP IN CRIME AND THE MEDIA HAS CONVINCED YOU IT’S UP
BECAUSE THERE IS NO MEDIA, THERE ARE ONLY ADVERTISING COMPANIES. SORRY. #TRUTH
See that HUGE decline since 1990. Those are the facts. Please Stop, just stop, stop being a tool to “the man.” Just stop.
I ask people. You should ask people to. “Is crime up or down in the US since 1990? They will say “up”. Then ask “by how much do you think it’s up?” They will say anything from 5 to 50%. They think crime is up. I ask “can you google it for us” (try duckduckgo for search too. Google isn’t God. Really people?) and I get nothing. Blank stares.
Stop, just stop. Sorry to burst everyone’s paranoid bubble (insert pot-kettle cliche here) with facts. I know, we all hate it when someone drops facts on a good ghost story. Sadly it is true – you are safer now in the US than ever.
With a BS in Political Science (a BS in BS?) I frequently hear people parroting advertising companies that run search engines or web sites or TV shows or Newspapers. Note the first phrase – “ADVERTISING COMPANIES” – they need to sell advertising. Nothing more nothing less.
IF IT BLEEDS IT LEADS
If you sell advertising, how do you make more money? Simple, follow a very old formula and scare the life out of people. It boils down to, what if it bleeds less than before but nobody notices?
What’s old is still new again – “If it bleeds, it leads.”
Stop, just stop. No more fear mongering to weak minds. And if you don’t have a weak mind, then educate and empower those around you. Advertising companies make money from page views, not from facts. They do not have your best interests at heart. But you know that. So tell your kids! Tell them! It’s not a conspiracy, it’s the system and it’s YOUR responsibility to educate your children and your community that what is in your best interest is different from what sells the most ads.
It’s all about the money….
Example: “OK, yea, we are selling banner ads and we decided to just lie on our rate sheets that 5000 people picked up the paper in the Doctor’s office and it should be a 5000x multiple of subscribers.” (an exaggeration for the sake of drawing eyeballs… and no, the irony is not lost on money, but I don’t sell advertising and I’m not paid for this so wahtev…. )
For those not in the Advertising Business, which thankfully despite the resolute ethical souls leading the Houston Advertising community (disclaimer: I was formerly a board member of AAF-Houston) the rate sheet dictates the “ad buy” rate. So the more people who view an advertisement the more you can charge. If you can convince people that your business journal is subscribed to once (1) and viewed by an additional twenty (20) people (um.. not on this planet anyway so unless aliens are spiriting it away in the night and buying online then I call BS (zOMG so (recursive(recursive(nerd-humor, *args, *kwargs))) then you can sell advertisements at a higher rates. Thus it sells ads (*cough* chron.com *cough*.)
It’s not all good news as death by gun is stupid. And a shame. We can continue to do better. One tragic fact not discussed in the media is that more people die from self inflicted gunshot wounds than are victims of homicides involving a gun.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.“ – Albert Einstein (via Good Reads)
I saw the most beautiful moment last weekend at the Ren Fest and I have to share it with you. It involves children and green giants. (stay with me for a moment…)
I started going to the Texas Renaissance Festival in either 1987 or 1988 while going to Texas A&M as an undergrad. I can’t recall the exact date. I went many times, but it was college so that might have been three times in one year or two times each year, or who knows. It’s lucky I remember my own name from 20+ years ago.
But I DO remember the texas renaissance festival. We were broke students so we bought the discount tickets from HEB and had to sneak in our own beer because we couldn’t afford the beer inside. In the late 80s my favorite renfest-shows were, in priority order, the falconry show followed by the mud show. The mud show back then was a mud pit in an open field and people who would gather around said pit. Falconry on the other hand, always had the most beautiful arena. But that is probably an artifact of not wanting the birds of prey to perch on small children during the act. I gotta figure being the falconry guy at the RenFest is like being the lion keeper at the zoo; if you say you need something you might bump the queue over the guy who takes care of the armadillos. There’s only so much that can go wrong if an armadillo is on the loose. But a lion? Definite priority. Just sayin’
I love the Renaissance Festival. (Disclaimer, as of a couple years ago RenFest is a client. But that doesn’t change things. I still pay for my ticket and I still take my whole family every year.) I have so many great memories and so many great photos. But this year, a 10 second interchange, stopped me dead on all-hallows-eve. This is what happened:
An ENORMOUS green man was attacked by a small child. Or torpedo-hugged. I don’t know the guy, and I’m not small, but he was larger than me and commanded a presence with his huge frame. And this giant man was reduced to a puddle of love by a child he had never met. Until that moment. That man was Shrek:
Or to more accurately state it, a tiny 3 or 4 year old little girl propelled herself out of her parents arms like an Olympic athlete and flew above the ground like a hydrofoil to Shrek. It was kinda like the “human torpedo” move in WWE.
Shrek knelt down on one knee and caught her. The young’un quickly buried her head against his enormous frame. The giant man, in costume of course, brought her to a safe position and looked up at her parents for approval. Mrs. Shrek right next to him.
The parents of the star of our story 5 feet away nodded approval and smiled. Myself 20 feet away dumbstruck.
And all of us were frozen. We froze watching this beautiful young lady who completely believed not only in Shrek, but that THIS was SHREK. And she loved him. It looked like this photo I took after I snapped out of it.
I can’t really explain it. It was just beautiful. It was respectful. The parents were smiling ear to ear. The actor-volunteer-Shrek was well aware of a responsibility that I had no idea he had; to represent honorably the image of Shrek and the dreams of little kids.
And the child demonstrated a complete lack of prejudice, she charged and jumped into the arms of a 300+ pound green man! How many of us could jump into the arms of a giant green man with complete faith that he in turn was a gentle giant? I fear I have lost the ability to be that child-like and I miss it. I am working on that…
The shrek-hug was the most beautiful thing I have seen all year. God bless you Shrek. And God bless this child and her family for their wisdom to allow her to have this moment. And thank you that I was there with my family to witness it. ‘Cause my kids are pretty awesome too IMHO.
The first dreams we ever had were to be held. And loved. And to explore this amazing world with love in our lives.
We dreamed of seeing, touching, and experiencing the world around us, with the happiness and comfort that comes from family.
As adults, many of us dream of building a family, and do so.
It’s the day-to-day realities that don’t always feel so dreamy. We get busy, exhausted, and overwhelmed. We’re changing diapers, cleaning up spills, searching for a jolt of caffeine to keep our eyes propped open until we can fall face first into a pillow.
Along the way, we sometimes see some work dreams take a back seat. We worry they may slip away, that we may never get back to them.
There are tough tradeoffs that moms and dads have to make every day. But since my son’s birth, I’ve stopped seeing those tradeoffs as sacrifice.
Because when we give up something for a time to make sure we’re putting enough focus into our families, we’re not giving up dreams. We’re committing to our biggest, deepest ones.
We’re prioritizing the dreams that make up who we are.
Monica, in her usual fashion, takes over completely, leaving Phoebe in charge of only cups and ice. Phoebe decides to make the most of it; she makes everything imaginable out of cups, and serves every kind of ice.
Excerpts from an email regarding how to handle cheaters taking too long between serves, first or second during a tennis match. Make no mistake, the delay of tennis serve by your opponent is a cheap attempt to get in your head and play mind games. And it’s against the rules. The bottom line from the USTA rules:
Between points, a maximum of twenty (20) seconds is allowed.
More info on players delaying during a tennis game – you need to read and memorize the rules to prevent the cheating and gamesmanship. Knowing the rules of tennis is a good thing.
As a principle, play should be continuous, from the time the match starts (when the
first service of the match is put in play) until the match finishes.
14 a. Between points, a maximum of twenty (20) seconds is allowed. When the
players change ends at the end of a game, a maximum of ninety (90) seconds
are allowed. However, after the first game of each set and during a tie-break
game, play shall be continuous and the players shall change ends without a
At the end of each set there shall be a set break of a maximum of one hundred
and twenty (120) seconds.
The maximum time starts from the moment that one point finishes until the
first service is struck for the next point.
Event organisers may apply for ITF approval to extend the ninety (90)
seconds allowed when the players change ends at the end of a game and the
one hundred and twenty (120) seconds allowed at a set break
When your opponent is cheating during a match by excessive delays between serves, the next step is to remind your opponent politely
“You only get 20 seconds between points. Do we need to call a line judge?”
Commentary on a blog post about delays at the professional level tennis are below. This post points out that wandering around the tennis court to find the best ball, toweling off during a game, wandering to the back-court to seek the meaning of life, just pisses everyone off:
For this article I chose to specifically focus on one of these virtues: the continuous rhythm of the game. The players were not only watchful not to interrupt this rhythm, they were actually contributing to it by not returning serves that were obviously out, by helping the ball boys do their job (!!!) etc. Actually they tended to make the intervals between points so short that they would give a headache to the contemporary TV director, who would struggle to find enough seconds for a slow motion of a highlight.
According to the ITF rules of tennis, during a game, the server has no more than 20 seconds to start the next point (25 seconds for any ATP event, still 20 seconds for Grand Slams that prefer to have their own rules). USTA goes even further by saying that typical sportsman – like play is supposed to be 12-15 seconds for a first serve. Nevertheless, excessive ball bouncing, choosing the newest ball between 4-5 balls the ball boy gave to the player, asking for the towel, arranging socks and other even stranger habits of some players, regularly lead to intervals that last 35-40 seconds or even a minute!!!
Again, the solution is to print and study the rules. Have a copy printed and highlighted in yellow in your bag. Have a spare copy you can hand your opponent in case they need to be educated on how the game is played.
Regarding notes, the USTA says it is OK to read notes and study during changeover. If you don’t want to challenge a dweeb taking 2 minutes between serves, you can have notes in your right hand pocket laminated with study notes and a game plan. From this post:
Q. Is it legal to look at written notes or reminders to yourself during changeovers; such as “Remember to keep your chin up during the serve” or “Slice approach to his backhand works best”.
A. Yes, this is permissible. In fact, it is a good idea. It is not uncommon for your thoughts to become chaotic during the stresses of match play, and having some reminder notes can only help.
Bottom line – learn the rules and use them to your advantage to win more matches ethically. If a kid’s coach has taught him to cheat and you hand him a print out that tells him he is a cheater, it would really mess with their head and ruin their crappy game plan. Who knows, maybe we can just play tennis!?
The last thing I would say is ask the tournament organizers if USTA rules are in force or if they allow extended delay. If you ask them this specifically you can back up the print out.
“IV. At the same time, living systems adapt themselves to changes in their environment they learn, grow, develop, evolve. When the mouse population in a region suddenly declines because of an epidemic, the predators who adapt to a new prey survive; those who remain determined “mouse-avores“ starve. Life events affect us and change us, and we can see these changes reflected in the nevertheless familiar faces of our friends. The ability of living systems to adapt and self-organize allows them to defy the second law of thermodynamics, which insists that everything runs down and returns to a state of disorganization and homogeneity. Not so for living systems! They continuously reorganize themselves into ever more complex patterns and interrelationships.”
Connor: Now you will receive us.
Murphy: We do not ask for your poor, or your hungry.
Connor: We do not want your tired and sick.
Murphy: It is your corrupt we claim.
Connor: It is your evil that will be sought by us.
Murphy: With every breath we shall hunt them down.
Connor: Each day, we will spill their blood till it rains down from the skies.
Murphy: Do not kill, do not rape, do not steal, these are principles which every man of every faith can embrace.
Connor: These are not polite suggestions, these are codes of behavior and those of you that ignore them will pay the dearest cost.
Murphy: There are varying degrees of evil, we urge you lesser forms of filth not to push the bounds and cross over, into true corruption, into our domain.
Connor: For if you do, one day you will look behind you and you will see we three. And on that day, you will reap it.
Murphy: And we will send you to whatever god you wish.
[Murphy and Conner join II Duce behind Yakavetta]
Connor, Murphy, Il Duce: And shepherds we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee. Power hath descended forth from Thy hand.
Connor, Murphy, Il Duce: That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
Il Duce: In nomine Patri.
Connor: Et Fili.
Murphy: Spiritus Sancti.
Guilt. Guilt is a major factor for me. It is something we Catholics specialize in. Sin is human. You must confess your sins. This is ingrained in you. You step out of the confessional and you glance at a young woman in your seventh grade class and her breasts are pressing up against her blouse, purchased by her parents a year before she bloomed, not replaced because it was all they could afford, nicely pressed of course, and seventh-grade-you notices perhaps too much. This is followed quickly by the realization that “damnit, now I have to get back in line. shit. it’ll have to wait until next week when we all wait in the freezing church on a wednesday morning in connecticut for confession.” And you prayed. Not to be forgiven for looking at breasts. No, you prayed that next week would not be a week when the Monsignor was working the confessional. The girls in your class were probably just as curious, although all parties too innocent to ever verify any of that. But the Monsignor, while a good and blessed man (see what I did there) did not seem so innocent on these matters. No, in fact he scared the ever living shit out of us. Me in particular I believed. I knew.
I killed time waiting for my turn in confession (never go first. you don’t want a fresh and energetic priest. you want a tired-and-i-wanna-go-back-to-the-rectory-priest) by pre-saying my prayers. I mean, I had time. You knew it was going to be some combination of Hail Mary’s (mostly) a few Our Fathers (the old-reliable) and if you were particularly bad you would get an Apostles’ Creed. And the prayers were doled out as if they were the same. (For the record, they are NOT. To say a Hail Mary, even speed-talking in your little brain can easily take 20 minutes. So the penance of “Say five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys” kind of made you mad at the lady of the house.) But back to the point. I never asked if pre-saying prayers for penance counted because I didn’t want to know. I figured nobody ever told me that pre-praying explicitly was not allowed. Surely every other kid had thought of it, right? So I ran with it. I pre-prayed. This worked well and sometimes reduced post-confessional-penance to one or two prayers. I thought this must impress my teachers because they would think I was a really good kid so the priest didn’t give me much of a penance. Who doesn’t like the kid who got one Our Father and could scoot?