Category Archives: Psychology

Courteous Email Habits

If someone you know well, a close friend or family member, sends you an email do you reply? Answer truthfully now.

Do you reply every time? When to you shine them on? Do you ever ignore requests?

“Hey Reginald, could you read this bit and tell me what you think? I’m curious about this website, what do you think? I’m asking all my close associates, what do you think about me moving to New Zealand? Do you have any recommendations for the type of car I should buy?”

What I’m referring to are questions which might be solicitations for your opinion, or recommendations. Or just broad questions regarding what you may or may not know anything about.

Do you answer them?

Me? I always reply. Even if that reply is a “Received — will take a look and reply if I can contribute.”

Others? Well, that’s the prompt for this essay. I’ve been looking for beta readers for various writings of mine. Recently, when I’ve offered the pieces to those I’m sure would be courteous enough to at least reply — nothing. Silence.

What is wrong with you people? Has the world taken the concept of email and turned it into junkmail? Just because email has the word MAIL in it doesn’t automatically mean you treat receipts as trash if you don’t care for the subject matter.

Email is more like a single duplex communication channel. You know, a Walkie-Talkie.

“Reginald, come in Reginald. Over.”

“……”

“WTF Reggie! I know you’re there. I know your radio is turned on. Why won’t you reply? You’re still my brother, cousin, close friend aren’t you?”

Do you treat email like a discard-able communication medium? Like most email, even from friends and relatives, is junk, trash you can cast into the rubbish bin?

 

Advertisements

Sheesh, Capitalists!

“Here’s What Stocks You Want to Own in the Event of a War With North Korea”

https://www.thestreet.com/story/14316270/1/north-korea.html

What a load of bullshit! Cramer’s TheStreet is trying to tell you “Hey, here’s how to make money on the up coming end-of-the-world — get in now while you still have air to breathe!”

  • Do these people even realize how like human scum they are?
  • Is there a more despicable slice of humanity than capitalists?
  • Do capitalists even have souls?
  • What do you call 1,000,000 capitalists at the bottom of the sea?
    A good start. (an oldie but tasteless joke).
  • Are there conscientiousness capitalists? I guess… I’ve never met any. They “say” they are but most likely would read an article like that and, if it made sense, take financial advantage of the information.
  • Do I despise capitalists? No. Only those who own capital.

 


Success teaches nothing

Success teaches nothing. Only failure provides for learnable lessons.

You are a stock market neophyte. You pick five stocks from the NASDAQ. Each one doubles in a month. You sell them, doubling your money.

Did you learn anything?

You’ve never skied. You ride to the top of the lift, get off, strap on your skies and push off making it to the bottom in a single go.

Did you learn anything?

Your father is a Mob boss. He has lieutenants over for dinner. You bake a cake. You’ve never baked a cake before. You forget the flavoring. Nobody complains.

Did you learn anything?

You’re hired to sell steel for an iron mfg company. A hurricane takes out the only competition. You sell more steel than the company has ever sold.

Did you learn anything?

Enough already! Sheesh, we get the point. Success through luck teaches nothing. Only failure, adjustment, and retry serves to teach. The 1001 ways how NOT to make a lightbulb. The School of HarkKnocks. The quitters never win and winners never quit.

Of course, eventually, when you are successful, and you succeed, the fact that you failed often and spectacularly may have been forgotten or ignored or even suppressed. And that’s sad. Perhaps we should cheer the losers, the failures, those resolute folk who fail, learn from their failure, and still strive to succeed. Can you imagine booing the easy winners?

Would you rather be lucky or tenacious?

 


You’re writing for me

As a fiction writer, you are not writing for yourself. You can write for yourself, but don’t expect anyone else to read it. Just twiddle away, write your hundreds of words a day, living in that artificial world you’ve constructed and enjoy it. But don’t expect ME to enjoy it.

You see, if you’re writing for an audience, then you have to realize you’re writing for an audience — right-up-front.

Sure you’ll go on your own private journey while you pen your story. The climbing of the icy mountain, the scuba diving off the coast of Ecuador, the rickshaw trip through the back roads of Cambodia, or Fantastica or wherever.

But while you journey and write, remember that it’s me you’re trying to engage. By “me” I mean us, we, your potential readers. Every word you write, phrase you turn, paragraph you ponder, must be done so imagining someone else reading it.

Not you reading it.

Someone, anyone, everyone else reading it. That has to be your constant, back of your mind Buddha, the little fellow who sits there and reminds you, “Hey, I don’t know what that ‘eponymous’ word means! Maybe there’s a simpler, clearer word…”

And it’s not just phasing or your lexicon that matters. It’s the big stuff. Like how fast is your story going? Do you really need all that extra description? Don’t you think that having him fail four times in a row is a bit much? Wouldn’t just twice be enough, with a clever word slipped into infer additional efforts?

Writing’s hard. Writing well is nearly impossible. But if you try it, remember, it’s not you you’re writing for. You’re expressing these wonderful visions so that WE can experience them.

 


Forced to lie

I went looking for a job.

I found this one, it looked like a fit for my skills — on the surface — not enough information was available though. So I applied on Dice.com.

The recruiter called me. “Here’s the job specs, go have a look-see.”

A few of the “Requirements” stuck out at me:

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills

I thought to myself, “I might be excellent in one or two of those, and probably above average in others (and maybe just average in time management…), but I sure as hell am not EXCELLENT in all of those!”

In fact, I’m not sure who is. I’ve never met someone like that. By stating that these are requirements, anyone stepping up with interest would effectively be lying:

“Yes, I’m excellent in all of those things.”

“No you’re not, nobody is. Therefore you’re already lying to us.”

“Well, you got me there. But if everyone who approaches you has to lie about possessing Excellent Everything skills, why make such stipulations? Do you WANT to force every one of your candidates into a LIE — right from the get-go?”

Apparently this is common practice. Job requirements call out completely unrealistic levels and numbers of skills and expect you to lie about them.

Needless to say I brought up this discrepancy and the blatant need to lie to get a job interview. The recruiter didn’t care. “Everyone does it,” he said.

Nice – an entire industry predicated on lies.


On Monuments

[wikipedia]: A monument is a type of structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, or as an example of historic architecture. The origin of the word “monument” comes from the Latin moneomonere, which means ‘to remind’, ‘to advise’ or ‘to warn’.


Perhaps, monuments, as we know them, should be elevated above the concept of commemorating people or events that are political or state oriented.

This means all war memorials, fight or battle memorials, democracy or communism memorials, religious, race or gender memorials — should be downplayed in our human consciousness. After all, every one of those types of monuments represents a divisive line between people.

Instead why not raise monuments to scientific and technological discovery and progress?

  • Where’s the monument to DNA?
  • I’d like to see a monument to Penicillin, the Polio vaccine, the eradication of smallpox.
  • How about a monument to the microscope, the telescope, the radio, the microwave, the x-ray, the rocket?
  • Ohm, Volt, Ampere, and all the other measurement names we get from the discoverers.

There are hundreds of discoveries and inventions — and the discoverers and inventors — who should be commemorated above and beyond those we currently hold in high esteem; those we currently have built monuments for.

Put Science on display as a monument.


The Age of distraction

We now live in the Age of distraction.

How long can you go without reading email, listening for or checking your phone, checking facebook or twitter or the news or paying attention to your pets, or your kids or your partner, your co-workers, or your boss or the idiot driving the Hummer behind you?

Let’s realize that we WILL be distracted. So, let’s prepare for it. Plan for it. Or even better, intentionally include it in our calendar, in our day-planner, in our personal rhythm of work or play.

It’s not going away you know. In fact, I’d wager it’s going to get worse.

We Will Be Distracted.

However, by WHAT will we be distracted? That’s the question now isn’t it?


Know that distraction is a political tool.

While I’m nefariously negotiating with drug companies, tobacco companies, investment banks… Or if I’ve got collusion with such corrupt entities to hide, or, (hold your breath), I’ve got interests with foreign antagonistic country’s agents or leaders… Then I had better give the people something to get riled up about, over there — while I go about my business, over here, out of the limelight.

While we all get twisted up regarding the latest media promulgated HOT TOPICS of the day, remember, the insidious agents of our current government are secretly planning further subterfuge, erosion and destruction of our country’s ideology.

Yeah, we’ll be distracted by these. But don’t let it become a permanent distraction.

Plan to get back to the work at hand, plan to get back to what matters.