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It’s like breakfast

So my computer blew up. Literally it made a loud bang or four and smelled like smoke and shut off, luckily my brother knows everything about computers and will get it working again. In the mean time he gave me one of his many computers to hold me over, cause I could never live without the internet.

Whats new with me? I get asked this alot. And it seems like the less I have new going on, the more people ask it. All I get to respond is that I’m working alot and I like it. And I suppose that isn’t even that new. I’ve been on the nose to the grindstone train since May and I don’t anticipate getting off of it anytime soon. So then what else do you do besides work? That’s typically the next question I get. The answer is spend as much time with my friends as they will give me and decompress from work so I can do it again. When put into words this existence sounds lame and unfulfilling but it is actually quite the opposite. Everyday I get to work on something that I know is going to be great and I get to do this in a way that is truly impactful. I have more of a stake in the direction of my company at the age of 22 than I ever thought I would by the time I was 50. This is the allure of smaller companies but even within my company I feel that the culture is conducive to the smartest and hardest working get to have the most say, which is an appropriate consequence of incentives. So aside from justifying my long work weeks there, hopefully I prevented anyone who reads this (or my future self since no one reads this) from asking that type of question.

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch…

It is true that there is no such thing as a free lunch. If anyone can prove otherwise to me I will indeed pay for a lunch wherever that non-existent person wants to go. This got me to thinking about ways to get the cheapest lunch possible since free is out of the question (try to follow; this all allusions, I’m not talking about food even though I am). I’ve had many a lunch that I did not pay for, my parents have bought me many meals, as have other people. If the cost of the meal is not monetary and also not disclosed, I will safely assume that this is the most expensive lunch on the planet. Even parents who operate under the pretense of love will happily hold a meal over their child’s head when it comes to them wanting something. And those are the people we trust the most. The cost of that meal is then whatever they say it is whenever they want to say it. What about when your boss pays for your lunch, or a significant other. On the same lines, what if a person under you at work or your enemy bought your lunch? What would be the cost of that? (still thinking about food? well stop it!) The cheapest lunch is one you work for yourself. This doesn’t mean you should not let people aide you in earning your own lunch, you don’t have to start your own company to work for the money to start the farm to grow the food… and so on. What it means is that what will get you the furtherest toward a free lunch (by this point I am debating calling it golden egg) is hard work. If you work hard and make sure that you don’t owe anyone anything other than the rights that all humans deserve then your lunch will be as cheap as possible. If you are given an opportunity or a handout, work harder than expected and make sure you earn everything. The kid with the silver spoon in his mouth is a theif and it will catch up to them. (honestly, what could be worse than the person who eats a free lunch with a silver spoon?)

Yom Kippur

Both of my parents are Jewish by heritage, and both practice the religion in their own way although I will say that my father is a bit more orthodox than my mother. My brother and I are straight bastard children of the faith and are horrible practitioners. I find the limitations that religion imposes on my life unnecessary and ultimately they lead to my unhappiness. There are parts of the tradition of Judaism, and parts of the heritage, that I am drawn to and see purpose in. One of those pieces of the faith is the holiday of Yom Kippur, which is in essence a day of atonement. Some people use it as a day to make up for the bad things they have done to other people, or to reflect on their position in society, or a number of other reasons. I like to use it as a day to make myself better, I like to take a full assesment of myself, see what I’m good at, what I’m not good at, and find a way to improve everything. Thursday is the big day and I wil be spending the day with my father going to and from temple multiple times plus a break the fast dinner. Is this a push towards me being a better Jew?

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs!

Blogs are highly polarized. There are great blogs, and there are crappy blogs. I don’t see any gray space. To this effect here is a list of blogs I consider to be great. The best blog on the internet is:

  • Marginal Revolution

And then there are the rest of the blogs:

  • Freakonomics
  • Paul Krugman
  • The Becker-Posner Blog (honestly, one of the best blog ideas I’ve ever seen. If anyone wants to take on a _____-Lesser blog I’d consider it)
  • Greg Mankiw

As you can see I like econ blogs alot. But there are all sorts of other blogs I like:

  • Joy Engine
  • Engadget
  • Geekologie
  • Hot Chicks With Douche Bags
  • Crackberry
  • Trackosaurus Rex
  • Trackstar NYC
  • King Kog
  • Honeyee (blogroll)
  • Fatlace (blogroll, please come back soon)
  • Boy Genius Report
  • Chris Reinhard

If you have a blog to suggest let me know. I’m always hungry for information (or in the case of Hot Chicks with Douche Bags useless nonsense).

Cold or Calculating?

I am not much of an advice giver. If you know me well enough you will find that my advice most of the time is to suck it up, and change your attitude (that and if we talk about music I will probably make fun of your musical tastes and advise you towards Converge or The Wonder Years). I’ve been told countless times that I’m cold and unsympathetic, usually with a tone of condemnation. The more I think about it though, the more I am right. Most of the time when I get to that spot of heartlessness the best thing for the person is to focus on what they can control. It is a purely logical frame of thinking, but I’m an extremely logical person (even to a fault at times). What interests me the most is that I am being empathic, I put myself into their shoes, and that’s what I come up with. It is typically a statement like “you can’t change that, but you can change your attitude about it” or “you need to find the positive things in this.” Probably not the best things to say to someone who needs comforting but that’s who I am and that’s what works for me.

On a similar note: I think I’m one of the most posi and level headed people around, which from everything I have been reading lately is prime for what I want in life. I don’t see myself changing on this front much, I have always been this way, what I do see is me honing the craft and using my rationality a little more rationally.

If I were offered to be hung or to be shot, I’d choose to live

False Dichotomy – a logical fallacy in which there are only two options considered when more options exist. Sound familiar? Who will you be voting for this year? I have resisted making this post for years (between my various blogs), and now it is more important then ever as important as always (don’t be fooled by appeals to importance to undermine your decision making) to understand the trap that is American politics. I could write an entire book on this so I will use formatting to keep it short.

  • Politicians only say what the voter wants to hear despite their personal beliefs as a means to get elected
  • This leads to the candidates moving towards the middle of the political spectrum where the majority of the voters are, this is called the median voter theorem
  • This also leads to candidates saying anything and everything that the majority wants to hear, they are mostly empty promises (all under the guise of being benevolent)
  • This leads to the social construction that there only two options
  • When there are two options presented to you, both of which are unsatisfactory you will choose “the lesser of two evils” instead of seeking out what will actually satisfy you
  • This allows the two parties in the majority to then converge into one party, while maintaining the image of separation
  • This leads to the parties (and politicians within them) getting what they want despite who is elected and all they have to do is pretend to be different with their empty promises leading up to the election

This is the circle that is padding the wallets of the gentlemen in congress wearing suits in their mansions (or in McCain’s case 7 homes), taking vacation in July while the housing market takes another hit. It is a similar system that keeps women out of politics, board rooms, and below the glass ceiling. I will only give one supporting piece of evidence although like I said, there’s a books worth. George Washington, our first president, is the only president in American history to be independent.

In an effort…

This post is just fragmented thought, I could spend the time to develop it more clearly, but I’m a busy boy with work right now always. Another time perhaps. Hopefully you find it worth reading and develop an idea of your own.

In an effort to make this thing real I am posting despite an extremely busy day. Here is something to think about since I just watched the movie The Prestige (which is awesome and if you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend it).

Quote: “Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.”

This quote uses magic as the subject but it can easily be abstracted as a metaphor for life as a whole (what can’t with enough imagination right?). So if what we are doing now (working, living, building) is The Pledge, is our death The Turn, and what we accomplish that exists beyond us The Prestige?

Or perhaps, our work/life/building (whatever you want to call it) is The Pledge, and our death is The Turn, but The Prestige is never occurs, it is the secret we can never realize. (see: “Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking.”)

Or more realistically it is a movie that has themes that can be stretched to be what you want, cause most likely the interpretation you create was never intended. But that’s rather boring, so I will opt out of that possible answer.

What defines the things that define me? Skimming the surface.

When I decided to start this blog (like 5 minutes ago) I asked myself “do I need to introduce myself to my audience?” And finally came to the conclusion that if you are reading this you probably already know me, or if you keep up with the blog you eventually will get to know me pretty well. (I’d like to pretend that I’m more complex than being able to know me based off a blog, or myspace/facebook/etc for that matter, but maybe I’m not). Then that got me thinking about the things that define me, i.e. how would I have introduced and defined myself? Again I want to pretend that I’m more complex than a set of words that can define me. (Sidenote: What is my obsession with being complex today?) So in a ode to reality and giving up on pretending I want to list some things that helped shape me to who I am. Note: this is not who I am but what has made me who I am.

  • Growing up in Boulder, CO
  • Getting an economics degree
  • Having amazing family and friends
  • Having divorced parents
  • Saves The Day (more accurately music but Saves The Day changed my life in a profound way when I was younger, and led me to many other bands which led me to more bands and so on)
  • Computers and the internet (yup me=1337 d0rk)
  • My father’s work ethic
  • My mother’s sense of logic
  • Living in a world where anything is possible

After making this list I realized that each one of these could be a blog post so don’t be surprised if you find these things recurring in the future. Also, I realized making that list was harder than I had expected as I could have gone on for days. I will leave it at that and perhaps revisit it another day.

The Beginning Of The End

I’m certain that this is the millionth blog I have started. I can’t promise that I will keep it going, but I fully intend to. I feel obligated to legitimize this blog (as I have all my others) even though I am questioning whether or not that is what sets these things up for failure. So this time I want to point out why this one will succeed where the others have failed. For one, the scope of this blog is too large to get tied down trying to prove something. I’m not spouting out my economics beliefs (although I will), and I’m certainly not trying to fit into a mold of a scene (catch ya later livejournal RIP sorrowingxstar). This time it is just me, being me, completely honestly. I’m hoping that I can share things on here that I won’t even admit to myself. Secondly, I feel like the more I experience, especially within the literary world, I understand that there is a fine line between being a horrible writer and a great one. I am determined not to let my self-consciousness about my writing deter me writing publicly.

After what I perceive is a sufficient legitimization for this experiment, I want to move onto something more important to me for this blog. The content. Thanks for reading the intro, and keep abreast (haha breast) for updates.