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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Cult of Tech Companies


Cult image
Working for the company I do, I interact with quite a few people from the same industry but different companies. I was having a conversation with someone the other night and we were talking about one of my companies competitors. The person I was talking to worked for another company, but there was one that we both agreed had a cult like following. I won't say which large tech company it is, but to describe this company. In the city I live most of the employees live in the area around the offices. When at work they are really into the company. When not at work they hang out together to the point of pub crawls together, evenings at each other's houses playing games, having parties, etc. During these times they spend most of it talking to each other about work items. And of course they date and marry one another.

I've spent a lot of time with one of the people who work for this company because one of the points of conflict between us is my inability to swallow the cool-aid, and lack of desire to spend time with these people participating in the discussions.

Now, before someone responds pissed off at my attitude. I'm not saying these are bad people. In fact most cult members are not bad people, they just tend to get caught up in this world and it becomes their lives. The people I know in this cult are all very nice, intelligent, good hearted people. But then again, most of the members of Jim Jones's cult were good people as well.


Cult -
a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing
a small group of very devoted supporters or fans
a group whose beliefs and practices were considered bizarre or extreme
associated with mind control, brainwashing and undue manipulation of followers

I found this Cult 101 Checklist 
Lets use Facebook as an example though, there are others with the same mindset. 
  • The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law. - Check
  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished. - Check
  • Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).- Check
  • The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
  • The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity). - Check
  • The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.- Check
  • The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
  • The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
  • The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.- Check
  • Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.- Check
  • The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  • The group is preoccupied with making money. - Check
  • Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.- Check
  • Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
  • The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.- Check

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Texas Cop Stuns 76 Year Old Man During Traffic Stop

Another case of cops going to extremes

A Texas police officer is under investigation for using a stun gun on a 76-year-old mechanic he had pulled over for an expired inspection certificate.

Read Full Story Here... 

Friday, December 05, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Cop Tried To Kill My Dog

Out of the blue, a Ventura County Sheriff's deputy approached my dog, drew his gun and threatened to shoot him while we were camping last night. One of the scariest, most upsetting and unnecessary things that's happened to us, here's how it went down.

Read Full Story Here...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Conservatives Prefer Propaganda to Reality

"Pew discovered that conservatives are consuming a right-wing media full of lies and misinformation, whereas liberals are more interested in media that puts facts before ideology. It’s very much not a “both sides do it” situation. Conservatives are becoming more conservative because of propaganda, whereas liberals are becoming more liberal while staying very much checked into reality." 

Read the full story here...  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Planet marks hottest September since 1880

Last month was the hottest September for globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces since record-keeping began in 1880, the US government said on Monday.
"It also marked the 38th consecutive September with a global temperature above the 20th century average," said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

read the full story here...


But there is no such thing as global warming according to the right-wingers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams Death


To add my own commentary on the debate about Robin Williams death. I've seen comments from people about how selfish he was to kill himself and other related items, but really aren't we the selfish ones. The guy wasn't happy living and he wanted to die, so he made the choice to end his life on his terms. Is this really any different than death-with-dignity, where some states allow people with terminal illnesses to end their lives?

I loved Robin Williams, he did so many movies that are on my list of great films. But if he got to a point where he didn't want to do that anymore, where he didn't want to deal with life, let him end it on his terms. Let him be the decision maker on when to leave this planet. Is it really better to grow old and frail, to be unable to walk or think, to be in constant pain? I don't think so. Just like Hemingway who ended his life when he couldn't write anymore, let's remember his for his genius, rather than our selfish desire to make the monkey dance for our entertainment.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Flying from Ireland to US

You would think that it couldn't be more of a pain in the ass to fly, yet somehow the US government has come up with a way to do it.

Normally when flying you check-in, go through security, and do immigration when arriving in the country you are going into. The US government has come up with a new system with some countries where you go through immigration at the leaving airport and Ireland is now one of those places. So instead of planning two hours at the airport when flying out you need to now plan three hours.

As is usual you check-in and go through the security check. Then you follow some signs, and find yourself at the US security check. Yes, that's right the US government doesn't trust Irish airport security to do a good enough job so they make people traveling to the US go through security again. Because it's so much fun the first time, you get to wait in a really long line to do it again. Yet, not finding this to be enough of a pain in the ass, you leave security to go into another line and wait to deal with customs. After waiting in that line, you get to the customs officer who pulls up a picture that was taken of your luggage to confirm it is yours, does the usual customs checks, takes your picture, and eventually lets you through.

  So now we have to plan three hours to get out through the airport, three lines to wait in, and look forward to the day when it will take a full day to get through the airport. All in an effort to make the mindless monkeys in my country feel safe. Safe from those terrorists who always seem to be winning at making life more miserable for the rest of us. And don't use a camera to take pictures of the long lines. I saw a security guard take away a guy's camera who was snapping a picture of the lines.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vampire Diaries Drinking Game

Each episode of this show is pretty repetitive so coming up with a drinking game for it didn't take more than a few episodes.
  • Whenever someone dies 
  • Whenever a vampire compels (hypnotizes) someone 
  • Whenever someone takes a drink 
And that's it. With this show you really only need these three items to drink and you will be plenty drunk by the end of the show.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cop Shoots Special Needs Girl

The spot-on statement in this story is where the author says, "After all, what’s a grown man with a gun, taser, pepper spray, handcuffs and backup supposed to do to a 110-pound girl with a knife, if not to shoot her in the chest" it is a prime example of the pointless nature of the value the police force adds to society.

Read the full story here…

Friday, May 30, 2014

A College Degree Does Not Equal Success


college degree
In the business world, I work in, it is interesting to see the value placed on a college degree. If you look at studies on income they all come to the same conclusion that an advanced degree equals higher pay. Yet, when we look at some of the most successful people throughout history we see many of the most successful and innovative people are often the ones without the college degree.
 
Examples: 

Orville and Wilbur Wright - The first to successfully fly using parts from a bicycle shop and a desire to each human powered flight. Yet at the time many people were attempting to achieve the same goal. A large number of those people with advanced degrees in fields that should have set them ahead but didn't.

Henry Ford - Designed the modern production line and founded the car company that now sells its vehicles worldwide.

Abraham Lincoln - Self-taught lawyer and considered to be the greatest president in American History.

Maya Angelou - Recently deceased,and dropped out of school at the age of 14, to become a poet, novelist, and awarded the Medal of Freedom.

John D. Rockefeller - High school dropout who was the richest man in the world at the time of his death.

 Richard Branson  - You might have heard of this person, still living, and never completing a college class. And if you haven't heard of him, you have probably been to one of his Virgin Record stores, or flown his Virgin Airlines, or have seen the video of his company Virgin Galactic sending people into suborbital flight.

Bill Gates - You are probably reading this on a Windows computer, through internet explorer, or have used any of the numerous other products currently on the market thanks to Microsoft and this college dropout. His company now looks for employees with college degrees. Makes you wonder if he were to apply, if he would actually get hired on.

Pete Cashmore - CEO of Mashable which he founded at 19 and ins now on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people.

Michael Dell - The founder of Dell, Inc., dropped out of college at 19.

Mark Zuckerberg - This name that everyone recognizes did attend college but dropped out to work on a small company called Facebook. 

Mary Kay Ash  - So that you don't think I'm neglecting the ladies, Mary Kay used $5,000 dollars to start the company that is now worth much more - Mary Kay Cosmetics.

This is just a few by the way, the list goes on and on with other entrepreneurs, actors, writers, athletes, in every other field available.  So it makes me wonder why as a society we place so much value on a college degree. The statistics show that people with degrees earn more money. But, is it because they're more deserving having earned a degree, or the fact that the employer won't hire them without it? Does a degree equal a quality employee, or just it just prove one's ability to sit in front of a desk all day and retain information long enough to regurgitate it later?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Not Using Bike Lane Ticket

Another example of how police waste time unnecessarily ticketing people instead of doing something useful with there time.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

The House Won't Cut Defense Where It Is Needed

An interesting editorial in the NY Times this week, that I can't even blame on the republicans as both parties in the house are to blame for the US massive military budget. A budget that the pentagon wants to cut and congress won't let them.

Read the article here...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Republicans Protesting Laws Passed by Republicans


In another example of Republican stupidity, a Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has gathered a bunch of right-wingers in protest of a law that allows the government to charge ranchers for grazing cattle on federal lands.

As usual they are blaming Obama for infringing on freedoms, etc, all.

But the reality of the situation is that the Obama administration is just enforcing a law that has been in place since a Republican has been in office. In fact the Republican who extended the law they are now protesting is, the god of the Republican Party, Mr. Ronald Reagan. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

TSA Agents Confiscate Woody Doll's Toy Gun

Just to prove that the US isn't the only country with moronic TSA agents, TSA agents at Heathrow Airport in England confiscated the toy gun that Woody the character from Toy Story carries.

Yes, not only do they take your shampoo, your sewing needles, they will also take away a quarter inch toy gun out of the hands of babies. Thanks for keeping the world safe TSA.

 Read the full story here…

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Scrap The Jones Act


In 1920 a congressman from Washington State proposed, passed a law through congress known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, aka The Jones Act. What the Jones Act does is requires any goods going from one US port to another port in the US to be shipped on a ship made in the US and captained  by an American.

The idea initially was to promote US jobs in shipbuilding and crews. Of course in the modern era something different is happening. In the modern world not many ships are built in the US anymore. So what happens now is you can ship from one port to another on trains not built in the US, you can ship on planes not built in the US, you can even have a truck going from one port to another driven by someone from another country and built in another country. But you still can't have an item put on a cargo ship in New Orleans and have it dropped off in a port in New York unless that ship was built in the US, flying a US flag, and crewed by Americans.

The US council of economic advisers has found that this law costs each job gained $250,000 per job.  About 1 billion dollars a year. So unless each of those jobs pays more than  $250,000k per year, this is a loss that taxpayers are covering.

If the Republicans in office want to cut unnecessary laws and spending, how about cutting this $1 Billion a year expense instead of trying to cancel Sesame Street? Because rich lobbyists want to keep it around, that's why.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Drinking Game


With any drinking game you can change the rules as you see fit. You can take a drink or take a shot, or for couples take off an article of clothing.
  • Every time we see Buffy's bra strap
  • Every time Giles cleans his glasses
  • Every time someone kills a vampire
  • Every time someone mysteriously disappears
  • Every time actual human dies
  • Every time Angel shows his vampire face

Monday, March 17, 2014

Family Guy Drinking Game

With any drinking game you can change the rules as you see fit. You can take a drink or take a shot, or for couples take off an article of clothing.

  • Whenever someone insults Meg
  • Whenever they have a flashback or cut scene
  • Whenever Peter fights the chicken
  • Whenever Stewie tries to kill someone
  • Whenever the evil monkey appears
  • Whenever someone breaks out in song
  • Whenever a celebrity appears
  • Whenever  Quagmire says "giggidy"

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Ode to the Smoke

smokers
Of all the ways to pass the day, how fantastic would it be to break every hour or two, walk down the stairs, and stand out in the warm sun. For a pack a day, a fantastic relief could be had, a calming nerve agent with a habit that sets me apart for the rest.

Unfortunately, I'm not one who partakes of these delectable little sticks.  Not one, who sits by my computer typing away with an ash laden try by it's side, and a cig dangling from the mouth. I don't enjoy a "smoke break" in the way my poker buddies do during those Monday night games. Nor do I get to be the pal whom one can bum a smoke.

Maybe with a little perseverance as a child I could have picked up the addiction. Maybe, I should have spent more time with the smokers, the not so cool kids who now get a reprieve from the military formation line. Maybe then, I could hold my head high as an adult, blow smoke in the face of that passerby with the dirty look, or even maybe, I could be that guy, who with a flick of the wrist lands a butt in the lap of the guy in the car who cut me off near the previous intersection. 

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Ways Women are More Shallow than Men


Women like to imply that they are not shallow, they act as if they are the better of the sexes preferring personality over bod. I however disagree and have met a few men who disagree as well. Let's see some examples of why women are more shallow than men.

Is He Funny?
image source
They always say what they really want is a man with a good sense of humor.  He just also has to be good looking. Go to a Ralphie May standup routine, and see all the good looking girls there laughing at his jokes, then look and see how many of those girls are there with guys that look like Ralphie. And yes, I know his wife is a hottie. There are exceptions to all rules, and it doesn't hurt that he's famous.

Good Looking?
image source
 Ever hear the phrase, "tall dark and handsome." That's not something men say. Women will openly reject a man because he is too short. I don't know many men who reject women because they are too short, or too tall.

According to one study of over 12,100 people they found that when it comes to finding a man women "focus less on finding a good 'provider' and more on superficial things such as physical attractiveness." in the same study they found that men "tend to increasingly value traits such as intelligence and strong personal character over youth and beauty" 

Another study I read  was conducted with fake online dating profiles, 4 were put up, a very attractive man, an unattractive man, a very attractive woman, and an unattractive woman. Who got the least amount of responses? The unattractive man of course. If men are more shallow, shouldn't the unattractive woman have gotten the least amount of responses? 

Money?
It's all about the money. Any women who says she doesn't care about money is full of shit. Yet they will all say they don't. Women will only show a preference for a less attractive man if he has considerable financial wealth, versus a good looking man that has limited cash in the bank. 

On the subject of money a man can even be a total jackass as long as he has some, and women will still flock to him. A friend of mine was able to verify this when he setup a fake online profile making himself sound like a complete jerk, yet also make himself out to be a rich doctor. You can guess how the results of this study turned out. Women seemed to have no problem giving him a pass on his attitude.

Look Around
image source
I  was talking to a guy the other night who used to work on a cruse ship, and one of the ships he was on was for an other crowd. He told me there were tons of young hotties with old me that would go on the cruises. I'm guessing they weren't on the cruise for his old world charm and winning personalities.

Ask yourself how many tall, dark, and handsome, rich men out there are suffering from loneliness? It's not due to his level of shallowness, it's the level of the women who want his schlong in her crotch.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Coal Slurry Spill in West Virginia

Well West Virginia, you get mad when is crazy liberals try to take away your sweet jobs in the coal mines by moving the country to cleaner energy. The price you are going to pay is an occasional river of coal slurry spilling into your rivers and creeks.

The latest one involves 108,000 gallons of the stuff in your rivers. Read about it here..

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hipster Tagging

A friend and I decided to come up with a new game. We call it hipster tagging. The idea of the game is to go out and see who can get the most hipster pics at a time. My first attempt I found three.

Fun for the whole family, you try and see how many hipsters you can tag in a day.



 

As a reminder here is how to spot a hipster

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Search Results on Bing and Google for Flipboard

I've noticed a lot lately that when searching for a site that new algorithms on search engines are bringing up everything except the site. But I think bing has managed to get even worse that google. At least a search for flipboard actually returns the site at the top of the results. On bing, the actual flipboard site doesn't even make the first page of results.

 

A little FYI Microsoft, if you want to actually beat google you do need to actually give people the sites they are looking for when searching on bing.