Someone is wrong on the internetWhen was the last time someone asked you for your advice on who to vote for President? I thought so. Why is it then that so many of our friends offer their advice when no one really wants it?

Because someone did.

The people that want it are the people that already agree with the post – no one else. Oh wait, there was one other person – that guy that loves to argue. I’ve already unfriended him. No one ever said, “Man I hope someone will come along today and convince me I am wrong.” I have never seen an opinion swayed as the result of those posts.

If you are posting information trying to persuade others to change their mind, there is psychological research that says that not only are you ineffective at changing opinions, you are hurting your cause. It is this research that demonstrates why all the tactics to bring down Donald Trump are failing.

On the paved highway known as rational thought, we humans have quite a few illogical exit ramps known as cognitive biases. These exit ramps are like Stuckey’s, we can’t explain nor resist the lure of a good pecan log roll. Continue Reading…

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How Matters

joe —  Fri 27-Nov-15 — 2 Comments

Farmer in Field copyThe older I get the more I come to grips with how little I really know. Yet, the older I get the more I find others look to me for the answers. I actually had someone recently introduce me as an expert on a subject. Wow, that couldn’t be any further from the truth.

I have never liked the word expert. It goes into the pool of words like cloud, omni-channel, and platform – words that get recklessly bandied about to have lost any real meaning. Yet, rare is the week when I don’t hear someone labelling themselves as an expert at something. I am pretty sure this is why God invented the eye-roll.

I recall a friend’s breakdown of an expert.

Ex – Former
Spurt – A drip under pressure
Seems about right to me.

Continue Reading…

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Mathematician or Jerk?

joe —  Sat 1-Aug-15 — 2 Comments

Speeding dog“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” George Carlin was a comedic genius. His knack for getting to the heart of our irrational engine of thought and self-preservation was typically spot-on.

I learn a lot about myself while in a car, especially in the quagmire that is Atlanta rush hour. Last week I was a passenger as my friend drove through a series of lane closures. A gentleman in the lane next to us decided to wait until the very last moment before merging into our lane. “What a jerk,” my friend Sam exclaimed. I was taken back by his comment. Sam is the nicest of all known men. In his vocabulary, jerk is a four-letter word. Clearly this guy had done something that hit a nerve with my friend.

Continue Reading…

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Quick, Give Me Three…

joe —  Fri 22-May-15 — 3 Comments

ResolutionsIt was December 29th, 2009. I remember the moment well. For the first time in forever I had decided to cave in and make a New Year resolution. I haven’t made one since. Why should I? That one still stands as something I have yet to accomplish.

“Therefore, I hereby declare that in 2010 I resolve to ask more questions.”

It seemed like such a simple thing. I was really good at it when I was 5 – annoyingly so. Somewhere along the line to adulthood I decided that what I knew was more important than what I didn’t. Continue Reading…

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Knot Today

joe —  Sat 9-May-15 — 2 Comments

AliensI am both fascinated and frustrated by knots. I love how, with just a couple of twists and turns, a simple rope can turn into a device that helps propel a man up a mountain or anchors a ship to a pier. I am frustrated by the fact that every piece of chain, string, or hose in my shop always ends up in knots just by laying in a box.

I was untangling my headphone cable the other day as my mind replayed a recent conversation with a friend. Pete’s job had given him a good beating over the past several weeks and he needed a place to vent. He was all knotted up, much like the headphones I had in my hands. Pete wasn’t mad or angry, just frustrated. The frustration came not from one particular event, but from a series of small events that started to overwhelm him. Continue Reading…

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The Dream Crusher

joe —  Fri 10-Apr-15 — 1 Comment

Christmas Meets MinIt was a Monday. I don’t think I made a very good impression that day. I was only a few weeks into my new role as the head of a team that had been together for quite while. I recall the day because of the look one gentleman in particular gave me after a comment I had made. It was as if I had crushed his dream. What I said was right, but that didn’t seem to matter. I still crushed his dream. With two simple words, I also dented a number of other ambitions, as well.

The words “Meets Min,” short for “meets the minimum requirements,” is not an aspirational phrase. There aren’t any motivational posters praising the emotional excitement of doing only that which is absolutely required. Yet, that is the advice I had given Steve that threw him into a tailspin. Continue Reading…

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…and Thanks for All the Fish

joe —  Sun 15-Mar-15 — 2 Comments

Ronald In CustodyI hate goodbyes. I can’t imagine anyone really likes them, but I loathe them. Everything is so awkward. Should I hug or is a handshake the best protocol? What if I say the wrong thing? What if someone starts to cry?

A couple of weeks ago I had to say goodbye to my coworkers – friends who I had really come to love and respect. Having just tendered my resignation, the two weeks that followed became a swirl of emotions. Those two weeks also taught me some lessons that I wished I would have learned much earlier in my life. Continue Reading…

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