Archives For joe

Head Full of Doubt

joe —  Sat 23-Sep-17 — Leave a comment

Calvin  gun powderAh, wisdom – that wonderful state we each believe we have today but somehow lacked when we were younger. In most cultures wisdom is highly respected. For a creative person, which I consider every one of you, wisdom can be your worst enemy.

Many of you know that I am a Calvin and Hobbes fanatic. Something about a naïve boy and his imaginary tiger unabashedly taking on the wisdom of the world captivates me. Calvin is the heart of many a creative soul.

Bill Watterson, author of Calvin and Hobbes, is a fascinating man. His inspiring life-story of right versus might, retiring early, and holding to his principles is one that I highly recommend reading. One surprising revelation is that Watterson never considered himself an artist, at least in the traditional sense. Continue Reading…

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Breathe In, Breathe Out

joe —  Sun 3-Sep-17 — 2 Comments

Bad launch
It’s not very often you hear an expert telling you “you’ve been doing it wrong your whole life,” especially when it comes to something as simple as breathing. Those are the words I heard two years ago as I started to have some problems with my voice. I learned that I am not alone in this Venn diagram. Roughly 90% of us are breathing wrong and with some simple changes we can improve a number of important things in our life.

It’s been two years since I was taught how to breathe properly and I’ve discovered that breathing shares a lot in common with thinking – most specifically problem solving. Breathing turns out to be an excellent model for problem solving and likely shares a similar failure rate. I use the term cognitive breathing to represent the tight relationship between breathing and thinking. That’s what we will be talking about today. More on that in a minute. Continue Reading…

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Brilliant kids test answersOur son, Jared, has always been mature beyond his years. He’s also the smartest person I have ever met – except when it came to some basic things that Beth and I take for granted. He just graduated from Georgia Tech in Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering with Highest Honors (Summa Cum Laude at other schools). Having taught over 500 students, he was voted the Teaching Assistant of the Year for all of Georgia Tech his senior year. He worked for three semesters in engineering co-op positions and even went to France to be a teaching assistant at the request of the professor teaching the class.

I tell you this not to brag (well maybe a little) but to offer context for what would be one of the greatest and most humbling lessons I have learned. It all started with a phone call during his Junior Year. Continue Reading…

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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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