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Blog Posts for July 2005

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Happiness Is...

...a really big tent.

ETC: And then later, getting ready to "call it a night," but not before Cub stirred up a bit of late-night wrestling with his brother, Austin.

I bought the Eureka Extended Stay Tent from campmor.com. It's a 50-pound package that only cost me $5 in shipping and I ordered it Monday; it got here Friday. Great deal.

The tent itself is very good - roomy, great ventilation, good design - but there are a few things I wish were different. First, and probably of course, the setup instructions were lacking. It took me about 30 minutes to set it up, and I'm a very experienced camper. Second, it would be great if the base of such a large tent had more opportunity for staking to pin the floor down better. And third, I'm not sure that the rain flaps reach quite far enough if there is a really good rain - but then that's true for all tents pretty much.

As I lay in the tent last night, it occurred to me: it's the first time that I hadn't thought about work and the big project for a couple of weeks. The project has literally consumed all of my waking hours, so the reprieve was nice. Fortunately, the project is right on schedule, so I could relax.

Nick is back this morning from his trip to Arizona and the Grand Canyon, and he just woke up, so I'm ready for all of his great stories from the trip.

Nice to feel a little back to normal. The project will go on like this for about two more weeks, so today and tomorrow is like a vacation. :)

1 Comment
Tags: my life | jacob | austin
by Brett Rogers, 7/1/2005 8:40:59 PM
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What??? A Post?

Quick update...

If you've read the five or so previous posts from the last month, you know that I've been very busy on a project of big proportions for my client, Wells Fargo. While Home Mortgage has had various project tracking systems in the past, my current spate of work is to bring these systems together into a more coherent whole, so that upper management has one source of truth for managing all projects.

It's been a fun ride, although I do miss my life. But some good things will come of this, and one of those is introducing blogs to the project management cycle. In a series of conversations through the development of this tool, I suggested the use of blogging to help communication on a project. Since I wrote beatcanvas.com's blogging backbone from scratch, no problem - I'll just migrate it to WF's needs. And that's the feature of this whole implementation about which I'm most excited. The ability for group-blogging and comments in the workplace, with threads and categorization where needed. Hoo-wah!

So, I'll finish soon and resume life and painting and all will be great. And my present to myself for all this effort will be that cool painting sketchbox that I highlighted in a previous post.

Makes me giddy to think of it...

3 Comments
Tags: my life
by Brett Rogers, 7/13/2005 1:14:52 PM
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Wide Awake and Ready To Go

Balance is a good thing. After 5 weeks of workaholism, I'm done with my mini-marathon and it's time to resume life.

In preparation for our camping trip to Ledges State Park next weekend, I purchased the big tent and then this past week, 5 air mattresses from campmor.com. I couldn't be more satisfied with their prices, their selection, and their service. If you camp and need gear, go there. You won't be disappointed.

So last night, Austin and Jacob spent the night, sleeping on their new air mattresses and having a ball with them. They crashed in the living room while watching a Spongebob video, and me, I conked out on the couch above them. I woke up at 11:30 to find the DVD finished and now stuck at the menu selection screen and music blaring - or at least it seemed so in the nighttime quiet of the apartment.

Bari and Nick were not home yet. No, Bari had driven herself and Nick and his girlfriend, Ali, to the local Barnes & Noble to pick up the latest Harry Potter tome. I smiled and went to bed and woke up around 4:30 - habit, I guess, from having been going to work by 5:30 each day. So I went out to the living room to check on the boys and was greeted by a wafer of light from beneath Bari's bedroom door. She was well into J.K. Rowling's story (somewhere past 250 pages) and no sign of stopping. Good for her :)

Friday was also interesting because it was the day that I learned that my credit card number had been hijacked by some bloke (or blokette) trying to buy airline tickets through London's lastminute.com. They tried to purchase around $1,200 in tickets. Unfortunately for them, I caught it and I learned in the afternoon that my bank had caught this as well. No biggie. The transaction hadn't yet cleared, nor will it, and the new card is on the way. I do quite a bit of online banking/purchasing. I pay most of my bills this way and buy everything from music at musicmatch.com to books at Amazon to art supplies from pochade.com and misterart.com to domain re-registrations at godaddy.com. So where did this thievery happen? No clue, but I've been shopping at most of these places for a while and I don't think that they're to blame. I don't expect this to curb my desire for online finance. In fact, if anything, the fact that the bank and I caught this less than 24 hours after it occurred says that the system works. Terrific, and no harm done.

Tomorrow, I plan to catch up on blogger friends listed at left and see what I've missed for the last month. I did visit instapundit and buzzmachine in the past couple of days and even left a comment on Jeff's site. Chris Muir of Day by Day caught my comment and came here to give a thumbs up. Kind of cool how the blogosphere connects people.

I have caught up a bit on the news, and here are a few thoughts:

  • Grand Theft Auto's hidden sex scenes should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the game. Why any parent would let their kids have the game in the first place is beyond me, but the involvement of those in Congress is overreaching and nanny-ish.
  • Saw that Bernie Ebbers got 25 years. That rocks. Rot in hell, asshole. And pack a cork.
  • Lots of breathless "ooh goody" going on about Rove and Plame and the media. I'll probably watch NBC tomorrow morning and catch the Cooper interview, but to address the facts - Valerie Plame worked at a desk in Langley and her neighbors knew that she worked at the CIA. It was she who suggested the her hubby, Joe Wilson, go to Niger and debunk the yellowcake claim. Now to read the media accounts of this, you would think that she was a covert spy deeply undercover somewhere sinister and that her husband, asked by the White House, brought back an unflattering report and so Rove outed Ms. Plame as vengeance. Why do I not take the media very seriously? Really? You have to ask? Good gravy. If Rove is guilty of outing a covert agent, then by all means toss his butt in jail. Along with anyone else who reveals covert operatives and covert operations (journalists, be careful what you wish for). But if Rove didn't do that, then whoop-tee-doo. Next...
  • Go Lance - I hope he wins.
  • And speaking of France, Jacques Chirac lives up to his nickname of "Le Worm" by insulting the British over and over again redundantly non-stop. Britain gives him the finger; the French like him all the more. Although, since his popularity only rose to 32 percent, I'm not sure that's exactly a cheer for the smarm king. (The other 68% are probably unemployed due to France's high taxes... except for Johnny Depp.)
  • I saw that the UN is still shredding documents to cover itself in the Oil-For-Food fiasco. Anyone who wants these guys to lead the world is, unfortunately, blissfully ignorant. In fact, in 2008, what's shaping up to be my biggest issue to determine my vote is the one who seeks to protect our national sovereignty in the face of international pressure. Absolutely nothing should be ceded to the UN, or anyone else.

Hoo - that was fun.

I was getting bummed out about the lack of good news in the media. But as Seven Habits taught me, there are things in my control, and things not in my control. My mouth is in my control; the myopia of the press is not in my control.

So, I've decided that I'll use my roost here at beatcanvas.com to occasionally poke my finger in the eye of socialists, terrorist-appeasers, and anti-US'ers. Oh, and people who still think that John McCain should be taken seriously. Anyone who authors legislation that curbs free speech deserves ridicule. And Bush deserves just as much jeer for signing the awful law. Bastards.

It's good to be back.

ETC: Caught the Cooper interview - it was nothing but marketing.

"TIME has good reporters who won't give up a source. Really. I only did so because I had a waiver from my source."

10 Comments
Tags: my life | free speech
by Brett Rogers, 7/16/2005 8:20:32 PM
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The Invisible Man

I've noticed something and asked a few women about it, but haven't received any real answers thus far - just shrugged shoulders.

If a woman in my office has a great boyfriend or is engaged or newly married, there's a picture of him on her desk. This is true for all three of the women who sit near me who fit this circumstance.

But if I survey the desks of the married women who have children, odds are far better that pictures of their children abound, but dear husband cannot be found. Not one picture.

There are notable exceptions to this, but I can think of only four married women with children in about twenty whose desks exhibit even one picture of their man.

Why is that?

Some of these women with invisible men seem happily married. One, who sits very near to me, speaks glowingly of her hubby. While her desk has no fewer than four pictures each of her two children, Don's photo is AWOL.

Or another woman, who is an amazing conversationalist, has about 10 pictures of her new baby, but none of her husband. And this is, unfortunately, the norm.

If I look at the desks of the taken men in the office, there are usually multiple pictures of their girlfriend/fiancee/wife, or at the least a good family photo. I can't think of one who doesn't have a picture of she who matters most to him.

So why is this different with women?

0 Comments
Tags: relationships
by Brett Rogers, 7/18/2005 6:06:29 AM
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Very Cool

Good for the USA Today, putting front and center the good news of re-enlistment figures.

10 Comments
Tags: media
by Brett Rogers, 7/18/2005 8:28:40 AM
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Well-Worn Paths

I noticed something during my recent stint as a workaholic, and that is that when life is rushed and we hurry through it, we reach for coping mechanisms familiar to us. "Coping mechanism" is probably a euphemism for toxic or semi-toxic habits. In my case, I overate. Not a great deal, and I didn't step backward into my previously sugary ways, but I did find the temptation arise. As it did, it struck me as silly. Sugar wouldn't have done anything but make me more sleepy. Why did that urge strike me?

I don't think a person can successfully stop bad habits while acting out the Type-A persona. Instead, we slip into the well-worn paths of whatever got us through in the past. Busy busy busy can be its own toxic behavior, but while we are busy busy busy, we're much more susceptible to allow ourselves to do stupid things to help get us by.

And while we are busy busy busy, we might enjoy some success that comes with the extra effort we're putting into our lives. If successful, the lifetsyle of rushed mania and our assorted coping mechanisms become the "formula" for our success. It's another rationale that we provide ourselves for not quitting these toxic habits.

"I can't quit smoking now," we say, as we look at the stress of other things in our lives. "I have too much going on." In the back of our minds, we believe that [insert addiction/toxic habit here] helped to get us where we are.

Indeed... which then becomes all the more reason to stop the cycle of busy busy busy. It's like bad credit card debt. We overcommit ourselves in our expenditure of time for a slew of good-intentioned reasons, but then it's payback time and we're obligated and we tax ourselves in sleep-deprivation and bathe ourselves in bad habits to get by.

Sometimes it's good to step off the well-worn path and just lay in the grass for a while.

4 Comments
Tags: health
by Brett Rogers, 7/19/2005 8:50:00 AM
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Little Gidding

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

This is a section of T. S. Eliot's poem, Little Gidding.

Life is circular, a series of increasing "a-ha!" as we first learn and then re-learn and then re-learn again those things which we felt we already knew. But each time that we come back to where we first viewed it, we know it bigger and more. This circular route generally happens in a span of years, but the "oh wow" of the re-visit is well worth it. And then we realize how little we really knew before.

I think Eliot captured this quite well.

1 Comment
Tags: wisdom | ts eliot
by Brett Rogers, 7/19/2005 10:17:54 AM
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Who's Who

It's interesting to see read the back jacket of books. They offer some insight into the circle of friends/associates that an author knows by revealing who penned recommendations.

I'm reading James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds and Dan Pink's A Whole New Mind. Both sport a hearty thumbs-up from Po Bronson, who wrote What Should I Do With My Life.

I bought Po's book over a year ago, and it's a good read. Smooth style, interesting stories of people going through transition in their lives. In the book, Po comes across as someone who can talk to anyone - and he obviously does talk to many, many people as he had to gain the trust of the 50+ people in the book.

But you can see that he gets around with his peers as well. If you start creating a web of connection, Po knows James Surowiecki and Dan Pink, and Dan Pink knows Tom Peters, who knows all sorts of cool people. And away you can run, finding good reads according to Tom Peters.

Po also has his own recommended reading list. Links to ever more people.

And if you go to Google and type in "pink surowiecki bronson," the top link is a fella who's read these same books in this year, with links to his other reads in an attempt to read 100 books in 2005. He ain't gonna make it, but it's interesting to also find others on the web with similar reading habits. All from reading a couple of book jackets and connecting some dots. Pretty cool.

ETC: I'm really diggin' Dan Pink's book. Very well-done. Good craft.

2 Comments
Tags: daniel pink | po bronson
by Brett Rogers, 7/20/2005 11:36:38 AM
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Schooling

Found this at The Corner via Instapundit, which is Aussie Prime Minister John Howard's response to a question from a reporter, who asked if Tony Blair felt that his decision to be part of the Iraq operation was to blame for the recent London bombings - i.e., are y'all bringing this on yourselves?

PRIME MIN. HOWARD: Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it. My first reaction was to get some more information. And I really don't want to add to what the prime minister has said. It's a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.

Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.

Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.

And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?

When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.

Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

PRIME MIN. BLAIR: And I agree 100 percent with that. (Laughter.)

It's idiocy to even ask the question in the first place because it's woefully ignorant of the facts, but at least PM Howard was in an educational mood. I hope reporter Paul was listening.

6 Comments
Tags: politics | terrorism
by Brett Rogers, 7/21/2005 2:43:58 PM
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The Sun

I was browsing through Barnes & Noble a couple of weekends ago with Austin and Jacob when I ran across a watercolor book on painting the sky. Most of what I saw was pretty standard fare, except this:

I'd wondered for a while if any watercolorists had managed to capture the brightness of sunlight. Yes. Paul Jackson has. And it's not the only one in which he does this. The above picture doesn't let you close enough to see how he did it, but the book copy of this painting does, and I've filed that thought away.

I've started painting a little landscape picture of the New England coastline to get back into painting. No bright sunshine to show, but it's nice to paint again.

And speaking of sunlight, an overabundance of it and of the humidity here in Iowa will prevent the camping trip planned. The heat index is to climb around 108 over the weekend. Camping in a tent in a sauna won't be fun for the kids, so we're driving up to Ledges Park instead on Saturday just to play around in the water in the morning. Should be a lot of fun. I hope to take lots of pictures as painting fodder later this fall. Maybe I'll catch some good sunlight and try my hand at the brilliance of sunlight.

2 Comments
Tags: artists
by Brett Rogers, 7/22/2005 7:51:12 AM
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Sunlight - of a Different Kind

You've probably heard before that any publicity is good publicity. It's face time. It's exposure. You're now famous and important.

Tom Friedman has an article in NYT that suggests a quarterly Hatemongers list. His reasoning is that these hatemongers will then be exposed and scurry away like cockroaches.

The hate spreaders assume that they are talking only to their own, in their own language, and can get away with murder. When their words are spotlighted, they often feel pressure to retract, defend or explain them.
I get his reasoning, but I don't agree.

People go on Jerry Springer knowing that they will be ambushed and shamed and encouraged to expose themselves and their private life to the world, but they do it anyway. And that's just for the thrill of being momentarily famous.

The hatemongers among us believe what they believe to their core. If confronted, many of them will not back down, but see it as a test of their beliefs. Theo Van Gogh's killer recently expressed no remorse and insisted that he did the right thing. This he did under the spotlight of the world. But he didn't flinch. He didn't retract, defend, or explain away his actions. He had no remorse and instead said this:

"If I ever get free, I would do it again."
I think Friedman is a thoughtful guy, but he doesn't understand the enemy. The last thing we should do is give them publicity. A responsible media would give no time whatsoever to the killers in our midst. By doing so, it only emboldens others to copycat their acts, or makes others believe that their hatred is legitimate because it is shared.

It feels like Friedman wants something effective like America's Most Wanted. Only there is no jail at the end of the line for the hatemongers given facetime. Only massive media exposure. And with the right audience, any publicity for them would be good publicity. Which would be bad for the rest of us.

0 Comments
Tags: terrorism | media
by Brett Rogers, 7/22/2005 12:49:39 PM
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The End of Immigration

Found this on Drudge... British Muslims were polled about their feelings toward the bombers/bombings. Most condemned them...

However, six per cent insist that the bombings were, on the contrary, fully justified.

Six per cent may seem a small proportion but in absolute numbers it amounts to about 100,000 individuals who, if not prepared to carry out terrorist acts, are ready to support those who do. [Emphasis mine.]

Moreover, the proportion of YouGov's respondents who, while not condoning the London attacks, have some sympathy with the feelings and motives of those who carried them out is considerably larger - 24 per cent.

A substantial majority, 56 per cent, say that, whether or not they sympathise with the bombers, they can at least understand why some people might want to behave in this way.

It's increasingly hard to make an argument that this is not an an issue with Islam itself. Will Muslims be welcome to emigrate into western countries? Not when there are polling results like these. If this keeps up, there's going to be serious problems for the Muslim community - and it's theirs to fix.

ETC: Good news - Muslims protesting terror. More of this please.

5 Comments
Tags: terrorism
by Brett Rogers, 7/23/2005 8:24:04 AM
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Ledges and Brookside

Went to the park early in the morning before the heat got obscene and played around. Nick, Ali, Austin, and Jacob had fun... oh, and me too.

Ledges is a beautiful park with a stream that runs through it. I had expected that the water would be higher, but unfortunately not, as you can see.

Nevertheless, it was a good time.

And scenic...

Then off to my favorite city park, Brookside in Ames, Iowa. It sports huge oak trees and several playgrounds.

And if you're there long enough, the little guys get to see a train or two pass through. Which we did.

Ali and Nick goofed around on a park bench.

I can't imagine the two of them breaking up. They're wonderful together, which is great to see for my son.

Good way to start the day.

0 Comments
Tags: nick | austin | jacob | my life
by Brett Rogers, 7/23/2005 5:33:02 PM
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Believing the Unreal

In reading The Wisdom of Crowds, I came across an interesting experiment.

A guy named Solomon Asch conducted an experiment on conformity...

The participants - the real subject and [eight] confederates - were all seated in a classroom where they were told to announce their judgment of the length of several lines drawn on a series of displays. They were asked which line was longer than the other, which were the same length, etc. The confederates had been prearranged to all give an incorrect answer to the tests.

Many subjects showed extreme discomfort, but a high proportion (33%) conformed to the erroneous majority view of the others in the room, even when the majority said that two lines different in length by several inches were the same length. Control subjects with no exposure to a majority view had no trouble giving the correct answer.


He later held a similar experiment, but gave the subject an ally who would tell the truth. What he found was that even if the subject had only a single ally, the subject would stick to their personal perception and not conform to the group.

After finding Asch's experiments on Wikipedia, I found a guy named Milgram, who conducted a really fiendish experiment.

A slip of paper is given to the participant, another to the confederate. The participant is led to believe that one of the slips says "learner" and one says "teacher" and that he is randomly given one of the slips. The actor claims to have been assigned as "learner," so the participant is led to believe that the roles have been chosen randomly. In actuality both slips say "teacher," while the actor just misreports what is on his slip; no element of randomness is involved.

The participant chosen as the teacher is given a sample 45-volt electric shock from the electro-shock generator, as a "sample" of the shock the "learner" will supposedly receive during the experiment. The "teacher" is then given a list of word pairs which he is to teach the learner. The teacher begins by reading off a list of word pairs to the learner. After reading through the word pairs, the teacher will then only read the first half of the word pairs, and read 4 possible answers. The learner will indicate which second word he believes to be correct by pressing a button (1 through 4) corresponding to the teacher's choices. If incorrect, the learner will receive a shock, increasing by 15 volts with each wrong answer. If correct, the next word pair is read.

The teacher believes that he is actually giving shocks to the learner participant. In reality, there are no shocks being given to the learner. Once the learner was separated, the learner set up a tape recorder, integrated with the electro-shock generator, which would play pre-recorded tracks at certain shock levels. At 135 volts the learner's pre-recorded pleas of agony begin. After a certain number of level increases, the actor starts to bang on the wall that separates him from the teacher (subject). After banging on the wall and complaining of his heart condition (which he talked about at the beginning of the experiment), the learner gives no further response to the questions and no further complaints.

If, at any time, the subject indicates his desire to halt the experiment he is given a succession of verbal prods by the experimenter, such as: "The experiment requires that you continue. Please go on." If the subject still wishes to stop after four successive verbal prods, the experiment is halted.

This experiment in authority pressure, very twisted in nature, had some amazing results.
In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent of experimental participants administered the experiment's final 450-volt shock, though many were quite uncomfortable in doing so. No participant stopped before the 300-volt level. Variants of the experiment were later performed by Milgram himself and other psychologists around the world with similar results. Apart from confirming the original results the variations have tested variables in the experimental setup.
(Emphasis mine.)

If a terrorist group shows themselves an ally to an individual's initial prejudice and hate, and stokes that with alliance, Milgram shows us that it wouldn't take much authority to "coerce" people to hurt others.

One participant in Milgram's study said this:

While I was a [participant] in 1964, though I believed that I was hurting someone, I was totally unaware of why I was doing so. Few people ever realize when they are acting according to their own beliefs and when they are meekly submitting to authority.
It doesn't take much to turn a normally peaceful person to hurt others in a desire to obey authority.

What would have prevented this participant from dealing these severe 400+ volt shocks? What if one person had been there to question the authority?

This is why it's going to take a profound effort on the part of Muslims to push back hard against these violent leaders and their teachings. There must be someone there to openly question these teachings and tether the would-be terrorist to humanity to prevent these attrocities. Otherwise, it's only going to be endless violence.

We in the West may not be able to able to reach the terrorists, but we can exert pressure on the local/national Muslim community to put pressure on those within their midst. Media won't help with this because they only know that if it bleeds, it leads.

It's going to take a more activist role on the part of individuals. This is everyone's fight because anyone can become a victim of it.

What can you do? Supporting the troops is good and necessary, but beyond that - what can you do? How can you help to reduce their necessary fight?

4 Comments
Tags: terrorism
by Brett Rogers, 7/23/2005 8:20:52 PM
Permalink


Held Hostage

I had thought that my long hours at work were over, but alas, it's not true. This next week could be the heaviest yet, I learned yesterday. But it will end soon. Two weeks from now there is no way I'll still be on this treadmill. Ah, light at the end of the tunnel.

But speaking of being held hostage, American workers who aren't Democrats got a light at the end of their tunnel yesterday with the fracture of the Teamsters and the Service Employees from the AFL-CIO.

The migration of jobs overseas, technological automation, non-unionized stores like Wal-Mart, and the lack of return on investment in the dollars spent on Democrats who didn't win or keep their office has spurred the dissatisfaction in organized labor.

There was a time when unions served a great purpose: to protect the American from sweatshops and abusive practices in the workplace. But today, most of that no longers exists. Non-management, salaried employees are quite protected in the workplace and enjoy great benefits. Unions helped to bring that about, but how does a union stop outsourcing or technology from upending jobs? It can't. And if businesses can't compete with cheap Chinese labor, the union can't force a company to go bankrupt and bleed money to protect jobs. Unless they control it through legislation/regulation that might tie the hands of business and diddle with trade policy. And so a ton of money went to politicians...

I watched James Hoffa, the Teamsters leader, yesterday during a break a work. He wants less money to go to politics and more to go into organizing. Okay fine, but what will increased numbers bring American workers? How does that solve the problems that they have today? It won't.

In my opinion, money better spent is money that hosts the re-education of these workers to help them move with the times... provide them with skills that make them more mobile in the workplace, and their employment is protected. But to simply have the goal of getting more members and slow time down through legislation and regulation so that change doesn't happen as fast as it might doesn't solve a thing. It's wasted money because they will never succeed. It's money pilfered from American workers who don't have it to give in the first place.

In a few days, I'll have a post about where jobs are headed. The next ten years, I think, will see as rapid a shift in the focus of jobs as what came when computers landed on the desks of millions of American workers. Until then, I'll probably post very little.

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 7/26/2005 7:52:30 AM
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Happy News

I just found Happy News, and frankly, it's great.

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 7/30/2005 9:45:52 AM
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What If...

The idea would have been laughed at, if presented 15 years ago, that a lone law professor in his Knoxville, Tennessee, could generate as much or more traffic as most magazines achieve and for only a fraction of the cost.

But the advent of the Internet and the simple technology and presentation of blogs has allowed Glenn Reynolds to do just that. He didn't need to write the Internet himself. He didn't need to write his blog's technology. Instead, it's available, and so he can make use of it. And as a result, Professor Reynolds and many, many other web sites are, in effect, incoming-generating businesses that chip away at the marketshare of today's mainstream media.

eBay - same thing. Online shopping portals - same thing. I can go to Froogle.com (Google's online shopping site) and buy at a price lower than I can find locally, and usually with cheap shipping. Competition is spread as wide as there are people with computers and a connection.

So 15 years from now, how laughable would it be if, following the notion of easily available technology, more institution-chipping eras begin. As blogs continue to hammer away at mainstream journalism, not in terms of critique, but in terms of choice for the audience, let me throw out a scenario... apply this to any industry where it seems fitting.

What if financial services were available in a mechanism/medium like this? If the technology were readily available, why couldn't the 50-ish couple on the corner start their own online financial services and compete with the big guns?

Seem laughable? Really? I think every service industry that can be performed adequately from afar is vulnerable to this decentralized model. Exemptions would be like nursing and teaching. But legal services? Banking? If it's not a physical product and it doesn't require high and immediate touch, it's possible.

3 Comments
Tags: p2p | home mortgage
by Brett Rogers, 7/30/2005 3:38:20 PM
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