Religious Bigots Slow on the Draw for Prop 8 Promotion

October 30, 2008

Proposition 8 is a Californian initiative to eliminate the right for same-sex couples to marry.  Amusingly, the intolerant imbeciles who support this discriminatory measure were a few minutes late to their own party… directs to the homepage of their opposition.

The Importance of Crediting the Competition

October 30, 2008

I’ve previously written about the importance of properly identifying the competition.  However, that post didn’t go far enough.  It’s not enough to simply know who the competition is, you must know why the competition is.  You must become their biggest proponent, take a walk on the dark side and sympathize with rival supporters.

In other words “to beat one, you must become one”…

Take business.

Sunkist Naturals is a Silicon Valley start-up that astonishingly sells juice rather than technology.  A large part of their success can be directly attributed to their obsession over the competition – from production to marketing.  For example, the size of the company was determined by being small enough to create a quality product – e.g. use premium ingredients and a state-of-the-art packaging facility with 0 oxygen – but large enough to get their product on the shelves of 5,000 stores nationwide.

Sunkist Naturals understands the pros and cons of being a large manufacturer/distributor in their vertical and effectively positioned themselves to enjoy the best of both worlds (sizable distribution while maintaining quality standards).

Thanks to Robert Scoble for the tip on these guys

Take politics.

Imagine how effective a candidate’s speech would be if it took the following form:

Today I’m going to talk about X.  My opponent’s policy is a,b,c.  People support that policy because d,e,f.  People criticize that policy because h,i,j.

My policy is z,y,x.  People support my policy because w,v,u.  People criticize my policy because t,s,r.

Ultimately, my opponent’s policy is good because k,l,m.  However, I believe my policy is better because I value p,o,n more than k,l,m.

(as an interesting aside notice how difficult it is to read examples in reverse alphabetical order – i.e. the second paragraph – as opposed to those in alphabetical order)

The best thing a politician could do to is give his/her opponent’s policies the strongest possible support and then explain why his or her own policies are still better.  What then could be the opponent’s response – you did a better job explaining my own position than I have…?

Identify, understand, and support the competition.  Then worry about beating them

This Makes Me Happy Part X

October 29, 2008

Photo credit here

That Damn Availability Bias

October 29, 2008

People often base their prediction of the frequency of an event on how easily an example can be brought to mind.  This is called an Availability Bias.  For example, what happens more often – murder or suicide?  The correct answer is suicide but most people say murder because murders receive more publicity than suicides.

Why is this important?

Consider the news media.  It’s their job to report current events; what’s going on today.  Right now with the presidential election less than a week away, national politics understandably dominates the headlines.  However, two weeks ago it was the banking crisis, and before that it was oil and the Iraq war.  It’s important to stay abreast with current events but equally important to keep the big picture in mind and not become distracted by the new, shiny issue of the week (i.e. fall victim to availability bias).

So here’s a thought: after the election on November 4 and the spotlight leaves Sen. Obama or McCain for a few months, let’s not lose sight of the global political landscape.  Undoubtedly new issues and “crises” will appear between November 4 and the January 20, 2009 inauguration but few will be as significant (to Americans at least) as the direction this country will take under new leadership.

My First Night at Sea

October 28, 2008

…well not exactly at sea (docked at Mariner’s Bay) but the boat was in the ocean and I grabbed a solid 6 hours of zzzz’s.  It was the first night I’ve spent on my new (old) boat and it was fantastic.  A sleeping bag on plywood beats anything that crap Westin has to offer

I replaced the “bed” (see new plywood under the sleeping bag) by tracing the old pieces on new 4×8 sheets of 3/4″ plywood and using an orbital jig saw to make the cuts ($40 at Home Depot).  Also notice the “white”… kind of… walls.  For that project:

I sanded and cleaned the area to be painted

Filled the holes with stainable (therefore paintable) wood filler, painted (using an exterior, water based all-in-one paint/primer) and then filled some more (picture above).

Painting was easiest with a roller + sponge brush.  I used the sponge to get corners and small areas and then rolled over everything for a clean look.

Filling was even easier, I just grabbed a $0.78 plastic putty knife and went to town – pushed filler into the hole, scraped away most of the excess, waited 30 minutes for filler to harden, and sanded for a smooth finish.

Other points of interest:

The project was running a little behind schedule so I employed some child labor

I found this while tearing out the desk (no it’s not mine)

But this is what it’s all about…

Seen and Heard #9

October 24, 2008

Wednesday night, at a drugstore buying some hair stuff…

Effeminate male cashier: Is this good?

Me: What’s that?

Effeminate male cashier: This product, is this what you’re wearing in your hair?

Me: … No, that’s sweat

This Makes Me Happy Part IX

October 20, 2008

(Chimpanzee + Segway) x Japanese Television = Awesome