Archive for October 2012

Notes From My Planner

I got a few planners made by At-A-Glance. They have some interesting notes and lists in them. I liked them, so I will put them here.

Highly Motivated People:

  • Have extraordinary purpose
  • Are willing to take risks
  • Participate fully in life
  • Are energetic
  • Are humble
  • Are committed to life-long learning
  • Possess an attitude of success
  • Are persistent – with options
  • Strive for health in all aspects of their lives
  • Rise above adversity

Note-taking Principles:

  • Record only worthwhile facts
  • User your words or speaker’s words – whichever is easiest
  • Write in phrases, as short as possible
  • Listen for introductory remarks
  • Listen for pointer-words, especially numbers
  • Skip examples unless needed to understand idea
  • Use every possible abbreviation
  • Leave blank space if you miss something; ask later
  • Write down formulas, dates, graphs, drawings
  • Put your comments in brackets


Thoughts On Job Creators

We have been hearing a lot about “job creators” during this campaign season.

The great site God’s Own Party points out that the Republican Party pushes policies that help the super-rich and hurt everybody else. The post also quotes an article by former Michigan Jennifer Granholm that points out that employment and wages are higher under Democratic administrations than under Republican administrations. She cited Bloomberg data. If a company founded by a billionaire says Democratic policies are better, good luck tying yourself in knots trying to say that it’s biased.

On one segment on his show, Bill Maher thought it odd that we have to walk on eggshells for the “job creators”, like they are rare birds who might fly away at the slightest disturbance. (Here is another video in which he talks about the “job creators” meme.) He does touch on the “uncertainty” BS. We are told that the “job creators” don’t want to invest due to the “uncertainty”. Doesn’t Warren Buffett, the guy business people all say they admire, always say that you should be greedy when others are fearful? And of course, when people express resentment against rich people, rich people say they made money because they took risks. Yet with a Democratic president, they are suddenly afraid to take risks, afraid to do the things they say made them successful.

Despite the uncertainty, they have no problem spending millions supporting Republican candidates and PACs, in some cases tens of millions of dollars from individuals (see articles here, here and here). Even though they have a lot of money, how smart are these people? They have all done well during the Obama administration, yet they are still whining.

Why are they willing to spend millions on a candidate who probably won’t win, yet they won’t hire due to uncertainty? It is not a certainty that Romney will win. Instead of tens of millions to PACs, how many businesses could they have started with that money? How many people could they have hired?

We have people who like to think they know something about business who have spent the past four years complaining, and refusing to make money, refusing to start businesses. Why should anyone take them seriously?

Update 2012-12-17_00.04.15:
Here are a few links I had in my notes for this article: Articles here, here, here, here and here.


Still Getting Settled In Texas

I don’t know when I will get back to posting about atheism, skepticism, politics, fitness and dividend investing.

A friend of mine from college is letting me stay at a place she owns for a couple of months. So in addition to finding out where everything is I have to find a new place. It takes a while to get to work everyday. When things get more routine I will post more.

I am in Austin

I have moved to Austin, Texas. I accepted a job offer here. It is a six-month contract. Hopefully either it will lead to a full-time gig, or I will be able to find something else afterward.

Doing a good job at my job is job #1. But I will also hopefully have time to learn more about technology, and meet people in the atheist/skeptical community here in Austin.

I will be updating the pages on this site. I have a list of atheist groups in Illinois. I will update that page with Texas groups. I do not know at this point what I will do with the info about the Illinois groups.

Image from Wikipedia

Stop Saying The G-Word

I have noticed that a lot of atheists and skeptics will still say “Oh my god” or “Jesus” when they are surprised by something.

I always tell people, “Don’t use the g-word”, or “Don’t use the j-word.”

People will defend the practice by saying that it is due to habit. Some excuse it, saying that it is just part of the culture.

For those who say it is habit, I say: Say strong, my naturalistic brothers and sisters. Change your habits to reflect your rational outlook.

For those who say it is okay because it is part of the culture, I reject that excuse. How did it come into culture? From religion. We must remove all religious and superstitious influences from our culture and our thinking. If we do not remove religion in small ways, how can we remove in large ways?

People should not replace “Oh my god” with something like “Oh my Darwin”, or “Oh my Hithchens”. We do not worship fictional characters. We should neither invoke nor give the appearance of worship of fictional or actual people, living or dead. Do not personify or anthropomorphize the impersonal universe.

The only exclamation I can think of at the moment is: “Uranium 235!” [NoteĀ  1]

Make your awe and wonder reflect the mechanistic nature of the universe.

[1] Would “Thorium Tits” count as a compliment amongst the scientifically literate?