A Statement of Philosophy

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
It occurs that me that any writing that purports wanting to make people think differently about certain things should provide a statement of philosophy that acts as its guiding principle. Why do I think this is important? I think it is important because it allows a user to objectively analyze a situation and come up with consistent outcomes. I hate hypocrites. I also hate people who so blindly follow a line of reasoning without really knowing why they are doing it. This happens when people think the Democrats are always right and that the Republicans are always wrong. Why do you think that? What basis are you analyzing your arguments? Just because George W. Bush said it is not a reason to discount it. I have often come out on the opposite side of an issue when I analyzed it against my own internal philosophy. This allows me to not be so rigid with specific ideas and concepts and to see the merit of my own convictions. When I get into arguments with other people I find inconsistencies in their arguments (i.e. Government should not make decisions on how to spend more of my money but it should tell other people they need to follow my religious beliefs) When I find those in my own ideas I have no problem reversing course because I have one guiding principle in my life.

So I believe everybody should follow something. Whether it be, "Treat others as you would have them treat you" or "What would Jesus do?" you should try to break down your belief system into something simple and see how consistent your arguments are. You might be amazed on how inconsistent you are with yourself, I know I was.

So here is my philosophy, "Individual Choice and Personal Responsibility". Everything I believe in comes from this. What does it mean? It means I should have the right to make choices for myself. Given this right I must be willing to reap the benefits and suffer the consequences for any thing my choices create. This implies that if I have this right others must also have this right and that none of my choices must infringe on theirs. That is I do no have the right (but I suppose you do have the choice) to kill someone else because that would remove their right to make a choice.

So there you have it. When I contradict myself let me know. I'll be happy to look at your arguments and see if I really know what I'm talking about.

Freedom - So Long As You Agree With Me

Monday, May 24, 2004
On my way to work today I heard an argument going on about Fahrenheit 9/11 It was on a sports talk radio show and one of the guest labeled Michael Moore "Anti-American".

Is it me or is it anytime someone speaks out agasint something the far right supports they are instantly labeled Anti-American. I couldn't believe my ears as I listened to this guy. I mean what can be more American than speaking your mind and exercising your right to free speach? Its the first friggin amendment for heaven's sake. Could you imagine if in 1776 someone labeled the founding fathers as "Anti-England" After all, they were planning on overthrowing the entire government.

How come to be an American I have to believe that killing people 10,0000 miles away from me that I have never met is a good thing? How come I have to be "anti-troop" if I don't believe in the war? Just because I don't think we should be in the regime-toppling business does not mean I want to see a U.S. soldier shot and killed.

If you don't like it than don't watch it. Simple as that. I don't like listening to politics when I'm trying to listen to sports so guess what, I changed the channel.

Women and Their Contradictions

Thursday, May 20, 2004
Many of the women I know are not happy with their love lives. I'm not saying ALL women but many. I believe one of the reasons that these women are unhappy is because women are full of contradictions when it comes to what they want in a man. Let me expound on this subject by giving examples of common things women say they want in a man and why they contradict each other. My point is NOT TO SAY THESE ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE but only to point out that there is a very fine line. Its a tightrope act most men can't perform.

I want a man who is ambitious and successful but not a workaholic or married to his job
Unless you are born into wealth there is really only one way to be truly successful and great at what you do, work harder than the next guy. That isn't to say you can't be successful at what you do without working 100 hours but the higher you go up the food chain the harder you have to work. Women love doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc but hate the hours these guys put in and the passion they put into their jobs. How do you think these men got into the position they are? Do you think they breezed through med school? You knew what they were before you started dating them, what else do you expect?

I want a man takes care of his body but isn't in love with himself
Unless the guy is a pro-athlete very few men have reason to work out. Don't give me that crap that you do it to be healthy and feel better about yourself. You do not have to do lat pulldowns and bench presses to get a work out. You could do just as well playing a game of tennis or running a few miles. Men lift weights because they care how they look. It is almost completely superficial. I know, that's why I do it. Do I love myself, of course. Do I stare in the mirror all the time? No, but I do occasionally. How else am I supposed to gauge my progress?

I want a real manly man who is kind and sensitive with me
Men who have high levels of Testosterone and are willing to get into a fight with a 6-5 300lbs bouncer rather than walk away are aggressive by nature. There is a genetic reason these men are alpha males. They don't take crap and they aren't "sensitive". Do you really think a man who can punch his wall through a door is going to want to watch "Bridges Over Madison Country"?

I want a man with confidence but who is not cocky
This is probably my favorite one. This one is almost a complete contradiction in the way that women mean it. Women want a man who is sure of himself but somehow doesn't know it or won't talk about it. But men who are confident must believe it themselves and have no shame in admitting it. That is not to say that I should go around and say, "Hi. Nice to meet you Joe. I went to an Ivy League School". But if someone asks me a question like, "You must be pretty smart to do a job like that" am I to reply, "No anyone could do my job"? Its simply not true and if I'm willing to say it I must either be A) Lying B) unsure of myself C) ashamed D) care so much what this person thinks that I just met that I feel a need to evade the truth. Well if it is B, C, or D then I'm not really so confident am I?

There are many many more but I think my point is clear. I often think women make themselves unhappy in their relationships because they want things which are impossible and when they don't get everything they wonder, "Why can't I just find Mr Right?".

Photo Blog

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
To force myself to take more photos I've decided to start my very own photo blog. I've had Photography for a hobby for a long time but have been really lazy when it comes to going out and taking photos. I figure if I'm under pressure to post that I will be more likely to go out and take pictures. I don't know if I will post too often but hey, with people like Amanda and Ryan who only post once every few months, I figure I'm OK.

The Rising Cost of Gas

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Today, the price of a gallon of gas rose to above $2.00 a gallon across the nation (It's over $2.30 at my local gas station). This is the highest that it has ever been. My point is, yeah so what?

Americans just don't realize how good they have it. Take a look at the price of gas around the world. It isn't cheap. Making it worse is that many of these prices are from seven months ago when gas was cheaper AND these countries are all less wealthy than America so relatively gas is even more expensive.

Americans love their SUV's. Americans love to drive. Americans hate public transportation. I'm one of those who fall in the latter two. If you own a SUV or drive when you don't have to (And most people do. You can always walk that mile to the store, it won't kill you) then I feel you have very little reason to complain. We are a society that has created our own problems by ignoring public infrastructure and building communities where the nearest grocery store is 5 miles away. We did it to ourselves and have to live with the consequences.

Does that mean I don't feel bad for those who are truly poor and are severely affected by this? Of course not, but that doesn't apply to most of America, especially those who have enough money to buy an SUV in the first place and drive to their local air conditioned mall whenever it pleases them.

Gay Marriage - Who Cares?

Monday, May 17, 2004
Today is the first day that Massachusetts will allow Gay couples to get married.

What has always struck me as strange is that a majority of American's oppose Gay Marriage. I just don't understand this. I can see somebody believing that marriage is between a man and a woman. But why should government make that distinction?

The argument against gay marriage is that it is against the will of God. Fine, let those people go to hell. Why should you get to judge them while they are on earth? Let God do it when these people face judgment. But the US government is not supposed to support religion one way or another. If marriage isn't a religious thing then you can't argue that homosexual couples shouldn't marry and if it is a religious thing then government shouldn't be involved.

And don't argue the morality of the whole thing. Who's morality are we to use? If it is a morality issue than you shouldn't allow divorce, you shouldn't allow people to have pre-marital sex, etc.

Can someone please explain to me their position that the US government should be involved in this debate. I would really like an argument so if you have one please share. I won't accept any argument that as its basis is based on religion or morality. This person has a good post that describes some of the arguments I find particularly frivolous.

The Uselessness of Meetings

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
This won't be a very controversial topic but it is something I can't quite explain fully. Companies seem to love meetings. I don't quite understand this. It has been my experience that meetings are almost useless.

Now one of the things I strive to do in my life is not look at situations strictly from my point of view . If there is one thing I do know is that I am not the average person. For me any meeting longer than an hour makes almost no sense unless it is one of those things which is truly interactive. Most meetings consist of people talking endlessly about the same thing, things that should be covered outside the meeting, or things that could easily be learned by oneself.

I will admit that in my meetings at work I pay attention maybe 10% of the time. The other 90% I'm trying to actually get some work done. However, even though I never pay attention I seem to come out of the meeting with the same or better knowledge than most of the others. Now that can only mean that everybody is tuning out or I just learn that much better than everybody else even though I receive only 10% of the information. (I probably receive closer to 100% since like I said, meetings tend to be highly repetitive or they state the obvious like "You company should make more money").

But if the first case is true than doesn't everybody realize what a waste meetings are? If so how come we keep having them. I'm with Jenny, we should have a meeting department whose only function is to attend meetings. But then I suppose I would have to have a meeting with the meeting department to learn what they talked about.

The New Blogger

Monday, May 10, 2004
This isn't really going to be on topic but I just wanted to post something in the new blogger to see how it is. So far I like the new interface. It is definitely slicker at least. I like that I have more choices in templates. I use to just try and create my own but for someone who only has limited HTML and CSS skills it is nice to be able to choose from a few that are at least decent. Now my blog will look like everyone else's blog but at least it will look good.