RANT: FPOMT (Five Plus Or Minus Two)

Based on psychological research that I can’t cite off the top of my head, the human mind has some hard coded programming limitations. If you have a list with less than three items, then the mind tends to dismiss it as “undifferentiated”. If you have list with more than seven items, then the mind tends to dismiss it as “too complex”.

The study came out a study of the Roman Legions which originally was based on ten. Hence the name centurion for a hundred men. Ten cohorts of ten. However, rather quickly, early in Roman history, it got redefined to 8 (a leader and seven soldiers). From that, these smart guys tumble to the hard coded programming in the brain.

After reading that, I began to focus on the rule of thumb “five plus or minus two”. In resume lists, I look for an optimum of five. No fewer than three. No more than seven. Out side of those bounds, the recruiter’s brain glazes over.

So after, I was infected with this meme, I told one turkey to try it. In the alternative form we were trying, the resume only had three sections — objective, selected work accomplishments, and education. It only put down his last three jobs with five bullets each. The resume imho looked “sparse”. We ran two different tests. 80 targets. Testing against his chronological and functional resume that he was using with what we thought was good response rates. The sparse one scored a solid 50% response rate. Far exceeding all my preconceived notions.

After that I was a believer in FPMT!

Note: In morphing this from a turkey’s email, I think that there’s a follow up that says the max size of a business unit should be 150. I’ll have to be on the look out for all that back up material.

After all, no one should believe me, whadda I know, I’m just an ingineer!

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JOBSEARCH: winning the Don Rickles Award for advanced interpersonal skills

(for the education of all those who are complacently “in”)

> I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong

Got that right! We are making progress.

>You have multiple degrees

Don’t forget the innumerable jobs, firings, and transitions from when comes what DIKW I do have. Expensively acquired.

{Extraneous Deleted}

>I’m completely unimpressed by external measures of you or any other man. I take my own measure …

You might save yourself some time and expose more opptys if you would …

{Extraneous Deleted}

>obviously a bright guy who has an extraordinarily high opinion of himself
>and is not the least self-conscious
>about letting others know how very important all that stuff should be TO >THEM.

Actually I am an ITSJ, that you don’t believe in, who’s compensating. ;-)

>tone of your correspondence has changed (for the better)

Sorry about that I’ll have to dial it back up. You need it; not a “reduced wimpy” coaching style.

>you didn’t win the Don Rickles Award for advanced interpersonal skills
> by being a wuss.

No, it was Howard Cossell.


USP? Target list of ISPs, 2 cover letters, two resumes, and a plan.


See I am “focused” on getting you employed and out of my turkey farm”. I think slot #5 is going to be filled today by an expat coming back to the US as an “out”. And, I have to push harder to get you employed so I can free up the slot for some one who will appreciate my fine qualities better. I hate to wait list people, but five turkeys at a time is my max. I do have a real job, a hobby, and my own projects.


There went my lunch half hour!


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TECHNOLOGY: Backing up with belt and suspenders


>I have a feedreader installed on my machine, subscribed to
>my feed as an emergency backup that I control

I guess I am more anal, and afraid of losing my “pearls”; I have three different gmail email accounts set up to receive my feed. (Yeah, I know belt’n’suspenders! But hey, it’s free.) Feedblitz, Feedburner, and RSSFWD. I pop3 those accounts back into my OutLook client and stuff them in their own folder. Blitz and Burner give me a daily summary. And, those daily emails have alerted me in the past to problems; 2 with Burner and 3 with Feedblitz. So not only is it a backup, but it’s a check on what my subscribers are seeing. Both of them. (Just kidding; there’s more than two. Not much more, but who cares I write for my own entertainment.) RSSFWD (i.e., one email per post) seems to come in gobs on no apparent schedule. It’s a backup though. So thus, I have three separate backup spots for my primary blog’s postings. I did this because in my early blogging days, wordpressdotcom burped and I lost some of my finest work. (It had to have been my finest ’cause in my memory it was “fine”. And, it ain’t around to be proven “lame”. I also on a monthly basis do an XML dump from wordpressdotcom. After all it is my finest whines. Hate to admit it but I use BLOGDESK as desktop client to post to wordpressdotcom, so there’s a copy of all my posts is in that as well. My 2006 whinings are available in book form from Lulu. (Hey, it was a personal joke! But made handy gifts to all my relatives and friends. My Mommy loved hers.)

Nope can’t never have tooo many backups,
Now let me print this email, put it in my blog, send it to my three friends, and make a web page out of it.


YAHOO ANSWER: Explain Futures Trading



Asked by “Bedford”

Can somebody explain Futures Trading to me in the most simple terms?

I am a novice in the Stock Market arena but need to understand how futures work.


Dear “Bedford”:

Well I hope this is a school assignment because “futures” is no place for novices. Futures Trading is nothing more than a prediction of what value something will have in the future. For fun, watch the Eddie Murphy – Dan Akkroyd movie “trading places”. You basically predict as in the movie the future value of Orange Juice and you place one or more bets on it. If you’re right, you make gobs of money. If you’re wrong, you end up like the Duke Brothers … broke. Novice investors are like babies on the interstate. It’ll be disaster and quickly.

You have certain gooferment enforced protections, but don’t depend upon them to keep your money safe. In order to open a futures trading account, you will have to jump thru some hurdles. Your broker can be held liable if you can NOT pay for your losses (You can go to jail! They have to make good.) or if you are deemed “unsuitable” to play in that market (You get an nasty letter; they pay big big bux).

Assuming that you can deposit enough credits with the brokerage, you’ll be admitted to the “big casino”. I say casino advisedly because other than certain specific occasions, you’ll get a better deal at the casino of your choice. The casino will at least buy you dinner when you play.

Futures Trading is appropriate for the average schmo, (that includes me), for example, when you are given options by your employer and you wish to lock in your gains. As your employer in BIGBIZ who shares sell at a penny, I grant you an option to buy 10,000 shares at a dollar each in December. BIGBIZ is “discovered” by Wall Street and the stock zooms over night from a penny to $300. Shazam, you could be rich if it stays there until December. You being a smart fellow say “Hey good enough for me. May I have my profit now?” No, you have to wait until December. So you sell a CALL OPTION giving some one the right to buy your 10,000 shares for $3,000,000. Note, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the full $300 because the buyer is taking a risk. So let’s guess that you can get $1.5M. So the question is “deal or no deal”. The only diff is it is your real money you are playing with. AND, you have taxes to consider. Only a lawyer and an accountant can sacrifice the right number of chickens to read the entrails and divine the tax status of your transaction. AND, guess what the rules will be going forward. My opinion would be that you’d have to pay ordinary income on the whole shebang but what the heck. You’d come out on the other side with $750k. Lest you think that this is fiction. I have friend who had 40$ options on a stock priced at $120 who decide to take the ride and the options were worthless when he could cash out. To a much lesser extent, I’ve paid tuition at that school. Bye bye big bux!

Futures are also useful when you have stock accumulated say in AT&T over decades. And you’re sitting at 80$/share with lots of shares, and your good son, (me), comes to you and says “sell”. You say “never, it’s for widows and orphans”. Argh! I say, “You think it’s going up. Sell a put; requiring someone to buy it at 60 in the future and buy a a set of calls at 80,85,90, whatever.” You say “nah”. So I watch as you ride $80 times gobs of shares to $12 times gobs of shares. Argh!! bye bye big bux.

Futures are great if you a have specific purpose in mind. Here’s a Futures Trading course on the web for free. And, the gooferment site. Stay out of traffic.

Let me know how you make out,



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UPDATE Just notified that this was “Best by Voters. One vote; six answers. Not overwhelming, but I won’t decline the 10 meaningless points.

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LIBERTY: I don’t want to pay to educate other people’s children

*** begin quote ***


{Extraneous Deleted}

There is one thing that is conspicuous by its absence in all of Burke’s perfervid rhetoric: actual examples of how she has lost her freedom or what liberties have been stolen from her.

{Extraneous Deleted}

*** end quote ***

May I step in for the “defense”?

Ms. Burke might point out that “she” lost her freedom when she is forced at gunpoint to pay for gooferment skoolz. Actually, that freedom was lost a while ago when the gooferment took over the funding and operation of “schooling”.

She can’t teach her children her moral values in today’s environment where the children are taken to gooferment reeducation camps and feed propaganda. Unless she’s rich, she can’t afford to pay the taxes and then forgo the “service” of education. So, she, and others, are hit with a triple whammy. They are force to pay for a shoddy service they don’t want or doesn’t meet their needs. They have their values they are trying to teach their children denigrated in this “service”. AND, they are insulted when they object to the violence and loss of liberty.

This is not just a religious issue. But a racial one. Walter Williams’ has a great quip, “if the grand wizard of the KKK wanted to destroy black children, he could not have come up with a better way than government education”.

It’s a liberty issue. It’s immoral to force people to do things they don’t want to do. If you have to force some one to do something, then you have a “bad idea”. If it’s such a great idea, then you should be able to persuade me with logic, evidence, and testimony. Otherwise, MYOB! When you use force, not only is it immoral, it’s usually ineffective and inefficient as well.

As the risk of being labeled “choleric”: I don’t want to pay to educate other people’s children. I don’t feed them (in most cases). I don’t clothe them. I don’t tuck them in a night. They are not “mine”. Nor are they my responsibility. I don’t what you stealing from me to do it. I do NOT consent!

I do CHOOSE to support certain charities that do those things, but that’s my self-assumed choice. It’s immoral for the ACLU to insist that I do it to favor their agenda. Just as it would be immoral for Ms. Burke to force me to pay for her agenda.

The defense rests,

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LIBERTY: Gooferment education


Competition or Monopoly
By Walter E. Williams
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

*** begin quote ***

What’s wrong with parents having the right, along with the means, to
enroll their children in schools of their choice?

*** end quote ***

Now I read WEW every Wednesday as soon as I get a chance. I was very upset for his backing down on the libertarian principle that “taxes are theft with violence”. (Don’t believe it just don’t pay a tax and see what happens. You could get killed!)

So I warmed up the poison keyboard and shot off a response.

*** begin quote ***

Forcing others to pay for it. They aren’t my children. I didn’t decide
to have them. I didn’t get any choices. Other than to pay my “fair share”!


Ferdinand J. Reinke
Kendall Park, NJ 08824

*** end quote ***

AND was I ever SURPRISED to find this in my email box!

From: Walter E. Williams
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 7:32 AM
To: ReinkeFJ
Subject: Re: Townhall.com Columnist Mail for Walter E. Williams: Re:
Competition or Monopoly

You’re absolutely right but we can’t get from here to there in one fell swoop.


Professor Walter E. Williams
George Mason University
Department of Economics
4400 University Dr., MSN 3G4
Fairfax, Virginia 22030


WOW! An email from the man! Impressive. He actually read my rant!

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JOBSEARCH: STRATEGY Allow yourself to be found

STRATEGY Allow yourself to be found

Dear fellow turkey,

IMHO it’s all about starting and maintaining a conversation. Seekers want to have as many different conversations going on as they can possibly manage. I always felt that “perception is reality”. It doesn’t matter how you get that conversation going, what illusions the other side is under, or what comes of it. You get to have a conversation with someone who will at the very least give you data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. Clearly a sliding scale of volume and value. You will gather lots of data that is mostly low value. You will gather very little wisdom and that’s high value platinum stuff.

Here’s an opportunity (free … my favorite kind) to register on a reputable site, LinkedIn, put up a profile, and get screened email. A triple play. Now who do you think will use this site for an unintended purpose? Up, I heard it in the back of the “room”. A recruiter, head hunter, search person. Looking for that thecae who’s not looking. Little do they know that you are a “turkey” setting the trap, laying in wait for them, and you will spring your trap. They think they have “found” you. And, you’ll stick like glue to them until you suck everything of value out of them before they know it. Then, if they don’t have your ideal job, then you’ll cast them aside sucked dry and feeling abused. Ahhh what power. Revenge of the turkeys. I love it.

So scoot over and fill out a profile. And, you’ll look techie besides. Even if you can’t spell Komputer.

PRODUCTIVITY: Brainstorming


10 Guidelines for Effective Brainstorming
By Randah Taher

*** begin quote ***

Brainstorming is a powerful tool, if used correctly, but just like any power tool, you must read the manual, follow instructions and use the thing correctly…or you’re wasting time. Randah Taher presents 10 guidelines to optimizing the power of brainstorming.

*** end quote ***

You have love it. But do you REALLY WANT disruptive ideas?

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