Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Having trouble justifying a decision?
Stop procrastinating and start using Evaluweight !

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This started out as a little fun and bit of effort to scam mouser of one of the legendary Cody Mugs. In the end it is a interesting insight into how we come to a conclusion.

Theory: Each decision you make, is a 100 percent commitment. Therefore, that decision can be broken down into categories, and each category represents a part of that 100 percent commitment.

So “evaluweight” lays this all out in a nice and easy grid format. Simply give each category/feature a percentage mark of how it would impact your total commitment.

Now add the product that you want to compare, and in each category, mark that product out of 10 on how it meets your expectation.

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I remember using this to “sell” Leadership on making decisions. As part of my pitch, I’d get them to state what was important and how important it was. Then, we’d go thru each factor and give it a weight. And, poof there would be a “decision”.

Then, they’d decide they didn’t like the answer and made their own decision.

Little did they realize that I could have cared less WHAT they decided. All I cared about was that they DECIDED something. Anything.

So here’s a tool. Donation ware — you decide how much it’s worth.

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PRODUCTIVITY: they created a pilot’s checklist

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Annals of Medicine
The Checklist
by Atul Gawande

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Instead, they came up with an ingeniously simple approach: they created a pilot’s checklist, with step-by-step checks for takeoff, flight, landing, and taxiing. Its mere existence indicated how far aeronautics had advanced. In the early years of flight, getting an aircraft into the air might have been nerve-racking, but it was hardly complex. Using a checklist for takeoff would no more have occurred to a pilot than to a driver backing a car out of the garage. But this new plane was too complicated to be left to the memory of any pilot, however expert.

With the checklist in hand, the pilots went on to fly the Model 299 a total of 1.8 million miles without one accident. The Army ultimately ordered almost thirteen thousand of the aircraft, which it dubbed the B-17. And, because flying the behemoth was now possible, the Army gained a decisive air advantage in the Second World War which enabled its devastating bombing campaign across Nazi Germany.

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While focused at medicine, this article certainly drives home the value of checklists. I’m going to figure out how I can incorporate this in my daily life. I’ve had enough disasters that I could use some “crash avoidence”. Seems so simple. But, then so is any “great idea”.

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LUGGABLE: VWBBIE is a challenge

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Never hurts to try your “disaster”.

Out on the road, and I am dependent upon VWBBIE for inet connectivity.

(Now bear in mind, I try it EVERY Wednesday. Wireless Wednesday! From either work or home. And it works flawlessly.)

Bear also in mind that the last time I was on the road in Denver, it took at least an hour to get it configured and working.

So between yesterday and today, I’ve spent at least two hours getting it working.


This is why I debate signing up for another two years with Verizon for this POS!

It’s faster than dial up. Doesn’t work as flawlessly. And “disconnects” frequently. Argh.

Maybe if I had just a road machine?

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MONEY: many loans are severely underwater

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Straight Talk on the Mortgage Mess from an Insider
12:11:23 PM December 6th, 2007
Herb Greenberg is senior columnist for MarketWatch. His column also appears in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal.

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Values are down and these are interest only loans, therefore, many are severely underwater even without negative-amortization on this loan type. They were qualified at a 50% debt-to-income ratio, leaving only 50% of a borrower’s income to pay taxes, all other bills and live their lives. These loans put the borrower in the grave the day they signed their loan docs especially without major appreciation. These loans will not perform as poorly overall as sub-prime, seconds or Option ARMs but they are a perfect example of what is still considered ‘prime’ that is at risk. Eighty-eight percent of Thornburg’s portfolio is this very loan type for example.

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It appears that this mess is not even begun to be cleaned up. Remember the post 9-11 FED with its multi-year near zero interest rate? That’s the cause. Now the PREZ is going to “save us all” with some type of sub-prime bail out.

Fools! The sheep are fools. Just Fools!

It’s immoral for politicians to steal money from the productive class to bail out the unproductive class.

It’s just makes people make even worse decisions.

Hopefully, you’ve been putting away your gold coins. Perhaps, this is truly the end of the Republic.

Messing with the money is always a sure sign of the end.

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INTERESTING: how a German monk knew what South America looked like

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How Much Did the Ancients Know?
by Brent Peterson

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The amazement at how a German monk knew what South America looked like before any European supposedly had been there isn’t well placed when such aspects were common of maps made at the time. We know that this knowledge came from maps that were very old when mapmakers compiled the information in the 15th to 17th centuries. There really isn’t any mystery to the creation of the maps themselves. The mystery is what is our real past? If we could ask these mapmakers of five centuries ago, they could not answer us. They were just the last in a long line of people who copied and preserved very ancient knowledge. Whatever our real history is, I know it isn’t the neat and tidy story we were taught in school.

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The hell with the ancients, how much do we really KNOW?

It seems that each week, we “uncover” more. More data, more information, more knowledge that indicates what we think we know is either mistaken, wrong, or just flat out wacky.

Just in the last few months, personally, I have read “Day of Deceit” that indicts FDR for inducing Pearl Harbor (If not actually, preventing its detection and mitigation). I read an article about another Kennedy assassination attempt prior to Dallas. And, see a flow of items that cast doubt about what was taught in “history”.

Certainly, maybe Mark Twain was righter than he knew. About what we think we know hurting us.

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INTERESTING: The interesting paradox of greed

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Corporate Altruism?
By Robert Ringer

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“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right,
greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms;
greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked
the upward surge of mankind.”

– “Gordon Gekko” in the movie Wall Street (1987), screenplay by Stanley Weiser and Oliver Stone


The fact is that greed is neither good nor bad. It is simply a human trait. Greed is technically defined as “an excessive desire to acquire more than what one needs or deserves.” And since no one has either the moral authority or omniscience to decide what is excessive (let alone what a person needs or deserves), what greed really means is desire. And everyone has desires – for wealth, power, prestige, love, understanding. No end to the list.

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It’s very interesting the paradox for greed.

One can only get rich by making your fellow humans give you certificates of appreciation. (Money!) The more you serve others the more certificates you earn. You can exchange these certificate for the goods and services of your fellow human.

So be as “greedy” as your miserable nasty grim soul drives you to be.

It means you are actually cooperating in the strange Kabuki dance that we call the “free market”.

It fascinates me that “greed” actually drives “social cooperation”.

You have to admire the Intelligent Designer’s sense of humor!

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