November 30, 2006
So, I recently read a study that says that a group performs a task better when all the people know who the smartest person in the room is. I'm assuming that people simply tend to give that 'smartest' person the benefit of the doubt, and give them the final word. But, that seems very similar to me to a common corporate structure. A worker gives their boss the final word, right? Maybe not. Not if they truly think they're smarter...or their idea is better. So, question: What is the most effective way of convincing someone they are wrong when they do not respect you as their intellectual superior?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:55 AM
November 29, 2006
From his song, Come on! Feel the Illinoise!
"Oh God of progress.
Have you degraded or forgot us?
Where have your laws gone?
I think about it now."
It's clear. Pat Robertson has infiltrated the hipster cutting edge music scene, and convinced Sufjan Stevens to try and subconciously get us to legislate morality by lyrically blaming the degredation of the world on the loss of Godly morality. I see right through you Sufjan.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 11:50 AM
November 27, 2006
I've had a few conversations with people who are tired of the U.S., probably more specifically, Bush being in charge of the world. They would rather us be a more peaceful quiet, Switzerland, or at least more like a socialized Western European country. And that might be fine if there were a worthier heir to our throne. But, who takes our place if we step down? China? Russia? India? None of the countries in the E.U. have large enough economies to really take our place. Simple question, would you feel comfortable with China being in the position that we are today?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:03 AM
November 22, 2006
A year ago today, I went to one of the coolest church services I have ever been to. It was a small turnout on the Wednesday night before Thanskgiving, and people were asked to share publicly something they wanted to give God thanks for. Now, typically, when a pastor asks the congregation to share testimonies, people don't often tend to share anything unless it's a miraculous healing or someone coming to know Christ. But, on this night, everyone shared. People shared the new job they were at, the new relationship they were in, the fact that the leaves were beautiful, that they were on better terms with their children again, and there were indeed stories of healing and salvation. But, it was mostly people being completely honest about these little things that they attributed to God. And it was powerful. And by the end of the night, we all started to realize that if God was doing all of these good things in all of these people's lives, then maybe He could do some good stuff in our lives as well. It was a cool night. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:04 AM
November 21, 2006
Ever heard that? I have, and was surprised that there would be such blatant gender bias when it comes to payscale in this "sophisticated" society we live in. Well, here's where that number comes from. It's not comparing apples to apples. The average women's salary is 75% what a man's is. Not with the same job, not with the same hours. Just average overall. So, what we need to remember is that men work very different jobs than a woman. Nursing and Elementary Education are the two leading vocations for a woman. Women tend to work shorter hours than the average man. Women tend to work on average, 10 years less than the average man. When you compare men and women with equivalent jobs, equivalent hours and equivalent credentials, the salaries tend to be just that, equivalent.
November 20, 2006
The Cubs just signed Alfonso Soriano to a long-term ginormous contract that will guarantee him $17 million dollars as a 39-year-old, when he is currently 31 and coming off a .277 season with 160 strikeouts. And yet, Cubs fans everywhere are rejoicing. I would like to see this unbridled, ignorant, optimistic passion from our democratically appointed electorate. Not because it works, simply because it's a lot more fun.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:56 AM
November 17, 2006
I read an article that stated that people voted for a new Congress because they were sick of the extreme right. Undoubtedly, there were many reasons why Democrats were elected in to replace the Republican majority. But, it seemed silly to me to consider the past Republican majority/President as anything close to 'far right'. Am I alone in considering this past Congress/Administration anything but conservative, and therefore thinking that this vote does not signal an American vote against conservatism, but this wacky Republipostmodernim?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:51 AM
November 16, 2006
I recently learned that U.S. divorce laws back in the day only allowed for divorce if a partner was abusive or unfaithful. The universal checkbox of irreconcilable differences was not an option. While divorces tend to take place at the low-end of a marriage, if obtaining a divorce was harder, would this help some unhappy marriages to have the time to turn around before ending prematurely?
November 14, 2006
November 13, 2006
So, with the newly-Democratically controlled Congress, a minimum wage increase in the near future seems quite likely, and it looks like the national minimum wage will be raised from $5.15 to $7.15 an hour. Without getting into the argument of whether or not government wage control is economically beneficial for the country, I have a question to pose regarding this new "living wage". What does a "living wage" mean? When do we raise or lower this "living wage"? When one person can afford a modest mortgage payment, utilities, savings, etc? Or what if they're married and the spouse does not work? Or what if it's just one person raising five kids by themselves? Who is supposed to be able to live and in what quality with this "living wage"?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:50 AM
November 10, 2006
November 08, 2006
I watched a film the History Channel put out on Lincoln last night (that really made him look like a bi-polar nutcase incidentally). But, one of Lincoln's speeches struck me very interestingly when talking about slavery. He said when talking to a man from the South, paraphrased "if we could agree on the fact that a slave is not a human, but your property alone, then you would of course be free to do with your slave as you wished, but this is something that we simply can not agree on."
This struck me as very similar to the abortion debate in America today, which can really not be properly discussed until we consense one way or the other on what a human is?
...and by the way, judging from the state of South Dakota's voting to ban gay marriage but not abortion, are they really saying that they would rather their children be dead than raised by a homosexual?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:07 PM
Yesterday was a historic day for the political world. The citizens of the United States said that they think Democrats can do a better job. Democrats all across this country should be excited. But, Republicans shouldn't jump off the train just yet. The current (before this new vote) majority in Congress in no way represents the conservative pulse in this country. This bastardization of fiscally liberally Republimoderates is just silly, and it's not the worst thing in the world that they're gone. Now, I think we will begin to see a shift into two new parties that better represent the country and are both fiscally conservative. These parties are the socially liberally, and the socially conservative. And that's not a bad debate to be had.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:01 AM
November 07, 2006
November 06, 2006
What's the difference between the Black Panther Party, whom, because they have been oppressed by white men, decide that justice means black domination, and Feminists, who believe that since they have been oppressed by men, decide that justice means female dominance?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:20 AM
November 02, 2006
So, since I didn't have cable growing up, the commercials for Sybaris pool suites were about the raciest thing I saw. Even before I understood marital exploration, the idea of a waterslide in a bedroom seemed awesome to me. So, somehow, that childhood suggestion stuck with me, and when I was looking for a place to spend my first night with my bride, I researched Sybaris and got on their e-mail list for special rates. I ended up choosing somewhere else, but I recently got an e-mail from them advertising a special rate. The rate was only good from Noon-2 PM on a weekday. Classy.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:36 PM
November 01, 2006
I just watched documentaries on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X back-to-back. It was fascinating how such dissenting views both came back to the brilliant words of Thomas Jefferson eventually. Those being, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'
Challenge: Rephrase this sentence however you like, in order to crystallize the foundation that America is or should be built upon. e.g. (change 'men' to 'persons', delete 'by their Creator', etc., or extrapolate how 'equal rights' should not be confused with 'special rights' or 'forced equality through distribution')
Or vote that Jefferson's original statement takes the cake.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:46 AM