August 30, 2007
Cadillac's new slogan, and the most essential phrase from the Declaration of Independence got me thinking. What are our rights? We have a bill of rights that expands on this idea, and makes sure to clarify ones that people might claim are not either "life", "freedom", or... "freedom". But, I don't find "jobs" on there. Or "healthcare". Or a "living wage."
Doesn't mean there shouldn't be. But, there isn't. And there's something very beautiful about "the pursuit" that we might be missing.
On vacation 'til Tuesday. Enjoy the long weekend.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 5:53 PM
August 29, 2007
Stemming from yesterday's thoughts:
Are most people successful at attaining pleasure or merely relief? And are they calling this relief that they experience, "pleasure" or "happiness"?
Food when you're hungry, water when you're thirsty, going to the restroom, sex with a stranger: the feelings obtained are really just physical relief, no?
And yet, people can mistake these experiences for "pleasure", even "joy", because they are the best feelings they've ever experienced. But, it's truly a misunderstanding with the definition of these words.
Ok, that's pretty deep for one day.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:54 AM
August 28, 2007
So, after a recent alcohol related death in Major League Baseball, some teams have begun banning alcohol from their dugouts. This has inspired a minor outrage among players and coaches alike.
It inspired this from me...."they've been drinking DURING the games????"
I'm always surprised as to the overwhelming focus that people place on alcohol, and how it is so often the center of weekend plans.
Yet, most people don't consider this self-medication a problem. I'm just not sure why?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:27 AM
August 27, 2007
August 24, 2007
God's Politics: A Brief Review
I am very happy that Christian democrats finally feel like they have a voice in the moral dialogue of our country, with the help of this book assuring them that they are not alone. I admire the fact that the author believes that the fight on poverty should hold just as many of our thoughts as the fight on abortion.
But, the left and right in this country are still divided as to what is the BEST way to alleviate these problems. The author, Jim Wallis, argues that the rich in this country should pay more taxes in order to sponsor government-based initiatives for these goals.
But, many on the right believe that this is unconstitutional.
The author does not make a biblically convincing case for the ideas he presents to solve these social woes, he just makes a good case that God cares about them. Perhaps that's enough?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:54 AM
August 23, 2007
So, with this latest Minnesota bridge disaster, there are talks about a private takeover of bridge construction paid for by private tolling. So, it is a safe assumption that a private company could create a bridge more efficiently than the government, strictly because of the incentive to do so. But, how will this improve safety or accountability?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:31 AM
August 22, 2007
Most people think they're smarter than most other people. But, mathematically, that's impossible.
You might have some wisdom, some insight, but there are a LOT of people smarter than you, especially in regards to specific issues. This is why political discussions often don't go anywhere. We all think we're right and have nothing to learn.
Therefore, our argument becomes, "Shut up! Don't you understand how smart I am? Listen to me!"
The moral of this story is to actively search out people who are smarter than you (they exist, trust me, even if you have to find them in literary form) and start learning from them.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:04 AM
August 21, 2007
I am setting up a shared movie program at my office. I did this at my last workplace as well. Everyone who wants to can willingly type up their movie library into an excel sheet, and combine them with other employees who do the same. Then, we have a "Your Company Name Goes Here" Movie Library. All who willingly share their own library can request to lend movies for free from other people's collections.
Downsides. Some people's movie collections suck. They take all my good films, and I don't want to watch Bridget Jones' Diary.
But, when I willingly sign up for this program, I am aware of the risks, and do it more so because I want my coworkers to be able to have access to a great collection of free movies than what I personally gain from it.
Any other examples of where this "willing" socialism could work?
August 20, 2007
There is nothing inherently wrong with a "big" business. There is something very wrong with an any-size business committing illegal activities or engaging in corrupt practices. But, these things are not intrinsically linked. For instance, how long then, would you root for the "good practice" underdog? Until your patronage causes them to become successful and grow? And then, do this company's "good practices" automatically disappear, because they have become "big" and therefore, "bad"?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 11:20 AM
August 17, 2007
August 16, 2007
Why don't they sell milkshakes in gallon jugs? They sell yogurt that you drink, smoothie drinks, etc. Why not milkshakes? I would love to keep a gallon of low-fat, skim-milk milkshake in my fridge at work. High-protein energy for a man who loves milkshakes. That could be the slogan! Why doesn't this already exist?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:05 AM
August 15, 2007
It's getting pretty romantic. You really like this person. Butterflies, tension. But, how do I express these feelings?
What if I push my face against hers so our lips smack together? Ah yes, that's the stuff.
The kiss seems very odd to me. What is about a kiss that feels so pleasant? There's probably a real answer for this, but I had a thought this morning as I leaned in, puckered up and felt the soft, cool pleasing touch... of water from a water fountain.
Does a kiss remind us of being quenched?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:40 AM
August 14, 2007
So, people like to rave about places where fish is the freshest. Whenever I go to the East coast in the summertime, I always get a lot of seafood, often caught that day. If you eat crabcakes in Kentucky, people will say you're wasting your money, 'cause it can't be fresh.
Is it possible to get beef or chicken anywhere that's caught that day? And is the difference as significant as freshly caught, never frozen seafood?
What makes seafood so unique in this regard?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 11:58 AM
August 13, 2007
August 10, 2007
#4. James Madison
In order to stop British troops from harassing American ships in trade, Madison thought that it would be a good idea to invade and seize Canada, sovereignly ruled by Britain, in order to obtain a good bargaining chip for establishing U.S. neutrality on the seas. Only, he didn't prepare very well to engage in this battle, and the War of 1812 killed 2,260 American troops over the next three years. Even with this, U.S. neutrality on the seas was still not recognized until Britain's war against Napoleon ended in victory.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:47 AM
August 09, 2007
August 08, 2007
August 07, 2007
I feel guilty about how happy eating makes me. If I get an msg-laden brown bag full of Chinese food, my brain soon reaches ethereal bliss. I become happy, not due to circumstance, but due to ingredients.
And I don't like this about myself. While, I condemn other drugs to be an unhealthy mental escape for people, how different is this food for me?
It's the robot mentality in me that wants a Flintstones vitamin complete dietary intake, so that I will not escape sorrow with anything but the answer to it.
August 06, 2007
So, this girl at work let me borrow her Planet Earth DVDs. This stuff is absolutely crazy. I think that some of these Christian stations should give up one hour of broadcasting a day, and replace it with one of these episodes. I can't imagine a more compelling visual evidence for a Creator God than seeing these crazy, absolutely made-up looking animals in the vast corners of the Earth. The show's narrator does a pretty good job explaining how godless evolution could create the utilitarian features that we see these animals display. But, he can't explain the aesthetic amazement.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:35 AM
August 03, 2007
(visually minimalistic, but bright office environment)
cut to man sitting at his desk who pulls out an encyclopedia sized reference book off his desk entitled, "Tic Tac's 1.5 Calorie Exercise Guide"
man opens to page that contains a silhouetted man leaning back in his desk chair, laughing. Underdeath the photo it says,
3 calories = 2 Tic Tacs.
He spins around in his chair, and trips a second man walking by. The second man falls, and the first man leans back in his desk chair, laughing loudly. He regains composure and pops two tic-tacs in his mouth.
cut to shot of tic-tac box on a white background.
narrator says, "Tic-Tacs. Only 1.5 calories each."
cut to first man chasing the second man down the hall trying to trip him again.
August 02, 2007
I think Bush lost.
He's at a 20% approval rating, and a large amount of people would categorize him as the worst President of all time. While I attribute this mainly to an ignorance of history, it's still very interesting to me.
Because my contention is that most people do not disapprove of their current situation, but of the situation of others. For example, consumer confidence is the highest it's been in six years. Unemployment is at 4.5%, with an almost negligible real rate (the percentage of people who want to get jobs and can't attain them). It is unlikely that you or someone you know has been wrongly imprisoned due to lack of privacy enabled by the Patriot Act. And it is also unlikely, statistically, that you know someone who died in combat overseas in the last few years.
And yet, we have condemned this man based largely on what we believe to be his negligence of universal principles that we believe in, not because of how we personally have been negatively affected. That's actually commendable. Just hard to completely understand.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:46 AM
August 01, 2007
So, in a fictitious country, we have 99 people who make $20,000 annually, and 1 person who makes $100,000.
Technology then breeds efficiency, and a greater net total of value is created.
Now, 99 people make $30,000 annually, and 1 person makes $1,000,000.
Is this better than before? Yes.
But, there is actually a greater amount of economic inequality than before.
The point is, that there is nothing innately wrong with 'economic inequality'. There is something wrong with poverty, but one does not necessarily beget the other. Are we on the same page?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 11:47 AM