February 29, 2008
Do you personally identify more with things that you had no say over, or things that you chose yourself?
I'm German. I'm a painter. I'm Filipino. I'm a Christian. I'm into heavy metal. I'm a woman. I'm a Trekkie. I'm a Democrat.
Today, I'm asking for a response to the following two questions:
1. What single thing/group do you identify yourself with the MOST?
2. What group of people celebrating their similar identities would you be MOST uncomfortable attending?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:28 AM
February 28, 2008
What innovations/products/services/storefronts are popular in other countries, but haven't become popularized in the U.S. yet?
Rather than trying to invent something new, wouldn't it be much easier to see what's working somewhere else and pioneer it here?
I hope someone's invented the pizza doughnut, 'cause that's a franchise I want my name on.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 12:52 PM
February 27, 2008
What makes a good dog? Maybe you think your dog is good, but the dog you had as a kid was great. Your neighbors dog is bad, etc. What are the qualifications?
Think before continuing.
After coming to those conclusions, do you think you're a good person? Why?
Are you completely loyal, forever forgiving, and optimistically exuberant? Or are you bad?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:54 AM
February 26, 2008
What's with the whole idea behind "loving people just the way they are"?
I think the goal should be loving people "regardless" of the way they are. And yet, not ignoring the expectancy for personal development. The "way you are" might suck. We are inherently selfish, sinful people, who need to be redeemed.
"So, I'm an adulterer. That's the way God made me."
Ok, God made you. But, I think it's a stretch to assume that he's satisfied with whatever decisions you happen to make.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 11:57 AM
February 25, 2008
February 22, 2008
Why do celebrities and entertainers vocalize their political beliefs?
From a marketing standpoint, it's a terrible idea.
Oh. He's for the federal funding of stem-cell research? That changes my mind completely.
She hates that politician. Maybe I should too?
It can't possibly be effective. In fact, it virtually ensures that 50% of their fanbase will be at least a little repelled.
This is not a "their views are irrelevant" type of post, although I'd be happy doing that as well. I'm simply saying that it's not a smart career move. And it's not effective, either.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:24 AM
February 21, 2008
that you're NOT smarter than the President.
This, despite some polls I've seen with up to 88% of the population claiming to be.
He graduated with a bachelors degree from Yale, and later went on to obtain an MBA from Harvard University.
"Oh, but he only got in to those schools because of his dad." Maybe. But, I find it hard to believe that both schools would give him degrees by that merit alone.
He may be unsuccessful. He may be a terrible speaker. And you may be pretty smart. But, he's probably smarter.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 2:23 PM
February 20, 2008
Why do men still propose on their knees?
Historically, this tradition came about from an act of desperation, a begging for an acceptance to the proposal. Today, it's used more as an act of courtesy. But, doesn't the fact that the man is obliged to do this take the romantic sincerity out of the act itself?
Most guys today don't propose unless they're pretty confident they're going to get a yes. So, while there is still a overwhelming desire on the man's part to receive a positive response, since this is the woman they have decided they want to be with for the rest of their lives, is the desperation really there for a falling to the knees? Or should we mix it up a little? Cartwheels maybe?
And yes, I did it too.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:09 AM
February 19, 2008
It is not hypocritical for someone who drives a Prius to also fly on a plane.
It IS hypocritical for someone who drives a Prius to yell horrible things at Hummer drivers while going to the airport to get on a plane.
Similarly, I often hear people say how Christians are hypocritical. And maybe they are. But, a sinning Christian can not necessarily be equated with hypocrisy unless the Christian yells horrible things about people who are doing things that they also do.
Claiming to be a Christian is not a claim to personal righteousness. Quite the opposite, becoming one requires an admittance of failure. Christians are simply recovering selfaholics.
So, for those actual hypocritical Christians, instead of running around pointing and yelling about what's technically a sin and what's not, focus on what Jesus focused on, the fact that all sin is the result of a heart condition. Don't focus on stopping the sin. Focus on fixing the heart. No yelling necessary. No hypocrisy either.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:50 AM
February 18, 2008
Eat a horse?
I believe this sentiment to be outdated. I don't often see horses, so it doesn't work as a strong metaphor for me. Plus, it would actually be a weird amount of food. Unlike, "I could eat a mountain of potatoes", which is so far removed from reality, that it works better as an exaggeration.
My suggestion is to change the former to "I'm so hungry I could EAT HORSE."
With that expression, you'd get immediate feedback of "Wow, that's disgusting. You must be pretty darn hungry."
Posted by Eric Olsen at 11:55 AM
February 15, 2008
February 14, 2008
In 1923, there was no Best in Show winner at the Westminster Kennel Club, because of changing rules stating that interbred dogs were no longer eligible to compete.
I'm wondering what the Miss America Pageant would be like if those same rules applied? You'd have to show your family's immigration papers, Caucasians with any sort of tan would be highly scrutinized, etc.
I mean, doesn't purebred just mean INbred? The Westminster could be missing out on some hot Pugtrievers.
February 13, 2008
February 12, 2008
After the Sputnik scare, the United States realized that they were falling way behind in math and science, and decided to cultivate the bright young minds of the future. So, what did they do? Increase the federal funding of education for every student?
No. They plucked only the very smartest kids out of all the classes, and put them in smaller advanced classes where their unique gifts could be capitalized upon.
When I heard that, I thought, What? That's not fair! They should make those opportunities available to every kid!
The country eventually agreed. And today, we are again significantly behind in math and science.
So, what are our options for the future Einsteins who are in 2nd grade right now if they can't afford private school.
Should we reconsider our first idea? After all, it got us to the moon first.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 1:31 PM
February 11, 2008
Why are we still arguing about supply-side economics? It's an economic question with enough history behind it to have come up with an answer by now. So why are there still two sides? Are we actually arguing about the results now, or are we just debating on the "righteousness" of the approach?
It's like arguing that the Patriots won the SuperBowl because you think they're a better team and SHOULD have won. But, that doesn't change the score.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 2:44 PM
February 08, 2008
So, in high school, I was intimidated by girls that I thought were comparatively more attractive than myself, "out of my league" if you will. By merely thinking that, I gave them a certain amount of symbolic power over myself.
Power was aesthetic.
So today, when a woman is in charge of me at the workplace, it confuses me if she is not comparatively more attractive than me. Reverting back to my youth, I naturally feel that I should have the power based on aesthetics alone.
Depending on how many men share this natural prejudice, if Hilary were better looking, she'd have a better chance to win. Because the woman in power would make sense, after all, she'd be out of our league.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 1:20 PM
February 07, 2008
Let's say you fly down to South America with a group from your community to go and build a couple of houses for an impoverished city. That's a very cool thing, no? But, for the same amount of money, could you be helping these people more?
It costs a lot to fly down a group of people from the States, provide transportation, housing and food for a week. So, what if you took that same amount of money to hire un- or under-employed locals to build the houses themselves. The houses get built, local citizens get paid, and there's more of a local pride in what was just done. Plus, without the airfare, you're probably getting the same job done for half of what it's costing you.
So, why aren't we rethinking these mission expeditions? Maybe we should. On the other hand, the value in seeing that kind of poverty up close is hard to calculate.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 12:08 PM
February 06, 2008
For those who say "it is time we reach across the aisle and unite on a common purpose", I say, what is our common purpose?
To my like-minded representatives, I do not want you to reach across the aisle so that others will like you. I want you to walk across the aisle and persuade the others that they are mistaken.
After all, what does a compromise look like when we believe in opposite things?
I'm pro-war. I'm anti-war. Ok, how 'bout we only have small wars? Done.
I'm big government. I'm small government. Ok, how 'bout we have a medium-size government? Done.
It's silly. I'm not asking you to consider the opposition your enemy. They are not. I'm asking you to treat the opposition's ideas for what they are, the antithesis of what you claim to believe is truth.
And in the arena of ideas, I do believe that "the truth will outring what is loud", even it takes some time. So, keep your ideas as ideals. The rest of us will catch up. Or you will.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 2:26 PM
February 05, 2008
What if instead of a $42,000 salary, you got $40,000. But every day, your employer would hide cash all around the office. And at the end of the year, you find $1,000 through it. Your total salary of $41,000 is still less than the alternative $42,000, but I bet you'd enjoy your job a lot more.
Employers, let the Easter Money Hunt begin!
Posted by Eric Olsen at 3:13 PM
February 04, 2008
Every once in a while, you see stories on the news that an image of Mary, virgin mother of Jesus, appeared on the side of an overpass, in a rain puddle, on a grilled cheese sandwich. Here's my question? Why do any of these people think they know what Mary actually looked like? Do they think that the image looks like an artist's representation they've seen of Mary? Or do they just go, "Woman: check. Headscarf: Check." Case closed. It's the mother of God.
My guess it's because a grilled cheese image of "Little Red Hiding Rood" wouldn't go for 2 million bucks on eBay.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 1:25 PM
February 01, 2008
Is there any nice way to suggest to someone that they "lower their standards"?
Perhaps that phrase is supposed to BE the politically-correct way to go about it, but isn't it pretty obvious that what you really mean is...
"Doesn't the fact that you're constantly getting rejected subtly hint at the fact that your opinion of yourself may not be universally agreed upon by the opposite sex, and that if you don't want to die alone, you better recognize what league you're in and learn to love a pugly?"
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:05 AM