July 31, 2008
"He's all rhetoric."
This was Hillary Clinton's argument against Barack Obama's celebrity gained through his superior oratory skills. And I'm sure it's an argument we'll continue to hear up 'til November. So, let's redefine the word.
Rhetoric is simply the ability to use language effectively. It's a science. It's a communication skill. And it's extremely effective.
You could be saying all the right things. But if you're not getting attention, or capturing any imagination, it's ineffective. Rhetoric should be admired. If nothing else, because it works.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:45 AM
July 29, 2008
July 28, 2008
My wife's car was up for emissions testing this weekend. This because of regulation meant to ensure that our exhaust pipes are only letting out a certain amount of evilness into the world.
So, I drove over to the next town where the testing facility was and sat in line for 22 minutes in that hot summer sun with the other 30 or so cars at any given time on both sides of me, in idle, as we waited to get the documented approval that we were doing our part to save the world.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:29 AM
July 25, 2008
Most authors are required to convey their message through words alone. They allow us to envision worlds and ideas that they create without offering a single image.
And yet, they always put their mug on the book jacket in the "About the Author" section.
This is a mistake around 95% of the time. I like it better thinking you're not a nerd. Let me envision you. Stick to words. You're great at it.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:08 AM
July 24, 2008
July 23, 2008
The IT guy.
You know why? We have no idea whether or not they're doing a good job.
We have a problem. They come by. And since they are able to do slightly more to help the problem than simply restarting (even though that's their advice half the time) we give them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing.
They could be terrible. We simply don't know better. It's a great gig.
July 22, 2008
This is not an answer, because that reply has lost all meaning in regards to the question, "How's it going?"
If things are actually going really well for you, I deem your reply of "good" to be "about the same as every other day."
And if you're actually going through a rough time right now, I'm already walking past you and getting out of earshot as you're trying to think of a one-word response that accurately depicts your current emotional state, and instead you just let out a, "Good."
So, here's what I'm looking for. Short, realistic answers to the question of "How's it going?" that will force people to either follow up or realize that it's a bad greeting in the first place.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:36 AM
July 21, 2008
July 18, 2008
#10. John Tyler
The Vice President of William Henry Harrison, John Tyler was the first President to enter office due to the death of an active President. And while this automatic replacement is tradition now, his assumption of this power was quite a source of contention at the time. Shortly after taking office, Tyler added to this contention by separating himself from his Whig party and refusing to support the majority legislation coming from either party. Although confident in his strict adherence to the Constitution and belief in states rights, he was unable to convince anyone else of this, and because so, was easily defeated in the next election.
July 17, 2008
July 16, 2008
Does this ever happen? Does the arrogance we hold over children ever become appreciated once the child is older.
Here's what it comes down to. We want kids to understand that with age, comes wisdom, right? So, how do you get the child to understand this and willingly start to give you the benefit of the doubt.
I have an idea.
Ask the child if they're smarter now than they were last year.
Then say that you've been getting smarter for the past X years.
Kids are smart. They might make the connection.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:46 AM
July 15, 2008
July 14, 2008
July 11, 2008
It's like a laugh track in a sitcom.
Clapping is contagious. It's hard not to like a song that people are clapping to.
I'm going to put constant syncopated clapping in EVERY song on my next record. Even if people hate it, they'll have no choice but to listen.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:12 AM
July 10, 2008
July 09, 2008
July 08, 2008
We pursue things that others have (jobs, families, possessions, etc.) to make us happy that are not making those people happy.
So, is no one happy? Well, we can not compare happiness, because no one can truly understand how someone else is feeling. So, instead we compare circumstances.
If my circumstances are better, I must be happier. That is our problem.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:40 AM
July 07, 2008
July 03, 2008
July 02, 2008
There's a recent trend with some white-collar businesses who are installing really nice kitchens and break rooms in their offices with giant plasma TVs. I was talking with one of my friends about that, and his reply was, "yeah, that's awesome, my workplace sucks."
Then I explained that the reason for these businesses doing these things is that the business wants to make their employees feel as comfortable as they can at the office so they don't feel like they have to run out the door at 5 sharp. Maybe they'll take a break, make some dinner, watch some TV, and then get a couple more hours of work done.
His reply, "That's evil."
I guess it would be evil if the employees were slaves. But, the business is trying to figure out a mutually-beneficial partnership that allows the worker to enjoy his job more while getting more value out of the worker at the same time.
Nothing is coerced. Both sides like the results. How can that be evil?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:30 AM