May 28, 2010

Professional Line Waiter

I hate waiting in lines. In fact, I hate waiting for pretty much anything. Yes, I could strive to be more patient. But instead, I wonder if our mass laziness and aversion to boredom will spur a new job market. Professional Line Waiters.


A guy chills at WalMart all day long for hire. You pay him a few bucks to get in line 5 minutes before you're done shopping. That way, you roll up right to the checkout.

Any more everyday examples?

May 27, 2010

Why Ronald Reagan Sucked: The Song

#40. Ronald Reagan

Capo 2
C, G, D/F#, Em

if I told you
that I would give you
some guns
if you give me back the hostages
what do you think
the best way to get more weapons would be?

It’s a hostage trade.
We’ll give ‘em right back.
Then we’ll take some more.
For some guns that attack
Oh, maybe we didn’t think this through

I won’t negotiate with terrorists
at least in public
Should have kept your public promise Reagan.
Not just because it’s right, but because you’re not real good at it.

May 26, 2010

Gambling: The Zero Sum Economy

We don't live in a zero-sum economy. Creating a business worth X amount of dollars does not mean that my competitors automatically lose X amount of dollars. Just like the plow increased everyone's harvest, innovations can increase the wealth, time and value of everyone involved.

But, gambling's different. Let's say I enact my gambling theory from yesterday. I get great at poker. Play people worse than me. And win lots of money over time.

All I'm really doing in this situation is siphoning money off idiots. I'm not earning money by adding value to anyone's life. I'm solely taking it away. If you can get past that, it's a no-brainer. But, it's a tough one to get past.

May 25, 2010

Is It Really Gambling...

...if you're going to win? Take Vegas for example. Not you in Vegas, but the House. They have the odds. So despite regular losses, over time, with millions of games, they're going to win trillions of dollars.

They'd be silly not to play when the odds are in their favor.

So, take poker for example. There's no house. It's you and 5-8 other people. If you're the best player at the table, is it really gambling? There's definitely a chance you can lose. There's significant luck involved. But since the odds are in your favor, over time, you're going to come out WAY ahead.

If Michael Jordan and I gambled on a game of one-on-one, he wouldn't be gambling. That would be a smart investment. We don't usually consider "anything that involves risk" as gambling. Stocks. Buying a home. Getting a college degree. In the past, we've considered those smart investments.

Now I think learning poker and playing well against inferior opponents might be a better way to go.

May 24, 2010

Relevant Reverence - "The Fallen Cry"


Wooh! This one ended up being a lot harder than the first, but after listening to the final mix (...about 200 times) we think it's worth it! Matt and I are so excited to let you know that "The Fallen Cry" is now available on iTunes.

"The Fallen Cry" is an attempt to bring back the full spectrum of Psalms to the modern-day worship experience. That people would be able to sing along to songs with words that more accurately reflect the reality of their hearts. The album title comes from the perspective of each song, sung from the voice of the fallen, a voice we believe has quite literally fallen silent in the Americanized Church.

Plus, if you buy the album and send the iTunes receipt to me at mail@relevantreverence.com or eric@relevantreverence.com, I'll send you a copy of our last CD, "Still Running" for FREE. (if you live outside the U.S. I'll send you a digital version).

So, jump on iTunes, give us a 5-star rating and a nice review, and most importantly, let us know what you think of the album! And for those of you able, willing and a believer in the message, please help us spread the word. You guys rock!

Our 1000th Post!!!

On June 18th, 2006, we began this journey together. Less than 4 years later, we have provoked each other to thought 1,000 times.

I'm a lot smarter now than I was then (just read some of my early posts), and with your help, I'll be a lot smarter in 4 years than I am now.

Thank you for pushing us all to think in ways that don't come naturally to us. With your continued help, we'll only be as dumb as the very smartest people around us.

"The truth shall out-ring what is loud."

Love,
Eric

May 20, 2010

Living in a Two Username Household

I jump on Facebook. Type a clever comment on one of my friend's walls. Press the enter button. No! I was logged in as my wife! Now, she'll get the credit for my hilarity!

This happens in our household all the time. Having to log-in and log-out of Twitter, Facebook, iGoogle, Hotmail. It is SO annoying. And there was no super easy way around it. So, since the browsers/sites didn't have an easy solution, we made our own.

I use Google Chrome. Kat uses Firefox. We're always logged in. No more mistakes. No more wasted time.

May 19, 2010

Why Jimmy Carter Sucked: The Song

#39. Jimmy Carter


Capo 3
Am, Em, G, D
jimmy carter
couldn’t you be a little smarter
all your taxes have more consequences
than just short-term income coming in

oil import quotas, windfall profit taxes
regulations, foreign debacle of Iran’s revolution
add it all up and what does it equal

the highest lending rate of all time
round-the-block for gas wait lines
12% inflation
way to heal the nation

May 18, 2010

Would You Like to Donate $1?

You're in a grocery store buying Skittles. An $0.89 purchase. Then your cashier tries to double your bill with a "Would you like to donate $1 to help St. Jude's?"

This direct verbal assault produces more instant guilt than the offering plate being passed down your aisle at church. This is more like the usher walking directly toward you and asking for money.

And besides St. Jude's, I don't really know who this is benefiting. I mean, maybe these companies are matching my donation? But, if so, tell me that! Otherwise, I just think you guys are trying to get credit off my guilt. Do they think this makes their company look charitable? Do some people like this opportunity to micro-give?

May 17, 2010

Free Co-Pay Healthcare Providers

Most of you have health insurance. You pay a monthly premium and when you show up to your doctor's appointment, you pay maybe a $30 co-pay.

That money goes to your insurance provider. Then the insurance provider pays the healthcare provider a varying amount, probably around $180 (the amount the insurance companies have agreed the service is worth - discounted for provider members).

So, how about this? You advertise yourself as a Free Co-Pay Healthcare Provider.

Now you're only getting a net gain of $150 ber patient (because you have to pay the patient's $30 co-pay to the insurance provider yourself)

But think of all the hypochondriacs who would line up at the door, previously unwilling to cough up the $30 co-pay for the laundry list of diseases they thought they may have? Wouldn't that be worth the $30 loss from a financial standpoint?

May 14, 2010

Increase Your Garage Sale Foot Traffic This Spring

Invite a few friends over for a little front-yard BBQ while your garage sale is happening. Because high-traffic garage sales get the most traffic. It's "the rich get richer" principle at work.

If no one's there, it must be because it's bad. If it's hoppin', I want to see what they've got. So fake it. It'll work.

May 13, 2010

Why Are Your Dreams So Weird?

We're always surprised when we have dreams about people we've thought about that day. Maybe because the thought only lasted for a moment. Yet, just because our conscious thought forgets, the brain synapses that connected are still fresh, even later than night. But why do those synapses make it into our dreams?

Because the hunter-gatherer role of your brain is for thin-slicing a situation. Quickly understanding the elements around you in order to make instant decisions. Your brain tries to create a full story based on the information it is. Even when we're sleeping and have no new information coming in. That's why you end up in your old house or high school, because it may be the only place that makes sense with the cast of characters dancing in your head.

It's the same way your brain works throughout your waking life. It's why we all think we're so smart. Because our brains have made "sense" out of the infinitesimally small amount of information we have, and made a story out of it. Based on the foolish bit of information we have.

Help your brain out. Visit your local library.

May 12, 2010

"Survival of the Fattest"

This statue by Jens Glaschiot contains the inscription, "I'm sitting on the back of a man. He is sinking under the burden. I would do anything to help him. Except stepping down from his back."

It's a wonderful work of art. And fascinating to me how so many different political parties assume Glaschiot's words back their opposing causes.

Speaking of which, I am now a regular contributor to the wonderful site, humblelibertarian.com. Go check out my first two posts about Sarah Palin and Spock.

May 11, 2010

Blue Pizza

Kids don't need motivation to want pizza. It's a natural favorite straight from birth. But how do you differentiate yourself as a pizza place to children among your dozens of competitors? If you're not Chuck E. Cheese and don't have 100s of video games and ball pits at your disposal, what can you do to make kiddies want to come to you?

Make your pizza blue.

10 cents in organic food coloring. Add it to the dough. Make the dough look like hot-blue play dough, but taste the exact same. Hot blue dough, white cheese, red pepperoni. Still color-coordinates. Still looks good.

All things being equal, if you're a kid, wouldn't you want the blue pizza?

May 07, 2010

Stay Half in the Kitchen

During my childhood, it seemed possible to make it in this world as a single-income family. Nowadays, that idea seems more and more improbable.

So, for women who are hoping to be at least a partial stay-at-home mom, when choosing a career path during college, doesn't it make sense to intentionally choose one that offers future flexibility and part-time options?

May 06, 2010

Praying For Bad Things

My friend is currently trying to sell his home. Like many of us, he bought high and hates the idea of having to sell low.

So, he prays for the miraculous. For God to be gracious and have someone come knocking who loves the house and wants to buy it for well above market value.

In essence, he's praying that God screw over some idiot.

Now, of course, he didn't even think about that side of the prayer when praying. But, once you think about that side, it's a little harder to pray for it isn't it?

May 05, 2010

mrsemily.com

I love all of my entrepreneurial friends. Frequent contributor and long-time friend, Jarrett Harris, lives in Manhattan with his insanely creative wife Emily, whom we had the pleasure of staying with during our recent trip to New York City.

Emily is a part of the fashion industry in NYC, and has had the opportunity to work alongside some of the big names in the business. With a unique sense of style, and self-described as being "inspired by Midwestern pricing and my chic New York friends", Emily has just launched her very own fashion line. Her designs are absolutely wonderful, and I can tell this is the start of something really big. Go check out her designs!

May 04, 2010

Why Gerald Ford Sucked: The Song

#38. Gerald Ford

Capo 2
Am, Em, G, D/F#

I beg your pardon
Did you say you pardon
The king of crazy
Your head gone hazy?

Why you the pawn
Would die to save your fallen king?

It’s not that he’s above the law you say
Well, it’s that, but it’s something I can’t say

You know why you did it?
You did it for you.
To get back to doing what you wanted to do
But we would not forget

May 03, 2010

Can Donating to Good Charities be Immoral?


According to the Copenhagen Consensus of 2008, micro-nutrients should be our #1 economic priority in terms of giving. Feeding micro-nutrients to the 140 million malnourished children around the globe produces the "most possible good per dollar".

So, is it a better use of your dollar to invest in a charity like Vitamin Angels rather than a charity that might currently mean more to you?

I mean, I like animals, too. Investing in the Humane Society does really good stuff. But, only if we evaluate that giving in a silo all by itself. Is it really good after I compare the dollar spent to what it could be spent on?

In fact, is it even moral? Wait before you respond with yes. Think about it for a minute....ok, now you can comment with "yes" if you still really think so.

Don't Approach A Commercial Property Investment With A Residential Head

This post has been contributed.   Image source Investing in any sort of property is a pretty sound bet to make, but please don’t think...