Suspicious Semantics

President Obama was interviewed by 5 different networks over the weekend. Here is one short segment of one interview that I found interesting. It’s a short conversation between George Stephanopoulos and President Obama about new taxation that is in the current health care reform bill. You can also read the text of the conversation from The Wall Street Journal or Fox News.

So President Obama is talking about imposing a tax on those that don’t have insurance in order to create an incentive for them to get it. Regardless of whether this is a good idea, the fact is that President Obama apparently doesn’t believe that such a tax is actually a tax. Now I’m pretty sure that this is considered a tax just about no matter who you are talking to. In fact, the text of the Baucus Bill itself (page 29) calls this a tax:

Excise Tax. The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax. If a taxpayer’s MAGI is between 100-300 percent of FPL, the excise tax for failing to obtain coverage for an individual in a taxpayer unit (either as a taxpayer or an individual claimed as a dependent) is $750 per year. However, the minimum penalty for the taxpayer unit is $1,500. If a taxpayer’s MAGI is above 300 percent of FPL the penalty for failing to obtain coverage for an individual in a taxpayer unit (either as a taxpayer or as an individual claimed as a dependent) is $950 year. However, the maximum penalty amount a family above 300 percent of FPL would pay is $3,800.

But President Obama says it’s not a tax. And he was pretty insistent about it. As I recall, President Obama has promised not to raise taxes quite a few times, including during his campaign and specifically in regard to health care reform. Here’s what he told congress last week:

First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.

The plan will not add to our deficit. The middle-class will realize greater security, not higher taxes.

And here is what he said to congress back in February about how his administration was going “to go line by line through the federal budget” to cut “wasteful and ineffective programs:”

If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.

But since this “isn’t a tax,” he can still sign the bill and keep all his promises (at least in his opinion) to not raise taxes by a cent—excuse me, by “one single dime”—in doing so.

So then, what does he really mean then when he says he’s not going to allow an increase in taxes? Does he really mean that taxes won’t be increased? Or is he going to have to continue redefining a “tax” in order to keep that promise?

Personally, I think this calls into question the validity of promises President Obama’s makes. Apparently he can simply redefine commonly held concepts and definitions at his convenience in order to keep those promises. This also makes me wonder: is it often the case that what President Obama thinks he is promising and what most of the people hearing his speeches think he is promising are not, in fact, the same thing? That seems to be the case here.

Withdrawals from Thinking

It has been quite a while since I’ve been so intent on an activity that I’ve dreamed about it at night. For example, when I was in high school there was a while that I was programming during all of my free time; I remember dreaming about C++ at night often. Then I started playing Go with some friends a lot and reading books on Go and I dreamed about Go games. Another time a few years later I was playing racquetball several times a week and was focusing on improving my playing, when I started dreaming regularly about racquetball. In the past half dozen years, however, that has stopped. I’ve still had dreams about math or other things related to what I’m doing, but it hasn’t been nearly as intensely correlated or persistent. They are usually just intermittent, isolated dreams rather than periods of consistently dreaming about the same thing.

Last night I woke up several times (which is rare for me) and each time I had been dreaming about SQL. It reminded me a lot of my dreams like those above. Now I have been using SQL some at work lately. In fact, it has typically been the highlight of my working, as it is a little more challenging and fun that the typical monotony (though being more challenging certainly doesn’t mean it is challenging). But I didn’t think I was focusing on it or thinking about it that much. We’ll see if the dreams keep up.

I expect that what I really need is more challenging hobbies to occupy my mind outside of work (not to mention a job that requires the use of my brain)—I think portions of my brain might be dying from the lack of use. I became really aware of this the other day when I was having a conversation with my roommate about calculus: it felt like my brain came off of standby for a little while. Then it went back.

I think I’ve become kind of accustomed to thinking about fairly complex mathematical stuff. Like how to write a program in Matlab to approximate the solution to a parabolic partial differential equation describing heat flow in a plate over time using a four dimensional array to store and then analyze all of the approximation data. That was the final project for my numerical methods class my last semester, which incorporated concepts from two semesters of numerical methods. It was pretty darn cool. The above descriptive sentence doesn’t do it justice at all.

I don’t do much complex math anymore. (Though my current coworkers seem to think so—I’m not really sure what they think mathematics majors do after we learn arithmetic.) Now I’m pretty sure I’m going through withdrawals. Yes, mathematics is addictive. So is a lot of education. In fact, many would say you have to develop a taste for mathematics over time by doing it. But then the intoxicating euphoria of understanding and accomplishment begins to reinforce your exploration of it so you want a little more. And the higher and deeper you get the more it takes to satiate your craving. If you haven’t started yet then maybe you shouldn’t. (On the other hand, relationships are pretty addictive too, and most people still consider those to be pretty beneficial.) As for me, I think it’s already too late.

Don’t Text and Drive?

So according to The Salt Lake Tribune today, there are now 22 states that both ban texting and provide a service to get traffic and road condition information on a mobile device (most often via twitter). Utah is one of those states.

Straws on the Camel’s Back

The following is a list of things that absolutely drive me crazy. If you want to get me to start beating people with a crowbar or smashing people’s faces in with a Maglite, these are a great start. This is also a list of things that my current roommates seem completely apathetic about:

  • Dishes soaking in the sink. They collect standing water and food debris and smell very bad very quickly. I can usually smell it within 24 hours; shortly after that I start smelling it as soon as I walk into the room. They also make the sink totally unusable. I don’t really care if people don’t wash their dishes—just put them next to the sink.
  • My utensils, glasses, knives, etc. soaking in the sink. Things rust and things break. Few things are not put at serious risk by soaking in the sink. I can’t tell you how many things I have had damaged or ruined by roommates because of this alone.
  • Unrinsed dishrags left in the sink. They reek. And once they start reeking washing them is a lost cause.
  • Food regularly spilled on the tablecloth. We can’t even go 8 hours.
  • Not rinsing out the bathroom sink. I don’t have a problem with people shaving or spitting in the sink. But leaving the stuff there afterward?
  • Dirty laundry left in the bathroom. It shouldn’t be that difficult. If you forget something for a day, oh well. But leaving it there for a week? You can’t possibly not realize that it’s yours after that long.
  • Not replacing the toilet paper roll. I think the new roll would simply stay on the counter if I didn’t put it on the dispenser. I can’t think of a better act of supreme laziness. It takes 3 seconds. Literally. Then again, I have been practicing for years—maybe if you never do it then it can take upwards of 5 minutes. I wouldn’t know.

I don’t think that I have that extreme of demands. I’m just asking for a teensy bit of adult responsibility. Maybe that’s too much.

A Shift in Political Perspective

The last couple of weeks I haven’t spent as much time following the health care debate as I would like. I did listen to President Obama’s speach tonight and then I spent some time doing some research about what I’ve missed in the last few weeks. There was one particular paragraph on Keith Hennessey’s blog that struck me, although it is only tangentially related to the current debate:

I wish millions of Americans read and were patient enough to learn the details to be as well-informed as you, my brilliant and thoughtful readers. But I believe imperfectly-informed involvement is better than complete disengagement. And I have a core confidence that, given time, the American people are on the whole smart enough to figure out the underlying truths and make sound judgments. I am a strong believer in the inherent wisdom of the common man. I am actually pleasantly surprised how relatively well-informed this debate is, compared to so many other policy debates I have seen. I will continue to do my part to contribute to a thoughtful, impassioned, civil debate.

Now this struck me because it blatantly flies in the face of the perspective I have had for most of my life. Historically, I have not been very up on politics. In fact, I have been completely disengaged. I didn’t follow major issues and often felt kind of a dislike for people who did because they always seemed to think they knew a lot and never seemed aware of the things they were ignorant of or the complexity of the topics they held such adamant views about. I justified my inactivity based on the perspective that strong political opinion should only be held and voiced by those that had significant understanding of all the topics involved. I was no expert so I didn’t feel qualified in expressing (or even forming) any opinion nor did I think that most people could credibly offer an opinion on most subjects.

About a year and a half ago a friend of mine chewed me out for holding that view. Among other things, he cited the fact that I often seemed to hold the opinion that people didn’t understand the complexity of the issues they were discussing and that I seemed to indicate that I understood things better than average by pointing out that complexity. Yet I would never get really involved in discussions and would rarely go beyond implying that I understood a topic. It was his opinion that in reality those that didn’t understand things all that well but cared and were at least active in political thought and discussion were doing far more good than I was. Furthermore, with my background in economics, he argued, I ought to be able to understand and do more than the average person, yet I did nothing and didn’t seem to care.

I thought about that conversation a fair amount and ultimately decided I ought to take time to be more informed and involved. Since then I have gotten more and more into politics and economic issues. I’ve try to keep up with the news, particularly economic stuff. And I actually really enjoy it quite a bit. Now I am much more opinionated about a lot of issues and will discuss politics much more readily. (I even almost called in to a radio station the other day when they were taking calls.) I haven’t blogged much about it, but I really would like to do that more.

So when I read the above paragraph tonight, I realized that my perspective on politics has shifted rather dramatically in the last year: I now actively reject the perspective I have described and that I have held. I think it really is quite important for people to be actively involved in political debate and discussion, even when imperfectly informed (which is the state that we all perpetually find ourselves in).

In light of my new found perspective, if you are currently disengaged from political discussion and involvement like I was, I encourage doing a bit of reading and at least forming opinions on things. Start with whatever topic interests you. For me it started with the economic policy; for others it may be military stuff, health care, the deficit, or any one of hundreds of other topics. I have found it really worthwhile.

Tracking Proactive Calls

I discovered that we use an Excel spreadsheet to track our outbound calls and we place the calls manually. I couldn’t help but ask my manager about it:

William: So maybe this is a silly questions, but how come we are using an Excel spreadsheet to track our proactive calls at InsideSales?

Josh: I guess that is kind of funny. I just haven’t figured out a good way to do it with the dialer yet.

William: Couldn’t you just create a couple of custom fields? You could make one of them the date of the last call. And you could set up the dialer initiative to pull contacts into the dialer in the order you want.

Josh: Ya I guess I just haven’t taken the time to do it.

William: So I can’t help but point out the irony in that. We’re selling this software and we’re using an Excel spreadsheet to track out outbound calls. So maybe we have just stumbled on one of the reasons that some people don’t buy our software.

Josh: Could be. <Pause> But if I was running a company where that was what I did all the time then I would want to buy software and sit down and set it up.

William: That’s true. After all, you’re only running a department at InsideSales where outbound calls is a significant portion of what we do. Makes sense.

By this time Heather and I were busting up pretty good. I think Josh might have been getting a little uncomfortable with the way the conversation was going, so I stopped pressing the matter. But man, I could not believe it. Here we are selling some of the most advanced lead management and dialing software on the planet and we’re using an Excel spreadsheet to track our calls.

The Scientist

A friend of mine recently took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, which reminded me that I took it a while back and read a fair amount about it then. It is one of the more accurate and insightful personality categorizations I’ve seen. It assesses 4 different binary personality facets, giving 16 possible personality types. These are designated by 4 letters. I’d really like to learn more about it—especially how it relates to graphology.

There are a number of sites that offer such a test for free. The one I like the best of the ones I’ve taken is this one. It doesn’t take very long and gives detailed results. After you take it, the best site that describes each personality type is this one. I’m quite interested in what other people get. Everyone that reads this should take it (click here to do so). Then you can post your results as a comment. (If you don’t want to post it you can email it to me. If you don’t know my email address, use this form.)

I’ve taken several different MBTI tests and I’ve taken a couple of them at different times and answered all the questions differently (they are, of course, pretty subjective). I almost always get the same result. Even when I take the same test and give different (but still accurate) answers. I have read a fair amount about the personality types and agree with the results it gave for me.

I am an INTJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. My results from above test today are:

Introverted (I) 89.66% Extroverted (E) 10.34%
Intuitive (N) 68.75% Sensing (S) 31.25%
Thinking (T) 69.44% Feeling (F) 30.56%
Judging (J) 69.23% Perceiving (P) 30.77%

When I took the test 6 months ago my results were pretty similar:

Introverted (I) 81.25% Extroverted (E) 18.75%
Intuitive (N) 58.62% Sensing (S) 41.38%
Thinking (T) 84.38% Feeling (F) 15.63%
Judging (J) 67.57% Perceiving (P) 32.43%

One of the cool things about this test is it actually gives you percentages. In all of my taking the tests and reading about the differences between each pair, it has reinforced the conclusion that I am an INTJ. My Judging/Perceiving characteristic seems to be the most balanced between the two possibilities. So I am also very close to an INTP.

Below is the description of the INTJ from the site I linked above. I know it’s long so I bolded the stuff I think is most interesting. That way you can skim it if you want. I think that it is a pretty good reference for my personality. If you want to know more about me, studying this along with the Portrait of an INTP: The Thinker will give you a lot of insight.

The Scientist

Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Thinking

Portrait of an INTJ

As an INTJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things rationally and logically.

INTJs live in the world of ideas and strategic planning. They value intelligence, knowledge, and competence, and typically have high standards in these regards, which they continuously strive to fulfill. To a somewhat lesser extent, they have similar expectations of others.

With Introverted Intuition dominating their personality, INTJs focus their energy on observing the world, and generating ideas and possibilities. Their mind constantly gathers information and makes associations about it. They are tremendously insightful and usually are very quick to understand new ideas. However, their primary interest is not understanding a concept, but rather applying that concept in a useful way. Unlike the INTP, they do not follow an idea as far as they possibly can, seeking only to understand it fully. INTJs are driven to come to conclusions about ideas. Their need for closure and organization usually requires that they take some action.

INTJ’s tremendous value and need for systems and organization, combined with their natural insightfulness, makes them excellent scientists. An INTJ scientist gives a gift to society by putting their ideas into a useful form for others to follow. It is not easy for the INTJ to express their internal images, insights, and abstractions.The internal form of the INTJ’s thoughts and concepts is highly individualized, and is not readily translatable into a form that others will understand. However, the INTJ is driven to translate their ideas into a plan or system that is usually readily explainable, rather than to do a direct translation of their thoughts. They usually don’t see the value of a direct transaction, and will also have difficulty expressing their ideas, which are non-linear. However, their extreme respect of knowledge and intelligence will motivate them to explain themselves to another person who they feel is deserving of the effort.

INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead. When they are in leadership roles, they are quite effective, because they are able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren’t working well. They are the supreme strategists – always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency.

INTJs spend a lot of time inside their own minds, and may have little interest in the other people’s thoughts or feelings. Unless their Feeling side is developed, they may have problems giving other people the level of intimacy that is needed. Unless their Sensing side is developed, they may have a tendency to ignore details which are necessary for implementing their ideas.

The INTJ’s interest in dealing with the world is to make decisions, express judgments, and put everything that they encounter into an understandable and rational system. Consequently, they are quick to express judgments. Often they have very evolved intuitions, and are convinced that they are right about things. Unless they complement their intuitive understanding with a well-developed ability to express their insights, they may find themselves frequently misunderstood. In these cases, INTJs tend to blame misunderstandings on the limitations of the other party, rather than on their own difficulty in expressing themselves. This tendency may cause the INTJ to dismiss others input too quickly, and to become generally arrogant and elitist.

INTJs are ambitious, self-confident, deliberate, long-range thinkers. Many INTJs end up in engineering or scientific pursuits, although some find enough challenge within the business world in areas which involve organizing and strategic planning. They dislike messiness and inefficiency, and anything that is muddled or unclear. They value clarity and efficiency, and will put enormous amounts of energy and time into consolidating their insights into structured patterns.

Other people may have a difficult time understanding an INTJ. They may see them as aloof and reserved. Indeed, the INTJ is not overly demonstrative of their affections, and is likely to not give as much praise or positive support as others may need or desire. That doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t truly have affection or regard for others, they simply do not typically feel the need to express it. Others may falsely perceive the INTJ as being rigid and set in their ways. Nothing could be further from the truth, because the INTJ is committed to always finding the objective best strategy to implement their ideas. The INTJ is usually quite open to hearing an alternative way of doing something.

When under a great deal of stress, the INTJ may become obsessed with mindless repetitive, Sensate activities, such as over-drinking. They may also tend to become absorbed with minutia and details that they would not normally consider important to their overall goal.

INTJs need to remember to express themselves sufficiently, so as to avoid difficulties with people misunderstandings. In the absence of properly developing their communication abilities, they may become abrupt and short with people, and isolationists.

INTJs have a tremendous amount of ability to accomplish great things. They have insight into the Big Picture, and are driven to synthesize their concepts into solid plans of action. Their reasoning skills gives them the means to accomplish that. INTJs are most always highly competent people, and will not have a problem meeting their career or education goals. They have the capability to make great strides in these arenas. On a personal level, the INTJ who practices tolerances and puts effort into effectively communicating their insights to others has everything in his or her power to lead a rich and rewarding life.

INTJ Strengths:

  • Not threatened by conflict or criticism
  • Usually self-confident
  • Take their relationships and commitments seriously
  • Generally extremely intelligent and capable
  • Able to leave a relationship which should be ended, although they may dwell on it in their minds for awhile afterwards
  • Interested in “optimizing” their relationships
  • Good listeners

INTJ Weaknesses:

  • Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times
  • May tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, rather than the desired emotional support
  • Not naturally good at expressing feelings and affections
  • Tendency to believe that they’re always right
  • Tendency to be unwilling or unable to accept blame
  • Their constant quest to improve everything may be taxing on relationships
  • Tend to hold back part of themselves

INTJs generally have the following traits:

  • Able to absorb extremely complex theoretical and complex material
  • Driven to create order and structure from theoretical abstractions
  • Supreme strategists
  • Future-oriented
  • See the global, “big picture”
  • Strong insights and intuitions, which they trust implicitly
  • Value their own opinions over others
  • Love difficult theoretical challenges
  • Bored when dealing with mundane routine
  • Value knowledge and efficiency
  • Have no patience with inefficiency and confusion
  • Have very high standards for performance, which they apply to themselves most strongly
  • Reserved and detached from others
  • Calm, collected and analytical
  • Extremely logical and rational
  • Original and independent
  • Natural leaders, but will follow those they can fully support
  • Creative, ingenious, innovative, and resourceful
  • Work best alone, and prefer to work alone

Careers for INTJ Personality Types

More so than any other personality type, INTJs are brilliant when it comes to grasping complex theories and applying them to problems to come up with long-term strategies. Since this type of “strategizing” is the central focus and drive of the INTJ, there is a happy match between desire and ability in this type. Accordingly, the INTJ is happiest and most effective in careers which allow this type of processing, and which promote an environment in which the INTJ is given a lot of autonomy over their daily lives.

Possible Career Paths for the INTJ:

  • Scientists
  • Engineers
  • Professors and Teachers
  • Medical Doctors / Dentists
  • Corporate Strategists and Organization Builders
  • Business Administrators / Managers
  • Military Leaders
  • Lawyers / Attorneys
  • Judges
  • Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts and Computer Specialists

INTJ Relationships

INTJs believe in constant growth in relationships, and strive for independence for themselves and their mates. They are constantly embarking on “fix-up” projects to improve the overall quality of their lives and relationships. They take their commitments seriously, but are open to redefining their vows, if they see something which may prove to be an improvement over the existing understanding. INTJs are not likely to be “touchy-feely”and overly affirming with their mates or children, and may at times be somewhat insensitive to their emotional needs. However, INTJs are in general extremely capable and intelligent individuals who strive to always be their best, and be moving in a positive direction. If they apply these basic goals to their personal relationships, they likely to enjoy happy and healthy interaction with their families and friends.

INTJs As Lovers

INTJs live much of their lives inside their own heads. They constantly scan their environment for new ideas and theories which they can turn into plans and structures. Sometimes, what they see and understand intuitively within themselves is more pure and “perfect” than the reality of a close personal relationship. INTJs may have a problem reconciling their reality with their fantasy.

INTJs are not naturally in tune with their own feelings, or with what other people are feeling. They also have a tendency to believe that they are always right. While their self-confidence and esteem is attractive, their lack of sensitivity to others can be a problem if it causes them to inadvertently hurt their partner’s feelings. If this is a problem for an INTJ, they should remember to sometimes let their mate be the one who is right, and to try to be aware of the emotional effect that your words have upon them. In conflict situations, INTJs need to remember to be supportive to their mate’s emotional needs, rather than treating the conflict as if it is an interesting idea to analyze.

Sexually, the INTJ enjoys thinking about intimacy, and about ways to perfect it. In positive relationships, their creativity and intensity shine through in this arena. In more negative relationships, they might enjoy thinking about sex more than actually doing it. They’re likely to approach intimacy from a theoretical, creative perspective, rather than as an opportunity to express love and affection. Although, the INTJ who has learned the importance of these kinds of expressions to the health of their relationship is likely to be more verbally affectionate.

INTJs are able to leave relationships when they’re over, and get on with their lives. They believe that this is the right thing to do. They may have more difficulty accomplishing the task than they like to exhibit to other people.

INTJs are highly intense, intelligent people who bring a lot of depth and insight into most major areas of their life. In terms of relationships, their greatest potential pitfall is the tendency to think about things rather than doing them, and their difficulty reconciling reality with their inner visions. INTJs are likely to be in positive, healthy relationships, because they’re likely to leave relationships which aren’t working for them (unless other circumstances prohibit that).

Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, the INTJ’s natural partner is the ENFP, or the ENTP. INTJ’s dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Intuition.

INTJs As Friends

INTJs are usually difficult to get to know well, and difficult to get close to. Those who are close to the INTJ will highly value them for their ideas and knowledge. Although INTJs are generally very serious-minded people, they also have been known to enjoy letting loose and having fun, if others pull them into it. They also can be really good at telling jokes, and exhibiting a sarcastic wit with a poker face.

The INTJ is not likely to choose to spend time with people who they feel don’t have anything to offer the INTJ. They especially like to spend time with other Intuitive Thinkers, and also usually enjoy the company of Intuitive Feelers. These personality types love to theorize and speculate about ideas, and so can usually relate well to the INTJ, who loves to analyze ideas.

Many INTJs believe that they are always right. In some INTJs, this belief is quite obvious, while in others it is more subtle. Some people may have a difficult time accepting what they see as a “superior attitude” or “snobbery”. Not to imply that INTJs are snobbish, just that some people with strong Feeling preferences may perceive them that way. And some individuals simply have no interest in the theoretical pursuits which the INTJ enjoys.

Doesn’t that describe me pretty perfectly?

A Faulty Smoke Detector

Today I tested my smoke detectors to make sure they work; the result was slightly concerning. While my roommate and a bunch of other people were watching Prison Break in the front room, I started cooking some rice on the stove. Then I went back to my room and forgot about it.

After about 10 minutes Colin came back to tell me that my stuff was burning. I said something like, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Can you just take it off the burner. I’ll be there in a minute.” I finished what I was doing and went out to start over on my rice. I found the front door propped open and my front room thickly filled with smoke. A small cluster of people armed with hot pads were in the kitchen watching smoke pouring out of my pan of rice that was still on the burner discussing whether it was safe to take it off.

So this brings a couple of things to mind. A couple of weeks ago something I was baking boiled over in the oven and started smoking. I remember being surprised that my smoke alarm didn’t go off ’cause it was certainly smokey enough it should have. I don’t think my apartment has ever been smokier than today. Again, the smoke detector didn’t go off. Kinda concerning.

The other thing it brings to mind is how nice it is to have a good sense of smell. I have noticed and prevented kitchen problems similar to this quite a few times because I have a pretty sensitive sense of smell. (Although this does have its disadvantages, too; but that’s a topic for another post.) I was kind of surprised how far along my rice got before anyone in the front room noticed. Maybe it was just the movie they were watching. I’ve heard Prison Break is pretty intense. Apparently the room filling with smoke didn’t even distract them.

One last observation: if you want to break up your roommate’s party at your apartment, I have never seen a better method than putting some rice on to boil for 10 minutes on high. They vacated the place promptly and went somewhere else to watch it. Kinda too bad this time—I was going to start watching it with them when my food got done. But since they left I didn’t have anything better to do except blog about it.

Global Warming

If you haven’t seen this video, The Great Global Warming Swindle, you should watch it. It was put out by WAG TV as a response to Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth. It’s a little lengthy, but worth the time. Not only does it give convincing scientific data that global warming is a natural phenomenon not caused by man, but it also gives a very motivating explanation as to why there is such hype around it and why that hype can be a very dangerous thing.

I’ve done a fair amount of reading on the topic and I personally agree with the views in this video: I believe in global warming but I do not believe that it is man made. Comments both for and against are certainly welcome.

Great News

One of the primary reasons that I haven’t posted to my blog during the past while is that my computer quit booting up about a week and a half ago. Initial indications made me suspect that the motherboard had fried. I’ve had a lot of things going on and have been out of town, so I haven’t gotten around to doing anything about it. It hasn’t been too bad because I keep a copy of all my critical data on my flash drive (which is, incidentally, the coolest flash drive ever).

Today my computer spontaneously started working again. Further troubleshooting found that the culprit was actually a USB device attached to my computer that had malfunctioned. So the great news is that I can start blogging again (among other things). Now if only I could remember all the things I thought of blogging about during the last 10 days.