matthew's blog

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The Value Of Truth

A philosopher named Harry G. Frankfurt wrote a brilliant essay a number of years ago entitled, "On BS". The title notwithstanding, the essay brilliantly examines a phenomenon you're going to see your whole life: people who say things for the effect of the saying, not the truth or falsehood of what it is they say.

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FMC: Body Hair

Dear Children,

Today I touch on a sensitive topic: body hair. If you are easily offended, please go read something else, as we're going to deal very bluntly with the topic.

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FMC: The Nature of MLM

I've been thinking for a long time that I need to write a series of very important things I've learned over my lifetime. Almost every day for the last year, some concept has occurred to me that would be good for my kids to know so they can avoid making the same mistakes I've made, or seen others close to me make.

In that vein, here's my first topic!

For My Children: The Nature of Multi-Level Marketing Companies

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Blendtec vs. Vita-mix

We burn through blenders within a year or two, including a $150 Ninja among others. Looking at higher-end, long-warranty blenders, there are really only two choices in the USA today: Blendtec & Vita-mix. We ended up buying a Blendtec. Here's why.

* "Will It Blend" videos. Duh. Huge appeal for that reason alone.
* Broad base, easy to clean.

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Unconditional Love

The "feeling" of love is largely out of your control; you can no more choose to feel love for someone without an action than you can choose to feel pain, hunger, or misery. The only love over which you have any control is love as an action: choosing to include someone in your life.

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Management Confusion

The automated system was malfunctioning. Despite cutting-edge technological mechanisms for passive detection of and active response to frequently-changing usage patterns, it simply had not been able to cope with ongoing changes. Debates raged on email threads as to how to respond. Some proposed simplifying the system; they were derided for the quantity of user input required and the probability of escalating cost when users failed to take appropriate steps. Others proposed increasing the number of monitors in use to allow for potential uses that had not been considered when the system was designed, and were in turn derided for the additional complexity and cost to institute such a system.

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Armed Citizens Don't Count

Recently, Mother Jones published a widely-circulated study suggesting that armed citizens have never stopped any mass shootings in the USA. It's important to know how these things are counted, though. If the shooting doesn't boast a sufficient number of deaths -- at least four dead -- then it just doesn't count. That's a lot of mass shootings that just don't count as such.

Let's take a look at what else doesn't count.

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Sometimes People Miss The Point

Support: "Why didn't you escalate this issue earlier?"

Me: "I don't actually care if it's fixed. The two points of my ticket submitted over three months ago were:
"One: To demonstrate the workaround I'm using, and

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Support Good Government

Friends,

Several bills assaulting your right to keep and bear arms were introduced to Congress on Monday, January 7, 2013. Among other things, these bills seek to register semi-automatic firearms. Noncompliance will be met with police raids of your home, seizure and destruction of your property, fines, and imprisonment.

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How to recognize a conspiracy theory

In this age when conspiracy theories abound and you can find entire communities devoted to group-think, finding dragons in the clouds and believing them to be real, I think it's a great idea to revisit Michael Shermer's Conspiracy Theory Detector. Summary below the break.

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