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"I got more views in one hour than I got in a month." -Mariano
Davuluri was one of THREE Asian Americans in the top five finalists, including 4th runner-up Miss MInnesota Rebecca Yeh (who won the Talent competition playing violin, I know, right?) and 1st runner-up Miss California, Crystal Lee.
Davuluri's question in the poise-test round was on "Big Brother" host Julie Chen's revelation of her decision to have plastic surgery. Her answer: She's against it. But in her answer she also managed to drop the following pointed remark: "I've always viewed Miss America as the girl next door. And Miss America is always evolving." As proven tonight.
Update: Barely did the tiara touch her lovely head than the racist ignoramuses began to tweet.
My post before this was a kind of therapy / Buddhism / personal growth kind of deal, but I also spend a lot of time thinking about how to run effective teams and to be a responsible, thoughtful manager of people. It is my work: I am a lead engineer at Bungie, an independent video game developer of about 300 employees (though not for long, we're growing.) There are some unique aspects to making videogames, and I'll use game development terminology here as I refer to, say, texture artists or sound designers or programmers, but when I talk to friends in different creative industries - film, industrial design, other software development - I find these themes are pretty universal.
If you're going to manage people, you're going to have a lot of conversations about employee performance. It's just bound to happen. Sometimes, like during reviews, it might seem excessive. You might wonder if's worth all the time it takes. It is. It's OK that you spend a bunch of time on this. As a manager, that is your job. It's your job to have well-formed opinions about how you evaluate people and how you work with them to help them grow. If you aren't spending time on that, then you may be succeeding as a leader, but probably not as a manager. Apples and oranges.
It is, however, important to spend this time well. During conversations about performance, everything you talk about should boil down to one thing: the value they contribute to the team. What is their value, and how can they become more valuable?
I find a lot of review conversations tend to focus on strengths, weaknesses, and specific work results. These seem like reasonable topics, and there's value there, but I also find this often leads to a review that looks like this:
Sejak disahkannya Undang-Undang Nomor 40 Tahun 1999 tentang Pers, kemerdekaan dalam memperoleh informasi benar-benar membawa Indonesia pada suatu babak yang baru. Media seakan terlepas dari belenggu jeratan yang selama masa Orde Baru mengikat dan mendiktenya. Melalui media, masyarakat dapat memenuhi keinginan untuk mengetahui situasi, perkembangan, dan informasi mengenai berbagai macam hal.
Media yang dimaksud dalam UU tersebut memiliki definisi yang luas. Disebutkan bahwa :
Mengacu pada definisi tersebut, maka media memiliki sedikitnya dua metode penyampaian utama. Yang pertama adalah media cetak, dan yang kedua adalah media elektronik. Secara harfiah pengertian media cetak bisa diartikan sebagai sebuah media penyampaian informasi yang memiliki manfaat dan terkait dengan kepentingan rakyat banyak, yang disampaikan secara tertulis. Sementara itu media elektronik dapat diartikan sebagai media penyampaian informasi yang disampaikan melalui Radio, Televisi (TV), atau pesawat lain berbasis teknologi yang dapat menampilkan kombinasi antara tulisan, suara, atau gambar secara bersamaan.
Akhir-akhir ini, media cetak mulai ditinggalkan, terutama oleh kalangan remaja. Hanya golongan tradisional yang masih menggunakan media ini. Pada perkembangannya, kecepatan informasi yang disampaikan oleh media cetak terhitung lambat. Berbeda halnya dengan media elektronik yang aktual dan lebih mudah dicerna karena mengandung elemen audio maupun visual.
Let there be Light.
Eight of my last 18 professional years have been an adventure with children and adults from all over the world. They brought with them endless gifts of their cultures, and I gave them the English words to express their beliefs, hopes, and dreams. My students have come from Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Senegal, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, among other countries. The secret is that we have taught one another more about Life than any English lesson could encompass. Mutual respect for ideas and differences, along with acceptance, has always been our agreed cornerstone of the classroom.
The challenge as a teacher at this time of year is trying to weave together every culture’s celebration, which all float around the Winter Solstice. How do we explain in simple words, beliefs, religion, and celebration from each corner of the globe? The answer: Seek the Light. I ask my students to share how Light factors into their celebrations at this sacred time of year. So with both excitement and reverence, my students teach each other and me about Diwali, and Hanukkah, which are both called Festivals of Light. They are happy to tell about the illuminating floating boats of Loy Krathong in Thailand, the Chinese New Year Fireworks, the Colored Lights of the Tet Holiday, the Little Day of Candles in Colombia, and varying Christmas Light traditions in Europe and South America.
The lesson then is that we all Seek the Light in the darkest point of the year, the Winter Solstice. But it has to be about more than just culture and religion, doesn’t it? It has to be more about our human spirit. One of my new heroes, Malala Yousafzai, taught us this year that, “We realize the importance of Light when we see darkness.” The Buddha taught that, “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will brighten your path.” We seek the Light of others often when our own lives are darkest, when we have no answers, and when we need warmth. We seek out their Light when we need inspiration.
Inspire means, “to breathe in.” Whose Light causes YOU to breathe in?? Whose Light fills your darkness? Most often the Light we need comes from those with whom we share our home. But who else floats into our lives and brings us warmth, new hope, and joy? Who else Lights our way? How can we thank them? How can we fan their flames so they continue to shine? Find a way to reflect their Light. Find a way to express gratitude for their illumination. You will see that the Light will get bigger. The flames will be grander. Find a way to celebrate those who bring the Light, for their flames ignite the Good.
The video for my Intermittent Fasting talk is now up on YouTube!
I'm a huge fan of IF - it's one of my "secret" superpowers.
Some people who grew up a long time ago like me might remember this song: "When I'm worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep, counting my blessings..."
Worry, discouragement, inertia, upsetness, fear: negative feelings can be "negated" with gratitude. Negative states can be prolonged easily but telling ourselves stories about the bad things that happened in the past or by remembering more things to worry about/feel discouraged about/be upset about/be fearful about. You know, digging the hole deeper. Very easy and usually automatic.
Noticing that you have the pattern described above is the first thing to do. Not automatic, not easy. But it's a skill to learn.
My suggestion is to notice, then say: No, I prefer not to go there. I'm going toward gratitude: and think of things or people that you're grateful for.
You then have the chance to change your mood and outlook.
Monday, December 23rd 2013, 0028h.
Facebook, dear babies and gentleflock, is a drug. And as with any drug, it leaves you craving for more. Every time you see a little thumbs-up ‘like’ icon, endorphins are secreted within your dainty little brain because you feel acknowledged and accepted – even perhaps loved. It’s merely a game of popularity that you are playing with yourself; thriving on the attention of others and their “approval” of you. When you are spending too much time consistently tapping into the illusory world of ostensibly loving, popular acceptance and affirmation that is Facebook, you likewise experience a sort of mild depression and peer-related angst when you share something and hardly anyone (or no one) likes it or comments on it.
It’s a ridiculous waste of time and emotions, because the truth is that most people generally don’t care about what you think or what you have to say. They are just scrolling Facebook (probably like you) looking for little easily-digestible chunks of melodramatic, analgesic gossip and fables, like a young child sitting with eyes glued to a television and watching cartoons; the longer the child sits there in that drug-like state of mind constantly needing more entertainment, the more difficult and emotionally painful it will be for the child to be removed from that environment. Essentially, it’s a matter of greed: needing more and more; wanting, wanting, wanting; me, me, mine, me, and mine.
What I’m saying is not that Facebook is evil or a completely selfish and greedy use of your time, but that it is a place/thing where overuse leads to an addictive approbation of self-grandeur, not to mention that probably only one out of a million things that occur on Facebook lacks the label of “a completely unproductive waste of your time.”
As we continually connect to more and more people, we inversely disconnect from our real relationships, and they grow thusly shallow. Aristotle said, “A friend to all is a friend to none.” Now, I doubt he was thinking of Facebook when he said that, but there are various ways you can interpret his maxim. The more time you spend trying to be a friend to everyone, the less time you are actually giving each person; so the term “friend” gradually becomes more of an “acquaintance.” A true and deep friendship takes time (and I’d wager typically physical presence): you create memories and inside jokes and memories of inside jokes and inside jokes of memories; you talk in real-time about anything and everything; you laugh together; you eat together; you listen to music together; you go places and have new experiences together; you overcome challenges and grow together. In all, you (hopefully) learn to love life more from the unique experiences you share.
I can't say that I ever made a conscious decision to live in a small space. I did however, have a great desire to simplify life down to the things that mattered most to me, experiences and relationships; and also find a greater degree of freedom. Couple that with actually digging myself out of a mountain of debt while chasing the american dream, well, as I often say: Experience is the best teacher.
One of the questions I had to ask was, "is it going to be a house or a boat? It certainly can't be both!" This is not the 1980's anymore folks. Or even the early 21st century, where credit was freely available and we were able to live way beyond our means to falsely convey a facade of "wealth". Let me digress for a moment. If you were a child of the 1980's, or even parts of the 90's, it's likely that your childhood was a lie. Yep, I said it.
Everywhere, small homes and cottages, were being razed for McMansions in horribly planned unsustainable communities all over the US. New financial instruments were being created to allow families to take 2nd or even 3rd mortgages out against their existing homes to finance vacations, pools, furniture, electronics, cars..etc. Life was good; we had become full-on consumers. None of it was real though. It was an orgy of easy credit gone wild. Eventually, reality has a funny way of slapping you right in the face, as a lot of people found out in 2007. It was common knowledge that home prices only went one way, up!? That is, until they didn't.
This is the idea I've learned that has affected my worldview the second most. It's probably the most unusual idea I hold, and to date I don't think I've met another person who holds it without me telling them about it first. I learned it from Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, a very rich, complex, detailed, and difficult to understand graphic novel. I highly recommend it. It is largely about this idea that I'm going to be talking about, but presents it in a much more metaphorical way. If you read it, the odds are fairly good you won't understand it or get much from it, but if you do, it will affect you a great deal. I'm honestly not sure how much of this idea was intended by Grant Morrison to be present in the book. Well, it doesn't matter, as you'll see below, it's unlikely that it was the ape called Morrison who made the decision to include anything in the comic.
This idea will probably be the spine of much of what I write in this blog. It won't be the only thing I write about, this is intended to be a general purpose blog, but since, as I said, this is probably my most unusual idea, it'll probably be the most interesting and distinctive thing for me to write about. Much like how Overcoming Bias is largely but not entirely about signalling.
Keep in mind that I'm not saying that this idea is "literally" true, whatever that would mean, but rather that this is a very useful model to use when thinking about the world. Frequently more useful than the more standard alternative.
Memes are people; humans aren't.
When I say a human here, I mean the ape bodies running around interacting with other hairless apes. From now on I'm going to try to use the word "ape" to mean specifically the body and the word "human" to mean the mind-body hybrid. No guarantees I'll be consistent on that, you may have to work it out from context.