You Need to Pay Attention

This awkward incident happened on my walk into work today. A girl was riding her bike one direction, and another young lady was walking the opposite direction. Both headed for each other.

The girl walking realizes this will end badly, so she stops walking to give the girl on the bike time to adjust course and avoid a collision.

The girl on the bike slows down but doesn’t change course, continuing straight toward the girl standing right in front of her, and just before colliding, she jams on her brakes so hard her rear tire pops off the ground. She then declares to the standing lady,”You need to watch where you’re going.”

The lady replies, “I think you need to watch where YOU’RE going.”

The girl on the bike peddles away declaring, “Jesus!”

And that’s when I started chuckling out loud. And I continued chucking like that as I replayed the scene over and over.

But as I think about it, it is psychologically mundane AND fascinating. As a little boy, I would say, wow two grown ups are fighting! A little older, and I would say, “What was the girl on the bike thinking? She is nuts.” But now I wonder… does the girl on the bike truly believe herself, or was she just puffing herself up to make up for a blunder that she was too proud to accept was clearly her doing? In some way, I hope she truly believes she is right, because then at least she acted in earnest, even though I believed her assessment was incorrect.

What’s the moral of the story? Hmm… maybe “bike helmets can save your brain, but your ego is all on you.”

Or maybe, “Jesus has nothing to do with your free will, learn how to ride a bike, derp.”

Or maybe, “If your going to act like a booger on a pedestrian walkway, go take your chances on the roadway. After you get smacked by a couple cars, you will appreciate pedestrians more.”

The Age of Misinformation

It’s funny how my mom would say, “You kids didn’t come with an instruction manual.” By the time I had children, there were so many instruction manuals, you could use one to disprove another.

I like to say that we’ve moved from the Information Age to the Misinformation Age on account that there is so much information now, and its interesting to see the root problem of finding answers is still about the same today as it was back then.

In the past, a person wouldn’t have ready access to information, so they would make decisions based on what they knew and their intuition.

Now, a person reads the top 3 best related Google results and makes decisions based on what they know and their intuition.

I guess that’s why web 3.0 is such a big deal. “Give us you data” so that people can make more relevant decisions… but we are still a long way off from that. The internet has become a fascinating flavor of our collective consciousness… we can see everything about ourselves: from the darkest most disgusting caves to the pinnacles of inspirational thought.

But it’s all still kind-of random, dangerous and only select pieces can be reliable.

Still, I think things are heading the right direction. The internet, by being less censored, allows us to see the whole of ourselves and allows us an opportunity to shape our destiny based on what we see.

Time will tell if our species has the wisdom to follow Spike Lee and “Do the Right Thing.”  Of course, the crux of that movie was (imho) to do what was right based on (drum roll)  what you know, and your intuition!

Why is our Technology so Awesomely Stupid?

That’s a fairly broad and sweeping judgment, of course, but I contend, even based on my personally limited sample set, that it is true!!  Let’s take some examples…

I have a phone that can measure how far I walk, it can monitor my eyes and scroll the screen when my eyes hit the bottom of a page, it can bump another phone and share data, it can do thousands of things. BUT… sometimes, for no reason the keyboard doesn’t have an enter button, or it says it is connected to the network and it is 100% dead to the network. So, while monitoring my eyeballs can the software actually do some checking to make sure it is really on the network?

I am logged into this web mail application and decide to send an email.  I can drag and drop files from one email to another, I can look up contacts dynamically as I type their names… but I clicked send, and this little AJAX graphic replaces ALL the buttons…and then it says “sending…” for the next couple hours until I decide to stop it.  I knew it was dead 15 seconds in, but apparently the authors of OWA didn’t cover all the conditions that could cause this thing to sit and spin for an eternity, and because they took my buttons away I can’t save it as a draft.  Thanks for that.

I’ll be loading a web page and it will hang up… just sits and spins like I don’t have a connection.  But I can open another tab on my browser and hit other sites. So my connection is working fine.  OK, I stop loading the page and hit reload…surprise, there is my web page.

We could all share similar stories of super advanced tech that still does stupid stuff.  And in my examples of stupid stuff there is this common theme of me waiting and waiting while the computer sits and spins…CPU humming at 2%, RAM at 19%…   I’ve asked something to DO something, and clearly my computer or phone or whatever is day dreaming or something.

We’ll just lovingly call this the “waiting game.” That’s what it is… we have all this power and bandwidth, we are trying to complete an action, but we are just forced to wait 5 seconds here, 30 seconds there, sometimes several minutes before retrying only to see things happen either lightning fast or see them sit and spin again.  How much time is wasted during this activity?  For me, it has to happen at least 100 times a day, maybe 200… opening email, opening a web page, sending an SMS, etc.   And each time it happens the delay is between 5 seconds and 5 minutes. let’s say the average is 15 seconds, 100 times a day.  That’s 1500 seconds – 25 minutes a day.  I bet it is more.  But let’s say 30 minutes a day across everyone using technology.

What’s that, maybe half the planet? A third? Let’s say 2 billion people experience this every day. That’s 60 billion wasted minutes a day just waiting for “stupid technology.”  I bet that number is a lot larger because when things get gummed up we invest chunks of time trying to shutdown services, or log out and back in, or reboot, or light a candle and drop-kick a frog – anything to cure the  issue. But let’s go with 60 billion minutes. . . that’s 1 billion wasted hours of effort, at minimum, per day.

Nobody cares about consumers wasting a billion hours a day, because we aren’t paying these consumers. Ah, but if they work for a living, we ARE (I feel a slight value proposition about to transpire).  Let’s say half these billion people are working, and out of a 24 hour day, they work about 1/4 of that on average.  That’s 125 million hours a day going to wast at whatever the burden rate for the company is… If that’s $1/hr that’s $125M a day.  If that’s $100/hr that’s $12B a day.  Just time spent waiting for computers/technology to realize that it isn’t going to finish the current operation and that it is time to retry.

Let’s pretend the number is in the middle, so $1.2B a day, and based on 20 working days a month we have about $288,000,000,000 going into the cosmic recycle bin per year.  Time we never get back and is being paid for (and probably over a trillion dollars a year, for those keeping track, of time consumers waste that corporations are not paying for).

It’s the year 2014.  We are supposed to have spaceships, DNA-level repair systems in the medical field, warp/worm tech, atomic food replication, nanobots, mech warriors that play air guitar and more… but we can’t get rid of the little AJAX circle of death? We can’t make computers savvy enough to say “oh, clearly this is taking too long, let me try that again….or queue it for later… .or queue up some content to entertain/inform us while we wait…or something!!!???

What’s even funnier is, this is just the tip of the time-wasting iceberg.  But, why should we care… we waste so much other time holding for customer services, or in lines, or trying to wade through gigabytes of opinions to help us make decisions, or trying to keep our gadgets up and running, sitting in rush hour, filling out redundant forms, what’s 30 minutes a day?   Surely the trillion dollars here is nothing compared to the 10 trillion/year I just described in other activities.

OK, fine, you are right…the bigger problem is the 10 trillion. I can’t argue that… but at least now it is on the table.  Oh wait… we haven’t really addressed redundancy as part of waste (other than the forms example).  But I am talking about the BIG redundancies like how many businesses are writing the same software over and over or solving the same process challenges over and over or working on the same problem in the name of “healthy” competition?  Can we put a dollar figure on that? My brain hurts.

At some point, some of my more analytic friends will try to stop my stupid technology tirade.  They will say, “Woah woah there, Ragey Mc Ragerson! Your patterns of justification are wacky… you’d be better off trying to draw a dotted line between farts and space exploration!” But deep down inside, right next to those same space-exploring farts, people know I am right.   By design, we are a very efficient species (60 Watts to power a 100 billion neurons in our brains), but as designers, we are still very wasteful… from our manufacturing methods to our governance methods, and our technology, for all the time we say it saves, is still very wasteful.

Our gadgets are the latest things, our brain stems are still tied to lizards. Until we can evolve ourselves to match our gadgets (change how we are governed, how our economy works, how our social systems work), I think our tech will continue to be a reflection of us. Brilliantly buggy.  And yes, I typed this whole post waiting for that email to send, and it never sent…so  I will waste time copying the text to a new email, reattaching the documents, and re-sending it.

The Counselor: It Sucked, But Why?

I think Rotten Tomatoes has a pretty good synopsis: “The Counselor raises expectations with its talented cast and creative crew — then subverts them with a wordy and clumsy suspense thriller…” but just going off their review won’t give me the catharsis of venting about my experience with this film.

First Off: Thriller? There was not a moment of suspense in the entire film because at NO point were they clear on what the back story was, and without that information, I couldn’t give two [beeboop]s what happened to anyone in the film. For example, the film invested the MOST effort trying to get the audience to believe that the main character was in love with his fiance. But a naughtyyyy sex scene, table talk at a dinner and showing him crying with his cell phone every 5 minutes ain’t gonna do it… who the HELL is this guy, WHO is she?  Maybe ask The Who, they know this stuff…

Second Off: Obvious!! Seriously… the lead characters are engaged in the philosophical rants and then they are like “this machine that rips your head off” and “snuff films!!”  Go figure, the finale featured a machine that rips someone’s head off and a snuff film.  Wow, that wasn’t predictable at all.

Third Off:  Time is precious…there’s 90-120 minutes to explain things in a compelling way.  I have no ill will towards some of the deep speeches – that was kind of cool in an era when movies are hell bent on catering to baser and trivial aspects of life.  But when not being philosophical, please use the time more wisely… there was a huge amount of time dedicated in ways that were just choppy and out of place.  The playboy acts like Plato in one scene, tells a sexually comedic line in another scene and rounds off his misguided character in an anticlimactic “chase” scene.  It reminded me of Prometheus… trying to be too many things at once and not doing any one of them with a degree of prowess.  And Prometheus didn’t have cheetahs, so epic fail for them.  Anyway, I picture the actors asking “what’s my motivation” every 5 minutes because there was no personae imbued in the dialog!  Maybe too many people got their claws into the editor and drove him insane… “Put a scene in with philosphy!” “No, I want one with the main character weeping 3 times in 10 minutes” “Nooooo! Dead people, give me dead people!!”

Fourth:  All that, and the premise of the movie (spoiler alert)… is that, in a “man’s world” (as the characters would have us believe), apathetic ice queens have a place? OK.  That was worth my time.  If 90% of drug overlords are philosophers, at least come up with a deeper message than that bull-pucky as the crux of the film. C’mon!  And why was this ice queen invisible the whole time… everybody else gets found in 3 seconds regardless where they are on earth, but nobody was looking for her? Ever? Lame! I summon the Lame Magician, who pulls the attorney’s girlfriend from the trash pile / graveyard and does three super Cheetah attacks with double head-clipper action to any Ice Queens in play! Now your Ice Queen has no more life points! Muhahahahahaha!

I could keep going, but I feel pretty good now. And for the record, catfish can be cool.  Not ANY catfish, but, if I ever spot the RIGHT one on my windshield, I am gonna sit back and enjoy! Craziness… “I wish I didn’t have that memory” Whatever…. where’s your sense of adventure, Mr. Playboy??

How the [blank] did they get such a good cast for this flick? It totally felt like someone’s first screen play… maybe I will rally a cast like that for my first screenplay!! Thank you, cast, for trying to make this movie worth my time…  there should be an award for best rescue attempt.

OK, now I am good.  Whew.

Toilets Before Spaceships

Many folks have heard this phrase… “he’s so poor, he can’t even afford a pot to piss in.” We use it as a figure of speech, but for 1 billion people on this planet, right now, in the year 2013, it’s a reality.  Literally, according to the United Nations,  “1 billion people, 15% of the world population, practice open defecation.”  These are people who literally do not have access to a toilet, not even a shared one, not even an OPEN one where a bunch of people sit in front of each other and do their business because there’s nowhere else to go…

That really drives some perspective.  How is that even possible? Why don’t we see that on the nightly news? Maybe because it doesn’t sell.  I laugh all the time about how it is 2013 and our species seems so behind its capabilities collectively.  But when I think about it, it is usually in terms of “first world” problems like education systems, justice systems, civic and governance systems, economic systems…blah blah blah.

Now I am reading about the most basic system of all: a place to go poop, and there’s a billion people that don’t have a place?? Like for reals? That’s ridonkulous.

OK, so now what…I am just supposed to go back to my life and say,”Sorry you billion people but, I sure am glad it ain’t me. haha!”

Well, that’s what typically happens, I guess.  Everyone’s kinda focused on their piece of their pie, and I am not much different. . . . BUTT, maybe I should be.

Let’s think about this… we got 7 billion people now?  6 billion of them have a place to poop.  That’s a plus.  But what does that do? It does things like raise the child mortality rate, slows the spread of disease, and improves the sustainability of the planet.  I mean, poop is good for the planet, but 7 billion people worth of poop is a lot of poop.  So let’s say we give this missing billion a place to “pop a squat” as they say… let’s say we do that.  Then what happens?

We still have 7 billion people… now they all have bathrooms.  That’s good in some ways, but there’s still 7 billion of them, and the more we improve health the more crowded it is going to get.

At this point, some people put their villain hat on and say, then maybe we should be getting RID of places to poop.  So mortality and disease can go up and we can all die a little younger on average. . . . .  as long as it doesn’t happen in MYYYYY neighborhood (wink wink).

I don’t think that’s the answer.

And there’s a gazillion other factors to consider… for example, a lot of economic systems are reliant on growth in consumerism in order to thrive, so the more people the planet can support, the more money there is to be made by the Illuminati or whatever.  But then, if I were an Illuminati, would I care about money? Not really – at that point it is about power.  So maybe they aren’t interested in the planet supporting more hoomanz, maybe it is part of the cosmic plan for things to go to a certain breaking point.  Who knows. . .and that’s me speculating on someone else’s agenda.

I care about my agenda.  What is my agenda? Well, when it comes to poop, I think we should all have a place to go – from the Illuminati to the Indian salt farmer, to the African Saharan sand comber.  I have what Covey calls an “abundance mentality” – so let’s pack as many of us as we can on this rock, let’s foster ridiculous amounts of learning across all of civilization, lets colonize this galaxy.  But first… let’s all have a damn place to poop!!

Or so we think. There are other factors to consider.  For example, we might think, “if we build it, they will poop.”  But, this is not the case.  I have a good friend, and one day we theorized that if an advanced species came to Earth, an effective way to kill us all would be to simply give us free light sabers.  Seriously, we’d all be dead in like, an hour.  Research already shows, without proper education, some people have a toilet, and instead they use it to bathe, or store their weed and stuff.

So, maybe the first step is education and let people DECIDE what they want, then let them put policies and government in place to obtain it, or something like that.

It’s not as easy a problem to fix as I would hope… there’s serious infrastructure involved and people need to have the skill to engineer, build and subsequently maintain the physical structures, the ongoing supply chain, the financial systems, and of course the laws/policies that pertain to these systems.   Just building it is not the answer… communities need to evolve and mature to the point where they value having a place to poop.

Then there is the whole debate of what system to put in place… think about it – our current poop systems waste a LOT of water.  Are toilets REALLY the way to go (pun intended)??? Isn’t there some way to do this using other technology?   Something that requires less infrastructure, uses less or no water, and produces useful output (fertilizer, or maybe fuel pellets, or something)?  Just saying!

Anyway, today, I learned this crazy fact… and I realized we need to figure out toilets before we figure out spaceships, and I still think the answer is going to be in empowering people through knowledge.

One thing is for sure, I’m never gonna look at a toilet the same way again…

Back to Goals

Our Planet is so gosh-dangly fragmentalized.  Unless I want to become a robot (not saying I don’t but let’s ride on the pretense that being a robot is not on the to-do list), pursuing 1 clear cut goal is really obnoxiously difficult.  Why is that?… I am yet again so glad you have asked.

It all restarted this year, in this post, culminating in an approach that I attempted to follow for several months.  Each time I would try to make progress, I found myself clicking on the little magnifying glass and drawing a zoom box so I could get to a quantifiable set of tasks.  But each time I drew a zoom box I kept finding more questions and options and little informational sidebars that kept fragmenting the vision…. by the time I had zoomed in enough to DO something, it wasn’t anything I was interested in doing.

So, here I am on Hallow’s eve with a metaphorical zoom box, a primed legal container, and having to revisit my entire approach.  It’s been a fascinating journey, but something still hain’t quite right.

To help correct this, I have to come to terms with a couple core concepts: 1) I am not a detail person and 2) that first statement is a lie.  If I can figure that out, then I will have $10,000,000 of net worth by the end of this calendar year.  There’s my vested interest in figuring this out.

Let’s go over some of the fun to be had, here… for example, I have an interest in natural resources.  Now, before I get into natural resources, I tell myself,”self, the first question to ask is ‘how much do we have’ and the next question to ask is ‘what’s our current and projected burn rate?’  Try Googling that… my search on global natural resources lead me to a list of oil companies, a list of government agencies, several wikipedia articles, to some outdated EDU site with a list of resources that was a 404 landmine.  There’s a TON of information, but it isn’t aggregated how I want to look at it.  In fact, this takes me back to the TED talk (yeah, do I get royalties for that? lol) about web 3.0 – if we could get at the data of the internet in a useful way, I might be able to visualize at least SOME of what I am looking for…  I say some, because there are entities who have spent a LOT of money cataloging what I want to research, and, well, what’s in it for them if they share?  I’ll tell you – the competition will come in and, with lower R&D costs caused by the release of the initial company’s intellectual property, they will wipe the initial company off the financial map.

Maybe then, my data won’t be out there…because that’s just the FIRST set of questions.  Anywho, if you know of an entity that compiles natural resource statistics such as quantity, location, burn rates, that might come in handy for me… or somebody I will employ.  Just throwing that out there – my core interests are water, power, fiber, farm land, and sanitation.

There – that was an example of a “zoom box”… I had to zoom in to do the research, and I have had that happen over and over.  The result is, it fragments my time and progress slows to a crawl on my goals because while I am zoomed in, there is no progress on the other fronts.

Robert Kiyosaki, as part of his cashflow quadrant concept, mentioned this issue of going from an employee to a specialist… it could be a trap, and the way out of a trap is a business model so I can get from business owner to investor, because until I have a portfolio of crazy ventures cranking out results, I am not going to make the kind of progress needed to fix the entire planet and launch a viable space exploration venture using giant robots shaped like our founding fathers.  Can you imagine that…on some distant world, the receiving civilization sees a giant Teddy Roosevelt flying through space towards their planet. Hey, it could happen!!

I have no interest in being the specialist anymore…I’ve been there, bought the t-shirt, scraped off the bumper sticker, and moved on.  There’s a lot of talented people who want to be the specialist, and I am OK with that!  My goal is to hire a team of those and put them to work solving all kinds of cool challenges.

Of course, while doing that I am still working on a video project, a web service architecture, a mobile app and a couple other side projects… but hey, stay tuned.

Beginning Without the End in Mind

Ah, yes. Steven Covey.  A name that is near and dear to many of us in theory, and to fewer of us in practice.  Proof positive that a horse can be lead to better habits, but will often instead, choose to drink.  Here I am again, then. Round 3,755, maybe.  I lost count in the 90s, but there is certainly a multibillion dollar industry in self-help and reinvention propaganda.

This year, I made this kind cool plan that was centered around starting a media company.  Some people I talk to say, “Wow, man, that’s so totally flippin’ awesome, man.”  Other people are not so interested.  And then there is another group that thinks I haven’t defined my goals enough in order to be successful.  I grouped them in teams, gave them all statistical calculators and told them to find the T Statistic for sharpness in cheddar cheese flavors by brand. The group who said my goals needed more defining won this challenge…although I can’t really prove it because the first two groups shrugged their shoulders and walked away, and the third group calculated a value that I can’t verify because I don’t know statistics.

As a result, I redid my 2013 plan. After that, the same group said there were no details behind the high-level plan, so I created some specific tasks to support the plan.  After that, the same group said my plan and my tasks did not support a clear enough goal.  After that, I changed my plan so that my top level goal was to build an epic death ray. I don’t really care if I build a death ray, but it makes the top level goal very clear for those who care about a top level goal.

But it begs the question: Is a top level goal required in order to be effective? I have a recast plan that ends with the production of approximate 20 teams, each with a specific purpose that supports a combination of sustainable housing technology, media production, and technical systems that not only glue together my business model but can likely be shrink-wrapped and resold.  The sustainable housing is for Project Sahara. The media production is for the media container, with a focus on entertainment production.  The technical piece is not only for building the systems with my two entities, but there should be some components that can be packaged and resold.

I’m pretty stoked about it.  However, if you look closely, the “end in mind” is more of a beginning than an end.  Sorta like we are beginning with the beginning of the next set of projects in mind.  Sahara will need these systems, CamAm, Sring, Pajorka and all my other containers will need these systems.  Containers I don’t even know about yet will need these systems (and the people that helped create them).  I guess this means I am either beginning with the beginning in mind, or beginning with the middle in mind… since the end is malleable in this case.

For some people the end is clear.  For me the journey is shaping the end. As new information becomes available, I renegotiate the end: I might stop at CamAm.  I might drop it and lock step on a venture I never even dreamed about. What’s important is that I progress from where I am today.  That’s my take on it for now, anywho.  We shall see – maybe I will change my mind soon.



Life Beyond Facebook

FB2 Electric Boogaloo
Odd… there have been several other posts I’ve contemplated, but I finally get around to typing something and it is about Facebook again. Again? Isn’t there something beyond Facebook? Hmm, ironically, that is why this post came about.

Social Network Blues
I pulled out of several networks. Let’s face it, maintaining a network takes time and energy, and those things are at a premium in this over-boiled rat race of a life our species has created for itself (and we call ourselves “advanced”? hee hee, that’s cuuuuute *pinches the cheeks of humanity*).  So I did what any self-aware bachelor not wanting to become an unsuspecting parent would do: I pulled out.

Now What?
Who knows, really.  But, like every busy person on this little blue ball, I want to put my finite amount of time where it is best utilized, while still having some time for fun and maybe even a little slice of time to be socially responsible. This means only using tools that DON’T waste my time. But what does the word “waste” mean in this context, really?

Thinking about Social Network Waste
Is it like nuclear waste? If so, can we clean it up in about 15 seconds using one of of those radioactive picker-uppers from the latest Die Hard movie? (no lie, they cleaned up 20 years of “pooled” radioactivity in about 3 minutes with that thing — better than a Shark vacuum! No wait, Shark vacuums have one advantage: they are REAL). Where was I? Oh yeah, social network waste (SNW)… there are many forms of SNW, but since this is my first time thinking about it, I am not 100% sure I know what I am talking about.  So let’s take Scrapples, the Social Networking Puppy, out for a walk and after he does some of his “business” we can send it to the lab and get a proper waste analysis.

Lab Report
Well, I took Scrapples out, and for a 15 pound dog, I was impressed with the 2,574 pound turd he left on the lawn:

  • Churn vs Substance: This was the most ambiguous category because 1 person’s churn is another person’s substance, but it would be nice if my social network only contained information I was interested in…not just the people I want to hear from.  And turnaround is fair play – when I broadcast a message, I just want it broadcast to people who want that TYPE of message.
  • Security vs Features: I don’t want to see Farmville crap, OK? Any application that says it needs permission to scrape my contacts or behave with a power of attorney is not an application I need or want.
  • Convoluted UI: User Interfaces that hide the stuff I want to use, or are difficult to use…. can get out of my way.
  • Users as Products: Positioning advertisements all over the place just annoys me.  I would like the option to pay a subscription and forego the advertisements.
  • Reusable Information: When I am ready to share… this is the world-wide web, I want to post information once, then have it distributed to where my friends/subscribers are and THEN have it filtered so only people who want to see that information are bothered with it.  And this is like a social-web concept (thanks TED… oh wait, I AM Ted. Muhahah. Thanks, me! :-D) – I don’t want to have 20 accounts on 20 networks.  1 post should hit all 20 using interwebz magic and be done! (Pangea was one such venture, dunno if it ever got out of diapers and started walking or not – but I don’t see it out there)
  • My Information: Is mine. My posts are mine. My content is mine.  Not Facebook’s, Not Google’s.
  • My Identity: Don’t waste my time trying to sharing details about who I am – who I am is MY business.  And don’t interfere with what name I want to use (arg, FB, arg Google+) – on the web I am TheRage3K. Effing deal with it, or get out of my way.
  • Troll-Meter: Don’t like trolls? Fine – give every recipient the right to rate a response as a troll response.  Enough of those, and they have a little troll icon next to their posts, or something, so people know the trolls. Hi trolls!! We love to hate you *troll face*
  • Content Sharing: Some sites are working on this, maybe they do it better, but when I share, I need to pick the audience, from a few key people, to a “circle” to multiple groups to the whole “three double-u”.

Is There a Happy Place?
I don’t know if I can find a place that let’s me feed Scrapples a healthy diet and regulate his by-product production.  I did find this post on some different options (Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace,Bebo, Habbo,Tagged, Tumblr,Four Square, Diaspora, Path, Zurker and Harnu).  I had another link, but I need to track it down again: it also included previous sites all the way brack to Friendster. Ah here is that link! I don’t know which of these networks caters to what I am looking for at the moment, or if any of them do; however, when I do land somewhere, I will let everyone know.  I can’t stay disconnected forever (darn)!

Why Facebook is [Adjective]

OK, really this post is probably redundant, but since they are a faceless organization that plays every trick in the book to avoid allowing people to contact them directly, this just makes me feel betterer.

OK, so here are some options – I haven’t tried them yet, but figured I would put this at the top of my rant in case you don’t care about all my whining:

options: http://gethuman.com/contact/Facebook/

says you are screwed: http://www.contacthelp.com/directory/Internet/Web+Sites/Facebook?ListingID=324


My handle is TheRage3K.  I also owned an S-Corp with a legal entity name of ZettaSpace Inc.  Facebook does not allow businesses with mixed cap names to properly register their name.  They have this artificial rule they created about “proper capitalization.” This rule makes no sense!!

By their rules, I would be either Therage3k, or Zettaspace Inc.  Those aren’t MY names.  I even tried ditching the cap, and it puts the first one in! It’s required. Why? “facebook” doesn’t start with a capital…they don’t even play by their own rules!! LAME SAUCE! What if my name was an Acronym? Gah… think people!!

Add to that the most non-intuitive UI since the invention of the sloppy Joe, privacy and security issues, the fact that I really don’t WANT to see every single time my long lost acquaintance from high school drinks a cup of coffee,  not liking that their applications are constantly asking for crazy permissions, and just seeing Facebook as a time sink in general…. well, that pretty-much sums it up!


I think, from a typical entertainment/advertising model stand-point, FB is over inflated in value, but is definitely a successful model. But there are better ways to share information – smarter and more efficient ways (this goes against the grain for what the profiteers want to see happen).  I read somewhere, in reference to FaceBook… if the service is free, then you aren’t the customer, you are the product being sold.  That’s 100% true in this case.

Since I am putting a BIZ on FB, this is not about me having coffee.  This is about my business paying for me to tell you I am having coffee! No. No wait…


Well, I cannot change FB, so here is my multi-faceted approach:

  • First, I found a name that worked – for some reason “3K” was deemed viable. 
  • Second, I will post this article so others can share in the annoyance
  • Third, I will climb a tree, and from at least 10 feet off the ground, I will proclaim to whoever will listen that my business exists!
  • Fourth, I will have folks login and use the evil FB website to promote my business.
  • Fifth, I will create a hashtag, because those have been proven to fix EVERYTHING! #WhyFacebookIs

With a plan this clever, I cannot fail!

No, I really don’t know what the plan is, but it looks great! “Presentation” for the win….


Methinks Marriage Ain’t for Everyone

Sometimes, while standing in my bathroom waiting to potentially throw-up, my mind wanders down the weirdest paths.

Maybe I should have a Slim Jim and a bag of baby carrots for lunch more often? Not my most brilliant nutritional pairing… ah… that’s how I got here. I was thinking about bad pairings.

Luckily the Slim Jim never stood at an altar with the bag of baby carrots. Can you blame him? Who wants to be responsible for all those babies… and all he will be left with is some old bag?

Wow. This metaphor is working way better than I expected, from a humor standpoint. Although, I am still nauseated.

But on a more serious note, I think I have come to grips….after a long and winding road…. with my beliefs on marriage and relationships.

As usual, I am not trying to script any choices here. I am just sharing perspective. And I admit, I am probably a weeeeee ittybit embittered on some of this stuff because my ideology doesn’t align well with reality.

In fact, I have had friend after friend wag their head and say,”It just doesn’t work that way, buddy ol’ chap!” I’m faced with a choice… do I bend my ideology to fit reality? Or do I attempt to influence reality by championing my ideology?

Yup, you guessed correctly. Why won’t I bend? Fact is I am human and I do bend. Sometimes I break, too. But ultimately, I heal and try to live from my ideologies because life is short, and if we don’t at least try to live from our beliefs, I think we are doing ourselves a disfavor.

That’s why I encourage people to vote based on their beliefs. And beyond voting, I encourage people to live from their beliefs.

What are my beliefs on marriage and relationships, then? Let’s start with marriage. I think the institution is a broken model. It’s a huge production, it is a commitment that can force two people staying in an unhealthy relationship and then there was this perspective shared by one of my friends: these two people who want to be together are turning to some outside party – to make their decision ‘real’. As though this external representative makes their union legitimate.

I’ve been in two failed marriages. In both cases I thought it would last a life time, but it did not. Sad, but it underscores the reality that no outside entity can tell me when my relationship begins, and no outside entity can ensure it will last. So it makes no sense to involve an outside authority or go through all this pomp.

Folks in the more religious camps will talk about the ‘covenant’ of marriage. They will say it is a union before God, but  as wonderful as that sounds, I simply don’t subscribe to it. In the bible there are references that can be used to both support and debunk the concept of marriage… so I will leave that choice of interpretation up for debate, and politely excuse myself from believing marriage is for everyone.

Marriage works for some, and for them I am truly happy. For me, however… I just want something mutual, I want a best effort, and I want it to end  if it truly is not working or becomes unhealthy.  I want to give and receive a solid, monogamous commitment to that approach, and I don’t need the law or the church to ratify or otherwise bless this decision!

The next topic is relationships. My perspective has been more or less the same since I was in high school, but truly coming to terms with it, finding the right mix of people to talk to, and then writing about it has taken a lot of time. In some cases I have scared off perfectly good friendships over it all.

The arc of discovery that leads to this post started with a good old-fashioned crush that hit me about a year ago. I was stunned on many levels… crushes are for kids, I thought. Crushes are the most unhealthy way to approach a relationship, I wrote about it later in a journal entry. I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere, but I was excited because I had been sleep walking through my marriage and realized now it was time to dust myself off and face certain facets of my life head on…. that’s what I have done, and through that exercise I have met a bunch of fantastic people.

Through them, I have come to terms with the differences between the dating game, and what I believe in….which looks similar, but comes from a different perspective.  I know I have written about it before, but I think it is clearer now.

Where would I be without my caveats? I have them in every post… so the caveat for this subject is…. I am still heavily scripted by society in the ‘dating’ lingo. I find myself using  it but when I use those terms I mean something different from most people I have talked to so far.

First off, I don’t believe in dating, I believe in friendships.  So in mainstream world, a friendship is where relationships that aren’t going anywhere get dead-ended.

That’s broken to me. It’s basically saying you have to screw someone to have a relationship, but true friendships are somehow of a lesser status. Ferp.

But let’s rewind a little bit, because one of my friends made a good point. She said,”You know, at first sight, which people you are attracted to.”

She’s right. Whether going with the current reality or my ideals, I can walk into a club, bar, grocery store, library, etc and when I see someone attractive, there is a ‘click.’  That happens at the brain stem level. But that ‘click or no-click’ evaluation is constant… it is baser nature and just happens without much thought.

The difference is in what you DO with your ‘click.’ (Wow, that sounds risqué, no? I digress). In the traditional meat market, people put on a facade and begin doing or saying what they think the other person wants to see or hear. It’s a mating dance…really. There are varying levels of distortion applied to this approach, but the crux is based on a game, and the rules of the game are to get laid before you know the person too well and risk them becoming a friend. … O_o Really? 2012, iPhones and spaceships and this is the best we got for relationships?

Bleh on that. It is completely backasswards and I refuse to play. Don’t get me wrong, some people like that game, or are just comfy with the dysfunction it brings to the table. Enjoy that! Also know that my marriages have failed, so there is still something cosmically funky with my approach, but I will go into that later.

What I do with a ‘click’ is much much different. First, I always present myself as who I am. Just be candid. Second, I get to know the other person… if it goes anywhere, it ain’t the bedroom. This person is on a 3 – 6 month or more journey to becoming my friend. I want to like them, respect them and understand them.  That alone used to be enough, but I have realized my folly in the past, and its gotta be mutual.

Yes, this approach sucks because if there is physical energy, it all gets tabled. But getting physical distorts the picture too soon for me. I really want a mutual friendship in place beforehand. Friendships aren’t a dead end, they are the cornerstone.

Today’s relationships can get complicated. Exclusive, polyamorous, NSA, LTR… what expectations are being set that first kiss or that first passionate night? We are told to set expectations in business transactions, in school, and in our personal lives. But mahhhhgically, setting expectations about what romance means in a relationship gets frowned upon. “That kills the mystery or  spontaneity.” I disagree. Before adding anything physical, I want to talk about it.

I watched an episode of Le Femme Nikita tonight and this  dude asks, his first visit to her house “is there a place for me in your life?”

OK, that was contrived because Hollywood can’t spend weeks allowing relationships to mature (hmmm perhaps ADHD -TV has catered to the problem), but if the characters really knew each other well as friends, an honest dialog like that is exactly what I’d be looking for, before even the first kiss!

So in my opinion, two things can be added to a friendship, if it is mutual: romance and companionship. I don’t think either one of those things takes a friendship to a new level… if I love and respect a person enough to consider romance or companionship, then it’s not like I love and respect them MORE after I add those things. If romance gets added, we simply are agreeing to add that dimension to our relationship for as long as it is mutual, and we define expectations before we do anything. If companionship gets added, it means we add a dimension of being their for each other as life partners – helping each other reach for our life goals. Again this lasts as long as it is mutual and expectations should be defined. Defined, I say!! Put it in a Service Agreement!! OK, that might be going too far… or is it?

That’s all there is to it! That’s how I think, and how I want it to work. Some people won’t be able to do it because there is likely too much talk and not enough action. No worries…those people simply aren’t a good fit for me! Heck, I may not be able to stick to it either… that would be a drag, but there are worse things… like, waking up naked in the Wal-Mart lobster tank. Not like that’s ever happened to meeeeee before!

And this is the ideal… I know it might never work this way in my lifetime. But then, that is why I am TheRage3K and not TheRage2012. These things take time to sink in!