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Monday, September 14, 2009

Manic Monday: Writing, Reading, Running, Mobbing & Etc.

Wouldn't you know it, but it's harder than ever to focus on just one task. Sure, I'm not a dad/Mr. Mom, but I do my fair share. Cleaned out a garage/shed area, rode my bike 10 miles (busted the sprocket though, I knew it was going), read about 150 pages on great baseball managers, trying to keep up with all that social media stuff. (And reading Accidental Billionaires a.k.a. The Story of Facebook.)

And work. And write. (And go to the sports bar to check out the games, and hopefully, make miss bartender into Mrs. Powers. We all do it...the flirting.)

Meanwhile, America seems pretty complacent and complaining about the role of government. In 1946, when we were running the world cart blanche, no one complained about the size or scope of government. You expected roads, schools, law enforcement and protection from the wild bunch that is Wall Street.

Today, after 30 years of ignoring infrastructure, eroding educational systems, health care costs rising and the Wall Street fiasco, we must either turn to government (and fix it internally) or just let it fall apart. Because that is what is going on.

We all need to get busy on other things. Create something of value. Innovate. Invent. Optimize. Draw upon that American bullheaded nature - but to make not destroy.

I know more about NOT doing things right that most others ever will. Its not braggin', it is the plain simplistic truth. I have become more aware in the past few years of that gnawing in the belly feeling that I am not living up to whatever was suppose to be my calling. That every Manic Monday I ask, "What did I do this past week? What am I gonna do?"

These are questions I hope to answer sooner than later.

America needs to do that too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Predictable Irrational: Good for Starters, Demand More

Never took a course in behavioral economics, but this book gives you a starter into that arena. After seeing the stock market and America's mortgage market, crash-n-burn, binge-n-purge, or spin out of control like a bipolar hurricane, you got to try to understand the hidden forces behind it all.

Predictably Irrational attempts to layout out premises along the line that we are neither very rational nor can we predict with much regularity what we will ultimately do. That our motivators often are irrational; that we can make distorted decisions based on erroneous concepts. (FREE for example is never really FREE.)

Ariely puts forth several experiments tested on MIT students and others that reflect we can be seen doing very strange things under certain heightened pressures. That we can take rational, normal persons and turn them into less-than-moral, far-from-societal pillars. (Remind you of the Wall Street?)

It's an interesting read; but it does not dwell or delve greatly into the current malaise. Instead, it picks out specific ideas of why we all are prone to irrational, and predictably so, decisions. That said, while I got something out of the book - it still left me less that satiated. It didn't meet my demands.