The one I feed.

June 2nd, 2008 by De Onion

An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me…It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride and superiority. The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside of you and every other person too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied…”The one I feed.”

I think this parable says a great deal about the Big Conversation, the PLP’s use of racial language and symbolism, and its management by blame.

Random Psych Link

December 20th, 2007 by De Onion

Social Psych – some good stuff in there related to business and politics.

Campers and Partisanship

December 10th, 2007 by De Onion

One of the most destructive things I’ve seen in the world is partisanship – and I’m still looking at a way to get beyond it.

However, this classic social psychology experiment details one of the major problems.

The experiment, conducted in the bewildered aftermath of World War II, was meant to investigate the causes – and possible remedies – of intergroup conflict. How would they spark an intergroup conflict to investigate? Well, the 22 boys were divided into two groups of 11 campers, and –

– and that turned out to be quite sufficient.

The researchers’ original plans called for the experiment to be conducted in three stages. In Stage 1, each group of campers would settle in, unaware of the other group’s existence. Toward the end of Stage 1, the groups would gradually be made aware of each other. In Stage 2, a set of contests and prize competitions would set the two groups at odds.

They needn’t have bothered with Stage 2. There was hostility almost from the moment each group became aware of the other group’s existence: They were using our campground, our baseball diamond. On their first meeting, the two groups began hurling insults.

The good news is that they found a way to solve it:

The boys were informed that there might be a water shortage in the whole camp, due to mysterious trouble with the water system – possibly due to vandals. (The Outside Enemy, one of the oldest tricks in the book.)

When the faucet was finally cleared, the Rattlers, who had canteens, did not object to the Eagles taking a first turn at the faucets (the Eagles didn’t have canteens with them). No insults were hurled, not even the customary “Ladies first”.

It wasn’t the end of the rivalry. There was another food fight, with insults, the next morning. But a few more common tasks, requiring cooperation from both groups – e.g. restarting a stalled truck – did the job. At the end of the trip, the Rattlers used $5 won in a bean-toss contest to buy malts for all the boys in both groups.

After the election one of the biggest tasks for us younger people is going to be to develop a cooperative and mutually respectful discourse.

How to do anything.

December 9th, 2007 by De Onion

Zen thoughts for the day… after Dennis’ excellent series on the numbers behind achievement in the workplace.

From Marty Gaal

My three steps to simplification:
* Make a list of the few things in life that are most important to you.
* Do what’s on the list.
* Do nothing else until your list is complete, or your list changes.

From Gordo Byrn

“Achievement is linked to maximizing our capacity to work, then working.”

Point your goals on the actions required to improve, not the improvement.

…and from my personal notes the Four Steps…

How to do anything:
1. Decide what you want to do.
2. Learn how to do it.
3. Form a plan.
4. Do it.

…and even a Hindu Proverb that holds special meaning in my life…

There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.

I think that’s the one single thing a lot of people miss when they look at achievement, race, education, and Bermuda in general. Doing anything is simply a product of preparing yourself to do it and then going out and achieving. We have a huge culture of blaming instead of doing.

The overwhelmingly negative blame and innuendo laden campaign being run by the PLP is an incredible example of what people are driven to do after a decade of failure to follow the Four Steps.

…I’ve heard this before….

September 10th, 2007 by De Onion

Ok, as tempting as it is to make comparisons of the Correia Construction/Bermuda Emissions non-scandal and the comments about Halliburton being “the most qualified” and justifying no-bid contracts… I’m not going to do that.

Instead I’m going to post an article discussing the reality gap between, for example the belief that some people hold that the Premier sued the Mid Ocean News for printing false information about the BHC scandal and the reality that he only filed a nuisance suit to keep the press quiet. The different between the two cannot be understated – one is the action of an innocent man, the other is that of a guilty man… which of course is why he needs a press officer.

Infowars post link…

…if false information is presented early, it is more likely to be believed, while subsequent attempts to correct the information may, in fact, strengthen the false impression.

The study found that the American participants’ belief in the truth of an initial news report was not affected by knowledge of its subsequent retraction. In contrast, knowing about a retraction was likely to significantly reduce belief in the initial report for Germans and Australians. The researchers note that people are more likely to discount information if they are suspicious of the motives behind its dissemination. The Americans rated themselves as more likely to agree with the official line that the war was to ‘destroy weapons of mass destruction’, whereas the Australian and German participants rated this as far less convincing.

Who turned out to be right? Oh yeah, the skeptics.

The researchers note that people are more likely to discount information if they are suspicious of the motives behind its dissemination.

Er. Yeah. Sounds about right.

I have to disagree with Denis Pitcher that we need a new system of government. Right now what we need is an honest, accountable government that believes rules relating to things like auditing, the Planning Act, and similar legislation apply and is capable of the basic tasks of competently managing the government both in day-to-day terms and in terms of not creating apparent massive conflicts of interest… It doesn’t matter what kind of government we have if our politicians are attempting to manipulate our beliefs of the truth… wagging the dog, so to speak. I feel that if people know the truth and understand things as they are without the need to obfuscate and spin then people inevitably vote the right way. If the PLP are delusional and the UBP are clowns then it’s up to us to change that.

I’ll raise you a Mars for a Venus.

August 4th, 2007 by De Onion

One of the more interesting questions in dealing with sexism and racism is to ensure that one actually understands the mechanics behind aggregated differences between populations. In many cases the results are often very surprising as this article discusses. Obviously, the solutions to gender inequality that stem from differences in haggling behaviour are very different than those that stem from outright sexism.

This is one example of a whole slew of similar studies that find surprising explanations for the seemingly obvious (like one I can’t dig up at the moment that finds that a material cause of wealth inequality between otherwise identical black/white American families is a product of different risk tolerance in financial assets and the corresponding higher return of riskier assets). To gain an appreciation of the difference this would make check out this calculator and see the difference in value of $1000 invested at 6% vs. 8% per year over 30 years (don’t forget to set monthly contributions and taxes to zero, that’s Bermuda’s unfair competitive advantage when it comes to savings).


June 23rd, 2007 by De Onion

On Thursday I joined a number of other youngish Bermudians in a lecture hall at Bermuda College to see Stedman Graham speak… the gazette reporter got better quotes than I did (since I’m sure her short hand is better than mine).

Here are my notes, apologies in advance for not putting this behind a cut… and apologies also for any grammatical or other errors, my secretary was busy not existing so I had to transcribe for myself.

Sweep streets like Michaelangelo painted pictures

Here lived a great sweet sweeper – if you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill then be a scrub in the valley then be the best scrub you can be.

Can’t be a highway, just be a trail.

Be the best of whatever you are. So the question of today is how to become the best of what you area

You first have to be free – what is freedom. We talk about it all the time, but how much? Sweet land of liberty and the pilgrims. Let freedom ring
People talk about it, but the question is how we are free?

regular week – wake up, go to work, come home, watch tv, wash, rinse, repeat, each day. Work, etc.
If you do the same thing yesterday as you do today and what you will do tomorrow then you will have done nothing. Doing it for 30 years with the same schedule. I have no more in the end than I had in the beginning
The missing piece is that most people forget to think.
You’re young, you don’t know who you are – they education system teaches you to remember, regurgitate, get a grade. The question is how can we grow if we don’t think? We may get older but we may not grow mentally because we never get a chance to engage the brain.

So the world defines you buy your house, your care, your family, your money, your job, your religion, your race.

You are put into a box ad are defined by a box. Whoever defines you will always define you as less than them. You can never turn anyone else the potential to define your potential as a human being

How do you take your power back?
How do you own your own self – your own mind
If you don’t own your mind then you are still a slave
A slave follows everyone else, and is waiting for everyone else to tell them what to do .
Followers are looking for leaders, and leaders are not looking for followers – they are looking for other leaders.
Can you be authentic in yourself – can you keep it real? If you can’t engage the world with your mind then you are going through the motions every day doing nothing

Who are you? If you don’t get this then you will be average
There is a process, it’s not a product of wanting to be successful, or to be someone, or because you wen to Wharton or Harvard, or because someone special because your parents have a lot of money, it happens because someone teaches you how. If you don’t get it then you’ll do fine, but you will always be average. You’ll get 2 weeks vacation, but you will still be a slave to the world.

How do you get out of that box? How do you break the cycle? How do you get the program? Break what you have learned in the house.

What do your parent s have to do with you? Nothing.

If you don’t know that the world has unlimited wealth and resources, but we always move in our own small circles because of our fears. The challenge is to change the way we feel and thing about ourselves every single day. Can I be better today than I was yesterday? How do I grow beyond my current circumstances.

If I get stuck in myself then I am going to be the same. The idea of moving beyond yourself and beyond your history and moving into your imagination and moving into the 21st century.

Put your clothes on, an act like you are somebody and don’t have a clue of your possibilities as a human being. When you understand this freedom stuff then that’s where the power is. It’s being the same person when you’re talking to a homeless person or the president of the United States. You know who you are and can be the same personal the time. You never have to apologize for who you are because you just exist. And you are good enough just like you are. Nobody else controls your mind and who you are. You can control your own life and your own destiny.

Knowledge is power.

Worked in the prison system for 5 years, but would have been a prisoner himself if he hadn’t been a basketball player.

All of us have defining moments. His was when he was 13 or 14. there was one store in his town and they used to play pinball and shoot pool and one Saturday he was there an d his buddies. Mr. TA owned the store and he went up to him and told the owner that he was going to college. Mr. TA said, you’re not going to college – your family is too stupid and you’re too dumb. Get hurt and you get mad. So he got mad an d then showed Mr. TA and went to college and got his degree to show Mr. TA that he is somebody. Had to show him that he was somebody. Got his degree, not sure if he learned anything. Then said “I’m not finished with Mr. TA so he went back and got this master’s degree and moved to Chicago and met a woman. Named Oprah, who has a talk show. Who reaches 20 million every day. Very hard thing to be in a relationship with a woman who is very powerful . Needs to prove his value outside that box of that relationship

Freedom is on the inside. People are looking for the freedom in the outside. They are being defined by external things. Watching TV that says “this is who you are”. realized that this i show it works – drew diagram, of him in the centre. We need to say world, we stop working for you….
make the world work for us.

All you have to do is Build the foundation and work on that every single day and only think that you are on the outside. All the inside will come if you work on the foundation of who you are and build it every day. To a 14 year old: You have 80 years to work on yourself every day. Continuous quality improvement.

Bill gates started at age 7 and has been working on improving the process his whole life. He rows to improve every day . If you don’t grow then you will stay the same so you need to change your thinking . This is what makes us all equal. Everyone has 24 hours in a day to do everything. Same 24 hours that bill gates has.. The question is what do you do with your 24 hours? What do people do with their 24 hours.. Some people watch TV.

Things do not happen, things are made to happen – JFK

Control your own destiny. Success means different thinks to different people. Money is a tool.

You can make lots of money easily. Progressive with your vision in what you are doing always trying support parents to be the best that they can be.
What will bring you joy? What makes you feel good about yourself. Check your feelings, how do you feel about the world and your work. When you are able to develop the strength to enhance your feelings so you feel good every single day. Have a good day, 7 days, good week 4 weeks, good month 12 good months, then you have had a good year, 70 good years and you have had a good life. What are your habits and to they make you feel good about yourself.. They are long-term success, they work toward the back end and then work on the back end to get the things on the front end. He has worked all these years to be able to come to Bermuda and play golf all day and have a nice dinner buffet. He gets a chance to stay at Cambridge Beaches. Want it on the back end, work toward something.. Get to be 70 or 80 and you don’t want to have to go back to work and start all over because you didn’t understand front and back end. Success is living a fully engaged life in which all of your gifts and talents are developed and put to their highest uses.
101 is just out of the woods, will cuss, will steal, will lie, will cheat, want everything right now. 102 103 104 – they are like understanding how it works. 105s are running the world. What is possible for you?

Stages of life.

If you cannot read, then you will fail. If you don’t graduate from high school then you will make minimum wage. I f you don’t have those stages then your life is bad. If you miss anyone then you are in a tough place.

Staying school so you can create value so you can take care of yourself
The nine step success, process is a systematic approach to organizing and achieving life goals and ambitions. It’s the how.

Nobody taught me how to think.

Break down a step by step process for how things work. See a lot of people with dead eyes. They are not in the game. See a lot of people who have no goals and no aspirations. They are walking around and they think that they are tough. They can swing to the music. People dance to the music, but when do they stop dancing. There’s more to life than dancing.

Nine steps if implemented consistently then I will build personal and career effectiveness, Help build internal capacity, people respond to value. Create value. Can you add value? If you can then you can create value. How much value can you create. The value you give yourself is directly related to the value that other people give you. Note to self: Not backed up by research. At all. People see you as you see yourself. Have to move our eyes from walking looking down to walking like you’re looking up.

You are a brand and you are the one that creates that value by how you build value for yourself. The world picks you out and says you are not like everyone else. 88 percent are looking for thinkers and leaders. Looking for smart talented people who you don’t have to supervise every single day because you are losing money if you are supervising. Are you hungry, do you want it. We get comfortable and don’t get happy. Then we do nothing and lose huger because we are fat dumb and happy. Never get comfortable. We want the whole world, not just Bermuda.

You teach people how to treat you, much of it is from style or class.

In Bermuda we are taught class. The world relates to the law of the jungle and only the strong survive. How do you create strength in your life. Men and boys programs who have los t their strength . When you are a lion and you lose your strength then you can’t survive in the jungle and as soon as people see your weakness they exploit it. They leave the strong alone,

1. Know yourself. Check your ID

Love is the most powerful. Opposite is hate, and you have o power when negative because that is weakness.

Stay on the positive side and do what is right. Then powerful layers and accumulation of things that are good. If you do not get the first step then you will be a follower and you will never be above average.

What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses? MJ going to basketball.
What are your patterns of behaviour?
– What are your passions?
– What do you love to do?
– How do I connect the dots if you are not altering your patterns.
Many people are stuck doing the same thing.

Past, present, and future – sometimes the biggest obstacles to success are those that we unconsciously put in our own paths.
– Past hurts and negative attitudes hold you back
– Bring the good things from your past forward
– Learn from the bad things and let them go.
The future is clear and is what we are clear. Our present is what we have right now. If every time then we can taint the present and future if we bring our past forward.
The key is to disconnect yourself from your history. Your past can hold you captive, abuse, bad family situation, your friends, etc. Sometimes you need to disconnect from your friends and your circumstances who are trying to pull you down and put you in that box. When you try and be a leader people will pull you down. Who will try and take you out first. What space can you get in that is going to help you crate opportunity, Create fertile ground in which you can grow. If you are in an environment where you can’t grow then you need to get out.

I can be my possibilities, I don’t have to be my parents. I had to disconnect myself from my parent’s thinking. They did the best they could. He had to remove himself from that thinking and it’s how you think that will determine your thinking and your social standard.

Step 2 create your vision. Your life’s destination. Your outlook on life. Where you are going and what you want to get. Vision is your dreams and your hope.

Most people are in the present and the past and not vision in the future. Create opportunities based on what you see that is possible and build backward. Figuring what is possible from e and organizing the things that he can do every day. What do you care about, who do you I want to become, what’s my vision for myself. What is going to give me value. He plays golf. Golf is his culture around golf and he organized how he would actualize his passion. – Golf instructor, – Information around golf – equipment – relationships – travel with golf
– look on the internet. real estate around golf. Golf is one thing that allows him to perfect, build, and enjoy. Grow your game if you did this with everything you love then 24 hours to work it. His day. How can he take that day and make it work for him. when he goes to bed the day is over. Vision is moving beyond your bills. Why are you struggling with money?… because you have no vision of what is possible. Builds hundreds of relationships and can pick u the phone. Best way to predict your future is to create it.

Realistic, meaningful, well-defined.
personal business plan. Need to research and become clear how ou are going to do it.

Step 3 – develop your travel plan.

Planning saves time. Plan – look at the plan. Get input when it’s on paper, creates focus.

Personal branding.
Build your own life brand. – book by Stedman.

Note to self; create pie chart of how to spend your day.

Branding is the image created in the minds of people when they see or hear a particular name, product, or logo.

Strong brands offer long term promises and performance. They demonstrate a strong commitment to quality and value.

Avoiding the pitfalls of reality…

June 20th, 2007 by De Onion

Since there happens to be plenty of evidence coming to light that should change people’s beliefs but in many cases won’t, here’s a nifty article on cognitive dissonance.


June 7th, 2007 by De Onion

Read this post… then check out the responses to evidence of corruption.

…there are two systems at work in motivated reasoning: a cold system, that works to come to an accurate conclusion given the input from the environment and memory, and a hot system, driven by emotion, that seeks to come to a desired conclusion (and thus “maximize positive affect and minimize negative affect”) by biasing the input and interpretation of information from the environment and memory with which the cold system can work.

The study is concerned specifically with how political partisans, people who are committed to one political party, and specifically to one candidate, utilize the “hot” and “cold” systems in reasoning when presented with “threatening” information about that candidate. Utilizing imaging work like that of Goel and Dolan (discussed in yesterday’s post), Westen et al. predict that when partisans are presented with threatening information about their candidate, they will see increased activation in areas associated with “hot” cognition, specifically the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex (an area associatwiththe emotion and reward), along with suppression of activity in areas associated with “cold” cognition, such as the lateral prefrontal cortex.

Talking heads…

May 29th, 2007 by De Onion

In policy discussion there’s a very real tendency to simply repeat an incorrect or unusual viewpoint until people accept it. The Bush administration were masters at this – they repeated the same thing until people believed it….

Turns out that repeating an opinion enough times is almost as effective as having a large number of people believe it. This is perhaps especially important on the Bermuda blogsphere where a small number of very loud and very repetitive posters make up a large percentage of total post volume.