Archive | Opinion

Intuition vs Thinking

Albert Einstein on Intuition Much of what I want to reiterate here was gone over in depth by Michael R. LeGault in his book Think – Why Crucial Decisions Can’t be Made in the Blink of an Eye (2006.) However, my views are based on my own area of expertise and experience. My experience might differ from yours.

Today I watched a series of tweets emerge about the wonders of intuition. These tweets were posted by a professional boxer who has become very good at his trade … a trade based on reactions and reaction time … which in turn are based on hours upon hours of practice and ‘experience.’ I fear people reading those 140 character gems of wisdom may try to apply them to major life and business decisions thinking that they are employing intuition. I truly fear the decisions they will make.

Definitions

Before we go any further, lets look at some definitions:

Intuition according to Google is, “a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.” (2nd definition)

Thinking (Google again) is, “the process of using one’s mind to consider or reason about something.”

Lets throw one more definition into the mix because it is so very important to this discussion:

Experience is (going with Dictionary.com, 4th definition for this example,) “knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone.”

The argument I want to make in the discussion of Intuition vs Thinking is that intuition is not worth anything without some sort of experience to base it on. Gut feeling (intuition) is something you must develop with time and hands-on experience. Further, you must learn to apply that experience broadly to the situation at hand if you have no direct experience in the topic. (ie. If you are a boxer, you might make very good intuitive decisions when playing a game of pick up basketball … but your intuition might lead you astray if you are jumped by a smart player in the boardroom. Intuition can be relied on in situations with a lot of crossover with your area of expertise, but should only be broadly applied in areas where your experience does not have so much crossover.)

Intuition is not Mystical

There is a popular stereotype of intuition as it being some mystical thing; something based on being in tune with the universe or some internal god. This is all silly. There is nothing mystical or godlike in the development of intuition. It might LOOK godlike or unexplainable to those who don’t have your experience which probably explains this belief, but rest assured … the god’s are not speaking to you … you are not our saviour. lol. Your good intuition is based on the depth of your experience, nothing more.

The Tie Between Experience and Intuition – based on my own life.

My personal definition of intuition is: “the application of experience to a given situation.

I am an appliance repair person. (Ya, I never intended to reveal this depth of who I am here, but the balance of privacy and qualification online is tricky.) I’m the guy you call when your washing machine or fridge is broken. I’ve been doing this 5 or 6 days a week for 26 years. I visit 8 to 12 homes a day. I have a LOT of experience … and I have incredible ‘intuition.’ When I take apprentices out for training, they are alway amazed at how I can just ‘know’ what is wrong with an appliance almost before touching it. Guys (and gals) …. it’s all based on experience! There is nothing that I have not seen in one form or another when it comes to a broken appliance. NOTHING! Oh, the appliance might be new and the controls might be different, but I’ve seen so many ‘problems’ in the past that the crossover of my experience makes my intuition almost perfect. My biggest problem is not believing my intuition. When I make a mistake, I can almost always go back and look at my initial thoughts of a problem and see where I took the wrong path. Almost 100% of the time the mistake was made at the point where I ignored my ‘first impression’ or ‘gut feeling’ and went with some other theory.

Now … did I always have intuition? No way! I’ve made so many mistakes in appliance diagnosis over the years! Especially at the beginning of my career, if I deviated from the troubleshooting flowcharts, I was screwed. But as I made those mistakes, I built up the internal database of experience that my intuition now draws from. I often have no clue where I’ve seen something before; no clue why I feel one direction is right and the other is wrong. The actual basis for the experience is lost from memory, but the application of that experience in the form of intuition lives on.

How to Apply Intuition in Your Life

I hope I’ve not bored readers with my own story and experience and I learned about intuition long after I developed it, but I think that certain things can be done to both develop your own intuition and to mitigate any damage done by bad intuition.

First of all … think! Take that ‘gut feeling’ and put it up on a pedestal in your mind. Look at it from all directions. See where it leads. Can you figure out where that feeling came from? Does it lead you somewhere else that might provide an answer to your problem? But until you have a reservoir of experience to draw from, think before you act.

Practice mindfully. This might not be easy in the heat of the moment. (I was also a boxer, a very poor boxer in a previous life … almost 20 years ago now. I did not learn much from my mistakes. I jumped into situations that I was not equipped to handle … and I spent too much time working on emotion rather than rational thought.) Practice is learning time, but to know what you’ve learned from any given experience, you must think about it. Review the game or fight or event in your mind afterward. Did your actions bring about victory? Did they almost lead you to defeat … were you wrong? If so, why and how? How can you do better next time? Maybe write it down (I think they call that journaling … whatever.) Learn from both your victories and your mistakes. Think now, so that in the heat of the battle you can act because you’ve already though. (Thank you David Allen of Getting Things Done for that gem.)

Finally, when you do act on intuition, review the event. How did intuition come to you? Was it a voice (internal talk?) Was it a feeling in the pit of your stomach, or was it a thought or image the popped into your mind? (That’s how my intuition generally works: a thought or picture jumps into my conscious mind.) Was it right? Can you rely on it? Can you make it happen again?

A huge thanks to Ed Latimore: 13-0 boxer (at the time of this writing), chess player and thinker for bringing up this topic on twitter. Good stuff … lots of good thinking  (and intuition) to be done on this topic!

0

San Bernardino Victim Deserved to Die Because …

The sub-title of this post could be ‘Why I no longer post on Facebook.’

NYDailyNews_001The NY Daily News just published an article that in every way defines the Western Liberal hatred of anything Christian or Conservative – “San Bernardino killers were radical, ISIS-loving monsters — but one of their victims was just as bigoted.

The author, a Linda Stasi seems to be living up to her namesake by promoting the view that anyone who believes in Christian or Conservative values … and dares voice those opinions … deserves to die.  From this hate filled article:

Nicholas Thalasinos, was a radical Born Again Christian/Messianic Jew

Thalasinos was an anti-government, anti-Islam, pro-NRA, rabidly anti-Planned Parenthood kinda guy, who posted that it would be “Freaking Awesome” if hateful Ann Coulter was named head of Homeland Security.

He asked, “IS 1. EVERY POLITICIAN IS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR?

2. EVERY POLITICIAN IS A MORON?

So lets look at what this man was according to The Stasi:

  • Born again Christian. I’m a born again Christian …
  • Anti-government. I’m a small government Conservative (often construed by left wing haters as anti-government.)
  • Anti-Islam. Islam teaches the Mo was greater than Jesus. In that way I am anti-Islam.
  • Pro-NRA. I support gun ownership.
  • Anti-Planned Parenthood. I am Pro-Life.
  • Ann Coulter supporter. I like Ann … and support many of her views.
  • Paid for politicians?  Asked this myself just yesterday as I read about the Canadian delegation to the Paris Climate junket.
  • Politicians morons?  I wonder about this too … (see the NDP here in Canada.)

So wait, all the things that The Stasi says this man should die for … many of those things, I am too?  And not only me, but many, many Christian Conservatives are too? Wait. So, if he deserved to die, do I deserve to die too?

This thinking, promoted by the 4th largest print newspaper in the US, should be viewed as a warning.  We need to understand that, in North America, are not at war with ISIS or Syria.  The war that is coming at us is from within.  It is from those that hate Christ … those that hate liberty … and especially those that view opposition as something that needs to die.

This is why I left Facebook and why I use a pseudonym as protection.  There is no doubt in my mind that the day is coming, and may already be here, when people who believe the things that I believe will be grouped and targeted.  Facebook and other social medias will either be complicit or coerced into forwarding the data that we give voluntarily everyday in our social media posts.  Read the above article, and listen to what The Stasi is saying … and think about the end game.  Where is she going with this?  What will be the effect on you and your loved ones?  Are you and your family safe?

0

What is a Refugee?

I grew up in the 80’s, so my internal picture of what a refugee looks like is painted by the famines in Uganda and Ethiopia when we saw primarily women and children dying of malnourishment and disease.  Time and National Geographic produced image after image of humans in the most desperate straights – literally dying on the page.  These were those that caught the worlds attention.  These were truly helpless.  These were true victims of circumstance.

d57130477a2156599f0c3d6c6a82f7b3b9175d1b

50176475

kevin-carter-vulture

These are the images that formed the description of what a refugee looks like in my mind. These people needed our help! They were in such dire need that they literally could not help themselves.

Then in the 90’s we had the Rwandan genocide. Thousands upon thousands of humans desperate to escape sure death – again the majority being women and children – the innocents. Many escaping extermination ended up dying of disease brought on by undernourishment and unsanitary conditions found in refugee camps. Upwards of 1 million people died in the Rwandan conflict.

78969-racism

tumblr_mz5hozTSwl1tpua2to1_1280


 

Contrast those images with the images we have of today’s ‘refugees’.

Men3

Only men? All seem well dressed. None appear to be malnourished.

 

RefugeeSelfies

Again … only men? After ‘reaching safety’ – well dressed. Well fed. With smart phones??

So we’ve gone from the dead and dying refugees of the 80’s and 90’s to packs of young, well dressed men … with smart phones.  I know some will say I’m cherry picking photos, and I am, but one thing you will not find in the 80’s refugee photos is young men.  Most estimates I’ve read is that the ‘refugees’ from Syria are 80% men.  80%!!!  Where are the true refugees?  Where are the innocent children?  Why only men?

Finally, these ‘refugees’ are now turning into this:

Men9

So, not only do we have healthy young men being called ‘refugees’, but these young men are so healthy that they can riot and wage war with the police of the countries they’ve ‘escaped’ to. If they were truly refugees of war, why not fight the oppressors in their own countries instead running riot in landed countries?

The ‘refugee’ of today is NOT the refugee of yesterday … to call these rioting young men ‘refugees’ is an insult to the memory of true refugees everywhere.


EDIT

Almost to prove my point, Canada’s John McCallum (Immigration minister) posts a picture on Twitter yesterday showing him meeting ‘newly arrived Syrian refugees’  … all males!  (I couldn’t make this stuff up … lol.)

Men10

This little piece of Liberal propaganda just shows how unlike any past refugees the current crop of ‘refugees’ really are.

Why? Why are we calling these people refugees? Why are we bringing them into our countries by the 10’s of thousands? Why are we giving them more health care, housing and food than our own poor? Something is going on here, and it’s not about refugees because I know what a refugee looks like … and these aren’t it.

0

Liberals Vow To Cut Contribution Limits to TFSA’s – The Math

This was originally published in a private newsletter by Derek Foster author of  The Idiot Millionaire Books.  Reprinted with permission.

I am certain this article will rub some of you the wrong way – but I need to write this…

The election news over the last little bit has focused on the niqab issue or the expulsion of terrorists from Canada.  Although these issues are important, I usually vote based on a logical “dollars and cents” analysis – NOT emotion!

So I have a few thoughts…

The Liberals and NDP worry me with their huge spending promises which will be funded by a return to deficits.  Governments have an abysmal record of handling taxpayer money, and small projected deficits easily turn into larger deficits which require government cuts down the road along with tax increases, BUT…

The much bigger issue is the general attitude of the parties towards us.  One of the best gifts to investors has been the creation of the TFSAs (tax-free savings accounts).  In this election, the Liberals have vowed to cut the contribution limits to these plans and instead force mandatory increases in CPP contributions (and benefits).  Let’s look at this promise in a little more detail – using simple math…

Right now, the maximum contribution amounts for CPP is $4,960/year (which maxes out at incomes of $53,600).  CPP is paid by working individuals between the ages of 18-65 (with a few exceptions).  For the maximum contribution, you would be assured the maximum benefit at age 65 of $12,780/ year for life.

What if instead of this mandatory CPP scenario, people took the $4,960 per year and invested it within the tax-free sheltered TFSA?

A quick search online shows that the average return of Canadian stock markets since 1970 (the year I was born) has averaged around 9% per year.
So, $4,960 invested yearly from ages 18-65 at 9% becomes… $3,389,000!

I would rather have a tax-free $3 million than the crumbs offered from CPP! Even if you ignore the portion the employer contributes, you would still end up with over $1.5 million!

For an apples to apples analysis, I searched a guaranteed annuity for life at age 65 and this nest egg would generate around $96,300 in income per year (or $192,600 per year with the employer contribution included) – compared to the $12,780 from CPP.

For anyone who is financially literate and not voting based on emotions, the choice is a no-brainer…

I will be voting Conservative….

Cheers,

Derek Foster (The Idiot Millionaire)

0

Tim Ferriss: Master Marketer or Just Another Spammer

Ferriss

Tim, Tim, Tim …

I’ve been following Tim Ferriss since the early days of the ‘yellow background‘ blog.  Back then he wrote to the common people; cool topics that fed dreams and encouraged people to break out of the rut they were in.  Stuff like travel planning, gaining muscle while losing fat, to-do lists, language learning … cool stuff … the stuff of dreams!  Back then, it was not about selling kitchy garbage, carrying on about angel investing as if it is curing cancer or titillating tales of practicing sex.   Even back then he showed shades of the Internet Marketer he’s become (name dropping, crosslinking, etc.,) but it was muted and mostly hidden which is the way internet marketing should be done.

Then came his 1st book: The 4-Hour Workweek.  Brilliant!!  It was the right book at the right time.  It gave hope to people and provided a tangible step-by-step plan that people with balls (and no family) could follow to maybe get lucky and break away from the drudging path they were on.  I loved that book and still dig it out and reread parts of it about once a year.  To promote the book, Tim put himself out there … and that is where he began to fall (or show his true colors.)  Book promoting is one thing = most authors do it, but self promotion = that was a Tim thing.  It was not about the book anymore, or about helping people; it was about him and what he thought and what he was doing and what junky bauble he was using in his kitchen (with an Amazon link of course.)  Everyone wanted to be like Tim.  … and Tim got rich.  Yep, the book was/is a best seller, but the Internet Marketing money was the goal and continues to be the driving force behind most of what Tim does.  And the thing is: we were all sucked in by it!  We shopped at those virtual shops and bought that junk ’cause we thought it would make us Tim.  I wonder how many ‘fans’ out there are trudging off to work right now to trying to cover the minimum payments on their debt, some of which they accumulated buying the crap that Tim promoted at them.  I’ll bet there are a lotta desk drawers or boxes in basements that contain the hopes and dreams they were sold by Tim = the Internet Marketer.  Before I go on, don’t get me wrong.  I believe that we all are responsible for the place we find ourselves.  Your debt is your debt (and it’s your fault, not Tim’s.)  You made the choices you did … nobody forced you.  So even though I see what Tim is doing as slimy Internet Marketing, you are responsible for the bag of magic beans you’ve bought.

Which brings us to Tim’s fans.  I suppose I was once like this (it’s hard to look back and be objective about what I did back then), but I’ve never seen such a bunch of sycophantic, fawning, brain dead sheeple in all my life!  (Except maybe Obama supporters in the early days … lol.)  The ‘hipsters’ of today are SOOO blind to the bill of goods they are being sold!  Maybe it’s a product of being brought up in the information age with everything available at the keyboard and flitting from one 140 character pearl of wisdom to the next … always searching and never finding.  I feel sorry for them – they are going to be the next generation of unfulfilled, debt ridden schlubs, slowly unwinding their lives toward death.  … but sheeple have always been sheeple.  From the early days of playing pass the apples (in the garden) to ‘come, let us kill him’, people have allowed themselves to be mindless followers.  Some follow their own greed while others blindly follow the herd … like sheep.  And this herd of followers seems to be the worst of all.  Get this.  They are following a guy whose original message was … do your own thing … be who you want to be – and they follow him by trying to do what he does and trying to be him.  If it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable.

Back to Tim.  His last two books are crap: at best coffee table books to show visitors how hip and cool you are = full of pretty pictures and big ideas, but short on real life … book candy, not meat and potatoes books.

And now we come to Tim the spammer.

A couple of months ago, Tim decided to tap the barrel of his blog and set up a mailing list asking people to opt in.  In return he’s been sending out posts full of fluffy nonsense and affiliate links.  And people are sucking this crap up!  Oh my, the Facebook Fans are the most unbearable!  Not a brain to be found in the bunch (and if somebody dares walk upstream they are quickly ridiculed and shot down by Tim fanatics.) So sad.  So sad to see soooo many lovely people, sons and daughters, young fathers and mothers, sucking on the teet of an Internet Marketing spammer.  Do you really think you are going to get sustenance from that teet?  Is it going to put food on your table, or provide for your future or even satisfy your craving for a new life?  It’s a dry tit people – no matter how hard you suck, nothing of any substance is going to come out!  Spit it out, get real and build your own way!

Then, last week Tim started with the Internet Marketing spammers trick of ‘ooops, I forgot the link’ or in Tim’s case, ‘Damnation! So sorry about email dupes! Thank you for your patience this week + next. If I fuck it up again, I’ll give away more prizes.’  Sheeple … this is classic Internet Marketing!  He’s doing this on purpose!  This is list building 101 and is used (and taught) by every internet marketing spamming guru out there!  Open yer eyes and see for real the slug that is feeding you this nonsense!  The funny part is, the people he’s spamming are sucking it up:

“No worries. You may be superhuman, but you are still human.”

“No worries. it is makes me feel better to know that you also fuck things up occasionally”

“You are being to hard on yourself, it’s okay, really.

Fawning fans.  It’s a sickness and one that is spreading like a virus … affecting the minds of good folks everywhere.  People: pull the wool out of yer eyes … pull away the facade that Tim is hiding behind and see slimy slug that you are feeding on!  Alas, I don’t have much confidence that many will break free.  Hope is the driving force behind the hopeless and ‘broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many travel it.’

Tim Ferriss is both a marketing master and an internet spammer … but he’s the worst kind of both in that he does not care who he hurts as he leads the people down the proverbial garden path …

Want hope?  Get real!  Do something tangible!  Grab an axe and build a woodpile (so to speak.)

NOTE:  After writing this post (my 1st real post here …) I Googled to see if anybody else was seeing Tim for what he really is and found this absolute gem by Penelope Trunk called 5 Time management tricks I learned from years of hating Tim Ferriss.  The comments are the fun stuff … lol.  Plus seeing Tim comment on Penelope’s Blog and then mention her on his blog two days later … makes this post even more priceless.

Oooo … another one:  Are You Riding The Tim Ferriss Wheel?  Nice!

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes