Saturday, September 22, 2007

Freedom of Speech and Abusing the Right

Dateline Fort Collins, Colorado: The Colorado State University campus there. An editorial ran recently:

"Taser this ... F*** Bush."

The expletive was spelled out.

An article covering it reads: ""I think they went over the line a little bit, but it's free speech and they're allowed to write what they want," one student told 7NEWS."

Yes, because everyone has a right to free speech. I have nothing wrong with free speech or anyone practicing any other rights. But where do those rights end?

Two places:

1. When the practice of that right becomes something that inhibits someone else from living their life or pursuing liberty or happiness.

2. When they abuse that right.

I will stand up any day for any person to practice their rights, but when they violate one of the above I take a step back and take a look at the real character of the person practicing their right.

Moral of the story: Rights are only such because they don't infringe on everyone else or when it is an abuse.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Going and Graduating From College: How Does Your Country Stack Up?

A brief piece over at The Economist offers some insight into college entry and graduation rates at a cross section of countries. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shovel the Snow, Form the Habit

Tonight we’ll be taking a look at some wisdom from elsewhere: How forming a walking path through snow is much like self-engineering a set of favorable habits.

The process of forming habits [is] as walking home through fresh snow. The first person to go through the snow has to forge a path through the snow, and it’s difficult … but others will follow in that path and it gets easier and easier.

Forming a habit is a matter of forging that initial path until it’s harder not to take the path. Who wants to forge a new path through the snow?

But let’s take that concept a little further: what if you engineered it so that even the initial person forging through the snow would rather take that path than another, because it would be harder not to take the path.

Engineer your habit change so that it’s harder not to form the habit.”

Read the full article here.

The ebook, though not free, can be found here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It Doesn’t (Necessarily) Take an MBA

Many people in recent decades have been incessantly taught that college is the right way to go: Get a good job, retire, so on and so forth. While in this conventional wisdom lie some very valid points—education is completely worthwhile, there are diminishing returns in some scenarios. The classic picture of an Ivy League education being responsible for making one’s way up the corporate ladder and into the corner office isn’t necessarily the one that is based in reality.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Most CEOs of the biggest corporations didn't attend Ivy League or other highly selective colleges. They went to state universities, big and small, or to less-known private colleges.

In fact, I know for a fact (as the article reports), went to Pittsburg State University in the small community of Pittsburg, KS: A place where I resided for a small time. An accounting major there, H. Lee Scott ascended to the top spot in the world’s top corporation: Certainly no small feat.

In fact, the “Oracle of Omaha,” the third-richest man in the world Warren Buffett, is quoted as saying “I don't care where someone went to school, and that never caused me to hire anyone or buy a business.

Following the line of logic that this allows, let’s take a look at Gabriel Hammod, a Johns Hopkins student who had his mind set on law school. During the course of his undergraduate years there, however, he traded stocks, placing $1000 on Caterpillar. Finding he had a knack for it, Gabriel decided to join Goldman Sachs as a stock analyst. Instead of going to business school for an MBA, like many of his colleagues, he chose to raise $5 million and start his own hedge fund, Alerian Capital Management. Three years into it, his company now manages $300 million from New York and Dallas. Gabriel, on the other hand, at the age of 28, enjoys a seven-figure salary.

What was his logic?

Like other young people on the fast track, Mr. Hammond has run the numbers and figures that an M.B.A. is a waste of money and time — time that could be spent making money. “There’s no way that I would consider it,” he says.

The finance world is rife with these sorts of stories.

At funds that manage $1 billion to $3 billion, people with just a few years of finance experience will make $337,000 this year, Mr. Zoia says, and those with five to nine years of experience will average $830,000, up 6 percent from last year. These estimates include analysts and researchers but not portfolio traders, who can make much more because they sometimes share in profits.

The moral of this story is clear: While extrinsic qualifications such as college degrees and other pieces of paper are good, intrinsic qualifications such as leadership skill, are the make-or-break critical factor in success.

Monkey Mondays: Rare Monkey-Picked Tea

This wild tea was considered so delicious that other people began to train monkeys to collect this rare wild tea. Nowadays the practice of monkeys picking tea has all but died out, except in one small remote village where they still continue this remarkable tradition. No monkeys are harmed or mistreated in order for us to bring this rare brew to you! In fact the monkeys and their ancestors before them have been doing this job for generations

Rare Monkey-Picked Tea