So, I was thinking...

The Old Way of Marketing Sucks

So, I was thinking…when are companies and scammers going to realize that their old ways of communicating with people are losing their effectiveness every day?

We live in a world where information is made available to us in seconds. We have more ways to connect to people we don’t really care about than ever before. We have an air of instant gratification and expect that something should be free or at a price we deem acceptable. We have streaming entertainment content, and that which can’t be streamed can be recorded for playback later.

However, I still get phone calls from scammers and other numbers I don’t know via my cell phone. I still get marketing emails from companies I didn’t ask for, but had to provide my email to while doing business. I have signed up for eBills and scheduled my automatic payments to be sent from my bank website, so I rarely check my physical mail, but when I do I sift through it for any envelopes, but only those with a recognizable company name, and only in the shape of a bill I knew I couldn’t get as an eBill. I still get commercials peddling the same drugs and other noise I would otherwise mark as Spam if it were in the context of an email.

My phone calls get screened, my emails get marked as spam (without any effort to unsubscribe myself, as it is usually fruitless), my non-first-class mail gets thrown into the recycling before I even make it back in the house, and unrecognized mail gets torn before even opening the envelope. It has even gotten to that point with email, such that I don’t even bother reading the email message if I did not ask for it, or the subject line is not compelling enough to peak my interest. I DVR all my television recordings and play them back on my own terms, and skip forward through the commercials.

In a world that is more connected than ever before, I and others like me are getting harder and harder to reach with the old forms of marketing and monitization. So what is the next move for companies and their efforts to attract new consumers?

Probably the best thing I can think of would be the reasons why I purchased anything over the past couple months: recommendations from trusted sources.

There’s a difference between a paid advertisement and a recommendation from a user…and consumers can tell which is which. I have purchased Android Apps on the recommendation of an existing user, coupled with the App being a solution to a problem. However, just one of those is not enough to sway my interest to the point of purchase.

So, if I were running a company, this is the direction I would have my marketing department move towards - ditch the old ways of harrassing consumers, produce quality products, and solve a problem with them. People want solutions to things, whether it’s boredom or an issue at hand, and if you can constantly produce quality solutions, you’ll have yourself a loyal consumer base without the spam and harrassment of the old shotgun marketing approach.

…but I was just thinking.


Faster-than-light travel

Let’s start by making some basic assumptions:

  1. The laws of physics are the same throughout the universe (with isolated exceptions like Blackholes)
  2. There are other sentient beings in the universe.
  3. It is not illogical to make preparations for a first-contact event here on Earth.
  4. An arrival of extraterrestrial beings happened faster than the normal observation time of an object moving through our solar system.

So, assuming that there are other advanced, intelligent, sentient life forms in the universe, that have arrived at our planet in a timely fashion from our closest neighbor, Alpha Centauri @ 4.37 light years away. However, our fastest rocket only goes 25,000 mph or so.

4.37 LY = 25,689,044,200,000 miles = X

To make that trip with our fastest rocket, you’d get X / 25000 miles = 1,027,561,768 hours; or 42,815,073.7 days; or 117,301.572 years. There’s no point in grouping it any further, since it’s already understandable that with our current technology, a destination that far would still not be reached even if the very first humans to walk on two feet took off for it.

But the assumption is that the laws of physics are universal, and that the aliens arrived here nonetheless. So when that is considered, they were able to do it. The question for thinkers, scientists, and sci-fi writers alike is “How?”

How does one take existing laws, chemical compounds, processes & mathematics, rework them into new processes and outcomes to get a 117,302 year journey down to 10 years? 5 Years? 1 Year? 6 Months?

If we are preparing scenarios where first contact is made on Earth, then we have to assume it is possible, instead of limiting ourselves with the “impossible.”


MSDN Training & Certification Courses

A collection of Training & Certification courses offered by Microsoft on their MSDN Website.


Free Webcast UC Berkeley College Courses

Free course offerings in nearly every department/study that UC Berkeley has to offer.

I’ve decided to go through my Delicious account, and pick some interesting/useful old-skool bookmarks that I saved a long time ago. I shall call this #OldSkoolBookmarkMonday.


How to start your own business

A helpful resource for starting your own business. Tips from people who have done it, some things to think about, how to handle the difficulty of back-end work, etc.

I’ve decided to go through my Delicious account, and pick some interesting/useful old-skool bookmarks that I saved a long time ago. I shall call this #OldSkoolBookmarkMonday.


How to do some popular Disco Dance Steps

I’ve decided to go through my Delicious account, and pick some interesting/useful old-skool bookmarks that I saved a long time ago. I shall call this #OldSkoolBookmarkMonday

Clicking on the title above, or the icon to the right will take you to a webpage with instructions for how to do some popular disco moves.



Ain’t this the truth…

betterbooktitles:

Donald J. Trump: Think Big by Lying and Mudslinging and Congratulating Yourself Constantly


Stop quoting Ezekiel 33:11 out of context

To everyone (and I’ve seen several people doing it) quoting Ezekiel 33:11 out of context to shame everyone else for celebrating the triumph of good over evil - STOP IT! You should be ashamed of yourself - although, pastors do it every Sunday in their sermons, so I shouldn’t expect anything different from people who listen to those sermons.

Ezekiel 33:11 says:

Say to them, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?”

But people conveniently chop off everything but the bolded portion, and use it as a defense against any celebration. Why don’t you go read the whole Chapter 33, instead of quoting one verse. Then you’ll find out that this is not what it’s talking about.

Ezekiel 33 starts off with an parable/explanation…

1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 ”Son of man [aka Ezekiel], speak to your people and say to them: “When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.”

 7 ”Son of man, I have made you [Ezekiel] a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you [Ezekiel] do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you [Ezekiel] accountable for their blood. 9 But if you [Ezekiel] do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself [Ezekiel] will be saved.

 10 ”Son of man [Ezekiel], say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you [Israel] are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we [Israel] are wasting away because of them. How then can we [Israel] live?”’

This is a story about Ezekiel and his warning to Israel. The story says: The Lord is about to open a can of whoop-ass on Israel, and the Lord appointed Ezekiel to be their watchman. If Ezekiel goes and tells them they’re about to get destroyed, but they don’t heed his words - it’s their own damn fault that they get killed. However, if Ezekiel doesn’t provide the warning he was appointed to provide, then all of Israel’s sin is heaped onto Ezekiel.

Now, finish off the story…

11 Say to them [Israel], “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?”

 12 ”Therefore, son of man [Ezekiel], say to your people [Israel], ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’ 13 If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. 14 And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right— 15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.

 17 ”Yet your people [Israel] say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their [Israel’s] way that is not just. 18 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, they will die for it. 19 And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so. 20 Yet you Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you [Israelites] according to your own ways.”

This is a story that is about one person doing what they were called to do, and the consequences of doing it or not doing it. If you’re going to be the bold person to quote this into someone’s face, you had better have tried to make a disciple out of Osama bin Laden before doing so - because you too, like Ezekiel, were commanded in Matt 28:19-20…

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

So stop it. In this story, you were Ezekiel, bin Laden was Israel. You didn’t do your job to save him, and he died. That means you get his sin heaped onto you.

Or it means that you can’t quote this scripture because the consequence is too harsh and “unjust” like the Israelites complained.



Mathematical Dance Moves


Congress: Here’s 7 solutions to make the CITIZENS happy!

This post will probably have some “choice” words in it, so if you’re offended easily, you may be excused.

Right, let’s get started.

  1. Single-Initiative bills. Fuck you and your pork, and special interests, and earmark bullshit in your 600-page bills. There’s no reason for a properly written bill to be over 50 pages, or even 25 pages. There’s no reason for a bill about health care to include a subsidy for a farm, or a bill about taxes to include funding for one city’s local park. If you want the government to provide money for a park, put it in a bill by itself, and see if the rest of congress agrees that the government should reach that far. No more slipping things in as owed favors, special interest, or just ‘cause you can.
  2. OMG Term Limits. Back in the day, serving in Congress was a duty to the people, not a long-term career choice. After 2 election cycles you are no longer in touch with your constituents…you’re a citizen of Capital Hill. If a president can’t serve several terms in order to get things done, then neither should congress be allowed to. I should not have to hear about the difficulty congress has when it comes to issues like Net Neutrality. If you don’t know what that is, you’re too old to be in Congress. If you have your aids use a computer because you don’t know how, you’re too old to be in Congress. Pack up your shit and get a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart, like everyone else your age.
  3. Presidential Line-Item Veto. Until you get Single-Initiative Bills on the desk of the president, he should have the right to veto any of the earmark bullshit that the dip-shits in congress slide into the bill to appease their special interest backers. None of this “sending the bill back” for them to draft a new one. Bullshit. That takes & wastes time. State governors have it, why not the president?
  4. Budgeted Budget. Republicans - you get $500 Billion a year. Democrats - you get $500 Billion a year. Every bill you pass must be paid for in the $500 Billion your party has. This includes wars. Unless we are attacked, if you want to go save a country, it comes out of your $500 Billion. This creates a $1 Trillion budget for expenses, and the rest goes to pay off our national debts. If you can’t get it done in $1 Trillion a year, you probably don’t need to be doing it.
  5. Remove the Letters. No more voting automatically for all Republicans or Democrats. Make people learn who the hell they are putting into office. If you vote straight Republican, and pick up a guy/girl that always votes to raise taxes, that’s your fault. If you vote straight Democrat and pick a guy/girl that always votes for big business tax cuts, that’s your fault. You should have checked their voting record before voting. No more divisions along party lines, and no more “<this party> is fucking shit up.”
  6. Get it DONE. The rest of the working world doesn’t get to up and leave to vacation for weeks several times during the year when they have important things on the to-do list. If you can’t get your shit handled in the time allotted, you don’t get to go on vacation. Also, you are salaried, not hourly. This means you continue working until it gets done - all night if you have to. This means that you just might have to…
  7. COMPROMISE!!!! - Quit being whiny-ass sissy-bitches when you don’t get your way. You are grown-ass men and women; calling your colleagues names and slandering them on television is for kids. If you are kids, you should not be doing an adult’s job. When trading stock, making $1 profit is better than making $0 or taking a loss. If you can get one side to agree with you partially, TAKE IT! There is still time for further bills to be drafted to continue to the direction you want to take. You’re not going to get it all the first time, and you should NOT be threatening to SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT because you can’t get your way.

All this bullshit going on in the government is NOT what the people want. And if your congressional heads are so far up your congressional asses, you have failed your people, and your country, and yourself.


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