Splatch of Assorted Musings

Scattered, mostly trivial musings. Just need to get these thoughts out of my head and out of my "drafts" folder….

  • An audience member gets nervous if he senses the speaker is nervous. Hence, as a speaker, the best way to put the audience at ease is to yourself be and appear at ease.
  • Annoying: people who talk slowly most of the time. Talking slowly at times can be a great way to emphasize something, or to occasionally come across as profound, but a default pace of slowness I find insufferable.
  • Without wanting to further the "brilliant guy who hasn't showed in three days" stereotype…men I know who are metrosexual or spend lots of time thinking about their fashion / grooming are usually not very smart. Similarly, people who make spiritually a big part of their identity tend to be fuzzy thinkers. (I know, I know, generalizations are dangerous, plenty of exceptions, etc etc.)
  • Like every other sentient being, I find excessive name-dropping annoying and a sign of insecurity. But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't effective at conveying success or importance — someone's proximity to power does usually mean something.
  • Why do pilots always announce the direction of the wind? Any regular flyer knows what I'm talking about: the pilot comes on with about 20 minutes left in the flight and says, "We're about 20 minutes away from San Francisco's International Airport. It's a beautiful day there, about 68 degrees and winds out of the west at 6 miles an hour." It's always those two facts: the temperature and the wind. Why do they say the wind? This is irrelevant to the passengers. I understand why the pilot wants to know this info. But passengers, inasmuch as add'l info is going to be given, would be more interested in tomorrow's forecast, temperatures of other neighboring cities, what the weather has been earlier in the day, or chance of precipitation. Anything. Wind speed and direction, not so much.
  • Side projects needn't make money. The experimental value alone is worth it.
  • People with learning disabilities should get extra time on tests but their special status ought to be known by the evaluators of the results. Currently, a college does not know which SAT scores came from an extra-time exam.
  • Gossip is a form of social bonding. To tell someone a secret, or something juicy, is a way to build closeness with the person. Of course, it's an awfully lazy way to bond!
  • Why don't people wear shorts in India or Ecuador? In both places, even on hot days, no locals were wearing shorts when I was there.
  • How the hell do people deal with time zones on their calendar? I schedule all events in local time and keep my computer time zone on Pacific Time. If I schedule a meeting in Denver next week, I enter it under the setting Pacific Time but at the local time the actual meeting is happening. E.g.: 2 PM MT meeting on Tuesday goes in my calendar as 2 PM and I don't change my time zone as I travel (otherwise all entries would be knocked up an hour).
  • Ever had this happen: you describe your position to somebody you respect, and they reply, "I agree!" and go on to "reinforce" your argument…except that you discover during their reinforcement that they don't actually agree. They misunderstood you. Do you correct them and say, "No, actually, wait, you don't agree" or simply move on? Oh, the high stakes of social interactions!
  • Many big companies interview potential candidates by having 5-6 employees interview the candidate for a half hour or hour each. If a candidate has a set of talking points, he can dish them out each time. I prefer one trusted person going deep with the candidate for a couple hours.
  • Even in this advanced state of civilization, when I'm on the road, I find my days animated by the primal hunt for food, water, and a bathroom. I feel I'm always hungry, thirsty, or needing to pee. And yes, I understand these things are connected!

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