Importance of Free Speech as January 18th Will Live In Infamy…

Free Speech

As this is the second American Revolution and the shot heard around the world as the American people shouted, loudly did they shout to their elected officials. In turn, the volume was so loud they [the elected officials] could not stick their heads in the sand as with health care and the many other things they feel they “know better” then the people who elected them.

With this, both SOPA and PIPA have been tabled, yet what does this mean? As is the war over and won by the people, or is this just a battle while the political overlords lay in wait for us “the people” to settle back into our daily slumber allowing them the ability to sneak these ill deeds in the backdoor.

Well unfortunately it’s the latter as any good negotiator worth their salt knows the term “defend and delay“. The political overlords (i.e. the left leaning big media purchased politicians) tried to “defend” their position yet unsuccessfully, so what’s next? Yes, you guessed it, “delay” as people tend to forget and big bangs as a redux on the same topic is very hard as the “vogue” factor has worn off with the first go around.

As this is the difference between a “battle” and a “war” as you can think of the war as being a “long period of boredom” punctuated with “short bursts of pure insanity”. As the first battle is always memorable (good or bad), yet the second is old hat where the excitement has long left. Thus the way to win a war you ask, the answer is simple out wait your enemy. As the media companies aren’t going anywhere tomorrow so they have nothing but time on their hands with deep pockets to.

As I wain here in a negative light, there is a lot to be learned from a battle like this when 13 million voices speak at once the sound is deafening and is the main reason this fight is so important as it’s not about pirated movies or someone torrenting the latest Lady Gaga songs. It’s about the ability to do what we just did (yes I was one of those 13 million voices) as this is what freedom is about, it is what America was founded upon. Should the media companies find this important to their business model than may I suggest China where this is allowed and as I walk down any street there [in most of Asia] are dozen street vendors wanting to sell me pirated movies so what have they accomplished?

As I’ve waxed here before, pirating is a commercial problem and not a social one, therefore social means such as free speech should not be compromised for commercial gain period. As the “right” to speak and present openly is a basic human right, even if some choose to abuse this “right”, it does not give others the right to take this away from us…

Copyright Gone Too Far…

Copyright Gone Too Far...

With the SOPA Black Out behind us, it amazed me how much I rely on Wikipedia as it just never dawned upon me, however my point is that with any luck people got the message, so the people who are elected to represent us, “us” the people of the Unites States of America and not the liberal Media Companies which bank rolled their campaign war chests.

As my point here is we’ve gone too far with copyright and patent laws as while we require both, things are out of hand now.  The idea of both was to protect unique ideas and innovations to foster the willingness of people and companies to invest in creating them.  This “protection” was initially intended for a limited scope and defined a “reasonable” amount of time before entering the “public domain” to be owned as well as enjoyed without financial impediment or limit.

Now let me say this, cut me and I will bleed capitalism, so this isn’t a socialist thing as by the nature of “capitalism” it should be open as competition is key to capitalistic success.  When we limit the availability to open access of knowledge, then we are limiting competition.  Remember that in the days of old (pre-Internet) is when these [laws] were crafted meaning they are a bit long in the tooth.

It’s also worth noting we can’t do away all together with the protection of intellectual Property where everyone and their brother can set up a “Pirate Bay” site.  However the economic and distribution models need to change as we are now operating in a global economy and the rules of the road in these faraway lands are different than our and our elected officials are that silly to think they are change this with a simple rote swipe of the pen, if this where the case, then they should pass a bill which bans world hunger as they would have more success in that.

As the only thing SOPA will do is form an Oligarchy here, where the few will control what the many have access to as we are headed to a slippery place in the new world where while information wants to be free, it in fact costs a lot and someone has to pay the piper.  As in the old days, yesterday’s news was still worth something as a day old paper still had value; magazines were handed down, etc.  However in today’s world where electrons comprise the manifestation of our information instead of pigmented inks.  They are however are shackled at the ankles by pay-walls which  much like the scenario of Logan’s Run gives it all information only a limited time to live…

China and Saudi Arabia together, What does it mean for the US…

China Arabia Whats Next?
China Arabia Whats Next?

What happens when East meets Middle East? Who wins and who loses?

Sitting here in Southeast Asia as I write this, the news seems to be all about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visit to the Saudi kingdom as tensions appear to grow over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  At stake for the Saudi Kingdom is $58.5 billion which is the amount China spent on oil with the Arab Kingdom in only the first 11 months of 2011.  To add to this, at least 11 percent of the oil hungry China’s imports come from the rogue Islamic republic of Iran.  Therefore it’s clear as the west moves to lobby sanctions upon Iran, the big losses may in fact be China.

What’s concerning here is what kind of sports will the Chinese be about this, well if I had to bet dollars to donuts, would say not good.  As memories grow old, the pacific component of World War II was driven by the embargoing of materials into Japan and while I’m not trying to say this will be World War III, it surely could lead to an economic show down on a global scale.

What folks especially in the United States are missing is that all roads are crossing in the east. As we drive our large cars and consume all that gasoline, our dollars flow east.  Then as we fill those SUVs at the super stores with goods manufactured in China, more of our dollars end up in the East as in middle with China passing the “buck” along.  This is creating an increasingly large void in the American economy as we run out of cash.  Yes we’ve waxed on this before, yet it’s growing like a malignant tumor with no end in sight other than the consumption of the American economy upon itself.

As come upon the 2012 election year, there will be discussions of illegal immigration, terrorism, and my favorite healthcare.  Yet there is one thing which matters and its critical, that one thing is the repatriation of cash and not going to be easy as it will mean a return to a greater self-sufficiency upon energy being new nuclear developments as well as a greater attempt at oil recovery in the continental US.    While yes what I say is social as well as environmental blasphemy, the fact is the horse is out of the barn and we aren’t going to revert to Amish ways in mass and forego those things which make modern life modern…

 

With this said the win here is to make the best out of what we have learned from the past as the future is all we have left…

CES Isn’t All Just Fun and Games…

Human Genome

At this yeas CES (Consumer Electronic Show) there were far more than just the standard fare of new TV sets and personal “I” something gadgets to full-fill our never-ending desire to  consume content. Yet there was something far more profound, however it almost went unnoticed which is a sad statement as here was the ability to sequence a human genome for around $1,000 dollars! Folks this is almost akin to the discovery of fire regarding its importance to mankind.

As two companies, Ion Torrent and Illumina will be releasing desktop devices to allow the medical practitioner to do this in their office.  In short, this means no more diagnostic guessing when it comes to figuring out what ails us in a serious sense as well as what drugs will work best an how much.  This is a huge win for humanity and in some ways comes up just short of immortality.  Once we start crunching numbers, the sky’s basically the limit as our knowledge of the interconnections of our molecular biology will grow by leaps and bounds.

Yet with all of goodness there are two issues in the first is our ignorance as when the newest games take center stage while technology such as this lands on page B34, something is wrong.  Now yes I do understand the existence of the game in some fashion has supported the technological ability of these devices to come into being [by making the electronics cheap], yet we still as a society sit with the cart in front of the horse to many things regarding what really matters the most.

The second is more technical in nature, in that as the data grows [from crunching the numbers] so does the need for software to digest and process the output of this data in a constructive way.  This is where I believe crowd sourcing will come to play as in collective computing to solve this problem.  As the more minds which come to bear on a challenge such as this with fingers typing at the keyboard the better.  It’s here however strong social frame works will be required as for all this to work in a constructive manner, there must be order and this might just be the hidden value of the social network. As sharing what game you’re playing is one thing, however just think if we could use the same network to share the cure for cancer.  Yes this as Aldus Huxley would say is a brave new world which no one would argue especially those in need of cure…

Consummation or Separation…

Consummation or Seperation
Consummation or Seperation

The question is will it be consummation or separation?

One of the things which have struck me recently in the area of social dynamics is the idea of “consummation or separation” as this is simply a nicer way of rephrasing my father’s saying “son you have to shit or get off the pot“.  While yes it is less colorful in verse, it yet carries the idea in a more graceful context that there is in fact an aspect of “social intercourse” where the parties involved exchange “empathy” in the form of engagement.

This is one of the reasons the airlines will always remain in business too, as I do not care how great web-based video conferencing technologies becomes, the fact of being there, face to face with a hand shake pressing skin is the critical success factor as complete empathic exchange can only occur in person and not some you-tube like channel.  While rote data maybe exchanged via various media “channels”, they only serve as a method of social “foreplay” if you will in the creation of excitement, yet not completions.

In fact when we query our friend Webster on the topic of “Consummation” we will quickly find he claims this to be the “finish” or the “completion” of something which was mutually started.  This in itself is interesting as in the “consummation” of a marriage is actually the end of it?  While not written by Webster, the implication of importance here is the fact that “consummation” is really the beginning of an “anew” state whereas there was “separation” there is now singularity which takes place in this empathic social dynamic as either your together or your apart, there exists no grey area.

This is a critical aspect of negotiations as you’re either with me or against me [i.e. consummation or separation] as there exists no middle ground as pointed out by John Nash [Nash Equilibrium] as unless there is mutual [consummation] the first one to blink will lose…

Can Everyone be Great…

Can Everyone be great
Can Everyone be great

Popular or Great?

It seems today that in the era of Apple’s mantra of create “great” things and everything is all that plus some, there might be a bit of confusion in our ideology as if everyone is great then in reality isn’t everybody just the same?  As when we go back to our friend Webster we find all roads for “great” in turn cross with the reference of “large” as in “of a kind characterized by relative largeness” or “remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness”.  So if everyone was “large“, would everyone be great well the answer is no as then everyone would just be normal.  In sorts, “great” can only be an exception and never a norm so to say one should only do “great” things is to me misleading.  As do you want your trash man to do great things, the simple answer for most of us is no, you just want him to make your trash go away right?

In short we like the idea of great things such as winning the lottery, yet we still (for the most part) do the “popular” thing and go to work every day to pay the rent.  As this is the important point out of this as we find there is a universal fight between the concepts of being “popular” and those of being “great“.  As for example let’s take the famous Golden Arches, yes the venerable Mickey D’s as in MacDonald’s as are they “great“?  I’m doubting you will find too many (if anyone) which will say they are (who are consumers of the product).  Yet, if you ask these same people if they are “popular” you find a whole different story as yes they are and in turn too people happily hand them their hard-earned money.

As even popular things cannot happen in mass as there must always be a measure of scarcity in the creation of popularity or even greatness as for these two to exist they must “exist” in the minority and not in the majority.  Because once a “minority” reaches a “majority” state, the exception is now the rule and what once was the expectation is now the norm.  So then to say everyone should do great creates false promises as should we not be shooting for just being popular at general best?

To further this example, let’s go to Hollywood for another case study as how many celebrities are “great” versus being  just “popular”  as you may even say “boy that was a great performance” however does one performance make them great or does it simply support their popularity?  Case in point, Madonna and her modern-day clone Lady Gaga, as were/are they popular?  You bet and in being popular their music was/is enjoyable however I can guarantee you if you checked the current replays of Madonna songs will come nowhere near that of the Beetles and when Lady Gaga starts sagging (in more ways than one) the same will be the case as they are popular and not great which means they have a shelf life.

While some say this maybe a mincing of words, I on the other hand claim we as a society are fooling ourselves with dreams of grandeur as we should strive to do our best, however we should not fool ourselves with the rest…

Opened Verses Closed Competition Cycles…

Competition Cycles
Competition Cycles

Not all things are created equal and that goes for competition too…

Having written just recently about the Food Network show “Chopped” as its focus (intended or not) is to create losers, yet on the surface this would seem to be the case for “all” competition.  However this isn’t the case as all competition is not created equally if you will and that is what we discuss today as some forms are “open” while yet others  are “closed”, so what does this mean in the bigger scheme of things?  Well first let step back and look at each.

Here the Open Competition Cycle: Is a kin to the professional “Football” player as he has many Sundays (with any luck) to ply his craft before feeling the outcome.  In other words if he has a bad week and loses the game, he gets to “play again” to make up for it and therefore lives in a world of averages.

As we can see here our grid iron hero is a product of his average production and therefore even though he may “lose”, he is not a loser if you will.  This is an important distinction to make when we start to look at the next scenario so we see how it fits together and how in the end we can leverage it or at least avoid stepping on it.

Yet the Closed Competition Cycle: Is the professional “Russian Roulette” player who keeps playing till the first time he loses and then that’s it, done and over with no more playing.  There’s no playing average here on a losing basis as in our Football playing friends example as here it’s all or nothing.

While I don’t personally know many of these professional Russian Roulette players and there is most likely a good reason for this, the fact is we play “Russian Roulette” far more times then we think it’s just that our mortality isn’t on the line for the final wager.  As in the Chopped post if I was a high end restaurant owner, would I hire a “Chopped” chef?  The answer would be no way as human nature has an unkind side to it and before you know it the place would be referred that restaurant with the “chopped” chef.

Now it’s not to say that some of these folks haven’t gone on with or too reasonable employment after being “chopped” as in the end this isn’t Russian Roulette after all.  However tainted goods they are as we all (I would think) have that “thing” [or things] which has tainted us in some way as we are human after all.  However my point and the reason for using the “extreme” analogy of the Russian Roulette player   is that in this case no amount of money is worth a human life so the imbalance becomes clear.  However life typically isn’t that simple so we make mistakes.

When I say “mistakes”, I mean our eyes typically become larger then our stomach’s when it comes to things such as this and we make the “wrong” decision in the end which leads to us regretting it. Again using the show “Chopped” as an example, what is its goal?  If you answered find the best chef out of four your wrong, as the goal is to entertain the viewer and they want the drama and that is created by losers.  As look at the break down, you basically spend 55 minutes watching people lose (note how even during the process they point the failures out rather than the kudos).

The extreme of Russian Roulette is also used to point out that the issues isn’t in taking risks as if this was the case, no one should drive and we should all fly.  It’s first and foremost understanding the risks and second understanding the reward or the relative estimation of in advance so a balance can be made between the two.  As its here when discussing this I always seem to hear, “well with thinking like this we wouldn’t have gotten to the moon”, to that I retort “thank you for agreeing with me”.  As after the puzzled look, the answer is a simple one as this [kind of] thinking is what got us to the moon, in that while as pointed out the risks and rewards were both very high.  Yet they were in “balance” as significant controls where in place to “balance” the risk.  In other words this wasn’t a Myth Buster attempt at taping a bunch of Chinese rockets to a chair and simply “hoping” for the best…

Auld Lang Syne…

Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne

Every story has a beginning and an end, while every end really is a new a new beginning...

This one might be better known as “Old Angzine” today and is believed to have come from Auld Lang Syne which part of the Old Scot dialect meaning “Old long since”.  As its New Year’s Eve, figured it would only be appropriate to say good-bye to 2011 in the same fashion which created it.  Ok, what do I mean by that, well its simple as last year I made a New Year’s resolution to write a blog post every day as I’m a believer to the fact that if you’re going to commit, then commit you should and that I did.

So basically everyday in 2011 saw a post, save for a couple screw ups in setting the release system back in March when I was still figuring out WordPress, however count wise there has been one for 364 days this year without fail (actually 398 in total). Sick, on vacation or where ever in the world I was, they still when out and it was no easy feat as I work on average 14 hours a day or more.

I also set some general rules of averaging around 500 words and in the beginning I tried to get fancy with italics and links however had to pull it back a little as time is the killer and its limited.  Also at the start I had a lot to say, as maybe first I should explain why did this to which will explain Auld Lang Syne.  As this year I turned 49, which means I’ve been on this earth 49 years and have started my 50th.  Well first I’m happy to be here, however second was while wisdom was setting in, I still felt that too much of the world was passing me by and didn’t want growing old to mean growing dumb or falling behind.

This is where the blog came in as to write 500 cognitive words a day was not an easy task as I had to take in information, digest it and turn it around with meaning.  Folks, I dare you to try it home as it aint easy. So here is the point, until today I had no clue about Old Angzine or Auld Lang Syne, however today I do as every day I learned something new which was the point.  However in the last three months or so I’ve notice that things have started to repeat a little and was the inspiration for the post “All Words Have Been Spoken” as frankly I didn’t have anything to say that day and that fact itself was something to say.

However it takes a lot of time to write this blog, a good hour a day as typically its starts its life on my iPad, in fact when something would hit me, I would write it down.  Then later I would look back and when “it” struck me, then it was off to the races to write the 400 extra words (I use the Chapters App on the iPad).  Then I would mail it off to my PC and in the evening before bed around midnight I would edit using MS word and Text Aloud to read the text to make edits.  This would all take about at least an hour, then there was posting and finding a graphic or creating one (readership doubled when I started adding graphics).

So do this 7 days a week and it works to your spending 1 working day a week on this which is a lot of time for someone who works 14 hours days to start with.  So I share this as it’s a perfect example of the theme behind the name The Viral Loop, as for me it’s nice a way to say Zero Sum  as to do this I have to give something up and what was that?  Well in fact it was several things, however one of the biggest one’s was exercise as in 2011 I’ve put on a good 20 to 30 pounds in 2012 I have to get it off and no I don’t believe in weight loss resolutions.

So does this mean the end to The Viral Loop, no however I’m going to drop back from daily posts more to weekly and no this will not be a resolution and will most likely do a little more and maybe a little shorter at around 200 to 250 for more “comment” pieces.  As I also plan to expand The Viral Loop brand a little to as I plan to move off WordPress.Com to my own hosting site as acquired the name THEVIRALLOOP.COM and will host it myself so look for changes there.

As one of the things I want to finish is a book I started about two years back titled “What’s In Your Pocket” which is a practical guide-book to reading people and using that information in negotiations.  Also as a side bar, I’ve authored a number of books on various things over the past decade (most technical in nature) so its not a whim, yet doing a book is a lot a work, however they are exciting.  In addition, I’ve started a publishing company too that develops iOS Apps for Apple devices as well marketing web sites so yes life is busy and I need more time. (no I don’t sleep much at all)

The other interesting thing is readership is about 80 people a day visit, there is a group about 20 repeats the rest cycle in from Google searches which is one of the reasons I started the internet marketing business as Google is an amazingly powerful machine and will be a post in the future for sure.  My most popular post, the one on Polychromatic Time, it the top read every week!  I have no clue why, however it is and the second for the longest time was the Lindy Effect however that has fallen off a bit in the past 3 months.

All in all it’s one heck of a ride this year and I’m looking forward to 2012 as I always like even-numbered years as maybe it’s because I was born on an even year.  Either way I wish you and yours the best possible 2012 and will see you on the other side…

P.S. If you’re wondering, I’ve written around 238,000 words in 2011 for this blog, and Yahoo Answers says an average entry novel is 80,000 to 120,000 words.  So folks this is basically two novels. 

Dallas Redux…

Dallas Redux
Dallas Redux

We once used film cameras, drove manual transmission cars and read paper books. Ah the old days...

For those old enough to remember the Dallas TV series and the year the writers could not figure out how to end the season so they just made a “dream” sequence washing away the meaning of the entire season and pissing off the entire series viewership because it was if they wasted their time. This alone was interesting as this in the end as, hey Dallas was fictional.  So why where so many people upset when they were hood winked by the writers as isn’t this what fiction is about [make believe]?  However that isn’t what we are here to wax about  as it’s about what happened in 2007 around  Google’s legal dispute with a coalition of authors and publishers over Google Books which was put on the shelf while the parties hashed out a settlement agreement which was later announced in 2008.  However the settlement seemed to be anything but settled as  it attracted  a massive backlash which convinced Judge Denny Chin to reject the settlement earlier this year.

So here we sit after three years of pretending to work together to try and get the settlement approved, all parties are now back in courts and guess what?  Yes you won’t be surprised to know at each others’ throats as that’s why we pay lawyers right? However yet again, we aren’t here today to wax Family Feud style over this basic nonsense which this represents, however to discuss what it means to create “intellectual property” and release it into the wilds of the world if you will.

As at the heart of this is the fact Google scanned books (which they believed where copyright orphaned) and made the contents available on the internet.  As the one thing you will note that I’ve stayed away from is the commercially of this as Google didn’t place a price on this by asking for money, however they are in the advertizing business and need content to drive visitors and one could see how this could be win/win as there is a problem out there that people are refusing to see.

This problem is that the printed book is dead done and over and the generations coming up will not know how to use them.  Laugh will you, feel free to however set your 16 year old behind the wheel of a manual gearshift car [if you live in the US] and bet dollars to donuts you get an interesting stare.  Second is hand them a roll of film and ask them to do something with it.  Least I also need to point you to the viral you-tube video of the young girl frustrated with the printed magazine as she tried to swipe its page to no avail.

It’s here in a world of unlimited search now powered by things such as Siri which knows better than me, that my two-year old grandson will never know what that funny section [index] in the back of what was those wasteful single use devices which cost the life of many life-giving trees just to end up in a landfill.  So the question begets us as do we allow many lifetimes of information to simply lay waste because of our jurisprudence, or is information really free…

The Right Heads Right…

The_Right_Heads_Right
Stop SOPA

Whats the difference between the Great Chinese Firewall and SOPA, let see none...

As agreement on copyright law have never seen to break down neatly along partisan lines in the past, yet it appears today is different.  As here many of the key supporters championing the Stop Online Piracy Act are interestingly enough from the yes political right. Here legislation which is supported by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is enjoying support from none other than the right-leaning, corporate-funded organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Tax Reform.  Yes the typical big brother folks who you would think would be on the side of big media.  Hey wait a minute, isn’t “big media” a liberal left leaning institution after all?

Yet here is a lesson as a growing number of right-leaning individuals as well as organizations have come out vocally against SOPA. Even as of last week, the Heritage Foundation which is one of the nation’s most influential “conservative” think tanks senior researcher and fellow James Gattuso has published an article warning about the “unintended consequences” of SOPA..

It’s in his manifesto of sorts that Gattuso points out that SOPA would in fact undermine Internet security by delaying the implementation of DNSSEC by pushing Internet users to use offshore DNS servers to circumvent DNS blocks. The article also warned that this new government regulation of “search results” would be “the first step down a classic slippery slope of government interference that has no clear stopping point.”

While Gattuso takes no issue with “stealing” needs to stop [as in online privacy], he argues Congress should deal with the problem “in a way that does not disrupt the growth of technology, does not weaken Internet security, and respects free speech rights.”  As its here he doesn’t think SOPA fits the bill as just think about this way as SOPA will “censor” and yes I used the “C” word your DNS!  Do you know what that means?  Most “Joe” averages do not, however DNS (Domain Name Service) is the unsung hero of the internet which makes the internet “human” usable as without it would be nothing more than a bunch of octets.

It also mean the US Government would be encroaching upon the right to free speech there have been many discussions in the past too regarding DNS and the domain (pardon the pun) of free speech.   As the kicker here is there is nothing as Gattuso points out for users not to point their browsers to off shore DNS services.  So we’ve made a lot of ado yet solved nothing other than pushing more “authority” off American shores which is bad for commerce as yes liberals seem to forget without commerce there won’t be people to “legally” buy their products as they just tossed the baby out the 30th floor window with the bath water.

Yet you know what scares me even more, ok think about it for minute [insert pause here] as yes this is the US’s version of the “Great Chinese Firewall”.  As when you start controlling DNS, you start controlling the “free word” and we are a nation based upon our rights of “free speech”  and edification of DNS is no different than the banning of books because someone seems to think they know better…

Groundhog Day…

Groundhog Day

Some days are just like another save for tomorrow which is just like today...

This morning I awoke to the sound of my Black Berry’s alarm going off as it does every morning (yes 7 days a week I set my alarm) and from their stumbled downstairs and made some coffee then it was off to check what catastrophes awaited me in the land of e-mail hell.  However this morning when my peepers popped open, it hit me like a ton of bricks!  Yes Groundhog Day, you know that [1993] movie with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell where he (Bill ) is a TV reporter and goes out to cover the Groundhog Day event and the then days just keep repeating over and over again?

When I first saw the movie almost two decades ago, I didn’t appreciate Danny Rubin’s (the author) story that much however over the interceding 20 years I’ve come to respect it.  As this morning when the Black Berry went off and the eyes popped open in the still predawn morning, the first thing in my head was “Groundhog Day”! It wasn’t the movie either as it was the fact that life is nothing more than reenactment of itself and only may venues change, yet actions typically don’t.   As if you follow this blog you know I get around a bit, around the world that is and no matter how far or long I go it’s all the same.  While minor pieces change, I still awake to my Black Berry, still look for a cup of coffee and especially still live at the mercy of e-mail hell.

At first it (the idea this morning that life is so much like ground hog day) brought a measure of sadness as like Murray’s character in the movie, Phil Connors who after realizing life is nothing more than a continuous rinse and repeat cycle becomes depressed.  However while laying there staring at the ceiling [wishing my e-mail away] also remembered how “Phil” after overcoming the rote realization of his destiny started to have fun with things as remember the armor car money and the “screamer”?  As I recall he even went on to learn the piano too, all again “within” the context of a “rinse and repeat” life style which gave me hope.

As there is no question that this movie [as many are] was a simple metaphor for life and Rubin had hit a little too close for me anyway as it became too obvious to quickly for my liking.  Yet after almost 20 years its had time to set in much like Alice’s Restaurant [again metaphorically].   Moving forward in time (after pressing the snooze button), as the sleep departed my eyes even more and the ceiling came into better focus, so did this and fact we all live in this repeating loop and the goal is not so much to make advantage of the macro, yet master the micro as if you watch the pennies the dollars will follow…

Chopped…

Have you ever noticed there are more losers then there are winners?

So I’ve been home for the holidays a bit and the TV has been on  in the background in the evening and I’ve across an interesting show on the “Food Network”. As the later alone is interesting in that there is enough social effluence for a “food” channel in a country which is suffering from obesity however that’s for another day.  So back to “Chopped” the show as for those who aren’t aware of the show, it’s pretty simple as there is a host (Ted) with three judges who gang up on four competing chefs.

Each of these Chef’s are typically “Executive” Chefs which mean they don’t work for the Golden Arch’s if you know what I mean as the challenge is to cook a three course meal (appetizer, main course and dessert) with surprise ingredients.  Yet what struck me is after sitting through one of these in the background is by the time we got to the second (it was a holiday marathon), the question became why?

So your saying to yourself because “if” you win there is a huge (bragging rights and employment upside) and you’re right again [only] “if” you win. However what I noticed is you won’t well let’s put it this way three (3) of the four wont.  So this became an epiphany as well as good business analogy about losing as the show is more about creating “losers” then “winners”.   So let’s start with the basics and I will try to keep the math down to a low roar.

As first off, with four (4) contestants there is a 1:4 chance of winning, while a 3:4 change of losing so if someone came to you with those odds of investing your money would you take them up as its all or nothing.  Well let’s hope not, then second is  the social axiom “there is always someone out there better then you”, so since the show down is 1:2, means the odds of the next person being better then you is 50% therefore the 1:4 chance (which un-weighed statistically) is more like 1:8 (in round numbers) as we now have to “weigh” our chances of success. So the majority of the people will lose.

Alright your sitting back and saying, no kidding Campbell that the idea is people will “lose” and to this I say bingo your starting to get it as in these types of competition we don’t watch for the winner we really watch for the losers!  Now there is this whole thing of the psychology of the underdog we could get into, however don’t have the time right now as the point is why you should always avoid these types of things in life.

As in general the “losers” have further to “falls” then the winners do to climb as can you see a restaurant advertising they have a head chef who was “Chopped”?  Not me baby, that means these folks [on average]  will be stuck in a “B” class existence the rest of their careers (again we are speaking in averages).  Yet you may be saying what about athletes, as they compete and lose yet compete another day.

Well it’s the later which is the first key, as again on average an athlete get multiple chances to compete whereas these chefs do not, so there is a huge change in the distribution of risk as the number of opportunities for success change the weighting, and the second is they are not competing in their field of [end] employment which is the big catch here if you will.  So if you’re a budding chef [or business person], just something to think about…