How to win friends and influence people Pt. IV

IV. Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Principle I: Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
Principle II: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
Principle III: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
Principle IV: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
Principle V: Let the other person save face.
Principle VI: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
Principle VII: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
Principle VIII: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
Principle IX: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

The message I got here was not making a big deal about mistakes. Lift up the opponent. Be positive about it.

How to win friends and influence people Pt. III

Part III: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

Principle I: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
Principle II: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
Principle III: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Principle IV: Begin in a friendly way.
Principle V: Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
Principle VI: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
Principle VII: Let the other person think the idea was his or hers.
Principle VIII: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
Principle IX: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
Principle X: Appeal to the nobler motives.
Principle XI: Dramatize your ideas.
Principle XII: Throw down a challenge.

Sometimes you can

How to win friends and influence people Pt. II

II. Six Ways to Make People Like You

Principle I: Become genuinely interested in other people.
Principle II: Smile.
Principle III: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Principle IV: Be good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Principle V: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
Principle VI: Make the other person feel important–and do it sincerely.

This section turns your self outward. Making them feel valuable and being sincere about it.

US and EU agree

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen indicated that the bloc is open to banning TikTok. This is in the middle of continuous cyber attacks and military provocation.

My long-time question is what would happen were there an actual hot war? For one, our military is a volunteer organization.  There is no draft and the volunteer numbers are dropping. What would happen in the event of a catastrophic cyber attack? Would we and our youth be prepared?

Second, the US has lost war game after war game. In spite of our advanced technology.

Can’t let this keep us up at night, but take note.

Lewis on politics and faith

So politics and faith:

“The earliest converts were converted by a single historical fact (the Resurrection) and a single theological doctrine (the Redemption) operating on a sense of sin which they already had — and sin, not against some new fancy-dress law produced as a novelty by a ‘great man,’ but against the old, platitudinous, universal moral law which they had been taught by their nurses and mothers. The ‘Gospels’ come later and were written not to make Christians but to edify Christians already made…

“Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity flow over into their political life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster…

“The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice.”

– The Screwtape Letters, 23

Christian nationalism without the nationalism

Just watched the PBS Newshour segment on Brad Onishi, who is a former evangelical minister who once identified as a “Christian nationalist.” The term is just too broad. During the segment he assumes that white evangelicals are the source of pro-Trump activism. He now hosts a (supposedly-popular) podcast “Straight White American Jesus” and wrote “Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism and What Comes Next.” Let’s just say that not many people are going to buy something the mainstream media gives them for free every day.

His failure to differentiate a small minority of people who actually say they are “Christian nationalists” from other right-wing and mainstream evangelicals is just an attempt to promote himself. The segment interviewed no subjects who would consider themselves Christian nationalists.

Poor segment, poor analysis.

Is anything fishy going on? Best practices.

How can you tell? Here a few things to watch for:

1. Late-night logins.
2. Increase in spear phishing, from internal or external.
3. Malware frequently picked up on your networks.
4. Data flows to new places.
5. An increase in computer usage.

At some time, someone will get through your layered defenses, so have these three best practices in place:

1. BACK UP your data.
2. Employ image backups.
3. Create local admin accounts to be able to access computer with admin rights.

Hebrew Worldview in Scripture and Literalism, Pt. 1

Though I haven’t been to the Ark Encounter exhibit in Williamstown, Kentucky, I did once visit the Creation Museum here in El Cajon. It was part of a field trip of sorts while at my undergrad, Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. I was there as a student reporter to document the PLNU science class’s visit. Students were scornful of the idea of the world being no more than 10,000 years old. At the time, I was still in that camp. But the mockery of the science students against the literalists, things like “I guess Jesus rode on a velociraptor,” was insulting to the believers.

A few years back, I was speaking to two friends and told them I didn’t know what to think about Genesis and the Flood. To them, saying I didn’t know was occasion for them to say they would pray for me.

This time, I was insulted.

But the question was about the inerrancy of the Bible story. I admit, I don’t know about many things in the Bible. But that issue opened a can of worms for other problems with a literal view. But the Flood story is such a major part of the Old Testament and the Bible as a whole, that the question of it as an actual event demands an answer.

So I am now thinking about the way the ancient Hebrews saw the Universe. This graphic from the University of Oregon’s Cosmology class can be found in various other versions.

Looking at the graphic above, I believe the scientist view. When a new Earth creationist quotes those scriptures referencing “windows and doors of heaven,” “storehouses and fountains of the great deep,” “waters above the firmament,” “foundations of the deep,” “foundations of the Earth,” or “foundations of heaven,” they tend to think of it some form of poetry, but those lines reference the literal Hebrew cosmology.

The Flood was a local event. Not a worldwide cataclysm. The ark’s size finally works under that interpretation. I have no problem with Cain’s wife being a unrelated woman from a tribe not spoken of in the Bible; I no longer have to defend the idea that incest between Adam’s family was necessary for propagation of the species.

So, it doesn’t bother me if the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and the universe 14 billion. I want to talk more about literalism, a critical matter.

Continue reading “Hebrew Worldview in Scripture and Literalism, Pt. 1”

The Slim Self is Worth Fighting For

Luddites feared being replaced. But I the solitary being am consumed apart from AI. I type in my 80s reflection and GPT gives me many more to go with it. My memory is even old. In memory regurgitated, my slim self of that reflection dissolves.

“Bots…are going to understand our wants and needs and align with our distinctive worldviews. We will form buddy-movie partnerships that will let us drink from their massive processing power with a spoonful of sugary natural language. And if forced at the end of the road to decide whether to lose to obnoxious humans or gracious bots, we won’t give it a thought. We’ll change our wills, leave them all we have, and let them roll their upbeat tanks right over our houses” (Wired).

For me, the buddy movie seems like a bot leading me by the hand safely, feeding me sweet language as I fade to grey down the greying street.

“No, I don’t want you to say it for me!” I plead with the damn program.

My independence is necessity. And I would rather have a human I can argue, debate with, than none at all.

It turns out the very same things that will distinguish you from chatbots in your work will be part of what you must retain to be human. Work gives your personhood voice. It’s no longer only about worth and relevance as a human, it’s about the existence of self apart from screens. If I turn it off, I don’t want something to comment on everything I do. Yes, I appreciate its help. But not to complain, I’ll call you when I need you.

Nothing new

Was the “occupation” of 1967 the beginning of troubles? There was evil committed against the Jews in 1948 during the war for independence, and decades before and after Israel became a nation. (Add this to hundreds of years of pograms, lynchings, and persecutions.)

The terrorists want no recognition of Israel, no negotiations, no peace.

If the Gazan arabs laid down their weapons there would be peace, if the Israelis laid down their weapons there would be a massacre.

The good Gazan arabs need to stop supporting the evil ones.

Youth Cybercrime and Flash Mob Robberies

Thinking of how script kiddies are using hacking tools–including ransomware–and many of them are kiddies. Every 39 seconds there is a new cyber attack. That’s 2244 daily, 30000 websites globally, and 64% of businesses were hit with at least one type of cyberattack. Youth take part in a significant portion of these attacks.

If we juxtapose this cybercrime with flash mob robberies, we see parental, social, and educational moral inculcation is failing. 2022 statistics show that 43% of high-end businesses have been targeted by organized robberies. Between Fall 2021 and Aug 23 this year, over 170 businesses in LA were hit. Nationwide smash-and-grab robberies rose 26% between 2020 and 2021. And it’s not only high-end stores.

There’s a spiritual vacuity bred in a nihilism where faith could be. Can we draw anything from young people who idolize the rich and famous? There’s a youth identity crisis.

A friend had a party for his daughter where her and her friends’ parents told of their professions. The young ladies gathered ignored the adult professions of flight attendants and business people. They said they wanted to be famous. This is not only the Gen Zers. A neighbor in her 30s said this same thing.

You can’t impart to youth spiritual teachings if they are absorbed in–and subject to–popular culture and its accouterments. They can’t realize their potential either.

Safeguarding Customer Trust and Compliance: Why Organizations Are Embracing Zero Trust

Understandably, companies and organizations are embracing zero trust with the daily business pressures that have evolved over the last few years. The pandemic presented small businesses and organizations with new security considerations: remote workers with access to a much wider range of apps, new ways of working onsite, bring your own devices, cloud-based assets, and new supply chain and vendor processes. Furthermore, you may have added these changes to your network ad hoc. Now, you have an unwieldy patchwork of devices and computers at your business. Continue reading “Safeguarding Customer Trust and Compliance: Why Organizations Are Embracing Zero Trust”

U.S. versus world debt is still a concern

Working on a possible piece on world debt-to-GDP and highest GDP per capita.

The U.S. rates up there at number 12 in the running. We are not in august company, Venezuela and Japan being 1 and 2, respectively. The European countries in this group are Greece, Italy, and Portugal.

The problem comes when the debt is too great to finance. Even if a country can still pay, too much debt can cause a loss of confidence. The warnings about a move to another world reserve currency is something to have some alarm about, but U.S. treasuries are still the most reliable.

Top 12 Countries with the Highest Debt-to-GDP Ratios (%)
Venezuela — 350%
Japan — 266%
Sudan — 259%
Greece — 206%
Lebanon — 172%
Cabo Verde — 157%
Italy — 156%
Libya — 155%
Portugal — 134%
Singapore — 131%
Bahrain — 128%
United States — 128%

Power Summer

I hear a few rumors about an approaching Summer power problem. Can the grid handle it?

I don’t like Gavin Newsom’s electric car action (all electric by 2035). It’s highly irresponsible until we get nuclear (fusion?). There may be rolling blackouts now with the current power grid. Until we get better electricity flow, the Teslas may be grounded in the approaching hot times.

That sort of “virtue executive action” is what is wrong with high ideals that end in letting the next administration own it. The governor won’t be here then.

In his interview with Sean Hannity, Newsom doesn’t want to own the homeless problem, the crime problem, the businesses closing down and fleeing the state. (One doesn’t have to search too far to see these headlines.)

I’m pretty much a Californian (most of my years), but I don’t think being a proud one is that easy anymore.