The Hidden Force, People’s Ability to Want

Monday, December 14, 2009
posted by mattadmin

It may sound selfish at times, but wanting may actually be a good thing.” Thing” may not even be the correct word choice, rather wanting could be a force that drives our lives, economies, our future, and more.

Think about how often you want something throughout a day. When you get up in the morning, you may not want to go to work, but you probably want coffee, maybe a donut and a bagel with cream cheese. For lunch you want something, you may want a snack or drink throughout points in the day, something for dinner, etc. You probably have a show you want to watch, a phone call you want to make or website you want to check out. Maybe you want to read a book, play a sport, or go see a show or concert.  The point is that we want everyday and we want all the time.

There are even much bigger things we want. We have career goals, we want relationships whether friends or intimate, we want pets, we want kids, we want houses and cars, the list is endless. Economics is the study of markets and supply and demand. That demand is made up of our wants. Yes, we do have needs, but most of us have wants and we have them all the time. Count them up tomorrow or think back about today and think of all the things you wanted just today.

America was founded on wants as settlers wanted a new life while our founding fathers wanted freedom for all. Ultimately, all the wants of this nation are a contributing factor to the tremendous growth and prosperity this country has experienced in such a short amount of time.

So the question is… does all this wanting propel our economy and is it a hidden force that drives innovation, growth, and wealth in this nation and others? The answer quite simply is Yes. What else could have driven this nation so quickly besides our wants. So can our wants be measured and can it be quantified into an economic indicator, almost like a confidence level? Well during booms people want and spend more while during busts they want less, save more, and try to pay off debts. So maybe a survey of what people want can quantify this hidden force with our economy and economies of the world.

Do other countries want as much as Americans? Does America attract people who want? Does wanting create turnover in our economy? Does wanting create technological and medical innovations? The questions go on and on, but if you research any major accomplish in any time period you will find someone who wanted that accomplishment and if they didn’t want it, it probably would have never happened.

There is obviously a study that needs to be conducted here and if you have plans or want to study this please contact us as we would be interested in helping.

Here’s Why Program for our Education System

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
posted by mattadmin
This was actually the idea that lead to the creation of this blog. It wasn’t necessarily the only idea on the table to discuss, but it was the motivation for this blog.
The basic premise behind this idea is two-fold. First, our education system in America is great at teaching the “how” and very poor at teaching the “why”. How many times have you heard a student ask when they would actually use the information that they were being taught? Second, there is a lot of other useful information that would be helpful in for students when it comes to personal and career situations.

This was actually the idea that lead to the creation of this blog. It wasn’t necessarily the only idea on the table to discuss, but it was the motivation for this blog.

The basic premise behind this idea is two-fold. First, our education system in America is great at teaching the “how” and very poor at teaching the “why”. How many times have you heard a student ask when they would actually use the information that they were being taught? Second, there is a lot of other useful information that would be helpful for students when it comes to personal and career situations.

Here are some examples:

1. Beyond balancing a check book, when did a teacher ever explain a practical application for algebra or calculus?

2. In English class did a teacher ever explain that reading and writing would increase your vocabulary, spelling accuracy, and help you write reports and emails later on in your career?

3. In college, did a professor ever tell you that your first employer will probably want a copy of your transcripts and see the classes you did poorly in or withdrew from?

The list of examples could go on forever and hopefully you’re getting the point. So here is the solution, if we can make time for sex education, we can start a “Here’s Why Program” to teach students why they need to learn what learning and how it will impact their lives in later years. The greatest benefit from a program such as this is that students will now understand the “value” of the education they are being given. The “how” provides the foundation, but the “why” brings credibility and “value” to the students efforts. Not every student will “value” their education and some will place more “value” then others, but a simple program such as this to bring the real world into the classrooms could have tremendous benefits for the education of our youth.

If you knew that the calculus formula you had the learn and solve on test is used by automobile engineers to calculate the noise in the cabin from wind while driving, all of a sudden the stupid math formula you have to study now becomes cool because you have an “understanding” of its use.

I feel very strongly about this idea in particular so please pass this on and use the comments section below to submit useful pieces of information on topics taught in school and what the real world application is and hopefully something will come of this. It’s very important that we continuously improve our education system and continue to invest in the youth of our nation.

The Best Developers Think Like Users

Sunday, November 1, 2009
posted by mattadmin

This is a short one, but to all the developers out there and future developers… if you want to be the best, you must think like a user. As technology becomes more prevalent, software (user interfaces) is going to become a bigger part of all our lives. You can now purchase a robot vacuum or lawn mower or control your air conditioning unit through the Internet. Every appliance already has a computer in it, even your toaster, so it’s only a matter a time before your toaster has a user interface to go along with it. Hopefully the person writing the code for that toaster read this post.

Machine language is something that is not part of our day to day, which is why we have user interfaces, and GUIs are supposed to be easy, intuitive, and reliable for the user. So software doesn’t begin with the code, it begins with the user. Put yourself in the shoes of the user and think like a user. Make your software simple and intelligent.

The Best Developers Think Like Users!

Front Brake Light

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
posted by mattadmin

Just a thought for all you automotive engineers out there… why not put a brake light indicator on the front of the vehicle instead of just the back? Brake lights have always been traditionally placed in the rear of a vehicle on the left and right (sometimes in the center as well). It’s time to think Brake Lights 2.0 so more information can be shared with other drivers on the road. If Kitt can have a red light in the grill, why can’t we all?

More as been done with the turn signal in recent years than with the brake light. Many vehicles include the turn indicators in the side mirrors.

Consider some scenarios…

1. Your stopped or braking quickly and while doing so you check your rear view mirror to make sure the driver behind you is slowing down, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. Are they braking? Are they slowing down fast enough to avoid collision?

2. Your getting ready to make a left turn from a side street and someone has their right blinker on to make a turn. Are they turning here or the next street?

3. Your walking across the street or riding your bike at a designated cross walk where drivers are required to stop and let you walk across the road safely. Is the driver yielding to me or not?

As you can see, that front brake light might be that little bit of extra information to help make the roads safer for us all.

By reading this post you have automatically agreed to provide me with a transferable royalty with no expiration for 90% of all future gross sales of the front brake light.

Just kidding on the royalty, but if this blog inspired you to create it, please do contact us.

The Genographic Project

Saturday, October 17, 2009
posted by mattadmin

The Genographic Project is one of the most amazing studies done on the origins of man. The Y chromosome found in males gets passed on from generation to generation without genetic mutation. Dr. Spencer Wells, using the Y chromosome, has taken blood and other samples to track the DNA of all human ancestry.

The results of this study are amazing and tons of information can be found on the National Geographic Genographic Project website. The study was led by Dr. Spencer Wells with sponsorship from National Geographic and IBM. The best part is that YOU can participate and trace your lineage back to the very beginnings of scientific Adam and scientific Eve.

So why is this research so important, why is it so amazing? It’s so amazing because of the results. We are ALL decedents of the African Bantu tribe from almost 60,000 years ago or 2000 generations. Some 50,000 years ago, a small group of our ancestors decided to go on a journey. Little did they know that their journey would populate the world.

This research is so important because it shows that we are all brothers and sisters. We are all different, but also all connected.  We live in different countries, practice different religions, and the color of our skin is even different, but the science is showing that we are all related and we are all humans.

Obama, Hurry Up On the War in Afghanistan

Thursday, October 15, 2009
posted by mattadmin

Fox News reported last night that requests for troop increases have been sitting on the presidents desk since August. It is now the middle of October, troop deaths are on the rise, and the president doesn’t even have a strategy yet. As president, if there is an active war, it should be your top priority unless there is a crisis. We obviously had a huge economic crisis with a collapse in the American financial system so we can safely rank that priority number one and then the war should be second on the priority list.

Since August, Obama and his administration have had the war on the back burner campaigning for healthcare reform, the Chicago Olympics in 2016, and various other detours like a trip to New Orleans to talk about Katrina today. Healthcare is important, but not more important then have a war strategy already in place. The war definitely should not be pushed behind the Chicago Olympics, which was a complete failure. Chicago was eliminated first and Chicagoans were split as to whether they even really wanted the Olympics in their city… check out this web site: http://www.chicagoansforrio.com/. Obama is from Chicago so it’s understandable that he would want to support it, but if you have more pressing issues like the lives of soldiers and the future security of the country, maybe you can leave the campaigning to Oprah.

A strategy is needed, it’s needed now, and we need to finish what we started and get it done quickly. I would recommend more “shock and awe”. Send troops, drones, special forces, and get the war done. Spend more in the short-term, wrap it up, and save in the long-term.

DIY Cool Little Projector

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
posted by mattadmin

Quick little post on seeing a problem and doing something about it. I bought this projector from Dell because it is so small and portable when traveling. When you read the reviews or actually try to use it, not being able to adjust the projector up or down was a huge problem, especially when trying to make a presentation happen for a client. I knew there was a way to fix it so I started brainstorming and came up with this…

dell

I figured why not add a tripod? Most digital cameras and video cameras come with a port on the bottom to attached a tripod, big or small, and that’s all the projector really needs. I was able to use industrial strength epoxy to attach a bolt to the bottom of the projector that would allow the tripod to attach and poof, the little guy now adjusts and works fantastic.

The point here is this… trying to make something better, solving a problem, or other ideas are good to pursue and then share with others. The Internet provides all kinds of resources to share with others so take advantage of it. There is no such thing as a bad idea.

Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger

Tuesday, October 6, 2009
posted by mattadmin

The Krispy Kreme donut burger… is this a joke? No it is not and maybe this is what’s wrong with healthcare in America. Check it out for yourself on CBS.

World’s Unhealthiest Burger

World’s Unhealthiest Burger

What more can you say, over a thousand calories in a single burger. If it’s your only meal of the day, maybe your body won’t go into shock after eating this. Wow!

Will the Real Iran Please Stand Up

Saturday, September 26, 2009
posted by mattadmin

Iran is always a hot topic and always in the news especially with the United Nations meeting and G20 in Pittsburgh this week. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered his speech to the UN in a prime time forum and everyone walked out. Why is that? Well Iran is having issues in a lot of areas right now. People in Iran believe Ahmadinejad fixed the recent presidential election, Iran doesn’t comply with the UN on many fronts, and there is no separation of religion and state. Recently, it was just discovered that Iran had a secret nuclear facility not reported to the IAEA and several world leaders thought the G20 would be a great time to address the issue. Watch this video to see Ahmadinejad’s reaction.

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So why is the world scared of Iran developing nuclear technology? It doesn’t have anything to do with electricity, it has to do with weapons, nuclear weapons. This is where the issue of separating church and state comes into play. First, Ahmadinejad doesn’t believe that the holocaust happened, which is purely anti-Semitism. There are many videos including the recent speech at the UN where you can hear the words coming from Ahmadinejad. There is also another word you’ll always hear from Ahmadinejad and that is “Imam” and that word should scare you. It is also in reference to Imam Mahdi or the 12th Imam, which is the messiah Iran’s leaders believe will return if they cause havoc to Israel and United States. They don’t have to defeat Israel and the US, just cause cosmic chaos. Basically, the Iranian government believes in Armageddon and has a strategy to bring it about. There are hot lines, TV shows, etc. Just do a few Google searches or read these articles: 1, 2, or 3. How can you negotiate with these religious beliefs, you can’t and that’s why the world is watching and focused on Iran.

A great show about the history or Iran and the relations between the US is being replayed again on National Geographic on Saturday October 3rd at 5PM. If you want to learn more about Iran, Iran and the West is a great show from NatGeo.

I would like to pose a question, why rush while driving and do you really save that much time? I think people rush more because of habit than any other reason. Rushing and aggressive behavior becomes a driving style and doesn’t always end up serving a purpose. Some of us are just built to try and get things done as quickly as possible and with all the responsibilities of life, driving and getting from point A to B just becomes another one of those tasks that we need to accomplish quickly so we can go on to the next task.

If you do a little research (article 1, 2) you’ll see that aggressive driving and speeding are major contributors to accidents. So does rushing actually get you to your destination faster? I think the answer is maybe. You might be able to shave a few seconds on short, every day trips. But with the prevalence of stop lights, driving aggressively could potentially take longer and use up more gas. I often find that people gravitate to the fast lane and that the slow lane can often be just as fast and I don’t have people tailgating. So on a long trip, rushing might save you time if you don’t stop anywhere. If I drove slower then you, but my stop was 10 minutes shorter, we’d probably arrive at our destinations at the same time with all things being equal.

If you are an aggressive driver that always finds yourself rushing and getting stressed out, look at a clock and see how much time you’re really saving. Then ask yourself if that time is worth all the stress and risks of aggressive tailgating, flashing lights, rude gestures, deliberately preventing another driver from moving their vehicle, verbal abuse, physical assaults, disregarding traffic signals, changing lanes frequently or in an unsafe manner, and failure to yield the right of way.

AAA says us car accidents cost us $164.2 billion and cost each one of us $1000 per year. There are more than 6,000,000 car accidents every year with someone dying in a car every 12 minutes. Maybe rushing and driving aggressively isn’t so appealing after all considering the risk, stress, and how it hits our bank accounts. If we all calmed down a little on the roads, they would be a much safer place for all of us.

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