25 December 2012

Speed reading vs "normal" reading

In case you're uninitiated into the art of speed reading, this is actually a very good guide.

The science behind it says you lose comprehension.  First I would say those readers were incompetent.  Second I would say, even with a loss of comprehension speed reading is still the best way to study/learn anything.

To the first point: our brains are supercomputers.  We are all capable of "super hero"esque feats.  All it really takes is the right Paradigm, motivation and the right mindset.  However, when most of us read we don't focus all that well.  Think about driving a car.  Now think about driving that car at 20mph.  Or however fast you go in the city on your daily commute.  How engaged are you in that driving?  Minimally.  You're thinking about work, you're trying to eat, maybe do makeup, maybe check facebook or text.  You're not "in" the car at all.  Now take that same car and go 110mph.  How focused are you now?  Your mind is absolutely attuned to every detail and every piece of that driving experience because you know if it isn't, you're dead.

Now replace driving with reading and you start to get the picture.  Your brain can comprehend entire books at amazing speeds but no one focuses that well because we don't have the correct paradigm.  Your brain gets bored reading because you're not engaging fully.  The way we read is the same way we read 50 years ago.  How many things do we actually do that we did 50 years ago?  We don't even think the same.  Every discipline has changed from that time except for reading.  It's time to switch it the fuck up!

Onto the second point.  Even with a loss of comprehension (questionable), speed reading is the best option.
Why would I say this?

Because think about it.  Let's make a metaphor.  All of the knowledge in a particular class is represented by a line.  100% of the line means 100% of the knowledge taught in a class.  However it's not continuous, each piece of that line represents only one bit of knowledge.  So you can know a bit of the class anywhere along the line, but that doesn't exactly mean you know all the bits of knowledge proceeding that.  Let's further say that the line progresses through time so that things at the left of the line correspond to things taught at the start of the class or at the beginning of the text book.


So the goal of learning at all is to pick up enough of the bits of that line to be functional.  This is currently most quickly demonstrated and measured through a dreaded test.  So let's just say you're going to procrastinate and won't learn the way the teacher wants you to.  Now you come up to the final for the semester which is comprehensive and you have to choose two methods of study.  Speed read the entire book multiple times (at least twice) or read each chapter in depth from the beginning.

Now since you're cramming the night before we already know you won't learn it all.  So let's just say you get 10 bits of that line regardless of the approach you take.
sum total of the knowledge offered by the class
Speed reading method
[    -             -          -         -              -                -               -                -          -            -    ]
Normal reading method
[----------                                                                                                                           ]

Now the speed reading knowledge bits were randomly allocated because you'll likely only remember things in what could nearly be called a random fashion.  Using normal reading requires steady studying throughout the entire semester to win out in a comprehensive final.  But we already said you're procrastinating so in the allotted time you only covered those 10 dots at the start.  Let's just say the teacher was sick and now you have an extra day to study.  This is represented by adding a full 20 bits of knowledge.  The speed reader can get a full 4 more read throughs of the entire book and the normal reader gets the same amount of time.  Using both approaches again:

Speed reading method
[-   -    -  -   -      -   -     -     -  - --  -   - -      -     -       - -   -    -       -    -     -    - -  -- - -  ]
Normal reading method
[------------------------------                                                                                             ]

So now, just looking at the lines, who do you think will perform better on the test?  Clearly, the speed reader.  While the normal reader will easily win out in those first few chapters, he is quickly outflanked because the speed reader just knows more in general.

Possible model flaw: the comprehension for the speed reader is assumed to be the same as for the normal reader.  The research says different, even if I disagree with it, I didn't account for that loss of comprehension in the model.  Even still, assuming the speed reader comprehends a full 1/3 less than the normal reader, I think the advantage is still apparent.

Now imagine the speed reading method was to be used responsibly and the user studied throughout the semester as recommended by the teacher.  How many read throuhs of the book would that be?  And the user would be constantly ahead in the class.  Even at lessened comprehension, speed reading makes better sense.  Reading the entire book 10 times (easily possible with speed reading) is far better than reading the book once or twice using normal reading and may even circumvent the need for notes I suspect.

Anyway, not that you cared at all, but there's 2 reasons to speed read.  Which I practice now.  :)

26 September 2012

Reality Check

The inspiration
So I was on a date with the Catholic-my latest charming lady.  Quite fun, but some tiny innocuous comment hit me.  She asked my age-24 and then asked what I'm still doing in school and if I started late.  I've gotten the question before so I replied "changed my major a couple times".  She replied with "oh cool".  The conversation moved on but she said something about me needing to stop being a man-child still in school.  It was meant to be playful but...  

She's absolutely right, I do.  It made me realize I've been playing a ridiculous game.  I learned a long time ago that appearances can be everything.  When someone asks how are you-you say fine and smile.  Even on the tough days.  But it's far from my truth.  And I've been deluding myself by thinking that no one else could tell that.  It's obvious to some 19 year old-brilliant though she is- who still has a lot of growing up to do.  If she can see it, so can anyone who looks at me and that forced me to realize how superficial I've been of late.  And I don't like that-that I've been so superficial.

So let's get real here-in the public, for anyone to read, with only the tiniest veil of anonymity to keep my stupid little ego safe.  That'll make it far more real for me.

The truth, in a weird conversation between myself and other Mike
So Mike, you're not happy with your life.  Let's start with an inventory, what is your life right now?
Well Mike, short story is I'm a 24 year old failure that's done nothing with my life besides rack up 30G's of debt and collected a few ridiculous mega blok toys.
I'm not asking for the short story, let's get long and detailed here.
Okay-I broke up with a love of my life because I was bored sexually.  While that was a large part of the reason, the latchkey reason was that my failures were starting to accumulate and some part of me didn't want anyone close enough to see it.  Once she left, I tail spun to the point of not paying rent, of nearly getting evicted, of basically failing out of college, and dropping helplessly into a self-created pit of depression.  I clambered out met a new girl then ditched her to go back to the original girl that I was bored with sexually.  Then we tried that as a long distance relationship and that was stupid because the problem was me.  She left again.  After-I really didn't have anything else to live for so why not end it?  Well I've got a lot of college debt.  No one's problem but mine.  And then... She came along.. A karmic bitch slap in the form of a girl who made me needy... who I got addicted to (I'm used to being the cool, not needy, addicting one), who needed me to train her in combatives.  Debt and training her, that's what kept a sword out of my belly.  So I again clambered out of my little depressive pit.

Hoped she would fall in love with me as I so badly wanted to love her.  But guess what, she could see I'm a total loser and the guy she's with and has been with for 5 years is my age and way ahead of me.  Has his degree, established financially, has something for a 401k, probably has a Roth IRA and is thinking about buying a house for her and him to live in.  Me, on the other hand?  I'm about to be 30G's in debt if I can ever manage to graduate, I fail a lot of my classes which has entirely wasted nothing short of about 4 semesters worth of college credit-so graduation might not be something I need to worry about, I have trouble staying on my bills even now that I'm living so cheaply... and I'm smart to top it all.  I ace my classes when I try which is the stupidest part of all.  I can do it but I DON'T.  I breezed through my last test without studying for it... I'll get the results in about 8 hours but I already know it'll be high 90's.  So, why do I ever fail?  Why am I such an idiot with money?  Neuro psych tells us that it's because short term goals give the highest bump in dopamine and I have an impulsive personality.  As things loom closer I do them-like cramming for a test that I think I'll fail, but long term is a challenge.  I could blame my mom for not raising me with enough discipline, I could blame the universe for taking my dad from me and not providing another father figure, I could blame anyone else.  Truth is, it's me.  I'm really stupid.  Sure I have the intelligence but I never use it which makes me far worse than anyone less intelligent than me.  I'm severely underachieving and why?  Why is this?

Is it something fruity like a lack of purpose?  A lack of drive?  I've been tracking myself.  Last week, BY MY OWN CODING, I've literally wasted at least 20 hours.  That's classed directly as "waste time" in my tracking system.  That's not counting "reading", "chatting", or other things that would land in "Wast time" if I was being more honest.  How much time did I spend on homework/studying?  Close to 5 hours... yeah, four times as many hours are spent literally wasting time by my own measure.  Why?  What's wrong with me?  Well what about my passions?  What about my combatives and working out?  That's what I'm supposed to be driven towards... how much time did I spend doing that?  Less than 5 hours "body improving".  No time spent on "combatives".

Wow.. that's quite a mouthful other Mike.  You are a fucking loser.  So what are we going to do about this?
I don't know.  Nothing changes for long, I always end up back here.  I don't know why.
Not good enough.  We need something.  
I've tried tons of things.  Fruity self-help books, making to do lists, tracking where my time actually goes, just doing things immediately when they pop up... I always fall back to where I am now.  

The formings of a plan
Yeah I get that, I'm you remember?  But we need something.  Already the support system we've been eeking by on is collapsing.  You HAVE TO stand on your own two feet before it completely is gone and you SHOULD HAVE been on your own feet long ago before we got here.  So what are you going to do?
Well... All those tricks are pieces of a working system.  Each one works for a little bit so if I can just stick with them, turn them into habits and do several in tandem I might actually get back to accomplishing things.  The time tracking is the first step of the reality check.. It pisses me off usually.  So let's make it social.  I need to start sharing it somewhere where anyone who knows me can see it.  Since I'm all about superficialities (word?) anyway, let's play off of that.  Next up my failures that resound through time... I need to own them instead of hiding them under a confident persona.  Hell, maybe I'll start talking to girls that way... that's a hell of a way for me to want to change it.  "Hey I'm Mike, I'm 24 years old, have done nothing with my life, fancy myself an entrepreneur but never get out of the gate, I have wasted no less than 2 years in college doing nothing, I am having trouble paying my bills and can't afford to buy new clothes... at all.  Oh, and I'll be graduating with 30G's in debt.. and you are?"
I like what I'm hearing.. but what if you fall back into your old habits, what's so different at all about this time?
I can't fail.  Like you said, other Mike, our system is dying.  I can't use it as a crutch for inaction anymore.  It's time to grow the fuck up and be a man.
Okay.  The only way to stop bad behavior is to replace it with something else.  You waste time as a habit so what are we going to replace it with?
Why not actually replace it with my first business idea that worked?  Reselling liquidated items, with 20 hours per week devoted it should nearly double my income.
Good, but it has to become your everything.  It has to become what you think about near constantly, else and you'll just waste time again.  Are you ready for that?
No, I need it posted somewhere I see everyday.
God, you're talking about a stupid list of affirmations aren't you?  Whatever, if it works, let's go.
Alright other mike, time to start this shit up.  Every morning I need to see my list.  I NEED to.  I need to know why I'm doing it.  I need a coach, I need a dad but I'll never have one.  He's gone so I need to coach myself.  Eyes on the prize, Mike.  Let's go!  More than enough time is wasted.  And I need to leverage my desire to appear "together".  I need to show people who I really am so I can become what I need to become.  I also need to decide exactly what my prize is.  Right now, it's classes to graduate and starting a business.

Then those are your priorities, your only priorities.  Get it?  Don't make me beat your ass.  Nothing else matters besides those two.  Print since you need it, but don't forget this.  I can't fail anymore.  

10 September 2012

He says She says

She says: "you're a challenge!"
I say: "you're not"

She says: "Do you remember me?"
I say: "sure don't"

She says: "Why don't we talk anymore?"
I say: "..."

Women have lost their luster... And I'm a little scared of what it might mean.  I'm jaded and done with love and so certain it won't happen but kind of hoping that it does... Lost loves and all that.  And it's annoying me.

Okay, it's not love I want-well not how you think of it.  Sure, tons of girls are pretty, some are charming, a few are vapid but great at sex and I can have them all.  But none, at least none at the moment, are in tune with me.  It's almost like a duty for me.  These girls need to know what it's like to actually have a charming, quality man.  I love them each and I can bring them all very real joy but I'm not happy.... In return all I ask is someone I can admire and respect that gives me a few moments of distraction... happiness really.  But a different kind of happiness.  None of them GET me.  Not really.  They just see me as edgy, or funny, or whatever else it is that attracts them.  But they don't innovate, they don't run with my thoughts and anticipate, they aren't hilarious, they don't challenge me....they are eventually boring.  And I can't share my life with them like I want to-they wouldn't get it or appreciate it.  What I do...It's a devotion but not a passion.  It's a chore not my hobby.  It's a healing love that I need to do, not always what I want to do.

Sure it comes with it's own high quality problems.  Most guys whine pathetically about not being able to talk to girls.  Others read some pick up manual to learn to be douchey.  I don't, I just go and love and explore the feminine.  Within this past week that I've assumed my "duty", as if blood was cast into the water, they have come.  Hungry, desperate, and craving my love.  Blond at the bar can't help but exude a... "talk to me" vibe.  Some sort of recent break up, obviously newly single and trying to get back in the game-she mistakes my sweeping glance for interest and won't stop trying to bring me over.  Next bar, I'm bored and quietly exploring the roof (like any good ninja) while my female friend puts the moves on her fella.  A new girl attempts to talk me out of my roof exploration.  Overly cautious, rule bound, and definitely motherly she's not my type at all.  But her friend wants me and is just charming enough to grab my interest.  The bus, another one-sexy silver highlights and a deceptively laid back attitude...  Everywhere.  I don't want for women, they want for me.  And these girls adore me but I'm scared I'll never find that happiness again- that this jaded, mostly bored with women person is just who I am now-not a phase.  It's the lot in life that I've taken.  Fate or not, it's where I am.  And I'll do it-when I admire them.

But some days.... a lot of days, I don't have to like it.  God damn my charming self.  And god has, if you believe in that sort of thing.  :D

06 September 2012

Death of a Fantasy

I find, ever since I was a kid I loved certain ideas.  Some fantastic, some more mundane.  (I thought it would be the coolest thing to find a dragon egg, to raise it and to ride it one day)  All unrealistic.  But they served a very direct purposes.  They kept me busy and helped me develop my imagination.  They helped me grow.  And then at a certain bitter sweet point, I had to understand that those things would never happen.  No matter how much I wanted them they wouldn't exist.  I found myself almost bitter about those things and then mad because of how foolish my desires were.  Why should I be bitter because I'll never ride on the back of a dragon?  And yet I was.  It was a recognition of a betrayal.  In tactics it's called a bait and switch- and I don't like being bait and switched.

Now I find myself with a new fantasy to outgrow.  That of the soulmate.  Let's do this.

To me, the idea of a soulmate is endlessly attractive.  One person to understand you, to love you through and through and to be at your side for anything.  A person who you'll have to fight for and who will fight for you.  It might be hell to get that person.  It might be hell to keep that person.  But it's your happiness in another person and it's beautiful.  A thought I heard long ago was that we end up with 8 or so soulmates throughout all the billions of people and we're lucky to find one of them.  I found one who I thought fit the bill.  Another was really close.

Yet, it didn't work like they say it's supposed to.  I needed her so deeply in the roughest point of my life and she abandoned me.  Sure I was a terror to deal with but it was all a desperate cry for attention.  She never responded the way I needed her to and finally left.  I was alone, afraid and in financial ruin with the pieces of my heart.  I pressed on.  I kept going and I don't need her anymore.  Soul mate indeed.

Then my mind immediately jumped to "well maybe she wasn't really my soul mate".  And so I continued.  However in tandem with me seeing what happens with soul mates I found ideas about monogamy and how false it is.  A big lie, we never evolved to be monogamous.  That we try to stuff ourselves into these boxes of behavior against our nature is astounding and mostly due to religious pressures.  Always being the one to question traditions, these ideas ignite something in me.  And they are at direct odds with the soulmate idea I cling so desperately to.

How, how on earth could I ever have gotten bored with someone who was supposed to be my end all be all person?  The person I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life with... I got bored with her.  That's not supposed to happen.  It's supposed to be happily ever after.  It's not supposed to be happy til you're bored.  I didn't like it.  How was I supposed to react?  How could I love this woman and be so bored sexually?  That's not what it's supposed to be like.

So I went to "maybe she's not my soulmate".  And she wasn't far behind in thinking the same about me.  When she abandoned me I found myself needing her so deeply but with her gone what was there?  So I coped.

And for a long while I didn't think about it.  I just couldn't, I just lost my soulmate.  For good probably so what else was there?  Meaningless sex with random women?  Dates, even relationships with women I don't really enjoy?  This was a far cry from what I wanted so I stopped thinking about it.  Then an idea occurred, what about polyamory?  What happens if I find multiple soulmates?  Should I excommunicate one in favor of the other or could I have them both?  Why shouldn't I?  How is it fair to exclude one for the other?  What about love?  Monogamy has so many ideas that are predicated on love being a valuable and rare resource.  But that's not what I've seen.  I've seen love be limitless.  At least when I do it, it is.  So why couldn't I love more than one?  So poly amory become the goal.

As I researched and learned, polyamory seemed to loose it's luster also.  I still have yet to experience polyamory but all of this leads me to cognitive dissonance over the ideas on soulmates at all.

Once that realization hit, logic stepped in to finish the job.  On it's last leg, as it writhed in pain from an arrow in it's heart-the poison seeping through it's body betrayed by the very thing that normally kept it alive-the heart, the idea of a soul mate called forth a new girl.  With it's dying yelp she answered.  And saved me in a lot of ways.

Lowest point in my life and she came forth out of nowhere to keep me there.  To keep me going.  She was beautiful but had such a personality that I often overlooked her.  Once I noticed though, oh my god, such beauty!  And more than that, she was damn near perfect.  Better than the first "soul mate".  Better than anyone.  But taken and I was thrown back so far.  Cognitive dissonance abounded and I couldn't manage to keep her attracted.  I never kissed her, I instead kept to my guns-spouting some vitriole about needing to explore polyamory.  So she moved on.  As I kept interacting with her, I fell in love.  But she was done.

She was so perfect but on my desire for polyamory she switched off like a light switch.  Really soul mate?  Really?  Just like a light switch?  No, that's not how it's supposed to work.  That's your last refuge soul mate?  That's what you bring forth in your last dying yelp?  Oh she was good, she was very good but not enough to save you.  Logic has pierced your heart.  The poison has taken a hold.  Soul mate, sorry, but I'm outgrowing you.  And I'm relishing your death.  She was almost your salvation, she almost was your antidote and medic.  But really soul mate?  A light switch?  I'm done with the betrayal from our culture.  And I'm ready for you to die.  Good bye soul mate.  You, just like dragons will never exist.

So Logic, my brilliant weapon that has killed you soul mate.  What truth do you have for me?

The arrow that killed the soulmate
Why so much expectation?  Why so much pressure?  In any other area of life we don't do this.  Businesses are specialized, one place does flowers, the next does plumbing and on and on.  We wouldn't commit to only ever using one business for the simple reason that we have more diverse needs than any one business could cater to.  We do this with friends too.  I have my friends I can work out with, I have my friends I can play video games with, I have going out for a drink friends, and I have friends that I talk to girls with.  A friend or two cross some of those lines but for the most part, they stay in their neat little categories based on their interests.  My video game friends really aren't into working out and I don't expect them to be.  Not a one of them gets jealous because I workout with a different friend or because I don't drink with them.  There's no expectation.  So why do we persist in trying to shoe horn our natures (our entire behavior in every other facet of life really) into neat little boxes and say "you're the only woman I'll ever need in my life."?

It just isn't realistic for me anymore.  I know this route will be a challenge because women and our culture encourage monogamy.  The underlying theme seems to be intimacy only comes with monogamy.  While I love intimacy, I know the real truth.  Intimacy comes without monogamy.  Just like my friends, I can have fun, deep conversations, or whatever else I need in any of the groups.  And then, if I have further needs I can puzzle them together for my life without forcing someone to do something they really aren't keen to do.

So why don't we pursue this line of thinking with our love lives?  I mean sure, that messes up a lot of fairy tales... or does it?  What if the most iconic romantic moments had the new couple we're watching, what if that couple both had their own person waiting for them at home?  Are we really losing anything?  I know I know, jealousy and all that but let's pretend we're over that.  What would that look like?  I go out with some amazing new girl, and come home to my girlfriend who I excitedly chatter about the date too.  And then, her and I settle in for me to cook for her and enjoy some wine.  The next night, I go out to meet yet another few girls that may or may not catch my fancy.  Apart from jealousy, why can't that happen?  What would it be like to get in a long term relationship for like 5 years, hit that bored phase and instead of ending something that might be really really beautiful (and clearly enduring) you two meet someone new to date?  Would all those 'new date' excitations come up again?  Wouldn't that bleed over to your long term thing and enhance it?  Okay maybe it wouldn't but doesn't that make so much more sense than "you're the only woman I'll be with forever and ever and the only thing I need in my life."  No you're not.  You might be close but someday there is going to be something I want to do that you don't, isn't it just easier to let me do that with someone else?  Whether that's some weird sex thing or just something as innocent as snow boarding doesn't really matter at the end of the day... at least not to me.    

The Lover
While logic is the weapon that killed the soulmate, there had to be something to fill that void.  As my heart broke and I carried around the shards, desperately hoping she (not-soul-mate #1) would find me again, I developed deep needs.  I had nothing left.  I was exhausted.  Everyday just... hollow and untrue.  Then to have my hopes raised up again by not-soul-mate #2 and then dropped yet again... To tape together the glass shards and try to mend the broken mess of sharp edges and jagged emotion... to make some headway and then have that shattered again... it made me feel stupid.

Eventually, something in me knew what I needed-even if I didn't.  And once my inhibitions were lowered, it took my hands.  It saw its chance in a drunken stupor and in that moment it forced my fingers-just like a storm forces its gift upon the land- to form the text that sealed my fate and replaced the Soul Mate.  I texted an ex that I have no business texting.  She hates how I never commit to her (just an obviously casual thing from my side) but whatever it was in me needed her.  And soon the thing in me saw itself in her, she needed me too.  So we found each other.  And she came close and we laid there.  Almost asleep-over a cute peck on the cheek the damn broke.  "I want you in me" and so I obliged.  And as I moved I found a freedom.  She took me and saw what was there, she saw the shards of my heart.  And she said "let me have a look... well here's your first problem..."  And just like a mechanic she went about, setting the bones of my heart, bandaging, mending, and healing and loving.  And I loved her for it.

And the void left by soulmate's death was filled.  We had an island of perfection, apart from the world, apart from the worries, the frets, the broken loves, the devastating losses and the other joys, we had an island.  And that island was my bed.  And it was perfect, it was a vacation.  And we both needed it.  My heart is healed enough, and I can let go.  I'm okay.  I found a reprieve from the hurt, from the loss.  She gave that to me and I gave it to her.  And I realize, those things in us that know what we need-those things that forced my fingers to text her and that forced her to demand me be in her... that thing was life.  And it's like a live wire to hang onto it.  It's scary and dangerous and intimidating and terrifying but for being there next to it, it grants you a reprieve and whatever else you need.  And I no longer missed her, or the new her.  I no longer missed the soulmate.  My heart no longer thrusts itself out in some dreamed, wispy direction-toward something that isn't even there.  I no longer even relish its death.  I have nothing left for soulmate.  I have nothing left for her at all and it's now that I know... I'm okay.  Really okay.  Not just "don't want to talk about" okay.  Actually okay.  Just like passing an ex on the street and not feeling a damn thing, I'm really over her.  I'm over soulmate.

The soulmate is dead and gone.  And just like the dragons I so deeply longed for, I'm okay with it.  I see what it's done for me.  I might create a tribute to soulmate, something small.  Just like the little, 5 dollar, teal dragon toy that adorns my bookshelf.  And forever there shall it remain-a testament to my growth.  And soulmate, with my dragon will both watch me.  They will watch me and enjoy the growth they caused.  They will watch me take lovers, as many as I can share love with.  Because there no longer is one special one for me, there are thousands of special ones for me.  And I will love them all because I have to.  Because they will need me just as I need them.  And we will heal each other together.  Because that's what life is and that's what it offers.  And so, it's what I offer.

I am Finally Alive... again.  Until the next melodramatic crisis of mine... :D

15 August 2012

Do stuff NOW (Advice soapbox)

So as I poke around with businesses and generally waste time I come across ideas and things worth passing along.  Here's an awesome idea by Derek Sivers found in his uncommon sense vid which I highly recommend checking out.  Best thing I got from it was this idea that you need to do tons of prep work to make your dreams happen.  Like for a business you need to spend weeks developing a business plan and getting a projected budget and raising capital and all this bull shit.  

Sivers-who's done it-instead says there's something you can do RIGHT NOW.  Like immediately and it doesn't have to be business oriented or whatever it can be your dream.  One of my friends said she wants to create a place where it's okay to talk about depression and suicidal thoughts.  Way more people have them than talk about them.  I didn't think of it at the moment but I'm going to challenge her by asking what can she do now to effect that change.  Likewise, I want a world where sex is more talked about and fun and free from the harsher religious judgments that we've all likely dealt with.  So.. I'm ridiculously blunt and frank about sex in general.  My closest friends know way too much about my penis (male and female alike... lol), I'm candid about when I want someone and sometimes probably too honest.  But it's in reaction to the opposite and the damage I've seen repression cause.  

There is always something you can do now.  Another company (that does programming nerdery if you must know) called Stack Overflow agrees in their presentation called "Stop sucking and Be Awesome Instead".  Honestly it's an idea you'll hear a lot.  Encapsulated in a clever saying from Sivers: "If you're not embarrassed by your first attempt, you're starting too late!"  ... or something like that.  I mighta minced the words but you should watch the Siver videos anyway.  

I like to live my philosophies as I prescribe them so check my blog.  If you're reading this you can peruse and it's kind of terrible isn't it?  Don't tell me, I know!  And I don't share with friends because I'm embarrassed.  However, I'm trying to make some changes and in a week, regardless of where the blog is I'm going to publish and show it to my friends.  Embarrassed or not, I need to live this as much as you do.  So come on random reader who probably doesn't exist!  Let's DO THIIIIIIIISSSSS!!!!