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Mindconnection eNL, 2004-02-01

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In this issue:

  1. Product Highlights
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Time tip
 
  1. Finance tip
  2. Security tips
  3. Health tip/Fitness tip
  4. Thought for the day

1. Product Highlights

Connecting with other people
I just love my little pocket translator (pictured at right). The problem with buying one of these is trying to figure out who makes good ones and which of those will best suit your needs. Mindconnection helps make this easy, with pre-selection and product comparison charts plus other advantages you won't find at other retailers.   
What is pre-selection? We know which products people like, and those are the only ones we sell. This saves you from having to wade through a long list of items. We try to give you a "can't go wrong" selection process 

If you interact with people who speak a language other than English, you definitely will want one of these translators. Check them out at www.easytranslators.com or at http://www.mindconnection.com/category/0002LANGUAGE.html

We also sell some very cool scanning pens. Some models will translate text from one language to another, while others--well, you just need to take a look at what's there. You'll be impressed. See: http://www.mindconnection.com/category/0003SCANNERS.html

 

2. Brainpower tip

Don't confuse anecdotal evidence with larger trends or large data sets. People often reach false conclusions by basing their perceptions or opinions on isolated events.

We see this in politics, all the time. We see it just about everywhere, all the time. When you extrapolate from a small data set, the room for error is enormous. In statistical analysis, this error is actually quantified. And there are all kinds of formulae for dealing with it. But, the effects are there no matter how you describe them.

The main point here is you should resist the urge to characterize an entire data set based on your personal experience or some other small frame of reference.

Of course, this brings up another question--how do you obtain that larger data set and know you can rely on it to be accurate? For example, Bob works at a company that lays off 1,000 people. Bob projects from that layoff that nobody is hiring and everyone is laying off. In reality, the USA is producing more jobs than we are losing. That doesn't speak to the quality of those jobs, but it's a fact. Where does this fact come from? Well, you are not going to get facts from your newspaper--you will get all kinds of garbage and leftist propaganda--but you will not get facts unless they fit the agenda of that publication. Every company reports its hiring, layoffs, and projections for same to the government and to certain business researchers (e.g., business information compendiums). This information is available, and it's been historically accurate. I'm sure there's some room for error or even "fudging," but it's at the opposite end of the spectrum from the newspaper norm of blatant "misrepresentation."

Now, in Bob's case, he's right about the layoffs--the USA started on a layoff trend in the late 1950s and it has not abated. We have set a new record for layoffs every year since the government started tracking layoffs. This isn't because we are doomed. It's because of several factors, such as the transition from an industrial economy to an information economy. That should also tell you not to believe the Dow Jones Industrial Average says anything useful.

I hope this brief discussion moves you to think about how you gather, validate, interpret, and use information. Most of us don't do it very well at all.

3. Time tip

One reason people "don't have enough time" is they will squander a huge chunk of it on a minor task because there's nothing urgent going on. For example, they'll stretch a 10 minute call to an hour or try to do a nonessential task perfectly. This precludes them from accomplishing other tasks.

The cure for this is to set up blocks of time. If you do an online search for "time management" and then search inside the results for "Mark Lamendola," you'll find a few articles written by researchers quoting me on this. The concept is explained in those articles. To master this concept, buy our Time Management Course at http://www.mindconnection.com/
Merchant2/merchant.mvc?page=M/CTGY/500TIME

Here's a bit more explanation about why you shouldn't keep working on a task until you've done it perfectly. It doesn't matter. That's why. Many people will say, "But I have such high standards." What they are really saying is they have low standards. When you are so afraid of your own incompetence that you keep going over something looking for errors, what happens? You get far less done. An example will illustrate.

Let's say your job is to install electrical receptacles in homes being built. If you install them per convention, you can easily keep up with the builders and everyone is happy. The receptacles are a tad crooked (up to 5 degrees off plumb), vary in height from the floor by 1/16th of an inch, and have other variations. For example, the amount of wire  coming out of the cable to feed each receptacle varies between 6 inches and 9 inches. In short, they are not perfect. But, you put these in very fast--about 4 per hour. They are "good enough."

Suppose Gary comes along and says you do shoddy work. Gary gets out a laser device and precisely installs each receptacle within 0.005 degrees of plumb, mounts them within 0.001 inches of each other, and provides 6.125 inches of wire inside each one. Gary can install one of these suckers about every  3 hours.

Will a homeowner even notice the difference? Is there any functional difference? No to both questions. Is Gary doing a better job? No. Gary is doing a far worse job, because one quality factor is time itself. That really matters to the contractor building the homes. With Gary's "perfect" installation ("good enough" isn't good enough for him), the contractor can't complete the houses efficiently.

To do a job right, first define the purpose of the job. Then, define the quality criteria that serve that purpose. Going beyond that isn't delivering more--it's delivering less.

 

4. Finance tip

Earlier, we discussed the layoff situation and the uptick in new jobs being created. Lest that lead us into thinking the economy is in a recovery, let's consider some other facts.
  • There is a worldwide glut of manufacturing capacity.
  • Strategic manufacturing in the USA is in very bad shape.
  • The information economy makes it easy to export jobs.
  • The factors that control "the economy" have not changed.

So, even with the common sense action of lowering taxes here in the USA (taxes take capital out of the economy), jobs are still at risk and there is no certainty that we are headed to rosey times where all is well. The uptick in job creation is not necessarily a trend. Except for the drop in federal taxes, the forces that drive job creation and job destruction are still on a path counter to our well-being. The uptick is good. But, it's not reason to assume the big bad wolf has left the forest.

On the other hand, you don't have to believe doom is just around the corner. There are good times ahead. But, they will be upticks rather than trends. And they will not apply to everybody.

What the economic situation of today calls for is prudence. Look at your expenses and see where your money is actually going. Try to modify your spending to improve the picture you see. Pay off debts, starting with the smallest ones (to improve cash flow). Buy things that have value, vs. buying things that are transitory. Don't buy junk food. Don't buy junk furniture. Don't buy junk music. You get the picture.

What you want to do is position yourself so you have a cash cushion, lower overhead, and lower debt. This way, you'll be able to better weather whatever comes our way economically. And what is coming isn't necessarily nice. So, prepare.



5. Security tip

Get enough rest. According to the Sleep Institute, it is rare for a person in an industrialized nation not to be sleep-deprived. When you are 20% sleep-deprived, you have the mental acuity of a person who is legally drunk.

Staying mentally sharp is the best way to improve your personal security. So, don't stay up late. How do you know if you are staying up late? If you need an alarm clock to wake you up, you are staying up too late. Consequently, you are operating with your brain a well below optimum. This puts you and others at personal risk.

You cannot make up for lack of sleep on the weekends, either. So, go back to what you learned in kindergarten and go to bed when it's bedtime.

 

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

Have you ever noticed that when you get your teeth cleaned there's "a whole lot of scraping going on?" What that scraping is about is getting mineral deposits off your teeth. This isn't essential for dental health, but it leads into the discussion, here.

Your saliva contains minerals, among other things. Those minerals help control the pH (acidity or alkalinity) inside your mouth, and they serve other functions. One of those is putting a protective mineral coating on your teeth. You really don't need this coating if you are getting regular dental care. The dentist removes it to permit inspection of your teeth, not because it's doing any real harm. And it's quickly replaced after the cleaning. But, the other functions (not all of which we know about) are important--or your saliva would not contain these minerals.

To protect this mineral balance, you need to obtain enough minerals in your diet and avoid depleting the minerals in your saliva. You also need to ensure a ready supply of saliva in your mouth--"dry mouth" is not healthy.

A good multivitamin, combined with a varied diet of nutrient-rich foods (this means lots of greens) will solve the mineral source problem.

When you are dehydrated, your saliva output drops. To prevent this, drink plenty of water. Note that if you drink distilled water, you will flush the minerals out--not good. Regular water contains minerals, so the effect is lessened. Tap water typically contains calcium, which is a big plus--it's a key mineral in your saliva. Just be sure to filter most of your tap water, so you aren't also taking in much chlorine or fluorine. These two substances are highly reactive. The first is in our water supply to kill things living in the water. The other is in our water for reasons that can only be described as "controversial at best." If you are familiar with the Periodic Table of Elements, you will avoid ingestion of either substance.

If you do have "dry mouth," a quick way to fix it is to massage your salivary glands. You can easily do this by folding your tongue over and running the tip across them. They are at the base of the tongue.



7. Thought for the Day

Recently, a girl called me long-distance for help with a school project after finding  www.codebookcity (one of the Mindconnection family of sites) online. She had asked a local government official for help with a school project and he wouldn't give her five minutes of his time. This is very sad. Children are our future. Investing in them, regardless of whose children they are, is part of being a responsible citizen. Stop and think about children you encounter. Do you see them as being important in their own right, or do you see them as props in your personal world? How do you show what you are thinking?

 

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection

Authorship

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

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