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Mindconnection eNL, 2016-03-13

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In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Thought 4 the Day

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1. Good News

Item 1. Graphene has made the news, yet again! Now comes yet another advance in using it as a superconductor. Read the full story here:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/graphenes-role-as-a-superconductor-just-got-better

Item 2. And more about graphene.  It's revolutionizing pressure sensors. Read the full story here:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/nanoclast/semiconductors/materials/piezoelectric-graphene-ink-enables-thin-film-pressure-sensors-of-any-size

Item 3. It's not always what's in the news that's important, but what's not in it also. For example, there is still no news showing that Barry Soetoro's mother was present during his "miraculous" birth in Hawaii. While the bad news aspect is that illustrates the utter lawlessness of our faux government, the good news is it leaves the criminal conspiracy still exposed for everyone to see. Even better news would be that this criminal has been arrested and his faux presidency declared null. That probably won't happen, but it is legally possible and morally imperative.

Item 4. This is sort of good news. It's bad news that is evidence of good news. The bad news is that Apple, typically not a malware target, increasingly is one. Read the full story here:

http://techtalk.pcpitstop.com/2016/03/07/52773-apple-targeted-in-ransomware-attack

The good news, of course, is that Microsoft's extreme efforts to force people off of Windows is working so well that Apple has reached a critical mass of users. Well, that's not the really good news. The really good news is the mass exodus to Apple translates into the really good news that more developers are coding applications and drivers for Apple now. That also means attention to UNIX and its variants, a good sign for LINUX users.

With Windows 10, a true abomination in alleged operating systems if there ever was one (Microsoft can't even give it away, so they are now trying to force it on Windows victims, er, users), the move from PC to anything else has really gotten legs under it. Maybe when Microsoft inflicts Windows 11 or gives users no choice but to downgrade to 10, the death of Windows will be complete.

Item 5. Speaking of Apple, the company struck another blow for freedom by denying the Federal Bureau of Incompetents a means to ignore the Fifth Amendment. The blowback against the agency is yet another blow for freedom. Read the full story here:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601007/how-apple-could-fed-proof-its-software-update-system

Despite the fact that the US CONgress and the Submissive Court have apparently concluded that the Bill of Rights never existed, some of our missing civil liberties may be protected by technological means. An entire underground movement exists for liberty, and it's going mainstream.

2. Product Highlight

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3. Brainpower tip

On what basis are your thoughts predicated?

For most people, the answer is one they aren't even aware of: artificial constructs. Here are some examples:

  • Race. While many people believe that the races are clearly delineated, the fact is they aren't even clearly defined. Racial characteristics/features are on multiple spectra with plenty of crossover. If you will research th origins of the three races system, you will see how capricious it is. Race tells you nothing about the individual, and serves mostly to muddle your thinking and your judgment.
     
  • Politics. In the United States, there is a fake "political" system consisting of a single party with two branches. No matter which end of this turd you pick up, your fingers still stink. The fact that these two make-believe parties work for the same criminals is glaringly obvious upon examination of any two-decade period. No matter which one is in "control" the same crimes are committed and there is no rollback of such abominations as the IRS or the anti Patriot Act, etc. The vast majority of "voters" waste their vote by making it a protest vote against one of these fake parties instead of using it to vote in the affirmative for law and order.
     
  • Ethnicity. While there's nothing wrong with celebrating your ethnicity, letting it define what you can and cannot do (or believe) diminishes your opportunities and abilities as a human being. Imposing ethnicity as a filter on others is even more of an exercise in mindlessness.
     
  • Communications. Why is it "everyone" is carrying a smart phone these days? Let me rephrase the question. Why do so many people feel compelled to wear a prisoner release ankle bracelet even though they have not committed a crime and are not in a prison release program? It's fine to have a smart phone and use it, but carrying it everywhere you go is not a requirement of existence. The device can show NSA exactly where it is at any time of day, even if it's turned off. Why would you agree to this invasion of privacy? If you do have a smart phone, don't put it on your night stand and make a point of leaving it home sometimes.

The great harm of artificial constructs is they artificially constrict your thinking to a predefined set of parameters. This invariably leads to false, often harmful, conclusions.

Here's one that holds people back in their careers: "The boss is inherently superior to me." In reality, the workplace isn't a meritocracy (usually). People often become the boss by telling their boss what their boss wants to hear rather than by exhibiting superior ability.

What this means is your boss isn't necessarily going to make the best decisions. Instead of going with the parent-child model, treat your boss as your customer. You are the expert, not your boss. Make it so your boss can rely on you as a resource for making informed decisions, and now you are in a position where your views really matter.

This does not mean you just knee-jerk challenge whatever your boss says. It means you start by taking some responsibility for providing input instead of waiting for orders to come down on high. Eventually, you'll shift things such that your boss rarely makes an important decision without consulting you.

Now instead of being just a commodity on par with those at your level in the org chart, you have distinguished yourself as a real contributor. This helps make you layoff-proof. It also makes your job more rewarding while piling up talking points as you network for career advancement.

Artificial constructs are essentially cages. Unless you see yourself as someone on exhibit in the primate section of life's zoo, be on the lookout for artificial constructs wherever they may be. Here are some other ones, just to get you thinking about where these pop up.

All of these are false, but people tend to believe them:

  • Sneakers are "must wear" apparel, except for business casual and higher dress codes.
  • You must watch television.
  • The news shows are required viewing.
  • Newspapers keep you informed.
  • It is nutty to care about your health (see the Fitness tips in this edition).
  • Doctors understand nutrition.
  • Only experts can understand a given topic.
  • Non-experts who don't research a topic have opinions equally valid to those of experts.
  • It's not worth a layperson's time to become informed and conversant in a topic.
  • What you drive speaks volumes about you.
  • The condition of what you drive (or how clean it is) isn't relevant.
  • You have to attend college to learn anything about subjects taught in college.
  • You have to attend trade school to learn the basics of a trade (e.g., carpentry).
  • Men can't cook or do housework.
  • Women can't repair automobiles or fix things around the house.


4. Finance tip

One of the key areas where houses leak thermal energy is the wall that contains the front door. Home builders are notorious for taking shortcuts and doing shoddy work. Very few of them adequately insulate this wall. They figure the crappy door they installed in that wall will leak so much the homeowner will blame the door and not notice the wall is the real problem.

This spring is a good time to pull siding off the outside and open that wall. You will probably find some insulation there, but also large areas that simply are not insulated. The typical solution is to buy a roll of fiberglass batting and fill in what's missing. But, wait.

You may notice the insulation that's in there is R12. Since you have this open anyhow and are buying insulation anyhow, buy the highest-rated insulation available and replace it all. With the original insulation removed, check for any holes and fill them with a good caulking compound.

An  inexpensive shortcut to this approach is to try to spray foam into any possible voids, using available entry points such as receptacles or something inside the door jamb. Don't try to "save money" with this shortcut. Do the job right.

If you're not familiar with siding removal and installation (most home-owners aren't so don't worry) hire a carpenter or siding contractor to do this for you.

This one improvement can typically pay for itself in a single year (summer and winter), and it also makes your home more comfortable.


5. Security tip

This article may help you avoid getting ripped off by untrustworthy tech firms:

http://askbobrankin.com/alert_can_you_trust_these_tech_firms.html?pcp=&brankin-untrustworthytechfirms

It's ironic that this site serves up one intrusive ad after another....

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

I've coined a new word to describe a destructive behavior that is not only very common, but expected in our society. People who apply logic and thus choose not to engage in this behavior are often the objects of scorn by those slavishly engaging in this behavior.

The peer pressure to engage in this behavior is so great that, despite the destruction wreaked on individuals and society, this behavior literally has a death grip on the hearts and minds of over 75% of the population in the USA.

The new word is "dyseating." It is an amalgamation of "dysfunctional" and "eating." Dyseating causes disease, disfigurement, and financial disaster. And it has other consequences.

Dyseating is when you forego smart food choices and instead ingest poison like wheat products, corn syrup, processed "foods," and junk that's calorie-dense and nutrient sparse. It makes no sense to give up not only the nutrition but the bounty of amazing flavors in real food. Even more senseless, the food is replaced with poison.

Peer pressure is, IMO, the main reason people abandon all logic and sense of self-worth to join in this destructive behavior. When I say self-worth, think about that. If you value yourself, why would you eat this way? 

So, dear reader, let's assume you want to value yourself and make smart food choices but that peer pressure makes you feel like a criminal if you do. Else, you'd eat the way you really want to. Those peers, ugh.

Lose weight, be strong, burn fat, gain muscle

 
Let's solve the peer pressure problem

When I was a kid, peer pressure often left me feeling like a lesser being. I didn't give in to the peer pressure to do something stupid, but my not giving in had a cost. Basically, I didn't get the approval of peers.

In this context I use the term peers the way sociologists do. A peer is a member of your "group" (whatever that is) and peer pressure is pressure exerted on you in an extortionary way. Don't comply, and you face rejection by this group.

Remember the high school days? The so-called "cool kids" ruled. If they declared you an outcast, other kids avoided you lest they suffer the same fate. These kids were keen manipulators, and they had most other kids seeking their approval.

At first, I fell for this fraud. But not long into my high school career, I figured out a little secret. Those "cool" kids or "popular" kids were neither cool nor popular. They were just mean kids who assumed superiority, and then used abusive behavior to dominate other kids.

I stopped caring what they thought. Given what I learned, I coined a more accurate phrase. The vast majority of those kids were not my peers. They were, however, losers seeking to bring other people down to their level.

What we call "peer pressure" is more accurately called "loser pressure." People with delusions of adequacy try to pressure other people to behave in self-defeating ways. That kind of thing didn't end in high school. Most adults are controlled by it today. Dyseating is a case in point.

Once I figured out the whole fraud, I no longer felt a need to kowtow to these insecure, socially warped people. Today, I'm less confrontational and tend to simply ignore the bad behavior and do my own thing. Back in high school, I was maybe not so laid back about things. I would drop subtle hints of my displeasure over their behavior by, for example, tossing orange juice in their face.

But more often, I would confront their behavior with a direct statement. An alleged "cool" kid would say something mean to someone else, and I'd say, "That is just so not cool. What is wrong with you?" The "cool" kid expected groveling, not to be told he was being uncool.

When I figured out this worked with loser kids, I applied it to loser teachers also.

I had an English teacher who was condescending and mean toward her students. One day, she said something particularly mean to one of my classmates. In response, I stood up and said something like, "We're just kids. You're an adult. Why don't you try acting like one for a change? Try setting a good example, instead of tossing out all the undeserved insults. We're here to learn about literature, not how to behave badly toward others."

She was stunned. The other students were stunned at first, then they broke out into applause. She immediately called for silence then kicked me out of her class, thinking I'd stay in the hall and mope. But I went to the Principal's office and reported her. She gave me a C for the semester, in retaliation. I got that changed to an A, based on my actual test scores and other convincing evidence.

My whole case went under review by other English teachers, and they concluded I was an A student and had been wrongly graded for purposes of a personal vendetta. One of them remarked that I could not be held accountable for work she forced me to miss. Another regraded an essay she'd graded F and added pages of commentary explaining why it was A+ work. One of the teachers actually requested I be assigned to his class the following school year. How is THAT for approval?

So this proved that I did not need the approval of someone who was mean and insecure. I didn't even want it. This wasn't a peer pressure thing, but it was still a situation of someone trying to force me to adopt her own low standards of behavior. I would have none of it.

Give encouragement rather than seek approval

In high school, I actually developed a following of the ostracized. The nerds and rejects would come sit at whatever table I sat at during lunch. And I'd hold court with them. There'd always be some kid who was never listened to, and he'd get an audience.

It was interesting that my table got so crowded that we had to scarf chairs from other tables. The self-appointed "popular" kids had about half as many kids at their table. This earned me the animosity of most of the "popular" kids with whom I served on the student council. One of their childish reactions was to change the meeting dates and tell everyone but me.

There was one popular kid, Scott Hall, who was a star athlete. He was popular enough to be voted Homecoming King. But he always had a problem with this whole clique thing, and his example helped form my thinking. Scott never put anyone down. Ever.

Even many years later at class reunions Scott was the epitome of grace and class toward others. Scott also did well for himself in life. He's just the kind of guy you can't help but hug when you run into him at those "later years" class reunions.

I noticed a pattern that people with truly high standards didn't use the crutch of social pressure to manipulate others. Scott, for example, encouraged others to be their best. Scott was on our basketball team along with Larry Block. They were both superb athletes, but Larry was named our MVP. Scott, true to form, thought this was wonderful.

You might think Larry would have had a big head over that and would look down on others. Nope. Larry is the one who started me on my unbroken record of never missing a workout. In the summer of 1977, Larry stopped his training on the basketball court to visit me in the weight room. Larry practiced basketball every day. He never missed. He told me this, and then said he'd noticed I was training regularly too. He told me, "Don't ever stop." I replied that I wouldn't, and I've kept my word ever since.

Larry imparted his high standards to me that day. He didn't have to interrupt his training to do that, but he did. He invested in another human being rather than putting someone down. Unfortunately, Larry developed a disorder in his mid-20s; it led to his being homeless and he lost those talented fingers to severe frostbite. But I still carry his high standards onward.

Set high standards for yourself

Like Scott, I had substance to back my not going along with peer pressure. All of us are capable of having substance, it's just a matter of setting high standards and meeting them.

You can "pull off" the "I don't need your approval" persona if you do that because you don't need anyone's approval. You don't need to seek it, and you'll get approval that actually counts anyhow.

Rather than worry about whether people who are behaving poorly will approve of you, turn the tables. Hold high standards, so you are the one whose approval other people seek. This isn't particularly challenging, because most people have no standards. There's not a lot of competition.

When you set your own standards and meet them, you simply know that you are good--by definition. You have no psychological need to obtain the approval of people whose own standards range between low and nonexistent.

I make smart food choices and have the body to show for it because I have set high standards and have developed an immunity to peer pressure. You can do the same (if you have not already done so).

By high standards, I do not mean be a perfectionist. That's a situation of creating impossible standards and then failing to meet them. Set standards that are realistic and achievable for you.

Here's one standard that can set you apart socially as a desirable person: make it part of your personal standards that you simply do not gossip. For example, you're at a party and people start gossiping. You do not have to join in the depravity. Stick to your standards. Walk away, change the subject, or confront their behavior. You don't need their approval. Refuse to gossip, and you may get their respect anyhow. But why would you care whether you did or not?

I also don't mean you have to set high standards for everything. We all have different talents, interests, and abilities. It's really OK to have less than stellar standards in some areas (just don't be a total slacker). You don't have to be the best at everything, and trying will only frustrate you. I can make a long list of things I am not great at doing. I don't really care; those things are not in my set of standards.

You do, however, need to decide where you want to excel. And then make that happen.

Choose your areas of excellence

One kid at my school was not a particularly great student. I don't think he ever earned a letter in any sport. In some ways, he was an under achiever. He wasn't part of the alleged "in" crowd of "cool" kids (insecure self-important kids who used mean behavior to give the impression that everyone else needed their approval).

He certainly did not try to be the best at everything. But he was good at several things.

And he was extremely good at one thing; because of that, I'll bet you know his name.

He did not care who thought he was cool. However, he set the bar so high nobody at my school has matched it before or since. He is Robin Zander, the lead singer of Cheap Trick. And one very cool dude.

Regardless of what the allegedly "cool" or "popular" kids in high school thought at the time, Robin has out-cooled them all.

Most of the judgmental, abusive "cool" kids turned out to be failures in life. Robin, on the other hand, did quite well for himself. Yet, he is not self-absorbed or conceited.

Robin is what certain experts refer to as a "self-actualized human being." He makes his own choices in life. And he has the personal self-confidence and class to respect other people for who they are, rather than acting like some big shot (even though really he is a big deal). As a self-actualized human being, he doesn't have the insecurities that drove the alleged "cool" kids to behave so obnoxiously.

Robin is my ex-wife's age, seven years older than I. So we didn't actually go to school at the same time. But it was the same school and he used to come into the K-Mart where I worked when I was in high school (along with my buddy Russell, mentioned in the previous edition of this very eNL).

Robin was, despite being famous at the time, always gracious and polite to all of us. He even recommended some music not recorded by Cheap Trick. What a guy!

I haven't seen him in many years, so looked up his photo online. He looks fantastic for his age; my guess is he's making his own eating choices, just as he's ignored loser pressure and made his own choices since way back in his school days.

So what's your choice? Eating or dyseating? What standards did you set, and do they make you immune to loser pressure?

 

At www.supplecity.com, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:
  • The best workouts are short and intense.
  • A good diet contains far more flavors and satisfaction than the typical American diet.

7. Factoid

You use 200 muscles to take one step. Exercise those muscles by walking away from socially irresponsible companies instead of giving them your business. A particular vendor of gasoline comes immediately to mind….

8. Thought for the Day

If unfinished tasks cause you to lose sleep, maybe you should just finish them.

 

Please forward this eNL to others.

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. Please pass this newsletter along to others.


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