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Mindconnection eNL, 2003-01-12

In this issue:

  1. Brainpower tip
  2. Productivity tip
  3. Finance tip
  4. Health tip
  5. Fitness tip
  6. Thought for the day


1. Brainpower tip

How do you adequately weigh a potential action or an idea, to determine if it is good or bad? Let's examine an issue that folks are quite polarized on, and then look at some tools for arriving at the correct answer.

Let's take a really hot topic, in hopes of outrageously offending at least a few of our readers. Are you game for it? OK, here goes. You can apply the same tools to other questions, but I'm picking this one just to be interesting.

Proposed action: Pass legislation to ban guns.

Good idea, or bad? You decide. Here are the tools.

  1. Apply the logic to similar situations. If you pass legislation to ban tornadoes, will you keep them from happening? But, tornadoes don't obey our laws, do they? Neither do rapists, robbers, and muggers. So, legislating a gun ban will disarm those people about as much as legislating a tornado ban will disarm a tornado. The only people disarmed will be the potential victims. All theory aside, such legislation has resulted in a huge increase in violent crime in the U.K. and Australia. So, we can see this logical principle is proven in the real world and is not just an abstract idea. 

  2. Extend the logic. Japan has a higher per capita rate of violent crime than the USA does. But, in Japan, most murders are by stabbing or strangulation. In fact, garroting has become pretty popular there. So, the answer must be to ban not only guns, but knives. Hey, no more sushi! What about the garroting? Just ban shoelaces, piano wire, electrical wire, and belts. So, once everyone in Japan is going around in the dark with floppy shoes and pants that don't stay up, what happens when they start using baseball bats and pool cues? Ban 'em! What if folks start using their hands and feet on others, since Karate is so big in Japan? Ban their hands and feet, too! You see, by extending the logic, you can see there is no end in sight. It's sort of like looking into two opposing mirrors, where the reflection keeps going on and on and on.

  3. Ask "What if" questions. Some people say, "Guns are bad, because the do only one thing: kill people." The reality is, they are the most effective way to protect people. Not being a big fan of the "free crime" movement, I like to ask this question of the "guns are bad" folks. If you were being beaten to death by a gang armed with clubs, and I came by with a loaded gun in my hand, would you want me to intervene on your behalf? What if you had the gun and the person being beaten were your mother or your child--what would you do?"

  4. Identify unreasonable assumptions. Many people assume they have no personal responsibility for the safety of their families or themselves, and that it is the job of some 23-year old cop making $9.50 an hour to be their personal security guard. They also assume this cop will get there in time to do something useful. They also assume they, themselves, are too stupid to operate a defensive weapon. Well, not all assumptions are unreasonable....

  5. Look at other options. Many times, the choices being offered make no sense. Sometimes, it's the classic "Did you walk to school or carry your lunch" question and other times, it's the "Do you still beat your wife" question. In this case, the ban has a negative effect on the stated goal: reduce violent crime. The answer should be, "This is not a relevant question, if your goal is to reduce crime. Instead, we need to ask criminals what stops them from committing a crime." Tip: There's a large body of evidence to support that being shot in the genitals deters a rapist from continuing in the act. So, exploring similar approaches is worthwhile.

2. Productivity tip

If you must manage many tasks, simply track them in an Excel spreadsheet. Give each one a priority score, with 1 being urgent and 5 being "any old time." Work in Priority 1 and Priority 2 tasks until they are done. Record percent completes, and add other information as you feel like it: description, due date, invoiced, paid, contact person, etc. Another approach is to use project management software. Mindconnection just happens to sell ProjectKickStart at a discount.



3. Finance tip

Many credit cards and charge cards have cash back programs. Some have annual fees. You would be amazed at the differences in the various options available to you. Call your credit card provider today and ask them what cards they offer. American Express, for example, has a huge number of choices.

If you use a credit card for automatic recurring purchases, you can save yourself major hassle by using a card for only that purpose and leaving it locked in a safe at home. Have a separate card for use when traveling. If your travel card gets stolen, you cancel just that card. You should have a backup travel card, as well.

Have dedicated cards for dedicated types of spending, so you don't end up with a nightmare on your hands when someone steals your card. You must balance this against the added cost and time of paying separate bills--so think out a strategy ahead of time and then implement it all at once, canceling your old cards after you get your new ones.


4. Health tip

Most of the dust in your home consists of loose human skin cells and the feces of small animals. No, I mean really small animals, such as dustmites. You can't do much about those skin cells, other than bathe regularly. But, you can do a lot about those mites. Most of them are in your bedding, which is why the bedroom tends to be the dustiest room in any house. Here are some tips:

  1. Wash bedding weekly. From the moment you lie down, you start pressing cells into the fabric. Dust mites move in to eat them. Use a disinfectant in the wash--I use Shaklee's Basic H.

  2. Use a bio-barrier above your mattress. These are relatively inexpensive. You can do anything from a plastic sheet (ugh, the noise) to an allergen wrap that zips up around the mattress or box springs. I use the wrap, which also keeps my box springs clean.

  3. Use a mattress pad under the bottom sheet. You should wash this every other time you wash your sheets. Why? Your sheets are like the grill in the bottom of a bird cage, and your pad is the newspaper.

Taking these three steps will greatly reduce the dust in your home. It can't be good for you to breathe it, regardless of whether you have allergies or not. 


5. Fitness tip

Your body needs fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Many of the "lose weight" diets that are so popular advocate starving yourself of one of these nutrients. Doing so will not make you any fitter. It will make you fatter. To be fit, get all the nutrients you need. Cut back on your portions, and try to eat as little processed food as possible.

One incredibly stupid diet product is "reduced fat peanut butter." By itself, peanut butter gives an insulin-steadying profile of fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It is a lean muscle food. To make it "low fat," the manufacturer replaces that good-for-your-heart-easy-on-your-waistline peanut oil with maltodextrin or sometimes plain table sugar! Eating this concoction will only make you fatter. If you are gearing your diet toward getting diabetes (or making it worse for you, if you have it already), then "reduced fat peanut butter" is an ideal food for you. But, if you want to be fit--lean and strong--forget this stuff. Eat real peanut butter, instead.


6. Thought for the Day

Many times, we appear to disagree with another person--when in fact both sides want the same thing. When you disagree with someone, you can agree to disagree. Chances are, you really do agree on the core issue--if not, does it really matter?

Hidden agendas, pride, and miscommunication all come into play and fuel disagreements. But, so do differences in perspective--where we come from, what we've experienced, and whom we chum around with have a huge influence on our individual world views and opinions. Disagreement can end a friendship. Or, it can begin a journey to deeper understanding. Choose wisely.

Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


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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