Monday, August 31, 2015

Wrongful conviction: $3 million.

Instead of making victims of wrongful conviction go through another agonizing process to gain compensation from society, we should have a law that just pays them.  At the time a conviction is overturned, the judges should award a compensation package at the same time. No more agony at the handa of the justice system. No more waiting for justice. No excess fees for lawyers on both sides arguing the merits of this case.

Justice against the courts should be swift.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Santorum has no idea what he's talking about. Talking faster changes nothing.

Rick Santorum's facts are nonsense, like his talking style.

 Here are the general conclusions:

  • Warming of the atmosphere and ocean system is unequivocal. Many of the associated impacts such as sea level change (among other metrics) have occurred since 1950 at rates unprecedented in the historical record.
  • There is a clear human influence on the climate
  • It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since 1950, with the level of confidence having increased since the fourth report.
  • IPCC pointed out that the longer we wait to reduce our emissions, the more expensive it will become.[14]

Changing the facts into a story about a nonsense does not make the Earth cooler...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The value of meaning of words

Ideas express atomic thought-expressions.  Words represent ideas. People assign meaning to ideas. Meanings are not attached to ideas nor words, they are assumed by people to be causally-linked. Herein lies the problem.

From that attached meaning derives purpose. Purpose derives action. Action changes the world. This is the value of meaning.

People will live and die by what they think something means.  People live by single meanings for what could be a myriad of equal interpretations. People get emotional when their expectations regarding these meanings do not match.

If one could get people to act with purpose from meaning but not expect there is only one meaning then peace can be attained. If one could get people to derive purpose without meaning then one could steer the people around harmful meaning yet retain a purpose and action.

Guiding people to purpose without meaning is a noble effort.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Threatening scientists that work for the government for political advocacy is a waste of taxpayers money.

A Scientist studying bird migration and with one month till retirement is now being investigated for expressing his political opinion. In a month, he's retired. He is studying bird migration. He wrote and performed a song on his own time. He has violated no scientific ethical standards.

Stop and think about what that means. It means that the political arm, the conservative government, is so vindictive towards anyone that stands up to it that they would rather waste manager's time, waste taxpayer-funded labour and overhead, investigating no crime - the Supreme Court has ruled government employees have a right to participate in politics - just so they can get vengeance. And if this ends up in a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal the government may be on the hook to pay for lawyers and a settlement. That is a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.

Imagine how many other wastes of resources they send the bureaucracy on in pursuit of vendetta? How is that responsible government?  In a month he would be gone but they want to react and let his action have power, demonstrate he is stronger. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Media and Trump

"Why hasn't Trump imploded yet?"

"What do you think of Mr. Trump's position on immigration? "

" Mr Trump had insulted another key demographic but will he alienate them?"

The media can't help themselves falling into Trump's trap:  information overload equals pattern recognition. And people don't care how stupid he sounds.

Bill Maher and his panel covered this as well:

With every other candidate that person must do something noteworthy to get attention and recognition. With Trump he gets attention even if it's so they can watch him trainwreck on live TV. Trump isn't cornered with tough questions and when he does he slips away and they let him.

He gets credit and credibility for free because he keeps doing Trump. It doesn't have to make sense; it is a spectacle of foolish and curious human beings fascinated at the event. They dropped all integrity and objectivity.

By playing Trump's attention game the media is making it worse; not better. If they ignored him till he laid out a real plan, then Trump would shrivel up on his own, hubris driven.

 Trump's rampage is working so well, the others are trying to jump on the nonsense bandwagon...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Donald Trump: a Great Satan?

In the eyes of the Ayatollahs of Iran

You can't get much closer to a great Satan than this guy:

The question is: would that hurt or help Donald Trump get elected?

Imagine the nuclear negotiations between these two opponents.  You might not have to wait long to find out.

Judge Harper on Harper

If you want to consider who is best for the job of Prime Minister, then judge the incumbent on his entire record:

Here is what he pledged in 2004 entitled: DEMANDING BETTER

Demand Better Accountability:
End waste, mismanagement and corruption in Ottawa.

We will direct the Auditor General to audit all federal granting programs and recommend changes to reduce waste and fraud.

We will create an independent Ethics Commissioner appointed by Parliament not by the Prime Minister 

We will hold elections to fill vacancies in the Senate

We will increase the power of individual Members of Parliament

We will give Parliament, not the Courts, the final decision on issues like marriage

We will cooperate with the provinces and respect the principles of confederation

Demand a Better Economy:
Lower taxes, control spending and create jobs
We will reduce the Federal tax rate on middle-income Canadians by more than 25 percent
We will introduce a $2000 per child deduction to reduce the fax burden on families with children
We will reduce premiums to eliminate  the annual surplus in the Employment Insurance account 
We will invest in infrastructure by transferring at least 3 cents of the gas tax to the provinces
We will introduce a new Registered Lifetime Savings Plan that allows Canadians to withdraw their money tax-free 
We will control government spending and pay down the national debt
We will cut wasteful  corporate subsidies in order to reduce taxes for all businesses
Help all businesses, not the favoured few
We will invest in research and development especially medical and scientific research
At page 22, I stopped copying out promises....Thanks to Poltext for the stored political manifestos

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Amazon's Bezos does not know what he's talking about

A company built on selling everyone else's stuff is an illusory thing. It only exists if other companies think it is valuable. It only exists if people remain confident in it.

A performance system evidenced by data you agree with is equally illusory. Data collected in a biased way is not ground truth data. You are looking at the data other people want you to see but not the data you need.

When a company enforces a bell curve on people, even though they are not normally-distributed performers to get the job in the first place, it is not listening to people. It is imposing a fear and obedience system on human beings. Do what we say and don't complain or we get rid of you.

What could possibly go wrong with monitoring all the ins and outs of people working? What could go wrong with making people edgy about performance appraisal all year, rather than focus on working?  What could go wrong with punishing people one year despite a solid track record of achieving? What could go wrong with a snitch line? These are not positive performance habits. These are not enablers. The irony is Jeff Bezos has set up a system where he can point at data divorced from reality and still think it's real.

Jeff Bezos should really read a book on his own shelf : The Drunkard's Walk

 This is an excellent book and it explains why uninformed people think they understand more from data than is actually there.  Meaning: everything in society is based on stochasticity. Managers always overvalue their performance and undervalue chance. Victory has a thousand fathers, defeat is an orphan.  Managers always take full credit and rob credit from the real people you want to keep. Over-valuing instantaneous data demonstrates you don't understand long term trends.  You can do everything right and conditions make you fail. You can do everything wrong and conditions make you succeed. Hiring and firing people on the wrong data only decreases your chances of success. It will take one drunkard's walk the other way to turn over your bad company. Sooner or later all random conditions happen. If you've carved out your company and left it to sociopaths running amok it will be exposed soon enough. Pinning serious decisions on temporary data is foolish in the extreme. And if you think it has worked in the past so it should work now, then you are foolish. Or in denial.

When Amazon is told by the New York Times it's employees are tortured by work conditions Bezos responds:

"The article doesn't describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day," Bezos wrote on Sunday. "I strongly believe that anyone working in a company that really is like the one described in the NYT would be crazy to stay. I know I would leave such a company."

Bezos acknowledged that the New York Times story went beyond a few "isolated anecdotes," since the story interviewed 100 former and current employees.
People crying at desks is not a statistic most companies need to track. That's a fact you can't get around. That's a real problem.

Then he is in denial about the impact of poor data collection habits. He is not questioning the bringers of data to see that they are giving him the whole picture. If you don't keep your managers in check then what's to stop sociopathic behaviour? Managers THRIVE ON SOCIOPATHIC OPPORTUNITIES.  If he's letting them lie to him then does he want to change the system that is working well for him? He's getting richer and his people are getting stressed. Or fired unfairly. Again, what could possibly go wrong with that?

If he is taking data at face value but not really checking the actual conditions out for himself, then he literally and figuratively doesn't know what he's talking about. The data isn't reliable so any conclusions therefrom are uncertain. If he accepts the premise data is sound then does he really want to tinker with what's working so well?

If that's the case then he's really not interested in change.Why can I say that? Because if he had all the actual data then how could he arrive at his current opinion? How would you know which people are the best performers if your data collection system is faulty? A manager can insert what he likes and lay off whom he can justify. People are crying at desks and no one dares say anything for fear of reprisal. Managers are emailing at midnight to make it appear that they are working insane hours - even though it takes 10 seconds to send an email, and it might take hours or days to respond.  Sounds pretty obvious to me.

It's just as likely that managers will abuse a data collection system to vendetta against targeted people regardless of performance. It's just as likely that people that are working well get caught in a bad cycle, work under conditions that aren't ideal, wait on others that aren't timely, and they can't deliver than they are incapable of delivering on time.  It's just as likely that people will lie to bosses, or say only positive things so as to appear completely happy with the company.  This breeds a fear and desperation culture where everyone becomes out to save themselves and teamwork suffers. Draconian culture feeds on itself.

This culture will end Amazon if left unchecked. This is death spiral condition.  I worked at a plant where people had lost confidence in the company. It was called Wittke and this is the conditions I saw firsthand.  This is how people turn on themselves, employees hide information and skills so they can't get fired, and managers survive by sacrificing good people to demonstrate their value. Blame becomes a weapon and teamwork is thrown out. Plant managers ridden into the ground by VP Operations.  This is how a good company falls apart.

Here is what real data says:

Here is more real data: Amazon isn't in the top 50 companies
from the overall Glassdoor survey.  Google is #1. That's a real fact. Google doesn't use this system. That's another fact.

This is what Jeff Bezos said about feedback:

Bezos encouraged employees to report inappropriate management behavior or incidents directly to him. He said the company won't accept callous treatment of its employees.
"If you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR. You can also email me directly at," he said. "Even if it's rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero."
How confident in your next performance review would you be if you email the president about your boss? If he isn't getting complaint emails about managers then he isn't getting the real data. Does that mean all managers are wonderful? He seems to think so. Do managers get to be managers by being nice people?

This is total bunk, Jeff may have a direct email line open but I know for a personal fact he doesn't read them all. It is filtered by staff. Again, what could possibly go wrong with that?

How do I know? I emailed him myself.  This is an email I got back when I applied for a senior engineering job at Amazon:

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: RE: Snr Manager Innovation and Design - Job: 251043
Date: Fri, 2 May 2014 22:29:23 +0000
From: Powers, Alice <>
To: <>
Dear Dave,

I hope you don’t mind my responding on Jeff’s behalf.  Although he does read his email, his schedule doesn’t always allow him to personally respond.

I wanted to get back to you quickly to let you know that I’ve taken the liberty of forwarding your message on to the Human Resources team, as they work closely with these issues on a day-to-day basis.  I feel confident entrusting your inquiry to them.

Kind regards,
Alice Powers

From: Dave Erickson []
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2014 12:10 PM
To: Bezos, Jeff
Subject: Re: Snr Manager Innovation and Design - Job: 251043


To whom it may concern;

Since I can't give you a full CV I thought about your position and came up with a proposed plan that summarizes how I would optimize your existing systems and projects; this is based on my philosophy of what harms leading systems integrator companies like my old company General Dynamics:

1. Stamp out sociopathy. Company first. 
2. Divest managers restaff with team leaders. 
3. Skills matrix. 
4. Capabilities matrix. 
5. Centralize knowledge. 
6. Travel reprioritization. 
7. Adopt open source where practical. 
8. Collaborate internationally with allies in coventures. 
9. Instill design philosophy. 
10. Refactor projects' hierarchies as component model patterns. 

Anyway, that's what I came up with so far.  



Sent from my iPhone

I applied offering to fix the problems that are now plaguing Amazon. Good thing he read his email. Good thing I didn't take the job.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Here's how #DonaldTrump is smart like a fox... and how he might win...

#DonaldTrump has not shied away from insulting many groups and people individually and collectively over the years and more recently every day of the week while applying for the job of US president. Especially those that confront him, like Megyn Kelly.

But this is one demographic he has never insulted:

Male workers.

Nor will he ever. Because his real constituency is male workers. He is their attributional dream - a lot of them want to end up like Trump. They want to become the rich snob with the helicopters and the pads. They will listen to him if for no other reason than envy.  They also are frustrated at the same rate about illegal immigrants and foreign trade disparity. This is who Trump appeals to. These are the people to put him in the White House.

He doesn't appear like a boob to frustrated male workers. He has a track record of getting things done. More than Clinton, Obama, and Bushes combined.

Trump is smart like a fox, he knows his research and he knows his market.

And this is why Trump might win:
America has lost its key check to the system.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Harper government poor at business decisions.

Separate documents tabled in the House of Commons show the federal government paid out approximately $ 31$-million in severance and separation pay to political staff in all ministers’ offices between April 2006 and February 2014. That's $3.875 $million a year for 8 years. 

 So the Conservatives would rather pay for administrative staff at $4million per year than pay for doctors that do research and can help the country in a medical crisis.They are cutting the Ph.D. / M.D. program that makes doctors that can research an illness and treat people.  The kind of person you need in a medical epidemic.

Dr. Norman Rosenblum is associate dean of physician scientist training at the University of Toronto. Two years ago, Rosenblum was asked by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to chair an expert committee to study patient-oriented researchers in Canada.
The expert report concluded Canada needs a major increase in the number of health clinician scientists, because the country is missing key expertise needed to address urgent health-care questions.
Rosenblum was surprised and dismayed to receive a letter from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in June announcing the end of funding for the MD/PhD program.
Dr. Norman Rosenblum
Dr. Norman Rosenblum says a mixed message is being sent about the value of patient-oriented research. (CBC)
"The reaction has been horror, to be honest," Rosenblum said. "My colleagues across the country have been mystified as to how this decision would be taken when they were not specifically consulted."
The letter stated "budgetary constraints" as the reason.
Harper is out to gut science but waste taxpayer money on administration. Is that a more efficient business organization? Does that seem like an effective government?

This is what it costs for a Ph.D / M.D program the student at the University of Ottawa:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Fall and Winter (Sessions 1 and 2) Spring / Summer
(Session 3)
Fall and Winter
(Sessions 4 and 5)
Spring / Summer
(Session 6)
Fall, Winter and
Spring / Summer
(Sessions 7, 8 and 9)
Fall, Winter and
Spring / Summer
(Sessions 10, 11 and 12)
$ 19,500.00 / session $3,000.00 $19,500.00 / session $3,000.00 $3,000.00 / session
+ stipend
$3,000.00 / session
+ stipend
This is a total of  ~$100,000 per student to have a Ph.D. with a M.D. that can do both. Or you could have office staff.

So for the cost of PMO staff PER YEAR severance we could have had 38.75 Ph.D / MD students that would lead to 39 doctors more per year in the country all for the cost of the PMO, Harper's office staff turn over year after year. That's not the whole government that is one office in Ottawa. Can you justify claiming that the conservatives are good with business operations after this? They would rather pay severance than for specialized doctors.

People that run on emotions hurt the people around them.

One of the biggest errors in society that has developed over the past few decades is the psychological mantra of validating feelings and the need to express emotion. It may seem therapeutic but without Eastern wisdom it causes as much pain as it solves. Without an understanding of the teaching of Buddha it is misguided advice that causes more pain. To accept that emotions happen is good. To not teach people to control their emotions is bad.  To allow oneself to react to emotions is to allow them to control you. Your locus of control has become other people and the stressors that cause you unhappiness.
While it is healthy to recognize emotions and validate people for feeling, it is not ok to allow people to act on their emotions around others. To think we can act as we please is the problem, because it creates a blind spot where emotional action is OK.  This is the cause of unhappiness. People that feel justified to act a certain way due to emotions may feel better but don't feel worse when those actions cause ripples unto other emotions.  This causes a cascade effect that carries on the emotions to others which ripple through and harm the good. It can all be avoided.

People must be taught that emotions can only ruin them if they let emotions reign. People must be taught that emotions are not enough reason to act out against others. People must be taught that self control and mastery of one's own emotions is a reward and a goal in itself. It is a perfect goal unattainable but rewarding in the pursuit.

To tell people it is OK to react to emotions without understanding the commitment to self-control that is necessary is to arm a nation of unhappy people with a justification to act, to let them shoot wildly. 

Emotionalism, the idea to let emotions run a person's behavior is to harm society. It ripples unto others that did not cause the harm in the first place. It is as harmful as guns and alcohol. Worse because guns and alcohol are outlets for emotional people that act on their hurt feelings. Danger comes from people out of control. Under all the evil actions in society are raw emotions that caused them. Guns held by people may shoot people but it is emotion that pulls most triggers. Fear. Anger. Jealousy. Hatred. Scorn. Sadness. Misery. Palpable feelings let loose on the world.  Emotions have no form but their consequences scar the world.

One might save the world from shootings if one could teach people to be centered and in control of emotions. One might change how we treat each other if one could teach us how to behave.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Into the crosshairs

I give you permission to create your own into the crosshairs from my image above; notice the along axis aiming - guaranteed he's dropping. Just like your next comedy victim!
You can make your own comedy mocking image for propaganda purposes (satire not crime).

Like this:

Or this:
Or this:

New Statesman: was it only a joke?

Liberals: True Love for Canada

This reminds me of this:

And it sort of looks like this:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Harper bet Canada on the oil industry...and lost our buy-in.

There's a hole in the Canadian economy left by the oil industry.

It's not this one. It's this one:

Or that his economic record is the worst.

It can't be easy to be Prime Minister at any time. At this time it's worse than most. PM Harper let the economy steer itself by allowing foreign (local oil companies swallowed up by larger foreign ones ) oil companies to run amok drilling for oil as the main business sector. When the economy worldwide stalled and the price of oil plummeted they dropped Canada and took their money elsewhere.

Manufacturing has hollowed out. Services are off-shored to cheaper places. And science, the one industry that can create jobs without oil prices, he slashed research money and SRED credits. By betting all our economy on one large sector, we've seen the economy sputter and struggle. It can't sustain itself without oil.

Foreign investors see the truth and have short sold our dollar. They are betting against us because they see how poorly managed we are.  They see the truth that we are screwed and are trying to take advantage of it the only way corporations do. By trying to profit from our distress.  

This was a conscious decision, to allow fat oil companies to get tax breaks, duck environmental responsibility and not pay their share while starving other industries that could one day take the strain.

He's left our country with no way to dig itself out of the hole created.  He's saved no money from the excess times to smooth out the rough patches. He's unwilling to take advantage of all-time low interest rates to make a whole new investment in industry. And worse, he won't even balance the budget because the oil companies layed off workers and they won't pay income tax this year. Most will be collecting employment insurance. That's a net negative for the entire economy.

I hope the country sees through the corporate speak to lay the blame where it's deserved.