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Archive for September 2009

Last Words

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The New York Times had an op-ed piece about executed prisoners' last words from the state of Texas. It quoted a few of the inmates, and had a link to the actual Texas Department of Justice Website's records of all executed prisoners' statements

It's not often that one thinks about life and death. I've thought long and hard about it when Andy died in Iraq. I thought about it when my grandfather died. I think about it every time it's 9/11.

By the way, the Arlington Cemetery aggregated all the news articles related to Andy's death and posted some pictures as well. The memory will live on forever.

But surprisingly, many of the last words by the prisoners were of grief, of sorrow, and of asking for forgiveness. I guess we can all use a little forgiveness, even the most hardened criminals. 

It also puts a human touch to the State of Texas' worst offenders. But somehow, we feel uneasy about that. Perhaps it's easier on us if we think of them as monsters and machines, not flesh and blood. We want them to be psychopaths and orphans, not sons or fathers. We don't want any connection with them, even though they are just as human as we are.

Because otherwise, it becomes too complicated.

Posted via email from long way round.

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Written by shindz

September 25, 2009 at 9:35 am

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Some More Thoughts From Tribes

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Seth Godin writes,

Faith is the cornerstone of humanity; we can't live without it. But religion is very different from faith. Religion is just a set of invented protocols, rules to live by (for now). Heretics challenge a given religion, but do it from a very strong foundation of faith.

Jesus was viewed as a heretic of his time for challenging the status quo. Martin Luther was seen as a heretic in his time too. You can say that about MLK too. Yet, history has now hailed them as visionary leaders. 

It's hard to break out of the box, with all the religion around us. The religion of "you need to graduate from a good school so you can get a good job and climb a good career." 

"You need an influential church with a good children's program, excellent gospel choirs, and MTV-esque band with hypnotic background displays for the sake of bringing in non-believers." 

"You need as many toys as possible to show that you arrived." 

Yet all of these things reinforce the status quo. It's not unique, it's not visionary, and it's not the way it's meant to be.  

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Written by shindz

September 23, 2009 at 2:12 am

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The Extra Mile

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I’m sitting in Alaska Airlines #329 to Seattle. There’s two separate flight attendants serving drinks. I ask for a club soda from one of them. She dutifully puts ice in the cup and pours Canada Dry club soda and hands it to me.

 The lady behind me also orders a club soda from the other flight attendant. This gentleman refers to the customer as “ma’am”, offers short but friendly banter and asks if she would like a lime wedge with her club soda. She joyfully obliges.

 Same Canada Dry club soda on the same Alaska Air flight 329 to Seattle, and yet two people have very different experiences.

 Apple calls this “surprise and delight” and religiously indoctrinates their employees with it. Comcast has this and answers every single complaint thrown to their Twitter account @ComcastCares.

 The organization that goes the extra mile will win for sure. I want to be the customer who receives the extra mile. I want to be part of an organization that enthusiastically goes the extra mile.

 I need to adit this in my personal life as well.

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Written by shindz

September 19, 2009 at 1:52 am

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RSS Broken

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My RSS is broken. It happened after I embedded a CNN news video post. I also added a firefox plug-in called Zumanta around the same time. Now, things are totally on the fritz. After much haranguing, I'm still out of luck. 

I think this is why most people are afraid of technology. When it breaks, it is very frustrating and often difficult to find a solution. So we fear change because if we accept change, we accept the possibility of things not working, frustrations, setbacks, and… failures. We'd rather stick with the status quo. 

Fear impedes our growth.

It's probably true for areas outside of technology too.

 

Written by shindz

September 17, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized