February 25, 2006

WOW...South Dakota Bans Abortion

South Dakota lawmakers approved a ban on nearly all abortions yesterday, setting up a deliberate frontal assault on Roe v. Wade at a time when some activists see the U.S. Supreme Court as more willing than ever to overturn the 33-year-old decision.

Republican Gov. Mike Rounds said he was inclined to sign the bill, which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it was necessary to save the woman’s life. The measure would make no exception in cases of rape or incest.

- from Dispache.com

I don't understand the drive to make people live - if even under horrible circumstances - when generally I do not think most people and organizations of power give a shit about humanity.

What are the odds that crime rates sharply increase with more unwanted children joining society?

Arabs in Our Ports!!!!

Why are arabs working in the port a big deal?

  • It is harder for us to hate and misunderstand a group of people that we come in contact with and learn anything about.
  • Why not remind everyone of the bullshit terrorism meme.

Public Humiliation

In Florida one strike and you are out

Some motorists convicted of DUI would be required to buy bright-colored license plates that identify them as drunken-driving offenders, under a bill that passed a key committee in the Legislature Wednesday.

A similar bill failed to pass the Legislature in 2004, but the current legislation may have better luck because some of its language has been tweaked, said state Rep. Ari Porth, a Coral Springs Democrat.

The 2004 bill would have allowed police officers to pull over cars with the DUI license plates, even if the officers had no probable cause for a traffic stop.


I actually first got on the web thinking I wanted to create T shirts to label something I did not like after it fucked me over and labeled me.

I think one of the things that really hurts with marketing is that most of it teaches you that you are hollow or not good enough...to spur up artificial demand for things that in then end hurt you when you fulfil the short term artificial demand for their garbage they planted in your mind...starting before you were even old enough to realize what they were doing. Surely techniques like public humiliation will only work further to make people feel like a shell of their former selves. It took me until the age of 26 to unlearn much of the bullshit I learned growing up.

Treating Clients as Though Their Stuff is Your Own

It is a hard transition to go from dirt poor hyper loyal to being self sufficient without clients. So long as you keep learning it gets to where you can make far more money without clients unless you charge them rates that you yourself would think are absurd.

I like to think I treat most client stuff as though it is my own...but I have been so swamped with ideas and projects and random junk that I even find myself neglecting my own stuff sometimes.

I should post to my main blog every day...but I have been doing it about every other day just because I have been too busy with random menial tasks. I still have to catch up on about 150 emails, want to develop about 50 (or closer to 100) websites, want to keep learning, and am going to a conference every other week for the next couple months...I start that journey tomorrow!

I think I have less focus than people claim Google is...which is brutal since I am about 9 billion dollars, tons of user data, years of experience, and around 300 super genius engineers behind where they are.

Sharing Resources...You Can Share Too Much!

It is why it is hard to share resources with the open public. If you increase the demand for someone else's services they get more inqueries than they can handle and then they have to increase their rates to accomidate the increased demand...which ends up costing you for sharing the resource, because most people are not that loyal...plus nobody (other than yourself) pays you for all the people you hire who turn out to be shitbags.

Most SEOs get paid for solving market inefficiencies. If you give everyone the same keys to the same door eventually you keep crowding out rooms and marginalizing yourself to the point where you can't afford another key.

It is really hard to balance what is worth sharing. For years it was just about everything, but that philosophy has changed over the past 6 months or so.

I think it would make me less honest to be totally idealistic to the point of going bankrupt. I would be an idiot if I did that...because that is just not how the world works.

People Who Saved My Life...

I have almost died more times than I can count. I am a bit tired but by no means drunk or anything like that...just think that as I think and experience life I should give thanks to people who saved my life. Of course I doubt they will read this, but...

  • my mom - at least twice that I know of, but probably many times more when I was too young to know...back in the days of little Matt, and of course she had me...as big as I was at birth that must have been more pain than I have ever felt!
  • my sister
  • my friend Joe R
  • my friend Bob T
  • my friend John M
  • my friend NFFC (more inspirational and wisdom than direct life saving...but he needs to be on this list)
  • Tim Berners-Lee (he actually emailed me back when I emailed him too) - the machinery of capitalism would have killed me without the web ... see below
  • someone who honked when I fell asleep driving many years ago
  • someone who put up a guard rail I hit many years ago (I still am uncertain why car insurance only costs me about $21 a month)
  • the person who gave me whatever drugs I took and got kicked out of the navy for taking...that place made me flat out suicidal for most of over 3 years straight
  • the military recruiter that was too lazy to check my discharge code or why I got out early...got me a job that held me over until I was making $100 a month off the web, and naive enough to think I could make it alone. I never went on unemployment, and would have seen it as completely morally devastating to have needed to glom off anyone...that would have taken the self worth lower than I have felt even after waking up in a hospital after almost dying from ignorant self-destructive behavior.
  • someone who did too many drugs about 4 years ago, and was laying on the floor with blood oozing from his mouth...showing me what a fuck up I was at that time for even living like that.
  • all the other people who watched on in confusion while high...most all of them giving shitty advice. and then, with class, most started dancing like 1 minute after the guy who either died or nearly died was removed from the club (that really drove the point home pretty hard)...showing me how little I belonged where I was and how shallow the environment was

I still do not understand the point of life, or the fact that my sleazy country has weapons that can blow up virtually all living things. I do realize that I have great friends and more people have saved my life than I have done the same for, so while I figure out whatever my purpose is I need to find ways to do the favor back to others.

February 22, 2006

Sneaky Snuckers

Many sites suck because they are wrote without a legitimate interest in the topic. I often do get bored and frustrated when it seems like I stop learning. I think you always have too keep learning or you are dead.

I want to learn programming, affiliate marketing, and graphic design, but am struggling with all the other things I am doing. It really is a tough balance learning and tracking things while keeping a functional content based business model in a hypersaturated market.

Recently I have been writing far more than I have been reading...and the learning has slowed...and I think I sense that I am becoming a worse writer out of it as well. Lucky for me Danny has some good writing tips, like sneaked versus snuck

February 21, 2006

Book Publishers

If you give a book author a quote this is the type of thing publishers want you to sign:

I hearby grant to __________ (the *Author*)who is interviewing me and (video- ) taping the interview, and Publishing company my permission to use the interview and/or material from the interview, including name, likeness and picture, in a book tentatively titled _____________ (the *Work*), and I hereby waive any rights to view such material before it is published or to receive any compensation for its use.

In addition, I hereby grant to the Author and Publisher the right and permission to edit the interview. In addition, I hereby grant to Publisher during the full term of copyright and all extensions thereof the full and exclusive rights comprimised in the copyright in the interview and any revised editions, including but not limited to the right, by itself or with others, throughout the world, to print, publish, republish, and distribute the Work and to prepare, publish, and distribute derivative works based theron, in English and in other languages, in all media of expression now known or later developed, and to license and permit others to do so. I understand that Publisher shall have no obligation to submit subsequent uses of the interview to me for my approval.

I hereby release and agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Author and Publisher and their respective successors assigns and licensees from any and all claims of any kind that may be asserted against them based on the interview or anything contained in the interview. My heirs, executors, administrators and assigns shall be bound by this release.

This release shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of ______ without reference to principals of conflicts of law.

I have read the foregoing release, authorization and agreement, before affixing my signature below, and warrent that I fully understand the contents thereof.


You give them a quote. They offer no pay, but want you to give up all rights (including the right to modify it - and perhaps even slightly change the meaning). Years later when your statements are no longer true what happens if someone acts on a misquote of you and it damages their business? The only right the publisher lets you reserve is the right to legal liability.

Sounds cool. How about not.

Nasty Lunchmeat Story...

So I normally get Boar's Head lunch meat. It tastes good. I am uncertain why their site is only a PageRank 5, but that is a story for another day.

Today I went to the grocery store too late and noticed some ready lunchmeat in packs. It is always sorta gross seeing outdated food on the shelves, but it is also rather nasty to see meat that should be good for a long time. What kind of stuff do they put in February luchmeat that makes it good half way through April?

What is grosser:

  • 2 day expired lunchmeat; or
  • lunchmeat that does not expire for a couple months?

Ironically, while writing this I am eating beef jerkey that probably sat on a store shelf for a year. Sigh :(

February 20, 2006

Someone to Blame

Grabbing lines from the New York Times:


Glazer, Moynihan and, later, Glenn Loury argued that ambitious efforts to seek social justice often left societies worse off than before because they either required massive state intervention that disrupted pre-existing social relations (for example, forced busing) or else produced unanticipated consequences (like an increase in single-parent families as a result of welfare).


The way the cold war ended shaped the thinking of supporters of the Iraq war, including younger neoconservatives like William Kristol and Robert Kagan, in two ways. First, it seems to have created an expectation that all totalitarian regimes were hollow at the core and would crumble with a small push from outside.

The [Iraq] war's supporters seemed to think that democracy was a kind of default condition to which societies reverted once the heavy lifting of coercive regime change occurred, rather than a long-term process of institution-building and reform.

Even benevolent hegemons sometimes have to act ruthlessly, and they need a staying power that does not come easily to people who are reasonably content with their own lives and society.

By definition, outsiders can't "impose" democracy on a country that doesn't want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic.


I think that hits so many points that are hard to argue with. Generally though I think it could be summed up as:

The above quote comes from a NYT article which comes from a part of a book named America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy

February 18, 2006

My Fundamental Web Business Thesis

Ultimately most people working on the web are going to get squeezed as marketing inefficiencies get taken care of.

Why not create many doorways to your personality so people with similar interests can find you? Why not work for clients that you can be passionate about? Imagine if every new client was your favorite person to work with.

Creamy Peanut Butter...

Deep zen-like thoughts, and stuff...

  • Honey rosted is the natural state of the peanut.
  • General Tso's is the natural state of the chicken.
  • Creamy is the natural state of peanut butter.

Religious Bigetry and Self Censorship in the Media

Nothing like a little self censorship to spread freedom and democracy:

As the only syndicated political cartoonist who also writes a syndicated column, my living depends on freedom of the press. I can't decide who's a bigger threat: the deluded Islamists who hope to impose Sharia law on Western democracies, or the right-wing clash-of-civilization crusaders waving the banner of "free speech"--the same folks who call for the censorship and even murder of anti-Bush cartoonists here--as an excuse to join the post-9/11 Muslims-suck media pile-on. Most reasonable people reject both--but neither is as dangerous to liberty as America's self-censoring newspaper editors and broadcast producers.

The nanny media, even more prudish since 9/11, covers our millions of eyes to protect us from our own icky deeds. In Afghanistan in 2001, while covering a war that had officially killed 12 civilians, I watched a colleague from a major television network collate footage of a B-52 bombing indiscriminately obliterating a civilian neighborhood. "If people saw what bombing looks like here on the ground," he observed as body parts and burning houses and screaming children filled the screen, "they would demand an end to it. Which is why this will never air on American television."


So yeah, maybe censorship is a big deal. Maybe the US only cares about what is going on elsewhere so much to push focus away from the shit that is going on here.

thanks to Peter

February 17, 2006

When Addiction Sets In...

So I rarely have caffeine.

Recently I have cleaned up much of my shitty diet, having ate vegetables 4 days in a row. I also killed most of the usual forms of blatant sugar intake, other than having frappachinos.

In spite of sleeping in until 1PM I feel really tired at 10PM (and have felt so for the past couple hours). Part of that might be because I was a jerk and threw my back out lifting weights yesterday, but an even larger part is that I have been drinking frappachinos in the evening like 4 or 5 times in the last week.

I am saying screw the caffeine. I will probably still be up for another 3 or 4 hours and am just as good without caffeine. It is too easy to get hooked on a cycle with that garbage...and replacing frequent sugar intake with slightly less frequent sugar + caffeine intake is not a legitimate healthy route.

Caffeine causes some blood vessels in your head to restrict a bit. When they go back to their regular size that added pressure of them being a bit larger can set in a headache.

Now I know a week is probably not enough time to set in any sort of an addiction, but doing it for a few weeks means I will have serious headaches when I try to stop.

My Favorite Part of a Salad

I love cheddar cheese...and cherry tomatoes are good. Croutons are decent too.

I have been regularly eating salad (without dressing - I just don't see the point to using salad dressing) and other vegetables for 4 days straight.

The secret bonus to a salad is that if you put some of the tomatoes on the bottom you end up getting croutons, cheese, and tomatoes at the end of the salad...and I can eat that all day long. :)

Quite an amazing achievement for a meatatarian.

February 16, 2006

VC Citizen Scare Fund

Is the bird flue protection seriously needed, or are the VC's creating a $200 million fund for it simply exploiting fears in the average citizen?

Pure Pantload

Some congressmen talk about how search engines enable dictatorships and other shit like that.

It is there. Often it is there because our country feels we can exploit the other countries for greater profit. Placing blame on the search engines is such bullshit that I can't even think of an angle where that seems reasonable.

Here at home the DOJ blocks search spiders from the archive of their site and yet wants the rest of the world to be totally open. What a pantload.

read more

February 15, 2006

Cause vs Symptom

I think marketers and the whole machinery of business in general push people to solve symptoms rather than problems.

Symptoms are easy to cover up or solve quickly and changing them / covering them up often requires little or no fundamental change in lifestyle. Plus if you keep the person's fundamental flaws in place then you ensure demand for a subscription for your half solution.

People are also willing to pay a premium to shift blame. That drug did not help me. That diet does not work.

Who has more money to spend on marketing? The person who can fix an embarrassing problem by suggesting fundamental life changes that cause the change, or a person selling a half assed mask that paints over symptoms and requires the equivalent of a subscription to maintain.

I sometimes think this way about many psychotropic drugs on the market, and many marketing tools, but I also think this about being overweight. Me being overweight is not really the problem, but it is a symptom of an unbalanced sedentary lifestyle coupled with poor diet.

The value of good life changing advice is hard to put a price on, and perhaps that is part of the reason it is typically so cheap in cost relative to bogus quick fixes and scam subscriptions.

February 14, 2006

Hype Around Me

I am doing another update of my ebook right now. I have not done one in a while...so I feel it is a cool thing to do another one.

It is hard keeping track of everything I am doing and want to do. I have done really well on the publicity front recently, but it has become weird to see my name so much.

Sure I guess I search for it and look at citations, but for some of the nice things others say about me I still think I have a long way to go to being the person I want to be. I am wondering if by going after building a name and a brand I sorta got what I wanted only to realize I didn't want it.

Now I find it hard balancing everything I want to do, and most of what I do is outside the core of what I think life should be about. Helping others is exceptionally important. I think I do that, but I also have fallen behind on email, am still rather antisocial, and have bad eating and sleeping and exercise habits.

I went to work out with my personal trainer today and she seems like she is always really happy. I am a bit perplexed because with all of the good news that has happened recently I would expect me to be far happier about life than I am.

For some people looking up to me I still am seriously misguided in many ways, but I did just eat a salad...something I rarely do, and maybe I can work that angle a bit more.

I still don't really know how to be social though...off of the web at least. My older siblings typically made me feel like a third wheel. I typically had few friends growing up. A week after high school I joined the military. The first thing they teach you at boot camp is that you are a piece of shit. The thing I learned at their classes was that they were boring. The thing I learned on the boat was the art of binge drinking...and that was really about my only social activity for about 4 years or so.

I don't drink that often anymore, but I still get bombed from time to time. I think I may have kicked the whole blacking out thing, but I certainly walk the line on that.

What scares me more is that there are emerging information systems that allow you to tap the experience of culture without ever experiencing it. We are inherently social creatures. Temporarily some of these social systems can replace human interaction, but inevitably being closed off leads to self-doubt, depression, and lowered social skills. The cycle is self reinforcing as well. After a while you like the isolation because it is comfortable and the results are predictable...but without social interaction I think life is without purpose.

How can you really understand who you are if you don't hang out with and learn from other people? How do you become social? Is it ok to not be social? Are those who are tucked away bound to some type of misery and regret?

I buy so many books, but have not even been reading them as much. Music is a great connection because there is so much emotion wrapped into a few minutes, but it is still not social as I doubt I have ever heard a song that was wrote for or about me, and I would probably be freaked out if I ever did ;)

February 11, 2006

Chargeback dispute settled in your favor

I didn't know this ever happened, but someone bought my ebook and tried doing a chargeback on their credit card.

There are so many things that are dumb about that which I don't understand:

  • If people ask for a refund I typically give a prompt one without requesting more information (often in less than 5 minutes)
  • and they would get that quicker than they would get a chargeback (say an average of an hour vs 10 days)
  • someone just tried a chargeback and it did not work

Going forward if people do chargebacks I may as well wait them out because I think most of the people doing them are not honest, so they can wait for their money. Plus if they win their chargeback it costs you not only the purchase cost (which is arbitrary and should be returned if they truely don't like the product), but also some fee or penalty - usually around $10. It always feels foul knowing that some scumbag has decided to steal $10 from my bank account for stealing my business model.

Me winning an occasional bogus chargeback is refreshing as it helps make up for other sleaze customers trying to rip me off.

I don't doubt that some of the stuff might be real, but I am readily available. It is not that hard to contact me.

February 10, 2006

The Publishing Business Model

clicks = traffic
traffic = eyeballs
eyballs = reach
reach = viewers
viewers = page views
page views = ad impressions
ad impressions = clicks
clicks = money

February 9, 2006

February 8, 2006

The Most Corrupt Countries

Ever notice that the countries listed in slideshows like this one

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/2006/01/24/06caphosp_corrupt_slide.html

are always far away from here?

Ever wonder if we are on their slideshows of most corrupt countries?

Pa Thetic...

I did a bunch of lifts before I did curls, but I normally do those in a roundabout way...I did them straight up and was so pathetic that I was struggling doing 20 pounds.

I usually do 25 to 30 and when I work out a bunch I do like 45 or so

doah

Personal Trainer Today!

So I get to meet my personal trainer today.

I am so thick that it should not be hard to shave about a dozen inches off the waistline. ;)

Surprisingly for my size I still think I am more athletic than at least 90% of people are. I can do stair steppers on levels like 2/3 the way up for about an hour.

My upper body is a bit weak for my size, but when I start lifting it really only takes about a month for me to double my bench, curl, # of pull ups or push ups I can do, and all that related jazz.

I have sorta an inverse law of bench pressing...like when I weight about 240 or 250 I can probably only bench about 150, but when I weigh about 180 I can bench closer to 300 (usually around the 275 to 285 range).

Making a Million Dollars this Year?

I am not quite at that level yet, but I used to associate lots of money with being evil, but looking at how much some people give back, maybe I should start being a bit more aggressive on the profit front.

I just talked to someone from the Economist this weekend AND got an email from one of the most prestigious news sites that said:

I write for _________, and have been poking around the SEO world, where you are, of course, legendary. I had some questions I wanted to chat about; is there a number I can reach you at?

I think I am sorta past the tipping point, and if I don't leverage my current market position a bit more aggressively I should be disappointed.

I really need to add an about page to my other website.

February 5, 2006

Perceptions of Reality

I know both of these people well enough to think that neither of them think they are lying, but this story and that one sound a lot different from one another.

What does either gain by continuing the garbage?

Vegetable Juice

I made another vegetable juice today.

I tend to like things that are very pungent...lots of flavor per unit volume. Hence I measure this and describe this using the word flavor density. Examples:

  • ultra sharp 8 years aged cheddar = 9.2
  • dijon mustard = 8.7
  • mint flavored frapichino = 7.6
  • peanut butter fudge = 7.4

When I made my vegetable juice today there was way way way too much celery in it. This stuff tastes revitalizing and yet almost makes me want to puke at the same time...and I made a huge cup of it. It no doubt has solid flavor density, but it is a bit of a departure from the typical pastries and candy bars.

Is there any golden ratio to a decent tasting vegetable juice?

February 4, 2006

Why Would Anyone Want to Have Their Own Kids?

A friend of a friend asked me why anyone would want to have their own kids instead of adopting other kids. It could possibly be a fear of the unknown, but I think people believe that they are above average and that their genes are thus above average...thus they want to pass those on and perhaps they feel that having the kid will make the bond stronger and maybe even make it easier to understand and raise the kid.

Of course I have never had a serious girlfriend and have no kids, so I could be full of shit, but that is my opinion.

I think the believing oneself to be better than average is a common attribute that may have been necessary to keep living in primitive life, and more recently I think it was popularize in our culture because it is easier to exploit us as a collected society if each of us is looking out for primarily our own best interests.

There have been surveys about weather or not people think they will become financially rich and while most people think that the number of people who become rich is a low number many people also think that they are an exception to the odds and that they will become rich.

The Odds of Me Dying From Diabetes...

Are probably above 75% unless I decide to trade in the candy bar for a celery stick.

I don't drink very often, but I used to drink somewhat frequently in a binge maner. Combine a couple years of living like that with a now sedentary lifestyle, the ability to make a living without leaving the house and a nack for liking ultra low quality sugar rich snacks and you could see that I have little hope of avoiding diabetes unless I change my ways.

I have already changed on that front quite a bit though...more on that later.

Almond Pastries = Yummie

Ever notice that almond pastries taste amazingly good?

Seems to me like they are almost impossible to screw up because I have had tons of them and they are always yummie...although I need to seriously cut back on the pastries front.

February 2, 2006

Convergence

So a friend of mine who has been an internet marketer for about twice as long as I have has been changing his business model, to consolidate his efforts. He tells me the changes are largely inspired by me.

At the same time I find myself thinning out being more like he was. Weird that, eh?

You Only Need to Have Motivation and Track Results if...

So I occasionally jump on the scale to look at my weight, but it shifts back and forth a bit, and really that does not matter.

So long as you want to and are willing to make life changes then you really do not have to track your progress so long as you know it is being made.

I can make unreasonable comparisons, like comparing myself to when I was younger, did a bit of speed based drugs, and went out to party 3 or 4 nights a week and feel like I would never be in that good of shape. But then on another front I could also realize that I have always ate shitty food. Simply change that and don't be a total hermit and I should lose plenty of weight.

The people who sell pedometers say you should do 10,000 steps a day. A large part of the need for counting is to justify their existence, but I bet I probably do about 6,000 or so steps a day between 40 minutes on an elliptical machine and walking around the house.

To do 10,000 steps a day you would need to walk for about 2 hours a day...that's a lot for a work at home person without much in the line of family or friends nearby...but it should not be hard to find other forms of exercise outside of the precor that are cool.

I would love to see me do Yoga because it would look ridiculous.

Thank god for spell check... you know before I corrected it there were 6 misspellings in the short passage above.

February 1, 2006

Too Much of an Idealist

So I have spoke with multiple different friends recently who both mentioned how other businesses rip people off and how their businesses are at least better than the competition.

I am not sure if I get that. Longterm does it make any sense to compare yourself to shit or scams to justify your actions?

Part of the reason why I am a bad business person is that I tend to undervalue my time and have a rather low self esteem. The other bit, which certainly makes for an odd combination, is that I am an idealist. The low self esteem combined with being an idealist makes me think that I am ALWAYS below standard in almost anything I do.

That is why it has been so critical for me to largely work for myself. If I am going to feel that things are never good enough I should ensure that I am directly compensated for overworking myself.

I Love Blogs

I don't read good blogs as often as I used to, but I love this post

What was once in the foreground is moving into the background, and vice versa. Our world is being continuously rearranged around us in deceptively small increments. Though we like to pretend that the emerging new order is "normal," that daily life proceeds much as it always did, with a few small novel inconveniences, we keep on bumping uncomfortably into the furniture.

who pointed at that? Radiohead

some of the great comments on that page:

There is no "war on terror." The war is on the idea of a free-thinking society with merely a "threatening" harmless third world country to justify it.

and

Iraq had the political nuance to refuse to use the currency of a nation which was so obviously hostile to them and insisted that all transactions under the oil for food program would be conducted in Eurodollars. Now when other nations followed suit (Iran, North Korea etc - axis of evil just a coincidence?) the noble and righteous US of A decided to take action and in the manner of a playground bully beat the ten bells out of the weak kid lest anyone else get any clever ideas about refusing to hand over their lunch money. IF the abandonment of the US dollar had proceeded it would hae most certainly led to a major currency collapse and economic depression not seen since the Wall Street Crash.

and a quote from Joho:

I think that's also why so many of us are so invested in the Internet. That's the fresh start we've been looking for. It's a world that's more connected, more creative and more fair than the real world.

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