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I'm just here so I don't get fined...

ChrisSplaining: Trump on Brevity

Business is no place for stream of consciousness babbling, no matter how colorful you might think you're being. You will discover that you can be an effective editor by cutting out everything that isn't absolutely necessary. Knowing where you're going in your conversation by being concise is a big step toward leadership and respect. People appreciate brevity in today's world.

-- Donald Trump (Think Like a Champion)


Generally, I tend to agree with this position, but with a specific exemption - sometimes there is need and value in putting completeness over brevity. Yes, in most cases it's beneficial to refrain from wandering all over the map. On occasion, however, a presentation needs to not only be complete but redundantly complete. Some things are so important that making sure all aspects are covered, and all participants are fully understanding all the angles and options is critical. If that means an extra half hour of "yeah, I got this," I argue that sometimes it's okay.

Bring snacks.

Now, all that said, I find it ironic that this advice, like much in his short book, Mr. Trump can't seem to heed, himself. Just his twitter feed alone puts the lie to the suggestion that he takes his own advice. And if you tuned in to any of his speeches where he goes off-script, well... enough said.

ChrisSplaining: Trump on Wisdom

I'm going to take a random quote from a book written by our current President, Donald Trump and give my opinion on it. Call it ChrisSplaining if you will. And I'll try to do one per day, or at least once per weekday (since I do like my weekends).

There are many roads to wisdom and many wonderful books to educate us on our way, but the first step is to take the time to read and learn. Wisdom will come provided you give it a chance to develop.


From "Think Like a Champion" by Donald Trump


This quote, and I swear it was picked randomly (someone else picked the page number) is particularly interesting in that it demonstrates the top problem I believe our President has when it comes to knowledge and wisdom: he suffers from the Dunning-Kruger effect. In short, DK states that those who know very little about a topic tend to think they know the most. They simply don't know what they don't know and presume that their limited knowledge is close to complete.

Mr. Trump seems to feel that true wisdom can come from simply learning an amount of raw knowledge and waiting for it to magically develop. He makes no mention of validating that your learning is complete or covers the full breadth of a topic. And he most notably fails to realize that wisdom comes more from experience than knowledge. Knowing a thing is not the same as understanding a thing.

Or, as a wise person once said, "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

The danger here is in thinking you have wisdom when you do not. In a President, this danger is of the highest order.

The Tiki Bar

Work on the Tiki Bar got a big boost this past weekend, when the roof and much of the internal framing was completed. With the help of a friend, the rafters were cut and installed, roof panels put on, and asphalt felt put down on the roof. The plan is to now cover it with palm fronds for looks. I then got some help from J to install the bar framing and start putting up shelves. We also installed the mounting bracket for the television and a pair of outdoor speakers.

The next work session will see the walls cut and mounted. The idea here is to do them with OSX and then cover that with distressed wood for looks. Once the walls are on I will be able to apply sealer and then put in the electronics, including TV, sound and lights. At that point, even though the bar top itself won't be done, the Tiki Bar will be complete enough that I can start the process of making the video podcasts. The first couple will have the bar in an unfinished state, which should be interesting.

It's nice to make progress! The last five weekends were rained out!

$#!& Happens

The failure at the Oscars demonstrates a good point to remember: $#!& Happens. My take is that after much analysis, we will find that there were duplicate stacks of envelopes on both sides of the stage, and the wrong envelope was given to the presenters (Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway). Clearly, Mr. Beatty was confused and hoping someone would notice the problem and correct it. Unfortunately, it took a little longer. 

It's interesting to note that there is a protocol for such things, and in an article from 2015, that protocol is outlined. It's also interesting to see that this has, indeed, happened before, albeit not for the "top" award. 

The bottom line is that a mistake was made, it was spotted, it was corrected. It was embarrassing, but what in life isn't? People will be held accountable, apologies will be made, and everyone handled it with as much poise and grace as possible. Nobody died. I say Bravo.

If only every failure in life could go so well.

You're Being Treated Like a Child

My son likes to think he's a lawyer and, unlike many children who ask the same question over and over will often ask the same question multiple times but with different angles. At some point, usually pretty early (I like to think I'm a smart guy), I realize he's doing this, and I shift into giving a response that I've found works well. I can't claim credit for it, I read it on a parenting blog.

In short, when a child persists with the same question, simply respond, "Asked and Answered." It quickly shuts down the repeated questions because you're giving a repeated answer instead of trying to craft a new response to a repeated query.

This past weekend, White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller was asked, time and again, about claims of rampant voter fraud. But it wasn't a case of being asked the same question multiple times, but simply asking for any evidence, much less proof, every time he made a new claim. And every time he made a new (and often different) claim, and was pressed for evidence, he simply responded

Asked and Answered

As if he were dealing with a petulant child. Or, more accurately, as if he was treating the media like a petulant child.

Because he was.

Welcome to the new Ministry of Propaganda. They seem to be finding their legs.

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