Graham

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If a Tree Falls …

In Meaning of Life on June 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm

George Berkley did not go far enough. He only asked the question, if a tree falls in the forest, but no one is around to hear it, did it really happen? Consider the following. If vision is severely limited to one narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum, then it is at least possible that things exist which we do not see.

It is even possible that the same characteristics of those things which we do not see determine that we cannot touch them or feel their presence. Perhaps we pass through them with little or no resistance for if we do not see them, they may even appear as ghosts to the more developed eye.

Ghosts are seen to pass through objects, and the same phenomenon may help to explain ghostly sightings.

Copyright © 2011 by Tad Laury Graham

Original version written in 1974.

Weinergate! Another Perspective

In Politics on June 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Anthony Weiner is just one more distraction from the real problems we face as a nation. It may or may not be appropriate to put him through public humiliation for his “failure of character,” but before we go too far in committing to a course of action, lets consider what we might want as the desired outcome of this never-ending stream of human foibles.

Consider the following:

  • Thomas Jefferson (President 1801-1809) allegedly had an affair with his slave, Sally Hemings
  •  Grover Cleveland (President 1885-1889, 1893-1897) alleged to have fathered illegitimate child
  • Warren Harding (President 1921-1923) alleged affair with Carrie Phillips and Nan Britton
  • Franklin Roosevelt (President 1933-1945) alleged affair with Lucy Mercer—The man who guided us through the Great Depression and World War II
  • Dwight D Eisenhower (President 1953-1961) tried to end clandestine warfare, i.e., the “Cold War,” sought to establish honesty and morality in his administration; alleged affair with Kay Summersby (his chauffeur)
  • John F Kennedy (President 1961-1963) tried to dismantle the CIA and end organized crime; Created the space race; alleged affairs with Marilyn Monroe and Judith Exner
  • Lyndon B Johnson (President 1963-1969) pushed most of JFK’s program through Congress; unidentified affair alleged
  • George Bush Senior (President 1989-1993) alleged with Jennifer Fitzgerald
  • Bill Clinton (President 1993-2001) restored healthy economy; alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky

Each of these former presidents has something in common with Mr. Weiner: Had we drummed even one of them out of Government for behaving badly, history would have been quite different, not to mention the setting of, or reinforcement of, a precedent that moves us one step closer to the loss of certain “inalienable rights.” Despite what we may think is a flaw in his character, he seems to have some impressive company.

It appears that Mr Weiner has broken no laws (this may change, but presumably a change would result in less of a circus and more of a judicial process); He doesn’t appear to have lied about his experience, qualifications, or performance; in fact his constituents seem to hold him in high regard. (It is true he did lie about his predicament for 10 days, but how many of us would not try to lie our way out of the biggest mistake we ever made in our lives?

As for the nebulous connection between character and morality, this country was established as a nation of laws. Morality is an opinion, often based on religious beliefs and  sometimes codified in the law (wherein lies the confusion). In an ideal world, Mr Weiner would have to commit a felony before it became anybody’s business outside his immediate family. It seems that voters are, in general, more aware of this fact than are their elected representatives. The magic word is still jobs, not weiners.

Achieving Success 101

In Success on June 5, 2011 at 9:26 am

The route to success lies not in how much you can do, but in knowing what not to do – especially the tasks which tend to obscure your mission.  Any task that you are able to do well should be delegated because you will easily recognize when the task is in trouble. Conversely, any task in which you have limited knowledge is more likely to be in trouble before you see it coming.  Coming from behind is never cheap or easy.

You must learn greater singularity of purpose:  do not be afraid to work hard, but avoid unnecessary work.  Find a way to leave less desirable work for others, understanding that there is always someone who will find the task appealing as a first step towards higher level tasks.  Ensure that what you do contributes to the advancement of your objectives, as well as providing opportunities for the advancement of others.

Unless you are a university professor, reading a book on management from beginning to end overdraws unnecessarily on your resources (though spot reading parts of a book makes sense, using the previously described process of building on an idea).  It reaches beyond your present goal.  This is not the first time you have discovered this example of this principle. Now act on it!

Sixteen-hour days are highly impractical.  People who are truly that busy are not getting anywhere (or are working inefficiently, i.e., the hard way).  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in an 8-hour day, most people only wok 4.8 to 6 hours a day. Anyone who works more than 10 hours a day will end up running on empty.

If you don’t understand your goals, you will not be able to achieve them.

Copyright © 2008-2011 by Tad Laury Graham