Come on boys~!

I recently read a USA today article about a doggie day care service that took a “dog selfie” and shared that dog selfie on social media. I’ve been absolutely engrossed at how captionable this picture is…

Dog Squad

This picture is absolutely great seeing so many dogs practically looking at the camera or in the camera’s direction. A dog-loving friend remarked how only 4 dogs are NOT looking at the camera. Some dogs look like they’re barking. Everyone one of them look happy/content.

Looking at this picture got my creative juices flowing. And like any savvy content creator, I started to caption this picture. Here’s just three of these captions that I find to be so relevant to dog squad goals.

Dog Squad 5

Dog Squad 4

Dog Squad 3

If the original dog selfie doesn’t bring a slight chuckle, the captions have to elicit some response…. right?! =]

Daylight Saving Time

Today (March 11, 2018) is when clocks “spring forward” because of Daylight Saving Time (DST).  You lose an hour of sleep technically as clocks advance forward an hour for the next 8 months.  Marketplace Weekend had a short segment titled “5 Things You Need To Know About daylight Saving Time.” It’s fascinating to listen to.

I learned one thing though.  Apparently the myth of how DST benefits farmers is an actual myth perpetuated by the Chamber of Commerce to benefit the sales.  Who knew!?

The #MeToo Movement

I’ve always wondered about why the #MeToo movement suddenly exploded in the last  two years and not years ago?  Growing up, I’ve heard or read about stories here and there about the sexual harassment or sexual misconduct by famous, rich male celebrities on unsuspecting females.  Yet nothing usually came out of it.

Do you remember Kobe Bryant in Colorado and his sexual assault case?  The case was dismissed later and settled out of court.  Kobe never admitted to doing anything wrong other than consensual sex.  It’s good to be rich and famous.  When the accuser’s name  was publicly known, she received death threats.  Does this sound familiar?  It’s the modus operandi that accusers prior to #MeToo would face including tactics such as smear campaigns, defamation campaigns, intimidation, threats, etc.  In short, no one believed the accusers (rape victim) and everyone believed the accused (rapist).  I always chalked it up to “innocent until proven guilty” for the accused (the rapist).  But I also wondered, why didn’t people believe the rape victim (the accuser)?  Ironically, if a kid accused an adult of rape, everyone believed the kid.  Kind of makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Anyways, a relatively new Hidden Brain podcasts sheds some light into this cultural phenomenon of #MeToo.  It’s a fascinating listen.

 

https://www.npr.org/2018/02/05/582698111/the-psychological-forces-behind-a-cultural-reckoning-understanding-metoo

Homo economicus?

Recently, I had this moment of enlightenment as to why I am drawn to behavioral economics and podcasts like Marketplace and Freakonomics.  This goes back to high school where I was struggling to understand macroeconomics and microeconomics principles in the Economics elective I chose to take as a senior.

Why was I struggling? It boils down to the assumptions about related to Homo economicus which were that humans are portrayed as acting rationally, with little self interest to achieve a specific goal.  Sure I understand this concept now years later.  But seriously in high school, I was super confused.  I couldn’t grasp the idea that microeconomics is based off individual’s rational decisions.  And since macroeconomics is built on microeconomics foundation, understanding economics in general was difficult.  I questioned the very foundation of microeconomics!  What I knew at the time is that humans don’t always act rationally.  Humans will make decisions considering both the most rational choice as well as their own self interests.  And that was the world view that I had at the time.  The questioning clearly affected my academic performances.

Good thing there were two psychologists who started questioning this supposed rationality of Homo economicus.  These psychologist changed economics when they won a Nobel prize in 2002.  Technically only Kahneman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences as the other collaborator had died.  But their work spawned a new field of economics called Behavioral economics.  More recently in 2017, Richard Thaler, also an influential behavioral economist, won the Nobel prizes for his research work.  The work done these academics in behavioral economics has had a bigger personal impact in people’s lives than the rational Homo economicus.

 

As for my class, I ultimately ended up just memorizing everything.  Was that the most rational thing to do?  Yes… probably… if only to get an A.  Clearly behavioral economics hadn’t quite yet made their way into high school economics textbooks.

 

Hip Protectors?

CES 2018 is going on right now in Las Vegas.  Some of the tech websites I read are following CES posting articles about the interesting new and concept tech in the foreseeable future.  This one article from The Verge caught my eye.  Are you ready for this new wearable tech?

It’s a belt you wear that will deploy airbags for your hips when you fall.

 

I’ll let that sink in.

 

A belt that deploys airbags to minimize hip damage when you fall.

Wha…?  OK I understand the idea behind it.  The problem the company is trying to solve is admirable… But really? Let’s think it through.  Who is going to wear a belt all the time to minimize hip damage when falling?  That was my first thought.

My second thought was… Will there be other similar technologies for other parts of the body?  When you fall, you don’t just hit your hip.  Your elbows and your knees also are collateral damage too.  Your wrists too.

As the article goes on to say, will the elderly (target market) even adopt this technology?  Remember, it took elderly people a long time to finally get onto Facebook.  And they probably did so in order to communicate with their sons/daughters but more importantly to see pictures of their grand sons/ grand daughters that they’re sons and daughters were posting.  There’s a follow up article from The Verge that discusses this very idea of whether or not the elderly will adopt such technologies.

The 2017 Refraction

For me, four events defined 2017.  So much so that I’m writing about the mental refractions from these events.

All four events came in the latter half of 2017.  For simplicity, I’ll label them as Event A, B C and D.  Events A, B and D have undoubtedly negatively affected me.  Event C was my attempt to minimize the effects of the other three events.  And to some degree, it hasn’t worked.  But at the same time, I also know events A, B and D were out of my control and something I could never have controlled in the first place.  However, it’s that feeling of “not being good enough” that ultimately gnaws at my sense of self.

Events A and D shook my self positivity completely.  The cumulative effect changed my mindset with a subtle hint of pessimism.  How do I know?  When talking to a friend about a topic that we had previously talked about in the past, I was shocked at the fact that my thought process was different this time around.  I had remembered my previous stance on the topic, yet for some reason, I had a more pessimistic stance I was espousing now.

Event B made me realize that I became complacent without realizing it.  There have been many things I “should have” accomplished but I ultimately took a route deluding myself by making up excuses.  Event B made me re-evaluate my life up until now and where I want to head in the future.  As someone close to me said, “because of Event B, now is the time to go for any change I’ve wanted.”

I think Events A, B and D occurring by itself would have been OK.  But with A and B in the same month and D shortly after, the effect to my mental state was pretty toxic.  I realized early on that my frame of mind had shifted after A and B.  D just broke it.  I haven’t really “recovered” yet.  I recognize the issues I’m having and I still relapse into a negative head space.  But, it’s been hard to redraw the Circle of Zorro and to shift my language to a more positive manner.  And with the holidays going on, I feel lonely at times since I can’t share the joy of the holidays with someone.

Despite all the negative head space, the countless self-reflections and “self-pity/self-loathing” scenarios, I ultimately reached a few realizations and epiphanies.  I know I neither can change the past nor change the present.  What I have to do is aim for a future that I want.  Most the realizations are being incorporated into my personal goals for 2018.

  • Pass PMP exam.
    • First, I need to get the 35 contact hours to satisfy the application requirements.  And have the application approved.
    • Once it’s approved, I can study and pass the exam.  There are lots of printouts to study and memorize.
    • I am considering on taking a bootcamp right before taking the exam.
  • Lose weight.  Currently 253 pounds as of Dec 31st.
    • I’ve found that intermittent fasting seems to work the best for me.
    • I need to account for external influences.
    • I will continue playing squash at least 4 times a week but add more body weight exercises at home.
  • Find new job.
    • I know the type of job I’m looking for.
    • I know the type of job I would prefer not to work in.
    • I wouldn’t mind being able to work from home often.
  • Use the 1 Second Every Day app.
    • I think this would be interesting project to do for the year.
  • Read 6 books.  I have at least 2 books I’ve been wanting to read forever…
    • Duhigg.  Smater, Faster, Better.
    • Sanders.  Our Revolution.
  • Travel more after finding a job.  Top 3 locations…?
    • Within US: Atlanta, Seattle, Houston.
    • Outside US:  Australia. New Zealand, Iceland.

 

 

LAX Needs Makeover.

LAX is one of the most horribly designed airports I’ve ever driven through.  The map below shows a bi-level counter clockwise traffic pattern that subdivides arrivals and departures.  With three different entrance and exit points, the congestion into the airport even for drop off is horrendous.   With buses, shuttles, and cars (taxi, uber/lyft and personal) all vying to get into the appropriate terminal as quickly as possible, vehicles cut each other off, blocking traffic flow and ultimately slowing everyone down.

LAX Map

Here’s my thought about how to make LAX great again.

  1. LAX should be redesigned to minimize traffic into and out of circling loop.
  2. There should be a people moving system that transport of people.
  3. There should be one large or multiple interconnected parking structures that run along the length of the terminals.
  4. Passengers can no longer be picked up/dropped off on the curbside.  Passenger vehicles are no longer permitted to enter LAX unless they are parking.
  5. Vehicles are encouraged to park in the parking structure with a minimum fee to park.
  6. Pick ups and drops offs will now occur offsite away from traffic at separate locations.  The people moving system will link to the location.

 

Prioritizing Shuttle Buses.

Traffic into the airport should only be limited to shuttle buses like inter-terminal shuttles, parking shuttles, and hotel shuttles.  For situations like tour group pick ups/drop offs, a fee based pass seems to be appropriate.  The congestion should ease up significantly with the lack of passenger vehicles circling the airport.  By restricting passenger vehicles from entering, LAX frees the roads up to shuttle service and special high occupancy tour buses.

Passenger Pick ups and Drop offs.

The majority of the traffic going into and in LAX is caused by cars that are picking up or dropping off passengers.  By utilizing two large offsite locations (one for pick ups and one for drops off), it will be easier to handle the traffic flow since a location is dedicated to a single purpose.  A people moving system will transport passengers appropriately.  The pick up location will also require a large “waiting” area for the cars that arrive a little earlier and need to wait for the passengers.  This is similar to the “cell phone lot.”

Parking.

For the people that prefer to see their passengers off, the parking in LAX should be expanded and redesigned.  The structures should be linked with only one controlled entrance to pick up the parking slip and multiple exits for payment.  Similarly, the entrance and exits into the parking structure should be different from the entrance and exits into the offsite pick up and drop off locations and different from the ones used by the shuttle buses.

People Moving System

An interconnected people moving system is critical to make the changes work in LAX.  With the ban of passenger vehicles into LAX, it becomes critical for the system to work smoothly to transport passengers from terminals to the off site pick up / drop off locations.  Using a network of buses will initially work but ultimately an automated tram would be desirable to reduce the congestion of shuttle buses.

 

Overall each of the changes I think will serve to minimize the traffic into LAX and hopefully make the experience of going to an airport just a little more enjoyable.