As the New Year dawns, like millions of others around the globe, and for the first time in my life, I’ve made a pledge . . . I’m not going to work with, live with, put up with or deal with any more idiots, ever! [and do I hear you thinking that I might then be ready to leave Samoa?]
Keeping Short Accounts
I’ve never had the urge to make New Years’ resolutions. I think this stems from my approach to always ‘live the moment’ to the maximum – 100% a hundred percent of the time.
I’m actually happy with who I am and what I do from moment to moment and have learned over the years to run very short accounts with God.
It’s not that I’m perfect, nor that I get everything right – more that I don’t really have a desperate need to change things for the better when I’m always doing my best! It’s a very clean way of living and leaves little room for regrets.
I call this VICTUS IN AMBITUS (Latin for ‘living on the edge’) and my book Lipstick on a Pig details this lifestyle nicely.
Apparently it is a good read too, according to a guy I met a while back and gave a copy to. I met him on the street yesterday and he told me he read it every day and loved my humour. He even confessed that “I used to read a bit to my wife each night before we went to bed. I know that we should be reading the bible but . . .” and he smiled!
A note here, don’t ever write a book if you want to make money. I’ve given away more than I’ve sold!
The funniest one was a guy who was reading this same book (Lipstick on a Pig) while I was driving. He chuckled every now and then as he read. He then said, “Hey listen to this . . .” and then started quoting me my own words. Ah, yes, sir . . . you realise that I am the author? I wrote the book you realise?
“Oh!” he said, “Yes of course” then chuckled a little and carried on reading my book to me.
Crazy, but funny eh?
The really funny thing though is that I read it again myself every now and then and apart from reminding myself of some past event, sometimes I actually learn something! I’ll sit there and say things like, “Wow! That’s profound,” and it’ll make me think. Is that crazy, or what?
It’s crazy to submit to Crazies
I met a girl yesterday who applied for a job with me over a year ago. I remember the conversation well for she struck me as an intelligent girl, ready to give anything a go for the benefit of her family – she is a solo mother. The thing that I remember most about the interview was that when it came church things she said, “Oh I can’t afford to go to church!” and she didn’t. A smart girl I thought. Some people are like that here . . . the costs are too high, so they simply don’t go. They’re the lucky ones for many have no choice and the village will fine them if they do not comply.
She went down in my estimation a lot though as I found out that not only does she now go to church, but she’s totally dedicated to it and her life is very different she tells me. Her new denomination has some pretty strong teaching that I don’t accept but I listened to her graciously. I watched in sadness as basically I saw an intelligent independent thinker that I respected had in the interim period been converted into a ‘subject’ who was now dogmatic and compliant.
I have another guy who did the same thing . . . got into a fringe church here that is even more dogmatic in their belief system. They not only claim to have an exclusive lien on the truth, they use that claim proudly as a basis for dividing themselves from the community. When I asked why he joined, he said because of his wife. OMG! Sounds very like the Garden of Eden revisited to me. He’ll still be a friend no doubt but that could change in the future, for I know their belief systems and how that outworks in practice. What an idiot!
Just like an idiot Aussie lawyer I’ve had the ‘good pleasure’ of dealing with recently.
A guy I’m working with sent me a really simple txt today that summarised his take on idiot lawyers following up on an earlier email where he bagged an Australian lawyer for causing complications.
The background was that we had done up a simple Heads of Agreement that detailed the business relationship we were entering into with another party. All of us were happy, in agreement and the other party just “let her lawyer run through it” before she would sign it off.
The lawyer made heaps of changes – many cosmetic, one that was a good change, half a dozen that introduced problems and three changes that were really bad errors. I’m thinking positively that it was a rush job done at Christmas time because the end agreement had some people owning the wrong business, changed the whole intent of some clauses, caused complications when none existed, made assumptions that were not correct and removed key clauses that all of us had previously agreed to.
I analysed the new document, detailed the myriad of changes, sent off my recommendations and got an email back from the guy I’m working with along the lines of, “I don’t know why people have to do this when we all had agreement. It’s almost like they’re trying to break up the relationship before it starts.” You could tell he was an inch away from adding, “IDIOTS” on the end of email, but didn’t. Welcome to the world of lawyers sir . . . you are entering a grey zone!
The txt he sent me later though was a classic, “THE LAWYER IS BEING AN EGG”.
I think he would have really wanted to say it more, “IDIOT LAWYERS!” but phrased it politely.
How many people would say that after having a good relationship messed up with legal to-ing and fro-ing with legal intricacies that brass any normal person off in 3 minutes flat?
Now there are times and places where legal expertise is important, but I try not to use lawyers now, for I’ve yet to have an enjoyable relationship with one or that I’ve considered a beneficial win-win when looking back on it. I think the feeling is probably mutual for I don’t just take their advice without questionning it in detail but as I’ve blogged about before, my previous lawyer’s chargeout rate is 272x more than the people earn around me. Something is VERY wrong here, methinks
From idiot Lawyers in Australia to idiots in Europe now . . .
Deductions from Fallacy, Assumption & Faulty Logic
I rarely do this, as I generally want to keep doors open, but I disengaged with a professional recently after a whole heap of emails and Skype calls. I won’t mention the industry or the actual person but the guy was clearly a very clever and intelligent chap in the theory department with an excellent grasp of the mathematical concepts involved in what I was doing but he simply wouldn’t answer the one simple question I tried to ask him.
As far as I could see his logic was really sound and I could follow him clearly, to a point . . . but them when it came to the practical implementation, he inserted an assumption and deduced that the assumption would always apply, therefore concluded that his deduction was sound. To me he’s crazy.
Thousands of words and a good week or more later and he apologised for winding me up but seemingly to me he didn’t have a clue how to connect his theory into real life situations. I showed him logically where he was incorrect on fact and where he had justified his terminology on weird interpretations and had developed a rule on an assumption. It seemed to matter not to him in the slightest!
Except for the fact that his core theoretical work was arguably some of the best in the field, I would have called him an idiot too. After reading his last email about it all I just stared at the screen and thought, “What was that all about? This guy is from Mars!”
Who knows, maybe there’s something I don’t understand about it all, and he probably thinks I’m the idiot but hey at least we’re not going to have any further conflict if we’re on the other side of the world and just agree to disagree!
I made a mistake with one of my little puppies. I normally give all the boys away but I kept him until he was really just a little bit too big to give away. I thought that because he was still a teenager he’d be OK to relocate, but it’s actually been a bit of a problem.
My idea of dogs differs to that of the locals here. I want dogs, lots of them, preferably the bitches because they give me puppies, whereas the males don’t. Samoans seem to want all the boys, maybe because they defend better and don’t deliver hoards of unwanted puppies.
So, while not all Samoans but the ones I know want the boys and I want the girls, everything goes nicely here. ‘Rocky’ the male dog down the road is a smart, loyal, strong, handsome dog with a beautiful temperament and is very happy to swing by and service my ladies when the time is right. Suits me!
Sox, one of his offspring is has inherited his father’s personality and physique, but unfortunately he’s inherited his mother’s brains. She’s not the smartest kid on the block, so unfortunately, while Sox has ended up a strong, handsome dog with a lovely temperament he’s not really the kind of father I want for the rest of the dogs I breed. On top of that I didn’t want inbreeding so he had to go. I did a deal with a mate down the road. He could take Sox and I’d take a stray that they had recently picked up, a little bitch called ‘Jungle’. Jungle took to her new home OK. A couple of days on a chain and a bit of TLC and she was fine.
Sox however wanted to return home – to his harem and of course his traditional source of food – me. He did that. It’s now five times over three days that he’s done that. Each time I growl him, pick him up, take him down to his new home, tie him up and return to my ladies. Each time I do that though he equally bites through his rope; breaks his chain or escapes from whatever we use and comes back to his old home.
It’s not good. I increased the ‘discipline’ somewhat – still the same.
I have several options:
- I can put him down. Yup, it’s not a nice one, but it is an option.
- I can try and find someone at the other end of the country to take him. The problem is that he will likely end up running away again and then will get lost, turn into a stray and then probably have a hard life. Not the best.
- I could buckle and just accept him back, but then he would be mating with his sisters or half sisters in due course and I don’t want a hundred dumb puppies, or
- I toughen up the training process, increase the security level and force the matter.
I’ve elected for the fourth option. He’s a lovely dog and the new owners like him. He’s just got to learn that his loyalty should now be with other people from the owner he’s always known (and I dare say trusts, loves, respects and, yes, even fears). This is hard because you can see he’s genuinely confused but it’s made heaps trickier because, let me put it simply – he’s thick!
Dumb dogs abound here in Samoa it seems but this one, for all his physique, personality and loyalty is just an idiot. He doesn’t get it. Hopefully I think I’ve actually got it through to him and I think that he’ll stay put now because for the last time he returned, he knew that he was in trouble the moment he saw me AND he got a very BIG hiding, much bigger than anything before. So, hopefully my very loyal, handsome, loving teenage boy should have gotten the message that he has a new home. His cuts and bruises in the ‘learning process’ will all heal of course.
I think to myself, “I-D-I-O-T dog! Why can’t you just get the message the first time? Why do you have to be so blinkin’ loyal?” and of course it hurts to see him go.
I have a friend whom I think is a total idiot. Yup, I seem to surround myself with these sorts of people. He’s a mate, the sort of mate that you can’t help but love – the sort of friend that no matter what happens or however much you can disagree, unfortunately he’ll probably always be a friend. I reconnected with him recently after a few years of no meaningful contact and it wasn’t long before he got onto his pet hobby horse and we were into it . . . religion, Christianity to be specific. He hates it and with a passion!
Now before I go into the details, let me make it perfectly clear for those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting me in person, I NEVER preach AT someone in person EVER. Most of the time I don’t even talk about by faith unless THEY initiate the conversation. Sure, I ask many questions that can often prompt people to raise matters of faith and I am always sharing my own experiences and opinions, but in person (my books and blog are slightly different in that I always just preach assuming that people are reading it because they want to) I ALWAYS show the utmost of respect of people individually retaining their right to think act and live as they so choose. I do this by the way because according to my understanding of the way the world is built, the Creator did the same thing – He gave us the freedom to think, act and live as we choose.
True, I’ve led many people to the Lord, but I always, always, ALWAYS simply perform the introduction and encourage people to step out in faith but I NEVER lead with a yoke and collar and I ALWAYS instruct people to build their own relationship of faith with the Creator totally independently of me. All of my ‘victims’ have all chosen to do what THEY wanted to do with my totally independent scaffolding.
So when my mate started off into his rant about me being sucked in and just listening to words and teaching that has come via mere mortals and is all BS I asked him on what basis he thought I was deluded. “Well you’re a Christian aren’t you?” he replied. I agreed . . . and then it all started, thousands of words about what he believed and why the church and therefore I was wrong, deluded, stupid and so on.
Hmmmm. I’ve seen this all before. People go on and on at you because you are a Christian (you believe something – more specifically KNOW someone) and it bugs them, eats away at them and they lose all sense of reality. I knew my idiot mate though so I made a mental note again that he had some pretty decent chips on his shoulder and carried on engaging as best as I could with him!
So in the early stages of our discussion, I asked him where he got his information from and on what basis he could say what he said, for I consider myself a genuine independent Christian thinker, outside of mainstream Christian circles and probably far less controlled or influenced by others than most.
The bottom line was that he knew all the answers and I didn’t. He couldn’t see the logical failure in his position, accusing me of listening to others when he was shouting at me trying to get me to listen to him! I was the one asking him questions and listening and understanding him! I was simply an independent truth-seeker who had chosen to accept the truth of Scripture, had tested the validity of the bible over several decades, was open to discussing alternative viewpoints but had continued to reinforce the validity of that position daily. He on the other hand knew the answers, wasn’t open to other possibilities and thought I was a fool. The guy’s an idiot.
It’s worse than that because in the middle of our discussion I asked him what he thought I was really good at. He replied that it was “process” – due process, in other words logic, thinking clearly. Oh dear! Pride blinds.
So rather than argue about religious abstracts or worldviews I steered the conversation around into one specific subject where we entered into detailed analysis. In one of his rants he had informed me in no uncertain terms that evolution was a proven scientific fact. He was emphatic and questioned my sanity if I believed otherwise.
I first started by clarifying the difference between macro-evolution and micro-evolution. He didn’t know that there was a difference, which indicated to me that he had not investigated the subject thoroughly. For the record, I have serious issues with macro-evolution but none at all with micro-evolution. The former is the idea that is mockingly called the “goo-to-you-via-the-zoo” theory, gunk somehow becomes an animal and then becomes mankind. The latter is the idea that living organisms can change over time based on genetic mutations, basically adaptation. That’s observable and is clearly fact.
Macro-evolution however is revealed as a nonsense the more you study it from a big-picture AND at a detailed level.
Calling macro-evolution a theory however is actually a little flattering for a whole bunch of reasons I won’t go into but the idea that sludge somehow turns into a bacteria, lizard, bird, cat, dog, monkey and man is just insane. I know that people throughout the Western world believe it but that’s only because they’ve been indoctrinated from birth and haven’t really thought about it.
People that have thought about it properly and still believe it are just idiots. They are either selective in their research, deceived, deluded or they have an agenda. Protecting their career or perceived social position is one agenda. The anti-god agenda (particularly the anti-Christian god) is another agenda, quite a common one too. Pride is usually the root cause of this stupidity. The main reason however is that people have not actually researched the whole thing properly, rather just taking the stuff fed to them by others – incidently the very same thing my friend accused me of doing as a result of being a Christian!
It’s my experience that when genuine truth-seekers research BOTH sides of the macro-evolution fable that they ALWAYS end up saying the same as a recent guest of mine did over the moon landing hoax, “Well I see what you’re saying. It does sound a bit of a story, doesn’t it?”
My guest said this after we had discussed lots of different aspects of the moon landing thing. He had promised to research things that he hadn’t previously thought about and was open to the possibility that it was a hoax after I had given him good reasons to question some of his previous understandings. When I laughed and said something like, “Hey brother, stop a minute and think about it. Look at the complexity of the Shuttle and their spacesuits and current limitations . . . now look at those flying bathtubs they claimed went to the moon and back . . . Really?”
My mate though who was ‘onto’ it with the science that he claimed had proved evolution definitely wasn’t open to other possibilities like my recent guest was. Convinced that science had proven macro-evolution, he trumpeted a commonly used tree of life image found on the Internet.
Hmmmm. So that’s the depth of his research? A picture that is well known to be contentious and disproven, even by adherents of the macro-evolutionary ideas?
Talking deeper about the subject though we discussed the idea of Intelligent Design, a well-established discipline that has had a lot of effort put into it over the last decade and a half. The ID movement simply looks at reality, assesses it from a design perspective and deduces that there clearly is considerable evidence of design. Unbelievable and stunning evidence in fact.
To this my friend could agree but he immediately insisted that the God of Isaac, Abraham and Jesus was a nonsense. The fact that I never mentioned God but talked about ID, yet he kept raising the Christian god thing was a sure-fire indicator that his agenda was actually based around a chip on his shoulder with the Christian god thing, but that’s beside the point.
His answer was that creation designed creation. I won’t go into the detail but yes, that was his take on things. My take is a little more straightforward. If there’s evidence of design, then there probably is a DesignER. Who that designer is however is a secondary issue of course.
Not to be outdone, my mate did some research and slipped me a link to CMI where he trumpeted the great news from a Christian organisation that claims macro-evolution and the Bible to be compatible. God used evolution is the essence of their belief system.
OMG! One link to one article on a highly confused, contentious, American-based, bible-compromising, “Christian” organisation appears to be enough research for my mate to rest in peace, knowing that he was right all along – macro-evolution is fact and proved by science he believes. My mate’s an idiot!
CMI by the way has highly contentious stance compromising the bible, trying to mix the mainstream scientific conclusions with biblical interpretation. The end result is pretty much the same as mixing milk and arsenic – it’s still poisonous. Others, including people with a non-Christian viewpoint do a much better job of debunking their centralist position showing how illogical their take is. My views are that reality and truth are elucidated much better at CMI, where Ken Ham and his team take the bible literally, nothing is off the discussion table and pretty sound logic is applied across the board.
So my mate’s rapsheet is this. He:
- Is totally convinced that science has proved evolution.
- Knows this as a fact.
- Didn’t know the difference between macro-evolution or micro-evolution.
- Has done no real research about alternative viewpoints
- Confuses the core idea of Intelligent Design with issues of who is the Designer
- Has a chip on his shoulder with the Christian god
- Ascribes Intelligent Design to the created beings themselves
- Leans on a dubious compromising organisation to validate a dumb belief, yet . . .
- Acknowledges that I am a man of logic
And after all this, and knowing that I’ve spent thousands of hours, yes thousands of hours in active research over several decades, he thinks I’m the idiot!
I know my mate. He’s rude, obnoxious (deliberately), disrespectful, a weetbix short of a breakfast, deluded, I’ll never shake him and he’ll probably be a dark shadow around me until I depart. That’s what true mates are like though, they stick by you through thick and thin, so I can tell already, on the first day of my New Year’s resolution that I’ll never achieve my goal.
I’m STILL going to be surrounded by idiots!
Have a good year this year people . . . hopefully we can all lift the intelligence level of the planet a little this time round!
Please note that there has been NO mention of local Samoan idiots in this post. It’s been deliberate. First of all, I had no need to with idiots aplenty from all around the globe and secondly, I daren’t get started!