Tag Archives: Quotes

Best Posts of Jeremiah Stanghini’s Blog in 2014

If you read last year’s “best of” post, you’ll notice that there’s some overlap with this year’s “best of” post. However, some of the posts that didn’t overlap surprised me. Similar to last year, at first, I’m inclined to do a best of 2014 and a best of all-time, but after looking at the statistics, the best of 2014 and the best of all-time are pretty close, so it won’t be all that interesting to do separate posts. As a result, I decided to just do the one post of the best posts of 2014. I also considered picking a bunch of articles and calling them “underrated” because they hadn’t garnered the views that some of the other posts had. I might still do that, but not in the next few weeks.

Before revealing the top 6 posts along with an excerpt, there is one thing to keep in mind. On this site, I specifically chose a theme where folks wouldn’t have to click a link to view the whole post (only to share or comment because those links are on the post’s page). As a result, the statistics for the most popular posts are sure to be skewed because people may have read a certain post more than another, but without them clicking the link for the post, there’s no way (that I know of) for me to know. On top of that, the theme I’ve chosen here allows the viewer to scroll (all the way to the first post!) What does that mean? When you’re on the homepage, you can continue to scroll down and more posts will load… all the way ’til you get to the first post. And in looking at the statistics of the top posts, it’s clear that “scrolling down” is far and away the most popular “post” on this site (this was true last year and the year before and will probably be true for as long as the site’s theme remains the same). With that in mind, here they are with an excerpt for each:

The Official Final Jeopardy Spelling Rules [UPDATED]

If you know me, you know that I’m really good at finding things on the Internet. After doing a couple of cursory google searches (Final Jeopardy RulesOfficial Final Jeopardy RulesOfficial Jeopardy Rules), I was surprised that I couldn’t find them. Sometimes, the site that hosts a document like this doesn’t do a good job of using keywords. So, I thought I’d poke around the official Jeopardy site — nothing.

After some more derivations of “Rules of Jeopardy,” I was beginning to think that maybe the rules aren’t online. I thought that maybe the contestants were handed a paper copy that they signed before going on the show and that document wasn’t online. Having never been a contestant on Jeopardy (though I’d like to be some time!) I couldn’t confirm whether this was true. However, given that it’s a game show, I’m sure they signed something before going on the show. Regardless, I didn’t have access to that document.

Sheldon Cooper Presents “Fun With Flags”: A YouTube Series of Podcasts

The other day I happened to be eating lunch and staring off out the window. While that may not seem important, it is. Most of the time, I like to be reading or doing something, while I’m eating. I completely understand that it’s probably better to not do this, but I often can’t help myself. Anyway, as I was sitting and justeating, an idea came to me. (Don’t you find that ideas come to you when you’re not thinking about them?) The idea, as the title of this post suggests, a web series from one of The Big Bang Theory’s main cast members: Sheldon Cooper.

Advancing America’s Public Transportation System: High-Speed Rail in the USA

When it was first announced that the US was going to work on , I was very excited! Growing up in the , I am very familiar with the value of public transportation. I often rode a bus to and from school. As I matured and wanted to explore downtown with my friends, we’d ride the  to get there from the suburban area we lived. Beyond that, when I needed to make trips between Detroit and Toronto, I would ride the  between Toronto and Windsor instead of taking the 45 minute flight. Public transportation is a great way, in my opinion, to feel better about reducing one’s .

Chapter 2 – Fines vs. Fees: What Money Can[‘t] Buy, Part 2

In the first post in this series, I chewed on the material from chapter 1 of Professor Michael Sandel‘s book, What Money Can’t Buy. The first chapter was all about jumping the line (or budding, as I remember it from my elementary school days). In Chapter 2, the theme was incentives.

In The End, Everything Will Be OK – If It’s Not OK, It’s Not Yet The End

It’s no secret that I like quotes. Since converting my Facebook profile to a Facebook page, I’ve gotten into the habit of sharing a “quote of the day.” If my calculations are correct, I’ve been sharing quotes of the day for over 80 days now. As you’ll notice that I also have a quotes category, I’ve shared a number of quotes here on this site, too. And if I think back to the days of AIM (AOL Instant Manager), I often had quotes as my “away” message. And even before then, I remember really liking quotes in high school and in elementary (or grade) school. So, like I said, it’s no secret that I like quotes.

Chapter 3 – Fairness and Inequality: What Money Can[‘t] Buy, Part 3

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last finished a chapter in Michael Sandel’s book, What Money Can’t Buy. I recently completed chapter 3 a couple of nights ago and there were some intriguing things to think about. Let’s get right to it!

Labor is the Superior of Capital, and Deserves Much the Higher Consideration

Do you recognize those words? Scholars (and/or) American history buffs just might. They were spoken by one Abraham Lincoln on December 3rd, 1861, as part of his first State of the Union address. The quote comes from very near to the end of the speech; the beginning of the third last paragraph. The sentence on its own is worth pondering, but let’s put it in context:

Now there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.

Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and with their capital hire or buy another few to labor for them.

As is clear, Lincoln is referring to what was a major problem at the time — slavery. While those words were initially spoken with regard to slavery, I think that they have a broader application. That is, labor really is the superior of capital and not just in the context of slavery. Without labor, there’d be no capital. Labor is the backbone of any economy — local or global. As a result, it’s frustrating to see how poorly mismanaged the workforce can be.

From a business standpoint, I can understand why managers would want to crimp on labor, both in the number of employees and their However, I see this as extremely short-sighted. Whatever short-term gains are made from this strategy, they’re lost in the longer term when one has to replace the employee because they’ve either quit or because they’re overworked (and needed time off because of stress and/or fatigue).

I wonder if treating labor as if it’s another “expense” or “liability” is endemic to the culture of work in America. If we revisit the chart about vacation from this past summer, we see that just about every country on that list is in Europe and from what we know about the culture of many European countries, there’s an air of slowness that you just don’t find in America. Maybe it’s that European businesses have already learned this lesson of treating the workforce like an expense and realizing that it’s just easier to pay up front. How different would business look like in the US if the workweek went from 40 to 30 and the number of mandatory paid vacation days went from 0 to 20? Even if the US workweek went from 40 to 37.5 as is the case in Canada, how different would things be, then?

This focus on the short-term seems to be in more places than one. It’s even present in the way public companies are structured — they have to report their earnings every quarter. That is, every 90 days — 90! — a company gives a report to their shareholders (and the public) about their earnings. Predominantly, people are looking to see whether a company “beat” estimates. If (when?) a company doesn’t meet estimates, the stock price usually takes a tumble. But what if this incessant push to meet estimates and focus on these 90-day windows doesn’t allow for an appropriate longer term strategy? What if this 90-day crunch is preventing a company from pursuing a strategy that would make it far more sustainable in the long run and if they attempted to pursue that strategy, their stock price would plummet?

I don’t have all the answers to these questions, but I believe the beginning of the answer starts with labor. Companies that honor and respect their workforce tend to perform better.

Best Posts of Jeremiah Stanghini’s Blog in 2013

Last year when I did a best posts series, I ended up doing three different posts. This year, since all of the posts that appear on this website originated on this website, I wouldn’t need to include any posts about Genuine Thriving. My first inclination was to do a best of 2013 and a best of all-time, but after looking at the statistics, the best of 2013 and the best of all-time are essentially — identical. As a result, I decided to just do the one post of the best posts of 2013.

Before revealing the top 6 posts along with an excerpt, there is one thing to keep in mind. On the old site, there used to be only an excerpt shown with the post. So, if someone wanted to read the whole post, they had to click the link (this was just how the theme worked). On this site, however, I specifically chose a theme where folks wouldn’t have to click a link to view the whole post (only to share or comment because those links are on the post’s page). As a result, the statistics for the most popular posts are sure to be skewed because people may have read a certain post more than another, but without them clicking the link for the post, there’s no way (that I know of) for me to know. On top of that, the theme I’ve chosen here allows the viewer to scroll (all the way to the first post!) What does that mean? When you’re on the homepage, you can continue to scroll down and more posts will load… all the way ’til you get to the first post. And in looking at the statistics of the top posts, it’s clear that “scrolling down” is far and away the most popular “post” on this site (this was true last year, too). With that in mind, here they are with an excerpt for each:

The Official Final Jeopardy Spelling Rules [UPDATED]

If you know me, you know that I’m really good at finding things on the Internet. After doing a couple of cursory google searches (Final Jeopardy RulesOfficial Final Jeopardy RulesOfficial Jeopardy Rules), I was surprised that I couldn’t find them. Sometimes, the site that hosts a document like this doesn’t do a good job of using keywords. So, I thought I’d poke around the official Jeopardy site — nothing.

After some more derivations of “Rules of Jeopardy,” I was beginning to think that maybe the rules aren’t online. I thought that maybe the contestants were handed a paper copy that they signed before going on the show and that document wasn’t online. Having never been a contestant on Jeopardy (though I’d like to be some time!) I couldn’t confirm whether this was true. However, given that it’s a game show, I’m sure they signed something before going on the show. Regardless, I didn’t have access to that document.

In The End, Everything Will Be OK – If It’s Not OK, It’s Not Yet The End

It’s no secret that I like quotes. Since converting my Facebook profile to a Facebook page, I’ve gotten into the habit of sharing a “quote of the day.” If my calculations are correct, I’ve been sharing quotes of the day for over 80 days now. As you’ll notice that I also have a quotes category, I’ve shared a number of quotes here on this site, too. And if I think back to the days of AIM (AOL Instant Manager), I often had quotes as my “away” message. And even before then, I remember really liking quotes in high school and in elementary (or grade) school. So, like I said, it’s no secret that I like quotes.

If You Want to Be Happy, Spend Your Bonus On Your Coworkers

That bonus you were looking forward to at the end of the year is “yours” and you should get to spend it on you and your family. Except, research shows that’s not the case. In fact, the research indicates that spending the money on someone other than yourself actually leads to greater happiness. More than that, it can lead to your improved performance at work.

The Confirmation Bias — What Do You Really Know: List of Biases in Judgment and Decision-Making, Part 6

Why is the confirmation bias so loathed? Well, as Nickerson points out, it may be the root cause of many disputes both on an individual and an international level. Let’s think about this for a second: let’s say that in the world of objectivity “out there,” there are any number of possibilities. In the world  of subjectivity “inside my head,” there are only the possibilities that I can imagine. Humans, on the whole, tend to fear change (there are over 600,000,000 results for that search on Google!). In order to allay those fears, I’m going to prefer information that already conforms to my previously held beliefs. As a result, when I look “out there,” I’m going to unconsciously be looking for things that are “inside my head.”

Advancing America’s Public Transportation System: High-Speed Rail in the USA

When it was first announced that the US was going to work on , I was very excited! Growing up in the , I am very familiar with the value of public transportation. I often rode a bus to and from school. As I matured and wanted to explore downtown with my friends, we’d ride the  to get there from the suburban area we lived. Beyond that, when I needed to make trips between Detroit and Toronto, I would ride the  between Toronto and Windsor instead of taking the 45 minute flight. Public transportation is a great way, in my opinion, to feel better about reducing one’s .

Three Lessons from The Hobbit: On Doing What You Can, Having Faith, and Demonstrating Leadership

Anyway, as I was watching, there were a few instances I noticed that could serve as quintessential lessons. Given that The Hobbit is a good example of the hero’s journey, it’s not surprising that there’d be great lessons to be found in the story.

Mistakes are Always Forgivable, if One Has the Courage to Admit Them

Earlier this summer, I wrote a post about the 2022 World Cup. Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup in December of 2010 at a meeting in Zürich. Usually, facts like the time of year and the place a decision happened are inconsequential. However, from what we know about decision-making, it’s possible that these small factors may have contributed to a country in the Middle East being awarded an event that takes place in the summer.

A couple of days ago, the FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, admitted that they ‘may [have] made a mistake at the time.’

While it would have been easier had FIFA not make this mistake 3 years ago, I’m glad that they’ve admitted to it now. It gives them lots of time to try to come to some agreement with some of the soccer leagues who aren’t receptive to the idea of interrupting their season. If you’re not familiar with soccer, the Premier League‘s season takes place in the winter months (the Northern hemisphere’s winter months, I should say). The World Cup usually takes place in the summer (again, Northern hemisphere’s summer months), so that the Premier League’s season can finish. As I discussed in my post in July, there are all sorts of contracts that the Premier League will probably be hard-pressed to try and break. Of course, with the force of FIFA behind it, one would assume that there could be some deal arranged to work this out.

The bit I want to highlight from this piece of news is that the leader (and the organization), didn’t remain steadfast in their wrongness. FIFA could have very well went on believing that playing soccer in 122° weather wouldn’t have that much of an effect on the quality of the competition. They could have continued to look for opinions/facts that confirmed their belief in their rightness.

Let this news be an example to you and your organization: mistakes can be forgivable, so long as you admit to them. If there’s no admission of error, then there’s little room or time for correcting.

Note: The title of this post is a quote from Bruce Lee.

Knowledge Speaks, but Wisdom Listens: Quotes on New Beginnings and Meeting New People

Regardless of whether you count my series on quotes from religious/spiritual traditions, it’s been some time since I last did a post that was dedicated to quotes. As August draws to a close and September creeps closer, many students will be heading back to school (or are already back at school). Not only that, many who have been on summer vacations are returning to work. As a result, I thought I’d share some quotes that folks might find inspiring as they reembark (or embark, for some!) on their [new] journey. Enjoy!

“It is never to late to be what you might have been.” – George Elliot

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E. E. Cummings

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” – Benjamin Franklin

And a few on interacting/meeting new people…

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” – William James

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” – Jimi Hendrix

[Note: The title of this post comes from a quote that is often attributed to Jimi Hendrix. However, as I’ve done in the past, a little bit of internet sleuthing tells me that he might not have actually said this.]

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: America’s Dependence on Mideast Oil

Earlier this morning, I came across a headline that was a bit shocking (to me): “Americans Support the Keystone XL Pipeline by Wide Margin.” All of the data I’d seen regarding polls of Americans showed that there certainly wasn’t a wide margin in support or against the pipeline. So, with my curiosity piqued, I clicked the article to find out that 67% (of the survey respondents) support building the pipeline. That still seemed a bit surprising, as, like I said, most polls I’d seen had stayed in the range of 45/55 or 55/45.

Upon getting to the actual survey, I scrolled to the question that led to the headline. Here’s the question that was read to survey respondents:

The President is deciding whether to build the Keystone X-L Pipeline to carry oil from Canada to the United States. Supporters of the pipeline say it will ease America’s dependence on Mideast oil and create jobs. Opponents fear the environmental impact of building a pipeline. What about you – do you support or oppose building the KeystoneX-L pipeline?

Do you see anything wrong with this question?

Let’s start with the idea that they’re telling respondents what supporters say and opponents say. If the respondent doesn’t really have a strong opinion about the question, they may prefer to identify with one group or the other (and they might even if they have a strong opinion!) One could argue that there’s a response bias present. There has been quite a bit of press about “America’s dependence on foreign oil.” So, someone might not want to oppose that viewpoint in a survey. That is, the respondent wouldn’t want to appear, (to the person conducting the survey), that they don’t think that reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil is as important as the environment.

Juxtaposing the dependence on foreign oil with environmental impact is a bit unfair. As I said in the previous paragraph, I’d bet that most people have heard/read something about the America’s dependence on foreign oil, but they probably don’t know very much about the environmental impact of oil. Now, that could be a messaging problem for the environmental movement, but there hasn’t been a compelling enough case made. (If there were, there certainly wouldn’t have been this many people who were “A-OK” with building the pipeline.)

Lastly, let’s actually examine this so called dependence on foreign oil. From the US Energy Information Administration:

The United States relied on net imports (imports minus exports) for about 40% of the petroleum (crude oil and petroleum products) that we consumed in 2012. Just over half of these imports came from the Western Hemisphere. Our dependence on foreign petroleum has declined since peaking in 2005. [Emphasis added]

In doing the math, 60% of the petroleum (oil) that the US consumed in 2012 was produced domestically — inside the US! In doing some more math, we’re told that just over half of the imports came from the Western Hemisphere. Meaning, less than half of the imports are coming from countries outside of the Western Hemisphere. Meaning, less than half of the imports could be coming from the Mideast and we already know that only 40% of the oil consumed in the US comes from imports. In fact, this same agency tells us just how much oil is imported from Persian Gulf countries: 29%. So, 29% of the imports (40%) is how reliant the US is on Mideast oil. Again, doing the math the total US consumption of Mideast oil: 11.6%. Does 11.6% sound like dependence?

If you recall the last line of the quote from the agency: “Our dependence on foreign petroleum has declined since peaking in 2005.

The next time you read survey data, I hope you’ll remember this post and consider just how construed the results may be.

[Note: The title of this post is a quote that was popularized by Mark Twain.]

A Collection of Scriptures for Guidance: Christianity, Part 8

Note: the first two paragraphs are introductory and are derived from the first post in this series. I’ll continue to repost them, in case this is your first time reading a post from this series.

When I was still a doctoral candidate at Sofia University, one of the courses I completed was “World Religions.” This was one of the classes I enjoyed the most during my time at Sofia University. I’d never had such broad exposure to the world’s religions before and this class really allowed me to gain a better understanding of them.

One of the papers I wrote for that class really tied in the fact that I was in a clinical psychology PhD program. The purpose of the paper was to collect quotes from scriptures of the various world religions that I could use with clients/patients when I became a therapist. While I’m no longer pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology, the quotes I collected could certainly be of use, so I thought I’d share them here.

Today’s collection of scriptures for guidance comes courtesy of Christianity. Enjoy!

Anxiety

I’m leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So, don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)

Let not your heart be troubled. You are entrusting God, now trust in Me. (John 14:1)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. (Psalm 23:61)

Anger

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 145:8)

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29)

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9).

Addiction

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:2)

Death

Precious in the sight of the Lord the death of his saints. (Psalms 116:15)

The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. (Isaiah 57:1-2)

Now we know that if an earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. (2 Corinthians 5:1-2)

Depression

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all of their troubles. (Psalms 34:17)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalms 147:3)

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1)

Grief

This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. (Psalm 119:50)

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. (Isaiah 43:2)

Guilt

In whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. (1 John 3:20)

I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)

They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord, for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)

Loneliness

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18)

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. (John 14:1)

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but my Loving kindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ says the Lord who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

Stress

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27)

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25)

Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear, though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. (Psalm 27:1, 3)

If you liked this post, you might like one of the other posts in this series: