First off, I would like to share a few thoughts unrelated to today’s thesis.
- I like the new Facebook layout, however I dislike their data streaming methods. I’ve found the activity streams to generally be outdated and too slow to update. Manually surfing facebook yields data indicating that people are in fact writing on walls, posting photos, editing their profile yet my frontpage’s activity stream presents none of this information. Ok, that was a lie. It presents this information from about 3 days ago. I go on facebook usually to see things that are occuring in realtime or close to realtime, not for this historical take on things that I’ve missed. Twitter doesn’t show me what is happening 3 days ago unless there has been an absence of activity, and if facebook is going to go with that model they need to make it work better.
- Social networks should tell me the extent to which I am someone’s friend. Every network now lets you hide things from different people, controlling how much of your activity they can see. Its a completely legitimate feature and I’m not saying it should be done away with… I would just like to know when I’m not your complete friend. Take a family member as an example, I can opt to suppress them from seeing when I post some photos or something on Facebook and that person would never be for the wiser as it currently stands. I think that they should be able to see on my profile or page or whatever something indicating that they are blocked from my picture section. When I’m blocked from something on a social network without knowing it I think 2 things. 1) The website is broken and for some reason that link isn’t working or 2) the person didn’t want to deny me their friendship because that would be rude and we do in fact know each other however I must be an untrustworthy person, which makes me feel sadish… actually more left out but whatever.
- I am preparing a post some changes that I’ve noticed to vending machines at RPI, particularly the one in my dorm. I am working on the diagrams in PowerPoint (since it can draw rectangles) and will have them prepared in a short period of time.
Now onto the meat of today’s discussion.
I like to tell myself that I live by a certain code. It’s an unwritten code that changes from time to time depending on how I’m feeling, but generally it stays pretty much the same. Some of the more static components include the avoidance of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs. The more dynamic components tend to involve things like interpersonal relations, exercise, average driving speed, etc.
Most people tend to classify my driving as slow. I don’t know why this is. On highways I tend to average +5 MPH above the speed limit, which is by definition “faster” that I should be driving. On the rare instance I am feeling luck, you will find me going +7 MPH above the speed limit. On MA highways that is like 72 MPH, which is 24x the speed at which most people walk. Out of respect for others I remain in the right lane such that I can be easily passed by the impatient driver who is going faster than my already fast driving. Yes, sometimes you’ll find me in the passing lane; but only when I am about to pass someone or have calculated that I would need to pass someone within the next 2-3 minutes. Passengers of mine (in the rare event that someone else is with me) commonly complain or remark on the fact that I could be going faster. I think liittle of it, but find myself wondering why everyone else is going so darn fast. If everyone else was going at the speed limit like 65 that I would be certainly be viewed as a fast driver any passengars I did have. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go below the speed limit. Kind of dangerous to think about, right? What if I only went 60 in a 65.
The nice thing about driving on the highway is you rarely encounter the people that pass you when you reach your destination. I imagine things would be quite different if, upon arriving to a destination, someone was there to inform me that they made it here first or that they had outperformed me on the highways. Almost equally as strange would be if someone held up a sign in the window (presumably by a passenger) reading “Look at me, I am passing you’.
While I’ve never experienced those things driving on the highway, I experience them all the time in other areas of my life. Its not that people show off the behavior/action that some classify as superior, but rather the simple distribution of knowledge. If I won the lottery I would probably write a blog about it and twitter if. If I won the lottery every day I don’t think I would, that would be mean/cruel to other lottery players out there. Following the same logic, I recommend that people examine what they expect as normal and tone it down a few notches. Personally I think its normal that people don’t carry a bad odor.. however in the event that someone does I don’t state “I showered yesterday, you should have”.. rather I just think to myself that not everyone cares about not smelling like garbage which reduces on a larger scale to “different strokes for different folks.” As a correlary to that, I suggest people take to ensure their strokes cause little offense to others.
I’ve long accepted the fact that in certainly areas I deliver sub standard performce. Those areas might include knot identification, things that involve other people, verbal communication, relationships, and design to name a few. Technology has enabled people to share stuff faster and broader than ever before and I sometimes find it hard to stay optimisitic in an enviroment where people can, so quickly, passively assault me with indicators of their triumph. *DING* That looks like a clove hitch. *DING* Pictures with my friends *DING* Enjoying my spring break *DING*. Sure, I am glad to hear that things in your life are going well, your sucesses are clearly of unmeasureable magniture and greatness. While these certainly are not direct cases of bragging in the common sense, they do little to help others who are less skilled. For example, instead of simply stating that one sucessfully identified a knot, one could provide information to help others. Instead of just posting that you are having a super spring break, data could be provided to help others enjoy their spring break… for example instead of “Just saw a great movie” you could say “Just saw Watchmen, it was awsome, definately check it out.” While I still might be like pfft, I haven’t seen a movie in months, I am at least informed as to which movie I should consider seeing.
I see little reason to hide secrets to success in life, unless your success is built off the failure of others (in which case you are a lousey person). I do my best to share what I do that works and what doesn’t work… with a heavy focus on what doesn’t work.
Time to stitch 4 buttons back onto some pants.