Archive for the I Ramble You Decide Category

The key to a successful business is a sociopathic streak

Posted in I Ramble You Decide with tags , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by mickgirk

It’s with great resignation that I have determined that I can never make millions of dollars in the world of business. It’s a disappointing self-discovery.

Well, not that disappointing. As it turns out, in order to run a mega-zillion dollar company, you probably have to be what the practice of psychology calls a “sociopath.” This is probably not news to anyone, but thanks to the internet, more proof of this assertion is available than ever before.

Let us start “small”. This is an article I read a few days ago, detailing the business practice of online scams.

On a semi-related tangent, this is the text of an email I used to get from a “Fred Duff,” offering me an interview for a position in “professional corporate sales” with one Lionheart Assurance Solutions despite the fact that I have absolutely NO experience in sales whatsoever (brackets added to prevent stalkage of me):

Dear [McGirk],

We have reviewed your resume on Careerbuilder.com and may have an interest in scheduling you for an interview. Please take a moment to answer a brief questionnaire (at the link below) that will further assist us in determining if a preliminary match exists between your qualification profile and our goals for this position.

Although this position does not require a daily commute to our offices, initial interviews will be conducted at our [fill in city here] Regional Office on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011. There is no guarantee that you will be selected for an interview. If you are selected for an initial interview and are then invited to continue on in our selection process, subsequent interviews (after the first interview) will primarily be conducted by telephone.

PLEASE NOTE:  We are contacting you because our review of your resume indicates a potential fit for professional corporate sales. If you feel we have contacted you in error, there is no reason for you to complete the compatibility profile below. Please simply scroll to the bottom of this email and click the opt-out link to be permanently removed from further consideration.

Visit the secure link below for our online compatibility questionnaire:
https://lionheartassurance.com/Profile?cCode=RIC&cId=RH62LS643QKT5YG14KN

Who We Are Looking For

Qualified candidates must possess excellent interpersonal communications skills, and a level of professionalism suitable for dealing with senior level executives and business owners. Public speaking skills appropriate for presenting to groups of 10 to 40 employees at a time are a plus.

Ideal candidates have an uncommon combination of attributes. They are self-motivated, entrepreneurial individuals who are ready to leave behind the constraints of the traditional corporate job model and build a secure future of their own for themselves and their families. At the same time, they are highly coachable team players who are willing to follow a proven training and support system designed to help them achieve their goals.

Lionheart Agents comprise an elite national team of highly trained corporate sales executives with the opportunity to earn a substantial short-term income while building a fully vested, long-term residual income marketing our unique plans as employee benefits and as valuable tools for business owners.

About Us

With offices around the country, Lionheart Assurance Solutions, LP specializes in providing employers of all sizes with cutting edge employee benefits specifically designed for identity theft restoration and access to the legal system.

Our mission is to help employers by addressing two timely needs in the marketplace; identity theft and affordable access to legal counsel. Identity theft has become the fastest growing crime in the US, with over 27,000 new victims daily. PrivacyRights.org reports that over 255 million Americans have reported their identities lost or stolen since January, 2005. The vast majority of identity theft issues end up in legal problems.

Roughly 80 percent of the public is locked out of the legal system due to cost. According to the National Resource Center for Consumers of Legal Services, “Even law abiding Americans will encounter a potential legal situation an average of four to six times per year.” Employees who have problems off the job, bring those problems with them on the job. This costs the employer in lost productivity, which impacts their bottom line. The unique employee benefit plans we provide enhance worker productivity by helping employees keep their focus on their work instead of on personal problems.

For small to medium-sized clients, we also offer a full range of plans that help small businesses to “level the playing field” by providing access to the kinds of legal and consultative advice that typically only a large corporation can afford.

All additional details will be discussed at the interview, if one is scheduled.

Thank you in advance,

Fred Duff, Area Vice President
Lionheart Assurance Solutions, LP
[Blah-blah-bloop-bloop] Regional Office

Lionheart Assurance Solutions, LP Corporate Office  |  1600 Lake Air Drive  |  Waco  |  TX  |  76710  |  (855) LIONHEART (546-6432)

What’s the point of sharing this? One, I think the above is amusing. Two, this is low-level sociopathy, as in the defect is strong in this one, even if the business acumen is low.

Let us continue:

Do you remember when the now-charitable Bill Gates spent the 90’s being evil?

No, not because of this.

Here’s a nice quote for you:

“Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that.” Bill Gates, 2001

Here’s Wikipedia’s take on Microsoft’s legal troubles in the 90’s. Basically, the moral of the Microsoft story is, aggressively destroy your competition, and then cry innocence when lawsuits inevitably take place. Pay back your assholisism with massive doses of philanthropy later.

From here, the next logical step is mentioning Steve Jobs. But we all know that Steve Jobs was a ruthless bastard leading up to his untimely demise, so… yeah.

I’d rather bring up the most recent iteration of successful sociopaths, none other than Mark Zuckerberg.

The face of a business tyrant? Consider this, floating around the internet today.

OK, maybe he’s just an asshole, a young one in above article . But this is what convinced me of the accuracy of this post’s title, as Mr. Zuckerberg isn’t the nice affable genius portrayed by the media. No, Marky Mark displays a bit of a sociopathic streak, which manifests itself in the business practices of Facebook.

Hey, at least he’s not Stalin:

– McGirk

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Getting your political discourse from YouTube is infuriating

Posted in I Ramble You Decide, watching videos on the internet is fun with tags , , , , on April 21, 2012 by mickgirk

 Hey! Guess what really grinds my gears?

If you guessed “reading comments on political videos on YouTube,” you are absolutely right. I award you nothing.

Seriously though, in between reading nonsense on YouTube and arguing nonsense on other sites that I once thought were immune to the spread of dumb, I now have a clearer picture about how far and wide stupid hath spread today. Like, wow dude.

Let’s get angry together:

This is a video about reporters at FOX affiliate in Florida being stonewalled after putting together a story that reveals the health risks behind a growth hormone used in cows to produce more milk. According to the story, corporate giant Monsanto pushed the hormone through the FDA, pretty much buying everyone off so they could use this hormone on their livestock. After the story was completed, FOX’s corporate offices, under pressure from Monsanto’s lawyers, prevented the story from ever making it to air.

This video is on the frontpage of Reddit this morning, although it’s been making the rounds for some time now. The video accuses FOX of pressuring the reporters into amending their story so it doesn’t implicate Monsanto in such a harsh fashion, as well as bribing them to cease work on the story entirely. I question some aspects of said video: The video does a lot to make the viewer think that this story would be shown on FNC, the 24/7 cable news network, not WTVT, a FOX affiliate in Tampa Bay. Furthermore, even if the affiliate is directly owned by one Rupert Murdoch, does Monsanto’s threats of pulling advertising only qualify for WTVT, or News Corp. as a whole? I wonder…

Meanwhile, here’s some of the deep thoughts other YouTube users articulated:

“the closet communists commenting on this video make me sick, i wish we still had McCarthyism in the united states” –10krnr

“Monsanto = sionist company” – DailionDos

This video is fairly tame when it comes to rampant idiocy in the comment section. Let’s examine some others.

It’s common knowledge that the internet is the breeding ground for Ron Paul supporters. If you take their claims at face value, Ron Paul is actually beating Mitt Romney in the delegate count for the 2012 GOP race, or at least has a shot to. To be fair, even the Guardian has reported this. It’s pretty clear that Ron Paul is winning the battle for hearts and minds online (even though he’s a Nazi,) but doing so causes a lot of feathers to be ruffled. Just look to YouTube to see how –

“Bill O’Reilly is an American hero. Ron Paul is a terrorist.” – ju88ff

“Bill is a greasy faggot that felches his boyfriend Mitt Romney.Shoot the fucker!!!” – Warmachine05450

That’s nice.

So yeah, I get it, people are trolls, for the lulz, lolol, whatever. People also have the freedom to express themselves however they see fit. But IF there is a conspiracy to control the thoughts of the public at large, and turn us all into drooling idiots who only eat FrankenFoods and will follow our politicans off of ledges, then rhetoric like this on public websites like YouTube doesn’t help the public in not being figuratively enslaved.

Think before you type, assholes.

-McGirk

Back from the dead to laugh at the music industry

Posted in I Ramble You Decide with tags , , , on April 17, 2012 by mickgirk

Not that you’ve noticed, but I haven’t updated this site in a week. Why? That’s a good question.

But I’m back. Today MetalSucks hosted a video from Metal Injection, which features a handful of metal’s music industry types talking about how the internet changed metal (and, in the bigger picture, the music industry as a whole.) It’s slightly insightful, although not really, since these guys are regurgitating things we already know.

In fact, their narrative in this video simply establishes that, even if the music industry has reluctantly embraced some aspects of new media, they still have a fatal flaw in their viewpoint on how the music industry works today. Namely, they still blame you and me, the consumer, for why things aren’t the way they used to be (a world where “rock stars” exist.)

BREAKING NEWS:

This guy:

… will never happen again.

OK, I get that people were making money off of their music, and will certainly attempt to maintain to do so in the face of record sales that are a sliver of the 90’s. But so what? The common man now has the same platform to put work out there as Sony and Warner Bros., and considering how much corporate music practices bent us over to pay for excess over and over again, I have no problem watching them burn.

Days of vastly overpriced CD’s will not be missed. Music won’t die because it’s not a viable career choice. If you love it, you will still create it. Period. There are examples of smaller music-based businesses achieving financial success today (go look it up,)  so I don’t think music will go away because it will be harder to finance blitz campaigns for the latest fad. As for the now generic charge of internet users “stealing’ music, never mind that the industry made ungodly amounts ripping off their fanbase endlessly, and now they reap what they sow. The free trade of ideas is not new to mankind, but the setup of our current views on intellectual property, by comparison, is. It seems completely possible to me that the free trade of music is the natural order of our consumption of the aural arts. Organizations like the RIAA are the abberation in the equation, able to come into existence thanks to a figurative Rubik’s Cube lining up in their favor. Unfortunately for them, technology may have truly rendered them obsolete this time (not like the invention of CD-R’s or cassettes.)

My grand prediction, however, is that the RIAA won’t die, and in 10 years we will be laughing about ever thinking they could. File sharing still has the same basic problem as CD-R’s and recording albums to cassette tapes; the consistency of the product. As in, you never know if you’re going to download a good copy of the album you want, much like you never know if the CD-R you get is out of order or sounds like shit. Enter Spotify. An alternative to downloading, you can simply stream anything you want to listen to on Spotify, for free or for a nominal monthly fee. With it being completely legal AND picking up in popularity, it’s a no-brainer that this is the future of music distribution. By making it both easier to use than file sharing and guaranteeing the audio quality of the music you hear, it effectively makes downloading mp3’s obsolete.

Now, how industry giants can maintain their mortgages on their super-swank homes with the little money in royalties Spotify generates remains to be seen, but I won’t cry if the future of music distribution places professionals in the same realm as us, living in shit-to-decent conditions making enough money to order a pizza once in awhile.

Basically, long live the internet, and I’m fine with the RIAA burning down to the ground. We don’t need no water.

Here’s the video:

http://www.metalinjection.net/tv/flvplayer-jw.swf

– McGirk

Palin sells out her followers, lololol

Posted in I Ramble You Decide, Newz with tags , , , on April 2, 2012 by mickgirk

Anyone familiar with the workings of 24/7 news networks know the equivalency argument leveled by ardent viewers of channels like Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN. The concept is that it’s OK if a channel such as Fox espouses largely conservative views and talking points, because MSNBC supposedly balances it out by doing the same thing for liberal views. Where CNN falls in this I’m not sure, although they would probably have more time to pursue an agenda if they would just quit surfing Twitter whilst on-air.

This false equivalence is simply bullshit. MSNBC may be “liberal,” but to say they even play in the same ballpark is nonsense. For starters, compare Wikipedia entries for Fox News Controversies vs. MSNBC Controversies. Notice which one is longer. No doubt that this isn’t a foolproof comparison (it’s Wikipedia, you know this, mannn), but it’s a starting place.

So when I see (on CNN no less) that the gift that keeps on giving that is Sarah Palin is hosting the Today Show on NBC tomorrow, I have to laugh.

Apparently, the move is designed to compete with Katie Couric guest hosting on Good Morning America. Having viewed this guest hosting today, I can personally tell you that won’t take much to compete. But that said, really? Hire the woman who has been on a Katie Couric hate-trip ever since she was exposed by her as, to put it nicely, not keen on current events? That’s a little cynical, no?

Just in case you forgot said interview:

Anywho, my point is this: A woman who has made a career of perpetuating the myth of a “mainstream media” is now appearing on the flagship show of that exact media. MSM and NBC obviously isn’t TOO bad for one Mrs. Palin. So anyone buying into her verbal vomit about the “lamestream media”  being biased against her… your hero has sold you out, suckers. The fact that anyone fell for her in the first place is what disgusts me.

– McGirk

My apology for thinking anything bad about Mr. Rogers

Posted in I Ramble You Decide with tags , , on March 17, 2012 by mickgirk

When I was a young child, my mom always turned on PBS, and I thus spent my very young years watching shows like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. Unless your parents hated you and loathed your existence, you probably did too.

Then I got older. As cynicism creeped into my teenage existence, I decided that Mr. Rogers had to be an evil creepy guy, because there is no way anyone could be so calm and so genuinely nice to every single person in the world. Personally, I thought he had to be a kiddie diddler or a serial killer of some kind. You know, since priests, Boy Scout Leaders, and pretty much any other authority figure to children turned out to be one.

Remember this song? If you were a pissed off middle-schooler in the late 90’s, and didn’t have an older brother to inform you about Pantera or punk rock before embracing this stage in full, then you might know this song:

Now that I’m more of an adult than not, I believe I have come around. Korn is lame anyways.

Besides, as it turns out, Mr. Rogers was a genuinely awesome person. You can’t fake Koko the Gorilla loving you. Also, perhaps Rick Santorum could take a lesson from Fred Rogers. After all, even in his devotion to God (or rather, as part of it,) Mr. Rogers told the children that were his viewers that “I like you just the way you are.” Every day, without fail. He didn’t use his show as a platform to preach, rather “Fred was not there to dispense lessons and rules. He was there to be a grace note in children’s lives.”

So today, I have to apologize that I ever doubted you, Mr. Rogers. It’s comforting to know that even in a world full of nonsense and blatant failure of basic human decency, you were actually what you presented yourself to be. We all may forget what you tried to show us from time to time, but the fact that you showed us at all… awesome.

So FUCK THIS (Classic Fox News nonsense):

We could use more of this now:

I can’t decide if posting the Epic Rap Battles of History with Mr. Rogers would be humorous or tasteless, so look it up if you want (hint: Mr. Rogers wins)

– McGirk

Digg is good for something (ThinkProgress probably still isn’t)

Posted in I Ramble You Decide, Newz with tags , on March 13, 2012 by mickgirk

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything on Digg that is relevant to my interests. Or, at least, I hadn’t already seen somewhere else on the internet. This article is a quick blurb on why Digg is no longer useful.

However, in my endless quest to use the internet while drinking a lot of black coffee, I discovered an interesting development in a story that has probably been beaten to death. It’s cool, I talked about it too.

So, our old friend Pillbo Baggins is still dealing with the fallout from his ridiculously ignorant comments about birth control. According to an article from ThinkProgress, a total of 140 companies have suspended their advertising from his show, including big names like Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, IBM, and others that are more of a staple on The Fat One’s show, such as Carbonite.

Sorry, I can't help myself.

Here’s the part I found interesting, though. The article links to this, which is a memo that declares that spots will be not only be banned from running on Rush’s show, but also from other “controversial” shows, such as Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity.

I so badly want to believe that these douchebags are finally getting the monetary kick in the nuts they deserve. However, this probably isn’t accurate. Why?

ThinkProgress is sort of like the left-wing version of sites likeCNSNews.com. The information they provide is usually heavily biased, and thus, heavily wrong. In this case, the site they link to as a “source?” It’s a cached page from four days ago, on some site that looks like they really have it out to boycott right-wing talk show hosts. It’s probably not credible. Just like most things ThinkProgress posts.

So why bother talking about it? Because I wonder, if this information were at least somewhat true, if a boycott like this would be enough to undo a media power like Rush Limbaugh? Apparently, his approval numbers have slipped some 30 points in his fan-heavy states like Mississippi, but would the squeeze placed on him by an advertising boycott be enough to reverse the effect of 15 million listeners a week and kick him off of the air?

I dunno. Maybe we’ll find out.

-McGirk

Kony 2012: Don’t believe the hype

Posted in I Ramble You Decide with tags , on March 11, 2012 by mickgirk

Have you seen this yet?

I bet you have. As of this writing, this video sits at 69 million hits. That’s incredible for a week.

Out of the loop? Don’t have a half-hour to watch this thing? Here’s Wikipedia’s summary:

The film documents the Invisible Children Inc’s plans and efforts to arrest Kony. It describes Kony’s guerrilla warfare tactics with his Lord’s Resistance Army and the regions (northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan) in which they have been employed.[17] One of the main people featured in the film is a Ugandan named Jacob, whose brother was killed by Kony. In response, director and founder of Invisible Children, Jason Russell, “promises Jacob that he will help stop Kony.”[18] The film advocates curtailing compelled and coerced youth military service and the restoration of social order.[4] The video also has clips of Jason Russell’s son, Gavin. Gavin is a young child and many children his age are subject to Kony’s regime. Gavin shows that even though he’s young he wants to help and wonders why no one else does. He also says innocent, childlike things – when told that Kony forces people to kill family members and fellow countrymen, his response is “But they’re not gonna do what he says, ’cause they’re nice guys… right?”.

OK, so obviously, none of us support the abduction of children to force them into slavery and fighting. NO-BOD-Y. But I have to say, there are some things that, when watching this documentary, don’t ring true to me. I was first suspicious when the filmmaker, Jason Russell, chose to start his movie with idylic scenes of him and his child, Gavin. The lighting, production, etc., seemed to professionally done, to maximize your reaction of “awww.” Then cut to Uganda, and the child Jacob crying about the atrocities he’s lived through, and then the natural reaction becomes “OH NO.” So then on to the sum of A+B, where Russell tells you that “we” can change the course of human history by December 31st, 2012, and that he’s going to tell us “exactly how we are” going to stop the Lords Resistance Army and Joseph Kony.

So, in short, I don’t trust emotion in issues like these, and I think Russell relies on it to get you, the viewer, to support his non-profit with your time, and more importantly, your money. It’s hard to look at something involving the misery of children and say that it”s bullshit, but… I think I’m calling bullshit.

HERE’S WHY

5:57-  “If that happened for one night in America, it would be on the cover of Newsweek.

Our narrator says this while observing a refugee camp. While this statement isn’t completely false, as we don’t have warlords kidnapping children to force them into fighting, and thus, no refugee camps like this, children do get kidnapped in America. However, in our case, it’s useless parents that hire a company to do the kidnapping.

The latest documentary on the subject is Kidnapped For Christ, which examines an evangelical Christian camp in the Dominican Republic, which aims to turn gay kids into straight kids.

I’m not saying that this matches the suffering of Ugandan children, but I think this demonstrates that the original statement may be, well, more sensational than true.

Oh, and by the way:

Uganda has been featured on the cover of Newsweek, going back as far as 1984. If anyone knows of an earlier cover, please drop me a line.

Also, Newsweek was definitely talking about Kony last year. They also did a full feature on him and the Lords Resistance Army in May 2009. This may have been ignored by, say, the average middle class citizen in America, but rest assured that Newsweek, or any other media outlet, has covered this story before, in all of it’s gruesome detail.

10-minute mark- Explaining to Gavin who Kony is and why he’s evil

How is it not exploitative to put this in your documentary? It serves no factual purpose, but it does succeed at tugging on your heartstrings, especially when Gavin says “But they’re not gonna do what he says, ’cause they’re nice guys… right?” And then after transitioning to the Luis Moreno Ocampo of the International Criminal Court saying that “we need a plan” to stop Kony, cut back to Gavin saying, in a child’s voice, that we need to stop him. There are a lot of allegations in this segment of this documentary that are not sourced. Also not sourced, who are these politicians during the 13th minute? Why should I believe that they are, in fact, politicians. All that I’m saying, IT IS NOT HEARTLESS TO BE SKEPTICAL OF THIS.

Oh yeah, “99%” of the world doesn’t know who Kony is? I’ll admit, I didn’t, before this video. But I’m sure readers of Newsweek did, as well as anybody following the travesties unfolding in the area over the course of the last decade.

By the way, NOTICE THE QUICK CUTS IN THE INTERVIEW SEGMENTS. In between the speakers words. In television journalism, it’s called a “jump cut.” That implies that the editor of this feature butted together two separate clips of the same subject speaking at different points of what he said, to fabricate a quote where there is none.

14:11 Scumbag Filmmaker, talks in segment about politicians reactions to getting involved in Uganda, cuts to soundbyte with some guy from the Enough Project.

In case you don’t want to examine their website, John Prendergast and the Enough Project are about the same thing as Kony 2012 and Invisible Children. Not quite an unbiased source. Oh yeah, Prendergast accepts donations and writes books, of which you can easily buy with Amazon.com.

14:22 “Since the government said it was impossible...”

So they said that, eh? (NOTE: The video later tries to take credit for this action from the President)

Ok look, you know how the rest of this goes. Because of the work of Invisible Children, Inc., young people are helping to rebuild Uganda. And now you, a young person as well, can join in on the fun. Jason Russell has lead polilticians to support the cause, go us, but young people need to support the cause, so on and so forth.

It’s not that it’s a bad cause. Kony is a vile human being, a war criminal, no doubt. But don’t believe everything you see.

How much of your donations go to the actual cause itself? Courtesy of the Atlantic Wire:

Exactly. Other reasons you should be wary of Invisible Children Inc. can be found here.

MORAL(s) OF THE STORY:

Kony is a horrible person that should die painfully.

This video is meant to exploit you.

Do your research.

Don’t believe the hype.

Off the soapbox I am. Thanks.

-McGirk