On misunderstanding

  • Everyone joins echo chambers full of people who share the same delusions.
  • For most people, a shared delusion is fact.

  • Asking questions instead of accepting on trust/faith is threatening.

  • Not sharing the same context can be gravely offensive.

  • Rational thought is a facade tinted by emotions.

  • Traumatic experiences prevent rational thought.

  • Invalid rationalizations do not mean the feelings are not real.

  • Feeling strongly does not make thoughts real.

  • The inner workings of problem solving are scary.

  • Assumptions are not guaranteed to be correct.

  • Experts are not guaranteed to be accurate, but they do have a lot of experience.

  • Being upset does not mean you have been wronged.

  • Being calm does not mean you have not committed offense.

  • You can offend without doing anything wrong.

  • Angry interactions are very likely to offend and be wrong actions.

  • Frustration looks like anger and hostility.

  • Your experiences are guaranteed to affect your views, judgements, and decisions.

  • Your prejudices are affecting your judgement.

The gravest offense is not sharing someone else’s delusion. Understanding a delusion is hard work, but can give compassion.

For me, that means sharing information, identifying facts vs opinions, asking questions to see how the pieces fit together, and avoiding some types of inflexibility and pre-judgement.

That’s threatening and incompatible with some people. It triggers a lot of emotions for a lot of people, including me. We’re all just human.

This is not about “a person”, nor an event, or any single thing. This was just brainstorming about “misunderstanding”, so at best, it’s about me and a few thousand other people, groups, etc.

So, consider what emotions this brings out. Spend some time thinking about why.


What is a friend?

One of my buddies just got riffed from his company. I know he’ll be fine. He’s one of those kind of people that just make things work. He’s good with people, and knows how all the parts fit together within a big company. More importantly, he’s good people. You can tell he’s got a big heart.

It got me to thinking about the layers and components of friendship. I might have passed 100k people, met 10k, have 1k as friendly acquaintances. How many people are your active friends, vs inactive friends? What level of friendship and trust do you have with them? Some people just shine, or we feel an attachment towards. Where do celebrities fit in here?

Then you get into the obligation factors. Some, you know want or need help all the time. There’s a distance there, because it’s a hassle. Others, you would help out any time because you know it’s just simple, convenient stuff, or the scales will always balance out. Others, you know would never ask for anything, so if they actually needed something, it would be major, and you’d step right up and help.

Then the time factor. This varies by people, both sides, but sometimes, you want to spend time with people, and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, it’s to *do* something, and sometimes, it’s to do nothing. Maybe a movie, or video games, or sports, or drinks and cards. Or maybe it’s just being in proximity of someone who’s easy to hang around. One person reads, another person works, another person naps.

And then, Family comes into play. Blood relation is one type of family, but then there’s “non-people”, or chosen family, as well.

Anyway, I’m not going anywhere with this. Just, caffeine, plus recent events got me thinking. By will alone I set my mind in motion.


What’s in a name?

If the product says “High Quality” in its name, it probably isn’t. The addition to the name is because it’s really not obvious otherwise.

The same goes with “Truth”. There seem to be many different versions, and usually the ones claiming to be “true” are more distant from reality.

A friend and teacher passed on a comparison of CEO to Worker salaries across multiple countries. It painted the US in pretty poor light. Most countries were shown in the 11 to 22x range, but the US was 457x.

There were no qualifiers, sources, etc were includes, and i wanted to know if this was for all CEOs, or just a subset. So, what do do? Research, of course.

It looked like it was for more than the 100, but less than the total in the US.

CEO #100’s total compensation is 541x the average worker. If you include only raw pay, and not deferred compensation (options, etc), the top 100 are still well above 100x the average worker.

Note that the average worker pay is roughly 15% lower than the average full-time worker, which is probably a better comparison (CEOs work more than full-time).

It’s not as bleak as it looks from this. The median income for a CEO is around $225k (6.5x), and the mean income is around $550k (16x). http://www.statisticbrain.com/ceo-statistics/

Though, the mean had a little SWAG to it, and it may be higher as per http://www1.salary.com/Chief-Executive-Officer-Salary.html

There are around 6 million CEOs in the US (assuming all companies with employees have a CEO, and all companies without employees don’t have a CEO). http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html

Breakdown of compensation for the top 100 are at http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You/100-Highest-Paid-CEOs

Personal notes: Being a CEO in reality takes special skills and experience, which become more important as the company size grows. A big part of this is having your shit together, and not sabotaging yourself – surprisingly difficult in reality. If you had more than a marginal chance to make a Fortune 1000 company 5% more efficient, then why aren’t you? How much of this is jealousy? Why is it okay to be hostile towards over 6 million people because a few hundred of them were able to convince a group of directors that they were worth so much deferred income (stock options, etc).?