Is Beer A Color?

So thought this was an interestingly funny flip chart. 


It’s titled “Colors”.


And it has the typical ones you’d expect: blue, red, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, grey, brown, and tan. 


But thrown into the mix is beer (and Summer)–maybe these go together! 


Perhaps, someone had a little too much beer when asked about colors.


On second thought, maybe beer is a color.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wrong Direction–Who Stands For The Truth?

So I thought this was pretty funny in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend. 

A wife is listening to the radio and she hears that a car is dangerously going in the wrong direction on the highway. 

Immediately, she calls her husband to tell him about the car going in the wrong direction, and to be careful. 

He husband replies: One car going in the wrong direction…there are hundreds of cars going in the wrong direction!

How true this little story is about life and what direction we choose for ourselves–in the face of the groupthink and the tidal wave of public opinion that will sweep you away if you aren’t strong of mind and especially of character. 


Whenever we choose the road less traveled, others see us as dangerous and going the wrong way. 


Yet to us, others may just be following blindly, and we may truly see something that everyone else is missing…could it possibly be that they are really the ones going the wrong way!


But there is always some doubt in our minds…we are fallible, we can wrong, we can be crazy.  


Whose truth is it anyway–Mine?  Yours?  Or could it really be “The (objective) Truth”?


Alternatively, maybe we just lack confidence or courage?


It is very hard to be the nail that stands up (and doesn’t get hammered down) and say that something is wrong and everyone should pay attention and change direction or their ways. 


Perhaps, they are all heading off a moral cliff or just heading towards disaster.


In some cases…


We know the agendas of the people who want to steer you wrong. 


We hear the propaganda and lies they are feeding you. 


We can see down the road or just around the bend where the danger lies in wait. 


– Can we stand up to the crowd?  


– Can we demonstrate the moral truth?  


– Can we get others to see what we see?  


It is certainly not easy to be the contrarian in the crowd. 


Not only may you not be recognized for what you are doing, but you may even be persecuted for it. 


It doesn’t matter…


Because you need to do it anyway just because you know deep inside that it’s the right thing to do. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Herd Mentality

What do herds do?


First there are big mouths and groupthink.


Then there is chasing each others tails.


This could lead to literally going off a cliff. 


Typically, like wolves, they hunt viciously in packs.


When they are stalked, they run scared leaving the weakest to serve as prey. 


When hunted, they are separated and slaughtered. 

Sometimes they stampede and can run over anything in their path.

Occasionally, they even devour their own young to keep the herd fed. 


Herds serve a survival function in nature, but when the herd is dumb, as if often the case, they die off and are left extinct. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

7 Mind-F*cking Arguments

Because I Said So

So my daughter took a training class in critical thinking at work. 


And she brought home an excellent handout from the instructor, Haywood Spangler, about how people try to get you to their point of view, but without any real solid reasoning behind it.


My mother-in-law calls this concept in blunt terms, mind-f*cking!


Here are some examples:


1) Genetic Fallacy – Rejecting an idea based on where or who it comes from, rather than the merits of the idea itself.  I call this one, you’re an idiot, so your ideas are idiotic. 


2) Circular Reasoning – Restating the conclusion, rather than proving it. I call this hammering or going no where fast. 


3) Red Herring – Diverting from the real issue as a distraction. I call this the shell game. 


4) Ad Hoc Reasoning – Coming up with a reason to simply reject your every objection. I call this just say it isn’t so. 


5) False Dichotomy – Oversimplifying a complex situation and making it into only black and white. I call this my way or the highway.


6) Slippery Slope – Supposing that if one thing happens then something else terrible must necessarily follow. I call this following the false causality. 


7) Band Wagon – Everyone is doing it, so you need to also.  I call this classic groupthink or be careful not to stand in front of a moving train. 


Basically, when someone is not taking with you, but at you and trying to make you just do what they want, period, then watch out, you are probably being gloriously mind-f*cked. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Say It And They Believe It

Anti-Terror Device

This was pretty funny in Starbucks. 

This guy comes in with a briefcase and sets in down on the table. 

He opens it up and proceeds to take out an electronic device–turns out it’s his laptop computer. 

But on the briefcase, there is a label that says:

POWERFUL ANTI-TERROR DEVICE INSIDE.”

So everyone is looking like there really is something to this.

You can almost tangibly feel them wondering what the heck type of device is this that he is carrying…it must pack a real punch!

Then one person near me, bends over sideways, and whispers in my ear…”Does he really have a powerful anti-terror device inside?”

Like I look as if I’m in the know on these things!!! 

I lean back over in the other direction to the other person and whisper back, “No, I’m pretty sure that it’s just a gag…the guy must be looking for some serious attention.”

And all of sudden, it’s as if all the heads around me start to nod, like I stated some amazing insight here or perhaps that they somehow knew it all along. 

Anyway, it’s incredible what people will believe…if you just state it (in an official way, of course) on your briefcase, a badge, on your forehead or wherever, it’s got to be true, because we are so gullible and willing or wanting to believe. 

Yes, I believe! I believe!  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Clothing Optional

Empress Has No Clothes.jpeg

This was a funny painting in the gallery. 

A naked lady with a big colorful sun hat on. 

Be careful you don’t want to get too much sun!

The painting also makes me think of the saying “The empress (or emperor) has no clothes.”

The leader thinks they are wearing beautiful clothes, but the reality is they are naked in front of their subjects. 

People see when their leaders are shelling out a clouded vision, tempting them with empty (campaign) promises, or pushing ideas that don’t hold water in the real world, but often people are simply too afraid to say anything.

Instead, they acknowledge the beautiful clothes or brilliant ideas that aren’t there and in groupthink fashion, they fail to call out the folly for what it is, when it is. 

Naked is naked, and we should say the truth albeit with respect and in a constructive way, if we really want to make genuine collective progress. 

True–lauding or blinding following what simply isn’t there and has no substance may land you a seat at the royal table, but what good is it, if you are sitting with some leaders that may be nothing more than naked idiots. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cloud Pleasing

Cloud Pleasing

Technology vendors have wised-up and are rushing to the cloud to give customers what they want. 


You want cloud?  


You got cloud!


Cloud Computing with the virtually infinite promise for flexible, cost-effective, on-demand computing–all centrally managed by the vendor–you can sleep easy at night, oh baby. 


CIOs love it. 


The only problem as everyone moves to the cloud is the promise of the cloud continues to fall short


Now how unpopular a thing to say is that? 


Take out the guillotine…


Seriously though, it was supposed to be flexible, but it isn’t so much as vendors contract with customers for multi-year deals and customers find switching vendors not quite so easy…anyone hear of vendor lock-in?


Also, cloud was supposed to be more cost-effective, but vendors still need to make their margins, so longer commitments, service bundling, minimum fixed costs, and variable month-to-month pricing–sure helps things add BIG DOLLARS for the cloud vendor. 


Then you have vendors that simply call everything cloud…ah, “cloud washing” that is.  If you think you are getting cloud (even if it ain’t so much so), yippee are you happy…you have drunk the cool-aid and it is sweet.


Technology leaders swooping into a new job want to come in with a bang…”Hey, look what I did to modernize, transform, reinvent, revolutionize…and save money too–thank G-d, they hired me.”


So cloud, cloud, cloud…it sounds so CLOUD PLEASING, I mean crowd-pleasing. 


Whether in the specific situation it’s better or not, that’s not the point, stupid. 


At least, it’s out of our hair–let the vendor worry about it!


One, two, three…everyone say “CLOUD!” 😉