Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hello Mullah, Hello Fatah...

The Parents Tsarnaev. Image Source
I have not written anything about Boston yet. It would be difficult to comment on each moment of media brazenness or timidity, every horror of this post-modern mess. Unto everything there is a season, however, and some things simply merit comment, so here goes.

The Nazis pictured above are none other than the proud, adoring parents of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the alleged perpetrators of April 15th's horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Anzor Tsarnaev, the father of these two specimens, spoke with reporters this past weekend, as Mom and Pop begged off a threatened trip to the US to get to the bottom of things. He bemoans his child's innocence (all his comments related to his eldest child, whom police claim, and most sensible people believe, was killed in a shootout in the week following the bombing. Anzor in fact is never directly quoted as mentioning his younger, and surviving son, Dzhokhar at all). He claims he knows that Tamerlan is alive, and that the US is lying to him. He even denies his son's confirmed connections to extremists during his last visit home:

During his interview, Anzor Tsarnaev denied Tamerlan had any contact with militants during his stay, painting an idyllic picture of his son's visit to his ancestral homeland.

"When he came to stay here, he was a good boy. He read books, (Leo) Tolstoy, (Alexandre) Dumas and thick English language books. He would wake up late and read all day, late into the night," he said.

"Sometimes we went to the mosque. We went to see our relatives, in Dagestan, in Chechnya. We visited a lot of households, it was a nice atmosphere."
Most people, most reasonable people, would love to believe this possibly grieving, possibly ill, Muslim man of Caucuses. He came to read books, and if he ever went to the Mosque, it was to visit family. What a nice atmosphere!

But has it occurred to anyone that Anzor could be telling the truth, and the reports about Tamerlan's radicalization could also be correct? It seems contradictory, to have a warm, family atmosphere associated with radicalization. But only if we in the West impose our experience on a Caucus paradigm. For in Islam, there as most places, the warmth of childhood memories are often smelted into one with a radical message. And here's a shocker for you: the matron Tsarnaeva is herself on the US terror watch list. My mom's on her knitting group's mailing-list, which is kind of like the same thing.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Shibboleths Shot by Shared Shympathy...

An interesting piece. Of course, he misses that the tribal links in Judaism predate the religion - but at the end admits that new levels of empathic socialization (from blood ties to religious ingroup, from religious ingroup to nation state) do not cancel out those that came before, but our identity is expanded. - of course, what do you do about the people who refuse to see themseleves in the same boat as other human beings, let alone creatures and our biosphere.

Some of this flies in the face of enlightenment thinking, but I would argue without first accepting the premises of the enlightenment, you cannot arrive at these conclusions about human nature (remember, they only discovered this because of SCIENCE - which is impossible without enlightenment ideals). Of course, none of this will happen 'evenly' - we can see much of the world still in its 'blood ties' phase even today. While we see some people/groups (global super-rich, multi-national corporations, etc) already surpas nation-state identity. Check out this HBR Ideacast on the new Global Superrich.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

We bid 2012 a fond adieu and welcome her sister 2013 with open arms. May you all have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!


Shore Leave Media

Sunday, December 9, 2012

How To Stay Committed To Your Goal.

We here at Shore Leave Media, in our never ending quest for excellence, have been constructing myriad plans and goals and such.

And like you, dear reader, we have difficulty staying committed to our goals.

Write for 6 hours a day? No problem!

Want to change the entire way you approach exercise? Sounds great!

Instead, we write twice a month, and work out for 15 minutes once, on a Sunday.

We are not slaves to our habits and that is the problem. Habits must be formed, supported, abandoned, or changed. So, says we, we says - how shall we form a new habit?

How can we support that habit?

How do we abandon dead habits or change them for the good?

A quick Google search of How To Stay Committed To Your Goals reveals that we aren't the only ones struggling with this issue:

Pick the Brain

Our first hit is a post on This blogger recommends establishing a few regular practices or strategies that can solidify your commitment to your goals in the time between when you resolve to achieve them, and when you've actually habituated work towards them. He calls them 'goal props'. Quickly listed - they are:
* The Mantra
* The Ritual
* The Plan
* The Auto-Respnse
So, create a mantra to condition your thinking. Create regular routines or rituals to condition your practice. Make plans based on your goals to focus on the ideas you fall in love with. These tactics should lead to the auto-response, the situation of being so committed to your goals that when you need to decide whether to act for your goals or be a lazy bum, your desire to not act is overridden by your previous conditioning. These are solid techniques. the bread-and-butter of any behavior modification program.

Pickthebrain's insights are similar in many ways to the ideas of the luminaries of self-motivation, Franklin Covey, Zig Zigler, and Julien Smith.

The Flinch

Who's Julien Smith? Julian smith is the author of The Flinch. His premise is this: Just like championship boxers, we go through life facing many jabs, hooks, and other hazards. We can flinch. We can, potentially, protect ourselves. Sometimes flinching makes perfect sense. If an ember from a burning log flies towards your eyeball, you flinch, turn away and all is well. This momentary danger is averted; the flinch was a positive reflex. But if we were, say, a championship boxer, then danger is the name of the game. If we hope to succeed at all, we must not acquiesce to our flinch, we must be totally counter-intuitive and lean into the danger.

Life, and success in it, involves danger. It involves risk. We only get true reward from risking something we already have. Maybe it's money. Maybe it's comfort. Maybe the risk is time. But whatever it is, it is dear to us, and we flinch at losing it. Sure, the rewards for risking it are quite high. And that is why the flinch is so important to overcome.

If we condition ourselves to flinch at the inherent uncertainty of life, then we will never conquer that uncertainty. It is our own flinch-like responses to challenge that create a dynamic of perpetual give-up. And if it is giving-up that we wish to overcome, then it is the flinching at adversity that we must jettison.

My two favorite recommendations for training yourself to face the flinch is to start every morning with a cold shower (definitely a flinch inducer) and starting a conversation with a random stranger every day.

Franklin Covey

I've attended a number of Franklin Covey training seminars over the years and I think the advice offered in those courses is good for those looking to improve their quality of life.

One course offered by Franklin Covey is the Four Disciplines of Execution.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution from The FaQtory on Vimeo.

The premise the Four Disciplines is that we have no dearth of good ideas. What we have is a dearth of discrimination. "Had we but world enough and time," Marvell told his coy mistress. If we could live forever, we could accomplish every good idea we ever had. But time's winged chariot moves quickly as we march toward vast deserts of eternity, and accomplishment depends on focusing on Wildly Important Goals amidst the whirlwind of life. So write down 2-3 VERY VERY Important Things You REALLY REALLY Want To Do and make an accomplishment chart of the steps you need to take to reach the finish line.

The 3 Keys of Change
Zig Zigler passed recently, but his echoing song lives on. Let's finish this post with simplicity, the truest form of accomplishment and goal attainment. The following is a slogan I have been carrying around in my mind and mouth for the past year. It comes from Seth Godin's Domino Project based on Zig's advice for forming new habits. The slogan is based on the idea that change is possible and change results from three simple steps. Here are the 3 keys of change:

1. Small steps work
2. Consistent effort works
3. Group support works.

That is all. Please share your thoughts and struggles in committing to change in the comment section below. All the best.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Jersey Mike's - Mike's way...

Jersey Mike's has its way. It's like Jersey Mike was the 6th wheel of the Five Guys. So when they cut him out of the Burger start-up, he started a sandwich shop instead.

Their sandwiches are large and their staff makes me feel uncomfortable; just like being in Jersey. And then I saw this in the meat-cooler.

Apparently, Mike's way is to keep his Hot Ham on ice...

Jersey Mike's Hot Ham, Added water else it's too damn hottt

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dumb dog, why are you followin' me?*

Hurricane Sandy from Space

Hurricane Sandy has been devastating. The full extent will take weeks to uncover, but this is no fly-by-night recovery. More to come in the days ahead, but I wanted to point out the fabulous job Gizmodo is doing covering the storm and its consequences - despite having been knocked off of their regular servers. Kudos to the Gawker franchise.
*3 points for anyone who can explain the title reference

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Zomney Apocalypse

Thank God Joss Whedon is looking out for all of us:

HA! Man he's good! I especially love, "No one knows if they'll be the super fast ones from 28 days later, or just the old school shambly ones. But they'll be out there, and they'll need brains."

Of course, I'll just point out that if our nation becomes insolvent, then we also lose our schools and health care. Then our zombies will sound like this:

No joke, though - when the Occupoopers were loitering in our city, my husband didn't want me going that way without a sharp blade for fear of Zombie attack! But it actually starts to make sense: The Occupy 'movement' encouraged ignorance and uncivil behavior. The above example is one of thousands that were documented of someone spouting off an ignorant - often child-like - misconception of how the world works at the top of their lungs while vilifying a group and verbally assaulting an individual. Their onslaught often feels like a beleaguering and unstoppable corpse of speech scraping at your face shouting, "BRAINS."  

The Occupy 'movement' encouraged unwashedness and disanitation. It's prime infection spreading living! On the street, no showers or bathrooms, free drugs and freer sex. Max Brooks couldn't have written it more perfectly (well actually, he did). 

Third, the Occupy 'movement', when it moved, often moved in packs, trolling down the road moaning. 

Maybe that was singing, not moaning. Maybe they're protesters, not zombies. Maybe they're hip new hippies who don't bathe because hygiene is oppression, and not risen corpses animated to locomotion with an unquenchable thirst for grey matter. Maybe they support Marxism without the intellectual riggor, and not eating brains, Brains, BRAINS! But only maybe.