Archive for the ‘Decisions’ Category

Brief Blurbs of Updatedness

September 15, 2009

Labor Day weekend I dunked my body into 4 hot springs in 3 days – more if you consider that Ojo Caliente has 7 pools of varying temperatures and mineral composition. The drive to and from was peaceful and relaxing, and Joy is a Joy to be with, as always.

By 11:30 this morning, I learned that my boss, who gave her notice a full 6 weeks ago, would not be back. She was trying to work through this Friday, but really… once the decision was made, 6 weeks is a *lot*. Totally don’t blame her.

I am enjoying a very odd phase of things with people right now. Tying up lots of loose ends, getting clearer with people – winning friends, losing friends over my honesty & clarity – what is it they say about that?  Something about how there is nothing really lost when someone can’t handle honesty & clarity. It’s better worded than that. I forget.

I wrote Sashen a note I’ve been meaning to write him for about 6 years, wondering if he’ll be a sounding board for me, asking to negotiate on how to do that, and requesting a referral if he doesn’t have time. His local classes are down to not even one a year, and the 8-week series on practical aspects of Quantum Wealth has not happened, so I am going to take matters into my own hands a bit more now.

I played a great scene with an old friend Sunday morning. Enjoyed the hell out of it and will never do it quite like that again. More clarity. I still want what I want. And won’t settle for less. I’d rather be single than unhappy.

My eating habits are pretty much back to something I can live with. I am still planning on some more fasting for cleansing and weight loss, but am much less susceptible to foods that hurt – and I’ve lost a chunk of weight, but still have much more to go.

What else?

I’m wishing for a bit of a larger living space, one maybe with the living room between the 2 bedrooms so that my roommate and I aren’t sharing a bedroom wall. That would be nice. Still, the rent here is wonderfully low, and lets me live really well for less. That and no car payment and I’m doing fine on that front.

Looking for a PhD that will work for making Ann’s Tale a dissertation, and maybe a different sort of book than I’ve been trying to write. Face it – I suck at telling stories. I’m too informational, too much information, too preachy. It just doesn’t come out as any kind of artfully told tale. But as a dissertation?  Something more textbookish? That’s more my thing.

The kittens are kind of in their Terrible Twos. They are 3 months old, too young to go outside on their own yet, and not till they’ve had their shots, but too old to run rampant through a small 2-bedroom condo… and doing it anyway. I will be glad when they can wear themselves out *out*side and be more placid around the plants and furniture. They *will* grow up. (Thank goodness they aren’t children – that would just take WAY too long!)

I’m totally single right now. There are always several bites on the dating sites, but so far, nothing I could sink my teeth into. No, wait, teeth would be bad. 🙂

Alright, I digress.

“We’ll be saying a big hello to all intelligent lifeforms everywhere and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together guys . ”

      -Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

Keep those cards & letters & phone calls coming!

Love,

Stacy

 PS – Today’s latest Duhism is right in line with me… http://www.duhism.com

HHGG Quote of the Day: 

 “I seem to be having a bit of trouble with my lifestyle.”  Arthur Dent

Opinion Polls and Their Biases

October 29, 2008

I am getting better and better on how to avoid biases in polls. 

I have been reading things this year that are helping me learn where I, we, human beings are likely to go wrong in interpreting data.  Here is a letter I sent to my sister, on the occasion of her forwarding a Newt Gingrich document with some opinions that totally lacked any information on the sampliing (size or composition) and its biases:

 
We, humans, myself included are prone to question things that we agree with *far* less than things we do not agree with.  The same would happen for me if I found some opinion poll that was based on a sample that agreed with my views, which of course, this does not – not remotely.
 
 
For more information on things like sample biases, and opinions about what will and won’t work I can recommend about 3 books that I’ve found very educational on how to interpret things like what you sent.
 
There is almost no bias here toward any position, just research on humans and how we make decisions and form opinions.
 
 
1.  How We Know What Isn’t So:  The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life  – Thomas Gilovich
 
http://www.amazon.com/How-Know-What-Isnt-Fallibility/dp/0029117062/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225307799&sr=8-1
 
2.  On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You Are Not  – Robert Burton 
 
http://www.amazon.com/Being-Certain-Believing-Right-Youre/dp/0312359209/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225307856&sr=1-1
 
3.  Stumbling on Happiness – Daniel Gilbert
 
http://www.amazon.com/Stumbling-Happiness-Daniel-Gilbert/dp/1400077427/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225307948&sr=1-1
 
 
and then this one, maybe, which I have not read, but have on order:
 
4.  Blink:  The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Malcolm Gladwell
 
http://www.amazon.com/Blink-Power-Thinking-Without/dp/B001G60FSY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225307988&sr=1-1
 
 
 
I think it is good to learn how to think through these things and make decisions before we are railroaded by poorly-done studies and emotionally charged rhetoric that sways us because we already agree with something.

I may have already posted this elsewhere, but another important piece is to understand and notice Logical Fallacies. Here are two excellent links:

 http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html

It is interesting to me how anyone who agrees with what that document (or voter information or advertisements or the news  or  . . . ) says might not question the validity of the sampling.

If we learned how to evaluate these things, at least by high school, I think it would help tremendously with things like how to vote.
 
Love,
Stacy