Talking with liars

What do you do when you are talking with someone who begins to tell you lies? For example, suppose you are talking with a man who insists, “The Mormons worship Joseph Smith! It’s in the Book of Mormon!” What do you say?

Argue with them
Pull out a copy of The Book of Mormon and ask him, “Show me. Where is it?” That won’t do anything.
Ignore them
It seems that this is allowing them to teach others a lie.
Love them
How did Christ love people that taught lies? How can we “love the sinner and hate the sin”?

The World is Flat Response

I have long heard about the “problem” of outsourcing and the dilemma of the United States. However, before reading Thomas Friedman’s book, I didn’t realize a few things, namely:

  1. “Outsourcing” is an overused term, applied to a host of issues, both causes and effects.
  2. The forces that drive outsourcing, and the resulting conditions, are not coming, they have already come, and they are here to stay.
  3. The causes and effects of outsourcing are not bad in and of themselves. Rather, they are simply elements of the current world-wide economy.

This new knowledge enables me to intelligently view my position in my profession, both locally and globally. I no longer have a passive attitude towards my career. I need not be subject to the wisdom and whims of my employer. Through the flattening of the world, I have become enabled to compete with other individuals throughout the world. Of course, they have been enabled with the same power, so I need to make sure that my skills are truly competitive.

Outsourcing. This one word has become the embodiment of a host of changes that have and are taking place throughout the economic world. This one word deflates the security of employees for large U.S. companies. At the same time, it encourages millions of people in so-called “developing” countries to hope for something more, something better. “Outsourcing” is the excuse behind which some executives hide during “corporate reorganizations.” Third-graders have heard this word at school, at the dinner table, and on T.V. It is thrown around in political circles to rally votes and sling mud. Despite the ubiquity of the word, it is too frequently misunderstood or overused. Consider the following, simple definition: “A formal agreement with a third party to perform a service for an organization” (Austin Community College Internal Auditing Department). Friedman proposes several terms to discuss the various forces and effects of the new, global economy. Terms such as “offshoring,” “insourcing,” “in-forming,” etc. However, I will simply use the over-abused term “outsourcing”, to maximize my audience. Plus, it will boost my Google page rank (grin).

When I was in elementary school, I remember the adults talking in fearful tones about “pink slips,” “lay-offs,” etc. Even then I knew that all these terms were simply euphemisms for losing your job. Thankfully, my father was never “touched,” as they called it where he worked. Growing up in a suburbs south of Denver, Colorado, I was surrounded with occupations ripe for outsourcing. However, I refused to believe that it was a problem here and now. By reading Friedman’s book, I realized that the world is not about to change, it has changed. And it will continue to change in a significant way, especially for those of us in computer-related professions.

Outsourcing is not bad. For employees who don’t understand it, outsourcing can be frightening. For executives who abuse it, outsourcing can be a tool of mass destruction. But from an objective standpoint, outsourcing is simply an feature of the world that should be anticipated, not feared nor abused.

What am I going to do about it? I plan to learn how to interact with people from different cultures, different upbringings. I plan to remain at the forefront of my field, maintaining membership in the IEEE professional organization and reading materials, both from IEEE and other technical news sources. Thanks to Friedman, I am no longer terrified of the new, global economy. Rather, I see an increased opportunity and an increased responsibility, both to provide for my family and serve many people, not just in my local community, but truly throughout the world!

How Rich are You?

Again I will respond to a post made by Connor Boyack.

First, the site seems incomplete.  If I enter any income over $200,001 (including $99,999,999,999,999,999,999,999 = 9.99 x 10^22), it always says that I’m the 107,565th richest person in the world.  Of course, I don’t really earn $200,001, but…

Second, Connor cites Andrew Carnegie, who said, “This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth: First, to set an example of modesty, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance….”  Connor, please post a link to the source of this quote for two reasons.  First, quoting without citing is a terrible practice at best, plagerism at worst.  Second, I am interested in this quote, and I would like to read more from the same work.  Where can I find it?

FYI, with a Google search, I found the above quote comes from: Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard, (1900) 1962), 25.  The paper can be found online or purchased online.