Remember this today and every day

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” ~ Pema Chödrön

I will help you fix your computer

In response to Harry Marks’ post over at Curious Rat, this is for everyone who needs help with these crazy things we call computers.

I cannot guarentee you 100% success, or success on the first try, but I will help you fix your computer to the best of my ability.

I’ll help you set up your wi-fi the first time, and give you instructions on what to do when something goes wrong, but if something does go wrong, understand that I can’t come over at a moment’s notice.

Instructions are annoying, because they are complicated, and sometimes I know a better way to do it.  However if I give you instructions, read them, keep them in a safe place, and try testing them from time to time in order to learn.

You know my phone number, but just know I might not always answer it.

Before you ask me for help, have you Googled possible solutions? Have you tried any of them?  Googling a question/problem is often the best thing to do.  Remember how you used Google to find that recipe or directions for changing the oil?  I promise it’s exactly the same.

Do you own a Mac? Remember you can take it to the genius bar if it’s not too far away.  They are better than almost any support retail outfit.

Do you own a Windows PC?  Don’t trust those people at the store you bought it, they are just incentivized to sell you crap.  If you can’t wait for me, I’ll give you the number of a professional you can pay for.

The dialog box contains text. Read it and select a button based on what it says. Don’t just look at me and ask me which button you should click.  Really, there is no excuse for not reading it.  It may be gibberish, but don’t expect any person to be able to help you if you can’t tell them what the gibberish was.

Please describe the situation as elaborately as possible and use correct terminology.  No matter what medium you use, the more specific you can get with a problem, the quicker things will be.  Otherwise it will just take longer.  If you can’t give me specifics over the phone or in email, you’ll have to wait for me to have time for a visit.

Let me show you how to do this.  Now, here are step by step instructions on how to do what I just said.  I recommend reading them and practicing them when you get a moment.  If you don’t want to do it yourself, I’ll stop by sometime in the next 6 months.

You have virus problems?  Here’s the closest Apple Retailer.  Do not listen to the mainstream tech media about viruses and Macs, they are scaremongering.  If you insist on a PC, here’s my favorite free virus scanner. I’ve set it up to update automatically.  Here are my instructions on how to use it.  What, you can’t access some sites since I visited?  Can you tell me what they are?  No?  Thought not, that’s because I blocked them, they spread viruses, please stop visiting them.

I would love to remote access your system and “just take a look.”  I can usually figure out the problem in just a few minutes if you just show me what the problem is.  But if I don’t have time now, you’ll have to wait.

You say your computer is “slow” but you don’t know why.  I have a complete suite of things I go over to fix that.  My fee is a batch of cookies or a six pack of my favorite beer and it will require a day on the weekend we are both free.  I’ll also tell you why was slow to try to help you in the future.  Try not to install stuff that you don’t know what it is.  Also if your computer is more than 5 years old, I may make it only slightly faster, if at all.

Just because someone has a blog doesn’t mean they know “computer stuff.”  But I know computer stuff, because that is what I do for a living.  So come talk to me.

No one will build you a website for free, not even me.  If you just want to write, here are some free and easy places you can check out that can give you a place for your thoughts.

I don’t know Photoshop, but I can help you install it and find someone who does.

This is Snopes.com. Please consult it before re-posting that tweet/blog article/Facebook status to your own Twitter/blog/Facebook status.

I know some good apps, but it depends on what you are looking for.  Let’s compare phones.

As your friend/husband/son/relation I am always happy to help, because that what we should do, help each other.  The world is a complicated place and we all specialize in certain things so we should cooperate to the best of our ability so we all get stuff done and have fun.  Unfortunately my help has limits.  If you need more professional help that’s available on demand, I suggest contacting a company that can do so.

Our relationship is special.  When I help you, I won’t ask for it, nor will I expect it, but it would be nice to feel the gratitude in any way.  If you wish to show no gratitude, or you think you might take undue advantage of this relationship, I would refer to you back to Harry’s post.

Don’t make things more complicated for yourself than they need to be.   Go at your own pace.  This is the best way to make sure you don’t need me constantly.

If you just need email and web browsing, get an iPad, iPad Mini, or Nexus 7.  Do NOT get a PC or Mac.

If you just need a phone, get an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, or a galaxy S3.  Do NOT get the Android phones that come free with a contract, they fall apart when you sneeze on them.  If you want a challenge, get a Nexus 4.

It is not called a “MAC”, nor an “Apple”. And an iPod touch is not an “iTouch”. That just sounds gross.  Harry is totally right about this.

Unless it’s an emergency, there’s no reason you should be checking your email, responding to a text, or taking a call while we’re talking. It’s rude. And put the phone away at the table.  I understand your urges, really I do.  I fight these same urges every day, but Harry is right about this too.

John Siracusa wisdom from the last Episode of the Hypercritical podcast

“I am the Steve Jobs of this sandwich! I am the person solely in charge of this sandwich, and it’s going to be insanely great”

- episode 100, 97th minute (via siracusasaidso)

Laws must change

“I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

-Thomas Jefferson

The Immortal Mark Twain

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

 

Mark Twain, Autobiography.

Ben, I think that’s exactly what he said

I’m not a residential property owner, just an armchair economist, but something Ben Brooks said makes me scratch my head:

“It’s easy for Trumbull to say “we need more low-cost rentals”, but what he doesn’t look at is the market forces that are driving rental rates. Get more people to buy homes, and rental rates will come down.”

Here is what Trumball said:

“Meanwhile, the cost of renting has been going steadily up along with the rise in demand for apartment units. So, even as economists talk of now being a great time to buy, low-cost rentals would be even more welcome to many Americans.”

Okay call me crazy, but didn’t Trumball just say the cost of renting has been going steadily up along with the rise in demand for apartment units?  So yes, I think Trumball does get it.  It’s also the truth.  Wouldn’t millions of Americans love low cost rentals?

This is the double edged sword of Economics.  It controls the distribution of limited resources, but it can be downright cruel when it prices goods and services that people deem necessary to live right out of their price range.  Credit is still tight, you need 20% down on a house and that’s $20,000 on meager condo in the suburbs or a decent sized house in the middle of West Bumblefuck.  That’s a lot of money, and people aren’t making enough to save up that much.  Therefore, they have to rent.  Not everyone has a relative they can move in with, and some people don’t even have relatives.

This makes renting a sellers market.  Demand is high and there’s nothing you can do about that unless the zombie apocalypse comes and takes out some of our population.  To lower prices, you have to increase supply.  That means you have to build more complexes for apartments.  This gets into all sorts of problems:

1) The biggest problem is that if you look around, land is finite.  There are only so many places to sit on the planet.

2) People in general are not flexible in moving.  They want to stay near family, or don’t have the money or resources to move cross country, and this limits their choices.

3) Construction is in the tank thanks to the credit crunch.  New Housing was depressed, well apartment complex construction that requires even more money to build was even more depressed.  Supply is constrained until someone builds new buildings.

4) The middle class is getting squeezed, as people have less and less money to spend.  Those who own these complexes have less incentive to rent to the poor and working class because they want the higher margin renters.  But those are getting harder and harder to find so why build a fancy new building if you can’t find a group of people who can put $500 together for an apartment?

5) While I’m all for regulations, regulations do in fact increase costs.  There’s a point where an apartment becomes a slum, and if you want to be a law abiding large property owner, you probably have to abide by the law and pay those costs.  This increases the price you need to make money.

The solution is always of course low cost housing, we just don’t know as a society yet how to get it.  Calling such a statement stupid is like saying that a touch screen phone will never be successful because no one has been able to do it right before.  What we have to do is innovate, we just haven’t figured it out yet.

A lesson for child rearing

“Who does this baby belong to? Who does this little shorty belong to? He just hangin’ around y’all? He just hangin’ around y’all, right? So he see everything you do right? So if this brother right here catch a case, and do a hundred years, who’s fault is it? It’s his fault? Teach him righteous.”

–Nina Matthews, The Interruptors

The Interruptors is a documentary about former gang members becoming “interruptors” and going into gang controlled neighborhoods speaking to locals about stopping the cycle of gang violence. Nina has seen it, she’s live it. She knows what she is talking about.

It takes a village…

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