Microsoft Word 2010

I am testing Microsoft Word 2010 in its Beta form. What I’m testing is a feature that is contained in the program to write Blogs.

Well I wrote the above sentence and published it as a post and it worked fine. I can see that I’ll need to consider writing here. I generally enjoy writing on my iMac, but this posting feature in Word has always been enjoyable to use. I used to use it quite a bit to post to tiletrade (my other blog). I enjoy writing in a word processor instead of the small box that the blogging sites offer.

Microsoft Word 2010 is available in Beta format on Microsoft’s website. You might want to take a look.

Stop Worrying and Start Living

Years ago I took the Dale Carnegie course and it really made a difference to me then. This short video has some of the key thoughts compiled by the book written by Dale Carnegie. I still remember, after several decades, the concept of living in ‘day tight compartments’ and sometimes still apply that thought.

I hope these ideas are of interest to you, but mostly I hope that you can reduce your worries and experience a happier day.

Avoiding Advertising Messages

I feel that I’m currently in an implementation phase with regard to things that are interesting to me. It’s better at the moment to use what I’ve already got.

“I don’t want to want.”

I’ve gotten all the computer hardware I’ll likely need for a while now. My cars are up to date, and shouldn’t be changing for a couple years at least. So while those subjects always interest me, I’m not in the market for a new computer or a new automobile. As a result I tend to ignore the ads for now. I don’t really want to be tempted to buy. I don’t want to want.

That may be an important part to living life simply. Shutting off the messages that suggest that you need things.

A Plug-In Prius for 2011

Plug-In Prius Hybrid - 2011

Finally! Announced yesterday – December 14th. An electric solution that makes sense for people like me.

This Prius has additional battery capacity as compared to the standard hybrid version. It can travel about 14.5 miles on electric power before reverting to its hybrid status and using the gasoline engine. That’s enough power to get someone like myself to work each day without using the gas engine. It will allow many to go to the grocery store or the gym without gasoline consumption. But best of all, it doesn’t limit the usefulness of the car. I can still take a trip to visit my kids and grandkids 500 miles away.

This is the sort of solution we’ve needed. It will roll out to the general public in 2011, about a year from now. The cost is to be reasonable at a proposed $22,000 (+/-).

Wired has a good article if you would like to read more.

Belief Systems

Stacked Beliefs

Last night I was on Amazon looking for a new book for my Kindle. If you’ve ever spent time there you would know that as you buy and respond to suggestions, Amazon refines the recommended offerings for your personal preferences. My own profile is fairly refined, having a couple hundred selections and gradings of those selections.

One of the areas of interest that I’ve expressed has to do with energy conservation. You can see that interest here, in my Electric Car posts. When I drilled down on certain of these Amazon selections, books about energy and future outcomes for our society, and how we are likely to live in the near and distant future, there are other peoples reviews of these books to read. Those reader/reporters are expressing their views about the book and the author, but also about the subject. They tend to grade the book’s worth based upon their own viewpoint – their own belief system.

We are attracted to the notions that we already believe.”

The more that I read about the inevitability of climate change, and the concept of oil at $200 per barrel, the more that I tend to take these ideas as being the truth. How does that happen? First of all, I came to this location on Amazon looking for a book that reinforces my beliefs. Second, those reviewers of the particular book – people who share my basic thoughts and concerns about energy and conservation – are furthering that same line of reasoning back at me.

Stepping away from Amazon’s book buying system, it is obvious that much of what we do when attempting to collect information and knowledge is similar no matter our personal viewpoints. We are attracted to the notions that we already believe. Further, we ingest knowledge and ideas that conform to our beliefs, and we reject and push away any that don’t match up.

Extreme Beliefs

It’s important to understand this. As we are literally awash in information from the web and other media, I think we are reinforcing our belief’s as never before. At no other time in history has information been more abundant. Could this be why people have developed into virtual armed camps – Republican vs Democrat, Islam vs Christian, and so on? I think so.

Truth is truth. The problem for us mere mortals is ourselves. We need to recognize that our thinking processes are designed to reinforce ideas. The real search for truth is not within most of us.

This seems to be an important way that we are all manipulated. Consider the talk show hosts for example. Also, consider who you listen to and why. Where is your proof about what you believe? I think most of us have simply built up a number of antidotal and unknown sources for our beliefs. That doesn’t make them necessarily false, but it doesn’t demonstrate much in terms of our own effort to be right either. Nevertheless, we can be heated and adamant about these beliefs.

What do you think about that? Never mind, your answer may disrupt what I already believe.

BlackBerry Storm 2 vs. iPhone

BlackBerry Storm 2

A few weeks ago we went to the Verizon store and updated my wife’s phone. In doing that we also added a phone for myself. Until recently my only phone was a company issued cell phone. I wanted to get my own so that if I want to moonlight in a part-time writing business I wasn’t using my employers equipment and service. My intent is to surrender the company cell phone, and use my own for company business. I’ll put in an expense for just a part of the new phone each month.

Apple iPhone

We committed to Blackberry Storm 2’s. Having had these for a few weeks now I’m not thrilled. The basic problem isn’t the phone or service. The problem is that I’ve broken my system.

I have been headed toward an all Apple system until now. I currently use two Mac computers (a desktop and a MacBook Air) and I’ve been using my iPod Touch as a PDA. The tie is through MobileMe, which syncs the Macs and my iPod Touch. I had planned to retire the iPod and use an iPhone instead, completing the full system.

“The basic problem isn’t the phone or service. The problem is that I’ve broken my system.”

I didn’t want to switch from Verizon to AT&T though. Everyone I work with, and my family members, are Verizon customers. Calling them is therefore a free call. Changing that, and possibly compromising the perfect service we have in our area, seems dumb.

So I’m confronted with another database and I’m not pleased. Nothing has really changed from the dumb phone that I was using, but I feel that I am mixing the system up. I am still hopeful that Apple will come to an agreement with Verizon sometime soon. That’s the crux of the matter. If they do, I’ll scrap this new phone and pay full price for an Apple phone solution. Maybe they will have something new by then.

Right now though, I feel that I’ve got a mixed system that isn’t as elegant as I wanted.