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IS PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY A DRUG?

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 21, 2017

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– If it behaves like a drug, and possesses the same characteristics of a drug, then it may very well be a…

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As many of you know, I have discussed the adverse effects of technology on numerous occasions. Specifically, I am talking about such things as mobile phones, video games, tablets and personal computers, those devices we embrace in the daily affairs of our lives. I have argued there is no documented proof it improves productivity (at least not with the U.S. Department of Labor), and that it affects our socialization skills particularly in the area on interpersonal relations. Such technology may allow us to express our creativity faster, to quickly access information, to communicate with anyone on the planet and share such things as notes and photos, but there is nothing to substantiate it enhances our ability to think. If anything, it diminishes the use of the brain. For example, many people can no longer perform basic math without the assistance of an automated calculator; We cannot communicate except by constant text messaging; We no longer believe we can compose letters or essays without a word processor, etc. It should come as no small wonder to watch an average office come to a complete standstill when the power is cutoff. Studies have also shown that extensive use of such devices actually lowers IQ. As Hicks points out in his book, “The Digital Pandemic,” technology has the ability to alter our minds; that it can assume the same robotic mannerisms as the technology we use. This means we are subliminally adjusting our lifestyles to adapt to technology.

We tend to think of drugs as chemicals or substances that are either used for medication or as a stimulant or depressant affecting the central nervous system, thereby causing changes in behavior. Under this paradigm, drugs are absorbed into the bloodstream orally, injected or smoked. In contrast, personal technology is absorbed through our senses particularly sight, sound and touch which, in turn, stimulates and arouses the brain, and provides a convenient venue for escapism. If used in moderation, there is little problem, but when used on a prolonged basis it leads to addiction and can alter moods, perceptions, and thinking patterns which leads to both positive and negative side affects. One obvious positive side effect would be a sense of accomplishment as in winning a game or successfully completing a task. The negative effect though comes from extended use whereby people become dependent on their technology to perform a variety of mental functions, such as math and writing. Further, we become impatient for results; as we grow accustomed to instant information, instant cash, instant photos, instant food, instant everything, and as a result, we become less tolerant of any form of delay which increases stress levels and leads to anger.

I contend our extended use of technology leads to an increase in violent behavior. This is a proposition that is hard to prove as it is difficult to locate reliable data tying technology to violent behavior. Also, such things as road rage, sports rage, work rage, bullying, anger management, animal cruelty are relatively new phenomenons and weren’t very prevalent just a few short decades ago. Consequently, finding reliable data over an extended period of time is very limited. The closest thing I could find was data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (its “Arrest Data Analysis Tool”) which revealed an increase in assault, sexual abuse, and threatening communications over the last ten years (the period when the use of personal technology soared). However, there is no direct connection to technology being the cause. Because there is no hard data, my premise will remain a theory until sufficient data can be assembled tying the two together.

In terms of addiction, technology exhibits the same type of powers as chemical dependency or, at the very least, gambling which also does not require drugs in the usual sense. Actually, the parallel between technology and gambling addiction is quite remarkable, and can be just as devastating. One interesting report that attests to the power of technology addiction is “The World Unplugged,” a global media study led by the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA), University of Maryland. As part of their conclusions, the report comments on how students in the study handled the lack of media (meaning electronic devices):

“Going without media during ‘The World Unplugged’ study made students more cognizant of the presence of media – both media’s benefits and their limitations. And perhaps what students became most cognizant of was their absolute inability to direct their lives without media.

The depths of the ‘addiction’ that students reported prompted some to confess that they had learned that they needed to curb their media habits. Most students doubted they would have much success, but they acknowledged that their reliance on media was to some degree self-imposed AND actually inhibited their ability to manage their lives as fully as they hoped – to make proactive rather than reactive choices about work and play.”

Like anything, if used in moderation, technology holds no ill-effects. However, we have turned it into an 24/7 extension of our lives and can no longer imagine living without these devices. Because it offers instant gratification, it has become a new form of pacifier which we scream for when it is taken away from us.

The “pushers” of this new drug, of course, are the entertainment and electronic industries who keep refining their technology and content, making it even more enticing with each new release. They truly understand the addictiveness of this drug and how to use it for their benefit, as do politicians.

Let me leave you with one last thought; Life doesn’t emulate art, it emulates technology. Think about it, are we becoming more robotic in our thinking? Is our imagination and creativity limited by our technology? Can we live 24 hours without such products? The subjects in “The World Unplugged” study had trouble living without them and exhibited genuine signs of withdrawal, and if you are honest with yourself, you’re hooked too. So, is technology an extension of us, or have we become an extension of our own technology? Either answer is unsettling.

It may not be a chemical or powder, but make no mistake, personal technology is just as addictive and can alter the human spirit like any other drug.

First published: December 19, 2011

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE – What we can learn from Lincoln’s bid for election.

LAST TIME:  TAKE HIM AWAY FOR REGROOVING  – What happens when you find yourself out of step with the times.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Technology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TAKE HIM AWAY FOR REGROOVING

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 19, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What happens when you find yourself out of step with the times.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I am an avid fan of the Firesign Theatre, a comedy troop which came to light in the late 1960’s. Their humor was considered rather avant-garde even for this turbulent period in our history. You couldn’t find them on television or in the movies, and rarely would their comedy be broadcast over the radio waves. Instead, it was primarily distributed in vinyl form (good old 33rpm records) and appealed primarily to college students who treated it like an underground movement. Today, their comedy has attained cult status, not just for its humor but as a great parody of the times and their prophetic vision of the future. Their first album, “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone like Him” (1968) includes a satirical tale of the future based on the values of the psychedelic sixties. In particular, there is one track involving two police officers of the future traveling together in their patrol car. As part of their duties, they have to check to see if all of the citizens are “groovy.” If a citizen looks suspicious, the police would stop them, ask them some pointed questions to determine their grooviness, what drugs they were carrying, as well as to check their clothing and body paint. If the citizen wasn’t compliant, he/she would be “taken away for regrooving” which meant a massive reorientation to bring them up to date with the times. In the story, the people become so overtly groovy that underground study cells begin to emerge whereby students began to read books and discuss major issues of the day, all to the horror of their parents and teachers.

Lately I have begun to feel like one of the older pedestrians in the story, as I am sure I no longer appear to be “groovy” and in need of a major update. For example, I no longer know all of the names of today’s musical artists and motion picture stars. I still say “actors” and “actresses” as opposed to just “actors”; “pictures” as opposed to “movies”; and “Ethyl” and “Hi-Test” as opposed to “Premium” gasoline. Although I grew up in the digital age, I still appreciate analog technology which makes me think I’m in desperate need of some “regrooving.”

Not long ago I gave a couple of talks at the local High School. I deliberately chose to wear a suit and tie that day as opposed to a casual look. With rare exception, the students looked shabby and grungy, not to mention undisciplined. Please keep in mind the students come from some rather affluent families in the area. While I was speaking, I got the uneasy feeling the students were there more for me to teach them as opposed to them being there to learn. In other words, the teaching experience was unidirectional in nature, from me to them. I don’t consider this a healthy educational environment as the student has to at least be willing to put forth effort to learn.

Although I think I made some progress with several students and the teachers present, I got the uneasy feeling the students considered me to be a dinosaur and definitely not “groovy.” Normally when someone feels like time is passing them by, you make an effort to bring your skills and perspectives up-to-date, an attitude readjustment if you will. I’m not sure I can do this anymore and let me explain why. I don’t have a problem with technology and fashion passing me by, but to properly “regroove” myself, it will be necessary to reappraise and adjust my moral values, and herein lies the problem. I still believe in such things as common courtesy, such as holding a door open for people, to say “please” and “thank you,” and to volunteer my time to help others. I like to tuck my shirt into my pants and would be mortified if my underwear was exposed. I still appreciate the genius of classical music, the taste of a good glass of scotch and a fine cigar, and I still believe in such antiquated concepts as honor and respect, discipline, citizenship, patriotism, and doing unto others as I would have others do unto me, etc.

To properly upgrade I must alter my sense of right and wrong and, frankly, this is something I cannot bring myself to do. Maybe as creatures of habit we get too comfortable with our daily routine, but I do not think this is the case as I can (and have) changed habits many times over the years. No, this is more about my perception of right and wrong as ingrained in me, and something quite difficult to change, if not impossible. To change a person in this manner means to change his very essence as a human being. It would be like asking an honest person to wrong, cheat and defraud others, which is something he cannot do with a clear conscious.

In order to change my values requires me to admit everything I had done previously was incorrect, that I had lived a big lie, and a disservice to everyone I had come in contact with over the years. That is a bitter pill to swallow no matter who you are. No, instead I do not believe I’ll allow myself to be “taken away for regrooving” and suffer the consequences, if there be any. Instead I’ll have to start one of those underground study cells and hope for the best.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  IS PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY A DRUG? – If it behaves like a drug, and possesses the same characteristics of a drug, then it may very well be a…

LAST TIME:  REMEMBERING NAMES  – “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

REMEMBERING NAMES

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I hate to forget a person’s name. There is probably nothing more rude in business than to forget someone’s name, particularly if you have had to deal with them one-on-one. Years ago, when I was just starting out in business, I met a gentleman from Worcester, Massachusetts who attended one of our training courses in Cincinnati. He was a nice guy and I actively worked with him during the class. Two weeks later, we held a customer conference in French Lick, Indiana where I happened to run into him again, this time on the golf course. My mind went totally blank as to what his name was, thus creating an awkward moment as we greeted each other (he, of course, remembered my name, but I was blocked). After some clever maneuvering, I finally got him to say his name which I instantly recognized. However, to make matters worse, I mispronounced the name of the town he is from which, if you are not from Massachusetts, is easy to butcher (look up “Worcester” in the dictionary and you’ll see what I mean). All in all, I didn’t score well in front of my customer that day. Consequently, I was determined not to let this happen again.

Following this episode, I started to take introductions more seriously and made a concerted effort to learn a person’s name, how they liked to be addressed, where he or she was from, and their interests. At the time, I developed a Rolodex file with this information printed on it. If I had to leave my office and visit customers on their premises, I would be sure to take pertinent cards from the file with me. Today, of course, I keep everything in a Personal Information Manager (PIM) which I can take with me anywhere on a flash drive, but the principle is still the same. This little intelligence has served me well over the years and I have impressed many customers with what I remembered about them, even years later. It’s not that I have developed a great memory, I haven’t, it’s just that I recognized the usefulness for remembering little details about people, cataloged them, either in my head or written down somewhere, and used it as needed to develop a good rapport with my clients.

Customers find it very comforting when such detail is remembered by their vendor. It gives them a sense of security that their interests are being maintained, which helps to develop trust and a bond between customer and vendor.

These days though, few people take the time to remember your name. As a small example, when you go to the drive-up window of a local bank, tellers are typically hospitable, but rarely do they take the time to remember your name. I hate it when they try to be pseudo-flirtatious with you when they don’t know who you really are. No, it doesn’t endear me to the bank.

It is these little observations that go a long way. As an example, perhaps the best secretary I ever saw was a lady named Myrna who worked for an I.T. Director in Chicago. The first time I visited the office, Myrna warmly greeted me and asked if I wanted a cup of coffee. Saying Yes, she then asked me what I wanted in it. I said cream and sugar, which she then made for me. Months later when I returned to visit the I.T. Director, Myrna greeted me by name and presented me with a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Frankly, I was startled that she not only remembered my name but how I also liked my coffee. Later I found out that Myrna also maintained a simple card file; whenever someone visited the office, Myrna would record their name and the type of coffee they liked. Sharp. Very sharp.

It’s these little details that make a difference in customer relations. As Michelangelo said, “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

As an aside, it has been many years since the incident with the customer from Worcester, MA, but to this day I can still vividly recall his name. It’s…ah…ah…

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  REMEMBERING NAMES – “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

LAST TIME:  TAKE HIM AWAY FOR REGROOVING  – What happens when you find yourself out of step with the times.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

A NEW MASON-DIXON LINE

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 14, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Introducing the C-USA and L-USA.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Although originally plotted in the 1760’s to settle a border dispute, the Mason-Dixon Line was better known as the boundary between the slave states of the South and the anti-slave states in the North. As such, it became symbolic of the cultural differences which led to the American Civil War (or as we prefer to call it in the South as “The War between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America”). Nonetheless, our current political differences are so pronounced, I wonder if it’s time to plot a new type of Mason-Dixon Line to divide the country over ideological lines, Liberal versus Conservative. After all, the division in this country is only going to get worse, not better, regardless of what happens in the 2018 election.

I pulled out a map of the United States and pondered a way to divvy up the country equitably. The challenge was to fairly share the natural resources, particularly energy, access to shipping, and minimize the disruption of people moving to a new state. To do so, I considered the general political inclination of the people in the states. I began with a separation of Northern and Southern states by drawing a line from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River using the old Missouri Compromise Line (parallel 36’30” north). I then went beyond Missouri before turning north to include Iowa and Minnesota. It would be too easy to say the remainder of the country was Conservative, not to mention unfair, as the states along the Pacific coast are all rather Liberal. Plus let’s throw in Hawaii, but certainly not Alaska.

Here, the Red color denotes the new Liberal-USA (L-USA) and the Blue denotes the Conservative-USA (C-USA). With the exception of Iowa and Virginia, all of the Red states using this demarcation are generally considered liberal in nature (sorry Iowa and Virginia, but fair is fair). Fittingly, Washington, DC will remain in the L-USA while the C-USA creates a new capitol, probably somewhere in Colorado to be centrally located. Both countries would have abundant energy resources, agriculture, technology, transportation, shipping, not to mention their own military. Hopefully, the two separate countries will find ways to work together, particularly in the area of commerce. Nonetheless, they will both begin on an even footing.

This would be an interesting experiment. Obviously, the big difference would be how the two countries would operate. The C-USA would undoubtedly embrace capitalism and a smaller federal government. Citizens would be emboldened to be more entrepreneurial in nature, thereby encouraging innovation, invention, and freedom of expression. The GDP would naturally grow substantially as a result. In contrast, the L-USA would become a socialist state with a massive government enforcing a long litany of laws, rules and regulations dictating what citizens are permitted to do, thereby creating a Nanny State. The tax structure will be such that the citizens will be working more for the government than themselves. While the L-USA will specialize in the entertainment industry, the C-USA will enjoy a press that doesn’t try to manipulate the masses. Whereas the C-USA will dine on red meat, fruits and vegetables, the L-USA will ration generous portions of tofu and bean sprouts to its citizens. Patriotism, morality, and citizenship will doubtless flourish in the C-USA, while organized religion and the pledge to the flag will be outlawed in the L-USA where criminals will be asked to perform community service as opposed to time in prison.

The two countries will respect each other’s sovereign borders, but as the C-USA grows in financial strength and world influence, the L-USA will become concerned with their citizens escaping to seek political asylum in the C-USA. Inevitably, a massive wall will be constructed by the L-USA to prohibit such escapes much like what divided Berlin years ago. In the event the two countries regrettably go to war, the C-USA would undoubtedly triumph as they would have more financial resources at their disposal, the will to win, and their citizens would be better armed (the L-USA would have abolished guns from the outset).

The symbology of the two countries will have to change. Although both countries will be reluctant to depart from the stars and stripes as their flag, the L-USA will show their field of stars on the left, and the C-USA will display theirs on the right. As to the national bird, the C-USA will follow tradition and adopt the Bald Eagle, while the L-USA will adopt Benjamin Franklin’s suggestion, the Turkey.

Devising such a scenario is not as far fetched as you might think. The country is currently gridlocked awaiting the outcome of the 2018 election. Something needs to change. Only two things can possibly happen: either the country will remain gridlocked in its current form, or one party will take control forcing the other underground. Neither option is acceptable to our future. Only a physical geographical split along ideological lines will satisfy the citizenship. We may not like it, but at some point we’re going to be forced to admit we cannot live together anymore. Am I advocating the overthrow of the country? Absolutely not. I’m just looking into the future and I don’t like what I see.

One last thing, don’t be surprised if the Pacific coast spins off to form a separate country of its own which we would color white to maintain our red, white and blue patriotic theme. The only exception might be California who may want to abandon the United States altogether and represent their native Mars.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  REMEMBERING NAMES – “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

LAST TIME:  UNDERSTANDING CREDIT SCORES  – You would be wise to keep track of yours.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

UNDERSTANDING CREDIT SCORES

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 12, 2017

BRYCE ON FINANCES

– You would be wise to keep track of yours.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Whether we like it or not, our lives are greatly impacted by our financial credit scores. If you have a good credit rating, lending institutions are more than happy to loan you the money to buy a house, a boat, a car, help you start a business venture, or whatever. If you have a bad rating, you’re basically stuck in Nowheresville.

For our younger readers, your credit score begins the day you get a revolving line of credit, such as a credit card or gasoline card, or purchase something on time, such as a house, furniture, or whatever. Your ability to pay off debt is monitored and scored from this point to the day you finally die (and pass your financial troubles to your heirs). In other words, it is an albatross hanging around all of our necks.

Interestingly, most consumers pay little attention to their credit scores which are ultimately maintained by three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. A lot of people seem to prefer operating in the dark. I guess ignorance is bliss. To the rest of us, it’s a wise move to periodically look over your credit report and make sure it is an accurate accounting of your credit history. If it is wrong, it could do considerable damage to your reputation from a financial perspective.

Your credit score is primarily a reflection of your ability to pay your debt. Period. Remarkably, your income is of little concern in this regards. Just because you make a lot of money, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will use it to pay off your debt. Instead, they carefully monitor your credit cards and loans. In particular, they analyze the amount of credit available to you, your outstanding balance, and if you are paying it off on time. Late payments are flagged accordingly. From this, they calculate a credit score which lending institutions use to pass judgment on you. Having a good credit score, therefore, is a sign you are able to manage your finances responsibly. It should be noted that gender, race, and religion are not considered when determining scores.

Although the credit report is available free to you once a year, the credit score must be purchased separately for a modest fee. Perhaps the best place to begin to study your credit profile is at the web site, Annual Credit Report, a free service to guide you through requesting a credit check.

We all understand what is necessary to raise credit scores; in a nutshell, don’t bite off more than you can chew, and pay it off on time. However, knowing this and having the discipline to implement it are two different things, as evidenced by our current recession which was started, in large part, by people defaulting on home loans (and don’t get me started on the idiots who loaned them the money in the first place).

At the time of this writing, the Experian credit bureau reported that America’s “National Score Index” was 673 which, by my estimate, is a “Good” credit rating (“B”). This is either an overly generous estimate or perhaps Experian is telling us our economy is not as bad as we thought and is indicative of a healthy rebound. I suspect the latter as their numbers are based on fact, not speculation.

If anything, this recession has taught us the virtue of paying attention to credit ratings, both for the consumer and for lending institutions. Like it or not, it is how we quantify an individual’s financial responsibility. Regardless of your credit score though, always remember this: The less money you have, the less likely you will get a loan. Conversely, if you already have a lot of money, you’ll get all the cash and credit you want. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. I don’t make the rules, I just report them.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  A NEW MASON-DIXON LINE – Introducing the C-USA and L-USA.

LAST TIME:  CHECK HER TEETH  – Do your homework before you make an important decision in a relationship.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Finance | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

CHECK HER TEETH

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 10, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Do your homework before you make an important decision in a relationship.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of watching several fine young men grow into adulthood. Inevitably, they become serious about a woman and consider marriage. On more than one occasion I have been asked what they should be looking for in a woman, e.g., a potentially good mother, cook, sex partner, or whatever. I flippantly advise them to “check her teeth,” which is an expression I picked up from a horse trainer years ago. Now, please, I do not mean any disrespect to women by this remark. In fact, I recommend the same thing to young women considering a husband, “check his teeth.”

I was advised by the trainer that you should, of course, review the animal’s papers, check it with your hands, study how it walks and rides, see how it responds to the human voice, and inspect its hooves, but checking the teeth says a lot about the health and treatment of the horse. In other words, carefully study the animal before you buy it. We should do anything of substance likewise, be it an automobile, a boat, or a major appliance or piece of equipment. Too often people become enamored with the advertising sizzle and overlook the actual state of the object and end up with something they regret later on.

The same is true in marriage. Too often people overlook deficiencies in the other person and becoming preoccupied with the other person’s sexual prowess or money. Only later do they realize they should have done some more checking on the other person and some soul-searching. The divorce courts are littered with millions of couples who didn’t do their homework properly and paid dearly for it.

Over in the Middle East, Saudi men can still practice polygamy, whereby they can have as many as five wives; one as his principal or senior wife, one to do the cooking, one to do the cleaning or to teach, one to raise the children, and one for sexual pleasures. The wives don’t always get along with each other which is why the man may have to pay for multiple houses for his different wives to live in, which sounds like a pretty high price to pay for a man not being able to make up his mind.

In this country, we practice monogamous relationships, at least we’re supposed to in marriage. In most marriage vows, we promise to love, honor and obey until death do us part, which implies marriage is for a long time. Unfortunately, there seems to be fewer people these days who take this obligation seriously and change partners like they change clothes. Then again, I guess this stimulates the economy as it keeps a lot of attorneys, judges and law clerks gainfully employed.

We would have a lot fewer divorces in this country if we just took the time to study some teeth. Maybe the expression “look before you leap” would be more appropriate, but I have found “check his/her teeth” makes a more indelible impression on the young person.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  UNDERSTANDING CREDIT SCORES – You would be wise to keep track of yours.

LAST TIME:  ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY  – Why should I pay for somebody else’s mistakes?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 7, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why should I pay for somebody else’s mistakes?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently saw a picture of a boy who had been running through his house with a fork and somehow tripped and got it stuck in his nose. Perhaps you’ve seen the photo yourself on the Internet. It looked pretty painful, funny but painful. It occurred to me this is how changes begin to be implemented in our society. I’m sure this incident resulted in a costly hospital bill to have the fork surgically removed from the boy’s nose, along with some plastic surgery, and in order to avoid a costly medical bill, the family will inevitably try to sue someone, such as the manufacturer of the fork. If successful, we will probably see some legislation emerge requiring fork manufacturers to change the design and create a “safety fork,” imprint a safety warning on all forks, e.g.; “Warning! Use of this fork may be hazardous to your health,” and there will probably be a recall on all existing forks. All this, because the parents were too stupid to supervise a five year old.

In reality, the parents and child are obviously at fault here. Either the parents didn’t teach the child properly, which would be my guess, or the child was just plain thick and needed to learn the lesson the hard way. Instead, someone else will have to pay for this little snafu and take a great tool like the fork and make it illegal. Suddenly, it’s not the parents fault, it is yours. We have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of such frivolous lawsuits over the years, such as the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee case.

I don’t know where this propensity for being portrayed as a victim comes from, but I have my suspicions, namely those who do not assume responsibility for their actions and prefer to be wards of the state, whereby someone else picks up the bill every time the person screws up. I fail to see the logic in this.

“But Tim, have you no compassion for the suffering of these poor souls?”

I have plenty of compassion, a whole truckload of it, but I’ll donate my money to those I believe deserve it, not to some misfits who are forcing me to pay for the problems they created. Where I come from, that’s called “bunco.”

If you live in a capitalist society, as we do, you are required to assume responsibility for your actions and demonstrate a little personal initiative. Sure, we should help those less fortunate than ourselves, but this should be voluntary as opposed to mandatory. Unfortunately, there is a movement underfoot in this country to change all of this which would negate the need to be responsible. However, if everybody gets on the dole, I’m just wondering who is going to pay the bills? You know what, it won’t work.

Next time you think your problems are caused by someone else, look in the mirror first.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  CHECK HER TEETH – Do your homework before you make an important decision in a relationship.

LAST TIME:  ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY?  – What the “separation of church and state” really means.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 5, 2017

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– What the “separation of church and state” really means.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

For some reason, Americans believe there is a legal requirement to separate church and state in the US Constitution. It is now commonly believed organized religion has no business in the workings of the state. The reality is, there is no such stipulation whatsoever in the Constitution. There is only a couple of references to religion in our governing documents. The first is in Article 6 of the Constitution whereby “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The second reference is in Amendment One of the Bill of Rights whereby, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” I cannot speak for the governing documents of the various states and territories, but as far as the Constitution is concerned, that is all there is pertaining to religion.

So where does this presumption of separation come from? Two places: other countries who embrace such a concept, but more importantly in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists regarding the 1st amendment. Jefferson was president at the time and well known as author of the Declaration of Independence (but not the Constitution; that was Madison). In the letter, Jefferson wrote:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

By this letter to the Baptists, Jefferson meant that the United States would not establish a national church. This letter greatly influenced Supreme Court decisions. Keep in mind, Jefferson is speaking on another matter altogether and he is writing as president, not as a justice of the Supreme Court who should rightfully interpret the separation issue. However, for some strange reason, the letter was used to define the separation issue. In Everson vs. Board of Education in 1947, the Supreme Court used a portion of the letter (eight words only) and interpreted it to mean, “The First Amendment has erected ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ That wall must be kept high and impregnable.” How they came to this conclusion mystifies Constitutional scholars to this day. It is interesting the Supreme Court based its conclusion on an interpretation of a letter, not the Constitution itself.

Based on this Supreme Court decision, atheists and attorneys have used this as a means to drive God out of our country. Today, we hear of football teams prohibited from saying a nondenominational prayer before or after a game, Christmas trees have been banned from schools, students are being suspended for saying “bless you” after hearing someone sneeze, there are movements to remove anything pertaining to God out of government buildings, and there is even an attack on our national motto, “In God we Trust.”

Not long ago we heard about a movement by atheists to remove Gideon Bibles from Navy lodges. These Bibles were provided for the comfort of sailors staying at the lodges. The removal of the Bibles created a furor when it was reported in the press. So much so, the Navy ordered the Gideon Bibles returned back into the lodge rooms.

Make no mistake, Christianity is under attack here, not Judaism, Islam, or even witchcraft, and it appears to be a concerted effort. Some contend it is intended to undermine the country as Christianity played an important role in the founding of America. Whatever the reason, we must beware of such attacks and be prepared to repel them.

If by some chance, our opponents are successful in eradicating God in the federal government, I am one of those who believe all federal employees should work on Christmas Day, particularly postal workers.

Is there really a separation of church and state in the Constitution? No, but it will be necessary to bring a lawsuit to the Supreme Court to overturn their 1947 misinterpretation.

I pray we do not become a Godless country. Without God, the country will fall.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Even Sky Masterson read the Gideon Bible, as did Rocky Raccoon.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY – Why should I pay for somebody else’s mistakes?

LAST TIME:  BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER  – How to become conversant in politics and government.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Government, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 3, 2017

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– How to become conversant in politics and government.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

In 1835, noted historian and political commentator Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman, published his famous book, “Democracy in America,” which was an analysis of our young country as compared to those in Europe. This was based on his travels through America in 1831 and 1832. The book, which is frequently referenced even to this day, contains his observations on the young country, everything from its geographical layout, to its culture, and particularly its new political system as a democratically elected republic as opposed to a monarchy.

Tocqueville was particularly taken by the American public education system. He was amazed to see children as young as second grade be completely literate, something normally reserved for the aristocracy in Europe. He was also taken by how knowledgeable children were in the workings of the government as defined by the U.S. Constitution. He wrote, “It cannot be doubted that, in the United States, the instruction of the people powerfully contributes to the support of a democratic republic;”

When you compare the America of the early 19th century to today, you will find students, even college graduates, who have no sense of history, no sense of the mechanics of our government at any level, and no sense of current events. Somehow we dropped the ball along the way. We now have a couple of generations of Americans who are content to limp along as apathetic sheeple. The second graders of the 1830’s are mental giants by comparison. Not surprising, the politicians of today appeal to the voters through emotion rather than logic. It has become too easy to deceive and misdirect the under informed public.

However, for those who want to get back on track, to learn about the government and current events, there are plenty of resources available.

1. Discuss – learn to discuss such subjects with your family, friends and colleagues, but be careful, political discussion can lead to arguments and disrupt harmony. If you can find such people though interested in participating in discussions, it can make for some interesting mental gymnastics.

In schools, it would be nice to see government and history courses reintroduced, and, No, not just from the 20th century forward. How about the 18th or 17th centuries instead?

Understand your rights as a citizen and the the mechanics of government by becoming familiar with our governing docs.

Two books come to mind which can help:

“The 5000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen, is an excellent primer to describe why our government is organized the way it is. As far as I’m concerned, this should be on the reading list for every high school student.

For those who wish to be a little more ambitious, let me suggest Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” which provides interesting insight as to the differences between the United States and the rest of the world. The book is rather thick, but stimulating nevertheless.

Learn to read and watch the news. More importantly, challenge the accuracy of the news and beware of newscasters trying to spin it.

2. Write – Want to do more? How about writing your Congressman? Whether you voted for them or not, these people are charged to represent you. Do not hesitate to ask questions or discuss your views on certain subjects. Remember, they work for you, not the other way around. You can also write the President of your concerns. Also learn to contact your local and state officials.

While you’re at it, post your views in your local newspapers in the “Letters to the Editor” section.

You may also wish to contact the various political parties to pose a question or comment, such as the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, or the Libertarian Party.

Linking to such political and news organizations via social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook, is also a good way of staying abreast of news stories, and opinions.

3. Activism – finally, volunteer your time in various political and nonprofit organizations, thereby allowing you to rub elbows with people of similar interests and help push forward those items you feel are important. As we approach the mid-term elections, and you are interested in party politics, you may want to hold a sign or walk a neighborhood in support or your favorite politician or cause. Just remember to maintain your composure, especially when doors are closed in your face.

As Tocqueville suggests, citizens have an implicit civic responsibility to become educated in the workings of government and to maintain a sense of history. Becoming a sheeple is not conducive for improving government.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY? – What the “separation of church and state” really means.

LAST TIME:  THE MYTH OF EQUALITY  – More than anything, equality is about ego.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Government | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE MYTH OF EQUALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 30, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– More than anything, equality is about ego.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The Declaration of Independence tells us that all men are created equal, but we sure don’t want to be treated as such when we get older. Americans steadfastly and openly proclaim their belief in the concept of equality, yet adamantly refuse to be treated in this manner. Equality, therefore, is an American myth and one reason why we tend to act more like stubborn individualists as opposed to team players. Being treated equally and fairly sounds nice, but it’s a matter of who knows who, and what we can do for each other (aka, “Politics 101”).

Waiting in line is a good example of everyone being treated equally; basically, everyone waits their turn in line, but inevitably there are people who want to cut in line, or go directly to the front of it and are willing to pay handsomely to do so. Celebrities and the rich pay for special privileges, e.g.; to get the best table in a restaurant, the best medical treatment, legal breaks, free drinks, and the best seat in the house.

Equality in business is definitely a myth. First, you have to understand companies act more like dictatorships as opposed to democratic institutions. We use job titles to differentiate people and reflect the chain of command. Organization charts, which depicts a hierarchy, represents documented proof that people are not equal, even if it is nothing more than a management versus labor relationship.

Even in nonprofit organizations and fraternal groups that openly promote the concept of equality, you will not find it. Instead, you have people craving recognition through titles, sashes, badges, pins, and other such nonsense, thereby trying to delineate themselves from everyone else. Basically, it’s a game of one-upmanship. As an aside, I find it amusing when a a person who didn’t accomplish anything in their professional career, tries to find glory and power through nonprofit organizations. I refer to this as “much ado about nothing.”

There are three areas where people try to differentiate themselves:

* Their physical attributes, such as strength, size, abilities, and appearance.

* Their intellect whereby we try to discern who is smarter than who.

* Their social attributes, which is probably the most powerful of the three, as defined by wealth, personal connections, social standing, and conduct.

More than anything, equality is about ego and we are taught at an early age not to be just be as good as someone else, but to be better than them; and if you cannot be better than them, then undermine them every chance you get. Compare this to the Japanese who are taught at any early age to work together collectively towards common goals. Even as you enter the workforce you are placed on an even footing with others in your “class.” It is only after a number of years working at the company (ten normally) when it is decided what your position and job title will be. The Japanese may not tout equality in their culture as much as the Americans do, but it is much more ingrained in them than the Americans.

In the United States, we have a lot of rights, we have a lot of rules, but we really don’t have as much equality as people believe we do, which is why I call it a myth. You might have an understanding about racial, gender, and social rights, but you will never have equality in the minds of the American masses. So, please put down the placards saying you want equality. Don’t make me laugh. You don’t want equality, you want to leapfrog ahead.

I am reminded of the story of the ant and the aardvark who happened upon one and other on the street. The ant being somewhat nervous about the aardvark’s intentions said to him, “Brother Aardvark, it is good to see you. We are both creatures of the earth, we both drink the same water and breath the same air. We’re equals.” The aardvark shot out his long sticky tongue and devoured the ant in the blink of an eye, burped, and replied, “I’m afraid you’ve been misinformed my boy.”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER – How to become conversant in politics and government.

LAST TIME:  FAILING TO ACT  – It goes well beyond insanity.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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