Sunday, August 16, 2009

Disclaimer added

I have added a disclaimer to the blog after I was accused that some of my blog posts were injurious. Each of the posts at this blog reflect my personal opinion. However, if you feel I have made false statements about you or an organization you represent, contact me specifying what is wrong. If you do not contact me about these errors, I am no longer responsible for their presence at this public blog.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Art of Communication

We all communicate all the time, using words, intonation, hand movements, body postures, facial expressions, etc. We do it in person, by e-mail, on the phone, by snail mail, in books and journals.

Communication is an Art. Just like some people are excellent Artists, and some just plain suck, the same happens with communication. Some people are very good at it, and some, well, not as talented.

So, what happens if someone decides that communication is overrated, and start assuming or interpreting? It is when the shit hits the fan, because it is so error prone. That is why I generally try to ask what is going on, and it makes that I sometimes only after some time come to the conclusion that I actually agree or disagree with what happened in a specific situation.

In the context, I think I can safely say that if you really want to piss me off, assume that I do things for a specific reason without asking me. Because most of the time, you are wrong. I especially get really pissed when someone assumes that I have very negative emotions. I most of the time do not have them, and even when I do have them, it is generally short lived.

And if you really want to know, use an assumption of how I feel as a reason to for example end a friendship or business relationship. If you really cannot say why YOU want to do that, do not invent reasons that I supposedly have. It really pisses me off.

And now that we are talking about pet peeves, never ever ignore when I respond to your unsubstantiated claims about how I feel.....

Communication is an Art, and if used properly, it can help resolve many many issues. Most issues start with poor communication. When a situation has gone bad, resolution often starts with recognizing that the feelings of the other are valid. Your own feelings are always valid. So are those from your opponent. One thing I find fascinating in the US is that many discussions I have seen will escalate as they become black and white. I have encountered that much less in the Netherlands. I think that is because everything in this country at a political level is split down the middle, due to a two party system. In a multi-party system, you are forced to find common ground all the time with other parties, because hardly ever will one party have an absolute majority. But I digress....

When two people (or groups) fight and one retreats to their own little island of (perceived) righteousness, there will be only losers. And that is sad. Unfortunately, it takes two to tango....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cage fight: Mental versus physical disability!

I am enraged. I went to see the soloist. The soloist is about how a mental illness can destroy the life of a gifted man. A man who ends up at the streets of Los Angeles, one of the 60,000 homeless people there. Many of the homeless have mental disabilities.

Mental disabilities are incredibly underestimated by many people because it does not show. You often cannot see when the person behind you in line at the supermarket has a mental disability. You won't see that it took all the energy that person had to go and do the shoppings.

When someone is missing a limb, it is easy for an outsider to have compassion because we can imagine how difficult it has to be to get around with one leg, in a wheelchair, not seeing anything, or being deaf. But there is more to it. It is very hard for us to imagine that your brain is taken over by voices that talk to you. How do you imagine that? How do you imagine that your brain is not working the way it is working? It is not like hearing voices like we do. We can shut those voices out because they are from outside our brain. That is easy. But when those voices come from the inside, how do you shut those off with the brain that is making them?

In the movie, Mr Ayers has paranoid schizophrenia. It is just one of the many versions of mental disabilities. There are many more. Some milder, some more severe.

What I hope is that our society becomes more social, and starts to treat mentally disabled people with more dignity.... You can always hope.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Slow Facebook with Vista and Firefox

My Facebook pages were pretty much impossible to load in Firefox after I got a new computer with Vista 32 bit....

After some digging around, I found a website that suggested to look at add-ons that could be an issue. One mentioned the Skype add-on specifically. So, I disabled all add-ons and yes, facebook was fast again! I then enabled them one by one (ok, three by three), till I had only a few add-ons remaining, including skype. Once I turned that one on, facebook became slow as you can imagine again! And honestly, I can live without the Skype add=on, so that one is now permanently disabled! {Problem solved