Jordan B Peterson

I recently discovered Jordan Peterson’s videos through Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. I first saw Peterson’s interview with the British broadcaster where he eludes her attempt to make him seem like an offensive, non-PC, heartless villain. I’m enjoying learning more from this gentleman and scholar. (Yeah, I’ve noticed the dearth of gentlemen and scholars, too.)

What he says is straightforward, commonsense, and I think most people I know follow his advice already because they had parents who provided such wisdom. Yet I do know that we all have blindspots and that blame is a tempting easy-out. The video is a healthy reminder and we all need those from time to time.

Below is a sample of the videos Peterson has made himself. These videos are getting a lot of attention and call for more responsible, mature behavior from all of us. No more Peter Pan Complex.

Incredible Customer Service

I just read this set of slides for a marketing course I’m starting for my Library Science program. I’m stunned and gladdened to see such devotion to customers. I’m going to start shopping with Zappos.com.

Do you know of other companies with exemplary service? What do they do that’s a cut above the norm?

Red Velvet

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Dion Johnstone as Ira Aldridge, CST

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presented an excellent production of Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti. The story of the first African American to play Othello on the London state in 1833, the story explores racism. As we know, abolition was a hot issue in the mid-1800s. In England there were protests against the slave trade.

When Ian Keen, who starred as Othello, fell ill the manager of the Covent Garden Theater chose Ira Aldridge, a black actor from America to play Othello. Some in the cast were excited and supportive, but Ian’s son and another actor were strongly opposed.

Aldridge was a fine, thoughtful actor, whose goal was to work in London. He takes his art seriously and gives a passionate performance the first night. However, the critics were shocked to see an actor of African heritage on stage and their reviews were venomous. The manager, Pierre LaPorte is a good friend of Aldridge and he counsels the actor to tone down his performance. Yet we can see that Aldridge can’t rein in his perfectionism. His desire to bring Othello to life as he reads the play leads to disaster. A consummate professional, Aldridge pushes the edges of his performance.

The performances were all pitch perfect and the play was compelling as it showed a chapter of theater history, I wasn’t aware of. The play has been produced in London and New York. If it comes to your hometown, I highly recommend you check it out.

King Lear

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This month’s Great Books read was King Lear, a play I’m not all that fond of because I think Lear was foolish for coming up with that contest which pitted his daughters against each other to publicly state how much they loved him. Then he acted like he knew nothing about these women and put his future in the hands of the two most selfish adult children I’ve ever seen.

So after reading the play, rather than rereading it, I watched the 2008 BBC/PBS production of King Lear starring Ian McKellen. Wow! This masterpiece gave me a new appreciation of the play. The acting highlighted the lust Regan and Goneril had for Edmund, as well as Poor Tom’s (a.k.a. Edgar’s) status and his parallel status to Lear. When reading I can confuse characters like the sons-in-law, but viewing a production eliminates that.

I still think Lear –

  1. should have kept ruling since he didn’t want to completely relinquish his power, no matter what he claimed and shared power wasn’t going to work and
  2. should have thought about his daughters’ personalities for a minute or two and realized how this game of his would end badly.

As usual Shakespeare created intriguing characters, most of whom are flawed. He creates parallels such as Glouster’s literal blindness (in addition to his figurative blindness towards Edmund his conniving illegitimate son) and Lear’s blindness towards his daughters.

I still wonder:

  • Why Kent didn’t take leadership with Edmund acting as a mentor? It seems that he chose suicide instead.
  • Are we really to believe Gloucester, though blind, believed he had fallen off a cliff, when in fact Edgar had tricked him and protected him? That wasn’t believable. When a person’s falling there’s a certain sensation independent of sight.
  • What was Shakespeare’s aim in writing this play? Some argue its a look at old age because a lot of families have difficulty when elders retire. However, while I can see this applying to elites from Queen Elizabeth to Prince Charles (though I think she’s assured of a roof over her head no matter what and her holding on to the crown has to do with Charles’ marriages and his personality) or a CEO and founder of a business empire, I don’t believe it applies to middle class families.

Even though I don’t buy the premise of the story and found so many characters unlikeable, e.g. Regan, Goneril, Oswald and Edmund. While I can understand their motivations, they’re so loathsome.

Here’s a discussion of Lear from the BBC’s program “In Our Time.”

Some favorite quotations:

King Lear:

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is To have a thankless child! Act I, Scene 4

Kent to Oswald:

A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition. Act II, Scene 2

Lear to Cordelia:

“No, no, no, no! Come, let’s away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we’ll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we’ll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out;
And take upon’s the mystery of things,
As if we were God’s spies: and we’ll wear out,
In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.” Act V, Scene 3

 

Why is Printer Ink so Expensive?

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We got a new printer and it seems we’ve been replacing the expensive cartridges way too frequently. I had to call Epson to because though the ink had just been replaced, the screen insisted we needed to replace the ink. How maddening!

Anyway, while I was waiting for the call to be answered, I did a search on the costliness of printer ink, a product that should be relatively cheap, but sure isn’t.

I found and read three articles and learned the following:

  • Ink can cost from $13 to $75 per ounce. Mind you this is more than gasoline, milk, whiskey or champagne. A gallon of ink could run you $9600.
  • While the size of the exterior of the cartridge looks the same, producers like Epson and HP are making the space inside where the ink is held has gotten smaller. So you’re purchasing less ink than you did a few years ago. Talk about deceptive.
  • When you print in black and white, the printer will use some colored ink as well as the black. That’s not necessary.
  • Printer/ink companies have sued office supply stores like Office Depot and the makers of generic cartridges to make them stop offering cheaper ink refill options. (I’m getting sickened.)

I’m sickened by the deception. Just conduct business above board. I’ve linked the articles below and posted them on social media.

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Source: Consumerreports.org

Once a representative got on the line, I mentioned these facts and asked that the rep to forward my request that Epson start to sell ink at an ethical price. I mentioned that I felt bad for the clerk because it wasn’t their plan to fool consumers. The clerk suggested I save money by purchasing ink at Best Buy, where ink is over $53 with tax. Not a bargain. Wouldn’t it be great if ink was priced fairly? That’s what I’d like to see. It should be $10 or $12.

References

Consumerreports.org (2013). The High Cost of Wasted Printer Ink. It’s pricey, yet tests show much of it may never hit the page. Retrieved on Dec. 28, 2017.

Forbes.com (Oct. 2006). Why does it Cost so Much to Print? Retrieved on Dec. 28, 2017.

Robinson, D. (Feb. 2013).  Printer ink cartridges: why you’re paying more but getting a lot less. Retrieved from Guardian.com on Dec. 28, 2017.

 

Orange

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While the story started out intriguing, Ichigo Takano’s Orange sure presents a lot of shilly shally-ing. This manga, or Japanese comic book, is about Naho, a high school student, who receives letters from her future self. The future Naho lives 10 years ahead of the present and somehow wants to advise the present Naho on how to prevent the cute new boy at school from committing suicide. Naho’s got a crush on the new boy, Kakeru, but she’s quite timid about that. Another boy, of course, has a crush on her and can see the chemistry between Naho and Kakeru.

Kakeru moved because his mother committed suicide so now he must live with his grandmother in the countryside. There’s never any mention of his father, which seemed odd. Kakeru feels responsible for his mother’s death. If he had only gone straight home after school that one day . . . The other characters have no special characteristics.

The story starts out intriguing, but Naho’s ever-present hesitation and questioning of the letters from the future make her extremely indecisive. Since the story goes for 384 pages, I expected some resolution. There wasn’t any. It ends with “to be continued.” So who knows whether Naho and her pals’ efforts changed Kakeru’s future. It doesn’t seem worth reading another 300+ pages, many of which will probably be repetitive to find out.

The art is pretty standard Japanese manga style. More creativity in the art would have helped, but I don’t think the publishing companies care.

Google Greed

I’ve come to really enjoy finding new YouTube channels like A Booktube Book, The Loftus Party, Eat Your Kimchi, Meejmuse, Two Hearts One Seoul, Life Where I’m From. These people clearly work hard and create high quality videos that YouTube doesn’t pay to produce.

I just saw that YouTube is cutting back on their creators’ pay by demonetizing videos (see the video at the top). Huh? What’s more they don’t give any warning to their creators. People have lost 80% of their income in some cases and they weren’t told that what they created would be demonetized. Can you imagine doing that to say Big Bang Theory personnel or

Google makes an estimated $8.5 billion USD. They don’t pay for production or development of content. They offer a well known site, but it’s nothing that can’t be replicated. No one is going to go to the site if it’s an empty void with a Red and White logo.

One solution is described above with the idea of sponsorship. The problem is that I can’t see sponsoring each channel I like. It’s as if you didn’t just pay for each cable channel you wanted but you had to pay for each show. Do people want to subscribe to cable, Netflix, Hulu, and each YouTube channel. If you subscribe for $4.99 per month for each channel (and with YouTube you don’t know if how much programming you’ll get in a month because life happens and sometimes the channels don’t have new content for weeks).

Cutting revenue by 80% by a multi-billion dollar company is pure greed from a company that’s got trouble with free speech issues.

Now that’s another problem with YouTube. It’s censoring or restricting videos with content it disagrees with.

Do no evil? right.