Friday, 28 October 2011

My Dale Carnegie Notes

Finally assembled.

Part I

  1. Don't criticise, condemn or complain (my thoughts on this here). 
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation. Premised on the notion that "The greatest urge driving man is the desire to be important." (also more thoughts of mine here). 
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want. It is the only way to get them to do something
Part II - Get people to like you
  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person's interests. 
  6. Make the other person feel important
Part III - How to win people to your way of thinking
  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. If you lose an argument, you lose it. If you win an argument, you lose it
  2. Never say "you are wrong".
  3. If you are wrong admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Get the other person saying "yes, yes" immediately. A double agreement, a Socratic dialogue technique
  6. Let the other person do the talking
  7. Let the other person think the idea is his.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view. A home truth: it is fun getting people to like you. 
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires. Self-pity is, after all, a motivator. 
  10. Appeal to their nobler motives. 
  11. Dramatise your ideas. Same concept of telling a story, give people a main character with which to identify and create some drama. 
  12. Throw down a challenge. Because everybody loves the game
Part IV - How to change people
  1. Begin with honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes first. Why doesn't this one come first?
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement.
  7. Give the other person a reputation to live up to.
  8. Make the error seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest. This seems like a goal more than a principle.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Quote of the day

“The challenge of defending free markets and limited government is that you’re telling people there’s no Santa Claus,”

By Daniel Mitchell, senior fellow with the Cato Institute

Read the full article / context here

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Not as dumb as it sounds

If you have not yet subscribed to then I have one question for you: what are you waiting for?

Helping manage this site is one of my jobs, and something I enjoy immensely. DumbAgent started as a hobby and quickly grew into something more.
With initial help from various sides - shout out to Jason and Heidi - Ocean and I run the day to day on this site: to we bring our shared belief in free markets, rational economics, and human intelligence to make the right choices (or learn from the wrong ones).

Here is a selection of posts I think you will enjoy.

1. Why the Friendship Paradox is not one.

2. Made in the USA (or anywhere else for that metter).

3. Why glasses do not make you smarter.

4. There is enough water for the whole world.

5. What diversity means, and how it will make your life better.

And see here for an introduction to the Dumb Agent Theory - agree or disagree?

And a list of the posts I personally authored.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Let's conform to individualism

Priceless quote on BBC News site today, by David Lloyd:

"Anonymous needed an all-purpose image to hide their identity and also symbolise that they stand for individualism - V for Vendetta is a story about one person against the system"

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Diets are bad

Nobody every listens to me when I talk about dieting, because I'm too skinny so I've never dieted - although you'd think someone would notice why I might know something they don't.

But anyway, as you may know I don't believe in dieting as healthy life choice and when people think they are healthier for cutting out white bread or meat it makes me want to break stuff. So this slideshow made me so happy.

Weight gain or loss is based on calorie intake versus energy burned. The rest is garnish. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Thank you team Gessi

I have an opinion on everything

My husband requested that I change the title of this blog to be the title of this post.

I refused. But wanted to acknowledge his request. So, husband, this one is for you.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Being right doesn't mean you are not wrong

More about the #OWS and #OccupyLSX

The London protesters claim to be taking to the streets to protest "capitalism". And they want to spread the word through Twitter. Using smart phones. As they camp out in their variety of tents purchased from sporting-goods stores.

I am making assumptions, I know. The point however stands: that these are people who use the fruits of capitalism, some may even be business owners themselves. What they are protesting is actually crony capitalism: favouritism, protectionism, collusion and regulatory capture. Again: I realise I am making assumptions, but I am basing this on numerous sound bytes from the various protests.

What does confuse me is the theory that large government would in somehow work in ways different to large corporations. They are best buddies now, and we see what we get for it.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Problem With #OWS

I don't disagree with a lot of their gripes. But with too many of the protesters, you get the impression they themselves don't understand their own gripes.

See Katherine Ernst's piece in City Journal:

When life is exponentially easier for you than it was for most of the world throughout most of human history— right up until the mid-twentieth century—boredom creates a vacuum. To be a hero, you have to create your own dragon to slay. ... Mastering the intricacies of credit-default swaps so as to articulate an effective reform of the broken financial system? Way too tough. Better to create a dragon that can only be slain with performance-art zombie metaphors.
New York magazine polled “100 protesters who are in it for the long haul.” ... 55 percent didn’t vote in the last election (you might want to try the ballot box first, guys). The real takeaway is this, though: 34 percent are “convinced the U.S. is no better than, say, Al-Qaeda.” In other words, a significant percentage of this tiny-but-loud group of protesters are chasing a dragon.

Monday, 10 October 2011

For the "after"

When I pass away, have my body donated to medical research. I have no interest in sticking around, in a box or a vase, as a weight and obligation to those I leave behind. I don't want people visiting my grave and remembering me... dead. Remember me alive. And I better be smiling. And if you forget my face it doesn't matter. Just remember how I made you feel, if I made you feel good; if I ever made you smile or feel life is a fun place to be. That's what I want to leave behind.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

USA Trip - Play

There was some play as well.

In Washington DC I stayed with family, who positively spoiled me with wonderful food, plentiful wine and generally being available and helpful. My US family are very good about keeping in touch. They have reunions every couple of years, and people tend to have a good grasp on what is going on where. But still: I see them once every few years, over a 2-3 day period with dozens of people present. It was nice to have a few days to just hang out with my aunt, uncle and cousins, and learn a little more about their lives.

My Aunt Sandra even drove me to Mount Vernon, which was a great trip.

In New York I stayed with brother-in-law Angelo, who also spoiled me in a night out on the town, and then high school buddy Veronica. Ok all my hosts were wonderful.

I managed to see a couple of friends, yay Vikki and - of course - Kari-Lynn who one day must reveal her shopping haunts to me. And, an added bonus, lunch with the fascinating Dr. Goose, of Economics Limericks fame (a new friend made via

That's my summary, now I should get some work done.

USA Trip - Work

You will have figured out that I was just in the US for a couple of weeks, business trip. This was related to Linex Systems, my day job, so to speak. 

We are looking to grow our presence in the New World, and mine was a preliminary trip to speak to people on the ground and learn about the local market. 

My schedule was fairly packed, I managed my 18 meetings in 6 days (my original target). In between meetings were quick stops at a Starbucks for a coffee, bite to eat and quick email check. The whole thing was rather tiring, but worth every minute. I won't get in to all the gritty details, but I will say the trip was a success, people were welcoming and forthcoming with information and overall extremely helpful.

I am excited about moving out and working in the United States. 

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve Jobs

Via The Taylor Institute's Facebook page:

From Walter Mossberg's column today in Wall Street Journal: "He insisted on the highest product quality and on building things to delight and empower actual users...As he liked to say, he lived at the intersection of technology and liberal arts." Steve Jobs was a great innovator and a great leader.

Saturday, 1 October 2011


Always believe in your souuuul
You have the power to know
You're indestructible
Always believe

You are GOLD!

Monday last, the 26th, I was at the Spectrum Ball, for the National Autistic Society. A great association helping a great cause. Which happens to throw great charity balls.

Last year's guest entertainer was Jools Holland. Let me say that again: Jools Holland!

And this year? Tony Hadley.
Let me say that, also, again: Tony Hadley.

Yes: I got to dance to Gold, LIVE! And, as it happens, also Rio. And Suspicious Minds, but sung by, you guessed it, Tony Hadley.

Props to the Savoy: great setting and good food.

Props to my guests for joining in with the silliness- I mean, awesomeness, on the dance floor.