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Tag Archives: stereotypes

Move over MBTI, there’s a new acronym on the block. Well, I don’t think the HBDI is as useful as the MBTI, but the Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument gives another perspective. A person is supposed to primarily think in one of the following ways:

  • Analytical
  • Sequential
  • Interpersonal
  • Imaginative

It’s not entirely obvious to partition the types of thinking into those categories so it takes a bit of thinking (but what type?) to grasp. My 30 seconds of searching didn’t find any online tests to find out my HBDI; although I have a good idea of what I should fit under.

I’ve taken to checking TSN on a regular basis again, as a means to get my hockey news. Maybe it’s just to count the weeks between Leaf wins. I read it for the articles, but I’ve also started reading the comments. I can’t say it is good use of my time.

There is a stereotypical caricature of a sports fan, and one should not be prejudiced; but it feels like all the commenters are half-blind bulls. They are so head-strong in their belief that they will take any opportunity to say that the Leafs should bring up Kadri, or Price should be traded, or Ovechkin >>> Crosby.

I wonder if this is a case of internet persona or they really cannot grasp big-picture fundamentals?

When I get lazy with blogging, I just post links to some neat stuff around the web:

The Cult of Mac tells the story of a lucky 17-year old kid who got himself a girlfriend by jacking her iPod, not in the sense of stealing it but by plugging his jack into her player (oh euphemisms abound) and asking for her screen name.

Five years ago, the premise for this would have been laughed at, but now that younger folks are solidly entrenched in the MySpace Generation. Old people like us will be more and more detached from what’s cool.

As an aside, we really are from a different generation than these generation @-ers. While we’ve integrated computers into our daily lives, we don’t interact with our friends on such a geeky level like that mentioned in the Business Week article.

random thought that occured to me right now: there are a lot of short people (interns) at work, much more than i would have though considering everyone is at least college age. weird? or stereotypical of people in technical fields? i guess that it is odd to be in america and to be of above average height; it’s not like i’m in asia or anything.

it seems like everyone is switching to gmail because it’s good and you got lots of space and well, because it’s made by google. it’s even got the aura of being official email, that is people are willing to put it on their resumes as if it were an academic email or something. but really, is gmail any different than a yahoo email address or a hotmail address?

sure you may have been able to get your full name because you were an early adopter, but nothing stops me from taking a random person’s name as my gmail address does it? especially considering it’s rumored that gmail is going public on april 1st 2005. it’s not that much more difficult to create say 50 dummy gmail accounts than hotmail accounts is it?

so why do people hold such high regard for gmail? is it the spam blocking? the killer ui? nah i think it’s the mystique of google which may not necessarily be justified.

This is my article that made it into the upcoming issue of Iron Warrior. Relevant to us n’est-ce pas?

This week’s Time Magazine has an article about “twixters”. What are twixters? Although it would seem to make a lot of sense, they aren’t actually people who collect Twix. They are people in the twenty-something age group who aren’t kids anymore, but haven’t yet become adults in the sense that they aren’t ready to settle down and start a family. I think the best way to describe a twixter is one who has just graduated from university.

It seems that in the last 20 years or so, western civilization has stopped marrying in the early 20s and delayed marriage for almost ten years. During these extra ten years of freedom, they’ve been bouncing between jobs, trying new things, travelling, sleeping around, and most importantly enjoying their lives. Of course they’re not completely wasting their lives; they’re picking up practical life skills that school hasn’t exposed them too and saving money by living at home. The article cites that 20% of twixters are still living at home at age 26, double the percentage that lived with their parents in the 70s. The norm of a 40 year old, balding geek with a big beer belly living in the basement of his parent’s house is not so far off anymore.

A second reason for the increase of twixters is that it’s become difficult to be economically independent by your early 20s. Most new graduates coming out of university at age 22 or 23 are burdened by student loans and will have to end up carrying more debt to buy a house and a car. The thought of raising your progeny without a stable income doesn’t seem to appeal to most people.

Being an engineering student at Waterloo does have its advantages. While our program lasts longer than other universities, we end up with fewer student loans (those 15% per year increases in deregulated programs don’t really help!), and pick up those valuable life skills over Coop. We shouldn’t have problems to the same extent that twixters do; but unless you’re lucky and well off, you will still have to save up before you can build a home for your family.

It would be unfair to say that being a twixter didn’t have its advantages. When you’re not tied down with a family, you have so much more freedom. Can you imagine having to bring your wife to a strip club in Vegas? neither could I (but if you could, then she’s a keeper). Without a home, you have no responsibilities. All your income is disposible so you can buy the latest high-definition portable plasma media centre that you’ve been salivating over. And perhaps the most important thing, if you don’t sleep at night it’s because you chose not to, not because your goddamn baby keeps crying and waking you up.

I made a joke near the beginning by saying that a twixter is someone who has just graduated from university. I’m in 4B so this is my last term as an undergrad and I can confidently say that very few people really know what they will be doing a year from now. Oh sure, people have plans to travel or maybe they even have a job, but these seem like putting off the inevitable decision rather than taking the next step and getting on with your lives.

I remember being in OAC (a long time ago), and I had to make a life altering decision; I had to decide where to go for university. I could’ve stayed at home and attended the University of Toronto, or I could move out and go to Waterloo (or I guess to some of those other universities which can’t compare to the high quality education I received here). The consequences were huge, but the conclusion was reached relatively quickly.

This time around, the decision is not as easy as it was in high school. University and Coop were supposed to help us decide what we’re going to do, but it seems most likely that if you’re in fourth year and clueless about what you’re going to do in the future, you will for better or worse end up as a twixter.

it’s too early to get all retrospective-like about university, but i thought it would be a good idea to make a list of what we really learned in university. you know how they say you learn skills for the workforce, or you learn to learn etc, well that’s a lot of bull, we know the truth. here’s the list i got so far:

  • i don’t have to do anything for four months because i can cram everything in 2 days.
  • if i do badly at something, i can complain and complain and get marked at a lower standard
  • i now know how to bullshit a 30 page document. overnight.
  • i know all sorts of bad ways of teaching.
  • a learning institution should give you lots of useless, pointless, endless labs on stuff you haven’t learned before or will never learn.
  • people will pay for bad teaching, and keep paying more and more.

can you think of anything else? let me know in the comments

an interesting article about why the world’s population is getting fat, and getting fat so quickly. here are some choice quotes.

Foreyt noted that 80 percent of African-American females are overweight, and that Hispanic women were the second-heaviest group.

i guess sir mix-a-lot was just preparing everyone for the inevitable.

“Japanese cars—the ones sold in Japan—don’t have drink holders,” New York Times health columnist Jane Brody said at the Oldways conference. “The Japanese don’t eat and drink in their cars.”

interesting how the american fast food industry permeates into other industries.

cities tend to have lower rates of obesity than suburbs or rural areas. Few residents of Manhattan, for example, own cars. The density of the urban landscape allows one to walk to the drug store, subway, or dry cleaner.

there’s a well-written (and really old, 1996!) article on slate suggesting that asian-americans are the new jewish people and by extension this applies to azn’s in canada. the writer brings forth the argument that first generation immigrants usually focus their kids on studying above all else so they will have a better standing in life. but by doing this, they don’t see or show their kids the importance of a well rounded life. apparently, jewish people once felt this way but have since lived in america long enough to understand that studying is a means, not an end. it’s interesting to see what if anything has changed over the past 7 years. while asians as a whole still do well in school, i think they’ve also become more well rounded, there are fewer bookworms. this may be because this generation’s kids in canada have more power over their parents or have adapted to canadian lifestyle quicker than the previous generations of immigrants, but they haven’t quite broken out of the mold yet. in fact, i would say the whole pressure-cooker style education is even worse now than what the previous article described. back when i was a kid, there was perhaps only one place to “supplement” your education (kumon), and maybe only one person went there in your entire class. now there are hundreds in toronto alone and every single (chinese?) kid goes to one even if only to keep pace with their friends. perhaps all this pressure and stress will produce adults who are better at time management, multitasking or whatnot. parents will say that they’re just looking out for their kids but looking back i think everyone can say that being a kid was great. you could play all day because you had no responsibility; but ever since then your responsibility has just grown and grown. why rob kids of the best stage in their life? is it really worth it? remember, we’re not like james bond, you only live once.