About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

My Pandora "radio station" profile
This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

My Yahoo "radio station"
(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

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Hero - it's a nice boy notion that the real world's gonna destroy. - Steve Taylor In the last couple of days I've seen two blog entries from totally unrelated blogs aboutHeroes?

Will at Work Learning: Take the Original Learning Research Quiz I took this quiz a couple of years ago after seeing Dr. Thalheimer at an e-Learning Guild event. I thought IInstructional Designers: do you know what you think you know?

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » “The Dead Zone” Breaking News According to the shows creator/producer, Shawn Piller, the season starting next SundayThe Dead Zone: Back from the dead

What is the fascination people have with completely non-descriptive buzzwords? And buzzwords with version numbers?! What the heck is the point of that? That is completely faddish and just plainLearning 2.0: useless buzzword

Well, apparently one does. I don't know if anyone else saw this coming, but I was completely blindsided. Disney just bought Lucasfilm, including the rights to all their films - and mostStar Wars VII, VIII, IX... and beyond?!

Alright, I'm confused. How could my theme CSS have been reverted back to default? Does that mean someone hacked my site? If so, I guess I'm fortunate that only myTheme of the day... confusion

Andre Agassi survived his battle with 8th seed Marcos Baghdatis tonight to move into the third round of play. I only saw about half of the final set of this match,Agassi: Still alive

My wife's opinion differed a bit from mine (as usual... ;) ). Like me, she wanted to know more about what he was like after beating the addiction. The textReview: Ray (another perspective)

Doctor Who To Return For Fifth Season In 2010 - Slice of Scifi I can't say I really understand why they are doing this. Does everyone really need a full years'Doctor Who Takes a Vacation

I don't follow football. At all. Never have. Most of the time I'm surprised to learn that the Super Bowl is on. I used to appreciate the commercials and watched mostlyWhy I loved last night's Super Bowl

There were good and bad points to this [tag]movie[/tag]. First the good: the [tag]special effects[/tag] were really top-notch. Excellent work. And in the end, they were somewhat successful in getting meReview: King Kong

Today we're having an installation of "What to do, What not to do" for percussionists. What to do Back in college I had the privilege of seeing a percussion group called NexusPercussionists: Object lesson for today

A few things have bubbled to the top lately... here they are: Personal Finance Tom's Inflation Calculator I was looking for a calculator that would tell me how much my current salary wouldLinkList: Personal Finance + Sci-Fi edition

You never know what's going to make an impact on your kids. I don't mean an immediate "wow!" impact, I'm talking about the long term stuff. It may not even2 voices + 4 spices = 1 big impact

So your co-worker comes over and says, "Hey, you going to lunch today?" You say, "Sure. Where do you want to go?" "Well, there's Joe's Chicken Shack, or The Hungry Heiffer, orWheel of Lunch!

I’m a prejudiced idiot

Apparently, I’m prejudiced.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I persisted in believing an unfounded assumption rather than taking a few minutes to find out the truth. Because of that stupidity, I missed out on some enjoyment. Luckily, I can make up for that in this case. As I’ll come back to, that’s not always true.

The name “Five for Fighting” applied to a music group immediately conjured up images of hard, driving rock music, with lots of screaming and anger. It’s just the name alone that brought that image to mind. The only music I had heard from the group at that time was “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” which is one of my favorite songs. But I persisted in my faulty image, thinking that maybe this was the song that broke their mold, and the rest of their songs were just as I imagined.

Then I heard a couple more of their songs, and they were all very nice, acoustic piano-driven songs with thoughtful lyrics and beautiful orchestration. And still I rationalized. “Maybe they do one nice song per album.”

Eventually I realized that was a stupid assumption to make and I should look into the group and see if I was missing out on something great. Still, it took a while to do anything about it. In fact, it wasn’t until I started exploring Pandora that I really found out how stupid I am.

I had a lot of my facts wrong. First off, “Five for Fighting” isn’t a group. It’s a guy. He just figured his name was harder to remember than a marketing title, and he was right. I haven’t had any trouble remembering the name (which refers to a hockey penalty) – I just associated it poorly. Which leads to my other large mistake. It’s still amazing to me that presented with nothing but music that I loved, I still had this notion that the majority of Five for Fighting’s catalog would be stuff I hated. I’ve listened to probably 15 of his songs now, and I have liked all of them. Most share the same acoustic, orchestrated, piano-led sound.

While I have a few contenders for my favorite so far, I have to give the nod to the radio hit “100 years”.

That song perfectly blends many of the elements I love. Strong rhythm piano, nice orchestration, a distinctive sound, strong solo work moving into full instrumentation, and lyrics about the passage of time and life. I’m a sucker for the “time passing” motif.

So why, presented with only music that I love, did I persist in my prejudiced viewpoint? Ignorance. Ignorance is at the heart of all prejudice.

There are people who hate others based only on their race. They don’t get to know the people or what they stand for at all – they simply believe their prejudiced views, despite evidence to the contrary. The same applies to religion and politics. There are Republicans who recoil at anything labeled “Democrat” without any knowledge of the message’s content. Likewise, there are Democrats who cringe at anything to come out of a Republican’s mouth, simply because a Republican said it, with no regard for the content of the statement (or its context).

This problem of prejudice is exacerbated by the sound-bite driven, attention-deficit guided media coverage that focuses on isolated incidents or statements with no regard to context, frequently presenting a misleading, or even wholly inaccurate, picture.

Don’t allow prejudice to guide you. Don’t be ignorant. Don’t assume that you know; know that you know. Find out the truth. You don’t have to agree with it, but discover the truth. Unlike choosing which music group to listen to, some choices can have lasting and dangerous consequences.

And on your way out, take a listen to this lesser known Five for Fighting song that I discovered after I started paying attention.

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