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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Argh. I mentioned before that my site theme settings suddenly changed. Today I tried to fix it by upgrading to the latest version of WordPress. I was pretty sure thatSite maintenance

Ever want to know the difference between a switch vs. a patch panel vs. a hub vs. a gateway/router? HiveMinds :: View topic - New Network Hiveminds is a great web/tech boardSwitch/hub/router/patch panel -- terms defined

Obviously the European fascists are being hurt by the global economic problems. In an effort save money, they've apparently let their entire marketing department go. While I applaud their frugality,Slow economy affects European fascist marketing

Comcast ran an "exclusive" interview with Joss Whedon, creator of the scif-fi series, Firefly and it's follow-up movie, Serenity. Fans of the series have been talking about a movie trilogySerenity/Firefly — End of the line

I talked about this one before, but I had to mention that I just watched a Mythbusters episode on the Discovery Channel that confirmed that impairment is at least asImpairment while driving on phone > drunk driving

One of the things that surprised me most about Dr. Horrible was the quality of the music. I knew Joss Whedon had written a musical episode of Buffy The VampireHorrible music is really pretty good

In any Highlander movie, it's expected: heads will roll. In this case, though, it should have been heads of the film's creators. Why would you go and make a movie, probablyReview: Highlander: The Source

This is one of a series of articles I wrote for The Coalition of Awesomeness blog some time ago. The blog has since gone to an unfortunate (but very awesome)Myths, Magic, and Legends – From Atlantis to Camelot

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

"Dude," (for some reason this conversation frequently begins with "dude") "you're the most technical person I know. How can you not even have a cell phone?" This conversation (orThe Neo-Luddite Geek Technologist

Survey: Unethical Corporate Behavior Stems From Unrealistic Objectives and Deadlines First of all, the fact that this even warranted study is a heck of a condemnation of the corporate world. That,Corporate ethics

Writer's Blog: J.K. Rowling vs. Airport Security Somebody in the TSA has got to get a grip. [tag]J.K. Rowling[/tag] tried to return home recently and had a run-in with [tag]airport security[/tag]: Airport securityHarry Potter and the Paper-Cut Terrorist

(Grab your pacemaker, it looks like I'm making two posts in two days! Will the madness ever end?) A few things came to my attention today that I just couldn't waitWatchmen, Star Trek, and Star Wars (sort of)

The Simple Dollar » Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards Lately I've felt like Trent was recycling the same advicePersonal Finance on 5 business cards

To review: I'm talking about an article on ZDNet that tries to make the case for streaming first-run movies to a home theater. In the first part, I laid outMovie Theater vs. Home Theater (part 2)

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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