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Bakari
biodieselhau...
Male
Oakland, CA



 
Posted By Bakari

Follow this link:

 

http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/

 

If you are reading this post, that probably means you are subscribed to this blog.

Well, this is the last thing I will ever post here, ever.

 

So click the link above for more great random content from the brain of Bakari Kafele (and the old content, better organized and more readable)

 

At the top right you will find easy buttons to subscribe to the new one via email or RSS.

 

Then you can unsubscribe to this one (though there is really no need, because I won't be posting stuff here anyway)

 

Thank you for putting up with a 4000 character limit and links to MySpace for this long.

 


 
Posted By Bakari

 

http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/

 

I have known I should do this for years, but I have been too lazy.

 

My business website's blog server has a ridiculously restrictive 4000 total character limit, which makes it practically useless.

 

My main content has been MySpace since July of 2006, back before Facebook even existed, when I finally gave into making an account so I could blog, thereby ending my very bad habit of reading and writing and responding to posts on CraigsList Rant 'N Rave section.

 

I also have content on the blog section of FairCompanies.com (who filmed and host my most well known thing on the internet, the video about living in an RV in order to save both money and natural resources: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/living-small-when-home-is-a-150-square-foot-rv/

 

And I have been sharing a blog with my friend Beth who now lives in Taiwan, though neither of us has been very active on it.

 

Having been inspired by a request for a used bike buying guide and having no good place to post it, I have finally started my own blogger account.

 

After this, I will then be gradually moving all my old content - as a word document, 352 pages worth - to this new, much easier to navigate, more user friendly site.

 

http://biodieselhauling.blogspot.com/

 

I have long since come to understand that the reason I have never had any sort of consistent readership is because, much like in real life, I have nothing even remotely resembling a theme.  People subscribed to blogs because they cover a topic they are interested in detail.  My writing spans politics, science, social commentary, religion, bicycles, my own personal life, environmentalism, race, economics... the list goes on. 

I am interested in a lot of very different things.

I like to know a little of everything, even if it means being expert in nothing.  I feel you gain a better understanding of the world and life as aa whole when you can see how all the pieces fit together. 

This has not been the best financially, as I have gotten bored of nearly every job I've held and quit within a year (I'd had over 30 jobs by the time I started my business at age 27) eliminating any potential for benefits or 401Ks or raises that come only after a probationary period.

And it is no good for building a blog audience either.

 

But you know what?  That's ok, because I didn't start writing for the fame anyway.  I write to get ideas that are stuck in my head out of there.

 

But now at least, when someone does happen to be interested in something I've written, it will be easy to find and easy to read, and I will never have to suffer through the embarrassment of sending someone to MySpace again.


 
Posted By Bakari

As I mentioned in the main "Be Healthy", I found when writing it that this subsection of overall health was just too large to fit comfortably in with the rest (no pun intended). While not one of the basic fundamental pillars of health any more than any other specific ailment, given that the majority of individuals in our culture have unhealthy body fat percentages, maybe it is actually worthy of its own essay. Just keep in mind that everything to follow is meant to be considered from within the context of the main "Be Healthy" essay. (Since blogs are listed with the most recent entry on top, the main essay is immediately below this one. If you have not already, read that one first)
Having below a certain percent body fat does not automatically make you healthy!

*I've been using the term "weight" for the sake of simplicity, and out of laziness. We've all gotten accustomed to talking about weight. The common charts list something called body mass index (BMI) which considers only height and weight. Arnold Schwarzenegger weighed 260lbs when he competed. That gave him a BMI of 33. In other words, he was technically morbidly obese. However, he had a bodyfat percentage of only around 6%! The average American is around 25%(male)/35%(female). The average American is right on the border between "overweight" and "obese"; judged not by weight, but by the amount of the body which is composed of stored fat. A healthy fat percentage is nearly half of what most of us are, about 12%(men) / 20%(women) - women naturally have more fat than men, even when perfectly healthy. Our friend Arnold, obese by BMI standards, had half the bodyfat of a average healthy person at 6%. Muscle weighs more than fat. If you are trying to get more healthy, (not just look a certain way) you are exercising in addition to dieting. If you are exercising (at least if you are doing it right) you will gain muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, the number on the scale may actually go up, even while you need to use ever tighter holes on your belt to keep your pants from falling off.
Weight means nothing.
It is excess fat, not excess "weight", that contributes to a host of diseases, lack of fitness, and lack of longevity. Everyone has heard the list.
Two much more meaningful measures are fat percentage and strength-to-weight ratio. The first can be measured most accurately by being weighed while underwater (fat floats, muscle does not). More feasible and convenient, you can approximate body fat percentage at home with a tape measure and any of several free online calculators.

http://www.healthcentral.com/cholesterol/home-body-fat-test-2774-143.html
or
http://www.scientificpsychic.com/fitness/diet.html
They take different measurements, so will give you slightly different answers, but they will give you a good general idea of your fat percentage...

[as my readers are no doubt aware, this blog server has a character limit. The rest of this essay can be read here: http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/be-healthy-part-2-sub-section-fat.html
It has some fancy things in it: charts, pictures, even a cartoon! I spent a lot of time putting together information from a lot of sources - but if you don't want to take my word for it, I list those sources at the end. Read. Enjoy. Put into practice! Be healthy, my friend]

 


 
Posted By Bakari

The word "Health" has become almost meaningless.

This is due to a number of factors, but one of the chief ones, I suspect, is marketing.
It helps to sell things as "healthy" if there is no clear idea what that actually means.
I will resist the temptation to get into that whole topic...

What I do want to do is try to remove some of the abstraction, by breaking it down into its constituent parts. While the term itself eludes a single precise definition, there's a list of components that are part of it, and those parts are reasonably concrete.

 

-A lack of, resistance to, and/or ability to recover from, infection (by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungus, or parasite)

Even a healthy person may get the occasional cold, but they will get better more quickly
-A lack of, resistance to, and/or ability to recover from, (non-infectious-agent - such as diabetes or angina)
-A lack of, resistance to, and/or ability to recover from, injury
-Longevity (how long you live)
-General fitness*
-Mental/emotional health - I wholeheartedly acknowledge that this is a very important part of overall health; however there is so much to cover just considering physical health that I won't mention it here any further than this sentence.

Many people seem to get obsessively caught up on just one or two components, sometimes to the complete exclusion of considering the others. And as a result there are raw-foodists who can't do a single push-up, athletes who eat junk food, people who take all manner of drugs and vitamins, and others who take herbs and supplements and "superfoods", both thinking health can be reduced to just what you ingest.

 

When someone, be it a friend or an ad or even a doctor, claims that X food, Y herb, or Z activity, is "good for you" or "unhealthy" or whatever, ask exactly in what ways does it contribute to health? Which of these elements does it affect, and how? Personally, I suspect that extremely few of the millions of things passed off as healthy stand up to that sort of test.

 

Just to complicate things again, some of these components can sometimes conflict with others. For example, while strength leads to resistance to injury and pathogens, the process of exercise itself is sometimes the cause of injury, and intense exercise (which is the only effective kind) tends to lower immunity (although only temporarily). Similarly, exercise lowers the risk of most non-communicable disease, but at the same time higher metabolism rates accelerate aging.

 

Since some components can be considered in conflict with each other, it would be hard to say in absolute terms what is the healthiest a person can possibly be. None-the-less, there is clearly a range, from someone who is sick all the time, can't walk far without being winded, and dies at 50, to the people who are still running marathons at 70 and live to be 100.

 

[this blog space came free with my website.  It isn't very good.  It has severe character limitations.  The rest of this entry can be read here: http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/be-healthy-my-friend.html ]

 

 


 
Posted By Bakari

I guess I'm not all that surprised.

 

A video I did for an environmental blog (faircompanies.com) was posted on youtube.

It is up to 100,000 views.

I have been getting people all over the country tracking me down on Facebook and asking to be friends and asking questions after the see it.

 

Since there are probably plenty of people with the same questions who don't go to the trouble to track me down, I'm reposting my answers to some of those questions here:

 

--------

 

I can't believe how popular that video has become.  It was done with no preparation, no script, no practice, really not even a clear focus (they split the interview into 3 parts, but the other two never gained any viewers)

Its funny, I don't really even think of it as a "lifestyle".
I guess maybe because I've been doing it so long.
I bought a camper van right out of high school, which I slept in during the week to avoid having to commute to work. My girlfriend of the time went on a 2000 mile bike ride, and when she came back she suggested we get a full size RV and move in together. Eventually an opportunity arose to join a traveling carnival in the mid-west, so we set out across the country. We ended up spending a year on the east coast before moving back to the SF bay area. We upgraded to the trailer in the youtube video not long before we ended up getting divorced. For the past 4 years I've been in one place, and don't really consider the trailer to be a vehicle.

So I have been in 3 sizes and types of RV, full timed on the road and in trailer parks, and lived in different climates, different size cities, etc.

For the most part, living in an RV is a lot like living in a house. Driving an RV is like driving a car.

You know, I never thought of what I did as "scavenging" until that video was taken. I didn't come up with a script in advance, and was just making stuff up as I went along. I didn't know it was a movement either.

--------------------------------------------------
Find the answers to all of the specific questions I have been asked on my non-charcter limited blog, with MySpace (yeah, that's right, MySpace.  I could start over with a free blogger account.  But I don't feel like transfering everything.  Deal with it!)

http://www.myspace.com/pyrococcus_furiosus/blog/540882390


 
Posted By Bakari

I haven't written anything here in a very long time.

I have been too busy with living in the moment, experincing stuff.

All sorts of exciting stuff, which would make excellent topics for blog posts.

The long awaited Berkeley Bike Station 2.0 opened up!

I started going to CrossFit regularly.

I became an official polling place worker.  It was my first time ever doing it, and somehow I was designated as "Inspector", or the supervisor of the site.  I had hundreds of blank ballots sitting in my living room.  Fushi (my feline roommate) really liked to sit on those boxes of ballots.

I learned that I have videos on Youtube, talking about energy efficiency and living small and reuse and all that junk.  And that I have 89 THOUSAND views!!!!!!!!!
I started getting people writing to me (via facebook) to ask me follow up questions, people interested in fulltiming themselves.

I helped build a chicken playground for baby chicks, and then an outdoor run, and then a bigger run, and then an egg box, for 6 growing chickens.

I volunteered at the bicycle music festival, taking it upon myself to be the groups traffic director in minimize any potential conflicts between the cyclists and motorists.

And, of course, I joined the United States Coast Guard Reserve, and spent 2 months at bootcamp in Cape May New Jersey, doing push-ups, getting yelled at from 1 inch away by drill sergeants (they call them company commanders), and learning military protocol, marching, and a few boat handling skills.
I've had my first weekend of active reserve drilling, and am working on getting qualified to operate the 25' Defender class Response Boat, which I will someday use to patrol the San Francisco Bay and help stranded boaters and search for missing people.

Any one of these topics could easily make a whole blog post on their own.

However, I don't really feel like writing that much.

You're lucky you even got this much.

Until next time...

See you later,
and enjoy life


 
Posted By Bakari

As you may have heard, an oil rig has exploded off the Southern Coast of the US, causing a spill almost certain to be the worst in human history, with a potentially devastating impact on the local environment and everything that lives in it (which would be everyone that is alive).

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100502/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_drilling_rig_explosion

In the news, and in political emails, and among people's conversations, there is talk about what BP did wrong, how they might have prevented it, whether the government response was quick enough, how consumers should react....

But the truth; which almost no one wants to admit is:

This is OUR fault.
If you drive a car, ever, for any reason, you are personally responsible for the spill.

If you don't own a car, but sometimes you borrow one, or get a ride with a friend, or take the bus, or take a long-distance train, if you fly or travel by ship, that oil was being drilled for you.
If you are a hard-core oil abstainer, never travel long distances, do all short trips by bicycle, nearly everything you buy, food, clothes, books, paper, your bicycle, the computer you are reading this on right now, was both produced and transported with the help of oil.

We don't get to blame oil corporations, or government, or BP executives, and the capitalist economy.  It is US.  All of us. 
Instead of writing angry letters or boycotting a particular company, how about taking this opportunity to use a little less oil yourself.  However much that is, make at least a little change, and use a little less.

Buy something used which you would normally have bought new.
Ride public transit, a bicycle, or walk, when you don't have that far to go.
When you do drive, drive a little slower.
And stop accelerating toward red lights - it won't get you where you are going any faster anyway.


 
Posted By Bakari

A couple friends of mine are taking a class on being a "white ally" - race awareness and relations, power and privileged, and counteracting racism.

One of them mentioned to me some critical feedback she had offered and it got me to thinking in more detail what has always bothered me about those sort of discussions, but up until now never quite pinned down.

The following is not a commentary on that class in particular, as I know essentially nothing about it, but rather a critique of a few general ideas I have heard and read on the topic in the past:




1 There is no such thing as "people of color"
-The impact of past racism (including slavery) and present racism does not effect all races equally, nor all in the same way.
- A black american  and a white american likely have more in common with each other than with a fresh-off-the-boat Vietnamese person.  A white american whose family has been in the US for generations likely has more culture in common with a black american than with a first generation eastern european immigrant with whom they share skin color.
 -The very term "people of color" encourages white people to think in terms of a false dichotomy of 'us' (all white people) and 'them' (everyone else).  It not only homogenizes all other races, it also makes everyone not white into an "other".
-Lumping all non-white cultures into one category, while giving white an entire separate category in itself suggests a type of superiority.
-This dichotomy also discounts the existence of mixed race individuals (officially 2% of US society, but really much higher - most surveys, as well as society, force people to choose one identity, even if they are in fact mixed)

2 Historical racism is the single largest cause for modern black poverty, and poverty does generally correlate with crime. However no historical or sociological factors can excuse individual behavior.  No matter what circumstances a person is born into, they have a choice about their own behavior.  Apologizing for, ignoring, discounting, or explaining away black crime rates, drug rates, or general anti-social behavior (e.g. boombox on a crowded train) does nothing to increase equality, and does not bring less conscious white people about as allies. 

3 Discrimination is explicitly illegal.  Talking about "institutionalized" or "systemic" racism does not address the issues which are most relevant today.  While there are still white supremacists in the US, their view has become as unacceptable in mainstream society as it once was only among civil-rights activists.  The president of the US is 1/2 African.  This does not mean that the conversation about race is over.  However, it does mean it is time to change that conversation. 

For example, talking about power hierarchies is mostly nonsensical today.  If racism = racism + power (as is often claimed by race activists), this does not imply that only whites can be racist, because whites do not have any particular power over other races.  There are minorities in the role of police officer, judge, congress person, boss, professor, etc. as well as whites in poverty, in jail, or otherwise powerless.  If you ignore all individual circumstances and look only at the whole society, then no one can be racist, because society is no one person.


 
[this blog has a character limit.  The rest of it is here: http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/awareness-of-white-priveldge-vs.html ]

 
Posted By Bakari

"Turning-Hustlers-into-Entrepreneurs" discusses the possibility of increasing micro-credit in order to support independent "black market" business people.  As someone who has been running a successful off-the-books business for several years, I believe the major obstacle is not a lack of credit, but rather a government which is geared toward big business.

As the examples in the article illustrate, people are already doing what they are doing, without capital.  What they lack is official legitimacy.  Many entrepreneurs, such as myself, would love to "go legit", but it is not a realistic option.
I understand and support the idea that government regulate business to protect consumers.  The problem is that government does not take the size of a business into account in the requirements it imposes on operating legally.

For example, a single guy with a pick-up truck doing local deliveries pays the exact same state license fee as a company with a fleet of semi trucks.  The  least insurance available to him is a million dollars of coverage with a 1-2 thousand dollar annual premium, even if he never comes close to transporting a million dollars worth of goods.   Every city he works in requires its own separate business license.  If he needs to hire a subcontractor on occasion, he needs to buy worker's comp insurance at a minimum, and possibly more.  Being self-employed, he pays an additional tax (which an employer would otherwise cover).  And of course by staying underground, he avoids paying any income tax on his business revenue.

All of this can easily add up to thousands of dollars.  That sum may be inconsequential to a corporation with annual sales in the millions of dollars, but to a small independent, going legit would cost me about 20% of my entire net revenue, more than two months income.

The solution to this is not to finance small business to help them pay for theses fees - these fees are annual, and taking loans only increases risk.  The solution is to have license fees proportional to net revenue, instead of being fixed amounts, requiring insurance companies to offer a full range of coverage options, including (potentially less profitable) low limit policies, and restructuring tax code so there isn't a penalty to being self-employed. Similarly, laws making it difficult or illegal to run certain types of business from home could be relaxed, (for example, allowing small scale retail in otherwise residential districts), eliminating the need for a dedicated store-front, a major on-going expense.

Reducing the government imposed costs of running an independent business legally would , without the additional risk incurred (for both the investor and the entrepreneur) by accepting loans or the costs incurred by providing grants.  It would also increase tax revenue, by encouraging existing underground businesses to come above the radar and join the mainstream economy.

 
Posted By Bakari

The following was a "letter to the editor" I submitted to a progressive magazine in response to articles on global warming:


In "American Psychosis" you point to the many people who acknowledge global warming, but do not change much, if anything about their destructive lifestyles, and in "Hot Air" talk about the point of view of skeptics and deniers.

I run a certified green hauling business. I modified my delivery truck to get 30mpg (from 15mpg) and run it on 100% biodiesel made from recycled veggie oil. I also work part time supporting people who bicycle to work (at a business which runs at a loss because our main service is free). I live in a 250square foot home and use less than $5 worth of electricity most months.
I also have some background in science, including degrees in earth science and biology, and generally track down sources for claims I read.

Having read arguments on both sides, I am not convinced that humans are significantly contributing to climate change. While I admit I haven't kept up with the latest research, I have yet to see several points addressed:

1 The climate naturally goes through cycles of extremes. The current climate reflects roughly where it is expected to be. Our methods of determining past temperatures are not precise enough to tell us the rate of change over small periods of time in the past, and so it is difficult to determine if what we see today is abnormal.
2 Geologic data suggests that in past periods of climate change, temperature has always changed first, with CO2 levels changing as a result of temperature change, not the other way around. This does not necessarily indicate it is what is happening this time, but it could account for what we are seeing.
3 Climate predictions are only as good as the models they are built on, which in turn are only as good as the computers that run them. We simply do not have computers powerful enough to accurately model something as complex as the earth's climate. Last I heard, in order to reduce complexity to a manageable level, most models omit details such as water vapor (arguably the single most important variable) all together.
4 Human caused climate change is frequently referred to (particularly in liberal media sources) as having "scientific consensus". According to Pew Research center 86% of scientists concur. While 86% is clearly an overwhelming majority in a democracy, in science 14% is too large a minority to simply ignore.

But here's the thing:
It doesn't make one bit of difference if humans are contributing to global warming or not.
Whether we are causing it or not, its happening (that doesn't take predictions, just measurements - its happening)
Therefor we should prepare for it.
Even more important: independent of global warming, our lifestyles are harming the ecology of our planet. Even if an individual feels no moral reason to care about life other than humanity, it is undeniable that we are totally dependent on the environment for our own survival.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This blog server has a character limit.  The rest can be found here: http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/global-warming-revisited.html


 
Posted By Bakari

OMG
I am going to be the person in charge of my local polling place.
Democracy will literally be in my hands.

It will be my responcibility to ensure every vote in my neighborhood gets counted.


I am proud, and slightly terrified.

 

How it is I skipped over getting experince as a clerk first, I am not entierly sure, but I just got a very official looking notice in the mail, informing me that I'm gonna be the guy in charge this primary election, June 8th.

 

I start at 6am, work until 9pm, and I will have a crew of 5 people.

My designated polling place happens to be the same as where I normally go to vote, and its easy walking distance from my house.

 

 


 
Posted By Bakari

The science essay I told everyone I was working on has been written, and is in the final editing stages.  It will still be a while before it is ready for prime time though.

In the meantime, here is a short thing I wrote a while ago to someone (don't even remember who anymore) about the consept of a flat tax:

 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

The standard arguments for a flat tax make a couple of giant - and totally false - assumptions:

1)That the money which the rich spend and invest creates economic activity, growth, and jobs

2)That the rich have earned and therefor are entitled to their money.

3)That taxing the working class would generate more total tax money because there are so many more of them to tax

 

1)The investments of the rich do not generate economic activity. If they were not hoarding it, that same money would still be around. Business could get capital from government and bank loans, and from the stock market. That is, in fact, the whole point of the stock market, that capital is obtained from many small sources instead of one giant one.
Its as if one person hoards all the hammers in town, and rents them out to people, then wants credit for the houses other people built with them. If they weren't hoarding the hammers, the hammers would still exist. If they were distributed equitably, no one would need to rent them, therefor building would be cheaper, therefor more would get built. In this way the fact that someone is hoarding and charging interest actually depresses economic activity, because those hoarding the cash skim a little off the top of every financial transaction thereby increasing its cost.

2)The super rich do not earn, and therefor are in no way "entitled" to or "deserve" the money they have. Extremely few of the top 1% of wealth holders got there from some brilliant invention, and even fewer of the top .1%, .01%, and so on. Those at the very top get their wealth primarily from inheritance, and then build on it by collecting dividends and capital gains. They do not actually go to a job and do useful productive work.
Those who do make a salary are not necessarily earning their money either. CEOs make multimillion dollar salaries plus bonuses even when they run their companies into the ground, as we saw just recently, with even companies that needed to be bailed out with tax dollars giving their CEOs multimillion dollar bonuses.

3)The bottom 40% averages about 20k a year. Total annual income is 2.4 trillion.
The top 0.1% averages 7 million a year. Total annual income is 2.1 trillion.
300k rich people have nearly the same total income between them as 120million working class people.

The top 1% averages over 1million a year. Total annual income is 3.3 trillion, far more than the sum of every working class person in the country.

You could tax the working class at a rate of 69% of income and still not bring in as much tax money as you would by taxing the rich at a rate of 50%.
You can't squeeze blood from a turnip.

Furthermore, if you did that, the rich are left with, on average, half a million a year.
Half a million which, remember, they didn't really earn.
The poor are left with $6200.


In order to make a flat tax even approach "fair", you would have to make several other large changes to level the playing field.


First off, you have to eliminate ALL inheritance.  That means 100% inheritance tax on everyone, from ultra wealthy to middle class.  You earn your money in your lifetime, and then it gets recycled back into society.  There is no justification to say that a person is entitled to money they did nothing to earn. 

Second, you have to make education both free and mandatory from pre-school to at least bachelor's degree, if not more.

Third, you have to distinguish between income that comes from doing productive work (wages) from un-earned income such as dividends, interest, and capital gains.  Someone who merely skims off the top of other peoples work should be taxed at a higher rate then someone who actually earns their pay by working for a living and positively contributing to society.

When libertarians and the wealthy begin to fight to level the playing field, then and only then can they claim that a flat tax is about "fairness"

A flat tax is both impractical and immoral.


 
Posted By Bakari

Now people who couldn't make it can vicariously experience 4 separate components of the party.

 

Full Contact Spoons - the only existing recording of the greatest full contact sport in the world.  There is only 1 min and 17 sec worth because we are all old and fat and lazy.


Super Smash Bros - I am playing 3 on one (everyone against me) on one TV while simultaneously coaching the people playing Mario Kart on a different TV.
There is also a handicap against me.
And I won.
Repeatedly.
:)



Dancing - 4 hours worth.  I only wore the shoes for a couple songs



Cake at midnight - my comment at the end refers to the fact that 3 different people made/brought cakes, and they all independently put my signature smiley face on them


 
Posted By Bakari

On the popular TV show "The Office", the branch manager is a bit of a doofus.  He's not all that bright, he is totally obsessed with having his employees like him on a personal level, and he has very little knowledge of actual business or management theory.
He makes his superiors wring their hands and shake their heads - but the thing is, his office's sales record is the best in the company, so despite his many, many faux pax, he always keeps his job.

Nobody can quite figure out how he manages to do such a good job in spite of himself.

Even though he tells them quite clearly, time and again.

He considers his employees family.
He wants his customers to feel cared for.
He is more interested in making people happy than in making money.

You can't learn to be community based and to value clients as actual people in business school.  You can't use the idea of caring about people and being friendly to increase the bottom line, because if your interest is in the bottom line, you are genuinely interested in people.  You can't fake authenticity. 

Its either about the love, or its about money. Once you start thinking about rate of return ratios, receivables balance fractions, risk-adjusted profitability, or marginal value-added pricing structures, and all the other things one learns in business school, you are far beyond the point of seeing every person you work for and every person you work with as numbers.

From there it is a very slippery slope to the scenario described by "Jack" in Fight Club: If the cost of the average rate of settlement times the expected rate of failure is less than the cost of a recall for a known deadly manufacturing error, we don't do the recall.
In the end it comes down to morality.  Its either being moral, or maximizing profit.  They are mutually exclusive.

No business is going to have as their slogan "All we care about is your money", and a lot of them try in ads to sound like it isn't true; for any public corporation it is actually illegal for them to consider anything else above the bottom line - if they tried the shareholders could sue. 
For the vast majority of companies jumping on the band wagon, being environmentally responsible is a marketing gimmick as much as a catchy jingle.

Thinking in terms of doing productive work for society while earning fair compensation, as opposed to thinking of how to maximize revenue while minimizing costs will not (always) lead to the highest possible profits.

It will, I think, mean that business actually increases while the rest of the country is in an economic downturn.  It means getting so many referrals its necessary to turn jobs down after going a year and a half without any form of advertising.  It means when, inevitably, mistakes are made, no customer ever makes a claim, because they realize they are not just numbers, that every attempt to be careful was made, all actions in good faith. 
It means that quite a few of my customers make me meals while I'm working.

If a job is a paycheck, it will show through to the customer, no matter how you try to hide it.
If I am ever in a position to hire anyone, my first question will not be about education or experience or abilities or references.  My first and most important question is just this: Why do you want the job?  If its about pay and benefits, no matter how qualified, its "next please".

It has to be about the love.


 
Posted By Bakari

One of the things that happens when you get too old, you spend more time re-telling old stories than generating new ones.
I have a couple new ones now.

Everything went exactly as I had envisioned it, which I find remarkable considering how little planning and prep went into it.  Every portion was filled with participants, and all of you get the credit for that. All in all, not counting guests of guests, and the people who had to attend because it was in their house, about 35 people showed up, which is more people than I would have guessed I even know.

I want to extend a most enthusiastic thanks to everyone who came - however briefly - to my party, helping to make it an unmitigated success.
Most especially I wish to thank Greg for offering his house for the party, and Andy, Peter, Robin, Bret, Vern, and Vern's wife (who's name I don't remember since I met her then for the first time) for tolerating it.
Extra thanks to Peter and Jesse who helped me set up at the mansion and clean up again after, and Laura who helped me clear the field of poop, and to whoever found the 2nd N64.
Much thanks to Beth and Jessica who made 2 desserts each and my mom and Lois who brought one with candles - and all of them with my signature smiley face, "Banana Nose", my trademark since Jr. High.
A special thanks too, to Larry who came early and stayed 'till the end, and Sasha and Irina and Lois and Dajenya and Jesse who participated in each separate stage.
Thanks to Larry for the extensive documentation:

 

Al&I


Gregg&Diego


Jesse&I

park

 

birthday suit

 

 

mom&lois

larry&aileen


larry&brian



(I broke out the stilettos for the first time since prom for a few songs) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmbhs76CnAo

(The very end)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kW34_om36g

I try not to be too narcissistic, but honestly, I'd have to say last Saturday was the most fun party I've ever been to.  Maybe I shouldn't wait 30 years to have the next one afterall...
(In the meantime, I will have other amtgard/spoons games.  Let me know if you'd like to be on the notification list for future games.)

And now on to other things, being mature and responsible and productive and all that sort of thing.