Friday, April 22, 2011

Update on My Book Personal Club

I’m still marching through Goldhagen’s Worse Than War.  It’s well written and full of facts.  My reading pace has not been acceptable.  The main reason for this is the looming final exams that I am dealing with.  It’s hard to get a lot of reading done in the middle of studying contract law and civil procedure.  Nevertheless, I am going to finish the book as soon as possible.
Next up:

1.      Ground Work of the Metaphysics of Morals (I’ve probably read parts of this book a 100 times, but I’ve never read it cover to cover)
2.      Utilitarianism (like Kant’s work I’ve never read it cover to cover)
3.      The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing, 2010 Edition (this will take some time to march through because I am convinced that I need to take a great deal of notes).
4.      World on Fire
7.      A Feast of Crows
8.      The Fifth Witness

Of course, this is a shortlist.  There are many more books that need to be read ASAP!  I plan on putting a short review of the current book I’m reading.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dropouts, Please Report to the Registrar's Office

Yahoo has an article up about how, in a recent poll, students overwhelming believe that high school doesn’t prepare them for College or “the real world.”  I read the article for the same reason I read anything on Yahoo – pure habit.  Anyway, I found a stat in the article that I found interesting:

The majority of high school students probably won't end up with a college degree, however. Among those a few years ahead of them — today's 25- to 34-year-olds — only about a third hold a bachelor's or higher degree, according to the Census Bureau. Less than 10 percent get an associate's degree.

Can this be right?  Only 1/3 of people 25 to 34 have college degrees.  WTF!  It got me to thinking: How many people go to school for a semester or two and don’t get a degree?  When did I get my lousy college degrees?  2007.  I was 24.  I was late to the whole college party because I was running around overseas fighting wars and what not.  Still, it only took me three years.  I don’t think college is hard.  I didn’t go to Harvard or anything, but still it’s not particularly hard to pass courses.  Hard to book them, yes, but pass?  Not at all!  One big problem that I remember causing people problems in undergrad was the amount of time they spent flip flopping over which degree to choose.  This is a point that the poll from the Yahoo article brings up.  I guess kids are upset that they don’t get good advice about career planning in high school.    Another related problem is that kids sit around, and make bad choices.  For example, I knew a kid who thought he needed to be a dual major Biology and Philosophy.  He planned on being a doctor, and he thought that the dual major would make him better doctor.  In actuality, he could have just been a philosophy major and took the necessary pre-med classes.  Instead, he packed on as many upper level philosophy classes as he could while attempting to take on the grueling requirements needed to earn a degree in biology/pre-med.  He did graduate after nearly seven years, but he didn’t go off to med school.  I actually don’t know what he is doing, but the last time I talked to him he was planning some type of start-up and he was assuring me that he, like Bill Gates, could make it out in Silicon Valley fucking around with computers.  Good Luck!

Another kid I used to hang out with in undergrad decided he not only wanted to grab up a BA in philosophy, but he also needed to compliment it with a degree in mathematics.  He was a decent enough philosophy student, but math was not his forte.  Unfortunately, you couldn’t tell him this.  He worked extremely hard.  But regrettably, he is still a student.  The better part of a decade working on a BA that would be shitty credentials anyway. 

This isn’t to say that earning dual majors is a hard task.  I have a dual major history/philosophy (both of mine our worthless).  Many of my friends have dual majors.  Philosophy/Poly Sci.  Art History/PHI.  And a few Math/PHI.  But what seems to be a mistake is to go after a degree that you obviously have no real ability in (not that you really need ability, on my view you can do most anything in college as long as you put the time in).  But if you take a semester in a subject and you aren’t doing well, drop the class my friend and find something else to do.  The only classes you have to take are the ones that are required by the college or university.  Change your major to one you don’t mind doing the work.  And the most important rule is hurry up and finish.

I do agree with the Yahoo article.  Plan and research your future.  If you care about money, or reasonably believe one day you will care about money, then make sure you are on a path to one day be able to make some money.  Also, maybe parents should get involved.  What happened to the days when parents would decide that their kid should be a doctor, and then pressured their ass to become a doctor.  I understand that sometimes this will backfire, but who gives a shit.  Better than standing by, idly, while your kid goes from engineer, to pre-med, to art history, to English, to Africana studies or women’s studies, then finally to drop out.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Personal Book Club Thoughts

My reading is down this year.  As I write this post, there are 257 days left in the year.   That means in the past 99 days I have read 10 Books:
The Lincoln Lawyer. (Michael Connelly)
A Game of Thrones. (George R. R. Martin)
A Clash of Kings. (George R. R. Martin)
A Storm of Swords. (George R. R. Martin)
The Brass Verdict. (Michael Connelly)
The Dark Fields. (Alan Glynn)
The Reversal. (Michael Connelly)
Anonymous Lawyer. (Jeremy Blachman)

Solo by Choice. (Carolyn Elefant)
How to be a Rainmaker (Jeffery Fox)
Basic Economics 

I really should be reading a book every five days.  That’s about how long it takes me to read a book.  Nevertheless, I have succumbed to reading fatigue this year on more than one occasion.  This is mainly a result of reading too much in preparation for law school exams and reading miscellaneous articles related to my dissertation.   I have half a mind to keep track of all this miscellaneous reading. 

I’ve started reading Worse Than War: “Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity,” by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.  The main reason is to try to balance out my reading load.  It’s clear I need to read more nonfiction.  A big reason for all the fiction, I think, is all of the reading I do regarding law school.  The thing that really bothers me is that I find myself just sitting around watching TV too much.  I past weekend I watched three basketball games.  This week I am going to pick it up.  I’ll try to finish the Goldhagen book and read a few short books front to back – The Social Contract and Kant’s Groundwork.  I’ll be doing this as I ramp up for my finals in Contracts and Civil Procedure.  Also, the baby will be here within the next thirty days.  I can do this. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Facebook and Twitter Marketing (or The Road to Riches)

I am tired of all this talk of getting rich by using Facebook and other social media to market.  I am even more tired of the people who are telling us this shit.  Who are these people?  A better question is: how did they get rich (or successful)?  As best as I can tell, all these people are making a living by telling us that we need to use Facebook and Twitter to market.  There are number of things I find problematic with their pitch.

For one, why the fuck would anyone need these people to learn how to use Facebook and Twitter.  Seriously, 8 year old kids are using Facebook and Twitter.  Why should we pay them to teach us how to sell our services or products on Facebook and Twitter?  I'm sure most of these people don't have a degree in marketing.  Also, I bet if you look into their background you will find that most of these people failed at their last career. Hence, why they are trying to sell us on a quick dream of making more money by using Twitter and Facebook.

Second, fuck Facebook and Twitter.  I know that they are hugely popular, but what type of person looks for a professional anything on Facebook and Twitter?  Would you really hire a lawyer based on some piece of shit ad you saw on Facebook.  Or would you go to a dentist because he had a funny status update or tweet?