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Archive for November, 2007


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Some recent conversations led me to do some Web browsing, and I found a couple of very interesting sites I want to share.

Eyes for Lies: The Human Lie Detector Blog:

Scientists have identified only 50 individuals who are able to spot deception with great accuracy after testing more than 15,000 people over several decades. Eyes for Lies is one of the 50 people.

This lady is able to detect lies 80% of the time, and she does a pretty good job of explaining how she does it. What she sees, hears, and feels, internal strategies she uses, and so on.

Truth About Deception: An Honest Look at Deception, Love and Romance

Discovering infidelity, or deception by a loved one, creates a lot of uncertainty. We try to help people work through their questions and concerns by providing a detailed look at deception, love and romance.

This site is slanted heavily toward deception within romantic relationships, but the information I’ve read there is applicable outside those as well. I particularly appreciate their article on how to get people to tell you the truth.

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 22nd, 2007 at 3:16 am

250 Public Speaking Tips

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By way of Lifehacker comes this pointer to 250 Public Speaking Tips.

To be either pedantic or precise, whichever you prefer, there aren’t 250 tips here; it’s kind of heavily padded. And some of them contradict others or are otherwise worth ignoring. But there’s plenty of good stuff here, too. Look at the first one:

Audience always comes first; ask yourself, “How can they benefit from listening to me?”

Link to Eric Feng’s Public Speaking blog
Link to a free chapter of the author’s upcoming book

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 21st, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Take care of your own kid

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You just never know when an opportunity to take care of your kid is going to come along.

One of them for me was on a really hot day about fifteen summers ago. I was visiting a lady who lived a few miles from where I live, and I’d stopped on my way at a convenience store to get some ice cream. I really hate hot weather.

I was walking back to my vehicle and unwrapping the ice cream when I yanked a little too hard on the wrapper and I dropped the whole thing in the dirt. I was so mad at myself! I got in my truck and started the engine, giving myself a really hard time, yelling at myself for not taking more care, and began to pull back onto the street. Then in my head I heard a kid’s voice–my own voice from when I was a kid–say, “Why don’t you just buy him another one?”

I stopped, right at the edge of the parking lot, and paid attention to what was going on in my head. I was a lot more angry than the situation warranted, I realized, so I went into my head and heard a little boy crying like he’d lost everything in the world.

Twenty or so years back my thoughts drifted to a park or something of the sort… it was a really hot day, and I was munching on some ice cream, when I heard that little boy crying his heart out. He must’ve been all of three years old. He’d dropped his ice cream in the dirt, and he really had lost everything in the world as far as he was concerned right at that moment. And his father was there, giving him a really hard time, yelling at him for not taking more care, and leading him back to their car, and I muttered to myself, “Why doesn’t his dad just buy him another one?”

I put the old truck back into its parking place and went into the store, where I bought him another one. He stopped crying and he’s felt a lot better ever since. And me… I don’t know that I’ve ever had better ice cream.

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 21st, 2007 at 4:34 am

Fun With Gobbledygook

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InfoWorld Magazine, in their TechWatch section, takes humorous issue with the same sort of gobbledygook despised by David Scott (see a recent post of mine). Read author Matt Hines’ article about security analyst Nick Selby’s“BullsIT Awards”, Poking Fun at Tech PR:

Our friends in the PR community can probably say the same thing about some of the stories we in the IT media produce on our side of the business, but, it is intensely fun from time-to-time to examine some of the worst examples of marketing lingo that get hurled at us on a regular basis.

I loved Selby’s reference to Lisa Simpson of The Simpsons: “This reminds me of Lisa Simpson visiting Australia and, on seeing on a cinema a sign reading, ‘Yahoo Serious Festival,’ she said, ‘I know those words, but that sign makes no sense.'”

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 21st, 2007 at 4:33 am

A Zen Lesson

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An acolyte asked his master, “Master, what must I learn to become enlightened?”

His master asked in return, “Look around you; what do you see?”

“All around me is the orderliness of the monastery. We eat at certain times, we meditate at certain times and in certain ways, we do the work required when it is time and in the required ways. All is order here.”

The master said, “The first lesson you must learn is that order is an illusion. To look closely and see order is merely your perception. When you step back and look at the larger picture, you will see all is chaos.”

The student went away and meditated on this. The following day, he returned to his master and told him that he saw all truly was chaos.

“The next lesson, then,” the master said, “is that chaos is an illusion. From your new perspective, indeed it seems that there is no governing principle, but when you step back and look at the bigger picture, you will see patterns… that there really is order.”

The student went away and meditated on this as well. The next week, he returned to his master and told him that he saw all truly was in order after all.

“Excellent!” the old master said, and smiled. “Now, the next lesson you must learn is that order is an illusion…”

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 18th, 2007 at 1:30 pm

The Rainbow Machine by Andrew Austin

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I finished reading this amazing book last night and fully intended to post a review of it here. However, I recently joined the NLP Connections forums and found that Michael Perez had already said everything I wanted to say (only more lucidly and more coherently).

To reiterate, if you like NLP, you like stories and you value something a little more conversational than yet another description of the swish pattern, do yourself a favour and let Andy tell you the story about the time he told a little girl a story about how there was this secret rainbow machine…

So I’ll simply refer you to Michael Perez’s review of the book. I believe you can read the review without registration, but if you want to read the rest of the high praise from the folks in the community, registration is free.

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 18th, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Books

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Changing Identities

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Some time back, I covered a midnight shift at the hospital and had an interesting and brief conversation with a guy.

As I was walking out of the hospital, this glowing young man was walking back in. In a voice that sounded just this side of celebrant, he grinned and said “I’m a daddy, man!”

I’ve heard this many times, and in that same almost-giddy tone. I don’t know why this one caught me differently.

The first thing I noticed about my own reaction was that it wasn’t cynical. My own internal response is usually “after a few weeks of early-morning feedings and a few years of overtime to buy food and clothing, he won’t be so giddy about daddyhood.”

What really kept rolling over in my head was the words he chose. “I’m a daddy.” I am a daddy.

He didn’t tell me his wife had just had a child, or that his wife and he had just had one. That would represent that he was thinking something had happened in his life, or that he had just accomplished something.

He didn’t mention anything about new capabilities of which he was aware or a new belief system he’d just adopted.

He didn’t even say he’d become a daddy, or he was now a daddy. That would say that he was fully aware that there was a time he wasn’t a daddy, and something happened, and now he was a daddy.

He said “I am a daddy.” A completely new, as-if-from-scratch identity, out of what seems to be nowhere. As if he’d been a daddy all along and just now figured out what that meant. As if he’d never been anything else. I believe that if I’d asked him at that instant where he went to high school or what kind of car he had when he was 16, he would have had to stop and think about it. I doubt he’d remember it in the same way he remembered it last week.

It occurs to me now that when someone says becoming a parent is a life-changing experience, they don’t mean–or don’t realize consciously they mean–the rest of your life has been changed. It seems to me, from this incident, that one’s subjective experience of one’s entire life, from point of gaining sentience, is changed.

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 17th, 2007 at 12:39 am

Posted in Articles,Linguistic

Pattern Interrupt!

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funny pictures
Made me Laugh Out Loud!

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 17th, 2007 at 12:32 am

Posted in Left Field

A Lot of Gobbledygook

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Here’s a great rule for sales and marketing, taken from David Meerman Scott’s ChangeThis article, The Gobbledygook Manifesto: “When you write, start with your buyers, not with your product”.

David Scott, the author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, says it best in introducing his manifesto: “Oh jeez, not another flexible, scalable, groundbreaking, industry-standard, cutting-edge product from a market-leading, well positioned company! Ugh. I think I’m gonna puke!” In every company description, on websites, in press releases, in corporate pamphlets, the same adjectives get used over and over until they are meaningless. Scott analyzed thousands of these offerings and presents a collection of the most over-used and under-meaningful phrases…and strategies for making the most of these communication opportunities.

His ideas don’t just apply to business, of course. Clear and interesting comunication is useful in all areas of one’s life.

Read the Manifesto (272k, PDF) or Visit the ChangeThis page for this Manifesto or Visit David Scott’s blog

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 15th, 2007 at 7:59 pm

New Book by Steven Pinker

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Scientist and Harvard lecturer Steven Pinker recently gave an exclusive interview for Powell’s Books to promote his new book, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

…which Wired calls “a fascinating look at how language provides a window into the deepest functioning of the human brain.” One rainy afternoon, Dr. Pinker stopped by to discuss causality, the concept of concepts, how to swear in several languages, and the way irregular verbs can lead to romance.

I haven’t yet read all of Pinker’s books, but I’ve been highly appreciative of the ones I have read. Looking forward to this one.

Powell’s Bookstore Interview with Steven Pinker

Written by Michael DeBusk

November 15th, 2007 at 7:01 pm