Category Archives: Other

Guest Writers Wanted

Two announcements:

I’m seeking guest writers for this blog – People Pursuing Freedom.

Why Write for People Pursuing Freedom?

  1. It is great place for a beginning blogger to start building an audience
  2. It is a great place for an established blogger to expand an audience
  3. It is great way to build links and traffic

A few guidelines

  1. I will exercise full editorial control.
  2. Keep it original. It must be your work.
  3. Keep it unique. Don’t publish it on other sites, including your own.
  4. I will publish posts on political topics, but keep it positive, impersonal, and idea driven. I will not publish any post which directly criticizes a person or candidate. No conspiracies or dire warnings. I don’t want any posts about how the economy is going to collapse, how the nazis/commies are taking over, how the planet is going to burn up, or how the president is going to haul us all away to concentration camps. Plenty of other sites post that stuff. Just look at the front page of Reddit. Nuff said?

Good Topics are (but not limited to):

  • Personal Development
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Freedom
  • Success
  • Finance
  • Productivity
  • Entrepreneurship

 

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Back from a Radical Sabbatical

I want to let you know that while I haven’t posted since December this blog is still alive and I am currently working on several posts. A co-worker told me today that I had better post something soon or people might start thinking I went AWOL. I decided I needed to take a break from blogging and reasses my goals. Christine’s online business is growing larger and faster than we had planned (that’s a real good thing), the boys need a lot of attention, and Ergotron has some very cool things planned for 2008, so blogging has slipped to about #4 on my priority list. So stay tuned, I haven’t gone away, I love to write, and there is more coming in 2008.

A variety of topics continue to capture my attention, personal growth, financial growth, libertarian politics, and storytelling. I am considering creating two more blogs. This blog will be my personal blog and be dedicated to personal and financial growth, a new blog with political stuff (I feel like I bore many of you with my political rants), and a third blog where I can publish short stories.

I’d be grateful for any feedback on the possibility of three blogs. I have serious reservations about trying to maintain three sites.

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On a very important side note…

Can anyone out there help me?

Do you work for Amazon or know anyone who works for Amazon? Particularly the Amazon Alliance?

I’d sure like to talk to someone from Amazon about a simple misunderstanding that has been almost impossible to resolve due to automation and I know it would be resolved if I talked to the right person.

I appreciate any help.

The Lie that Traps People in a Cycle of Destruction

Many readers criticized my last post with some version of this:

Steve,

In your last post you said…

“There are no bad kids.”

Yes there are.

I understand. Maybe you were victim of one of their crimes. Maybe they bullied you in school. Maybe you’ve given some kid a dozen ‘second chances’ and they still don’t ‘get it.’

I hope you didn’t misunderstand, I do believe there should be consequences for criminal actions, especially violent crimes.

The lie

What I meant when I wrote, ‘There are no bad kids’ is that they are not inherently flawed. If you label them ‘bad’, you are giving them a cop-out, an excuse to act like a victim. You are saying, ‘You can’t help but behave poorly.’ If the kid believes he is bad then he will believe he has no choice. But it’s a lie. He does have a choice, and the lie traps him in a cycle of destruction.

The truth

Your actions are a choice. You are not preprogrammed. You are not a robot. You have free will. You can choose to take constructive action or destructive action. It is your decision. Even if you have chosen to harm someone in the past, it does not make you ‘bad’ right now. You are not required to follow an old pattern. You can choose to make your next action constructive. From there you can commit to making every action constructive. Your past decisions created your present reality but you are only as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as your next decision.

Destructive actions will make your life worse.

Constructive actions will make your life better.

Anybody can change. There are no people incapable of change.

I don’t care if you are in a prison cell or the CEO suite. You have the power of this present moment. No matter what decisions you made 10 minutes ago, 10 months ago, or 10 years ago, you still have the power to do something different right now. It is your choice. This moment is yours. Create something better with it.

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Do You Believe You Deserve Success?

Have you ever felt it was your duty to suffer because others do? I have and sometimes I still do.

Have you ever thought? – Why do I deserve to be successful when I’ve made so many mistakes, done so many stupid things, hurt so many people?

Or have you thought? – I don’t deserve success because I didn’t make the right choices when I was young.

Maybe you’ve thought – I don’t deserve success because I am real and only phonies are successful.

Maybe even – I don’t deserve success because I’ve had it too easy, I haven’t paid my dues.

But the worst thought is… Success is all luck… Being in the right place at the right time…  being born in the right family.

If you make excuses like these you fear success… you don’t want the responsibility that comes with success. That’s okay if that is what you want, but then there is no one to blame for where you are.

But if you want to be successful in spite of believing these things, Read This.

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Stupid in America – an outstanding video on the nightmare of public education.

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Work for what you believe in and avoid bureaucracy at all costs. From a woman who knows – she works in the public school system.

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My 5-year-old said, “I have the hardest question ever. It’s even harder than, If God made the universe (he calls it the whole life) who made God?

“What?” I asked.

“If the whole life is growing, where is it growing into? What is next to the universe?”

Shit!

Maybe this answers it.

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The past is so strange… I’m grateful I can view a sliver of the past through pictures.

What is the Montessori Method?

As many of you know, I am not a fan of the public school system, so my children are attending a small private Montessori school. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but now that my oldest son has been in Montessori school for 3 years, I may become a Montessori evangelist. I have seen kids who do not test as “Gifted and Talented” but perform at the mid-college level across all subjects by 12 years old – too many for it to be a coincidence. What is even more amazing is that these schools seem to produce an uncanny number of professional athletes and entrepreneurs as well. Kids are capable of far more than we expect from them and they are happier when we allow them to learn and grow unimpeded. I highly recommend you watch this story if you are interested in non-traditional educational choice. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Montessori is not a religion
  • It’s for all children – not just gifted or special needs children
  • The whole key to it is the children are in charge of their own process. The adults have to inspire them, guide them, but get out of the way
  • They are free to choose which activities to pursue and to determine how long they wish to pursue them. The adults in the room simply offer ‘demonstrations’ aimed at spurring the child’s interest
  • Montessori is about real work
  • To see that goodness in the joy in physical work and the joy in nature
  • They are not taught to regard teachers as ultimate authority figures and Montessori kids feel free to be critical
  • Montessori’s vision was really world peace

I look forward to the day when non-government educational choice is available to all children. The answer to our problems is not more government, the answer is more freedom.

The Best of the Internet 9-22-07

I hear people talk about how the world is becoming more dangerous and unstable and that the past was somehow safer and better. This selective recollection is not accurate. Our mass media creates the hysteria and Digg and Reddit are no better. Lately, the kingpins of social media paint a picture of reality that is far more negative that the mainstream media. Just count the negative titles on the front page of each website. In reality, our world is safer and more prosperous than ever before. Steven Pinker clearly illuminates the folly in believing that the world is becoming more dangerous. It isn’t. There is no evidence to suggest it. The evidence clearly shows that our world is becoming safer every day. We are evolving into what we were meant to be. We are experiencing a revolution of empathy. We are far short of perfection, but we gaining ground at an astounding rate and technology is propelling us forward.

This photo touched my heart.

The Five Step Creative Process on O’Reilly Digital Media.

A reader turned me on to Box of Crayons and the flash videos The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun and 5.75 Questions You’ve Been Avoiding.

How to Cancer Proof your Body at Men’s Health.

Liz makes a blockbuster post – Seven Secrets to Fiercely Loyal Community of Readers.

Do you believe this is true? Did a married couple actually do this?

The new eMoms at Home Internet Home Business Magazine looks like a winner. Wendy is doing amazing things. I wish her the very best.

Chris Garret gives us some suggestions on how we can make the most of our resources.

Banned by BlogRush!

That’s right, I’ve been banned! And it only took one day! I guess John Chow isn’t the only evil blogger.

I rarely promote any blogging fads but I thought BlogRush deserved the pub and I wanted your referral traffic. 11 of you joined BlogRush yesterday from my referral link… Thanks!

Yesterday evening my computer crashed hard and wouldn’t even boot. Whatever happened also wiped out my ipod. I couldn’t sleep, so I got up around 4AM this morning to fix it. After a lot of screwing around in safe mode it appears to be working again and Sophos hasn’t found a virus. Windows said that Firefox caused the boot problem but didn’t give me the details. Could it be a Microsoft conspiracy to rid the world of Firefox?

Then I checked my site and it said BANNED where I posted the BlogRush Widget. I logged into BlogRush and my account was highlighted in red. No explanation from BlogRush.

So I carefully read the terms of service to see if they had a policy against middle aged white guys posting old mullet shots of themselves. Nope, just the usual stuff, spam, hate, porn, piracy. I didn’t think this site fits in those categories, so I emailed them. I’ll let you know how they handle it.

Increase Your Traffic with BlogRush

You want more traffic to your blog, right? I do too. So after visiting my favorite evil doer on the net, I signed up with BlogRush. It is already going viral and could drive more traffic to your blog than a six figure marketing campaign.

Here’s how it works. Add the BlogRush Widget to your blog. On this blog it appears on the sidebar just above the fold. Each time someone views a page where the BlogRush Widget appears, it creates a “Syndication Credit.” So, if you had 2,000 page views today, a link to your blog will appear 2,000 times on other blogs which run the BlogRush Widget. What’s even better, is each time you refer someone to Blog Rush you will receive “Syndication Credits” for their page views as well. So let’s say I have 5,000 page views a day and you choose to sign up at BlogRush right now and your blog receives 10,000 page views a day, a link to steve-olson.com will appear on other blogs 15,000 times a day. I signed up through John Chow, so he’s going to get a link for every page view on this site.

Subscribe to at Steve-Olson.com -I’ll post my traffic results from BlogRush soon.

Best of the Internet 9-9-07

Are you willing to be free? That’s the problem isn’t it? Willingness. When we look to others to grant us freedom, they can’t give us what we already have. We need a willingness to free ourselves from ourselves.

I don’t even know where to begin with this guy. His blog is tremendous. If you write you must read The Art of Writing: 10 Tips from the Masters and How to Write Faster, Better, and Easier by K. Stone. This blog’s content just gets better. Publishing two posts this powerful in a single week is a testimony to John’s hard work and talent.

I love Liz Strauss’ artistic blog. Her latest post The Genius that is You Returns reminds us that a genius is within all of us.

I despise our oppressive tax system, but I don’t wear a tin foil hat and I never will. I advocate that people pay what they legally owe and encourage them not to overpay. For most of us taxes will be the biggest bill during our life time. Jeremy at GenX Finance give us some compelling evidence why you should pay your taxes. It’s foolish to take on an angry heard Elephants with a sharp stick and a quick wit. It’s better to steer clear of Imperial entanglements.

It’s strange, I always thought of myself as an extrovert. But I’m not… I do fine with people, but I need time alone or I go crazy. I learned a lot from this story… “Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?”

Doctors diagnose too many kids with “disorders.” Is acting and feeling different than the mainstream a disorder? We need people that don’t fit in… that aren’t part of the herd.

One of my lifetime goals is to visit sub-Saharan Africa. This is why.

DUI law is one of the biggest threats to our legal rights (Just for the record – I’ve never had a DUI). I know this isn’t PC and we need to get drunks off the roads. But at what expense? Our freedom to move about? Our freedom to legal counsel? An end to the presumption of innocence? Now there is clear evidence that thousands of people have been falsely convicted of DUI by faulty software. Shouldn’t people be convicted by a jury, not a machine?