July 29, 2011

What Do You Think of Elance?

As a freelance writer, people often ask my opinion of services like Elance and ODesk. And my answer is always the same.

It completely depends on whether you're looking for employment or looking to outsource?

Elance, ODesk and other professional recruitment/freelancer sites are commodity-based competitively-driven races to the lowest possible $/hr rate. As an American professional, you're not making money here outsourcing your creative talents. Because people looking for resources here are looking for the cheapest option. And the dude in the Phillipines quoting $4/hr is always going to win.

Now, on the other hand, if you're interested in outsourcing any of your professional or personal life, or have a business idea and don't want to go broke giving it a try, these services may be perfect for you.

July 28, 2011

Evidence-Based Gambling

Yesterday, we discussed the recent push of "evidence-based practice" within the medical community and questioned how ridiculous it was that this is only a recent push.

Today, we talk sports.

"Moneyball" or "Sabermetrics" is the idea of objectively valuating athletes and situational decisions in sports based purely on statistical outcomes.

Some people hate this. I recently had this discussion with a friend of mine who said, "Stats are useless. I don't need to see stats to know how to manage a game."

I countered with, "Well, if you're making the right decisions, the stats would back you up. The stat guys are on your side."

He retorted, "No, I don't need them."

I said, "But what if I showed you stats that proved objectively, over time, you were wrong? Would that change your mind?"

"Absolutely not."

This friend of mine thinks his intuition as a sports God is vastly superior to anything statistical measurement or science could calculate...

Does that arrogance remind you of any doctors you know? Now, this is all starting to make a little more sense.

July 27, 2011

Evidence-Based Practice

Did you know that "evidence-based practice" is a fairly recent concept in the medical world?

Seriously. Also known as "empirically-supported treatment", the concept of choosing a course of treatment based on statistically significant and supported data has only recently surpassed intuition as primary decision maker in the medical community.

Why do you think this is? More on this lunacy tomorrow.

July 26, 2011

What You Make: Yearly vs. Hourly

"What do you make?" should always be answered as an hourly rate.

Let's say you make $35,000 a year. And you decide to switch jobs for a nice 20% pay bump up to $42,000/yr. That's a hard increase to turn down. A number that might take you 5 years in annual mini-bumps at your current company. So, you switch, knowing that the new job is going to be quite a bit more demanding. In fact, you are now consistently putting in 60 hours a week. Whereas, at your old position, it was a pretty regular 40.

Are you getting paid more at the new position? Sure, if we're looking at annual income. But, we shouldn't be.

60 hrs/wk x 50 wks/yr = 3,000 hours
$42,000/3,000 hrs = $14/hr

40 hrs/wk x 50 wks/yr = 2,000 hours
$35,000/2,000 hrs = $17.50/hr

Sure, that $7,000 bump is a lot. But, it's not a pay increase. And there might be a more efficient way to increase your income.

July 25, 2011

I Am Going to Hit a Kid With My Car

I am going to hit a kid with my car.

Driving through my subdivision this summer has become a constant game of chicken. I'm not sure if children are getting dumber, or if there's some sort of leak in our drinking water. But, the children in my neighborhood speed out in the middle of the street - completely blind - all the time.

I am going to hit a kid with my car. The odds have determined it. The only question is, when? And how fast will I be going?

July 22, 2011

Hope is Passive

Hope is passive.

I can't seem to get this idea out of my head. It hit me one day like a brick. The idea of hope as merely "wishing". Passive laziness.

Help me understand "active hope".

July 21, 2011

Loving the Unlovable

Here's my problem with Jesus.

It's super easy to love the lovable; the polite; the meek; the well intentioned.

It's the jerks I can't stand. The cynical. The arrogant.

I am commanded to love the very people I can not even like. It seems impossible to do?

July 20, 2011

There is No Population Problem

Ok, I'm sick of hearing this constantly spouted, so let's try clearing this up today.

There is no population problem. Not a real one at least.

Thomas Malthus' Population Theory was based on the false assumption that an increase in personal wealth would increase the child rate, increase the population and obliterate our food supply. Theoretical, this appears to make sense, because a higher standard of living would provide you with more money to raise more children. Yet, pragmatically, this has has proven to be utterly false. As personal wealth increases, the child rate goes down.

Yet, many continue to fear this and cite this, despite the overwhelming evidence to the problem's nonexistence.

There are indeed negative consequences of tight urban living, specifically in terms of pollution. But, there is no population problem. Human ingenuity is the solution. For that, we need more humans.

July 19, 2011

Vegas Doesn’t Want You

Vegas doesn't want you. They don't want your $200 weekend of slot money. They don't want your $12.99 buffet money. They don't want your $89 hotel money.

But it would be a really creepy ghost-town place to hang out in if only the super-rich came. That's why they need you.

But be assured, you are not wanted there.

July 18, 2011

Facebook is Broken

People ask me why I'm not putting more baby photos on Facebook. And they don't like my answer, which is, "Because the vast majority of my 'friends' don't want to see them."

But, it's true. Because my Facebook friends aren't actually my friends. They're anyone I've ever encountered who asked to be my friend. In fact, I have come to think of it as more of a networking tool than a real communication device. Which I am rightfully aware is awful.


Here's why Google + is amazing. For those of you who haven't heard, Google Plus is Google's latest and greatest attempt at social. My favorite part about it is Google Circles. When you add a 'friend' on Google Plus, you put them in one or multiple groups. Friends. Family. Co-Workers. Church People. Any group you want to customize. When I want to share a photo of my daughter, I can select which people see it on their wall.

For this and this alone, I love Google +. As Facebook becomes less and less entertaining, I am excited to have a new choice.