speech

People aren’t born racist

Back when I was 18, I had a choice of three colleges I was going to go to: Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC), Western Illinois, and the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). Our family was relatively poor — my dad didn’t even have money to pay the bill for my oldest sister’s wedding that summer — so I went to KWC, which seemed like it might be the cheapest. Every once in a while I wonder what life would have been like if I didn’t go to KWC first, even though I eventually graduated from Texas A&M and lived in Texas for three years. So this morning I’m thinking about the people of El Paso.

The thing about people who kill other people is that they’re not born that way. You can easily imagine babies and young children who are black, white, hispanic, asian, middle eastern, etc., all playing together with no racist thoughts. They’re just children, so they naturally play together. People are made racist by their family, friends, and society, including the hate speech of the current president of the United States.

My condolences to the people of El Paso.

Jack Kornfield on karma related to speech, and intention

I’m not a huge believer in certain types of karma in this world, but Jack Kornfield offers this discussion about karma related to speech, and intention:

“Speech is one area in which karma can be seen in an easy and direct way. For this exercise, resolve to take two or three days to carefully notice the intentions that motivate your speech. Direct your attention to the state of mind that precedes talking, the motivation for your comments, responses, and observations. Try to be particularly aware of whether your speech is even subtly motivated by boredom, concern, irritation, loneliness, compassion, fear, love, competitiveness, greed, or whatever state you observe ... Simply notice the various motivations in the mind and the speech that flows from them.”

“Then, after discovering which motivation is present as you speak, notice the effect of the speech. If there is competitiveness or grasping or pride or irritation behind the speech, what response does it elicit from the world around you? If there is compassion or love, what is the response? If your speech is mindless, as if you were on automatic pilot, what is the response? If there is clarity and concern, how is this received and responded to?”

It brings up an excellent point: What motivates your speech?

Richard Feynman on Cargo Cult Science

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”

~ A quote from a 1974 Richard Feynman commencement address at Caltech entitled Cargo Cult Science.

This is a page from my book, “How I Sold My Business: A Personal Diary”

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I finally got some press releases put on our website about my local speeches and press interviews, but I had to write them myself. So be it. In a small company I tend to associate 'sales' and 'marketing' together, so I assumed this was something Jack would handle, but I finally just did it myself to get it out there. From a business perspective, what's the use of doing all these speeches if you're not going to use them in your own PR?

A Mac OS X text-to-speech web service (Play Framework, Scala)

I’ve written a variety of small Scala apps that take advantage of the “text to speech” capabilities on Mac OS X (Sarah, Wikipedia Page Reader), and a few days ago I started thinking about consolidating these by creating a Mac “text-to-speech service.” I initially created that as an Akka server (here on Github), then thought to make it a little more generic as a REST web service.