Are You Better? Pride in Competition, the Necessity of Learning Emotions.


What to do, with your time, your future, your life. Why does it feel that even when we know what we want to do the feeling stills exists that we are not doing enough. When I watch and/or read the news, I have a change of heart during every news segment or article I read.  “I need to volunteer more for this cause” or “I need to learn more about this so I can become a better asset for a company”. We all have a difference of opinions on what is valuable in one’s life but understand that we only have one life to live. Do you chase money, social fulfillment, power, or focus on changing an issue? Maybe you can pick more than one in that group but a huge group of people are after a similar thing that you are after and what makes you worthy of getting what you want?

We constantly see other people getting something you want and think to ourselves that they do not deserve it. Biologist Robert Trivers coined the term Moralistic Aggression as a feeling you get when you observe another human people violating a rule, unwritten rule, law, etc. and get angry until justice is served. We have the same mindset for our peers. It’s not a ground breaking observation that we generally want what others have. Though I have never said it when asked, as it is an obvious `fluff` term to describe a quality, I would consider myself as a team player. I always want to make sure those around me succeed as I had grown up around competition via sports and organizations. I depended on my team for success and I truly believe you are only as good as your weakest asset. Once I am within a team or business I quickly jump to support others in the best way I can. But I am in a unique position where I have no team. I am heading back to school to get a master´s degree in a competitive field in a highly competitive region of the world. So, I am a team player with no team.


 I know going into this program one might think I am chasing money; maybe I am but Frank Underwood once said to me through my TV one night on Netflix about a former mentee, “Such a waste of talent. He chose money over power. In this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the Mc-mansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn't see the difference.” That train of thought stuck with me but not in the same context that he had it in. Combining that with the ´knowledge is power´ phrase, is what I am seeking at this young age.  My hope is that it gives me the power I want at an older age. Currently for the time prior to school, I am branching out and trying different things. Learning the language and volunteering are top priority for the summer and then I start competing and working with my peers to get a quality education and job.

Francis Fukuyama a senior fellow at Stanford´s Institute for International Studies stated `Norm following is embedded in human nature via the specific emotions of anger, shame, guilt and pride. We feel anger when a norm is violated…we feel shame when we ourselves fail to live up to the norm… we feel pride when we have the approbation of the community for achieving a collectively valued goal.` I am recognizing that in the next 2 years I will become very familiar with these emotions, most specifically the first 3. I understand that the 4th one will come and go but it will be difficult. Fukuyama goes on to explain that “one person’s recognition can come only at the expense of the dignity of someone else.” Analyzing that emotion, the feeling to complain about that close peer getting that opportunity that you have worked so hard for is meaningless and unconstructive. Take that feeling and drive it into hard work and praise for that individual so that you will too reach that 4th emotion at a different place and time.

·         Fukuyama, Francis (2011). Origins of political order : from prehuman times to the French revolution New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

·         Trivers, R.L. (1971). "The evolution of reciprocal altruism".Quarterly Review of Biology 46: 35–57

Business, School;
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When Lehman Brothers filed she was still Hannah Montana

Current Events General

Today was eventful. Five years ago today Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy which set off one of the biggest financial meltdowns in US history. President Obama discussed the current economic situation since then. Janet Yellin was put forth as the front runner of the Fed position, giving the markets more confidence that the monetary policy will stay ‘looser’ for longer, which was the reason for the jump. A shooting took place in the D.C. Navy shipyard killing 13 people. The U.N. confirms sarin was used in Syria. Elizabeth Hasselbeck made her first appearance on Fox and Friends [channel should be cancelled] and lastly Miley called off her engagement. I guess I should care about Miley’s life since some news sources don’t shut up about her and I see more retweets from people my age about celebrities than actual news. So I would assume based off of 

media coverage that I should have extensive knowledge about her life. Why? That answer is obvious I know, it’s because people read into it but why? If she made a good song, good for her, if I like it I’ll listen to it, I’ll maybe purchase it if need be, but do I care who she is dating? No, is it relevant in my day to day? No, I guess that Liam guy didn’t care too much for his fiancé swinging around naked on a wrecking ball. [Who could have seen that coming?]  More on my day to day as I guess we are on that topic, Me and Stephanie have some kind of an idea of when we are moving! My Brother Jon closed on his house on Thursday finally after about a 2 week delay. We started to paint on Friday. We then painted all weekend and we are mostly done with that. We do have “before and after” pictures coming but we are waiting until the end result so you can truly compare. The walls had wood paneling and the ceiling used to be white but over time turned a yellow creamy color. Our color scheme is gray, blue, white, and black. I know that based off of the color is seems very manly but I do have a wife who’s favorite color is pink and if she had her way I would be living in a room that appears to be a pre-teen girls room, so compromise is the key word. Yes the base colors are “manly” but the tones of these colors neutralize the “gender” of the room. She picked out the colors on her own and I agreed it would look nice. She did choose pink but I had to be an unsupportive husband with that decision, I do hate doing it but come on? Pink... Lastly, We are both very excited to get our ideas out from Pinterest and into our room. 
D.C. Shooting, Miley Cyrus, President Obama, Syrian Sarin;
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Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction

Current Events General

Politicians that have endorsements in their campaign will influence what they will do if they are elected which I have no problem with. It is common to get the backing from a party or special interest groups to get your name out there and get your message across but this involves money. If you support someone’s message it is also common practice to support them through money. On the dark side of things, being influenced with money can also cause politicians to do things outside of their tendencies so we can also see harmful effects for having endorsements in political campaigns. If people are mad that the Federal Reserve does not elect officials based on votes from the public and that they are not influence by politicians that have duties to pay back from campaign endorsements then how do you expect them to remain unbiased. A documentary named Etho’s I began to watch on Netflix and had to shut off. [it turned into a “conspiracy theorist” movie without in structure or backing to their arguments.] It looked at flaws in our country and they were outraged that we had no say in who was elected and that government had no regulation on the Fed, who oversees the banking industry. They just got done arguing how politicians are bias because of money endorsements on campaign runs, and then go on to complain on how we don’t have any say in the positions at the Federal Reserve. Do they really think that if a Fed position was an elected position they would not be influences by the big companies and politicians? I want my fed to be unbiased and not driven by endorsements. oh and they claim they operate without anyone knowing what they are doing. They do not operate without anyone knowing what they are doing, the meetings main reports are open to the public 3 months after and the full report is open years later and that is not because they do not want the public to know but they want to keep big companies from benefiting over smaller companies, you can go on their website for everything a citizen needs to know. Unless you have a PhD in a related subject you do not need to know, I think they got it. The reason I am bringing this up because in the next couple of months more coverage will begin to look at the next chairmen of the Fed. Ben Bernanke will be stepping down and the position will be open. Ben Bernanke took over in 2006 after Alan Greenspan and has had a tough job ever since. The Economy is obviously important and this will be an important building block to bringing the economy back. Janet Yellin and Larry Summers are the two front runners for the position. Janet Yellin is the current Vice Chairwoman of the Fed. Larry Summers left the National Economic Council in late 2010 to work for a hedge fund. Mr. Summer was in support of the deregulation of banks and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. As the secretary of Treasury he famously pushed for the passing of the law that would make sure that derivatives would not be regulated by the government. “I think we will have continuing danger from these markets and that we will have repeats of the financial crisis. It may differ in details, but there will be significant financial downturns and disasters attributed to this[derivative market] regulatory gap over and over until we learn from experience”, a response by Brooksley Born during an October 2009 interview with frontline about the current regulation on the derivative market. Warren Buffet also stated that derivatives are the “financial weapons of mass financial destruction”. Looking at the two, Mr. Summers is at the root of many of the economic problems and Yellin only has experience and has made the right decisions in her positions. 

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