College Student Mobs

I’m fine with liberals, but I hate the mentality that many have that constitutes of being so surprised about contrary beliefs. Take for example, my liberal friends making fun of Ted Cruz for wanting to get rid of the IRS.

“Cruz wants to get rid of the IRS. What an idiot. How can we pay for roads?”

Me: “Taxation is theft.”

“What? Brad, you seriously believe that?”

Me: “It’s literally stealing. Why penalize people that produce? Why should a person that produces a social benefit to society so much that people are willing to pay him a lot- be penalized more? Why not the biggest consumers, perhaps increase the sales tax?”

“Then there would be riots in the streets.”

And… I can’t really argue against that. Because I can’t prove against that. And then everyone else agrees with his perspective, and still is completely confused about why I think the way I do.

Another example, was when we had sexual assault training for when I was an orientation counselor. The speaker was saying that women must get consent for every action that the guy does. One of the orientation counselors was saying that it wasn’t realistic, and all the feminists in the room were angry, and just refused to listen to what he was saying. He didn’t argue back, because why should he? When everyone is ganging up on you and won’t listen to what you have to say, you don’t have anything to gain!

Arguing With People Over the Internet

I’m always baffled to how many people argue over the Internet, whether that be Facebook, Youtube, Reddit, or anywhere else. If your purpose is to change minds, the probability of that is pretty much nothing. In fact, I’ve never seen an online argument that ended with one side saying, “You know what? I was wrong all along. You’re right!”

The only time you should do it is if you are trying to practice your debate skills. But how many people actually do it for that purpose?

If you want to actually change minds in real life, you must have a great reputation so that people will listen to you. What another random person on the Internet thinks about climate change is meaningless.

Why is School Mandatory?

In Intro to Statistics courses, you learn that everything should be assumed to not be true until it is proven otherwise. In this case, I would like to take a look at why school is mandatory for all kids.

Aside from the bullying aspect (I might cover that in another blog post) and just focused on learning, there are far better ways for kids to learn what they need to learn in order to succeed in life. From what I remember, Math and English were hailed as the most important subjects in middle school. Getting an A on a math test in the 7th grade means nothing to me at this point of my life now. Reading the Iliad and the Odyssey was completely useless as well. In fact, I’ve learned that in the business world, writing to the point matters exponentially more than pages and pages filled with vocabulary words that I can’t even pronounce.

I’d definitely argue that what I learned outside of school helped me the most for my career path, 10 years later. I used to enjoy programming, specifically creating games when I was younger. I’d use Game Maker, download other people’s examples, and modify them. When I would show my peers, they would label me as a computer geek. I was the best in the class at Computer Science, and many of the other kids would get jealous. My younger sister is 12, and I notice that she is incredible at design. If she realizes her potential in that, it can take her places. I’d argue that as an adult, we should be reflecting on our passions and fascinations of when we were that age, to take us into our career paths.

If I replaced all the useless time I had throughout school with my passions when I was younger, I’d be in a much better position now. The end goal of school should be to prepare students for real life, but it has instead been a scam forced down all of our throats, learning information that’s not even useful.

 

Importance of Photoshop

Photoshop is free! Did you know that?

http://www.redmondpie.com/download-adobe-photoshop-cs2-for-free-legally-while-you-still-can/

I’ve been using it for the past 2 years, and I’m so glad that I found it. Whether that be changing up my Senior pictures to get rid of my eyes being closed, or fixing the minor details in pictures, it has made my life easier by allowing me to imagine, and then perform exactly the changes that I want. The best part is, people don’t even know that my pictures are photoshopped!

It takes a little bit of time to get used to, but the best way to learn is by doing. I feel like I have magical powers when I use it, even if I’m incredibly non-artistic.

While it’s version 2, there isn’t really that much of a difference between the newest version and that one in my opinion. You never know when you can utilize your Photoshop skills in your daily life.

 

Cheat Sheets For Learning

In my first semester of college, I took a Statistics course which required us to make a cheat sheet for each exam. My fraternity brother (who took the course the previous year) told me that the process of creating the cheat sheets is a good way to ingrain the knowledge into my head.

I liked the idea. So I applied that to all of my courses.

Cheat sheets allow me to search for specific topics in case I forgot. It’s a great way to measure your progress of how much you’ve learned if it’s cumulative. In terms of academia, they provide me an easy way for me to try to remember material before an exam (instead of reading and shuffling through 100s of pages of the textbook). I reminisce drinking 5 hour energy and reading my cheat sheets dozens of times over the night before each exam.

Throughout college, I tried selling my cheat sheets to my peers that were going to take the same classes as I have taken, but they didn’t want them! Instead, I sold oreos. That was successful.

Making cheat sheets especially applies to programming languages. In my past job, I created a SAS cheat sheet, which helped me impress my boss enough to think I was a reincarnation of Hermes. I copied and pasted code anytime I would learn something new, and then after the code I would give an explanation.

I thank my former self for making cheat sheets every day. Present Brad is proud of Past Brad.

Signaling Value Through Your Own Personal Website

I don’t understand why people don’t create their own personal websites. So you might think that I’m a hypocrite, because in my last blog post, I highlighted the many struggles I had in building mine. However, $12 and 3.5 days later, I should appear to be more employable than without a website.

Websites are a project themselves. There are struggles along the way which require creativity and motivation, but as long as the finished product looks completed and professional, it can’t possibly do anything but help you. If I were hiring someone, I would want to see additional proof besides their resume that they have the skills and ability to help the company I’m in. And I’m not the only one who thinks this:

“According to Workfolio, a newly launched company that develops applications for professional visibility, 56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool—however, only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website.”
Source: Forbes

Another key proponent of making a personal website is that you can track your visitors using Google Analytics (which is free). Half the companies that asked me for an interview for a summer internship went to my website. A secret, is that you can look at the Network Provider, and about half the time will show the company name. If no one is viewing your website, then perhaps your resume needs to be worked on (since no one is bothered to go to your website from the link you’d create on your resume). Don’t forget to filter out for bots too, so you know they are legitimate views.

Even though I don’t enjoy being active on social media, it is a requirement to build your own personal brand so that other people/companies can respect you even more.

 

Creating My Website… Again

With the 2 year mark almost coming up with my Wix website, I decided to save the $120/year price for Google Domains at $12/year. I thought the following process:

Buy Google Domain –> Create Google Site –> Connect Google Domain to Google Site –> Find Template That Looks Most Similar To Wix Site –> Copy Everything From Wix

… would take a few hours, max.

Instead, I first had problems linking my Google site to my Google domain. I had to do the following:

  1. Subdomain forward under Synethetic records of mydomain.com –> http://www.mydomain.com with temporary redirect, and do not forward path.
  2. @ TXT 1h “google-site-verification=XJ4b6u2YyCZ3nG_R57R0q_RHIYafjmXzxtnE7-e-4_U”
    www CNAME 1h ghs.googlehosted.com.

Confusing? Yah I’m pretty confused. Thank goodness for Google Tech Support.

Next, I realized I needed to make Google slides for every time there was a photo gallery on my website under Wix. A lot of time was spent making them look good. Not to mention, Google sites does not allow me to place objects wherever I want, I have to put them inside tables (and remove borders via html) and create columns in order to get spacing correctly. I also realized there was no way to fix the huge gap between the navigation bar and content area. So, I needed to change it to the “Iceberg” theme whether I liked it or not. I’d then modify my images using Photoshop in order to darken or lighten or merge certain images or do whatever I want.

Last, the most time consuming part. Figuring out if the design looks right, which is nearly impossible to subjectively know. I asked ten people, and they didn’t make it easy. It seemed like they would all have something different to say:

  1. Websites tend to be in one page now. They are usually hosted on Squarespace (which is the same price as Wix)
  2. Many were in disagreement of background color. I went with my Architecture friend’s suggestion, since she is the most knowledgeable out of all ten people
  3. Websites also tend to be much wider, while mine is narrow

While I’m not completely done with the content side of it, it has taken me 3.5 days to just get the design up to shape. And I’m still unsure if it looks good!