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Pagename: general - General

Fifth twenty in twenty… – Crappy friends

A type of behaviour that I have often seen in life is the tendency for people to form alliances to control social dynamics within a group. I know it starts young. I have seen demonstrations of young children displaying this behaviour when another child dominates a toy or some other resource they wish for themselves. They form alliances with other children to amplify the feeling of being ostracized by the target child. It is a common ‘go to’ strategy for many people but my observations lead me to think that for some people, it is an integral part of who they are. For these people, shoring up alliances is how they do things. Most people do not appear to even be aware that this is occurring.

Personally, I had a group of friends throughout most of high-school that was in near constant turmoil due to one member participating in this behaviour. Over the years, I become acutely aware when it was happening. Unfortunately, I never really developed a method to counter or minimize the impact of this behaviour. It was a matter of knowing that if this person had anything against you, other members in the group would start to see you in a negative light. Describing it like this makes it clear why some people do it. It becomes a form of coercion and it can be very hard to counter without doing the same thing yourself and of course, anyone falling into that trap is stuck in a downward spiral of emotional turmoil.

My own approach has been to avoid anyone who demonstrates this type of behaviour. I ask for a higher quality of friendship and that means, I have a lot less friends than would otherwise be expected. That matches my personality. I am perfectly comfortable with my own company. My children, on the other hand, want to befriend everyone. So now I am contemplating strategies to deal with people who attempt to persaude friends and close acquaintances  to re-evaluate their friendships based on those people’s views.

I can’t say I have a solution…

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Category:General
Pagename: general - General

CSS file structure template

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R info

# R – Template info

A collection of scripts that perform common tasks in R.

## Index
– Combined template
– Common libraries and packages
– Data importing & simple manipulation
– Statistics
– Plots, charts & graphics

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Fourth twenty in twenty, again… – Competition

What is the go with large corporations thinking they can treat their customers like lab rats. I mean, like, I know they can and do but how have we as a society allowed the situation to develop where they can get away with it? Where is the competition? I am now old enough to remember times when people had higher expectations of the companies they used. I’m not saying things were better back in the day. Most things have gotten better. Better services, better products with better technology. Still, along with that is an acceptance that the big players ( I’m thinking Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc) can’t be expected to be held accountable for their actions. It is not unusual for me to find myself looking for alternative suppliers in my day to day life after receiving what I consider unacceptable service. I have an example on hand…

In an attempt to make my family’s xbox work, I went with a near free trial version from Micosoft’s game pass offering. I know these are often offered with the hope that people will not bother to remove the subscription. However, on this rare occasion I actually remembered to cancel the subscription after I realised the service was not going to be helpful. I received the confirmation email that the service was cancelled and I expected that would be the last of it. Not at all. While checking emails I noticed an email from Microsoft stating they had charged the full amount for the following month, which I hadn’t been aware or interested in of course. That was enough to make me disgruntled but it was far from resolved and this is where my main complaint lies. After spending copious amounts of time looking for a way to request a refund, it became apparent not such option is available. How arrogant does a company have to be to think they do not need to be contactable about products they would prefer not to discuss?

It is a crazy situation. A company that provides a substantial portion of the functionality of my computer, to which I pay frequently, feels it is OK to partake in unsavoury business practices like this with no concern of potential consequences. Indeed it is true. What choice do I have as a consumer. There is no realistic competition to MS office in the corporate world. Competition is sorely needed in the sector and in many other sectors. There appears to be no guiding principles for government to act upon other than responding to public sentiment. I see it as a symptom of bigger issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Third twenty in twenty, again… – Development

A topic I often struggle with is urban development. In Australia at present, the pressure is on to create more housing to help with the crazy property prices that have become the norm. A lot of people are struggling with rent and the cost of living pressures. On the other hand, the environment has been used and abused for so long now that fauna and flora are increasingly becoming extinct or endangered. For me, we shouldn’t be any near the situation where species have become extinct. Unfortunately, it is now becoming normalised. At one point in my life it was considered as a dire consequence while now it is talked about as something that needs to be balanced with ‘progress’.

For Australia, migration is a big factor. Our population is being increased by increased numbers of migrants who often arrive with funds greater than the average Australian. It increases the pressure on housing and our use of resources which in turn pushes on environmental limits.

Personally, I love nature. I despair that we as a society are so readily willing to sacrifice it for short term gains. Still, I feel I would be a lot more able to accept this destruction if I thought that is what Australians actually desired. However, I don’t think it is. Most people I talk to prefer living in leafy locations. Access to nature is valued by most Australians as far as I can tell. Yet, somehow in a democratic system, our leaders are constantly pushing for more development at the cost of the natural environment. Of course, the obvious explanation is that people value the environment but value jobs and other quality of life factors even more. At this point, the topic becomes harder to quantify, harder to define. Does migration equate to a better quality of life for Australians?

Migration definitely expands our economy. More people almost universally require more goods and services and thus the economy has to expand in accordance with this. Also, more people from around the world can offer more skills and knowledge and can represent an injection of foreign investment which can also be expected to expand the economy. There is also the matter of economies of scale. As processes are geared up to handle more people, efficiencies can be expected and this in turn can have a positive impact on productivity. 

To be continued in a future post…

 

 

 

 

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