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115. Murder, She Heard

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My wife took me to a live recording of  “My Favorite Murder” in Houston this year. It was a great show, but it was also very eye-opening. First of all, the crowd was 90% female. The hosts, too, are female and hilarious about this dreary subject. Not until recently had I noticed the connection between these kinds of shows and gender.

It dawned on me during this show that this is about female survival. By far, the victims in the murders discussed in the show are female and the perpetrators are male. It is something that I barely register in my daily life but is probably at the top of women’s minds frequently. There was a good episode about this in Aziz Ansari's show "Master of None" in season 1. Going home alone is a completely different experience for boys and girls and it sucks a lot. "My Favorite Murder" works with that and evolves it. There’s useful tips embedded in the show, like “f#!k politeness”,  a lot of the murders happen to people that felt something …

114. Facing Issues

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When I am walking down my work’s hallway, I see lots of faces. Sometimes, out of the blue, my processes break and I let out a mess of a face in return. It’s like a Jim face if Jim had diarrhea and was afraid people would notice.

Where do we learn to do these faces? I sure as hell didn't plan to develop this response to another human being. I must have caught it from some other awkward nimrod.

The people in my head are based slightly on Khaneman's 2 system theory. You can find out more in this earlier blog post.  Some days I love the slower, thoughtful #2 (blue) and some days you can’t but appreciate your instinctual, hurried #1 (red). The origins of these creatures can be seen in this popular post, as well.

I often think about these two theoretical processes. Number one is the one who types posts in twitter and starts fights with Trump supporters and horrible people. Number 2 is the one who erases these posts before they are sent.

Extra post:

It’s contagious.

113. Truth Bombs

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Having iron-clad thoughts written in stone is not as laudable as it seems. For some reason, people seem to idolize personalities with unwavering opinions. I feel it's a dangerous thing to celebrate. We should be ready to update our opinions with the introduction of new evidence.

Like most Venezuelans that escaped that socialist dystopia , I was a libertarian when I came to the United States. I believed that all people needed to do was to work really hard and they could make it in a place like the USA. I have learned a lot since then. I have learned that we are definitely not all in equal footing. I came across evidence that hiring practices were racist against black sounding names (This is a recent meta-analysis);  redlining has deprived many communities from prosperity and even children are disciplined differently in school. Over time, African Americans also get longer prison sentences. All this paints a picture that is particularly harrowing for black males in this country. Thi…

112. Career Fairy

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I thought of this one while my mouth was agape and being toyed with. I don’t dislike my dentist, but he could learn a bit about human behavior from his dental hygienist.

When I first started going to the dentist after a huge gap (in years, not in my teeth), I was a mess. I never flossed, my gums were very squirty and I brushed pretty unimpressively. Move forward a few years later and now I floss about 75% of the days, I use a cool electric brush and I take a lot better care of my dental health. All of this through the coaching and encouragement of my dental assistant.

Throughout those years, my dentist has not seen a story of improvement. Just another guy he sees for 5 minutes and still is not great at oral health. I feel he could use some lessons from my dental assistant about behavior change.

I see the same pattern in other professions. We are biased about what we do, so we expect others to be like us. Dentists see people who don’t give a crap about oral health. Doctors see people …

111. The Devil We Didn't Know

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Ted Bundy's mother told her son “You’ll always be my precious son.” just before the execution. I feel like I get it now. We have a feline Bundy in our home. Her victims are electronic cables and my wife's jewelry, but make no mistake, she is deadly AF. I have also never been so much in love with an animal that has wronged me so much. 

Khaleesi (yep, should've known) has cost me around one thousand dollars on electronics so far (including an expensive wired headset). She has ruined some of Roxanne's jewelry. And what did we do about it? We bought her a little throne to sit by the window.  I don't understand who I am anymore.

When she started ripping apart everything I hold dear, I was told so many different things to try. I was told to spray vinegar on the cables. She seemed to really enjoy the taste. Like adding hot sauce to your pasta. I was told to buy protective casing. They usually were no match to her entrepreneurial spirit. The only thing that worked was cha…

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