Link Dump and Miscellaneous Thoughts
I've been absent from my writing duties and derelict as a co-owner/contributor to GCP because I've had the good fortune to log long hours in poker, as well as getting a large writing assignment from a site that has brokered poker strategy articles out to third party sites, and trying to find time to be a good father and husband when home. I'm not complaining busy is good, but I do apologize with Gene starting a new job and me bulldozing through this writing gig in any free (and not so "free) time, I have been inept as content provider to the main site. Excuses, excuses... I know. Expect a GCP update today.
Okay, let's get to some nagging little things that twitter and facebook are too short a forum for but aren't quite warranting of posts of their own, so it's kind of a link dump...
1. Fiat Commercials: I thought the Superbowl ad was genius. Well as genius as tying your product to sex which despite being advertising technique number one has actually been proven to be largely ineffective for selling what you are selling. I read an article recently that people remember the ads for the sex but not the product. Fiat, I'd argue sidestepped it by having the Romanian model be the embodiment of the car. We haven't heard from Fiat since well, ever, and they release a mini-Cooper like car to the United States, which in general would probably be ridiculed for kind of being a p***y car rather than a p***y magnet.
In a quick introduction to the U.S. in a superbowl ad, they had the model be a powerful, seductive, look but don't touch, okay maybe you can't touch, dangerous identity which the Barth car also embodied. Considering the product it's a pretty awesome feat. Then they followed up that brand defining spot with an ad literally destroying everything they did. People are split on Charlie Sheen but suddenly turning the model (vis a vis the car) into arm candy for an over the hill drug addict on house arrest is neither cool nor motivating to blow cash. The car went from being a racy, dangerous, sexy man's CAR into a small (afterall it's cornering in a house) toy. They sold out their brand for Charlie Sheen, where at best half the people like him, and those people aren't buying Fiat's anyway. Crazy. Never seen a product make such a bold splash through advertising and then two months later destroy the image. Yeah... why do I care? I don't know, think in another life I was meant to go into advertising.
2. Time speeds up as you get older: Turns out it's not just some sort of trick of your brain. Well, it may be but it turns out there may be physiological reasons behind the trick. I remember having a deep conversation with a girl who looked like the model in the fiat ad when I was in college, except her exotic looks were Jewish not Romanian, but similar nonetheless in a Sofia Loren way (brag? yes, I've had conversations with beautiful people... conversations). Anyway, she conjectured as your metabolism slows down so too does your perception and sense of time. So as you age, time moves faster as your metabolic rate slows down. When you are younger and the metabolism is explosively fast times is slow. Thus, the school year drags on forever when you are seven but is over in a flash when you are a parent.
Made sense to me then, and apparently hot chicks can be smart because they seem to be saying similar things now. Though the article I'm linking to suggests your perception of time is related to how much you remember so as you get older and have fewer novel or new experiences, you remember less and thus it seemed like the passing of time was quicker because you perceived less to happen. I like the metabolic idea which I've seen in other places but don't have the energy to google and link too.
3. Goldman Sachs: An outgoing officer in this New York Times editorial, said this about GS: "I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.... It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail."
Such a joke if anybody believes a corporation or its representatives or a lawyer have your best interests at heart, then you are a muppet. When I was in law school on the first day, they asked the incoming class this question "How many people are here because they want to make a lot of money." A few hands went up, then more then more then more. They then said, "Be honest," I counted exactly two people other than myself not raising their hands. Illuminating and depressing.
When you meet with a lawyer, despite their grins and reassuring embrace, ask yourself, how does his advice help me and how does it help him. Then ask for alternatives and more alternatives and then find out if his advice is designed to most help you or him. Find the lawyer who helps himself least and stick with him. Same thing with sales people or anybody that has a stake in your action, they are looking out for number one first so always ask what they personally get out of the deal. The more insulted they get out at the question the more they have to profit. Don't be embarrassed asking.
I guess I'm a bit of an idealist (yeah what a paradox an idealistic poker player...), I remember reading Hemmingway's "The Short and Happy Life of Francis MacComber" in high school and questioning how a man's wife on safari could essentially sneak into the tent of their guide and lay with him. I said that wasn't realistic. My teacher essentially told me I needed to grow up and the world's not that nice. Guess, I still need to grow up, because I always assume that human nature or sound business strategy should be about doing what's best for other people and then one day expecting the same from them. Unfortunately, it's not. The Goldman Sachs quote is just more of the same. The world is a bad place filled by bad people trying to take advantage of you. Be nice.... but don't be a sucker. That's my philosophy... hope it doesn't bit me in the ass. And, don't take your wife on a Safari.
4. Buy Jonathan Little's second book. On the way to AC I reread his first and got more out of it the second time. I differ with him on some philosophies but just understanding his helped me. Also, I found spots to utilize it, even if I won't use it universally, there are situations for it. By the way, that disagreement is probably just illustrative of a leak in my game considering he's far more accomplished and better at poker than I am.
5. Read Kai Landry's blog... He and Monkey have both had some entertaining posts the last couple of weeks, I hope our brief hiatus on the front page hasn't kept readers from checking them out.
6. Will get back to wrapping up poker in Atlantic City and a fun trip to Coushatta for the Seven Clans Poker Tournament. That will probably be on the front page of GCP.
7. Alright, that's cleaned some clutter from the grey mass in my skull. If you been reading thanks for letting me sweep the dust out onto you.