Showing posts with label Moderation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moderation. Show all posts

June 22, 2019

Four Types of Desire

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "I Want What I Want."

There are four types of greed/jealousy:
  • I want what I’m missing
  • I want what I had
  • I want what you have
  • I want you to not have what you have

We can be slaves to our egos, emotions, and desires, or we can seek to control them and be better than mere animals. We have a soul, a conscience, and the Torah, so the choice should be clear even if not always easy.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 13, 2017

The Yom Kippur Diet Plan

So Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar is a 25-hour day of repentance, prayer, and fasting. 

This last Yom Kippur, someone mentioned to me that some people take the idea of fasting and apply it to dieting during the year by doing a 3-day fasting. 

Uh, that sounds pretty severe and maybe even a little dangerous. 

But it got me thinking that on Yom Kippur we fast for a day and then eat a meal, so why not do that daily for dieting. 

Just subsist on one main meal a day--basically limiting intake of food to a few hours in the evening. 

This made sense to me as a moderate way that I could stay focused and disciplined without any food for about 20 hours at a time, but still give myself something to look forward to with a proper, natural dinner--almost like a natural give and take that I believe I could live with (at least for a good while). 

I thought let me give this a try!

And I did. 

First without drinking or eating. 

Then I rethought this after a few days and getting parched, and said just drink zero-calorie drinks, but no food or caloric intake during the day until the meal at the end of the day. 

And I've been doing this now since Yom Kippur 2 weeks ago. 

I have actually lost almost 10 pounds in that time and feel great. 

It hasn't been hard--except for one day when the synagogue had a mega Bar Mitzvah kiddish/luncheon and I sat there and didn't have a thing!

But otherwise, I go to work and all my activities, including working out--sometimes twice a day--and without any food.

It seems to be working. 

While previously, I stayed completely off any carbs, and still gained weight--now, I allow myself to eat everything (kosher) at dinner and am losing!

I wonder if I am on to something with this new "Yom Kippur Diet."

I pray to Hashem that I've discovered something good and healthy here and am committed to seeing it through. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 12, 2017

Wide Load @McDonald's

I took this photo passing a McDonald's. 

It just seemed so perfect.

With this SUV parked right between the McDonald's arches.

And on the SUV are two red warning flags sticking out from the sides with a sign on top that says: 
"Wide Load" 
And in the McDonald's window is a smiley face and a $2.99 Happy Meal special. 

With the "fast food" unhealthy eating culture that McDonald's has so long represented, what is there really to smile about except the cheap fixings. 

If you eat at McDonald's too much or too long then like Morgan Spurlock in the documentary "Super Size Me," who ate nothing but McDonald's for 30 days and gained almost 25 pounds and felt crappy...unfortunately the sign "Wide Load" may be descriptive of what can happen.   

This isn't a dig at McDonald's per se (there are many fast food joints and things that we know aren't necessarily good for us)...moderation in life is really key. 

Healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness, work-life balance, and generally taking good care of yourself is not just a nice to have, but important to our well-being.

Genetics aside, it's the "Battle of the Bulge," and it's a lifelong pursuit to be healthy 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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February 28, 2017

U.S. National Demise From Political and Media Extremism


When politics

When media becomes propaganda, this country is in serious trouble.

We are so busy telling each other what "the truth" is that nothing is getting done. 

While Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and radical Islamist terrorists increase in strength and bravado, we are fighting one another here at home.

As more people in the U.S. gravitate to the extremes--alt-left and alt-right--lines in sand are drawn between us, while the red lines defending our common interests are eviscerated. 

Self-destructing from within, while we outwardly spend $600 billion on defense--34% of that of the entire world!

No strategy or weapons can defend us, when fake news and alternate facts and hatred of one another is at our present-day core. 

Tearing us apart, the endless hateful calls of:

- "Not my President"

- "Resistance and persistence"

- "Love Trumps Hate"

- "Deplorables, Nazis, Communists!"

The political extremists and their media henchmen are leading the charge to America's downfall and possible doomsday. 

Unless we, the American people, can moderate and unify and love each other again.

We must before our enemies take advantage of our inner divisiveness and weakness.

If we don't come to our common senses, then we may very well pay a most heavy price in our persons, property, and freedom that we all so cherish and value. ;-)
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May 1, 2016

Pro Life OR Pro Choice

I took this photo going to the doctor last week.

This guy is standing outside the office building and he goes, "Did you know that there is an abortion clinic in there?"

Sort of stating the obvious as a guy, I said, "Well I'm not going there!"

It was fascinating though watching this guy picketing with his sign, "Pray To End Abortion."

And he's standing in front of some spiffy signs advertising Fendi and Gucci. 

Perhaps, he's not understanding where some people come from and what they go through getting pregnant either not by choice (rape, incest, etc.) or they are not ready to properly care for a child or there is a clear and present danger to the health of the mother. 

While late term abortions are completely anathema and in my mind really are murder, perhaps early term abortions, even if not a desired outcome by any means are at times a type of life-saving necessity for the reasons mentioned. 

Unfortunately, I really don't think it's a simple either/or.  

Yes, we must be pro life and protect the unborn children.

AND

Yes, we must have some element of pro choice and protect the mother and the child when it's birth would bring more harm than good. 

The decision needs to be made case-by-case and are excruciating to decide and do the right thing for all. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 9, 2011

How Far Will You Go?

This week we watched with horror as a Texas baseball fan and firefighter fell to his death attempting to catch a ball hurtling into the stands.

This man overreached in this case, and went to his death in order to try and catch a baseball!

He did an ordinary thing and it cost him his life--right in front of his son.

It is tragic--unbelievable.

Ironically, the same day, the Wall Street Journal (8 July 2011) has an article called "The Taming of The Fans," about what they call "rowdy fan bases" and efforts to control the craziness.

In response, a "fan code of conduct" is being adopted by some.

"Among the no-no's:"

- Fighting
- Illegal drugs
- Laser pens
- Drinking underage
- And so on.

About a month ago, there was the riots in Vancouver after the Stanley cup was lost and from the chaos came the now famous photo of the kissing couple, the girl having been injured and on the ground in the mayhem.

We live in an unpredictable world--where things can get out of control.

When rationality, morality, and a sense of moderation get away from us, thenterrible things happen--death, destruction, chaos.

And of course, this is not limited to fans of sporting events and rock-and-roll concerts.

This week, we watched with mouths agape as people like Casey Anthony and Dominique Strauss-Kahn basically walk away from some very serious and terrible charges. While no one can say what really happened, we were all really shocked at the outcomes.

For months now, we have been watching with indignation as various Middle-East dictators shoot, kill, besiege, and round up their own people in order to maintain power in the Arab Spring.

Lara Logan, the CBS reporter, who was sexually attacked and brutally beaten by a mob in Egypt's Tahir Square during the riots in February, is another recent horror tale that speaks volumes about people going to non-sensical extremes and committing atrocities.

The images and sound bites are there basically everyday of people, organizations, and societies going to the extremes and doing unthinkables--really these are burned into consciousness (for others it's in their subconscious).

People are willing to go to all sorts of extremes to get what they want, do what they believe, or just to go sheer crazy.

Sometimes, those efforts are rewarded and others get their due--in the end, I believe justice prevails in this life or the after.

Our world sits on a fine line between sanity and insanity--life and death.

People are tempted "to go for it" to get what they want all the time.

But the challenge is to weigh the cost and benefits and chose our actions carefully.

There is a domino effect to our choices--and we own the consequences.

Will we pull ourselves back from the edge--when the ball is coming our way in life?

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September 4, 2009

Internet Addiction—The Real Thing

Yes, people talk about having an Internet addiction and chuckle. But this is becoming the real thing!

AP (3 September 2009) reports that ReSTART, the first U.S. residential treatment center for Internet addiction opened near Redmond (home of Microsoft).

The center offers a 45-day program costing $14,000 to treat pathological computer use.

This includes “obsessive use of video games, texting, Facebook, eBay, Twitter” and more.

So far only one patient is in treatment, but more are sure to be coming.

“There are many such treatment centers in China, South Korea, and Taiwan—where Internet addiction is taken very seriously—and many psychiatric experts say it is clear that Internet addiction is real and harmful.

How does using the Internet or computer harm people?

The effects of addiction are no joke. They range from loss of a job or marriage to car accidents for those who can’t stop texting while driving. Some people have did after playing video games for days without a break, generally stemming from a blood clot associated with being sedentary.”

Experts are debating whether to include Internet Addiction in the next version of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders 2012.

“’Internet addicts’ are folks who have severe depression, anxiety, disorders, or social symptoms that make it hard for them to live a full, balanced life and deal face-to-face with other people.”

What are the warning signs (according to AP)?

  • Preoccupied thinking about computers and the Internet
  • Using it longer than intended
  • Using it for increasing amounts of time
  • Repeatedly making unsuccessful efforts to control use
  • Jeopardizing relationships, school or work to spend time online
  • Lying to cover the extent of use
  • Using it to escape problems or feelings of depressions

I suppose everything can be taken to an extreme even computer use. In which case, even highly useful, productive, and transformative information technology can be misused and abused.

Oddly enough, we seem to be feeding the addiction like a glutton—there is an almost endless array of new computer gadgets and applications giving almost endless reason to get online and soak up all the information, social media, e-commerce, and entertainment available. It’s all very alluring and compelling.

Seems pretty easy for people to go of the deep end with this.

So when was the last time you stayed off the Internet for more than 24 hours? How many of you are compulsively checking email, Blackberrys, Facebook, Twitter, IM, texting, and surfing the net? I would even throw in compulsively on the cell phone—yap, yap, yap.

Will there come a time when people reject this 24/7/365 e-lifestyle and push for greater online moderation?

Looking at other types of addictions, at one time people smoked like chimneys and then the realization of the negative side effects led to people putting on the nicotine patches or otherwise going cold turkey, either kicking the habit or greatly cutting back.

The same occurred with a period in society of heavy drinking/alcoholism followed by prohibition and then a more moderate acceptance of social drinking.

It seems that the addiction line gets crossed when people can no longer control their behavior and it results in them hurting themselves or others.

The problem is that we don’t have very good foresight with any of this and we only tend to see the negative consequences of overuse/abuse only after some time—that the empirical nature of science.

So will we wait for a higher prevalence of socio/psychological disorders from Internet addiction, greater numbers of burnt out workers, higher divorce rates, more child neglect, further accidents because people can’t stop their darn texting while driving OR will we be able to foresee the unintended, but certain effects of doing too much of a good, Internet thing?


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October 27, 2008

Fear, Greed, and Enterprise Architecture

Just wanted to thank Jonas Lamis for posting my guest blog, "Fear, Greed, and Enterprise Architecture," on the Architecture & Governance Magazine site.

I think A&G is a great magazine -- down-to-earth and straightforward views on a range of important topics to CIOs, enterprise architects, and other IT professionals.

Kudos to Jonas and his team!
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