Breast Massage A Part of Breast Cancer Awareness


20130126-110759.jpgrBreast Massage A Part of Breast Cancer Awareness
Content brought to us by DR. KAT
I know what you’re saying, “Dr. Kat are you trying to create a cheap thrill out of a monthly breast exam?” My answer is yes and no. While yes, I do believe self breast exams and even getting your partner in on the action can be a nice compliment to your overall breast care (nothing substitutes how a woman knows her own body and follow up with her medical care), there are actual proponents out there that say breast massage can actually keep your breasts healthy.

Dr. Ben Johnson, of the The Secret fame, is an expert in breast health, author of the book The Secret of Health: Breast Wisdom and the founder of the International Cancer Foundation. He has worked to merge traditional and complimentary perspectives when it comes to taking care of your tatas. Dr. Johnson believes that maintaining breast circulation is critical in breast health.

Dr. Johnson reminds us that circulation gets oxygen to the all important breast tissue. Low oxygen has been related to cancer on a physiological level. Dr. Johnson’s blog gives these directions: “when you go home, take your bra off and massage your breast. Put your hands on your chest and rotate in a circular motion a few times with the tips of your fingers. Then go the other direction. Even while the bra is on you can do this. Find a private place while you’re at work or while you’re out of the home and do this three or four times a day.”

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100 Referral Marketing Ideas


I have place several tips for those interested in making money on line with referral marketing. If you dont want to go through this whole list then simply go to the following link and I will help you put all this into action

 

CLICK HERE TO PUT THESE WORDS INTO ACTION

 

Strategy # 1 – “Evaluate why your customers come to you, then give them more than they expect and you will have a willing referral work force.”

Strategy # 2 – “To receive referrals from word of mouth advertising, you need to work on stimulating them on a regular basis.”

Strategy # 3 – “Give customers a gift and you will get passive customer referrals when they either display the gift or talk about it to their friends.”

Strategy # 4 – “One way to stimulate passive referrals is to give a customer rebate following a large purchase or job.  Let your customer know that your savings through volume discounts are being passed down to them.”

Strategy # 5 – “Another way to stimulate passive referrals is to choose an obscure event or holiday to celebrate annually and give discount cards or gifts to your customers.  If they’re not talking about it to their friends the first year, they will be by the second year.”

Strategy # 6 – “Another passive referral approach would be to package 2 items together for the price of one. Then include a card suggesting that the customer share the 2nd one with a friend.”

Strategy # 7 – “Think of a free service you could occasionally provide to your customers that is related to your business.  For example, if you sell insurance, arrange to have house numbers painted on the curbs of your home owners.”

Strategy # 8 – “Another passive referral approach would be to package 2 identical products together for the price of one. Then include a card suggesting that your customer share the 2nd product with one of their friends.”

Strategy # 9 – “Use a gift phone card to generate passive referrals from customers who have used your travel agency or car rental services.”

Strategy # 10 – “Creating recyclable gift boxes or bags with your company logo will show you are concerned about the environment. When your customers re-use the box or bag, they passively advertise for you.”

Strategy # 11 – “Make sure to keep your target audience in mind when creating your referral marketing plan. Not all referrals are of equal value.”

Strategy # 12 – “Create a souvenir or unique gift that will peak conversations which will evolve to discussions of your business.  Wearable art, coffee table books, or collectables to name a few.”

Strategy # 13 – “Arrange to bottle or package a generic item with your product labeling.  Whether it’s  sunscreen, soap, lip balm or eye glass cleaner, if you give several to your customers, they will share the wealth and information about your company with their friends.”

Strategy # 14 – “Determine a unique aspect of your business and find a way to create a smaller version, or sample of this to give to customers to share with their friends, family and business associates.”

Strategy # 15 – “Referrals do not generate themselves. Since a referral is the best kind of lead, you should spend time to delevop a solid referral marketing plan.”

Strategy # 16 – “Whether you are thanking a customer for a referral, or trying to get them to provide referrals, do it with flare and in such a different way that it will be remembered and a source of discussion. How about paying all your referral fees with $2.00 bills!”

Strategy # 17 – “If you give away postcards in your tourist related business, consider creating a perforated, double postcard that has a large version to mail to a friend, and a smaller version to tear off and keep as a souvenir.”

Strategy # 18 – “Matchbooks used to be a great pass along referral idea.  Try something similar by advertising in small scratch pads that your customers can have, and share with their friends.”

Strategy # 19 – “Have holiday and birthday cards printed that open on the left side.  Then create a message that refers to the backwards printing and relate it to a unique aspect of your business.  This card will get shown to friends and associates.”

Strategy # 20 – “Consider sending home samplers of your best desserts, sauces etc. When patrons leave your restaurant.  Not only will they consider ordering those items next time they come, they may just tell a friend about this unique dining perk.”

Strategy # 21 – “Offer a free dessert certificate that your customer can use on their next visit when they give the name and address of a friend.  Then mail that friend a coupon for a ‘free’ menu item.  Explain that their friend enjoyed their dining experience so much, they asked for the coupon to be sent to their friend.”

Strategy # 22 – “To have your customers become more focused on spreading the word, send them home with a free sample and a gift certificate for a friend to come receive the gift as well.”

Strategy # 23 – “Send a coupon by direct mail or cyber mail to your customer and thank them for their business.  Invite them to share the coupon with a friend or associate.”

Strategy # 24 – “Give a free sample of your product to a local or national celebrity.  This type of exposure often elicits comments or recommendations that will result in referrals to your company.”

Strategy # 25 – “There are a variety of creative sales messages you can put on clocks that can be given to satisfied customers who will display them in prominent places for you.”

Strategy # 26 – “Clocks can also be created with messages for your customers who need annual or regular service reminders that creatively say, ‘it’s time for….”

Strategy # 27 – “Luggage tags are highly visible in airports, train stations, bus depots and taxi stands. Give away tags with unique and easily remembered messages that will invite conversation and referrals.”

Strategy # 28 – “Restaurants could name, or re-name, a dish after one of their long-term customers.  Have a night to unveil the dish and invite the customers’ special guests to attend.”

Strategy # 29 – “Have a customer appreciation day for your best customers and their friends.  Provide special sales, discounts and offer additional discounts if they introduce their friend to one of your employees.” (who will get their name and address)

Strategy # 30 – “Provide customers with a free planning check list that includes your services.  Depending on your business, it could be a helpful list for special events, selling or buying a home, moving, etc.”

Strategy # 31 – “Wear something unique to a trade show or special event that will create an opportunity for discussion.  Something as simple as a medal can be very effective in stimulating questions and referrals.”

Strategy # 32 – “Give customer awards for referrals, quality improvement suggestions or anything that helps your business.  These awards could be a banner, trophy, pin, badge or anything with an interesting shape or design.  Your customer will enjoy showing his friends and telling them about your company.”

Strategy # 33 – “When you send flowers as a ‘thank you,’ don’t just send a seasonal bouquet, send something exotic that lasts a long time.  Everyone who sees the bouquet will comment and give your customer an opportunity to sing your praises.”

Strategy # 34 – “Invite or ’empower’ your customers to give away company products, awards and privileges.  This will endear them even more to your company, while creating new customers.”

Strategy # 35 – “Rather than inviting one of your faithful customers to join you in the use of your season tickets.  Give the tickets to the customer and let them invite a friend.  Follow up with the friend to see if they enjoyed themselves.”

Strategy # 36 – “Have a drawing for one of your bigger ticket items and then give lottery tickets to your customers to give to their friends and associates.  The ticket stubs need to be filled out and returned to be eligible for the drawing.”

Strategy # 37 – “Consider a joint venture with a lawn and garden store.  For any customer that purchases $10 or more of lawn and garden products, have the store give them a free rain gauge with cleverly written information and a contact number for your lawn service.”

Strategy # 38 – “Consider a joint venture with a hardware store or special order air filter company to give away a free outdoor thermometer with any $10 purchase of air conditioning filters.  The thermometer would have a clever slogan and contact information for your air conditioning repair services.”

Strategy # 39 – “Place comment postcards near cash registers, customer service desks and waiting areas and encourage your customers to send a comment to a friend or associate about some aspect of your company.  Capture the contact info. And mail the postcard plus a thank you to your customer.”

Strategy # 40 – “Create vouchers with a free or discounted service you can offer to prospects to begin a business relationship.  Then give these vouchers to current customers to share with a friend or associate.”

Strategy # 41 – “Print your business contact information and a favorite saying or defining goal of your company on a shirt, hat, decal, refrigerator magnet, bumper sticker etc.  Then give these items to customers to use or share with friends.”

Strategy # 42 – “Provide your customers with new, important or funny information that they will share with others.”

Strategy # 43 – “Create a sheet of stickers to send out annually with reminders or valuable tips to be placed on phones, computers, light switches, smoke detectors etc.  Include your contact information on each tip and a duplicate sheet for them to give to a friend or associate.”

Strategy # 44 – “Create an interesting tour of your business and invite local schools on the tour.  Provide a souvenir at the end and you will find that many students will discuss the tour with their parents.  This free advertising will promote new business and goodwill that will more than pay for the program.”

Strategy # 45 – “Similar to the sheet of sticker tips, send a reminder postcard to slide behind a light switch until the reminder tip is completed.  Reminders could include fire extinguisher, tire pressure, replenishment of emergency food supplies or spreading fertilzer.”

Strategy # 46 – “Send a card, letter, fax or e-mail with information about product updates or improvements and how this benefits their life or business.  Great information is always shared with friends.”

Strategy # 47 – “Create and name an organization of complimentary, non-competitive businesses in your area.  Have everyone pay dues to cover the cost of an informational booklet and small free gifts for customer referrals.  Display these booklets at all the businesses in the organization to encourage referrals.”

Strategy # 48 – “Word of mouth referrals can be  generated when your customer has a positive experience with your staff.  By rotating the boss and your most knowledgeable employees to the ‘front lines’ each day, you will improve the skills of your less experienced employees and provide your customers with a positive experience.”

Strategy # 49 – “Train all levels of your staff on how to handle basic customer service questions and issues.  If they know your business philosophy, then your customer walks away with positive rather than negative things to share with future customers.”

Strategy # 50 – “Send out a monthly or quarterly newsletter with valuable information, not just advertising for your business.  You will keep in the forefront of your customers mind, and they will share tips they learned from your newsletter.”

Strategy # 51 – “Recycle your posters or other large advertising by giving them to blood banks, hospitals, etc. Where people spend time lying on their back.  Suggest they be attached to the ceiling to give them something to talk or think about.”

Strategy # 52 – “Send your customers a joke on a postcard and encourage them to share a smile with as many friends as possible by passing on the joke.”

Strategy # 53 – “Following a long-term or high dollar business transaction, send a thank you note and another stamped card that can be forwarded to a friend or associate to recommend your services.”

Strategy # 54 – “Create a profile of your customers preferences and refer to them in direct mail and personal contact.  Your customer will be impressed with your attentiveness and their word of mouth advertising will take on a whole new meaning.”

Strategy # 55 – “When creating slogans to display on bumper stickers, shirts, pins, etc. Begin the phrase with something to encourage discussion like…’ask me…check with me…’ this will stimulate your word of mouth advertising.”

Strategy # 56 – “Work of mouth advertising can be a double edged sword.  If your customer has a negative experience, solve the problem as quickly as possible and provide generous restitution.”

Strategy # 57 – “To have ongoing referrals you need to turn suspects into prospects, prospects into customers, customers into clients and clients into friends.  Friends will do regular business with you and refer all their friends.”

Strategy # 58 – “Leverage your time in obtaining referrals by participating in public speaking engagements.  Provide a comment card following your presentation that will generate referrals for your ‘free’ information or sample.”

Strategy # 59 – “Plant referral suggestions with your  customers by discussing how rewarding it is to have built your business on referrals of satisfied customers.  Then highlight what makes your company worth referring.”

Strategy # 60 – “Always reward your customers for their referrals.  Whether it’s a note, a phone call, a gift, or monetary compensation, if you show your gratitude you will be rewarded with repeat business and additional referrals.”

Strategy # 61 – “If you give rewards for referrals, be consistent in the value and timeliness of rewards to customers who provide repeated referrals.”

Strategy # 62 – “Send 2 discount cards to your customer.  Offer one to them and encourage them to share the other card with a friend.”

Strategy # 63 – “Ask for referrals from satisfied customers who have just made a purchase.  Whether it’s at the cash register, or a few weeks after they have enjoyed their purchase. A satisfied customer is a great resource.”

Strategy # 64 – “To help satisfied customers think of valid names to refer, suggest they consider business associates, friends, church members, social groups, neighbors, relatives, professional group associates, and friends through sports, clubs or hobbies.”

Strategy # 65 – “Not only is a prospect a potential customer, they can be a treasure chest of referrals if you treat them well. Even if they don’t make a purchase, ask them who they know that would benefit from your product or service.  Your prospect may not need it, but they have at least one acquaintance that does.”

Strategy # 66 – “Whether you have a service and parts department, or can determine the ‘average’ lifecycle of your product, keep abreast or when your customers will be looking for a replacement of your product.  Then be the first in line to share the benefits of your latest and greatest model.”

Strategy # 67 – “The more confident you apprear to your customers, the more willing they will be to refer their friends to you.”

Strategy # 68 – “If your company does not have a direct marketing advertising budget and only markets through referrals then openly enlist the assistance of your customers.   By letting them know that they help you keep prices down by being a part of your marketing plan it’s easier to ask for and receive quality referrals.”

Strategy # 69 – “Your referrals grow the more you are published.  Whether it’s pamphlets, letters to the editor, articles or books, your writing can earn you the reputation of an expert in your field.”

Strategy # 70 – “You may have clients who could co-author an article or news column.  As you pursue joint publishing, your referrals increase dramatically because your co-author is also distributing the article with their friends an associates.”

Strategy # 71 – “Know who your key referral sources are so that you focus the majority of your referral efforts where you get the majority of your results.”

Strategy # 72 – “Participate in volunteer opportunities that match your interests or talents.  Do it with a sincere heart, not a business head, and as you give back to your community, your circle of influence grows too.”

Strategy # 73 – “Always have plenty of business or information request cards when you are at a networking event.  As you get acquainted with new contacts, trade cards and note follow-up or personal information on the back of their card.  Then be sure to follow-up!”

Strategy # 74 –  In addition to regular networking efforts, also network with reputable competitors.  If your goal is to best serve your customer, then when either you or a competitor are overloaded, or it’s not your expertise, both you and your customer will benefit from a referral and your competitor will reciprocate.”

Strategy # 75 – “Consider doing 30 minutes a day of personal development in your field.  This will help you become the expert in your field and give you an opportunity to communicate regularly with your customers by sending them articles or information specific to their needs.”

Strategy # 76 – “Always have an interesting and informative 60 second commercial ready that extols the benefits of your amazing company.  Pique the interest of your listeners and you will be remembered during referral opportunities.”

Strategy # 77 – “Consider putting a positive twist on all you say.  Even discussing your competitors product with a customer can have a few positive comments before you launch into how your product benefits will fit their needs better.”

Strategy # 78 – “Be prompt in arriving to appointments or responding to phone or letter requests.  Promptness shows you’re professional and can be depended upon and those are the kind of people who receive referrals from customers.”

Strategy # 79 – “If you provide quality referrals to your prospects and customers, they will be more inclined to provide referrals to you.”

Strategy # 80 – “Get to know people of influence in your community.  As your circle grows, so will your quality referrals.”

Strategy # 81 – “Even if you don’t need the business, prospect for new customers everyday.  The stream of ‘new blood’ will keep your business going strong.”

Strategy # 82 – “Update acquaintances from the past and you will find many valuable referrals and customers.  Consider finding past acquaintances from school, jobs, neighborhoods, clubs, church, or sports.”

Strategy # 83 – “Send out newsletters with creative and useful information and include a section on referrals and incentives.  It’s a simple process of informing and asking so that the  referrals will role in.”

Strategy # 84 – “When your business gets to a point that you can’t work all of your referrals.  Refer the ones you can’t accommodate to someone who can.  Rather than throwing them away you are passing on goodwill to all involved.”

Strategy # 85 – “If you want to get regular referrals, you need to show common courtesy and provide feedback to the source of the referral.  You will be surprised at the number of new referrals you can receive while providing feedback on a previous referral from your source.”

Strategy # 86 – “It’s important to admit a mistake to a customer and explain how you will fix the problem.  If your customer gets action and not apathy to the problem, they will send more business your way.”

Strategy # 87 – “If your business is in a temporary down turn, don’t appear desperate or your customers will not have enough confidence to provide you with referrals.”

Strategy # 88 – “Never make assumptions that the person you are talking to would not want or qualify for your product or service.  Treat each person respectfully and with interest, and even if they don’t need your product, they will know someone who does need your product.”

Strategy # 89 – “If your product or service is related to food, clothing or healthcare, contact women’s groups and offer to give a talk on an issue that is important to them.  By talking to the right groups for your product or service, you’ll stimulate more qualified referrals.”

Strategy # 90 – “Consider getting involved in a seniors group and give a talk on a product topic of interest.  Take the time to listen and discuss, and not only will you benefit from their insights, they’ll give you referrals as well.”

Strategy # 91 – “If you network in social or service clubs, plan on arriving early or leaving late.  Then you will have the time to interact with the members of the club or you’ve wasted your membership dues and opportunities for referrals.”

Strategy # 92 – “Use a referral fee as your last ditch strategy.  Money has never bred loyalty.  Friendship, trust and a positive relationship are what drive loyalty to you and your business.”

Strategy # 93 – “Create a one-way cross-promotion in which you have someone send out a letter to their customer list promoting you and your business. You then give them a referral fee for those people who buy your service.”

Strategy # 94 – “A powerful referral program is a two-way cross promotion using endorsements from other well-respected people.  An associate sends an endorsement letter about you and your product to their customer list, and you do the same to your customer list.”

Strategy # 95 – “Your business needs word of mouth advertising to obtain referrals, but don’t mistake that with developing a methodical system for your business referral prospecting.”

Strategy # 96 – “Customers that give referrals become more loyal to you and your business.  Once someone makes a public statement about you, psychologically they will become more loyal to you and your business, so it’s a ‘win win’ situation.”

Strategy # 97 – “When asking for a referral, narrow the frame of reference for your customer to think about.  Don’t ask for a general name, get specific with the type of person or associate, and they will be better able to give you referrals.”

Strategy # 98 – “Approach a complimentary business and educate them with special reports you have created that will be tools to help them  help their customers.  As they give out these reports, they are more inclined to pass on a referral to you as well.”

Strategy # 99 – “Provide gifts to complimentary businesses that will teach them how to grow their business. These gifts are always welcome and they will know that you are interested in growing your business as well.”

Strategy # 100 – “Take the time to clearly explain to acquaintances what you do.  Share stories about results your customers have experienced with your products or services.  Ask them if they know people who would benefit from having similar results or experiences.”

11/11/11 Numerology Reason rules the day


11/11/11 Numerology

Reason rules the day

 

What will you see on 11/11/11? While some people expect a day of luck and good fortune and others fear nothing but trouble, Numerology holds the real answers. Nearly every day of our lives we rush around at Mach speed, focusing all our precious energy on ourselves, our views and our personal problems. We see things as us or them, right or wrong, black or white. But on 11/11/11, we get a very rare opportunity to see the grey areas that lie between. That space that is so vast that it often separates us from others dissipates on this one day, drawing us closer to others and allowing us to connect in ways we normally just can’t.

At some point in your life you’ve probably been shown an inkblot or a cloud and been asked, “what do you see?” Maybe you didn’t even give the question a second thought, or just blurted out the first thing that came to mind. But when we rush through life ignoring these common visions we share with others, we draw further and further away, and our own light dims.

And that’s why 11/11/11 is such a powerful point in our lives. It’s a day that favors matters of the heart over the mind, a day when friendship, romance, caring, and all those other good qualities of life are of utmost importance. The more practical matters — running the country or your business, or even the details in your own household — take a backseat now.

The number 11 is directly associated with the feminine number 2, but while the 11 is therefore feminine, it takes these traits to much greater heights. The symbol “11” itself, even — the numbers 1 and 1, side by side — actually shows us a tunnel or funnel that represents the 11’s most important trait: the power to channel what is not visible or known, and bring it down to our level. It is the link between two worlds — the 11 is the grey area.

The number 11 also has many other positive attributes, such as compassion, tact, sensitivity, intuition, emotional intensity, passion and harmony. It is non-confrontational and likes to mediate and keep the peace. It is not weak by any measure, but will gladly step aside if that helps to avoid discord.

The repetitive presence of the number 11 means that feminine energy rules on 11/11/11. On a global scale and in our personal relationships, we can find common ground now. We’re able to avoid conflict by casting confrontation aside in favor of cooperation and give-and-take. There is more willingness to work together on this day, and a universal increase in compassion and caring.

Yet, there are other numbers at play on 11/11/11 as well. The 8 — the sum of all the digits found in that date — is a very karmic number, and is most strongly felt in the world of business and finance. So we may see some surprises in those areas, like major ups and downs in individual stocks and whole stock markets, or shifts in the Occupy Wall Street movement. We also can’t look past the 2 and the 0 found in the year 2011 — this increases the emotional instability of the 11, making us more inclined to turn molehills into mountains and let our emotions overtake our common sense. Lastly, the number 6 is also hidden in this date, which is another feminine number, bringing famiy affairs to the foreground, testing friendships and loyalty and perhaps calling for a bit of self-sacrifice.

11/11/11 may be one single day, but the effects of this date can be profound and lasting. Tune in. Reason with others. Connect, accept, love and listen, and you’ll find a more calm, complete and connected future.

Ways to Make Your Fall In Love With You Maybe Again


3 Ways to Make Him Fall For You

Have you ever found yourself falling for a man you were dating and wondered if he was feeling the same way? Did you find yourself trying to prove what a great catch you are by being sweeter, funnier and smarter in hopes that he would fall in love with you? Focusing on what a man wants and ingratiating yourself in this way may feel like the natural thing to do, but it’s the worst way to try to make a man feel romantic love for you.

Love isn’t a reasonable emotion – and being “nice” and “understanding” and “a good sport” won’t get you where you want to go. Here are some ways that will:

Tip#1: Don’t give a man more than he gives you.

Love, and inspiring a man to fall in love with you forever, is all about you being able to receive love.

Most of us only know how to give. We give for lots of reasons – because we’re taught that’s the way to get to a man’s heart (it isn’t) because we see other women do it, and because deep down, it feels uncomfortable and scary to be vulnerable enough to really get love.

“A man is actually turned off when he gets more from you than he gives.”

A man is actually turned off when he gets more from you than he gives. When you shower him with affection, attention, dinners, gifts, and always go out of your way to drive to his place, it makes him think of you as a mother or a friend instead of inspiring his emotional desire for you.

Tip #2: Don’t give away exclusivity if he hasn’t yet committed.

We become totally, emotionally invested in a man when we’re exclusive with him because he has all our time and attention. There’s no way we can stop wondering about where the relationship is going. But the more we think about it and talk about it, the more we push a man away.

3 Ways to Make Him Fall For You

When you can think of it in these terms, it’s easier to keep your options open and keep your personal power in the relationship. Rather than talking about the relationship or threatening him with ultimatums, you can continue to keep your options open by dating other men. This way, you keep your class, your power, your boundaries, and he has to work to get you!

Tip#3: Don’t give him gifts, make him dinner or pay for dates.

Yes, this sounds unfair, and yet, who pays is often the difference in his mind between friends hanging out together and a “date.”

If a man complains about paying for everything, let him know you don’t care what you do, you feel great being with him, and you don’t want to pay. Walking, hanging out in bookstores, having a picnic in a park can all be fun, romantic ways to get close to a man.

(And forget about cooking dinner, or trying to make dating “reciprocal.” A bowl of popcorn and something to drink is fine.)

When you give a man gifts, give him all your attention and energy, and give MORE than you receive, you’re OVERFUNCTIONING.

Overfunctioning is doing more than your fair share and stepping up to rescue a man because you know you can do a better job. It’s arriving from your masculine energy. It feels aggressive and forward to a man. And it’s totally unattractive to him.

IS YOUR JOB REALLY SAFE FROM A MACHINERY TAKE OVER?


In jobs from the retail floor to the developers’ office, workers are losing the race against machines. Who can still compete against androids — and for how long?

615 robot.jpg

Although computers are encroaching into territory that used to be occupied by people alone, like advanced pattern recognition and complex communication, for now humans still hold the high ground in each of these areas. Experienced doctors, for example, make diagnoses by comparing the body of medical knowledge they’ve accumulated against patients’ lab results and descriptions of symptoms, and also by employing the advanced subconscious pattern recognition abilities we label “intuition.” (Does this patient seem like they’re holding something back? Do they look healthy, or is something off about their skin tone or energy level?) Similarly, the best therapists, managers, and salespeople excel at interacting and communicating with others, and their strategies for gathering information and influencing behavior can be amazingly complex.

But it’s also true that as we move deeper into the second half of the chessboard, computers are rapidly getting better at both of these skills. We’re starting to see evidence that this digital progress is affecting the business world. A March 2011 story by John Markoff in the New York Times highlighted how heavily computers’ pattern recognition abilities are already being exploited by the legal industry where, according to one estimate, moving from human to digital labor during the discovery process could let one lawyer do the work of 500. Machinery

In January, for example, Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto, Calif., helped analyze 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000. …

“From a legal staffing viewpoint, it means that a lot of people who used to be allocated to conduct document review are no longer able to be billed out,” said Bill Herr, who as a lawyer at a major chemical company used to muster auditoriums of lawyers to read documents for weeks on end. “People get bored, people get headaches. Computers don’t.”

The computers seem to be good at their new jobs. … Herr … used e-discovery software to reanalyze work his company’s lawyers did in the 1980s and ’90s. His human colleagues had been only 60 percent accurate, he found. “Think about how much money had been spent to be slightly better than a coin toss,” he said.

And an article the same month in the Los Angeles Times by Alena Semuels highlighted that despite the fact that closing a sale often requires complex communication, the retail industry has been automating rapidly.

In an industry that employs nearly 1 in 10 Americans and has long been a reliable job generator, companies increasingly are looking to peddle more products with fewer employees. … Virtual assistants are taking the place of customer service representatives. Kiosks and self-service machines are reducing the need for checkout clerks.

Vending machines now sell iPods, bathing suits, gold coins, sunglasses and razors; some will even dispense prescription drugs and medical marijuana to consumers willing to submit to a fingerprint scan. And shoppers are finding information on touch screen kiosks, rather than talking to attendants. …

The [machines] cost a fraction of brick-and-mortar stores. They also reflect changing consumer buying habits. Online shopping has made Americans comfortable with the idea of buying all manner of products without the help of a salesman or clerk.

During the Great Recession, nearly 1 in 12 people working in sales in America lost their job, accelerating a trend that had begun long before. In 1995, for example, 2.08 people were employed in “sales and related” occupations for every $1 million of real GDP generated that year. By 2002 (the last year for which consistent data are available), that number had fallen to 1.79, a decline of nearly 14 percent.

If, as these examples indicate, both pattern recognition and complex communication are now so amenable to automation, are any human skills immune? Do people have any sustainable comparative advantage as we head ever deeper into the second half of the chessboard? In the physical domain, it seems that we do for the time being. Humanoid robots are still quite primitive, with poor fine motor skills and a habit of falling down stairs. So it doesn’t appear that gardeners and restaurant busboys are in danger of being replaced by machines any time soon.

And many physical jobs also require advanced mental abilities; plumbers and nurses engage in a great deal of pattern recognition and problem solving throughout the day, and nurses also do a lot of complex communication with colleagues and patients. The difficulty of automating their work reminds us of a quote attributed to a 1965 NASA report advocating manned space flight: “Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor.”

Even in the domain of pure knowledge work–jobs that don’t have a physical component–there’s a lot of important territory that computers haven’t yet started to cover. In his 2005 book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Ray Kurzweil predicts that future computers will “encompass … the pattern-recognition powers, problem-solving skills, and emotional and moral intelligence of the human brain itself,” but so far only the first of these abilities has been demonstrated. Computers so far have proved to be great pattern recognizers but lousy general problem solvers; IBM’s supercomputers, for example, couldn’t take what they’d learned about chess and apply it to Jeopardy! or any other challenge until they were redesigned, reprogrammed, and fed different data by their human creators.

And for all their power and speed, today’s digital machines have shown little creative ability. They can’t compose very good songs, write great novels, or generate good ideas for new businesses. Apparent exceptions here only prove the rule. A prankster used an online generator of abstracts for computer science papers to create a submission that was accepted for a technical conference (in fact, the organizers invited the “author” to chair a panel), but the abstract was simply a series of somewhat-related technical terms strung together with a few standard verbal connectors.

Similarly, software that automatically generates summaries of baseball games works well, but this is because much sports writing is highly formulaic and thus amenable to pattern matching and simpler communication. Here’s a sample from a program called StatsMonkey:

UNIVERSITY PARK — An outstanding effort by Willie Argo carried the Illini to an 11-5 victory over the Nittany Lions on Saturday at Medlar Field.

Argo blasted two home runs for Illinois. He went 3-4 in the game with five RBIs and two runs scored.

Illini starter Will Strack struggled, allowing five runs in six innings, but the bullpen allowed only no runs and the offense banged out 17 hits to pick up the slack and secure the victory for the Illini.

The difference between the automatic generation of formulaic prose and genuine insight is still significant, as the history of a 60-year-old test makes clear. The mathematician and computer science pioneer Alan Turing considered the question of whether machines could think “too meaningless to deserve discussion,” but in 1950 he proposed a test to determine how humanlike a machine could become. The “Turing test” involves a test group of people having online chats with two entities, a human and a computer. If the members of the test group can’t in general tell which entity is the machine, then the machine passes the test.

Turing himself predicted that by 2000 computers would be indistinguishable from people 70% of the time in his test. However, at the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing test competition held since 1990, the $25,000 prize for a chat program that can persuade half the judges of its humanity has yet to be awarded. Whatever else computers may be at present, they are not yet convincingly human.

What’s Your Halloween Candy Personality?


Halloween looms and with it the annual candy-buying frenzy. While dieters stock up on candy they don’t like so they won’t be tempted by leftovers, the rest of us buy the stuff we do like and hope that only one or two of those pesky little costumed punks comes a-knocking. (And even then, we smack their grabby hands if they dig too deep: “Hey, pal, you’re only 5 years old. One Butterfinger for you!”)

If you haven’t bought your supply yet, the chart below might help you decide what kind of candy to pass out. We not only provide the history and calorie count for 10 brands, we also asked an expert to tell us what the candy you give out says about you. Steve Almond, the author of “Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America” (Harvest, 2005), e-mailed us his analysis of the personality types who might offer these tasty sweets to trick-or-treaters.

“There’s something incredibly liberating about a holiday that encourages children to take candy from strangers,” Almond writes of Halloween in his book. Indeed. For some reason, Almond asked that we make clear that he is a “professional candyfreak, not a therapist.” Well, that’s good enough for us.

CANDY ALMOND’S CANDY-GIVER ANALYSIS HISTORY CALORIE COUNT

3 Musketeers

Does well in groups but is somewhat pompous. Prone to fancy costumes and arcane weapons. Wears hats in public that are ill-advised. Created in 1932 by Mars, the candy bar got its name because it originally had three pieces in one packet: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. The Fun Size (15 grams) has 63 calories.

Almond Joy

I’m going to put aside my aversion to coconut in praising these folks as happy-go-lucky. Introduced in 1946 by the Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Co. in New Haven, Conn. It’s a companion to the Mounds bar, which arrived in 1920. The snack size (17 grams) has 80 calories.

Bit-O-Honey

They have contradictory personalities, hoping to express generosity but also having the passive-aggressive desire to damage the fillings of trick-or-treaters. The honey-flavored taffy was first manufactured in 1924 by the Schutter-Johnson Co. of Chicago. It is now made by Nestle. One piece (7 grams) has 26 calories.

Butterfinger

Evasive, slippery, not necessarily to be trusted. Invented in 1923 by the Curtiss Candy Co. of Chicago. The crunchy bar wrapped in chocolate is now made by Nestle. The Fun Size (18.5 grams) has 85 calories.

Candy Corn

Purely deluded people. They don’t get that candy shouldn’t attempt to imitate other food groups, particularly corn. Invented in the 1880s, it was first manufactured commercially by the Wunderle Candy Co. in Philadelphia and by the turn of the century at the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. in Cincinnati. A serving of 22 pieces (40 grams) has 140 calories, or 6.4 calories per piece.

Good & Plenty

Optimistic, perhaps overly so. A little bit of Weimar energy. Strong advocate of gay rights; acquainted with the bitterness at the center of most lives. The licorice candy was first produced in 1893 by the Quaker City Confectionery Co. in Philadelphia and is considered the oldest branded candy in the country. A serving of 33 pieces (39 grams) has 140 calories, or 4.2 calories per piece.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Generous souls. Those who understand the salty in life, as well as the sweet. Created by Harry Burnett Reese in the 1920s. Reese was a former dairy employee of Milton Hershey, founder of the Hershey Co. In 1963, the Reese candy company was sold to Hershey for $23.5 million. A one-cup package (21 grams) has 110 calories.

Snickers

Just going with the crowd, the safe candy choice, guaranteed to please the masses. Not ambitious, but dependable. Created in 1930 by Mars, Snickers bars sold for a nickel. The Fun Size was introduced in 1968. The Fun Size (17 grams) has 80 calories.

Twix

Both brittle and supple in social situations; sort of trapped between personality types. A Mars product, caramel-and-cookie Twix bars were created in the United Kingdom in 1967 but weren’t sold in the United States until 1979. The Fun Size (16 grams) has 80 calories.

Twizzlers

Sickos. Truly demented. Plastic people living plastic lives. The Twizzlers brand was introduced in 1929. The red licorice strips are manufactured by Y&S Candies, a company established in 1845 that is now a Hershey subsidiary. The snack size (14 grams) has 37 calories.

If God Is ALL KNOWING why do I get trapped in situations I dont want?


Only one road to success exists.

Hello, my name is Kelcey and I am a Christian, however I have recently been experiencing some major doubts and questions about the Christian faith. This is only one of many questions that I have, but I think it is the question that is consuming my thoughts the majority of the time so I’ll just ask this one.

It seems to me that God was incredibly unfair in His creation! God created Satan, and since he is omniscient, he knew that Satan would fall from grace and tempt man. Doesn’t this seem like a bear trap to you? God puts all the elements for sin together, and then waits and gets the expected result: mankind’s sinful nature. Following that logic, isn’t it slightly irrational for God to demand punishment for creating us the way we are?
I would really really appreciate an answer to this question. It’s been on my mind for quite some time and I can’t find a reasonable explanation for it! Thank you very much.

Kelcey, nice question…

God didn’t create us (or Satan) with the intent to sin  that would be unjust.  But rather, he did give us a choice.  So why did he give us choice?  Because God didn’t want to create robots.

If we had no choice, we would be like plants and rocks.  Plants and rocks can’t love, because they have no choice to love or not to love – they just exist.  If you program a computer to print out “I love you,” the computer doesn’t love you, you merely told it to do that. So since God wanted to create beings that could love, He gave them a choice – to love or not to love.

Did you fail or did God Fail you? Place blame in the right hands..

These aren’t the “elements for sin”, these are the “elements for love”.  The possibility of sin is the byproduct of the elements for love.  There is no trap.  There simply is a way for us to love God.

God created us perfect, without sin.  God would be unjust only if he programmed us to sin and punished us anyway.  But we were originally created without sin.  So He is fair and just to punish us if we sin.

But you bring up God’s foreknowledge of all of this.

Foreknowledge does not make one responsible for someone else’s actions.  Lawmakers know if they set the speed limit to 75 miles per hour on a section of road that people will break that law.  Just because the lawmakers knew that the law would be broken doesn’t make the lawmakers guilty in anyway.  The speeder gets the ticket  not the lawmaker.

So even if God is not responsible for our sins in anyway – if He knew we would sin, how come He let it happen anyway?    Because he had a plan to save sinners.  And that plan is Christ.  Through Christ, God’s love is shown to the universe.

 

If that doesn’t answer your question then you will need to research your own answers and speak to people you trust.

I think there is a reason for our failures and if you never fail you never learn to succeed.