Careful what you measure!

Measurement is a big part of the grown-up working world. Companies measure profit vs. loss. Hospitals measure ‘bed days’ and ‘labor expenses’ etc. In some way, accounting has been an integral of ALL organized societies for gazillions of centuries. I worked in the for-profit healthcare area for a long time (and still do, in a moonlighting capacity, but for a MUCH smaller agency than I did in the old days). Back then ‘managing labor’ was HUGE. Admittedly, NOTHING IN THE WORLD can bleed money like a nursing facility or an assisted living center if you don’t keep an eye on staffing-to-patient ratios…..but I digress.

I find most forms of measurement interesting. Statistics is one of the few arenas of mathematics that has (pretty much) always made sense to me. News outlets manipulate statistics all the time…..they’re good at it. I read a bit on the VA-scheduling scandal earlier today and thought I’d put a clip up here:

“In some cases, the system encouraged manipulation even without explicit instruction from supervisors. A manager in West Palm Beach, Fla., sent out laudatory emails touting the shorter wait times the system showed. Schedulers in Harlingen, Texas, reported being berated by supervisors when they booked appointments showing longer wait times for veterans. (It was “not pretty,” one employee said.)” —USA Today 

From a young age, I picked up on how people could be ‘praised’ obliquely…….we say ‘good job’ about this-that-and-the-other all the time…..so human logic figures out quickly that whatever falls outside that is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’.  Although I’m a veteran, I’ve never sought 10 seconds-worth of medical care from VA (although I may have to one day). That said, I’m certainly no expert on federalized-healthcare, either. I will say, though, that SYSTEMS develop their own system of values and mores. School teachers know this, they learn it quickly in college. ‘I like how Austin has his books stacked neatly, and is sitting quietly at his desk.’  They learn quickly to praise the desirable behavior…..and it works!  So, when the boss sends out e-mails that say: ‘Whoa, no wait times! You guys are awesome!’, what do you think will happen?!

Companies, hospitals, whomever, whatever, wherever: we have to fall in love with TRUTH, no matter the potential outcomes….and everyone knows….often, the truth hurts!

The Other Side: The most unique zombie flick to hit the screen. (Movie Review)

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Little Blog of Horror

other2With the popularity of The Walking Dead, zombie shows and films have been growing in popularity faster than zombies multiply. The only problem with that, they are all trying to be The Walking Dead and they are all very similar in content. The Other Side thankfully has changed this mundane pattern. Based off of a short film by the same name, this is the first feature length film from Orchard Place Productions.

Written and co-directed by Chris Niespodzianski, The Other Side stars Chad Conley (Mason), Danielle Lozeau (Werewolf Rising), Chuck Hendershot(It Came from Yesterday), Jack Davis (Bray Road), Robert Liscio (Confessional) and Christine Starkey. Most of the actors and extras in this film as well as the crew are from the Pittsburgh, PA area where the film was shot,and what better place to shoot a zombie flick than the…

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Trump: ‘Poprocks’ for the ears!

Here you can read the entirety of an article in The Washington Post about Donald Trump’s use of language………an INCREDIBLY well-written effort….perfectly fascinating.

 

Below, you’ll find a small excerpt:

“Second, their sentences take on a higher number of subordinate clauses and qualifying phrases — “over the last several years,” “in general,” “in effect,” “what people are telling me,” and so on. This is the kind of language you use when you’re aware that your words might be misinterpreted or used against you.

When used well, it conveys competence and assures listeners that the speaker thinks coherent thoughts and holds reasonable positions. It suggests that the speaker cares about the truth of his claims. But politicians are frequently too careful with their language, and this conscientiousness can begin to sound like deceit or cowardice. When they rely too heavily on abstractions, when they avoid concrete nouns, when all their statements seem always hedged by qualifying phrases, they sound like politicians, in the worst sense of the word. To my ear, anyway, Hillary Clinton sounds this way almost all the time.

Whether used well or poorly, however, the language of a typical modern politician has a distinctive sound to it. It sounds complex and careful — sometimes sophisticated, sometimes emotive, sometimes artificial or over-scripted, but always circumspect and inevitably disingenuous.

Trump’s language is from another rhetorical tradition entirely. Consider his hour-long media availability on Sept. 3, just after he’d signed a “loyalty pledge” that he wouldn’t run as a third-party candidate if he loses the GOP nomination. Some of his answers last only a few seconds, some are slightly longer, but almost all consist of simple sentences, grammatically and conceptually, and most of them withhold their most important word or phrase until the very end. Trump’s sentences end with a pop, and he seems to know instinctively where to put the emphasis in each one.”