FranklyFrank

Why is it so very important to track my location all the time? How exactly is it going to make my experience with your app or website better? I'll tell you how, it won't. It serves but one single purpose which is to garner ever more information so you can sell it on to advertisers, and probably policymakers further down the line.

To be clear, I'm not referring to free apps either. I understand things need to be funded somehow and for this reason much prefer paid offerings. Paying for an app has threefold benefits: fewer glitches (or better backup), no ads, and no unnecessary information gathering!

At no point will I be convinced (other than the obvious such as navigation) it is in any way a good thing – for me – that creators or curators alike know where I am at all times of the day. In most other circumstances this would be viewed as stalking.

It's probably fair to say every person ever employed, in any service position, in any industry, anywhere in the world, would agree with what follows.

Please, before you submit a request, be it for a quote, information or any other reason, just do a little thinking first! Read a little, much of what you seek is probably available somewhere if not directly from the website you are using to initiate contact.

Consider your request before fumbling across the keypad to the send button. Think about what you are asking and if you have supplied enough – or any – information for the receiving party to work with.

Let me reveal something magical for you right here and now. If you are asking for a price, from the page where the prices are displayed, you are a fucking idiot. If you are contacting one company while in fact looking for another – they just happen to be the first result you clicked on – you are a fucking idiot. If you contact a car company “looking for a car,” you are a fucking idiot.

You are not a customer. Nor does any company want you as a customer. You are a worthless drain on someone’s valuable time. Although, I suspect you already know this because you couldn’t even be bothered to write your own name with a capital letter.

All writers – novice, professional or hobbyist – want to deliver to their audience. We want the reader to engage with the message and hopefully leave enriched in some way. It's been said that a writer’s sole purpose is to keep their reader reading.

Naturally, much of the content and style would depend on the medium and the audience, but is there some sort of middle ground? Do writers simply succumb to the declining level of reading skill and the demand for a seventh grade reading level? Yes, there are several scoring systems, which in essence, encourage the writing of a kind easily consumed by a seventh grader. A seventh grader!

Writers, especially those who cater for the online reader, are prompted to use shorter sentences and even single line paragraphs. “Long sentences and paragraphs confuse the reader.”

We have reached a point where you can now supply a few keywords, and “AI” will write your website copy in a matter of seconds. Of course, this is not AI at all but a “copy-paste” template. The creators must, however, be commended from a commercial perspective if nothing else. The alarming part is the reader of today can't tell the difference!

So, the question is this, what do writers do? Do they continue writing for a downward slide in reader intelligence, thereby achieving two things: one, they keep their reader reading and two, they contribute to the slide. Or do they buck the trend and produce writing of quality and colour, in the belief that like all things ridiculous, the trend cannot last? If it does what comes next, ABC cards?

Have you ever noticed how quickly everyone is to claim another party is lying? No matter how big or small the issue, automatically it has to be the other party.

Here is something to consider before you assume lies. In order for lying to make sense, the liar has to stand something to gain. If there is nothing to gain, it's fair to assume they are telling the truth.

This is reliable for perpetual liars too. They believe they are gaining recognition by their hyperbolic stories. Or if they have something to hide, this too is a form of gain. If someone finds them out, there will be negative consequences and so, the gain is in avoiding these consequences.

I'd love to say this is a concept I came up with but it isn't. Tim Ferrous mentioned this on a podcast, which exact one I cannot remember. I'm sure too there must have been many before him.

Anyway, the strategy is to either stop reading the news altogether or at least read only the headlines. In Tim's case, he went for the latter from the newsstands on his way to work, or as he commuted around town. In most countries, like South Africa where I live, this isn't really an option. Our travel is vastly different and we don't have newsstands. Also, it's 2018, so it's digital all the way.

The part that makes this work: if it's really that important, of actual consequence, you'll hear about it from someone else. The rest is just chatter. Clutter which impedes freedom of the mind, decisiveness and creativity.

“You can't just stick your head in the sand and hope it goes away,” I hear them say. Well, try it and let me know if it made any difference to the issues being reported on. In fact, I challenge you to tell me it made any difference at all – period.

The cause and effect only touches you, the consumer of the news. It has no direct effect on any issues being considered and your indefinite, total exclusion, will not prevent the world from spinning. If anything, you will feel less stressed, and in a position where independent thought processing is possible.

The news influences us in ways we never imagined. We consume more of it now than we ever imagined. What was once a vehicle for information has become a tool for persuasion. If nothing else, news clouds the water, making it ever more difficult to know which way to swim to reach the banks.

It's true what they say, irrespective of how cliché, smiles are contagious. Here's a fun game to prove it.

Next time you fly, make sure you get an emergency exit seat. This will ensure the attendants will give you the safety drill “production,” just to be sure you don't muck it all up and cause more chaos when the time comes.

Proceed to look the attendant directly in the eye and smile like a fool. Whip out the biggest, goofiest smile you can muster. You are 100% assured of getting at least one real smile back. You may even get a chuckle and a chain reaction from the other folks attending the recital.

There are no prizes for feeling terrible. Likewise, there are no prizes for abstaining from things you enjoy because somehow convention says you should.

During a routine Sunday drive to a favourite wine farm, my wife and I got into a conversation about how we would both enjoy a beer at the craft brewery (situated conveniently on the same wine farm). When we arrived, there was live music on offer which instead of adding to the day (we both very much enjoy live music) we immediately, mutually, decided the beer was a bad idea. Beer plus music plus Sunday equals bad.

Obviously, beer and music on Sunday is not a bad thing, unless you decide it is. The point is, we decided it was bad and so denied ourselves the pleasure. Did this affect our day in any way? Yes, it did. Did it affect our Monday in any way? No, it didn’t. Are we any better for it? No, we are not. Did we get a prize or any recognition at all? No, we did not.

While it might not always be a good idea to throw caution to the wind, sometimes you should simply ask yourself: why the hell not? What’s the worst that can happen? Life is for the living and waiting until we are old, or older, for the rewards will probably result in disappointment. You need only observe older folks to see this.

Never get involved with a cheat. If someone can cheat in a game of cards, a video game or at quiz night, they are a cheat.

I once was visiting a training facility where they had the 10 most important rules displayed on the wall. The one which stood out the most went something like this: nobody cares what you lifted, how many reps you managed, or what you put on the board. Everyone cares if you cheated.

(The other one which stood out was: don't be a chalk whore, but this is unrelated).

A cheat will cheat at everything. If they can cheat, they will lie and if they lie, they can steal. This is true on every level.

The beauty of the simple innocence that is a child's mind is delightful. How very sad that we lose our sense of wonder for everything in the world.

My son is potty training. Without boring you with too much detail, he took what I can only describe as a monumental man-dump “all on his own,” the other day. The sheer scale of it was nothing short of intimidating. He then proceeded to call everyone in the house to come and marvel at the size of it. When it was my turn to conduct the viewing, I rounded the corner and there he was without pants, hands on knees bent over his creation, with a genuine expression of achievement on his face. What a spectacle!

If you are not a parent, you will not get it. If you are, it was hilarious and I hope that if you've never yet had the privilege of admiring such a momentous thing, that your turn is still coming.

High fives all round!

My broadband provider is a comparatively small, privately owned affair. I couldn't say exactly how many people they employ, but I would guess the number to be between 50 and 80. They run in the region of 10 external teams or vehicles and have a moderately impressive presence in the area.

Of all the people employed there, I know at least 8 of the internal-technical-assistance representatives, the office manager and an additional 3 external guys – by name.

As I have repeatedly assured many of them, this is not due to a lack of friends on my part. The reason I know so many of them, and them I, is because I'm on a call with them on average once a week. The reason for this is service delivery.

If I'm expected to pay on time for x-amount of speed and consistency, they are expected to deliver.

Now, you may think (as have some employees indicated before) I sit here all day running speed tests hoping to catch them out. I do not. I have work to do and plenty of it. Only after repeated line drops or noticeable speed issues do I contact them. Of course, at this point I would have completed the obligatory, “did you try switching it off and on again.”

The point is this: if I am on a call with them on average weekly, and only when absolutely necessary – due to interruption of workflow – how often are they, in fact, delivering below average service which we fail to notice? More than this, how many people are uninformed to a degree they blindly accept the subpar service?