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How stereotypes are created

In my novel Doria, I wanted to explore how societies get split apart and what can be done to bring people together. One of the things that divides us are the preconceived beliefs we have of each other — beliefs reinforced by stereotypes. The 20th anniversary of the L.A. Riots, along with recent events, remind us of the tragic consequences when people take stereotypes to their extremes. So, it is important for us to know how stereotypes are created so that we know how to combat them.

There are three main sources of stereotypes:  oversimplification, applying behaviors of some on the whole group, and outright lies.

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Beyond a doubt

I subscribe to the Jim Rohn newsletter. Recently, I received an excellent article called “Facing the Enemies Within.” It lists ways of thinking that are enemies of our efforts to succeed. One of them is doubt:

Sure, there’s room for healthy skepticism. You can’t believe everything. But you also can’t let doubt take over. Many people doubt the past, doubt the future, doubt each other, doubt the government, doubt the possibilities and doubt the opportunities. Worst of all, they doubt themselves. I’m telling you, doubt will destroy your life and your chances of success. It will empty both your bank account and your heart. Doubt is an enemy. Go after it. Get rid of it.

This article came at the right time, because self-doubt is the source of many of my problems. Read more »

Doria post on “A Few Words” Blog

Where did the words in my novel Doria come from? Find out in my guest post on Gwen Perkins’ blog, “A Few Words.

Why writing is deleting

I’d like to share with you a haiku I entered in a BookBaby contest:

Write by deleting.
What is not necessary
Bothers the readers.

Why do I believe this is so? Read more »

What is good technology? — Part III, or why I got a Mac

My MacBook ProWhen I first started shopping for a replacement to my aging Dell laptop, it was almost a foregone conclusion: I would get another Windows laptop. I have been using Microsoft Windows for 20 years and invested a lot in software and data.

However, I was getting tired of buying disposable laptops that last three years and die. That was the situation with my Dell laptop. I bought a top-of-the-line Studio 15 in 2009, but I had various problems with it. Hinges cracked. The optical drive didn’t always read discs or eject them. What made this worse is that this was a slot drive, so it would take many frantic presses of the Eject button to get the computer to spit out the disc. That was when the keyboard worked at all, as my Dell had keys that required several presses to type.

Some of our Windows laptops didn’t even last as long as my Dell. My daughter’s Compaq laptop conked out after two years, and my son lost three keys from a two-year-old HP.

If my past experiences with Windows laptops weren’t enough of an issue, the future of Windows didn’t make my choice any easier. I just wasn’t feeling the Windows 8 love. My son already has a Windows 8-style interface on his XBox 360, and he hates it. It may be a fine interface for tablets and smartphones, but not for game consoles and traditional computers.

That left me one other choice: The Mac. I had used Macs before, but I hadn’t touched one since the Reagan administration. With my options for Windows laptops dwindling, I decided to give the MacBook Pro a look. Read more »