Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This is a Sick Kobe Video

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Devan's Gig at Wiseguys

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

PC's or Mac

I'm curious, which is preferable and why Mac's or PC's. Mac's seem to be epidemic in their recent growth and supposed "user friendliness" while PC's are established in the business world, economical, and powerful. I use PC and my friends who study computer science (PC users) say Mac's are a joke and the real debate is between PC and Linux. I know people who have "made the switch" seem to be very happy with Mac's so I want to know why exactly. Points to consider: price (I've heard PC's are MUCH more economical than overpriced Mac's), performance, user-friendliness (for computer guru's as well as the average Joe), Power, Repair (I've also heard Mac's are good until you have a poblem and then instead of being able to fix it yourself you have to spend big bucks to send it in to Mac to get fixed), and anything else you guys can think of.

Please respond with some input, I'm developing an opinion in this matter and need more sides of the story before I can put everything together. Thanks!

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President Thomas Spencer Monson

I attended Priesthood session of General Conference in the Marriott Center yesterday. In this meeting President Monson gave his first address as President, Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the church. He made a really funny joke about a young man sitting in the congregation of a meeting where President Monson was sitting on the stand. The young man would mimic everything President Monson did, crossing his legs, resting his head on his hand and so forth. In order to win this friendly competition President Monson wiggled his ears. The young man failed in his attempt to imitate his leader. Everybody laughed heartily who listened to President Monson relate this story wiggling his ears as he did. The laughter continued when he said his wife counseled him not to share the story. Immediately following the laughter a solemn silence ensued, President Monson went on to council the brethren on how much leaders influence the spongy youth who imitate and soak up their every move. At this moment the spirit bore powerful witness within my own heart that Thomas Spencer Monson is the true mouthpiece of the Lord today. More personally, the spirit told me that I need to listen intently to everything he says, that he will have a profound and extensive influence in my life for good. His words and council will help me realize a fullness of joy and live after the manner of happiness. This witness came to me at a pivotal point when I am exactly three weeks away from getting sealed to Melanie in the temple. I felt very close to my heavenly father after that experience. How thankful I am, especially at this point in my life, for a prophet of God here on the earth!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Annoyance turns to Appreciation

It doesn't feel good to dislike somebody. Unfortunately some people really bug me. I’ve been thinking about this a little bit and have come to a few conclusions.

There is a primary effect that transpires anytime two people meet for the first time. It is during this time frame that you develop a schema in your mind as to what the other person is like. Unfortunately, this initial cognitive construct is hard to change completely; we usually make little adjustments to it as more experiences unfold. If somebody has a negative primary effect on you then that person will automatically occupy a negative position in you mind.

The next factor in this thought of mine is what psychologists call the fundamental attribution error (FAE). When measuring another's actions we, as people, tend to over-emphasize dispositional factors and under-emphasize situational factors. When somebody does something that offends me I attribute those actions to the other persons inner personality traits and judge that person as mean. Let's say this person is a man who just got fired from his job right before I met him. In this extreme example that person's reason for being grumpy and offensive towards me had no indication at all of the type of person he is normally, but I construct a negative schema of this person anyway. Consequently I dislike that person from that point on. The interesting thing is that when we assess our selves we never fall victim to this fundamental attribution error, in fact we do just the opposite and over-emphasize situational factors and put little emphasis on our disposition, "I was rude because I just lost my job."

You can quickly see how inaccurate our own perceptions of people can become. Someone who bugs me all the time may not have ever bugged me had they been in a better situation when I first met them. There's an old French proverb that I learned while studying the Hmong language which states "to know all is to forgive all." I love this idea! If I knew another person's situation like I know my own, then the situational factors predominate and forgiveness becomes easy. This brings about an idea that people are generally good, but at times do bad things due to environmental influence. Whether this idea is true or not is unimportant, believing it can help us better love others.

Another fallacy in our thinking process is the idea of a just world. This makes us think that the poor are poor for a reason and the rich are rich for a reason. It's this idea that motivates us to go to school and work hard, feeling that a just world will repay us for our efforts. While this is a comforting thought, it discounts people who have situational factors denying them opportunities to grow and progress. People that come form inner-city areas, that were born with less than attractive physical features, people with physical or mental handicaps, and hundreds of other misfortunes are at a disadvantage in this "just" world. In our little LDS community we, at times erroneously assume the rich are rich for being righteous and the poor are poor because of sin.

All it takes is a little bit of effort to get past these barriers in our thinking. Hold off judging people until you have had a few opportunities to filter out any negative situational distortions. Get to know someone better, especially those who bug you, and let your understanding of that person expand; forgiveness easily and quickly follows. As we do this those feelings of dislike will diminish, displaced by appreciation and understanding.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Jackie Chan by Devan Butler

Devan's (my little brother)lastest gig at Muse music.

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Lab Work

We're almost done with our total synthesis of Kurasoin B. In the past year I've tried my hand in the field of synthetic chemistry helping Dr. Merritt Andrus and Mike Christiansen. We plan to have this project published by the end of the summer. How about that, yours truly getting his name published in the Journal of Organic Chemistry!

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