The 5 stages of hold music

Last week, I had to go into the office early because I had a 7 am meeting. It was to be a two-hour conference call in which I would be heavily involved in a presentation to the client, so there was no bowing out.

Dutifully, I called in to the conference line on time, even though I knew it probably wouldn’t start right at 7. The client had to get to our offices (in a different city than I’m stationed in), and there would undoubtedly be delays and chit chat and set up time.

But as time stretched on and I heard the same 45-second loop of nondescript tones that passes as our company’s hold music, I experienced a lot.

Here are the five stages of hold music I encountered. Learn from my experience. Continue reading

Russia’s invasion plans go farther than we thought


Russia’s recent and ongoing interference in Ukraine has raised many difficult questions, such as what are their goals, what should the US do about it, and where actually is Ukraine?[1]

Now we’re getting our first indications the whole thing was just a scheme to restart and win the space race.

Russia’s real invasion plan is for the moon. Continue reading

Let! Him! Pitch!

Friday night, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Aaron Harang had pitched 7 innings and not given up a hit. The Braves removed him from the game, taking away his chance at a no-hitter.

Their reasoning was understandable, but I’m here to tell you why they were wrong. Continue reading

Missouri sounds the alarm for speeders

States have long tried to find ways to slow down speeding drivers, without much success.

Giving out tickets is an ineffective deterrent, and awareness campaigns never seem to reach their target audience.

Give credit to Missouri for thinking of a new technique to get motorists to stop driving dangerously: make it more dangerous. Continue reading

Growing old vicariously

I’m in my 30s, but generally I don’t feel like I’ve grown up.

Sometimes the illusion fades, and I’ll look up from my cartoons and think, “Holy hell, I’ve bought and sold real estate property, I’m the primary breadwinner in my household, and I’m getting married. I definitely should not have this much responsibil–hahaha, farts!”

There was a fart on the cartoon in that particular scenario. That kind of thing makes it hard for it to sink in that I may possibly, just somewhat, be growing up.

On the other hand, I get constant reminders that I’m growing older. Continue reading

How about a three-quarters measure?

Last week, Soft-Core Sophistry implored the slacktivist community to not take any half measures in their quest to defeat intolerance toward the gay marriage issue.

In doing so, we suggested some of the obvious targets: anyone who donated money to California’s Proposition 8 (former Mozilla CEO and co-founder Brendan Eich’s sin), anyone who voted for Proposition 8, and anyone who voted for president before 2012, as every president in U.S. history was against gay marriage.

But now a juicier target has presented itself: OkCupid co-founder and current CEO Sam Yagan. Continue reading

‘Frozen’ sends the wrong message about domestic abuse

I saw Frozen again the other day and, at the risk of this turning into the Pretty Princess Blog, it’s time to find more hidden meanings in the Disney tale.

Last time we determined the movie was full of gay propaganda. This time we’ll see if the movie features a chilling message about domestic abuse.

Because it totally does.

(Once again, there are plenty of spoilers with no warnings other than this one.) Continue reading

Creating history: how to succeed in the future of politics

Last time on Soft-Core Sophistry, we talked about Brendan Eich stepping down as the CEO of Mozilla two weeks after being appointed to the position, due to pressure from the internet concerning his 2008 donation in support of California’s Proposition 8.

Today we follow up that story with lessons we can learn about what the future holds.

And then we’ll see if there’s a way we can profit from it. Continue reading

No half measures

For years now, people have tried to affect change in the world without doing much of anything, such as changing their Facebook profile picture to bring awareness to child abuse, or posting videos of Joseph Kony to bring awareness to the terrors he has inflicted.

This “slacktivism” has done little except make the person feel good about their action, which can lead to less actual positive contributions later.[1]

But now slacktivists have caught their white whale: they forced Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich to step down as CEO. Continue reading

How to deal with sudden success

Sometimes you work at a small endeavor–perhaps it’s just a hobby–that is not widely seen or known. Then sometimes, that blows up and makes you hugely successful.

Dealing with that sudden success can be a difficult process. This how-to guide (which is based on widely acknowledged principles and not at all to my own initial reactions to this blog suddenly reaching a wider audience) will teach you to handle that new-found success.

For the purposes of this exercise, let’s pick a random scenario that could lead to this kind of guide being necessary. Let’s say you write for a little-known blog with a very small audience that’s been growing quite modestly, and yesterday it gets featured on Freshly Pressed, where editors of your blog’s platform promote posts they like, which causes your readership to grow by leaps and bounds.

I know, it’s a far-fetched idea that would likely never happen, but let’s go with it. Continue reading