Who is our audience?

This started with a forum I belong to. Someone introduced a fictitious proof of PI=4, on a forum NOT devoted to math. I responded with this video entitled Rhapsody on the proof of pi = 4:

Let’s call this person Babu Bhatt from “Seinfeld”. And we will call this forum the Nasrudin forum. Both the name and forum name are fictitious. Anyway, this person and others introduced both bogus and real proofs. And I responded with videos from this person, as well as scholarly links and discussion. Babu criticized these videos as wrong, from the deeper aspects of mathematics. Since my last sharing teaches some important points, I’ll share it hear:

“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.” — Chinese Proverb

There are three things I have learned in life and try to practice.

  • From philosophy it’s to define your terms first
  • From computer science, it’s the KISS philosophy – Keep it simple and stupid
  • From direct response copywriting (i.e. writing for business or advertising), is to know your audience.

What’s the key question here? Who is your audience?  In direct response copywriting, you learn these things:

  • Keep the conversation to a level of eight grade and below
  • People respond more to buying on emotion then on reason. Then they try to use reason, to justify their emotional based purchase
  • Talk to them like you’re conversing with a friend at the bar

Actually, if you can do these things well, you could become a millionaire on royalties – like Clayton Makepeace, Bob Bly or Ben Hart did. Can you use that info here? Sure! Ever see the Three Stooges short, where they are talking about Pig Latin? Moe says to Curly:

“I’ll explain it so even you can understand it.”

When you do that, you lose or pass over the “deeper” and correct aspects.

It comes back to who is our audience, which is something I brought up in another thread. Without being insulting to anyone, suppose Curly of the three stooges were part of our audience. We have to speak at his level “and above”. Unless you have statistical data and demographics on your target audience, you can’t assume anything.

You are right, Babu . The video does contain errors, just as the picture proof that Pi=4 contains errors. But if you are so concerned about what is “right and proper”, then why introduce something that “is not right and proper”, in the first place?

But who is your audience here, Babu, and who is my audience? Mine is both the amateur and the professional. If they want the “comic book” version, they watch the video. If they want the “scholarly journal” version, they go to the appropriate links I’ve provided.

And she should correctly define her terms before talking in the video. It’s something many folks here often fail to do also, in discussions of scripture, theology and philosophy. We might end up with something like this, from Abbot and Costello:

But who is her audience and who is our audience? She is from Khan Academy , which is a non-profit dedicated to teaching subjects up through high school free – as far as I understand their group. Or as Wiki says:

Khan Academy is a non-profit[4] educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan to provide “a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”

If someone posts a YouTube video and enables comments, the place to place criticisms is on the video YouTube comments section. And they should revise the video, based on feedback.

And who is our audience? Two professional mathematicians talking to each other? Or a group of forum lay people, who like to discuss theology, philosophy, scripture and other – sometimes fun – subjects?

If you want a good video presentation for the amateur, then watch her. If you want a good discussion among professional respondents, go to Quota (i.e.like I pointed to earlier at Why is 0.999… equal to 1? or some similar place.

Yes, she has some things wrong at a “deeper” level. But her audience is probably those struggling with math, who see these videos as fun and entertaining – just as many here would. What math videos have your contributed free, for the benefit of providing free education to all?

  • It’s up to her to enable comments on original YouTube postings.
  • It’s up to people like us, to provide professional feedback there.
  • And it is up to her to revise, based upon feedback.

In fact, given the scope and mission of Khan Academy, it’s probably the duty of every professional to provide video feedback. This way, they can preform their mission of free education better.

Yes, great direct response copywriters have much to teach us and command high fees. In fact, famous marketer Ed Dale just revealed today he paid legendary direct response copywriter Gary Halbert 20 K a month in High Fees  to coach  him.

And you know what? If you want to master the art of persuasion, then direct response copywriting will teach you that. Studying historical and contemporary philosophers for constructing Logical philosophical arguments are all well and good. Studying famous writers for engaging literary styles are all well and good. But in my book, direct response copywriters are masters at the art of persuasion and well worth studying how they compose their ads and selling stories.


How to expand your uc and collaboration mobile capabilities

Enterprises are going mobile and, the UC&C, or Unified Communication and Collaboration, market is growing fast. Mobile Unified Communication too is growing at a rapid pace and organizations are adopting the latest technology pretty quickly. Majority of the fast growing companies around the world are looking to enhance the real-time collaboration and communication among its employees. There have been numerous developments in the communication technologies and this has helped bring forth better UC&C solutions, which are offering enhanced communication experience.



Besides all this, organizations are also trying to catch up with the BYOD or Bring Your Own Device trend and this is being fuelled by the latest mobile technology that opens up newer avenues for business communication and collaboration on a real time basis. Unified Communication and mobile technology has been integrated to give rise to enhanced and efficient communication solutions. Businesses are jostling for greater market share and in order to gain competitive advantage, the demand for optimized business processes or workflow too is growing. This giving rise to a phenomenon where the businesses are fast adopting the latest Mobile unified communication solutions.


The emergence of mobile workforce and the growing use of smartphones are further driving the need for integrating unified communication solutions with mobile devices. As more and more companies hire mobile workforce they will have to adopt mobile UC&C in order to facilitate communication and collaboration among its employees on a real time basis. Even a few years back interoperability among different devices was a big hurdle in the path of integration of mobile telephony and UC but with technological developments like SIP or Session Initiation Protocol, VoLTE or Voice over Long Term Evolution and WebRTC or Web Real-Time Communication, the gap has been bridged.

Wide Choice

Both SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) as well as large organizations are getting an opportunity to choose from a wide range of Mobile clients and UC services as per their

communication needs. Cloud service providers, UC vendors, providers of Telecom network, and third-party service providers are augmenting their services to suit the mobile communication needs of enterprises across the world.

Business leaders and telecom researchers have revealed through various surveys and studies that the mobile communication and collaboration market is going to swell to $17.38 billion from $5.15 billion by the year 2019. All the trends point to only one direction – mobile unified communication and collaboration is going to get widespread acceptance among the forward thinking business houses. We need to understand that there are numerous communication channels available to the users but they rarely think about the channels. The concern of the users is to reach out to their contacts using the easiest and the most effective communication system. Telecom companies will have to shift their focus from just providing solutions and instead help the solutions really work for the organizations. Mobile is the requirement of modern day workforce and sooner or later the companies will have to focus on communication solutions that leverage the power of mobile telephony.

About the author

Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.


Being a Successful Writer Requires Marketing Knowledge

Here’s some advice I gave on a forum, to an aspiring writer.  But his wife was objecting to the time devoted to the project:

Actually, I don’t think the person shouldn’t write the book – providing he can make peace with his wife on it. But if it leads to a divorce, is it really worth the effort?

Notice how all the TV evangelists have books to give away – for a small donation, of course?

Writing is a form of therapy. It also helps us to clarify our thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. It matters not whether we are writing a book, a short story, poem, PhD dissertation, etc., as writing itself is helpful. And during the process of writing, join a local writers group (in the US, ask your local adult reference librarian or in-district, community college, to refer one to you). They can give you candid, but honest. feedback. Read books on writing, like On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.

Sure, put it out on Amazon, get an ISBN number, copyright the book, etc. These are all easy steps to do. Then discover for yourself how hard – or easy – the selling process is. I never ask people to take my word on anything or even agree with a philosophical or theological idea I present. I appreciate alternative positions that are well argued and presented. I just prefer taking a more Socratic approach, in “just asking questions” , like Colombo or Socrates. No harm in that, right?

You’re probably under the spell that this book will be a runaway best seller. I’ve spent several years hanging around the College of DuPage, in their creative writing courses. There were many good to excellent writers there. I only think one or two of them ever published anything, and neither piece ever sold much. Even writers who have several published works, usually market themselves by going on speaking and promotional tours. Does she really have a problem if you write a book and nobody buys it?

Let me add this. Writing a book and self-publishing is the easy part (f you call it easy, as “good” writing requires many revisions). Getting people to buy it is the hard part.

Authors need to know a lot about marketing. I run and started a LinkedIn group for writers called Working Writers and a LinkedIn group for copywriters called Copywriters International. Both are sizable LinkedIn groups, with many good writers and marketers there. One of the persons I know is a ghostwriter, who has written fictional works for well-known authors. She was one of the first professional ghost writers out there. It’s one way to get known as a writer – but also very expensive.

I’ve also heard different fictional writers speak, in events sponsored by a consortium of local public libraries. I remember one guy who wrote several mystery books, based upon title names of famous drinks. He was using this as a marketing ploy. He had to travel on his own, promoting and marketing his own books. Often at events like the library talk. And he did say that for the price of a few drinks, he would answer extensively any questions.

Even if you secure an agent and a publishing company secures a contract, you are on your own in marketing and promotion. That is, if and until you become famous and a household name. And what would make you believe more in the rapture? A scholarly book on the topic or one of the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (i.e. which is not really bad writing, by the way)?

The only other way to avoid the marketing -at least, in part – is to be admitted into an élite writing school, like the University of Iowa. Then if the professors like you and think you are good, they use their contacts to promote you. If you can stand their intense scrutiny and tearing apart your works first, along with extensive rebuilding you need to do.

Or you can be like the woman in Basic Instinct: Extremely talented, very beautiful, extremely intelligent, devious as all get-out, schooled in the right university and left with 110 million, to promote and market herself.

Mindfulness – A New Path To Treat Addiction

Addiction is said to be the scourge of the modern generation, with more and more (and increasingly young) men and women becoming trapped in a cycle of substance and alcohol abuse, that encourages them to engage in behaviors which are dangerous and life threatening.

Man is essentially the same as he ever was. The world around us has changed immeasurably since we took our first hesitant steps as a species – but our hardware, our brains are still the same. It is trying to cope with a modern world, but has never really evolved from the time in which all we had to worry about was gathering food, and running away from danger. Now we’re faced with so many problem, so much choice and so much stress that we often turn to things to help calm ourselves or quell the rising anxiety we feel.


PET brain scans show chemical differences in t...

PET brain scans show chemical differences in the brain between addicts and non-addicts. The normal images in the bottom row come from non-addicts; the abnormal images in the top row come from patients with addiction disorders. These PET brain scans show that that addicts have fewer than average dopamine receptors in their brains, so that weaker dopamine signals are sent between cells. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You might reach for a drink if you’ve had a stressful day at work, but, if you’re someone who is predisposed to addiction, find that after a certain amount of time, that one drink is not enough and that more is required to get the same feeling. The same goes for illicit substances. Your brain gets into a pattern called a “habit loop” and this, to overcome addiction, needs to be broken.


For years, treatments like 12 Step Programs or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy were the gold standard for things like this, with good  results. But nowadays psychologists and doctors want other options to be available to their patients and one tried and tested model that shows promise is Mindfulness.

As an emerging treatment for addiction, this is proven and has shown itself to be a very effective method of helping patients with addiction. It works by actively making the patient think about every step of the craving, the ingestion and the aftermath of taking a substance/smoking or drinking and helps them to try to reprogram the brain to recognize it as something unpleasant which will give them no pleasure at all.

Patients are actively encouraged to “feel” the sensations that a craving gives them, and to work on noticing how they react when they do not give in to the craving – from their they can work on kicking their habit and using other methods of meditation and relaxation to help them cope.

For more info on this topic, see  Is Mindfulness an Emerging Treatment for Addiction?

Moving to South America? That’s radical!

South America first

Español: Centro Histórico de Quito, Iglesia de...

Español: Centro Histórico de Quito, Iglesia del Sagrario (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A former business partner and friend needs some advice. But he casually mentions going to South America. Time to give him some thoughts to think about:

Let’s first talk about South America. That’s radical. Why? Are you involved with someone down there? If I were relocating to South America, I would look into Ecuador first and Uruguay second. But perhaps you should look at Panama or Mexico first – they are closer.

About 50% of expats leave a Latin American country for the following reasons:

  • They haven’t adapted to speaking the native language – usually Spanish. Or in Brazil, it is Portuguese.
  • They haven’t adapted to Manana time – which really means not today, and tomorrow it might be not today, etc.
  • There is a different set of values and customs the natives live by and the expats haven’t adapted.

Usually, it they can survive 2 years and adjust to these 3 broad areas, then there should be few problems.

Panama next

Then I have my own questions and research on Latin America, which I need to just get the finishing touches on an expat forum.
I thought I would bring this topic up. According to resources that have written books on Panama and work at English speaking Panama newspapers, I can import homeopathic remedies from the US – no problem. Now there are supposed to be a couple health food stores in Panama that carry these items. And a Google search for “homeopatia Farmacia Panama”, have come up with some names. And there appear to be homeopathic practitioners in Panama. So have I been given correct info, that I can either obtain homeopathic remedies in Panama (i.e. via health food store and/or homeopatia Farmacia”), or import them from the US?

Now Ecuador

Then folks use Magic Jack, Vongage and Skype, so time to put in my two cents worth, in an Ecuador expat forum.

f you go to Amazon and look at Magic Jack, you see that over 1000 reviews rate it – on average – 3 out of 5 stars. I prefer Skype with a phone line number and/or Ooma (a bit more pricey but has excellent overall reviews on Amazon). You can also use Google hangouts. I recommend to connect all these devices to a router with a cable, rather than WIFI. If both parties have hi-speed Internet connections, they work much better. Be sure all you computer operating system software, router and cable modem firmware, video camera, etc., has the latest production patches.

Ooma is much cheaper than Vonage. In my opinion, it is much more reliable. In the US many years ago, Vonage convinced me to use their device, between the modem and my computer. I constantly had problems and had to call both Vonage and Comcast. Finally, I brought a Linksys router and attached the Vonage device to it. If I had any problems then, it was just with Vonage. I just had to reboot the Vonage device.

Currently, they have been advertising Basic Talk on TV. I have read it really is Vonage, but with less features and a more attractive price.

Social Media Infographics for the Fourth of July [infographic]

Courtesy of: SurePayroll

The above infographic was suggested by Jamie Flynn TFF-DealingWithAngryCustomersD1_opt The above infographic was created by Dave Landry Jr TFF-M6-SocialMediaEtiquette_opt (1) (1) The above infographic was created by Dave Landry Jr Most of us have been angry customers ourselves. That is, until we worked customer service and experienced verbal brutality that can come with customer service first-hand. Isn’t it interesting how working customer service increases your patience while waiting in line at the grocery store or when your order is incorrect at a restaurant?   Perhaps those who have the most difficult job in customer service are those who work in call centers. Since there is no face-to-face interaction, the possibility of misunderstandings or miscommunications are increased exponentially. It’s also easier for customers to generally be ruder and less patient, as they’re not dealing with anyone in public. Although a recent study by The Daily Beast showed that more call center jobs are being appropriated for domestic workers which will reduce the amount of calls lost in translation abroad, the truth remains: call centers are a pivotal part of customer service.   So since call centers and angry customers are here to stay, have no fear! A Customer Service Reps Bible has been put together with cooperation from global communications and customer service experts TollFreeForwarding.com, highlighting several caveats of successful customer service representatives. Also included: reminders for angry customers to hopefully reduce a little bit of the frustration.   Dave Landry Jr. is a business owner and journalist who has been published in numerous publications. He feels customer service is the touchstone of any successful enterprise, and has recently devoted many of his musings to just that topic.

Don’t rely on just sugar coated articles Expat articles

One thing I’ve learned from all my research is this: Don’t rely on just sugar coated articles. So back to my alien folks on the Twilight Zone at


Uruguay architecture

Uruguay architecture (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It’s entitled to serve man. Now they might have a wonderful and technological advanced society . But they do like to eat visitors for lunch. So articles might be focused on the positive. They don’t emphasize the negative.


Let’s take Uruguay, for instance. The articles are very positive. They have homeopathic pharmacies. They have a great British hospital. I even know folks who live there. They are software engineers I worked with at Motorola. They are even trying to get answers I have, to their homeopathic pharmacies. But you find a very interesting article – along with user commentary – on the negative aspects at Uruguay negatives. This is interesting. It’s entitled 8 reasons Uruguay’s not all that. I was laughing at the picture in 6. The bureaucracy. I hope that’s not an actual office.

Or take Panama. It offers great retirement benefits. It’s close to home. It also has excellent medical care – much cheaper than the US. But I’m reading The Gringo Guide to Panama I and II by Elizabeth Vance. It’s a real eye opener. She tells the negative like it really is. But guess what? Despite all the negatives, she lives there – and likes it. And you can find out more on Panama and other countries, in How to Retire Overseas by Kathleen Peddicord and Retirement WIthout Borders by Barr Golson. All books I’ve mentioned are available on Amazon (i.e. with user reviews) and probably via your local public library.


Avenida Balboa, Panamá

Avenida Balboa, Panamá (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did find out Panama doesn’t have any homeopathic pharmacies that I can tell. But in a Twitter message to Elizabeth Vance, she mentioned I should be able to import them there from US companies. I also discovered there are apparent homeopathic pharmacies in the neighborhood country of Costa Rica. And I posed my question about visiting San Jose, Costa Rica from Panama City, Panama, in an Expat forum. They have what is called an international bus, that can take you back and forth. Much like our Greyhound or similar bus services.

So the really question is this. Knowing the negatives and if money were no object – would I still go and live in Latin America? Yes. I do like a sense of adventure and a slower pace of life – Manana (i.e. tomorrow) time. I might even enjoy the alien “to Serve Man” culture – if I can avoid being the lunch guest.

As far as Latin American relocation goes, I am still in the research and language reacquisition stage. There are so many folks out there – judging by expat forum sharing – who have no clue what there are getting into.

I almost forgot. Look at Numbeo, where you can compare living costs between 2 cities. Then try it for these cities:

It will put some country living costs in proper perspective (i.e. you can try your own favorite countries and cities). If you want to compare rent and housing costs in square feet instead of square meters, 1 sq meter = 10.7639 sq feet. Do this comparison exercise and let me know what you think. The data is very accurate.

And you can get the current US assessment of a country at US Department of State.



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