Daily Archives: January 20, 2015

On rejecting most criticism and giving license to the best criticism

We come into a lot of criticism in the course of our lives.  Just on social media alone there is a lot. Some of it is directed at you, while other criticism comes at you indirectly. Some of it comes from people you like, while other critiques will come from people you barely know. You can be criticized for the things you say, the things you do, even for who you are: a man, a woman, a person of a certain race or financial class or nationality. Pick a trait you have and nowadays you can find someone saying something critical about it.

Given that you do have to deal with a lot of criticism, you can do take a number of actions. It’s not advisable, but you can run away from it. (For example, giving up on certain forms of social media, like twitter.) You can get into arguments with people. This seems like a good idea, but I often find it frustrating, endless, alienating, and the opposite of how you may want to be. You can learn to ignore it, though learning to ignore it is not always easy. Sometimes the criticism is invalid or worse, then it’s easy to ignore. But some of the criticism is valid and when that happens, it can get under your skin. It’s great if you are thick skinned, but if you are not, you need to do something else. You need to learn to manage criticism.

One approach to managing criticism is to use understand the idea of a license to criticize. This borrows from the famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote: no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. The idea of a license to criticize is that you should only accept criticism from a small group of people, regardless of how many valid and invalid criticisms you come across. A license is different from a right. As an adult, no one has a right to criticize you: you give them that ability. Even when you do give them the ability to criticize you, it is a privilege or license.  It is a license you are free to provide or revoke. They do not own it, and you get to say when they can or can’t use it. You should treat that license as valuable, and you should only give it to people whose criticism is going to result in you and your life being better as a result of their criticism.

In your life you will want to accept criticism. Accepting criticism from people you respect and who have an interest in seeing you succeed makes sense. You become a better person and enjoy a better life from such criticism. Accepting criticism from people you don’t respect and who have no interest in seeing you succeed makes no sense. That type of criticism just makes you miserable and ruins your life.

The next time you are offered criticism, ask yourself:

  • Do you respect this person?
  • Do you respect their criticism?
  • Is the purpose of their criticism to help you succeed?

If you answer Yes to those questions, then you will likely want to accept and act on that criticism. Otherwise it is in your best interest to ignore it and look for someone who can make you answer Yes to those questions.

Finally, the number of people you should give license to criticize you should be a very small number of people. It should not be something given out to just anyone you know, never mind just anyone on the Internet.

Advertisements

If you are running outside, you need to warm up in more ways than one

If you are going to be running in cold weather, having a warm up to get you started will help. Here’s a good one to try: Winter Prep Workout from Runner’s World.

It typically takes 5-10 minutes to warm up when you go running. (Some people can take much longer). During those few minutes, I found I am cold and sometimes miserable. This warm up can help reduce the misery of winter running and also help you from getting injured.

Anything that makes winter running easier is worthwhile.

Is the TTC’s Metropass worth it? Yes. But it depends…

In this otherwise really good piece by Ed Keenan – Six things we learned from John Tory’s transit announcement: Keenan | Toronto Star – he made this comment

At a new price of $141.50, a Metropass costs almost as much as 51 tokens or 47 cash fares. For most weekday commuters, that math doesn’t add up.

At first thought, this seemed right to me. If you only use the Metropass to go to and from one location each business day, it isn’t worth it. For example, assuming most months have 22 working days, then that is 44 tokens, which is less than the 51 tokens it is worth.

Where the Metropass math adds up is when you start to be a heavier use of the TTC.

If you travel on the TTC daily, then you can get in as many as 62 trips/tokens on the TTC and a Metropass will be a good buy for you. Even in February, that is 56 trips/tokens. Daily users easily benefit from it. But if you don’t travel every day on Toronto transit, there are other ways to make the Metropass worthwhile.

For people who use it to go to work and then do after work activities, the Metropass is a good idea.  For example, if you take trips to and from work, as well as using it to go to meet friends or to take after work classes or to go to the gym, then you can benefit from having and using a Metropass. For example, 44 tokens for work plus 3 trips a week to classes plus one to friends adds up to 16 more tokens a month for a total of 60 tokens.

For people who have to stop to pick up their kids from childcare, the Metropass is good value. I used to pick up my son daily after work. That was 3 tokens every day, so most months that was 66 tokens.

For people who can share it, the Metropass is great value. For example, if a couple works different shifts, then together they potentially need 88 tokens each month to get them back and forth to work. Sharing a Metropass could save alot for such a couple.

Even people who don’t use the TTC all that much can still make the Metropass work for them if they can reduce the cost of it. For example, people who can buy the Metropass on subscription can get it for a lesser amount. That means you need to take less trips to break even. And if you pay enough taxes to break be able to claim your Metropasses as a tax expense, then you also need to take less trips to break even with the purchase.

If you take your total transportations costs, including taxis, Zipcars, etc, then you might find that having a Metropass is worth it. For example, you might find you grab a cab a few times each month because you don’t have tokens or cash. Switching to a Metropass, you find you do that less and therefore your overall spending on transportation each month is going down.

Cost aside, the other great benefit of the Metropass is convenience. All the hassle of dealing with buying tokens is gone. That convenience means you may be more likely to use the TTC when you have a Metropass, which leads you to make your money back from getting it. Also, you may find you enjoy yourself more by getting out more. It’s an intangible benefit, but a good one nonetheless.

I think for heavier users of the TTC, the Metropass is definitely worth it. And to be fair to Ed, he acknowledged a number of these points in a discussion he had on twitter.  Whether or not the Metropass is worth it to you will depend on your own use of the TTC and your own math.

P.S. Thanks for reading this. If you have found it useful and you’d like to say thanks by buying me a coffee, you can do so here. Thanks! That’s awesome!

CP/M and Computer History Museum


If you are an old geek or interested in computing history, especially the early days of the PC, then I highly recommend you check out the section of the Computer History Museum on CP/M. Before Microsoft and Apple there was CP/M. You can even download the source code! Fun! 🙂

See Early Digital Research CP/M Source Code | Computer History Museum.