I remember in 2nd grade when our teacher was teaching us how to do math I raced ahead and was doing lessons for today, tomorrow, and next week. The teacher rewarded my efforts by yelling at me and ripping up the pages from the book and giving me a 0 on that homework.
In fourth grade we would play around the world with math flash cards where you raced to say the answers, and I would literally go all the way around the classroom without losing. I won so much that the other kids would boo when I won and cheer if I lost. In 5th grade I scored well on some state examination test that they had me take a college level entry exam. I beat most college-bound high school students in math before I entered junior high school.
Between 7th and 8th grade we moved.
Somehow in 8th grade they put me in slow learners math. Maybe they were trying to balance the number of students in each class? While in slow learners math the teacher handed out these obscure word problem tests a few times a month. Every time we did them I would either tie with the winner or beat all the kids who were taking algebra.
There were other topics where I sucked. Anything to do with spelling fail. Writing? Not so good. Foreign language? No conozco! Typing - absolutely brutal.
All these years later I use the math and logic to make money writing words, and matching words up in patterns that algorithms like. But what more would I have done if I didn't waste 6 years of my life in the military? Maybe I wouldn't have fell into marketing, but it is almost impossible to do anything online and willfully remain ignorant to marketing. If you have any level of curiosity you will stumble into it (especially if you have any ambition and lack capital).
If students were any good at applying math & critical thinking to the real world there would be riots in the street.
Online critical thinking isn't typically appreciated either.
Social media makes one-liners great, so plan on including a few of them, and plan on some of your words being taken out of context and used against you.
We are no longer in an “Information Age.” We are in the Age of Noise. Falsehoods, half-truths, talking points, out-of-context video edits, plagiarism, rewriting of history (U.S. was founded as a Christian nation, for example), flip-flops, ignoring facts (Cheney and torture for example), neatly packaged code words and phrases, media ratings focus, dysfunctional government (fillibusters have more than doubled, but most don’t realize Republicans are blocking everything), mainstreaming fringe causes….I could go on and on.
Is it any wonder why so many who are struggling with kids, jobs, rising medical costs, etcetera have such a tough time wading through all the crap?
There is only so much attention to go around. Anything you don't know = grab the ugliest segment of the market + embellish it & state that is what the entire market is. Easy. Anyone who is an SEO is a spammer who illegally hacks websites trying to sell overseas pharmacy drugs and rank for misspellings of birtney spaers. All domainers are cybersquatters & brand hijackers. Affiliates only push scams that use reverse billing fraud.
But when you go back to the math and think about it, the bottom 80% or 90% of ANY market usually isn't very exciting (or profitable, especially if you are a cog). It has been commoditized and doesn't reward creativity. It is doing the things at the fringe - the 1% where you have an artistic flair of brilliance which is seen by some as wizardry that produces profound results. It often backfires, at least off the start:
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. -
You get beat up for a while and the market tests you (sometimes for years), but eventually it takes notice:
Through this experience, I learned an important lesson: When in doubt, make your product more compelling. All of Fog Creek's affiliate marketing ideas, coupons, discounts, direct-mail pieces, catalog ads, and everything else we spent time on -- none of this was as good a use of our time as simply doing what we loved best anyway: creating useful software.
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