I am an electrical engineer living in the Chicago are. I am originally from Nampa Idaho. I also lived in Tennessee for two years.
Interest in politics
My interest in politics probably began at family dinners with my Uncle Earl Hardy (founder of the Idaho Trout Company, a self made millionaire who drove an old pick-up truck and worked 60 hours a week into his 70s). My political interest continued in Jr. High and High school and my mom would even take me out of school each year for my birthday to watch the senatorial proceedings at the capital building in Boise. On one of these trips I considered working as a page; however my uncle said that someone should make something out of himself first before going into politics. I don’t know that I have done that yet, but here I am.
I was interested in political debate at a very early age. In fact I read the communist manifesto in the 7th grade, on conditions the other guy would read one of my books. When teaching forestry classes as a Boy Scout camp counselor I would interject quotes from Rush Limbaugh as well as Chief Seattle that seemed to apply.
My whole life I have been frustrated when things are not they way that I think they should be. I started a life long habit of sharing my political beliefs with a letter to the school cooks that included less than profound poetry on the quality of food served to us in the cafeteria. The letter got me kicked out of the lunch line for 1 week. A letter to my teacher on the effectiveness of her method started a back and forth corresponded into different teaching philosophy that lead me to Ivan Illitch and his book De-schooling Society. This experience in 9th grade with a thick skinned English teacher lead me to a work on the details of how my school would work better whenever I became annoyed with something a teacher did brainstorm with myself new ways of addressing the problems.
I had plans of going into schooling, but in the back of my mind I could hear my uncle saying, how can you teach others how to make it in the world, until you have?.
Search for truth
As an only child I had a lot of quite time. In an attempt to keep the Sabbath day holy I would go for long walks, and have hour long prayers. In these talks I asked to be led to the truth. I decided to give it my best effort with my mind, and then let God do the rest. I got out pieces of paper and put each of my beliefs at the top of the page, divided the page in half, and put “reasons to agree” and “reasons to disagree” at the top of the page. Ever since then I have been fascinated with the idea of sharing my lists, and having other help brain storm reasons to agree and disagree with me. I think political dialoged would be vastly improved if both sides worked together to come up with a comprehensive list of all of the reasons to agree and disagree, instead of trying to oversimplify the issue and mischaracterizing the other side.
I like Mitt Romney because he seems interested in hearing both sides. Some people just hear the words, “listen to both sides” and assume you are a moderate. I think Mitt Romney is a presidential Judge Roberts—someone with strong convictions, but that is always respectful and intellectually curious.
Mitt Romney said of his first campaign against Ted Kennedy that his wish was to improve the quality of dialogue. Romney said, “Ideas I brought forward were dissected and distorted to their illogical extreme.” Romney had failed to “…raise new ideas for government, help rebuild a disappearing second party, and stand for something bigger than self interest… the campaign had been about charges and misperceptions, not ideas and ideals.”
As an awkward 19 and twenty year old, I tried every day of my life to explain myself to the people of Tennessee. I wanted their acknowledgment that although I may be wrong, that I was honestly doing what I thought was right. I wanted to convince people that my beautiful parents, whom I never say fight, or yell at me, that tried their best every day to do what was right, that cried over wayward children, and sacrificed for their family and community were not bad people just because they were Mormon. I wanted to be seen as an individual and not as a Mormon. I wanted to be seen as a person. I look to Mitt Romney to find that acceptance that I never received. I feel emotionally tied to Mitt Romney. I want him to be seen as in individual and not just a Mormon. According to recent political surveys, Mormons are one of the few groups that it is still politically correct to discriminate against, and as usual everyone assumes that it is intolerant southerners who are the most discriminatory, when in reality liberal democrats show their hypocrisy when they preach the belief that you should judge people as individuals, but many of them admit they would never vote for a Mormon.
I believe in Romney because I believe that he can clear up misperceptions. Everyone might not agree with him, but I think he is the best communicator on the ticket. If people reject him, it will not be because he failed to explain himself; it is because they honestly reject him. Our current president seems to think that it is feminine or beneath him to try and persuade… that it is somehow manlier or something to just make a decision and stick with it.
I think that debate of any kind often breaks down to “charges and misperceptions, not ideas and ideals.” I think Mitt Romney will move us beyond the charge and countercharge. I think he will move us beyond the 30 second time slot. I believe that he is an individual of substance that will listen, hear, understand, and be understood.
If you have never been to one of my blogs before, you will soon notice that I tend to argue with myself. It's not that I am schizophrenic, it's just that I think their are good reasons to agree & disagree with each idea. I don't blog because I want to convince people of my ideas. I have made up my mind on very few things. I just want to share my reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with different things.
It seems to me, that if I post things in the "reasons to agree" or "disagree" format that it will make me more approachable. It won't be my side vs. their side, it will become both of us trying to figure the issue out together.
I also have an alternative motive in posting things in a reasons to agree & disagree format. I believe that some day an algorithm will be able to promote good reasons to agree with an idea, based on the number of reasons they have to agree with them. And these reasons will be sorted out and ranked based on the number of reasons they have to agree with them.
I like reading and especially enjoy Orson Scott Card, a science fiction writter. Orson doesn't seperate himself from the world he lives in, and writes well thought out articles on his website. He is very approachable and talks about the movies and even food he likes and dislikes.
I am interested in Online Debate or Online Dispute Resolution.
As an electrical engineering you might expect that I would be interested in science and technology. You would be right. I read Wired Magazine cover to cover each month, and always read the technology section of newspapers.
I don't know why I am putting these stories here.
I am trying to paint a picture of me being a sophisticated-Idahoan. Me telling stories that involve the use of the barter system may not be a dandy way for me to implement the sophisticated-Idahoan campaign. Oh well. My Dad taught drivers-ed during the summer time. Some guy gave us a baby cow instead of paying us with regular money. So we called the calf "Dred" for Drivers Ed. Dred was a childhood pet of mine. For a cow, he made a very good pet. I remember having a leash and walking him around the pasture. When we installed an electric fence we put some food on it to draw the cow to it. We did not realize how long it would take for the electric elements to warm up. By the time the fence turned the cow had wrapped his tough completely around the food and was trying to swallow it. It did not take long for Dred to realize the basic operations of the electric fence. Dred jumped with such surprise that he nearly knocked over the fence. Needless to say Dred was never the same after that, and never seemed to trust those who witnessed what has come to be known as the "shockening".
I'm from Idaho-I don't really know what to do in these situations
Idaho does not have very many transients. I've seen them when I was visiting Seattle, San Francisco, or New York when I visited in Jr. High. So I did not have very much experience with them. When with some friends in Down Town Chicago one night a bum handed me a postcard. I guess that happens all the time, but I wanted a postcard of Chicago and so I just took it and kept walking. He said something also to me, but I couldn't figure out what he wanted until the people that I was with explained that he wanted a donation. I didn't want him to think I was trying to steal it. I wanted him to know that I was just confused. I just said the first thing that came to my mind, which, I guess must have sounded kind of funny: "I'm from Idaho... I don't really know what to do in these situations."
One time I went to the grocery store to, for some greasy chicken, right after a soccer game. So I was wearing my cleats when I noticed sparks coming from my shoes. I guess the cleats caused sparks just from rubbing against the rocks. I, being an engineer, was fascinated. I wondered how many sparks would come if I dragged my feet as I drove. I don't know if the police were just trying to be funny, but when I arrived at the apartment complex, four squad cars followed me in, with their lights and sirens blaring (it was a very small town, and I don't think the cops had much to do). Well the two story apartment complex cleared out with every one coming out on their balconies. I don't know exactly what I did wrong, but the police mentioned things like reckless driving, driving under the influence, and a whole lot of other stuff. Luckily I did not get a ticket, but my reputation suffered greatly in that apartment complex.
- Duke of down lights,
- Sultan of switchgear,
- Earl of Electricity,
- Prances with panels (Indian name),
- Champ of Amps,
- Viceroy of Voltage,
- Swami of Switchegear,
- Cartel of Cable,
- Sir Circuit,
- Sheriff of Surge,
- Pope of Power.
School: I graduated in 2002 from Boise State University in Electrical Engineering. And in 1998 from BYU-Idaho with an Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering. BSU and BYU-Idaho were both ABET accredited in the degrees that I received from them. This is often important to consulting engineering A&E (Architecture and Engineering) firms.
I can be reached at: * mike dott laub at gmail * myclob at hotmail or yahoo.
- DeSchooling Society