Friday, February 15, 2013

The Meaning of Life

I write another blog on statistics, programming and small business. About three times as many people read it as read this one and there usually isn't much overlap in topics. I am randomly posting there a list of 55 things I've learned, hoping to finish by the time I turn 55 in August. This overlaps a lot what I posted on that blog today, but since it also answers questions a number of judo people have asked here you go.

Someone who follows my judo twitter commented on all of the different activities I had mentioned lately.

  The free rice group - Ronda,runs leading up to a fight. You go to the site, join her group and for every answer you get correct the sponsor donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme. To date, her fans have donated 83 MILLION grains of rice. The RondaUFC group for this fight alone is over 52,000,000. Mostly I just tweet and blog about that, ask companies that sell MMA and judo apparel to donate the prizes and send them out.

  Kickstarter campaign - we are making a game to teach math, with a MAJOR focus on students on American Indian reservations. We received $100,000 from USDA to develop a prototype under its Small Business Innovation Research program. With that, and a good chunk of our funds, we built and tested six levels, that had very promising results in raising mathematics scores. Now we are applying for an additional $450,000. A significant part of that evaluation criteria (20%) is your commercial potential. Which is why the Kickstarter campaign is important. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to tell USDA - see, it does have commercial potential. Go to Kickstarter. Pledge $35 - we'll send you a license and give one to a student as well. If you pledge $50 we'll throw in a signed photo of Ronda.

Our book - Winning on the Ground  - I thought I knew a bit about matwork that might help some people and Jim Pedro, Sr. knows a lot that is worth preserving. It's selfish to just keep your knowledge to yourself. You can buy our book
for the Kindle, here
the Nook, here or
Sony or other ereaders, here

You can get it in the iTunes store, too. And it comes out on paperback in March.

Not only will it, I hope, teach some people matwork, but I told Julia to research charities for her Christian service credit hours and pick one to donate the royalties because it's not as if she needs ten more of the same shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch. She picked a program for homeless youth.

I also teach judo at Gompers Middle School in south Los Angeles. I'm the evaluator for a project on the Spirit Lake Nation. I teach a doctoral course in statistics once a year.

  I'm helping, a little, with the organizing of the Don't Throw Up, Throw Down fund. Ronda is matching donations to the Didi Hirsch Clinic for outreach mental health up to $5,000 and to be sure they GET $5,000 she is doing a seminar at Glendale Fight Club in March. When I run through all of this, usually there will be  at least one person who posts in the comments,

"Yeah, we get it, you're great. You brag too much and .... "

and my response is always to think, although I never respond because feeding trolls is definitely NOT useful,

"What the fuck is WRONG with you?"

First of all, to quote Ronda from the UFC Primetime show tonight, who are you to say I shouldn't have a good opinion of myself?

But no, my point is not I am great. My point is all of these activities I just mentioned have something in common - to be useful. To help feed people. To help teach people. To support programs that are doing good in the community. That's how the world gets better, you know. Why on earth should I not tell people about them? Most people are pretty good, I think, and if you tell them about something they can do to help, a lot of people will.

 Each of those things I mentioned is not a major deal. It's not the Gates Foundation. But it's something. Too many people, because they can't do something huge, don't do anything. What most of the things I mentioned have in common is that ANYONE can help. If you are completely broke, you can go on over to the free rice site and answer some questions. If you are super-busy, you can go to the Kickstarter campaign and pledge $10 or $100, whatever. You can give to Didi Hirsch. Just put Ronda Rousey fund in one of the boxes on the form. Or don't do any of those things, but do SOMETHING. Yes, I am busy all of the time, but I am busy doing things that are interesting and are useful. Otherwise, you may end up someone who has nothing better to do than write spiteful things to people they don't know on the Internet.

The really sad thing (for them) about the haters is they will say, "We get it, you're happy with yourself" as if that's a BAD thing.

As a matter of fact, I am happy with myself. There is never a day that goes by that I don't say to my husband or one of my daughters,
"Don't we have a great life?"
I think the secret to the meaning of life is this - If you're useful, you'll BE happy.


Freericer said...

I wish I knew how some of the group members are able to generate 200k-400k grains of rice a day. What's the secret?

InvincibleDK said...


Some of us purely have nothing better to do. I'm in between training as a Pro Gamer, and the top five of Myself Svtjer, Yariv, Doc Holiday, and Johnny Rocket all pushed each other extremely hard at the start.

A good tip for you is to do only multiplication tables considering it's the easiest subject.

if you need any help learning how to do the 200-400k grind after that feel free to talk to me on twitter.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

The first contest, someone accused people of cheating and said the numbers were impossible. So, being a good statistician, I sat down, timed how many I could do in 15 minutes and figured that the number people are doing is very doable. Some people sit with a beer, a laptop and the TV on and do it

Sylver said...

Awesome post as usual!

rainmaker said...

The Secret:

At an avg of 27.5 correct answers/min x 60min/h x 24h/day = ~40k correct answers/day (~400k grains of rice/day)*

Simple, no?

*bathing/toilet breaks optional
cooking/eating optional
absolutely no sleeping (sleep when you're dead)

See you in the Top 10 in a few days..

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Okay Rainmaker, I am watching for you now.

Unknown said...

Dr. AnnMaria, do you even sleep?!?