Jeff Chapman's Web Site

Welcome to Jeff Chapman's Web Site!

My goal here is to be both educational and entertaining; this is the "serious" page . . . if you're more interested in having a good time then please visit my fun page. By the way, you may reach me at:

Fun Page
WHO Stats
Thumb Rules
Urban Thesis
Art Blog
Interesting Facts

You hear a lot of news about the problems in the world: natural disasters, wars, and plane crashes. But overall (across the stretches of time) the largest scourges of mankind have been disease. The World Health Organization of the U.N. publishes Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) which factors in the productive years lost from a sickness. As of this writing, the major scourges in the poorest parts of the world are birth or newborn related; the rest of the world faces challenges with depression and cardiovascular disease.

Graph of DALYs Graph of DALYs

Here's a nifty short political survey that is sponsored by the Advocates for Self Government, a Libertarian group in Georgia. I'm not claiming it to be the end-all of categorization tools, but with a thoughtful ten questions I determined that I'm a Centrist.

When I'm feeling particularly critical I like to review this list of industrial sociology bumblings. Then after getting thoroughly disgusted with my coworkers, I recognize that criticizing doesn't particularly do anything positive. (I believe that the majority of these observations were copied from an Industrial Sociology textbook, but I can no longer find or remember the source. If you can identify the author, please let me know so that I may give proper attribution).

How To's

I do a fair amount of writing; I wish I had an editor. Since I don't though, I've managed to accumulate eleven golden rules for editing my own documents:

Here's a little enchiridion I put together based upon an article in Foreign Affairs. Although the author was specifically addressing heads-of-state, I think it applies to a much wider audience ? anyone who wishes to join the group classified as...

Societies accumulate a lot of wisdom into very succinct sentences describing years of experience. Here are a few of my favorite:
Falling in and out of love is a modern-day fact of life. Most people can manage the first part, falling IN, but they get stomped on when they try to manage the last part, falling OUT.  Here is a letter that describes the process for:

The vast majority of working people spend their lives as employees rather than as an employer. Here's a rating worksheet (in Microsoft Excel) that I've used both when considering a new employment prospect and when re-evaluating my relationship with my current employer. It takes around ten minutes for you to seriously consider and rate an employer across these sixteen categories; you might find it useful to recollect your experiences at previous employers and compare them with one another.

Twenty-five years ago I made a few intriguing observations about symmetry and formulated a simple equation describing how people perceive the attractiveness of various degrees of its application. This treatise describes the elements of symmetry, a system for visual classification, along with a theory of what constitutes...

It sure takes an awful lot of work to care for and feed a Muse. Here's a couple of back-to-back essays I wrote from entirely opposite perspectives about a writer's Muse:

You know me... I love to take the bus or drive to a new neighborhood and hang out to write. I've noticed in my travels however that each neighborhood has its own peculiarities and characteristics, so I've accumulated here in a somewhat analytical 13-page piece what makes for...


Oh dear, don't ask me what possessed me to write this essay. Maybe I was spending too much time reading newsgroups! Or it might just have resulted from my mix of interests in both education and computers. Anyhow, it's rather dry and academic, but it has earned me a bit of notoriety in the AI community:

Good grief there's a lot of junk on the Internet. A few people or organizations, however, make an excellent effort at publishing a fairly reasonable distillation of advice and wisdom. I've decided that once a year I will canvas the 'Net with a critical sieve to arrive at my:

Let's say that you're lucky enough to be living in the rich, healthy, and powerful US, but you are concerned about how the rest of the world perceives us. Can you (as a single individual) do anything to make the world friendlier? Of course you can; just read this essay I abridged from a speech by Dr. Nancy Snow about....

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Updated: 2012-09-24