Enlightened Conflict

How do you solve a problem when one half absolutely hates the other half?

February 10th, 2017

Polar Opposites conflict

 

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I want people to think about our politics here in America, because I’m telling you guys that I don’t know of a single nation in this history of the world that’s been able to solve its problems when half the people in the country absolutely hate the other half of the people in that country.

This is the most important country in the world, and people in this body cannot function if people are offending one another.

Marco Rubio

 

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Well.

 

Polarization can create some pretty foul conduct.

 

Polarization can bring out the worst in people.

 

Polarization can create stillness within turmoil when movement within teamwork is needed <and desired>.

And.

 

Polarization within leadership is a virus that infects everyone in the organization … not just in leadership.

marco rubio speech on respectful conflict

I was reminded of this as I watched a completely underreported and under the radar speech Marco Rubio gave on the senate floor after <I believe> Elizabeth Warren had been asked to stop speaking.

Warren gained all the headlines where Rubio actually had the words we should have all been listening to. It is maybe 8 minutes long and worth every second.

 

 

Please note that I believe this message is more important than just one directed toward the Senate … it is a message which all Americans should take note of.

We are fortunate to have the privilege of freedom of speech & thought and we should embrace that freedom as one to permit healthy discussion, debate and disagreements … all of which should enable healthy, positive decisions.

 

Freedom is a tricky thing. In the United States of America we have the unique opportunity to “criticize a president without retribution.” <as past President Obama said to a group of military people at MacDill Air Force base>.

 

But our freedoms are being challenge by Trump and his attitudes & behaviors in ways we haven’t really seen in a very very long time.

 

The Trump Affect ripples way beyond simple executive orders and specific friends unfluencers ripples2actions that will have an impact on the people of the country. The more dangerous ripple effect is one of attitudes & behaviors.

Within this dangerous Trump affect ripple,  the freedom to freely criticize is a little less secure … and the way we criticize, debate & discuss in the Trump era appears to be one of not listening, not respecting and not believing that there could possibly be a way to do something differently than the way “I believe.”

 

Trump and his merry little band of morally corrupt liars suggest that there is no middle ground for “ladies & gentlemen to disagree with ladies & gentlemen” <note: this is a rip off of the Ritz Carlton motto>.

 

The Trump Affect has trickled down into his direct organization … the congress.

 

And within that ripple Republicans either embrace the bully opportunity or simply privately watch in horror as leadership decorum and leadership example <which, by the way, IS important as impressionable children and adult seeking cues on how to be leaders watch closely>.

And within that ripple Democrats screech & gnash their teeth in impotent frustration over not only having no power to shift the tides of change but also because, in their heart of hearts, they know this is not the way business should be conducted.

 

Balance has disappeared.

compromise balancing actWhile people can bitch & moan that decorum, in the past, has only encouraged stagnancy & lack of action they should not confuse with what business is conducted and how business is conducted.

Just as I am more accepting of my high school football coach if we have a losing season but the players play with respect & dignity and go to class and show signs of growing up with a healthy personal responsibility … I am less accepting of the coach who permits poor behavior & lack of respectful competition even if they win more.

You can have all the good in this case. But balance has been lost.

 

In fact.

 

We should face the fact that balance deserted us the day Trump stepped onto his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy.

 

And that is why Rubio’s speech is so important. Without actually saying it he suggests that we shouldn’t let Trump drag us down into some dysfunctional squabbling amorphous blob of indignant jerks.

 

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“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do.

Both are nonsense.

You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

 

———-

Rick Warren

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I like conflict and I think conflict is healthy.

creative spark light bulb

It is a basic Life truth that conflict is the positive friction that often creates innovations and new thinking and new ideas.

But, as with most things in life, there are degrees of conflict.

 

The kind of conflict we need now, more than ever, is the productive type.

 

We need to better embrace the valuable contradictions in life.

Things like:

 

Smart and funny.

Silent but says a lot.

Liberal conservative.

Cynical optimist.

 

Oh.

 

And enlightened and conflict of course.

 

We need to better embrace the fact that contradictions are powerful.

They create a chemistry ending in positive friction <when done right> and the fire for innovative thinking and thoughts.

 

In general I believe contradiction not only make life & people interesting but they also forge the kind of decisions that become the iron construct for a solid culture, civilization and country.

 

We need to embrace that conflict is part of life and not treat it as only a negative thing.

 

void embrace the unknownHumans are neither passive nor stagnant. We move. We do. We think.

 

Combine that fact with individuals are unique <although they may group together> and inevitably there is some conflict. It can simply be healthy competition or it can be staggeringly evil intended activity <i.e. there will be conflict because your point of view and thoughts shouldn’t exist and I am going to extinguish them>.

 

We need to embrace the fact that conflict can be “managed”.

Maybe call it competitive camaraderie. I call it enlightened conflict. I believe if people know more about stuff <I don’t really believe it needs a technical term> then conflict will be conducted with knowledge.

 

I would suggest that ignorance, and being close minded, guides conflict toward evil interactions … while knowledge guides conflict to responsible interactions.

 

Lastly.

 

We need to embrace that enlightened conflict is really some version of pluralism.

A pluralism in that it encourages, and embraces, freedom to learn and freedom to think different thoughts.

 

In the end I imagine what I really care about are people’s actions. They can remain mute as far as I am concerned as long as their actions respect others opinions and others lives and meets global responsibilities.

 

Look.

 

enlightened conflict ideasIt is silly to think that conflict doesn’t exist as part of our natural behavior <I apologize to all the “why can’t we all get along” groups>.

 

It is silly to think that friction between beliefs and causes is not the spark for something better.

 

It is silly to think conflict and friction is not good.

Good conflict leads to positive friction and ideation and evolution of ideas.

 

But it needs to be conducted with respect. Respectful disagreements & debate lead to two things:

 

  • Positive friction.

 

  • Enlightened conflict.

 

 

The first is based on curiosity plus friction equals better ideas and thinking.

The second is lack of ignorance plus conflict equals respectful competition.

 

We here in the United States have an incredible privilege … a freedom to say what we want and disagree and criticize whomever we want. We shouldn’t abuse that privilege by not understanding that it creates good conflict which enlightened conflict thinkenables ‘gooder’ ideas.

 

Marco Rubio did something in his speech which I endorse wholeheartedly … he tried to make an impact on his own little corner of the world … encouraging positive friction for enlightened conflict.

 

 

Marco Rubio had a stellar enlightened conflict moment … and more people should see it and listen.

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“Enlighten the people, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

Thomas Jefferson

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wearable technology and everyday schmucks

October 28th, 2016

A19D55 COMPUTER CIRCUIT BOARD WITH BINARY CODE

 

 

“… technology companies want us to think that by engaging in self-monitoring and self-care practices using wearable wireless technologies we will be empowered to “take control” of our health.

“These apps and devices also sometimes ‘push’ or coerce us into using such technologies in the interests of other actors and agencies”, raising questions about their potential for “economic and social discrimination”.

 

—-

Deborah Lupton, a sociologist who has made a critical study of the digihealth market.

 

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Well.

 

strategy think anger angry business ideas filterI am not a sociologist and I am not a wearable technology expert.

 

And, yet, for some reason I find myself in another discussion where I have been asked about some futuristic type stuff including:

 

What do I think will be the future of healthcare?

 

What do I think about artificial intelligence and the workplace?

 

What do I think about tomorrow’s business organizational model?

 

What do I think about 3D printing and its effect on manufacturing?

 

What do I think about Wall Street and the overall financial industry

 

What do I think about globalization and its effect on individual country’s business ,and jobs>

 

What do I think about the young <in business, in education, in critical thinking>?

 

And.

 

Now … what do I think about wearable technology.

 

Let me be clear.

 

At best … I am 50% right on thinking thru innovations success <maybe the last I got right was the double edged razor>.

At best … I am 50% right on thinking thru the future of entire industries.

 

But … that doesn’t mean I do not have an opinion … and I do know some things about people’s behavior and what they like and dislike <from a usage standpoint> … so here goes on wearable technology.

 

I read somewhere that 2014 was greeted as ‘the Year of the Wearable.’

 

Well.

 

That’s a little over-the-top nuts to me.

 

As most over-the-top futuristic type things are … someone has decided to make some over-the-top claim about an innovation and the future of “the next hot thing” <which is most likely tepid at best>.

 

I think wearable technology is going to have some major complications as it tries to become integral into people’s lives.

 

Why?

 

Well.

 

As people try to cram more and more stuff into whatever they are already doing and what they want to do there will be two main decision criteria for anything trying to work its way in to someone’s routine:change-people-technology

 

  • Lubrication:

 

We all have gobs of things to do and a to-do list longer than time available. In most cases we are not seeking to add things but are more than happy to utilize techniques & tools which make what we have to do get done more efficiently.

That’s Life lubrication.

 

If someone or something can convince me that buying it & using it will lubricate everything I already have on my plate … well … they can have my money.

 

And if it actually DOES lubricate? Well. They will continue to not only get my money but I will use the product/service on an ongoing basis because it … well … has shown value.

 

Everyone should note that the link between purchase & proof of value is tenuous between innovations and people/users which is why many them look good in trial but die overtime.

 

I will admit … for the life of me I cannot figure out why futurists or the blowhards who espouse ‘year of anything’ with regard to an innovation ignore this.

 

<on a separate note: that’s why I believe smartphone telehealth is the next generation of general practitioner medicine … it lubricates Life on a valuable consumer need>

 

 

  • Enhancement:

 

Sticking with my to-do list or stuff I do daily <regularly> … if something can

improve, maybe make more effective, something I am already doing … it is an ‘enhancer.’ In most cases we are always looking to subtract something if we can add something better. Or even better … enhance something we are already doing that we like <better because that incorporates less change in our Life and it suggests what we are already doing was smart>.

That’s Life enhancement.

 

If someone or something can convince me that buying or using it will enhance my life, make it better or more enjoyable or ‘fuller’ on an ongoing basis … well … they can have my money.

 

And if it actually DOES enhance? Well. They will continue to not only get my money but I will use the product/service on an ongoing basis because it … well … has shown value.

 

All that is kind of basic but for some reason gets overlooked.

 

That said.

 

Wearables, for the most part, neither lubricates our life nor enhances it … they simply educate us on how effective, or ineffective, or how efficient, or inefficient, we are already managing our Life.

 

It simply adds shit to what we are already doing and … well … adds work.

 

It simply provides information.

 

Good information? Sure.

 

But all it will either do is piss me off or show me what else I need to be doing.

 

Look.

 

I have more than enough things, and access to a zillion things, which will tell me what I am doing wrong or what I could be doing better … and all for less than $300.

 

If wearable technology would actually change shit without me having to do shit <kind of like a morphine drip without the morphine> then maybe it would meet lubricate/enhance criteria.

 

At the moment all wearable technology does is highlight the eliteness of the super fit and the rest of us every day non super fit schmucks.

 

They are certainly cool … but in today’s world ‘cool’ doesn’t get you too far in the marketplace. It can gain you a business niche but if the cool doesn’t Life lubricate or Life enhance … it will gain nothing more than a niche.

 

By the way.

In the business world a niche model can be quite lucrative.

 

Anyway.

 

I hesitate to jump on board the ‘digital wearable technology revolution.”

At least from a mainstream consumer choice perspective.

 

Now.

 

Let’s take a minute on corporate wellness or health or maybe … the “digitally health and fitness continuumengaged patient.”

 

Let’s say wearers can earn discounts of as much as 15% on their health insurance premiums. Well. That sounds appealing … and not just to me … 70% of consumers surveyed by PwC said they would wear a device to reduce payments.

 

Let’s say that wearable applications become more practical as both hardware and software develop where the devices can measure temperature and blood chemistry which would permit doctors to monitor patients from afar. Well. That sounds appealing … and not just for me … doctors love the idea and for people with chronic illness it could be life-saving or at least life-changing.

 

Let’s say wearable devices, which could include a smartphone that can measure blood-oxygen and blood-glucose levels <key if you’re diabetic>. Well. That sounds appealing.

 

Let’s say that a wearable device can monitor your ECG linked to an app that can tell when you’re running low on heart medication and need to order up a repeat prescription. Well. That sounds appealing.

 

Some of these devices are already on the market or coming soon via private health providers. And some people envision a time not in the not-so-distant future when physical activity and vital sign data will be collected seamlessly from devices planted on or in our bodies without our having to do anything mobile-technology-phones-antennamuch at all. Well. That sounds REALLY appealing from a lubrication and enhancement viewpoint.

 

Fitbit, and other wearables, don’t really seem that viable to me, however, they do appear to be on the leading edge of what will be valuable to us.

 

 

 

I imagine that if you have some extra money to waste or you are one of the superfit obsessed with maximizing every little edge out of your body then a wearable is well worth pursuing.

 

But for us every day schmucks who are comfortable getting what little we can out of our bodies when we do choose to do some exercise or like to take it easy on Sundays in front of a TV watching other people exercise … well … my wearable is much more likely to be a ‘cold one’ in my hand then some $300 wearable on my wrist.

 

finding a better version of capitalism

May 28th, 2016

 capitalism conspiracy elite

 

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“The combination of technology and capitalism has given us a world that really feels out of control.”

 

Jonathon Franzen

 

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 “Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the Kingdom of Brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of Communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis.”

 

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Martin Luther King 1967

 

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Why am I writing my umpteenth article on capitalism?

 

capitalism kills loveI saw a number from some USA research the other day … something like 50% of people under the age of 30 do not believe in capitalism.

 

Ok.

 

Capitalism is good.

 

Capitalism is not bad.

 

Just wanted to get that out of the way.

 

But that does not mean there isn’t always a tension between good and bad in the soul of capitalism. It is an incredible wealth-creating & life bettering mechanism and, yet, left to its own devices can run off the tracks <morally and financially>.

 

Capitalism needs guard rails. Or some smart guy called it “embedded countervailing power.” It needs guard rails because humans will be humans.

 

When business is good, human beings become greedy.

When business is bad, human beings become fearful.

 

And I would like to remind everyone that culture is created by … uhm … human beings.

I say that not to be a smart ass but to suggest there is a real culture war in America, maybe the world, and it is occurring in the business world.

 

I purposefully use ‘culture’ because it has to do with some ethics or moral fortitude, some personal responsibility and some pragmatic hope for the future.

In fact … if we fix how capitalism works <systemic & infrastructure aspects> the net result is addressing income inequality, wage stagnation and overall economic prosperity as well as some individual “self-stuff” <kind of all the big societal issues we tend to discuss>.

 

Anyway.

 

A moment on the role of government.

trust the government society young

It is both a fallacy to believe Government is not the problem nor believe they are the solution.

We have a mixed economy < I stole that term from Foreign Policy magazine>.

 

Capitalism is not a governance system which is about maximizing corporate profit at the expense of the citizenry. Effective government curbs greed obejectives & regulates capitalism so that it does the good things it is supposed to do <innovate & bring prosperity to many> and it doesn’t do the bad things <be driven solely by greed>.

 

Let’s be clear.

 

America is not based on an unfettered capitalism nor has it ever been <nor was it ever meant to be by the founding fathers>.

 

It is a managed capitalism system <always has been … I say that to head off any of the ‘government is too involved’ today talking heads>.

 

Government attempts … sometimes better than other times … to put reins on humans within a capitalistic society.  Let’s say it’s something like giving enough range for wild horses to run free … but not to trample the gardens and lawns of the surrounding areas.

 

This ‘fettered’ managed capitalism idea is not perfect. It ebbs and flows and morphs into different shapes as time passes.

But it IS an effective economic and political system.

 

I would suggest that while polarizing … capitalism is balanced … when balanced.

But a better version of capitalism really is not dependent upon governance and laws <and putting banks out of business> but rather personal decisions, choices & responsibility.  Yes. I just suggested <again> that people, not the system, will define the better version of capitalism.

 

Adam Smith suggested the three pillars of a society are: prudence, looking after oneself as best as one is able; justice, keeping the law of the land; and reflection people imperefcetbeneficence, caring for others and society where there is need.

 

Clearly our main issue is not how to survive on true scarcity <that is not a perceived scarcity or a “less than” scarcity> but rather how to live well with plenty.

 

To date we have chased double digit growth and higher GDP all the while seeking higher material happiness <sometimes confused with higher standard of living>.

 

We have become societally insatiable.

 

In other words … we cannot have enough.

 

This funny Maslow chart reflects that as additional personal needs are fulfilled it induces new needs <which we, as humans, constantly improve ourselves in order to further attain these ‘self actualization’ activities>.  Think about this from a non-funny sustenance perspective in growing from poverty to non poverty <but the dimension perspective will always reside in the human mind>.

money puzzle-maslow

 

Yes. Capitalism has certainly vastly improved our lives and our means to live.

 

But it has also fed this insatiability.

 

Some guy named Sandel wrote in “what money can’t buy … the moral limits of markets:”

 

  • the more things money can buy the more the lack of it hurts.

 

  • buying and selling can change the way a good is perceived (he used “giving children money as incentive to read a book may make reading a chore rather than a simple pleasure”).

 

This all leads to an overall attitude that endless <and double digit> growth is essential to maintain and improve our quality of life. While I will not go into the detailed debate … that is simply not true <this is a standard efficiency versus effectiveness argument>.

 

Now. All that said.

 

The issue is really about the attitudes & attributes we are attaching to capitalism.

 

As I share some thoughts to try and address the young’s lack of belief in capitalism I will lead with two things:

 

  • Communism promises to make everyone equally rich and instead makes everyone equally poor.

 

  • Youth thinks it invents the world. Maturity respects the world it finds.

 

Suffice it to say that Capitalism is becoming some evil entity in the minds of many young people. In addition, aspects of other ideologies <communism being one> are being used relatively flippantly as ‘better than’ what is occurring within capitalism.

I actually believe it is a lack of understanding … but it is also quite possible there is a deeper lack of faith with capitalism.

 

If you step back you can see why the young <and the shallow thinkers> feel this way.

 

  • Real unemployment is nearly in double digits. Most Americans think the economy will recover next year, but only 2% think it will make a complete recovery.

 

  • On average, according to Gallup, Americans believe that 50 cents of every dollar the federal government spends is wasted. Democrats, who are supposed to believe in big government, guess that 41 cents of every federal dollar is wasted. Republicans think it is 54 cents, and independents put the number at 55 cents in the dollar.

 

  • A poll found that most Americans would rather their government did less. Some 57% said it was doing too many things that were better left to individuals and businesses. Only 38% thought it should do more.

 

And many people have genuine complaints. Many working-class men have lost their jobs. Those who are still employed have seen their wages stagnate. And overall they don’t trust government not to make it worse.

 

This is a sad state of affairs <for government who CAN make shit happen> because regulations can positively address stagnation & inequality without intervening in entrepreneurial decisions or in the price/profit mechanism.

 

The harsh black & white truth no one wants to say is that regulation is what makes free markets … well … free <free markets cannot sustain themselves>.

 

Anyway.

moral crossraodsI have been thinking about capitalism for a while nudging my mind toward discussing morals and character <society & culture>.

 

I found it interesting to think about Schumpeter when addressing the youth capitalism challenge.

 

  • what Joseph Schumpeter called ‘the cultural contradictions’ of Capitalism

 

One of the cultural contradictions <I believe he outlined 5> was … Rationality.

In that Capitalism encourages rationality in behavior. And that culture creates, and demands, a natural conflict by insisting on some ‘irrational’ behavior.

 

Rationality comes to life as the “maximization” of particular interests of individuals and groups.

This same rationalization then bleeds into both personal lives <family & home> and ultimately becomes embodied in some form or fashion into cultural forms.

 

Children become quasi economic assets <or their rearing incorporates rational ‘maximization’ theory embedded in capitalism>.

 

At its extreme … maximization bleeds into soulless wealth and extreme consumption thereby substituting saving and societal salvation.

 

Oddly, but fairly, he suggests consumption wins against accumulation. This leads to a certain diminishing of the desirability of incomes above a certain level.

 

At the same time, however, when the breaks of certain values associated with ethical or religious tradition fail <called the sophrosyne: Greek philosophical term meaning healthy-mindedness and from there self-control or moderation guided by knowledge and balance. Roman poet Juvenal later interpreted sophrosyne as “mens sana in corpore sano” – “a healthy mind in a healthy body”> individuals and groups come into natural conflict with capitalism. The basic human instinct is one of core values <in some degree within everyone> and therefore the natural contradiction forces some balance within capitalism.

 

This means that the irrational components of behavior are critical for capitalism to emerge and withstand rational arguments … especially when based on long term considerations.

 

But.

That said.

 

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“This is the genius and the Achilles’ heel of American culture. We … have a strong belief in self-determination and agency, even when our expectations fly in the face of reality,”

 

Katherine Newman, who studies social mobility

 

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Capitalism in America is not functioning efficiently for a variety of reasons … but that doesn’t make it bad.confuxed

 

The issue of Confused capitalism … or being confused by capitalism.

 

No matter how altruistic and non-materialistic you may be … the issue is simple … as we sit perched on a stool at the bar of society where we can scan the room and see the danger of those who have nothing or little … as well as those who have the most <and lots of most>.

 

If the majority of us begin to look like we are either nearing the dangerously ‘nothing people’ or, contrarily, appear to be too distant from those who ‘have the most’ <no matter what your exact status is> we get nervous … if not angry.

 

Materialism, culturally, is therefore naturally cyclical in that it will always seek to balance itself. For we always ‘want’ … but most of us want it to be within the realm of ‘hopeful that we can get more’ … without appearing too greedy. Hence that is fairness.

Give me a chance for something more than I have … and give me more and I won’t be too greedy.

 

While everyone can debate the role of money with regard to people’s happiness … it is true that economic health does make people happier <more secure, more comfortable, more sustenance>.

This actually means that free-market capitalism is not devoted to integrity and a reliance on trust but rather economic growth.

 

And this suggests the people need to be regulated.

 

Why do we balk at regulation?

 

The US has always been a wide-open, free-wheeling country, with a high tolerance for big winners and big losers as the price of equal opportunity in a dynamic society. If the US brand of capitalism has rougher edges than that of other democracies most people inherently believe it is worth the trade-off for growth and mobility.

Buut while we like the free wheeling we also recognize that we are going through some type of crisis. It just becomes a discussion on what type of crisis.

 

Some think it is a crisis of capitalism. <I don’t>

 

Others think the crisis is moral. <I do>

 

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“Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.”

 

 

Bertrand Russell

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First there is attitude. What is maybe a disregard for societal fairness versus what could be construed as individual ‘winning’ or ‘what I deserve.’

 

A lot has been written about the effects of globalization during the past generation. Much less has been said about the change in social norms that globalization enabled. Many people, particularly people in power positions, took the vast transformation of the economy as an excuse to rewrite the rules that used to govern their behavior.

 

I say that because while there will always be isolated small groups of lawbreakers in high places what truly destroys morale is a systemic corner-cutting, rule-bending, self interest behavior type of construct.

 

I have thought about how and why this happens.

 

It starts early.

As young children we start off with a healthy core of greatness, but before long it gets covered in layers of doubt, fear and guilt. Often this is caused by people we trust most like parents, teachers and managers who put us down in subtle and less subtle ways. It’s as though people were flicking bits of mud at us until our core of greatness is totally covered. Even worse, we flick mud at ourselves by accepting smaller versions of ourselves through negative self-talk and poor thinking; and we become a tiny fraction of the potential that once existed.

 

Once potential is curbed we seek to find success in other ways … sometimes circumventing “what is right” to make small excusable steps in our behavior to attain ‘small personal successes.”

 

repair faults consumerism

Second is our propensity to consume <and its self perpetuation>.

Our propensity to consume without thought for the planet, the poor or even the person next door is a sign that greed and fear are the motives of the moment.

 

Freedom certainly creates problems (inequalities most notably), but it also solves them.

But the central aspect of freedom advanced by these thinkers was the market, or what Adam Smith had described as the propensity to truck, barter and exchange. In this area, freedom allowed dispersed individuals—disposing of their own resources and choosing for themselves what they want to buy—to generate a level of prosperity that has had no precedent in human history. And the pricing system that emerges from the market—that is, from the push and pull of supply and demand—provides the indispensable knowledge needed to guide the economy.

 

So. All that said.

 

I would tell young people that Capitalism is not the issue.

It is the people within the system <and young people can fix that by entering the system>. The system can work just fine … it is simply being abused at the moment.

 

Capitalism needs to be managed to be more oriented to the long term and socially more responsible.

 

Interestingly … Richard Branson has formed an initiative to do just this … but I found it interesting that initially he sought to have a board of Business Elders … but  there were too few candidates from the business world of sufficiently unimpeachable character to staff it <insert ‘oh my’ here>.

 

Anyway <to conclude part 1>.

 

Since World War II in particular, America has been on a consumption surge/binge. While wages have certainly stagnated family disposable income has grown, life standards have improved, health has improved and overall quality of life has improved <and showed a continuous growth>. Unfortunately, at the same time, while families busily lived their lives they also had access to the finest inventory of toys capitalism could provide. Each generation was doing better than the one before, life was good and standard of living acquired a layer of ‘non essentials’ as part of how the people lived a successful & happy life.

At the same time.

Televisions starting bringing news, influential people talking and capitalism toys into the family living room. Television allowed busy families the opportunity to be exposed to complex issues through professionally crafted sound bites and talking points. People were now becoming more informed from a larger perspective, not just local perspective, and we ushered in the inevitable “keeping up with the Joneses” aspect.

What we face is the natural rising tide of ‘better than before’ facing the ebb and flow of time. The waters being drawn backwards is not appreciated by those standing in a spot washing their feet in the surf. Is it greed for most people? No. it is simply a desire for the status quo – “better is a right not a privilege.” Therein lies the social & cultural task at hand.

 

Anyway <to conclude part 2>.

 

Doing something.Accountability where you stand

 

Me?

 

I write and post on my blog. And speak about it wherever and whenever I can <especially to young people>.

 

It is easy to talk about it because it seems like if we take a moment and reflect on the problems in the world today we might easily come to the conclusion that it is mainly due to deterioration of our morality compass.

It seems like everywhere we see people filled with greed and intent on self-gratification.

It seems like people are always willing to compromise on values/morality to make personal gains.

 

If we start talking about values and create some sort of awakening in the minds of people.

 

Will everyone do it? of course not.

But someone has to go first.

 

Someone has to become the catalyst for change.

 

Why not the youth? We should encourage them to enter the system and build what they desire from the inside out rather than simply breaking the system as unfixable.

Speeches and speech writing

March 17th, 2016

 speechless

 

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“He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word.

The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.”

 

 

Joseph Conrad

 

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“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”

 

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

====

 

 

Well.

 

With an election going on all you have to do is turn on the television or go to any news website and you will see someone giving a speech. Great oration is a skill … almost an art. Some people are naturals. More people are not.

 

But.

 

process presentationHaving given some presentations in my lifetime, as well as provided some training, let me share one of the biggest secrets to presenting … if you have a great speech it is easy to present it.

 

 

In business we spend so much time trying to train someone on ‘how to present comfortably’ and ‘tricks’ to connect with an audience that it masks what presenting & speeches have in common with social media – content is the key.

 

Give me the best speech in the world and the worst presenter can give it.

Conversely … even the best presenter will stumble over the worst speech.

 

I thought of this as I watched several presidential candidates give a post mortem speech after the Tuesday elections.

 

I watched Rubio <sadly, yet defiantly, dropping out of the race>, Kasich <touched by a win in his own state>, Clinton <stepping up to the bigger beast in the room – Trump> and … well … the beast himself.

 

I won’t go into specifics of the four speeches but let me say that Rubio & Clinton must have great speech writers. Poetry and prose mixed with aspirations & hope & pragmatic expectations.

 

By the way … that is incredibly tough to do in a speech.

Very very few people can write that stuff.

 

Kasich speeches are easy to write because he has some common themes that come from his core beliefs & values. But suffice it to say that all three of those speeches were about ‘we the people’, what ‘we’ can do together, the spirit at the core of a country, hope for something better … and a dose of caution to not be enticed by the easier road of frustration, fear & hate.

 

Oh.

 

And then there was Trump.

 

He has no speech writer. He is the speechwriter and you can tell.

 

There was no ‘we’ it was all ‘me.’

My poll numbers. My popularity. My smartness. My success. My creating voter turnout.dumb ass me

 

And the only “we” incorporated in were the stupid people who were losers or the enemy peering over the gates like China, Islam & Mexico <who he is gonna punch>.

 

It was all about his polls, his numbers, and him.

 

The contrast between speeches is stunning.

 

Everyone else talks about the people and attitude and spirit … he talks about how popular he is and … well … how stupid everyone is because we are losing too much.

 

The difference between the words, tone and attitude of the speeches was … well … truly stunning.

 

Anybody in business who writes presentations and gives speeches knows the Trump speech path is ultimately a dead end. People like to hear confidence & strong leadership but they want to feel participation and connection.

Solutions are always preferred to problems.

Implying people together is always preferred to tearing people apart.

 

Suffice it to say that without a grander purpose, something beyond an “outcome” objective <like a ‘win’> a speech only leads everyone down a dead end path.

 

A speech should attempt to find that sweet spot of prose, real facts, anecdote and the commitment to a greater purpose. People deserve to hear the good and it shouldn’t be overwhelmed by any bad.

do souls need to be hugh

Trump offers speeches carved on … well … tombstones and not hearts.

 

===

 

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.

 

A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

 

 

Shannon L. Alder

 

===

 

 

I love words and I love hearing a great speaker give a great speech. While Trump may be one of the most comfortable people I have ever seen behind a podium and a microphone he also may be one of the worst speech writers I have ever heard.

Simplistically … he delivers bad words, bad thoughts & bad rhetoric … but he does it well.

 

I admit.

 

Give me the good, the hopeful, the commitment to a higher purpose any day of the week. And I honestly believe most people want to hear that.

Great speeches, given well, lift people up off of the easy angry, resentful, blame-paved path and let us fly when we don’t even realize we can fly.

 

Anyway.

 

I can write an okay speech <I have two posts coming up – one on writing a presentation and one on giving a presentation … as if there aren’t enough “how to” garbage already available online>.

But I am honest enough to know that even on my best day and in my best speech writing moment I may only get a glimpse of what a great speech writer can accomplish.

 

As I share that thought I remember a nice little scene from West Wing where Toby <the chief communications director> comments on Presidential State of the Union speeches and who can write them. He suggests there are maybe 6 or so in the country that can do so. I will not haggle over the number but suffice it to say he is correct … great speechwriters are few and far between.

This also means the everyday schmuck <think … “you & I”> writes a generally crappy speech <even though we all think it is great>.

 

I believe I am in the minority in this thinking.

I think many people <more than can actually do it> believe they write great speeches.

 

Maybe worse for the business world is that I think many businesses believe too many of their own people should, and can, write speeches.

 

Look.

 

As a word guy I want to teach & coach everyone to use words well & wisely.

But, in business, it is … well … business.

This is not a popular thought in the current business world view of collaboration & empowerment but I believe businesses should identify their great speechwriters and empower them to write the business speeches.

 

What this means is that some people end up delivering speeches written by other people.

This freaks a shitload of people out.

 

I actually believe they get freaked out for two main reasons:

 

<1> conceptually it fights the internal “I am best at delivering shit in my own words … words I would use”. The key here is ‘conceptually’. Good words are good words and good thoughts are good thoughts. The kind of words you would actually use shouldn’t change the meaning of a great speech or presentation. But we freak out nonetheless … even before we even see the speech

what want need give

<2> pragmatically most business presentations and speeches are written by crappy writers therefore I do end up freaked out just by looking at what I am being asked to speak. This is beyond the ‘corporate speak’ stench that emanates from every hallway in every business. That is just business crap. a great speech has order and ebbs & flows and seamlessly slides from point to point. Most businesses do not have a shitload of people who can do that.

 

 

In business … you almost cannot pay a great speechwriter or great presentation writer enough money. If you have one in your organization you should treat them like gold.

 

 

Anyway.

 

Within a great speech there is often a paragraph or a line that you know is great even as it slips across your lips:

 

 

  • Clinton’s line about Trump … “it doesn’t make him strong … it makes him wrong.”

 

  • Kasich’s indirect jab at Trump … “I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land.”

 

 

But the greatest of the great speeches cross over into some unseen universe of euphoria. As a listener you listen, hear … and may not remember specifics but you remember how it made you feel.

 

Nowhere has this been showcased better than on the old television show West Wing.

 

For example … after a pipe bomb explodes at a university killing 44 people, including three swimmers, the president gives a speech that includes the following:

 

 

“… More than any time in recent history, America’s destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedoms and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people’s strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive. Forty-four people were killed a couple of hours words big brevityago at Kennison State University; three swimmers from the men’s team were killed and two others are in critical condition; when after having heard the explosion from their practice facility they ran into the fire to help get people out … ran ‘into’ the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They’re our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars. God bless their memory, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.”

 

 

Or.

 

 

The explanation that the director of communications gives when discussing free trade:

 

Toby Ziegler:

 

You want to know the benefits of free trade? Food is cheaper.

Food is cheaper! Clothes are cheaper. Steel is cheaper. Cars are cheaper. Phone service is cheaper. You feel me building a rhythm here? That’s because I’m a speech writer – I know how to make a point.

It lowers prices, it raises income. You see what I did with ‘lowers’ and ‘raises’ there?

It’s called the science of listener attention. We did repetition, we did floating opposites, and now you end with the one that’s not like the others. Ready? Free trade stops wars. Heh, and that’s it. Free trade stops wars! And we figure out a way to fix the rest.

 

 

Words really do matter and, possibly even more important, words delivered well really matter. The wrong words and speech can kill the best idea. Back in 2012 I wrote about elections and words used well and made this point.

Hugh something to believe in

 

Regardless.

 

Speeches are not like stories. Just as presentations are not really stories.

Speeches are all about using words well to lift people from one place to another.

 

Yes, lift.

 

Speeches are not meant to lower themselves into the ordinary uncomfortable truths of what we feel. Speeches are meant to recognize the uncomfortable truths and then lift us above it so we can see a horizon where things are better … the comfortable truth that what is will not always be and what will be is better for you, me & everyone – that no one gets left behind.

 

Bottom line.

 

A great speech lets us see what will be and not what is. Anyone who writes a speech … and gives a speech … would do well to remember the wise words of Hugh McLeod … “the market for something to believe in is infinite.”

All I know is what’s on the internet

March 17th, 2016

 stupidity handicap napoleon trump

 

 

Here is the quote of the day.

 

 

From aspiring president candidate Donald Trump:

 

 

 

“What do I know?” Trump replied. “All I know is what’s on the internet.”

 

 

trump generation of idiots

Well.

 

This actually explains a lot.

 

Credible sources track Trump comments/claims he makes running at about 75% false.

 

Now we know why. He clicks on Wikipedia or urban dictionary or instagram <scanning an image with some quote or factoid> and then tweets it out or parrots it in on-air interviews.

 

 

He has no credible sources … he just makes shit up or maybe even worse … he doesn’t truly think about what he believes.

 

 

I know many of my readers do not live in USA … but for those who do … please think about that before you vote.

 

 

Ok.

 

Now ponder this Trump wisdom.

 

 

 

“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things. My primary consultant is myself and I have – you know, I have a good instinct for this stuff.”

 

 

Well, Donald, that sounds quite reasonable. It’s not as if the world, let alone the Middle East, Ukraine, the South China Sea, is particularly complex or that there are nuanced delicate diplomatic situations or even that it is important to get it right.

 

I imagine just going on instinct makes sense. Or maybe go on the internet because there you will surely find all the answers you will need.

 

 

<note some heavy sarcasm there>

 

 

When I read what he said I thought of a Samuel Adams quote:

 

—-

 

“If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

 

===

 

Samuel Adams

 

——

 

 

With Trump we are facing a vain man, maybe the vainest of vain, and an ego amigoaspiring man – one who aspires with no rules, no boundaries, seemingly no moral imperative, or … well … any trivial nuisance that could get in the way of a win.

 

He appears, alarmingly so, to be free of any actual solutions.

 

He appears to be free, alarmingly so, of any real policy <beyond his ‘good instincts for this stuff.”

 

He appears to be free,  alarmingly so, to offer frighteningly hollow rhetoric.

 

He is the ruin … not of the country <we will still be standing despite him> … but he is the ruin of what makes the country great <which is not simply ‘winning’ as he suggests it is>.

 

 

In my little corner of the world I will do everything in my power to convince everyone of the sham Trump is and what he offers.

 

Why?

 

I will refer to Samuel Adams again <and let everyone who has not spoken out yet think about these words>:

 

 

“… the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.” It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.”

 

==

Samuel Adams in The Boston Gazette 14 October 1771

 

online megaphone listen speak

 

Speak out now.

 

For what we say, and do, today has an impact … an impact that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.

 

We seek to circumvent the miserableness for the millions yet unborn.

 

 

 

========

 

 

Toby Ziegler <West Wing>:

 

“We don’t know what the next president is going to face. If we choose someone with vision, someone with guts, someone with gravitas, who’s connected to other people’s lives and cares about making them better; if we choose someone to inspire us then we’ll be able to face what comes our way and achieve things we can’t imagine yet.”

 

———-

one of life’s hardest lessons

August 18th, 2015

 

——————————-illusion mine mistake

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose.

That is not a weakness; that is life.”

==

JEAN-LUC PICARD

—————-

 

 

Well.

 

 

How often do we get the question … “what went wrong?’ … and instead of discussing all our shortcomings & failings … or come up with all the excuses <reasonable & unreasonable> … we shrugged our shoulders and said “Life.”

 

Uhm.

 

Not often. We get the question often but rarely answer “life.”

 

 

Why?

 

 

It is socially unacceptable these days to suggest you can work hard, and even work smartly, and you can still lose.

 

 

It is socially unacceptable these days to suggest you made no mistakes and you can still lose.

 

 

And let me be clear … I am writing this as a guy who always looks at things that don’t work out, or I have ‘lost’ and point the finger at myself for what I missed or what I could have done or what I wish I had noticed/seen/ paid attention to.

 

 

 

But <let me be clear part 2> … sometimes you can do everything right, make no life mistakes lose work 1mistakes, and lose.

 

 

Is it fair?

 

 

Shit.

 

I don’t know.

 

 

I just know it is Life.

 

 

life mistakes 2 work

And it is kind of silly to not recognize this.

 

 

 

Now.

 

 

 

I am not suggesting this becomes your go-to excuse or answer … I am simply suggesting that sometimes it is good to recognize that simply working hard <and smartly> or making no mistakes guarantees a win … and if you don’t win than ‘you didn’t work hard enough”, “you didn’t work smart enough” or “you must have made a mistake.”

 

 

 

I say this because we have created a culture, business and Life, in which if you don’t win <or lets say ‘improve your current status’> you have done something wrong.

 

 

And that is crazy <to think that in every case>.

 

 

Personally … I tend to like non winners who show up day in and day out.

 

 

i am 1I like the ones with no quit <even when they don’t win>.

 

 

The ones who tend to be last to give up.

 

 

The ones who tend to be the last to leave.

 

The ones who tend to be the last to keep trying.

 

 

And, maybe most importantly, the ones who tend to be the last to hold on to integrity, sense of self, principled behavior and values.

 

 

I can teach & coach people to stop or what to hold on to and what to let go of… it is more difficult to teach someone to ‘go.’

 

 

All I know for sure is that the world is absolutely full of people who quit.

 

They will come up with a variety of quite reasonable reasons <one is ‘change direction’ which is often a fancy schmancy term for ‘give up’> but suffice it to say … they quit.

 

 

Because they don’t want to be the last … they want to be first.

 

Look.

 

 

Give me a team who doesn’t care if they win but will never quit … and I can guarantee you they will kick more ass in Life & in business than 99% of everyone else.

 

 

Regardless.

 

 

Here is the deal <some Life truths>.

 

 

Not everyone can finish first.

 

 

Not everyone who finishes first did it the best, with no mistakes or worked the hardest.

 

 

Not everyone who didn’t finish first made some mistake or didn’t work hard.life lesson is painful everywhere

 

 

That is Life.

 

And that is Life everywhere.

 

 

Anyway.

 

 

I think this may be one of the hardest lessons to learn … and to teach.

 

 

In general we suck at teaching this lesson and struggle to even admit it is a Life truth.

disconnected, connected … and we are all nomads now

June 23rd, 2015

 

—–

 traffic hurry disconnectd going

 

“The secret to living in the rush of the world with a minimum of pain is to get as many people as possible to string along with your delusions.“

 

 

=

 

 

Philip Roth

 

—–

 

 

“Most of us are “nomads” when it comes to computing and communications.

 

We live in a disconnected world much of the time as we travel between our office, home, airport, hotel, automobile, branch office, bedroom, etc.

 

 

As nomads, we own computers and communication devices that we carry about with us in our travels.”

 

 

=

 

 

Leonard Kleinrock

 

—–

 

 

 

There is a threshold beyond which one becomes a Cultural Nomad.

It is usually measured in the time one has spent living in a foreign culture.

You don’t reach the threshold when you have completely integrated into the new culture – that hardly ever happens – you reach the threshold when you realize that you can’t go back to your own.

 

 

Some Cultural Nomads return home to find that they no longer fit in (if indeed they ever did) and become bitter or cynical critics of what was once their home.

Others come back and devote themselves to preaching the ways of “the rest of the world” to their ignorant friends and family members.

Others simply never return.

We believe that the most fortunate Cultural Nomads are those who are able to accept their Nomad status, and move easily between many different cultures – including their “home” culture – while recognizing that none of these cultures will ever be home. This type of Cultural Nomad has done something the others haven’t: given up the dream of ever having a ready-made “home” provided by their culture — in exchange for the privilege of designing their own “home”.

Cultural Nomad

———–

I’d rather give up, like, a kidney than my phone.

How did you manage before?

Carrier pigeons?
Letters?
Going round each other’s’ houses on BIKES?”

=

Philippa Grogan, 16

———

 

 

Ok.

 

 

broken egg

 

Me, being older, .. I have a bunch of older friends … so the discussion <despair?> about ‘what a disconnected world we live in’ seems to come up a lot <and, in fact, this thought piece was actually a request from one of the smartest friends I have>.

 

 

 

Oh. By the way.

 

And disconnected is very quickly attached to “something is broken.”

 

 

 

Well.

 

 

Let’s discuss if anything is broken in the new connected disconnected world of ours.

 

 

At its most basic level I kind of find this whole “disconnected’ topic a contradictory discussion in that … in such a connected world … can we truly be disconnected from each other?

 

 

In addition … are we simply embracing the freedom and less defined <or confined?> Life of a ‘nomad world’?

<I will discuss this nomad thing ad nausea throughout>

 

 

I tend to find this quite the generational discussion.

 

 

I also find this entire conversation revolves around how you may define ‘connected’ <or disconnected>.

 

 

I also find there is an underlying angst within this discussion based on the fact many of us feel like we are suffering from a mild form of do not go gentlechronophobia <fear that time is moving so fast I’ll never be able to catch up>.

 

 

 

In today’s world the usual assumption that most of us make about our computing and communication environment is that we are “always” connected.

 

 

Indeed, most of us are “nomads” when it comes to computing and communications. We live in a disconnected world much of the time as we travel between our office, home, airport, hotel, car, coffee shop, bedroom, etc … and yet remain connected.

 

 

We now recognize that access to computing and communications is necessary not only from one’s `home base’, but also while in transit as well as wherever we end up.

 

 

It is an anytime, anywhere access world. And we not only expect it … we believe it is necessary in the new Life normal. And this new Life normal has many characteristics of ‘nomad.’

 

This mental tug of war we go thru with regard to some lack of boundaries in a nomad life yet always tethered to the connected aspect which … uhm … creates the whole disconnected aspect creates the societal flux we are dealing with.

 

 

The mental tug of war?

While the majority of the connected activity is with other humans it seems like many people are worried we are entering a disconnected human world.

 

Huh? Disconnected?

 

 

It’s because this generation’s connected looks different than past generation’s connected.

 

What everyone seems to be overlooking in this whole discussion is that handheld mobile technology has actually disconnected us from traditional forced connections <home, home computer, land lines, retail stores, etc.> … and we like it.

 

The tradeoff is that in this nomad like lifestyle we are actually now MORE connected … and in different ways.

 

 

 

I did some research on this nomadic system and lifestyle and found a technical paper written by some impressively smart technology gwonks who outlined all aspects of the technology <or Life enabler> aspect:

 

 

————

One can easily identify the physical parts of a nomadic system as consisting of the following (among others):

People that move (or don’t).

Things that move (or don’t).

Things that communicate (or don’t).

Things you connect to (or not).

Things that can process, store, etc.

Things that can sense.

Things that can actuate.

tech nomad music

On the other hand, the logical parts of a nomadic system are more slippery to define. Among others, they consist of the following:

Context (what things surround and touch my current activity).

Individuated nexus (what is the set of currently working objects).

Shared objects (what things are shared with me and others).

Replicated objects (what things are copied in multiple locations).

Cached objects (what do I hold onto as I travel and use objects).

Nomadicity exacerbates a variety of issues <problems?>:

Disconnectedness.

Variable connectivity: unpredictable and voluntary.

Variable bandwidth.

Variable requirements as the nomad moves.

Resource replication.

Awareness of the environment by the user (environment discovery).

Awareness of the user by the environment (user discovery).

Adaptivity/compression to match bandwidth and platform capability.

———————–

 

 

Being a nomad is freeing … but within the freedom is an underlying stress driven by the fact this is a new world with no established “how to live this kind of Life” rules.

 

 

In general, this means two things:

 

 

– we continue to try and use the ‘old Life rules,’ which were drive by location grounded boundaries, in this boundlessness nomad world

=

– we are often overwhelmed in this environment by the management of distributed “stuff”

 

 

 

In addition … the things on the lists above are capable of changing extremely quickly, making things even more problematic <and challenging>. This creates even more angst.

 

 

One of the key characteristics of this “way of Life” paradigm shift in the way we deal with the information is that while our systems have been nomadically-enabled, in that mechanisms have been developed that deal with such changes in a natural and transparent fashion, our brains have not adapted completely to being nomadically enabled <and it varies by generations>.

 

 

Suffice it to say we are connected 24/7 … living in an age where there are numerous ways of communication.

 

The user of advanced mobile technology is empowered to have more control over the multiple spaces they inhabit <the place they stand> and the numerous boundaries that can be crossed.

This empowerment bleeds into everyday behavior <to the distress of many>.

———–

It’s an unmissable trend.

Even if you don’t have teenage kids, you’ll see other people’s offspring slouching around, eyes averted, tapping away, oblivious to their surroundings. Take a group of teenagers to see the seven wonders of the world. They’ll be texting all the way. Show a teenager Botticelli’s Adoration of the Magi. You might get a cursory glance before a buzz signals the arrival of the latest SMS. Seconds before the earth is hit by a gigantic asteroid or engulfed by a super tsunami millions of lithe young fingers will be typing the human race’s last inane words to itself:

C u later NOT :(

—————————–

 

 

 

Some people suggest this means that we stay disconnected within the connected world.

 

 

But we seem to be missing the bigger societal or cultural issue as this thing called ‘Nomadic computing and communications’ enters Life as we know it.

 

This makes us all a variety of nomads.

 

 

I am not sure this is a paradigm shift or not but what I do know is that it clearly has shaken up our life etch a sketch.

 

 

We thrive in some aspects … balk at others … slow to embrace some and are baffled by others.

 

 

However.

 

All of us are intrigued by it <and have some angst at the same time>.

 

 

 

Angst & desire?

 

 

Here is the interesting thing about an innate desire to be a nomad <we all want freedom> … technology simply frees this innate desire … well … to some more than others.

 

————

Douglas Adams’ rules about technology:

1) Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

2) Anything that’s invented between when you’re 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.disconnect tv text

3) Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.

======

 

 

 

I imagine my point here is that there is an interesting clash between what we, almost all of us, innately desire – nomadic – and … well … change. We desire one thing almost desperately and yet find ourselves fighting the opportunity to do it.

 

 

This maybe a case of ‘be careful what you wish for.’

 

But.

 

What is winning?

 

 

The desire.

 

 

bond smartphone why attitude

 

 

All demographics are embracing their nomad desires.

 

And at the same time it creates a new Life normal which makes us feel uncomfortable.

 

The nonstop connectedness can feel very disconnected.

 

It seems like we are constantly trying to shove 25 hours’ worth of Life into 24 hours.

 

 

Let’s face it.

 

We are in the ‘adapting mode’ <adapting to a new Life normal>.

 

Adapting can be painful, stressful and generally uncomfortable.

 

 

But the whole disconnected thing gets thrown a wrench because it also permits someone to build stronger connections with those you know by sharing your disconnected 1story in a way only you can.

 

 

These connections lead to a strong support system and allow you the opportunity to actively engage in a large knowledge base of people with whom you share interests and experiences. The communities built around these social media tools offer us access to a wealth of information from peers to experts that help community members to make better informed decisions and better shape disconnected 2opinions.

 

 

In addition … there is perception and reality with regard to disconnected and ‘being connected.’

 

 

—————-

PewInternetResearch:

disconnected 3“Our research shows face-to-face time between teenagers hasn’t changed over the past five years.

Technology has simply added another layer on top.

Yes, you can find studies that suggest online networking can be bad for you. But there are just as many that show the opposite.”

———

“Our research shows face-to-face time between teenagers hasn’t changed over the past five years.

Technology has simply added another layer on top. Yes, you can find studies that suggest online networking can be bad for you.

disconnected 4But there are just as many that show the opposite.”

Lenhart

—————–

 

 

The mobile phone, smartphones, is now the favored communication hub for everyone … not just teens.

 

 

 

The difference is that digital communication IS teenagers’ lives while it is a ‘bolt on’ to adults lives <although that is also changing>.

 

disconnected 5

 

 

———————

“Simply, these technologies meet teens’ developmental needs.

Mobile phones and social networking sites make the things teens have always done – defining their own identity, establishing themselves as independent of their parents, looking cool, impressing members of the opposite sex – a whole lot easier.”

==

Amanda Lenhart

Pew senior research specialist

—————————-

 

 

But, let’s be clear, this whole disconnected versus connected thing ain’t just about kids <remember the smartphone demographic chart used earlier>.

 

==

 

Hardly another month goes by in which there isn’t a new article or book released on the question of whether the Internet brings us together or separates us.

Alternating between lamentations by pundits on how social media tools are allegedly hollowing out our relationships (Deresiewicz 2009; Mallaby 2006, Turkle, 2011), or by breathless reporting in newspapers about how everything is now online, the debate refuses to die, and often seems unaffected by empirical research on these topics.

 

 ==

 

 

Perception-wise, it seems natural to think that the rising number of people who are on smartphones and the internet for hours a day would be less likely to interact with the people around them. Focusing on being on the internet would seem to pull people away from their immediate surroundings.

 

 

Well.

 

It does and it doesn’t.

 

 

But I am not here to discuss how the internet can, or cannot, affect personal relationships or a sense of impending individual isolation <mostly because I do not believe it does … nor does research suggest it does> but rather this is a thought on how the internet has made things … well … smaller & bigger … connecting in a larger scope.

 

 

Smaller groups of people have become bigger groups … all with the same ideas and thinking <which suggests the ideas & thinking do not get any larger but rather they get smaller and more concise as they get honed within the group>.

 

I call it cocooned thinking & connection.

 

 

So it is possible that the internet increases connection and decreases connection at exactly the same time.

 

 

Yup

 

The Internet connects and isolates.

 

 

flying away group together directon employeesIt connects us with a larger group of ‘birds of a feather flock together’ which also isolates us from other birds <who are also flocking>.

 

 

We increasingly choose filtered communications over unfiltered communications thanks to more ways to digitally connect to other people and there’s less and less time spent being present to those we are physically near.

 

Why we do this is simple <and we do it in the physical world as well>.

We tend to be happier and less stressed and anxious when we are part of a community that thinks like you do … and even better? This community exists everywhere … in that it extends globally <outside of your normal everyday physical reach>.

 

 

We love the fact we can find people like us all over the world with whom we can connect in a meaningful way about a certain idea, topic, or shared interest. The Internet has made that kind of deep, direct communication a reality and it’s helping people find others who are like them.

 

 

 

Now.

 

 

PewResearch has conducted two studies <in America> which provides us with at least a baseline to challenge my thinking <or clarify it>.

 

 

Alone on the internet? Hardly.

 

The internet expands people’s social networks and even encourages people to talk by phone or meet others in person studies find.

 

 

The Pew Internet and American Life Project also finds that US internet users are more apt to get help on health care, financial and other decisions because they have a larger set of people to which to turn.

 

 

Further debunking early studies which suggested that the internet promotes isolation, Pew found that it “was actually helping people maintain their communities.” <Barry Wellman, a University of Toronto sociology professor and co-author of the Pew report>.

 

 

———–

<PewResearch study, “Social Networking Sites and Our Lives” … a survey which builds on Pew’s 2009 report on technology and isolation>

 

 

——————-

Another knock on the Internet is that it isolates its users from the broader world in the embrace of familiarity otherwise known as an echo chamber — and so prevents us from a full expression empathy.

To measure the validity of that idea, the report’s authors measured what psychologists call “perspective taking” — the ability to adopt the viewpoint of another person (or, in the context of politics, to consider “both sides of an issue”) — on a scale that ranged from 0 to 100. And what they found is that social network participation, while it doesn’t necessarily encourage empathy, doesn’t seem to harm it, either. “Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter users are no more or less able to consider alternative points,” the report puts it.think global worldly

Interestingly … research also suggests that the Internet actually increases connectedness and fights off isolation.

People who can use the Internet better to find and/or keep in touch with people with whom they share affinities with are more likely to be able to compensate for losing the neighborhood/family ties.

————–

 

 

Research actually suggests that disconnectedness is increased by factors like suburbanization, long-commutes, long work hours, decline of community and civic institutions, etc. …. not being online.

 

 

I could also use research to suggest our QUALITY of connectedness has improved. A huge positive of social connectedness is that it allows the crucial identity-establishing behavior … without the embarrassment or typical ‘fear of speaking out’.

 

 

—————

 

“These technologies give their users a sense of increased controllability. That, in turn, allows them to feel secure about their communication, and thus freer in their interpersonal relations.”

 

“Our research gives no reason at present for concern about the social consequences of online communication.”

 

 ==

Valkenburg

 

———————————–

 

 

 

“Controllability” translates into a newfound freedom to communicate. and within the freedom to communicate resides a fuller ‘connectedness’ with Life & people.

 

 

The average person has in fact double the amount of online friends than physical ones, according to research commissioned by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which found users of such sites have 121 online friends compared with 55 physical friends.

 

 

 

===

“In wider society, the ways in which friendships are formed and nurtured is changing with people recognising that they can develop deep, meaningful connections with others that they’ve never met, and may never meet”

“It can foster a sense of social connection for those who can frequently feel isolated, which is important to psychological wellbeing.”

===

 

 

 

I personally believe we are no more disconnected than we were in the past … it is just that our ‘connection world’ has changed so radically that people feel uncomfortable leaving what they know.

 

 

In the end.

 

 

Change is painful.

 

 

And within that pain many people start identifying all the reasons why change is bad … or wrong … or harmful <even from “experts” … who sound like old stubborn unchanging curmudgeons>:

 

===

impatient think question look

 

“continuous partial attention” — two people doing six things, devoting only partial attention to each one — she remarked: “We’re so accessible, we’re inaccessible.

We can’t find the off switch on our devices or on ourselves. … We want to wear an iPod as much to listen to our own playlists as to block out the rest of the world and protect ourselves from all that noise.

We are everywhere — except where we actually are physically.”

CURMUDGEON #1

Linda Stone

the technologist who once labeled the disease of the Internet age

—————-

“‘This was what was keeping me awake at night,’ Walter said. ‘This fragmentation. Because it’s the same problem everywhere. It’s like the internet, or cable TV – there’s never any centre, there’s no communal agreement, there’s just a trillion bits of distracting noise … All the real things, the authentic things, the honest things, are dying off.’

CURMUDGEON #2

Jonathan Franzen

====

 

 

 

On the other hand … change is exciting to some people.

 

 

 

—————–

“In a world full of people, only some want to fly.

Isn’t that crazy?”

=

(Seal)

 

 

Yup.

 

Nomads fly.

 

 

 

—————-

“They told me to grow roots, instead I grew wings”

=

(Lou)

 

 

 

Regardless.

 

disconnect old phonePlease. Please everyone stop having all this angst that being connected all the time is creating a disconnected society.

 

The wireless cable. The telephone. The car. The television. All changed the way people relate to each other.

 

<p.s. – the world did not crumble>

 

 

And how did their parents respond? With the same kind of wailing and gnashing of teeth we’re doing now.

 

 

Technology is simply today’s “how we live Life” change agent.

 

 

 

People stuck in the past … well … want to stay in the past … and while they may want the best for us they also tend to try to push everyone to a safe place <which is simply the trappings of ‘what we used to do and have always done’>.

 

Sure.

The web and everything that comes along with it has some uncertainty … and some risk .. because it is creating societal construct change <and therefore affecting people’s behavior … which impacts people’s attitudes>.

 

But more importantly than risk it has shifted some of our Life boundaries … and that just makes us feel uncomfortable.

 

 

Nomadicity versus some stability.

 

Most generations are embracing the freedom of a nomad lifestyle … with some boundaries. And within that ‘yes & no’ relationship resides conflict. Holding on to somethings and letting go of others.

 

 

 

Let us remember … children under the age of 15 have never known a world without the internet. It’s revolutionized how they learn, play, will work and communicate with each other.

 

 

Any time a younger generation embraces a revolution of any kind older generations want to squash it. and they will do so by any means possible <and wave their hands in the air suggesting civilization is crumbling as they do it>.

nomad culture

 

Look.

 

 

Tune in. Tune out.

It is your choice.

 

 

The babbling insanity that surrounds us can certainly eat your Life alive but it can also feed the quality of your Life more than ever before.

 

The one thing you cannot ignore?

 

Your new nomad Life.

 

It will come with some trappings you will love … and some you will hate.

 

But.

Trust me.

 

You are now a nomad.

Enlightened Conflict