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Posts Tagged ‘culture

Get Free Culture

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For those who want to learn about Free Culture but don’t have the time to read Larry Lessig’s book, Free Culture , can listen to the audio book which has been released by the author under Creative Commons.

You can listen via a stream or download the mp3 files (100 MB) from this site

http://www.archive.org/details/free-culture-audiobook

Read a related article with video – https://frrl.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/who-owns-culture/

What is Free Culture?

It was culture, which you didn’t need the permission of someone else to take and build upon. That was the character of creativity at the birth of the last century. It was built upon a constitutional requirement that protection be for limited times, and it was originally limited.

–Lawrence Lessig

All creative works—books, movies, records, software, and so on—are a compromise between what can be imagined and what is possible—technologically and legally.  For more than two hundred years, laws in America have sought a balance between rewarding creativity and allowing the borrowing from which new creativity springs.  The original term of copyright set by the First Congress in 1790 was 14 years, renewable once. Now it is closer to two hundred. Thomas Jefferson considered protecting the public against overly long monopolies on creative works an essential government role.  What did he know that we’ve forgotten?

Lawrence Lessig shows us that while new technologies always lead to new laws, never before have the big cultural monopolists used the fear created by new technologies, specifically the Internet, to shrink the public domain of ideas, even as the same corporations use the same technologies to control more and more what we can and can’t do with culture. As more and more culture becomes digitized, more and more becomes controllable, even as laws are being toughened at the behest of the big media groups. What’s at stake is our freedom—freedom to create, freedom to build, and ultimately, freedom to imagine.

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July 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

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How to Look Really Brilliant with Little Effort

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Here is a story from Jack Canfield

Virginia Satir, the author of the classic parenting book Peoplemaking, was probably the most successful and famous family therapist that ever lived.

During her long and illustrious career, she was hired by the Michigan State Department of Social Services to provide a proposal on how to revamp and restructure the department of social services so what would serve the client population better.  Sixty days later, she provided the department with a 150 page report, which they said was the most amazing piece of work they had ever seen.

She replied, “Oh, I just went out to all the social workers in your system and I asked them what it would take for the system to work better.”

One of my favorite quotes from Henry Ford is this

Why is it that whenever I ask for a pair of hands, a brain comes attached?
— Henry Ford

What amazes me is that there are still so many “industrial age” corporations out there that think like Henry Ford.  That is, that the executive team has all the answers and the workers are just the “hands” that do the work and offer little else.

Brilliance?

So, was it “brilliance” that allowed Virginia Satir to go ask the social workers how to make the system work better – or simply lack of common sense on the part of the executive team at the Michigan State Department of Social Services?

An old joke from consulting is… “a consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is and then hands you a bill.”  This is exactly what Virginia Satir did.  She borrowed the states own employees to tell her how to do things better, compiled, analyzed, and delivered the information, then she handed the Michigan State Department of Social Services a bill. 

The approach of asking employees for input on improvement must have eluded the Departments executives.

The Toyota Way

Toyota is famous for The Toyota Production System (TPS) – which is not only a manufacturing system but also a corporate culture and philosophy.  A large part of TPS is employee empowerment.  Here are some recent statistics

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June 13, 2010 at 5:22 am

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Who owns culture? Culture as a corporate differentiator

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Who Owns Culture?

Over the past few days we posted a few articles on culture.  To the question, “Who owns culture?” applied to society or to a nation, in a free society like the United States, one might say that “no one” (no person and no group) owns Culture. 

That is, in a free society, people are free to read the culture, and re/write the culture for this and the next generation.  For all we know, this is nothing more than a random walk into an uncertain future.  For people that take the long-view, this scares them.  (Read a related article.)

To the question, “Who owns culture?” applied to a corporation, the answer is easy.  The culture is owned by the CEO and the Board of Directors. 

Just about every major corporation has a page on their web site dedicated to “espousing” the corporate vision and core values of the corporate culture.  I say “espousing” the corporate values insofar as sometimes much of this is Public Relations for consumption by investors and customers. 

The real test of corporate values is behavior.  You only need to look at the behavior of Enron, WorldCom and other poster children of corporate corruptionto to see what can go wrong despite exemplary stagecraft of corporate value systems.

Zappos.com

Zappos.com is a real success story.  Started by Tony Hsieh in his early 20’s, Tony is smarter than the average CEO about corporate culture.  In fact, Zappos is built around living the corporate culture that it espouses.

Perhaps Tony’s emphasis on corporate culture was based on the previous company he founded, LinkExchange.  In one interview, Tony said that they hired people with the right skill sets and experience but were not culture fits – then the whole company went down from there.  Asked what he would do over when he started Zappos, Hsieh replied that he would “hire more slowly and fire more quickly”.

Paying new employees $2,000 to quit

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June 7, 2010 at 3:24 am

Who owns Culture?

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If creativity is based on the past how can you have a future without remixing the past?  Is creativity being strangled by laws of copyright and intellectual property?  Will copyright kill new forms of expression?  What is the balance between protection and the freedom to creatively remix?  Who owns culture?  Who owns the right to “read” the culture but also the right  to creatively re/write it for the current and next generation?  Could a society or nation flourish in a “read-only” culture?

Lessig wants to legalize “what it is to be young”, a “new literacy”  and a new  “way to speak” for this generation so they can participate in the creation and re/creation of culture.

Who is Larry Lessig?

Lawrence “Larry” Lessig (born June 3, 1961) is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications.

He is a director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a professor of law at Harvard Law School. Prior to rejoining Harvard, he was a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society. Lessig is a founding board member of Creative Commons, a board member of the Software Freedom Law Center and a former board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Read more – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Lessig

Watch at TED


More about the Creative Commons license – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

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June 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm

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Ashley Madison – Taking the Temperature of Americas Morality

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There has been media buzz over the past few weeks over the http://AshleyMasison.com web site.

There are a couple of different ways you can interpret what is going on with this site.

On the one hand, CEO Noel Biderman is an entrepreneur – in addition to having a law degree and a background in economics.  As any entrepreneur would do, he scanned the landscape of unmet needs in the marketplace looking for opportunities to start a business.

Mr Biderman discovered that one of the few survivors of the dot com bust in 2000 was dating sites. In addition, he found out that about 30 percent of members of dating sites were not single.  So, putting this together, in 2001 Mr. Biderman created AshleyMadison.com – a dating site for married folks.

It took Biderman five years to grow the site to 1 million members.  In 2004 AshleyMadison.com had 4.5 million members.  At the time of this writing in May 2010 Ashley Madison has 6 million members.

The question is this.. Did Noel Biderman do anything wrong in starting a dating site for married people?

Biderman created a company in 2001 to fill, what he assessed to be, an unmet need.  Businesses will either succeed or fail based on how well they can meet the needs of potential customers.  If you can’t meet the customers needs (and do it in a unique competitive way) you will not have sales sufficient to stay in business.  In this way, business are “self-validating”.  Given that AshleyMadison now has 6 million members it seems to suggest that Mr. Biderman was correct in his assessment in 2001 – that there is such a need and that he has a successful service to meet that need.

So, bottom line, there is an appetite for a service such as AshleyMadison and Mr. Biderman was there, on the spot, to cater to this need.  He did nothing wrong in what he did.  He is simply a business owner with 6 million customers.

Counterpoint

On the other hand, you could say that what Mr. Biderman is doing is “immoral” and/or “unethical” by providing such as service.  Is the implication that our American businesses – small and large – are somehow responsible for guarding and enforcing the morality and ethics of society?  If you say, “Yes” then who defines what that morality and ethics is?  And further, can this “guarding the morality of socity” exist alongside what we call a “free society” in America?

Who defines the ethics and morality of a society?  What was once permitted is now taboo – slavery.  What was once taboo is now permitted – inter-racial marriage.  One generation has difficulty in understanding how a previous generation could have either permitted or denied certain institutions or acts. 

As odd as you might find this, in the Lincoln-Douglas debates (1858) both Douglas and Lincoln agreed that “All men are created equal” did not apply to slaves.  Could a politician running for a seat in the Senate of the United Stats today say what Lincoln and Douglas said a mere 150 years ago regarding the equality of men?  Hardly.  Yet, only time makes the difference in what is morally acceptable and not acceptable.

Are we (society) dragged along by the ebb and flow of the randon events that defines what is, and what is not,  moral and ethical behavior?  In an old episide of Dragnet (from the 1960’s) a hippie tells Jack Webb that the laws have to change to keep up with the times.  And in this case, the legalization of drugs.  And further, that “someday we will be in charge” and you (Jack Webb) will have no choice.  Are the morals and ethics at any time simply “what we say they are”  and then we make legislation to match this?  Are ethics and morals defined by the majority in society?  Or, do ethics and morals define the society?

What is AshleyMadison?

AshleyMadison is a couple of things. First, Ashley Madison with 6 million members is a reflection of the movement of the societal values – for good or bad.  Ashley Madison elicits and makes visible a portion of societal values that, perhaps, have not been clearly seen before.   At least to the extent that the Ashley Madison marketing folks are able to create buzz with a potential Super Bowl commercial and segments about the site on most cable news shows.

Second, Ashley Madison provides an opportunity for ordinary people to make a choice.  You are free to choose to use the site or not use the site.  You have the choice to steal or not steal.  You have the choice to lie or not lie.  You have the choice to cheat on your taxes or not cheat on your taxes.  You have the choice to cheat on your spouse or not cheat on your spouse.  People make choices every year, every month, every day, every hour, every minute, and every second of the day.

What’s the great thing about AshleyMadison?  It allows you to make a choice to reveal who you really are.  Perhaps, helping you make a self-assessment that would not be possible without AshleyMadison as the catalyst.

Resources

 Read an article – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/ashleymadison_lawyersweekly.pdf

Written by frrl

May 23, 2010 at 6:41 am

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National Public Radio (NPR) does Lady Gaga

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Certainly it is a sign of Cultural Icon status when a staid organization like  National Public Radio does one of your hit songs.  Such is the status of Lady Gaga’s hit song “Telephone”.  This evening, Monday, Bill O’Reilly admitted that he is also a Gaga fan while a day before on CBS 60 Minutes Andy Rooney admitted he didn’t know who she was.  O’Reilly’s message for Andy was, “No, Perry Como is no longer in the top 40”.   This exchange suggested to me the inevitable “hand-off’ of the generations.  Why does being as old an Andy Rooney necessarily mean that you have to be out of touch with the popular culture?  Must it be so?

Here is the staff of National Public Radio doing “Telephone” by Lady Gaga.  Good for her; good for them!
Nina Totenberg?  Heaven help us!

Lady Gaga has become the first artist to have her music videos watched over one billion times online.  It seems the Fame Monster, as she calls herself on her album, has become an unstoppable beast.  Her outrageous, often obscene style and her synthetic dancefloor pop has gripped the attention of the music world since her debut single LoveGame in 2008. 

But it is her videos that really allow her to express her vision of herself as an in-your-face, other-worldly star. Her success has been helped by savvy marketing such as the Facebook organised National Gaga Day. 

She also advertises products in her videos and has taken a post as a creative director at Polaroid.

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May 11, 2010 at 3:14 am

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Welcome to the Revolution

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Stats from Video and Social Media Thought Leaders

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May 8, 2010 at 4:21 am

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Population Control and The Tragedy of the Commons

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I came across an article from Science that was published back in 1960′s.  It was worth another read. 

One of the themes in this article is that there is a class of problems that have no technical solution.  To continue to try to create ever more complex technical solutions to problems that are not solved by technology is misguided and futile.  They key is to recognize the nature of the problem and the class of solution that is appropriate.

There are many “uncomfortable problems” that society needs to confront and provide a long term solution.  One such problem  is population control in a world of limited resources.  Population control is just one of a class of problems that can be categorized under the heading of  ”The Tragedy of the Commons”.

Simply stated, the Tragedy of the Commons is that the natural tendency for each individual to maximize their own benefit and utility in a world of limited resources and this behavior brings ruin to all.

From the perspective of the Tragedy of the Commons one can see that the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights may be misguided: Read the rest of this entry »

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May 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

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American Military Strategy … on one page

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April 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm

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Why Nations Decline

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A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse [gifts] from the public treasury.  From that moment on, the majority only votes for candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship — Alexandar Fraser Tytler (1747-1913)”

Quoted by Mitt Romney in No Apology: The Case for American Greatness

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April 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

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On Multiple Intelligences, Minds, and the Education for the Future

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A couple of decades ago (1983), Howard Gardner came up with this idea that IQ (“Intelligence” Quotient) only measures one type of intelligence.  Observation shows that people possess abilities that IQ tests can not measure.  Gardner got the idea that to really understand the full range of human capability it was necessary to extend the concept of “intelligence” beyond the traditional default definition.

Gardner came up with the theory of multiple intelligences.  The belief was that multiple  intelligences better capture the full capability of human being and that an individual, evaluated on traditional IQ tests alone, did not tell the full story on a particular individuals capability.

Here is a list of Gardners 9 intelligences Read the rest of this entry »

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April 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Dave, The Mechanical Turk, and the fate of ordinary people

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A few days ago I had a conversation with “Dave”.  This was part of an assessment of processes and software tools in use by a Fortune 100 Insurance company.  During the interview, I asked Dave some questions about what he did, how he did it, how what he did fit into the larger picture of the business unit that he was in, and what the future was for the applications and software tools he was using to do his job.  I also asked him what ideas he had to improve (make more efficient, easier, create more value for his effort, etc) the work he did or the work of the business unit in general.

Dave was an expert at what he did and how he did it.  As far as answers to the other questions, I got mostly “don’t know” or silence regarding ideas for changes or improvement.  When Dave recognized that he did not have answers to some of the questions he seemed annoyed that I was asking these things of him.  Dave said a very profound thing to me.

“I just do what my boss tells me to do”

The question to you is, … Is Dave the perfect employee?

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April 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime (1931)

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Unemployment Rates across the United States by State – http://www.bls.gov/Lau/

They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob.
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear,
I was always there, right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead –
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?
Once I built a railroad, I made it run,
Made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad, now it’s done –
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower, up to the sun,
brick and rivet and lime.
Once I built a tower, now it’s done –
Brother, can you spare a dime?

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April 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm

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The Construction of Multiple Identities

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The advent of the internet and the rise of social networking has provided an opportunity we did not have before – the opportunity to construct multiple identities.  For some, the real world is good enough; for others, it is not.

A few years ago I listened to a program on NPR (National Public Radio) about the rise of local churches.  This was not so much about religion as it was about people who obtained papermill degrees in Theology, Ministry, or similar and then started a church placing themselves at the head of that church with their name prefixed with Doctor, Pastor, or similar title of authority.  In an institutional church, for example, Lutherans or Catholic, it takes many years to earn a degree with these titles.  But heck, if someone can send in $10 and get a degree – to get that identify – then why not?

People need self-validation.  For some, self-validation, a sense of worth, comes from inside – intrinsic.  For others, validation has to come from outside – extrinsic.  The challenge of extrinsic validation is that one needs to find an external environment, community, or organization where this can be accomplished.  If the door is closed in one environment, community, or organization you can always try to find another.  For example, a local condo or home-owners association can provide titles of President, Board of Directors, or similar titles and these can be filled by people who, in the real life of their jobs, have never  earned – or have been granted or entrusted with – any real management responsibility.  One night you’re on the Board of Directors at the home owners association – the next day you’re sitting in a fabric cubicle at work like Milton in the movie Office Space.

The real world is hard.  It does not comport itself to the easy wishes of those who desire extrinsic validation by titles or positions of responsibility in a real environment, community or organization where these titles and positions require a demonstrated competency and history of creating measurable results in order to get this positions or titles.

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Written by frrl

April 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Paying kids to get good grades – What are the long-term effects?

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In the April 8, 2010 issue of TIME Magazine there is an article about paying kids to get good grades in school.  In some cases it works, and in some cases it does not.  The TIME article (paper copy) shows graphics of the various cities in which it was tried and the outcome.

The results began to trickle into the lab last summer. In New York City, the $1.5 million paid to 8,320 kids for good test scores did not work — at least not in any way that’s easy to measure. In Chicago, under a different model, the kids who earned money for grades attended class more often and got better grades, two major accomplishments. Those students did not, however, do better on their standardized tests at the end of the year.

In Washington, the kids did better on standardized reading tests. Getting paid on a routine basis for a series of small accomplishments, including attendance and behavior, seemed to lead to more learning for those kids. And in Dallas, the experiment produced the most dramatic gains of all. Paying second-graders to read books significantly boosted their reading-comprehension scores on standardized tests at the end of the year — and those kids seemed to continue to do better the next year, even after the rewards stopped.

The kids had much in common. In all four cities, a majority were African American or Hispanic and from low-income families. So why did the results vary so dramatically from city to city?  (read more at the links below)

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April 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm

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Sarah Palin’s Speaking Contract – Love’n Joe Six-Pack

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As she says, she is a regular person like any “Joe six-pack”, “Joe the plumber”, a “Hockey Mon”…

… who requires a Private Jet – Lear 60 or larger, Black Town Car  for transportation, very specific bottled water requirements, and pre-screened questions.  Sarah, Sarah, Sarah…

“The private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger (as defined by interior cabin space) for West Coast Events; or, a Hawker 800 or larger (as defined by interior cabin space) for East Coast Events and both are subject to the Speaker’s approval. The Speaker reserves the right to change the flight plans at any time.”

“SATELLITE EVENTS: Customer agrees to provide a 2-way satellite broadcast. For Q&A, the questions are to be collected from the audience in advance, pre-screened and a designated representative (by Customer and approved by Speaker via WSB) shall ask questions directly of the speaker to avoid delay time with a roving microphone in the audience.”

“Customer agrees to provide the Speaker and traveling party with ground transportation in both originating city and event city. Transportation will be by SUV(s) from a professionally licensed and insured car service. lf SUV(s) are not available, black town cars may be substituted.

“PRIVATE BUSINESS: The Speaker reserves the right to participate in private business including but not limited to book or political events during their visit.

“Unopened bottled still water (2 bottles) and bendable straws are to be placed in or near the wooden lectern. A representative of WSB or the Speaker’s party will open the water at an appropriate time prior to the Speaker’s participation in the program. No Plexiglas or thin lecterns please.

Read more from the Sarah Palin’s Speaking Contract – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/sarahpalinspeakingcontract.pdf

More on Sarah Palin’s speaking fee – http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28873.html

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April 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm

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The iPad – Why ask why? It “revolutionizes it”

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Are you a true believer?

 

Click this link to watch – http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1931968

Bonus – Steve’s next play, the iPhone OS 4 Event – http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1004fk8d5gt/event/

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April 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Good Breeding

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We establish the rules of good-breeding, in order to prevent
the opposition of men’s pride, and render conversation
agreeable and inoffensive…
…among well-bred [polite] people, a
mutual deference is affected; contempt of others disguised; authority
concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an
easy stream of conversation maintained, without vehemence,
without interruption, without eagerness for victory, and without
any airs of superiority.
David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature

If I am sparring with a strong and solid opponent he will attack me on
the flanks, stick his lance in me right and left; his ideas send
mine soaring. Rivalry, competitiveness and glory will drive me
and raise me above my own level. . . . Our mind is strengthened
by contact with vigorous and well-ordered minds.
Michel Montaigne

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April 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm

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700,000 iPads sold out of the gate

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The latest estimates for iPad sales may surprise even the most optimistic Apple watchers: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster puts the number at 600,000-700,000 this weekend, including pre-orders.

By comparison, it took Apple more than 70 days to sell 1 million iPhones after the initial launch.

Ok, so take a look

And here is the manual – http://support.apple.com/manuals/#ipad

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April 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

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The Millennial Generation – “Culture Definer”

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Much of Talent Management and Executive coaching is to get folks through a set of transitions traditionally associated with an achievement-oriented corporate culture in America.

Here are some typical categories in which people find themselves.

Star Performer – People start their career as an individual contributor.  For some, the goal is to become a “Star Performer” – a person at the head of the game of personal accomplishment in a chosen field.  At the level of individual contributor and Star Performer, individuals are in charge of themselves.

Manager – Managers are in charge of themselves and a few other people.  Managers manage the work of themselves and others to achieve a known desired outcome.  There are generally known answers to most, if not all, questions.  A manager strives to achieve as set of pre-defined goals through a known path.  A good manager hits the targets and keeps the place running smoothly..  Managers sometimes become immobilized by ambiguity – choosing perhaps, analysis paralysis rather than a course of action where the outcome is uncertain.  Managers think tactically and color inside the lines.

Leader – Here is where one leaves the safety of known paths to established targets.  This is the land of uncertainty, ambiguity and taking calculated risks.  There may be no clear paths to targets.  At this level one has to manage to an uncertain future.  This is an art as well as a science.  Leaders think strategically and color at the boundaries and sometimes outside the lines.

Culture Definer – These are CEO’s that have to define a culture within an organization.  This is the realm of mission, values, ethics, and the general corporate culture built and institutionalized to enable the organization to achieve its long-term strategic goals.

Legacy Creator – These folks have such an impact on organizations, culture, and/or society that they leave footsteps in history.  These are the folks that future generations will read about in history books and folks from which a certain state of culture or society can be said to be derived from their influence.  In this generation, folks like Jack Welch and Steve Jobs will leave a trail of footsteps in history.

The stages above are successive.  This is the traditional view.

The global connectivity of the internet and the rise of social networking has provided some interesting new paths for the millennial generation.  The millennial generation has possibilities, enabled by technology, which were not available to previous generations.

Emerging in blogs one can discover an emerging generation of “Culture Definers” and potential “Legacy Creators”.  The old model of “climbing the corporate ladder” to achieve “significance” may give way to a new generation of culture definers and legacy creators right out of college – or right in college – for that matter.

When Facebook hits 1 Billion users in the next three years, who could say that founder Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard dropout, did not achieve some sort of status as “Culture Definer”.  What about the Stanford students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google – are these culture definers and legacy creators?  What about another college dropout, Steve Jobs?  Is Steve Jobs a culture definer and legacy creator with the creation of the idea of “Computing for the rest of us” – which really wasn’t computing at all in the (then) traditional sense of the word of computing as computation.  All these folk, college kids, changed the way (now) mainstream culture sees the World, the future, and one’s place in society.

I wonder how typical this is – (from the blog cited below)

I started this blog as a way to explore what is happening at the intersection of technology, communication, and culture – about how we’re being impacted as a society and where we go from here…

… Then I started poking around in Twitter and wondering if it’s a complex adaptive system and if it might actually grow to become a global human consciousness, of sorts…

… But generally, I think we’re at a turning point in history, where many of the institutional structures that serve as the foundations for how we operate as a society are failing, and in turn creating a tremendous opportunity for us to make a decision to grab a hold of the reins and be active participants in creating our collective future.

College kids today, wanting to be “active participants in creating a collective future”.  These are some very high aspirations outside the traditional mold of corporate success.  Good for them!

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March 20, 2010 at 5:03 am

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The Game of Death – “We were just following orders”

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I read about this experiment a long time ago.  Basically, it shows that people can do all manner of torture to other human beings based on the wishes of an authority figure.  There is a French television show where this experiment was reproduced with basically the same result from the 1960’s.

In the TV show, they found that 80% of the subjects were willing to administer a fatal shock if told to do so … “Makers say 80 percent of those participating in the show were willing to give a potentially fatal electric shock, if show producers said they should…”

The writers of the article try to attribute this as the power of television… “They argue this demonstrates how TV shows can misuse their power and influence…” Well, not really.  The outcome of this experiment shows the influence of authority figures on typical people.  What happened on this French television show is just an instance of a general principle.

The Milgram’s experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology,[1] and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.[2]

The experiments began in July 1961, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the question: “Was it that Eichmann and his accomplices in the Holocaust had mutual intent, in at least with regard to the goals of the Holocaust?” In other words, “Was there a mutual sense of morality among those involved?” Milgram’s testing suggested that it could have been that the millions of accomplices were merely following orders, despite violating their deepest moral beliefs.

Read more – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

Fast forward to 2010

In the ominously titled “Le jeu de la mort” (“The Game of Death”) participants were told to inflict pain on their competition if they answered trivia questions incorrectly.

This was done by flicking a switch to administer electric shocks of various levels up to a potentially fatal 460 volts. They would then watch the reaction of their rival (actually an actor) on a monitor.

The actor screamed in pain and begged for mercy with each wrong answer, until the contestants increased their “shocks” to a deathly level.

Makers say 80 percent of those participating in the show were willing to give a potentially fatal electric shock, if show producers said they should. They argue this demonstrates how TV shows can misuse their power and influence.

The stunt was based on the “Stanley Milgram Experiment” and will air tonight in France as part of a documentary on the manipulative power of television.

Keep reading to see footage. Remember, he’s an actor. But the contestants don’t know it.

http://www.asylum.com/2010/03/17/tv-game-of-death-france-game-show-torture/

Written by frrl

March 19, 2010 at 5:04 am

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals

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The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery.

Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Austin serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW, where career development flourishes amid the relaxed atmosphere. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.

Find out what its about –

And view the videos from the conference – http://sxswvideos.com/

Written by frrl

March 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Life is too short for social interaction” – Let Google live your life for you

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Google Xistence

Check out the video –

Written by frrl

January 27, 2010 at 6:19 pm

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What happened to (my) (Linden Labs) Second Life?

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So, you didn’t like your real life (First Life).  So there it was, Linden Labs Second Life – where the rules of  fame, fortune, success, respect, status, and social relationships worked by a different set of rules.  But what happens when the bloom is off the rose.  Now what?

At its peak, the Second Life economy had more money swilling about than several third-world countries. It had even produced its own millionaire, Anshe Chung, who made a very real fortune from buying and selling property that existed only on Second Life servers.

Three years on, and the hype has been extinguished. Second Life has seen its status as the web wonderchild supplanted by Facebook and Twitter. The newspapers have forgotten about it, the Reuters correspondent has long since cleared his virtual desk, and you can walk confidently around tech trade shows without a ponytailed “Web 2.0 Consultant” offering to put your company on the Second Life map for the price of a company car.

But what has happened to Second Life? Have the hundreds of thousands of registered players logged off and found a real life? Has the Second Life economy collapsed? And what’s become of the extroverts, entrepreneurs and evangelists I encountered on my first visit? There’s only one way to find out.

I’m going back in.

Read the full article
https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/whathappenedtosecondlife.pdf

See if for yourself – http://secondlife.com

Gartner has a framwork to understand “Hype Cycles” .
Check out a few current trends and see where they are on the framework.

For Virtual Worlds – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/hypecycle_virtualworlds.jpg
For Social Software – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/hypecycle_socialsoftware.jpg
The Hype Cycle explained – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/hypecycle_explained.png

Read an older article from Wired – http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/15-08/ff_sheep?currentPage=all

Written by frrl

January 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm

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Coast to Coast – “The Unslumberous Night”

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If you are a radio listening and not a fan of Coast To Coast – then get with (check out)  the program.

You might also have caught a glimpse into one of the odder realms of modern media. Lately, night people listen, in huge numbers, to a syndicated program called Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. It’s by far the most popular overnight show in the country. And it’s probably the most successful program of its kind ever aired.

But just what kind of program it is, no one can quite say. Its topical breadth alone defies categorization: aliens, time travel, 9/11 conspiracies, suspicious murders, vampires, mediated telepathy, birds of unusual size. Shadow People seem to show up a lot.

Every evening, Coast to Coast offers a running commentary on what keeps people awake, in fear or fascination, through what Keats called the “unslumbrous night.

Check out the article in Atlantic on the history and genre of late-night talk radio

The article – http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/201001/coast-to-coast
The web site for Coast To Coast – http://www.coasttocoastam.com
Listen live (streaming) on this AM station (near midnigt in the Americas)  – http://wndb.am

Written by frrl

January 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

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A Savage Factory: An Eyewitness Account of the Auto Industry’s Self-Destruction

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“Clouds of blue-gray mist, laced with millions of minute metal particles hung in the air and brought to mind the movie about poisonous gas attacks in World War I… The factory floor was made of rectangular wood blocks, about the size of street bricks, saturated with filthy black oil that gave the plant an odor of sour rot as if the entire Industrial Revolution had died and was decaying right here in Sharonville… They were hard, resentful faces; unhappy miserable faces; dulled, stunned faces. Above all, hostile faces. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man glaring at me, and I could read his cursing lips.

Inside there were four dirty, dented gray metal desks. Ed herded me to the desk occupied by a man who looked like a fully clothed skeleton. His face was a mass of wrinkles, and his right eye was obviously false. A yellowish liquid like Elmer’s Glue, or the snot under a three-year-old’s nose seeped from the fake eye, which was tuned to the right even though his good eye was looking to the left.

The skeleton was aware that Ed and I were standing in front of his desk yet ignored us. Ed acted as if being ignored was normal etiquette at Ford Motor Company, and risked a long shot at the corner waste can. The tobacco juice fell short and ran down the side of the trash can over ageless stains of previous near misses.”

On the week of Christmas I took a trip to my local bookstore.  On the new books table I saw this book – A Savage Factory: An Eyewitness Account of the Auto Industry’s Self-Destruction.

Since this was the week of Christmas I thought this would be an uplifting book for the holidays.  I grabbed the book and headed for the bookstore coffee shop. With a  Christmas Grande peppermint mocha in hand, and finding a nice overstuffed chair, I was ready to take a look-see at A Savage Factory.

Unlike a Dickens novel, there is no happy ending to this book.  A Savage Factory has numerous descriptions of the Ford factory that would match that  of a Victorian workhouse and stories of disdain for the working poor that Dickens so often attributes to some of his characters.

After about an hour of reading I decided that this book needed a much closer look than the time allotted by the grande mocha.

Many themes in this book

At the time of this writing, there are 33 reviews of this book at Amazon.com.  You can read those reviews for yourself here.

There are many themes running through this book.  The most prominent, of course, is the deplorable conditions at Ford’s largest transmission plant which was located in Sharonville Ohio.  The deplorable conditions are not only the physical working environment of the plant but also the relationships among management, hourly employees, and the UAW (United Auto Workers).  The relationship among these three entities could easily and accurately be described as an ongoing war.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

December 27, 2009 at 9:59 am

The balance of power between young and old – The games people play

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Traditionalists, boomer, Gen-X, Gen-Y, and Millennial.  What is the balance of power?

Read an articles from the NY Times
and one from the New Yorker – http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/06/26/060626ta_talk_menand

Then try it for yourself – http://www.freemosquitoringtones.org

Written by frrl

December 5, 2009 at 1:13 am

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TIPS TO IMPROVE INTERACTION AMONG THE GENERATIONS

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This idea of the multiple generations in the workforce is gaining traction in corporate human resource departments.

TIPS TO IMPROVE INTERACTION AMONG THE GENERATIONS
TRADITIONALISTS, BOOMERS, X’ERS AND NEXTERS

Here is a page from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association Office of Diversity

http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/intergencomm.htm

Written by frrl

October 12, 2009 at 1:39 am

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The Millennial Generation – kids with ideas building companies

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There are four generations alive right now – Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen-X’ers and the Millennial Generation.

What is one of the things that characterizes Traditionalists and Boomers?  The expectation of lifetime employment at a sigle company in a single job followed by retirement and death.  At the other end, the Millennials have multiple careers and parallel careers. Some predict they will change jobs 7-10 times and even change careers 2 or 3 times in their lifetime.

What are these kids up to – check out this generation of Entrepreneurs at DreamIt

“Helping great people with great ideas build great companies”

DreamIT
http://www.dreamitventures.com/node/16

Porfolio Companies
http://dreamitventures.com/node/6

A couple of college kids with a very simple idea – as featured on ABC’s SharkTank
http://www.notehall.com/

http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-10-02/things-to-do/torrey-pines-grad-takes-business-to-the-sharks

http://nycdemoday.com/

Check out – When Generations Collidehttps://frrl.wordpress.com/when-generations-collide/

Written by frrl

October 6, 2009 at 1:40 am

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What Makes a Psychopath?

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“Psychopaths are often big trouble for those around them,” said clinical psychologist Joseph Newman at the University of Wisconsin. “If we can find out what underlies their problems, we might be able to identify what kinds of interventions might be able to work for them.”

Scientists investigating the disorder commonly agree that psychopaths are often marked by the following traits:

-Lack of empathy, guilt, conscience or remorse
-Shallow experiences of feelings or emotions
-Impulsivity and a weak ability to defer gratification and control behavior
-Superficial charm and glibness
-Irresponsibility and a failure to accept responsibility for their actions
-A grandiose sense of their own worth”

Read the full article – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/whatmakesapsychopath.pdf

Written by frrl

September 1, 2009 at 1:49 am

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