Archive for October, 2015

Perils of Impatience Podcast

Consider this a sort of break from pure politics and a follow-up to the multitasking rant earlier this month. If you’re not too impatient to do a bit of reading, check out the Pew Report Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives.

I tee off on this report, observations and other readings. Then I posit a bifurcation. The instant gratifiers who are constantly connected invariably push themselves into short attention spans. They feel, feel, feel. They feel they are worthy of the fastest net connections, fastest phone connections, and zero waits for page loads. These extreme first-world issues can seem amusing, but they are also crippling.

Those who habituate themselves to snippets like tweets quickly lose the ability to and have no interest in analysis, much less reading. That can seem very trendy, yet at what cost. As Pew’s work points out, it means stress and dissatisfaction, and a serious loss of mental skills.

I go to hold that there will be a great bifurcation. The Millennials and close groups will break down into those who can analyze and assimilate information and those who only parrot snatches of this and that and the other. Employers and customer, even acquaintances, will see the distinctions among those who live by impulse and thinkers. Whoa to the instant gratification types.

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Councilor Tim McCarthy Podcast

Tim McCarthyA rambling conversation with Boston District 5 City Councilor Timothy McCarthy touches on the quotidian of Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roslindale neighborhoods of Boston. I have a stake, as he is my Councilor.

For non-Bostonians, note that he won the low throne. His seat was the springboard for our longest-serving Mayor Thomas Menino followed by the energetic Rob Consalvo. Locals pay attention to the District 5 Councilor.

Listen in as we speak of his running for his second term, his emphasis on parks, playgrounds, new housing, crime, and business development. He has devoted much of his professional and political life to constituent/neighborhood services and loves to say and act out, “What your see out your front door is important.” We get to how Mayors Flynn and Menino involved and hired him ror positions that stressed that.

This is a very localized show. We speak of Boston and his District’s development, housing, crime, and business. We speak of after-school programs and the new types of Boys and Girls Clubs. We get down with education with such fundamental and rhetorical questions as whether it makes more sense to pay to create opportunity for students or later for prisoners.

Click below to hear Boston local talk.

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Death in Service to Bill Gates

one-man bandLet’s pledge to each other not to be foolish, not to let vanity and ego, well, kill each other on the streets.

Fact is that we’ve eagerly bought the shoddy goods of multitasking. As a species, humans are terrible at it. Start by watching wrecks and near wrecks as drivers using cell phones career at each other and slam on the brakes (usually in time). Less dangerous and more common and certainly amusing see pedestrians on sidewalks or indoors walking into each other or walls as they try to ambulate and talk or text into the smartphone. It’s good perhaps that the phone is smart if the users are not.

Doubters’ Resource. Start with the collection of data and studies from around the nation and world at the National Safety Council here.

I run down some stats — how dangerous using phones while driving is, and that hands-free use is no safer. I talk about why we were even introduced to the idea that we can, should and must multitask. Alas, unlike a PC, we can’t get a retrofit of more RAM and a faster CPU. We really are trying to switch sequential tasks instantly. Our brains can’t do it. Multitasking is at best an illusion and at worst a deluision.

I go into a little background of CEO/manager think that led to the multitasking mythology. Bill Gates? Yes, Microsoft has been a primary villain here, promoting its Office and other software with a fantasy that every employee is a multitasker and is robbing the company if she or he isn’t working on many duties at the same time all day and every day.

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Trek from Gun Violence Podcast

cartridgesAngry and saddened by the latest and legacy of mass killings by a gunman, the POTUS demanded state and federal gun laws to deal with licensing and sales issues. Sure, sure, those are essential, but let’s change America’s gun culture. That would literally be the gift of the century to current and future citizens.

I exhort us to do that. We can. Already as polls show repeatedly, over 90% of us want greater gun licensing and sales controls. Clearly the state and Congressional NRA-bought solons lack the courage and will to attend to our desires and judgment. So we need to help them.

In my lifetime, I have seen us advance from segregated schools and miscegenation laws to at least half way to racial tolerance and balance. That cultural shift can only continue. We need to do the same with our gun culture. We need to employ naming and shaming — yes, to our lawmakers, but as important in our normal interactions with friends, neighbors, coworkers and those we need. Think the office or factory, the church coffee hour, on the subway and on and on.

Implicitly and explicitly, threatening in any way our fellow citizens has to and can be made unacceptable. Listen to my raving on this by clicking below.

By the bye, the best info on the Roseburg shooter I’ve seen appears in the Britsh The Daily Mail here.

WaPo created a sobering graphic of the number of mass shootings in the U.S. (four or more killed) this year. See it here. There has not been a week without one and up to 5 per week.

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