TheQuoteGuys

The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective

Connect

Posts Tagged ‘Awe’

Guessing…

One of my strengths according to Strength Finders 2.0 © is “Context”:

You look back.  You look back because that is where the answers lie.  You look back to understand the present. 

Tom Rath

Unfortunately, I try to apply this strength in my business world but not so much on the personal side.  The business world seems objective whereas the personal side is… well… personal.

Nonetheless, I enjoy looking back and studying the tools, tactics and techniques that have proven successful for business leaders and companies alike.  I study past failures, too.  It’s interesting to me to find that the difference between winning and losing in the business world is often not based on what we guess it should be based on:

Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake. 

Savielly Grigonevitch Tartakower

And over the years, I have noticed much of the success in business has come about as much by accident as by any other means.  More times than not, leaders witnessed outcomes at their companies that were the direct opposite of their best laid plans:

There were times when we lost money on every PC we sold, and so we were conflicted – if sales were down, was that bad news or good news? 

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

I remember reading The Google Story © and learning how one of the most powerful technology companies on the planet was formed – with great reluctance – seemingly guess work, by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.  To monetize their intellectual property, the last thing on their mind was to start a company.  So, when they launched a company and eventually went public, they did their best to guess what a company was, and was not, about:

Google is not a conventional company.  We do not intend to become one. 

Sergey Brin and Larry Page

At the other end of the spectrum… We all know of times where things are not working well at our companies, yet leaders were clueless on what to do about it.  Seems like guessing is still a core attribute among leadership:

An old adage was that companies typically spent twice as much as necessary of advertising but had no way to figure out which half to cut. 

Unknown Sage

We all might agree that leaders do the best they can to make educated guesses while leading our companies, but no one really knows for sure how things will turn out.  There’s an example offered by our Unknown Sage about the auto dealer who fired all his sales reps and sales went up!  That story reminds me of the current Wells Fargo situation – at least the firing part; not sure yet if their sales will go back up.

One of the primary lessons I have learned in any and all roles I have held in the business world is not to take myself too seriously.  Truth be told, that is sometimes easier to blog about than to operate by.  (There’s that darn personal side again.)  I have had, and continue to have, my share of diva meltdowns when things don’t go my way.  However, I am eventually able to get a grip – eventually – and return to normal.  I mean; I’m just guessing too.

And I would guess that since I (along with everyone else) don’t know it all; I (and everyone else) can relax at work and do the best I can at what I would guess to be the best.  Is that what you would guess?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Independence…

Posted Jul 4 2018 by in True North with 0 Comments

Happy Independence Day Americans!  Here’s to a fun (and safe) July 4th holiday.  Here’s to our country – “Land of the free and home of the brave”.

Our Founding Fathers had certain ideals in mind when they fought for our country’s independence.  They had a vision for the common man; free from oppression; living in harmony; pursuing happiness.  Question: Has that vision remained intact in recent times?  I hope so.

Today, the term “it’s a free country” too often takes on overly individualized interpretations.  Being free doesn’t mean we can do whatever-the-duck we feel like:

Freedom means choosing your burden. 

Hephzibah Menuhin

One of the burdens we Americans carry is the concern for and the caring for others.  The Statue of Liberty; symbol of our country’s liberty is inscribed:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

I don’t think “breathe free” means becoming overly individualized or undisciplined, do you?  Freedom requires continuous concentration and adhering to the rules:

Piloting your own plane may suggest a desire for freedom.  It usually takes a lot of self-control, however, to earn the money necessary to buy your own plane.  And once you are at the controls, concentration and rules are vital.  Undisciplined pilots do not live long.  

Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.

Pick any popular pet peeve; texting while they drive; parking in handicapped spaces when they’re not actually handicapped; bringing their pet on a plane declaring it is an “emotional support animal” (which trivializes heroic service dogs performing invaluable service to those truly in need).  Does it seem like today’s list of “I’m special; the rules don’t apply to me” is getting longer?

I believe our country’s center of power lies not with the individual, but rather with each individual finding common ground for the pursuit of the collective good for all individuals.  John Wesley believes it’s not about “me”; it’s about how “we” share our fortune with those less fortunate:

Do all the good you can.

By all the means you can.

In all the ways you can.

In all the places you can.

At all the times you can.

To all the people you can.

As long as you can.

Yes, America is independent and the land of the free; but as it has been said many times, freedom is not free:

Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it.  It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it. 

Unknown Sage

America is the land of the free because of the brave.  And bravery is found in many more places than on the battle field.  We witness bravery every day in every way by average people who are proud to be an American!  We inherited that from our Founding Fathers:

John Hancock, whose name has become synonymous with the word signature, has the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence.  It is said that after he signed it, he turned to his comrades and said, ‘I don’t want the King to have any problem finding my name’. 

Laurie Beth Jones

So, let us all enjoy America’s independence today.  And then tomorrow, let’s go back to work – working to insure this country remains what our Founding Fathers envisioned.  Let us honor those with bravery – past and present – those who gave their lives for our freedom; our independence; our fortunes.  Let us continue to make this a country all of us – in common – are proud of.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Self-Centered?

Well… I am definitely self-focused.  And I confess self-promotion is a close cousin that also contributes to my make-up.  However, I hope others don’t consider me self-centered.  I believe self-focus, self-awareness, and even a little self-promotion can actually be a good thing.

Ever since I can remember it has been important for me to do things well.  I’ve wanted to be an accomplished athlete; a successful salesman; a caring husband; a loving father; an excellent driver.

More than just striving to do well; I live in almost constant fear of failure.  I am not alone:

Only the Paranoid Survive ©

Andy Grove

I remember my first sales job in the technology industry.  They didn’t want to hire me.  I kept calling; kept interviewing; kept saying I could get the job done.  When they ultimately did hire me I remember thinking, “How the h@&! am I’m going to get this job done?”  I didn’t know anything about B2B selling.

Back in the day, I didn’t wear the right clothes; drive the right car; I wasn’t witty.  Everything about my sales role would have to be learned; scripted; rehearsed.  Trial and error was my constant companion.   I was in a perfect setting to fail.  Fear of failure was on my mind every single day back then.  Still is.

What made things worse – I was socially awkward.  One of my clients (Chip) told me a while back that he can relate.  Don’t ask me how we got on the subject; adult beverages were probably involved – liquid courage.  He described it as being a “Situational Extrovert”.

I remember the day my wife and I brought our first son Eric home from the hospital after he was born.  I looked at her and said, “Now what?”

Fear is not always good; it’s not always a driving force behind success:

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. 

German Proverb

But for me; I’m afraid I won’t be good enough today; I’ll fail; I’ll let others down; I’ll drive poorly.  And that’s driven me to become self-focused; to pay attention; to realize how hard it is to succeed.  I’m still trying.

There are so many things in life outside of my control; the best thing I can do is to stay focused on me; on my performance; on doing my best.  I try to let the rest of the world take care of itself.  I mean, life is challenging enough for us all, yes?

Law of Life’s Highway:  If everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane. 

Unknown Sage

Truth be told, I think our world could use more self-focus even if it is at the expense of getting more of its cousin; self-promotion.  If people worried more about our individual effort and contributions; then things at our job level; our relationship level; our friends and family level might just improve.

Self-focus can be a good thing when applied appropriately:

Marcus Aurelius had a servant follow him around and every time Aurelius received a compliment the servant had to whisper in his ear, “You’re just a man… just a man,” to keep him humble.

Unknown Sage

Agreed – we must beware of those other “self’s”; self-absorbed; self-centered; selfishness.  Those aren’t beneficial; just the opposite.  And we all know more than a few people with those characteristics.

So, even though I’m an excellent driver, when self-driving cars finally arrive on seen I won’t resist.  I will finally be able to stop fearing my driving skills aren’t good enough.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Knowledge or Wisdom?

I have made my living in the IT business for the past 40 years.  I think we might all agree that in the IT business we have seen great minds with deep knowledge create once unimaginable technologies that have altered the course of humanity.

Yes, smart people indeed.  But altering the course of humanity comes with a price.  One price is I get to poke fun at my industry and those smart, IT people:

Conventional IT Wisdom:

Faster hardware doesn’t solve business problems – unless the business problem is slow hardware.

More bandwidth / memory / storage / processing power than you’ll ever need, will last you six months.  A year tops.

IT project advance or die.  Sometimes both.  But if it isn’t advancing it’s dying.

Functionality isn’t the same as usefulness.

The systems that last are the ones you were counting on to be obsolete.

Exactly what you want, always costs more than you can afford.

Data isn’t information.  Information isn’t knowledge.  Knowledge isn’t manageable.

Frank Hayes

There’s that word, “knowledge”.  Our favorite Unknown Sage offers this wisdom:

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

I guess that means when we’re assigning dishes for people to bring to the upcoming office pot luck, we should have IT bring the dessert and not the salad.

Even though I’ve “been in IT” for two score, I haven’t actually interacted much with IT.  I suppose their views about sales people are predictable – and perhaps even understandable and well deserved!  It’s probably because we simply think differently about things.  Back to our Unknown Sage:

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all its navigation and communications equipment.  With all the clouds and haze, the pilot couldn’t determine his position or how to get to the airport.  But he saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it up.  The sign read, WHERE AM I?

People in the building quickly responded with their own sign, “”YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.

The pilot smiled, waved, looked at hoes map, plotted the course to the airport and landed safely.  On the ground, the co-pilot asked him how their sign helped determine the helicopter’s position.

I knew that had to be the Microsoft building, the pilot said because they gave me a technically correct, but completely useless answer.

And yes, those Microsoft engineers are laughing all the way to the bank.  Wisdom aside, they definitely know how the money works!

Rule 8 – Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer.  This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule 11 – Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you’ll end up working for one. 

Bill Gates

Still, there remain some IT professionals that know the difference between knowledge and wisdom.  Back to Frank Hayes:

Conventional IT Wisdom:

Free anything… isn’t…

If nobody else is trying something, there’s usually a reason.  Maybe not a good reason, but a reason…

“We’ve never done it that way before” is a more powerful argument than any cost/benefit analysis…

It always takes longer and costs more to do it later.

A good idea is no match for a bad habit.

The hardest problems get solved last. 

I’d call that wisdom!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Good fortune…

Posted Mar 1 2018 by in True North with 0 Comments

February is my birth month. That means I will pause for a moment and reflect on the past twelve months. I will speculate on what the next twelve will bring, to be sure. But I need to do more than mere speculating. I must set a course for success. Good fortune does not appear by happenstance, true?

So far, I have finished my Annual Achievement Plan – yea! I have also submitted our documentation to the CPA who will finalize our income tax returns – yuck! I suppose if our financial situation is involved enough to merit a CPA’s expertise, that’s a good thing. Until I receive his invoice that is.

Speaking of good fortune… I’m looking forward to the upcoming year. It’s another year offering me the opportunity to get better. Lord knows I certainly have plenty to get better on. This year’s birthday can be the juncture between backwards and forwards:

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Soren Kierkegaard

Looking backwards it is important to recognize my failures; understand what went wrong. On the other hand, I want to celebrate my accomplishments too. Like many people, regretfully I still gravitate to focusing more on my shortcomings than my successes. Gurus would say, “Live life with no regrets” – but I think that only works for gurus.

So if part of life’s fulfillment is facing and recovering from failures, then I am leading a very fulfilling life indeed LoL! Today, as I seek to understand my past year in preparing for this next year, I’ll try to heed John Charles Salak:

Failures are divided into two classes – those who thought and never did, and those who did and ever thought.

What do you think? Which class of failure is worse? I’m guilty of both. But that’s OK; this next year affords me the opportunity to learn from the past; to improve; to be better; to accomplish more; and hopefully, to fail less. How about you?

When we pause to think about it, one of the keys to good fortune has to do with our daily routine. A “big splash” or two might occur during the year. But for most of us it’s all of those little things; all of the details; all that we do (or choose not to do) day in and day out; that builds towards our annual outcome:

Some wins and some losses are big and unavoidable, but most of life is won or lost at the margin.

Harry S. Campbell

Setting up my daily routine to win “in the margins”, that’s an important lesson to apply to my upcoming year. And if God blesses me with peace of mind and a few “big wins”, I will be grateful. But I’m not counting on Divine Intervention to make my way. As has been said, we will reap what we sow. While remembering past failures, I am sowing this year’s successes.

Thankfully, I’m still ready, able, and willing to work for my harvest:

Luck is not chance, it’s toil. Fortune’s expensive smile is earned.

Emily Dickinson

So here’s to good fortune this next year on earth – for you; for me; for our families; and our friends. And as we stumble into failures seen and unseen, let those not deter us from fulfilling our full potential.

Then come the following year, we can repeat the process; building a lifetime worthy of remembering – of celebrating – of having won in the margins.

Good fortune everyone – let’s go to work!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty? You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Memorable…

Posted Jan 24 2018 by in True North with 1 Comment

What do you remember about 2017?  Or for that matter, 2016 or even 2015?  You know … it wasn’t very long ago.  What stands out?

Living in the moment is one thing; but pausing our daily grind to remember why we’re grinding every day to begin with is important as well, true?  Do you have to consult Facebook or your cell phone photo gallery to remind you?  Are today’s machines going beyond dominating our daily routine and now replacing our memories also?

If we’re not careful, our fast-paced life can become a blur.  Guilt can surface when we’ve missed time with our family because of our job.  If we don’t pay attention, our failures, short comings, and tragedies can consume our memory.

Here’s an item (and a picture) I’m adding to my 2018 plan reminding me to lighten up – courtesy of Guy R. Ratti:

I carry a picture of myself as a child (about six years old) to remind me of two things: 

To remember to always look at the world as a child does, with wonder and excitement of what I can become.

To remember to forgive and love myself just as I would that innocent child in the picture. 

Too many grown-ups live their lives feeling guilty over mistakes made or lose time blaming themselves for things that could have been.  I remember what it is like to be a child and know that in many ways I am not much different from that boy in the picture.

Our approach to remembering things can vary by age group, too.  The young have their whole future unfolding in front of them.  Looking back is less common because looking ahead is a wonderful opportunity to imagine what can be; what will be.  The old are in a different state and we often look back.  Here’s Jan Carroll’s observation:

The young are luckier:  They don’t need to remember what the rest of us are trying to forget.

Will we commit to memory all of the wonderful things that happen in our lives; every accomplishment; every enjoyment; our family; our friendships; all of the good things that surround us in 2018?

OK, but what about the “other stuff”?  Yes, we all have to face the constant drum beat of negative impressions often courtesy of our modern media where negativity; mud-slinging; and shock seem to be their stock and trade.   It’s true that we have to face it; and when it’s real, we have to deal with it.

We have to deal with it when it’s labeled “fake news” as well, but we don’t have to commit those images to memory:

A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness. 

Elbert Hubbard

There is a limit to everything that one can remember over the course of our lifetime.  Starting in 2018 let’s commit to remembering the good things in our lives and leave the “other stuff” to the machines.   Google can call up that “other stuff” as necessary.

We can also count on those that have better memories for counting stuff than we do:

Creditors have better memories than debtors. 

Benjamin Franklin

We don’t have to constantly stress out over our credit card balances; student loans; and mortgages.  Others are doing that counting and they are more than happy to remind us.

So, let’s make 2018 memorable for all of the right reasons.  Go ahead and share your childhood pictures everyone.  I bet they are memorable!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Traveling, revisited…

To support a corporate initiative, I have been traveling a lot in 2017.  The phrase, “traveling a lot” is relative.  I’m traveling a lot more than I have in recent years; but I’m not traveling nearly as much as my boss or the other true Road Warriors.

Of course, none of us business types travel nearly as much as my friend Monica who is a flight attendant for United Airlines.  With her seniority, Monica has a degree of control over her travel schedule.  As such, she occasionally encounters a passenger that takes the same flights for business purposes.  One such passenger gave Monica a compilation of travel humor that she in turn shared with me.

In 2017 we know that the skies may not always be “friendly”, but we can fly with a smile on our face nonetheless.  I mean, a plane flying in the air is by itself an amazing feat:

So when you’re on your next late; cramped; bumpy flight, here are a few tales to help your disposition, all courtesy of Monica and our favorite Unknown Sage:

Tower: “Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o’clock, 6 miles.”  Delta 351: “Tower, give us another hint.  We have digital watches.”

A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight.  While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC ask, “What was your last know position?”  The student replied, “When I was Number 1 for takeoff.”

Taxiing down the tarmac, the DC10 abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate.  After an hour-long wait, it finally took off.  A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, “What was the problem?”  “The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine”, explained the flight attendant.  “It took us a while to find a new pilot.”

The pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver.  He placed it on top of the instrument panel, then asked the navigator, “Do you know what I use this for?”  The navigator replied timidly, “No, what’s it for?”   The pilot responded, “I use this on navigators who get me lost!”  The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his chart table.  The pilot asked, “What’s that for?”  “To be honest, sir,” the navigator replied, “I’ll know we’re lost before you will.”

A DC-10 had an exceedingly long rollout after landing with his approach speed a little high.  San Jose Tower, “American 71 heavy, turn right at the end of the runway, if able.  If not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101 and make at right at the light to return to the airport.”

After waiting what seemed to be an interminable amount of time taxiing, an unknown aircraft complained, “I’m f***ing bored!”  ATC responded immediately, “Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself!”  Unknown aircraft replied, “I said I’m f***ing bored, not f***ing stupid.”

The controller working a busy pattern told the 727 downwind to make a three-sixty, a move normally used to provide spacing between aircraft.  The pilot of the 727 complained, “Don’t you know it costs us two thousand dollars to make even a one-eighty in this airplane?”  Without missing a beat the controller replied, “Roger, give me four thousand dollars’ worth.

O’Hare Airport Control, “United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one-o’clock, three miles, eastbound.”  United 329, “Approach, I’ve always wanted to say this – I’ve got that Fokker in sight.”

Here’s to getting home safe, Road Warriors – not everyone can do this for a living.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Makin’ stuff…

We live in an age of wonderment and among awesome people, true?  I mean just look at the inventions; the technology; the science; the creativity; the Shark Tank presentations.

Though not everyone reaches fortune and fame from awesome, we can still lead average, ordinary, common – fulfilling – lives.  I especially enjoy people that find fulfillment makin’ stuff.  Nice stuff; pretty stuff; practical stuff; if not some break-through-leading-to-fortune-and-fame stuff.  Stuff not presented on Shark Tank.

If awesome is reserved for the few; average; ordinary; common; are the adjectives applied to the many.  We benefit from the work of the awesome, to be sure.  But most of us lead a very average, ordinary, common, life.  Which is better?

It’s OK to day dream of fortune and fame.  We might day dream of riches associated with winning the lottery; picking the trifecta; making the big discovery; creating the next great invention; getting a “Shark” to invest.  But let’s not quit our day job in anticipation.

In fact, in their book Startup Opportunities Know When to Quit Your Day Job © the authors, Sean Wise and Brad Feld offer this opening chapter guidance:

Trust me; your idea is worthless.

They go on to articulate why mere ideas are worthless.  As successful venture fund founders, they don’t invest in ideas.  What attracts their money (and the money on Shark Tank) is people who can execute on ideas; people who are makin’ stuff.

We participated in the 2017 Tulsa Oklahoma State Fair – “11 days of awesomeness!”  as it was promoted.  And it was awesome!  Not just the midway; the events; the entertainment; and the critters.  It was the people – average, ordinary, common people – that made an awesome impression.

Some of these awesome people were vendors vending at the fair.  There was one vendor in particular that stood out above all others.  We passed them every morning on our way in at 9:00 am and they were working; makin’ stuff.  We passed them every evening on our way out at 10:00 pm and they were still working; makin’ stuff.  Two chainsaw carvers from Missouri turning logs into art and furniture.  Awesome!

I stopped by the morning of the last day to compliment them on being the hardest working artisans I have ever seen.  (We made a modest purchase too.)  The response from these average, ordinary, common men?   Just a shrug of modesty and the prideful perspective that often goes with makin’ stuff:

I can’t sell it if I didn’t saw it.

Chris Gagnon

My wife’s company takes equal pride in makin’ stuff; in her case, designer pet-wear for dogs, cats, and horses.  She even mixes in embroidered people-wear on occasion.  She too takes great pride in her work.  She too feels great fulfillment in makin’ stuff.

Beyond the financial remuneration, the worth from her business comes from interacting with all of the people that bring pictures and stories of their pets – more than simply pets – they’re their furry family members offering loving companionship.  And the joy her clients get buying that little special something for their critter matches the joy my wife gets in listening to the love of their pets they relate to her with each purchase.  Awesome!

I receive great fulfillment being around her, her clients, and their pets.  Reminders for we average, ordinary, common types:

Lord, help me be the man my dog thinks I am. 

Unknown Sage

Makin’ stuff – I don’t; and we won’t appear on Shark Tank.  But fulfillment surrounds those that do.  Awesome!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Coincidence…

I think I’ve had a fair share of coincidence in my lifetime.  How about you?  In fact, if not for coincidence, I may not be here.  More on that in a minute.

According to Wikipedia:

A coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances which have no apparent causal connection with each other. The perception of remarkable coincidences may lead to supernatural, occult, or paranormal claims.

What’s your view?  Do you believe in the paranormal?  Or, do you believe you control your own outcomes?  Perhaps a combination of the two – that’s where I align.  James C. Collins’ comment resonates with me:

Luck favors the persistent.

On the one hand, I feel I have worked very hard throughout my life to accomplish my accomplishments.  I know a lot of people who excel at excelling with a major effort intellectually, emotionally, and even physically.  They’re the early risers; the strivers; the competitors; the winners.

On the other hand, I have benefited often from random acts of kindness; luck; coincidence.  And if I were a betting man, I’d bet you have too.

For those events that we might consider having been “outside of our control”, what do you suppose the origin was; divine intervention; supernatural; coincidence?  How do you feel about having aspects of your life impacted by things “outside of your control”?

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. 

Dalai Lama

I’m comfortable with “fate” playing a significant role in my life.  Call it what you will, but without coincidence I might not be here today.  It has to do with World War II; my Dad; and Brownsville Texas.

Like so many men of the time, my Dad enlisted in the Army Air Corps to join in the defense of our country.  (The Army Air Corps was replaced in circa 1947, becoming today’s Air Force.)  Back in the 1940’s, my Dad was assigned to be a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber.  It was known as the “Flying Fortress” – but not for tail gunners.

Following basic training, my Dad was stationed in Brownsville, Texas for 6 months of gunnery school.  Coincidentally, the person in charge of records at his base knew my Dad and my Mom having worked with them at a manufacturing plant in suburban Chicago before the outbreak of the war.

This person – this “protector” – this “angel” – likely saved my Dad’s life; and I don’t even know his name.  You see after completing the 6 months of gunnery school, these soldiers were transferred to Europe where the B-17s were bombing Germany.  The person in charge of records maintained those records in a 3 x 5 card “system”.

After my Dad’s first 6 month training, when his 3 x 5 card came up for assignment, this person put his card at the back of the box of cards.  My Dad’s comrades shipped out; a new group of soldiers shipped in for gunnery school and my Dad repeated the training.  This occurred through three, 6-month cycles and then the war ended.  My Dad never was transferred to Europe.

This coincidence manifesting itself in the form of a 3 x 5 card, record keeping system and the person overseeing it meant my Dad never saw “action”.  Fortuitous for me you see because the mortality rate of B-17 tail gunners in WWII was 80%.  Had my Dad been in one of those bombers it is very likely I would have never been born.

Coincidence?  I’m a fan.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Authenticity…

If you’ve been reading me for a while you know I poke fun at many things not the least of which is technology.  Even though I make my living selling technology – and have done so for more than 40 years – the idiosyncrasies of my industry do not escape the “pen”.

Irreverent?  Perhaps; but at least it’s authentic.  You see, I’m continuously amused by my industry and my profession.  I believe Clarke is too:

Clarke’s Third Law

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Is magic authentic?  In our world of advanced technology today, search engine marketing in general (and Google in particular) places a big emphasis on “authenticity”.  In a post (of course) by Matt Kapko way back in April of 2015 titled “7 staggering social media use by-the-minute stats”, he cites IDC research:

Eight of the world’s most popular social networks generate an astonishing amount of content every minute.  The social “universe,” composed of every single digitally connected person, doubles in size every two years, and by 2020 it will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion GBs…

Zettabytes?  Magic alright.

The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. 

Eden Phillports

But can mankind’s wits grow sharper fast enough to keep up with our machines?  According to a futurist who spoke at a technology conference sponsored by RSM way back in 2014:

70% of all internet traffic is machines “talking” to machines, posing as humans.

70%!  Machines posing as humans!  Is that authentic?  Of course, the primary vehicle supporting such machine-to-machine human charade is social media.  This, in turn, poses the question, “Can machines be social?”  Well… let’s consult… another machine:

Living organisms including humans are social when they live collectively in interacting populations, whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary. 

Wikipedia

Wondering if Wikipedia is human or a poser?  Let’s go to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary © which was at least started by humans in 1828:

Social  adjective

3: of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society

Seems to me that in order to be considered “social”, humans need to be involved.  But if machines are now posing as humans how do we validate authenticity?  Or do we even care?  I mean, next up following social media and virtual reality is self-driving cars, true?  Question:  Can there be “muscle cars” that are self-driven by muscle-less computers?  Would these self-driving, muscle-cars be posers?

OK, OK…  I’ll lighten up on technology for a moment.  Posers aren’t limited to machines posing as people.  Posing has been around for a long time and is witnessed in many fields:

The difference between being an elder statesman and posing successfully as an elder statesman is practically negligible. 

T.S. Eliot

In today’s day and age, it’s hard to be authentic.  So many want to be perceived as some other persona.  Using a machine, we can easily doctor our image; a video; our resume; our online profile.  But in so doing, we are not being “true”.  Perhaps to seek authenticity in the face of 21st century technology we need to turn back to a different time:

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. 

Oscar Wilde

Spoken by a 19th century, Irish playwright no less – and I’m saying that’s authentic and not magic.  No really – it’s really me; no it’s not my computer posing as me – it’s really me; really!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com