Managing for Humpty Dumpty Risk

Humpty Dumpty.jpeg

So this was interesting…


I was in a meeting and someone was discussing the risks involved in a project.


And they mentioned the Humpty Dumpty Effect.


A bunch of people looked at them like what’s that. 


Then they explained that it’s the risk of breaking something during the project. 


Sort of like the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take to, “first, do no harm.”


When we are planning, designing, building or implementing a project–be it information technology or something else–we don’t want to break something in the process. 


That’s the Humpty Dumpty Risk to beware of and it’s an egg-celent point! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Actions Speak Louder Than Deals

Similar to the Movie, “The Stoning of Soraya M.”–only this is real life footage. 


Highly graphic…beware.


A 17-year old girl ambushed by crowd of men, savagely kicked and beaten, and stoned to death with a large cinderblock finally slammed onto her head. 


All the while, the men are taking photos and videos with their smartphones. 


And playing with her skirt up and down in some perverted way while the blood is gushing out of her skull. 


Supposedly for loving the “wrong” boy.


Who does something like this?


Can some people be so religiously brainwashed as to think this can be “right”?


Where are people’s inner conscience and moral compass? 


As ISIS beheads and burns alive their opponents, Boko Haram hacks off people’s limbs and takes young girls as sex slaves, Al Qaeda conducts countless suicide bombings, Syria gases their own people, and Iran outmaneuvers the West toward a nuclear bomb to annihilate their enemies…we had better take very seriously what we are dealing with. 


Shouldn’t any deal we make seek to genuinely change these behaviors rather than make a deal for deal’s sake? 


We need to wake up before the warnings that we are witnessing from afar become lessons here at home.  


We need a genuine and verifiable peace–oh G-d let it be!

All The Frogs From Egypt

Frog

So what happened to all the swarms of frogs from the Bible when in Exodus, G-d struck the Egyptians with the 2nd plague of frogs (reminds me of the children’s song: “Frogs here! Frogs there! Frogs are jumping everywhere!“)? 


I saw this sticker on a pole in downtown D.C. advertising for this Frog called the Rabb’s Fringe Limbed Tree Frog, where there is just 1 left in the entire world. 


Talking about facing extinction!


And this interesting website called PhotoArk by National Geographic freelance photgrapher, Joel Sartore (noted at the bottom of the sticker) sells all sorts of amazing photos of endangered animal species to promote conservation. 


One of them has his “greatest hits” featured with 90 favorite images and sells for $225–what awesome creatures G-d has created.


I remember reading in the Wall Street Journal how since1970 the world’s wildlife numbers have dropped by more than half (52%)–“in rivers, on land, and in the seas.” 


That is crazy!


Surely, we need to preserve life and create a sustainable future–my G-d, what are we doing to world and these beautiful creatures? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Losing Deadly Control

Skull

So today we hear that there was a horrible mistake in which at least 52 sites (in 18 states here and 3 other countries) were inadvertently sent LIVE anthrax!!!


This after a prior incident in December where ebola had been mishandled and a technician potentially exposed. 


Again last August, they announced that a lab had accidentally cross-contaminated benign bird flu virus with a deadly strain of it. 


And there are at least five other major mishaps just since 2009 including more with anthrax and bird flu as well as with Brucella and botulism–these involved everything from using improper sterilization and handling techniques to inadvertent shipments of deadly live germs. 


Also in July, the CDC discovered six vials of LIVE smallpox in an unused storage room at the NIH.


This is reminiscent of similar gaffes by the military with an inadvertent shipment in 2007 by the Air Force of six nuclear warheads while the crew was unaware that they were even carrying it.


And here we go again (a doozy this time), information was disclosed in 2013 that we nearly nuked ourselves (specifically North Carolina) with 2 hydrogen bombs (260 times more powerful than that exploded on Hiroshima) in 1961. 


Yes, mistakes happen, but for weapons of mass destructions that we are talking about here, there are layers of safeguards that are supposed to be strictly in place. 


After each incident, it seems that some official acknowledges the mistakes made, says sorry, and claims things are going to be cleaned up now. 


But if the same or similar mistakes are made over and over again, then what are we really to believe, especially when millions of lives are at stake?


We have too much faith in the large bureaucratic system called government that despite how well it could be run, very often it isn’t and is prone to large and dangerous errors and miscalculations.


With all due respect for our experts in these areas, we need to spend a lot more time and effort to ensure the safety of our most dangerous stockpiles–be it of nuclear, chemical, biological, or radiological origin. 


We can’t afford any more mistakes–or the next one could be more than just a simple (not) embarrassment.


What good is all the preparation to win against our enemies, if we are our own worst enemy or we have meet the enemy and it is us! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Snatched From The Jaws Of A LARGE Shark

Shark

So this was a funny photo we took in Ft. Lauderdale. 


Right in the jaws of a very large shark…


Must’ve been a little what it felt like to be Jonah swallowed up by the big whale.


“Hey let me outta here…please!”


This whole thing reminded me of something I heard from a colleague.


At one time, he had said cautioningly, “You better dip your toe in the water, because there may very well be sharks in there.”


In other words, watch out from some {unscrupulous and dangerous} people–they have their own motives, hidden agendas, sources of power, and they may be VERY intense on getting what they want, so be careful–don’t get in their way (at least not directly). 


Hey, can’t you almost see the large, strong jaws–snapping, snapping, snapping. 


And the very important lesson here is that if you dare dip more than your toe in the shark-infested water, rest assured that you can lose a lot more than a foot. 


(Source Photo: The Blumenthals)

Buyer Beware, Else Buyer Remorse

Wallet
Just a quick lesson I wanted to share from my grandfather.



He used to say (or so my dad used to tell me), “You open your eyes or you open your wallet!



Put another way is that “A fool and his money are soon parted.”



But I like the way my grandfather put it even better–easier to remember and no name calling involved! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

You’re Not All That

You're Not All That

So they say that all sin is rooted in arrogance.

We get too big for our britches and think we can do whatever we want including stepping on others and defying our maker.

An interesting article in Harvard Business Review reminds us to beware of narcissism and hubris.

Narcissism is a character disorder where because of feelings of inadequancy from childhood, people have to self-promote themselves every which way toSunday–they are “insufferably self-centered.”

Hubris is a reactive disorder where due to past success and accolades from others, we become overconfidant, until the luck changes “toppling from their pedestals” and shrinking their ego back down to size.”

I like the reminders from HBR cautioning about these:

– “Have more than thou showest; speak less than thou knowest.” – Shakespear

– “Humble pie should be the only dessert served.”

It’s one thing to have decent self-esteem anchored in your knowing right from wrong and acting accordingly, and it’s another to think and act like you have all the answers–none of us do.

If your showing it off, it’s likely a turn off. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Jampa)

Six Internet Creepoids To Beware Of

Six Internet Creepoids To Beware Of

There are a lot of basket cases out there–both in the physical world and in the virtual one.

The New York Times today has an article by Henry Alford about people who act or are mainly just perceived as creepy online.

He gives examples of people who take out their smartphones (with cameras) in the locker room, who show their online photos and whoops there’s an indecent doozie, who mistakenly send a critical email to the wrong person or distribution list, who say the wrong thing online because of autocorrect or autofill, and who act the detective looking up too much information about others.

At the end, Alford calls for “more tolerance toward the gaffe-makers.”

And while we should be good people and forgive genuine mistakes, some things are not accidents and deserve the seal of “ick!”

Here’s the list of 6 Internet Creepoids to seriously beware of:

1) Overly Cyber Friendly or Familiar: People who chat, text, email, or comment in a way that portrays an inappropriate knowing or intimacy with others.

2) Cyber Stalkers: Those who unsolicitedly and unwanted or obsessively follow, friend, monitor, or harass others on the Internet.

3) Internet Trolls: Individuals who giddily sow discord with argumentative, inflammatory or extraneous messages online narcissistically or just to be jerks.

4) Cyber Exhibitionists or Voyeurs: People who inappropriately or compulsively expose themselves or watch others naked or engaged in sexual activity online.

5) Cyber Impersonators or Identity Thieves: Those who falsify their identities by exaggerating or masking their true selves, pretend to be someone else, or otherwise steal someone’s online identity.

6) Cyber Freaks: Individuals who behave online in extreme unusual, unexpected, and frightening ways.

So while some things are innocent or accidentally creepy from otherwise nice and decent people, other actions are genuinely such from the real online creepoids. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Beware of Botnets

Interesting video demonstration of how botnets work and can literally take over your computer.

In essence, your computer becomes a zombie under the command and control of the botnet sender.

Computers get infected through a trojan or worm, and then the sender has you–they control your computer and information.

Generally, they do this to send spam, steal information, or send out other malware, all under anonymity.

Once infected, the sender has complete control over your computer and can exfiltrate, delete, or change your data, turn on the keyboard lights, add a tail to your mouse, and even format your hard drive.

The malware often can even disable your firewall.

The sender can turn on a keylogger and log your keystrokes, and capture your user ids and passwords to banking and financial institutions, and draw out your money.

The video demos an example of botnets with a variant of the Zeus trojan.

Worth a watch.

Makes me wonder whether our adversaries are infecting more and more computers, until they have almost everyone–eventually a virtual army.

Then at the time of their choosing, they can conduct one big massive attack, or incremental ones, logging into peoples accounts, stealing their identities and savings, sending out misinformation, destroying data and computers en masse.

We need to be aware of what’s possible, maybe even probable.

Is your computer infected and you don’t even know it yet?

I, U, Y Talk Like That

I, U, Y Talk Like That

Already young children in pre-school learn that “Words have meaning, and words can hurt.”

All through life, we refine our communication skills learning what works and what doesn’t.

Here are three letter-words with which to beware:

– “I” (Use sparingly) – I is usually people’s favorite word; they love to talk about themselves. I this. I that. I like. I hate. The problem is that “I” can also be selfish, egotistical, and narcissistic. Without tempering talking about I all the time, you run the very large risk of overdoing it. All the I can easily end up boring other people to near death or simply make them want to run the other way to get some needed healthy attention for themselves.

– “U” (Use carefully) – U is most often used to criticize. U should do this. U did something wrong. U are a blankety-blank. While it’s also caring, loving, and empathetic to talk about U (i.e. taking a genuine interest in the other person), talking about U can easily go astray and lead to disapproval, denunciation, and censure. We should and need to talk about U, but more from the perspective of understanding U and how can I help U.

– “Y” (Use almost never) – Y is used to ask questions, but usually ends up being used judgmentally. Y did you do that? Sometimes we question honestly and with positive intentions to understand, but very often we end up using the response to evaluate their actions, and pronounce judgement on them. From all the interrogative questions (who, what, where, when, Y, and how), Y should be used the absolute least, if ever.

I, U, Y – are letter-words that can imply selfishness, criticism, and judgement.

While, they can’t exactly be banned from the alphabet or dictionary, they are dangerous words that can get you misunderstood, alienate others, and hurt people in the process, and therefore use them, but with extreme caution, please. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to id-iom)