Wanting It Too Much

Data

It’s funny how we all dream about something…


Money, honor, success, large families, health, beauty, popularity, big houses, fancy cars, exciting vacations, and so on. 


Some people even dream of technology and big data, and wanting to either come up with “the next big thing” or simply have all the answers to everything. 


In the election session now, Saturday Night Live (SNL) frequently makes fun of some candidates at how much they desperately want to be president. 


I wonder though between the connection of wanting something so much and actually getting it. 


Does wanting it…led you to actually get it. 


OR


Perhaps, it actually can push it further away. 


One women who I was talking with told me that the more you want something, the less likely you are to get it, period.


You want it too much (you’re greedy, narcissistic, or think you are somehow ultimately deserving and the world just owes it to you)!


The universe just won’t let you have it when you are desperate for it. 


You have to be ready for it…cool with it…and most importantly, at peace with yourself, and then you can get where you want to be. 


There is something that rings so true about that. 


Desperation and success do not make good bedfellows. 


In fact, the more you know somebody wants something, isn’t that just such a huge turn-off (you start questioning their motives and everything) and in a way you want to recoil and not give it to them. 


Sure, knowing what you want helps. 


Hard work helps. 


But being okay with whatever G-d decides for you is critical. 


You can’t go with your head through the door!


G-d will either open or close the path to you…and all the kings horses and all the kings men won’t make the difference in the end. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Is This A Partner For WMD Peace?

Everyone was speculating why Iran was building a 202 meter long life-size replica of a Nimitz Class U.S. Aircraft Carrier in the Persian Gulf.


Well today (as we are hear of “progress” with Iranian nuclear talks), we got our answer, as the Iranian military took the opportunity and blew the mock U.S. aircraft carrier to smithereens!



The commander of Iran’s Navy stated: “The Americans, and the entire world, knows that the American Navy is one of our targets and it will take us 50 seconds to destroy every US warship.”


At the same time, Iran is mulling over the purchase of a powerful anti-aircraft missile system from Russia.


So now Iran is going toward an agreement for a possible lifting of western financial sanctions and a 10-year nuke capability, and we are trusting them that it is for peaceful purposes?


Many of our major Middle East allies are concerned including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and more, and so much so that an Iranian nuke capability may “spark a nuclear arms race.”


Hmm…why the desperation for a deal with “Axis of Evil,” Iran amidst ongoing hostility and threats from Iran towards “The Great Satan,” America, and all the express concerns of our longtime friends and allies? 


Now we won’t just have deadly terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS to contend with across the region, but also a nuclear armed Iran–amidst regular threats to sink the U.S. Navy and annihilate Israel (and just 70 years after the Holocaust killed 6 million Jewish men, women, and children!).  


What have we learned about appeasement of dangerous foes and the unimaginable risks to millions of innocent lives around the world? 😉

Homeless In DC

Homeless in DC
The plight of the homeless in DC, the nation’s capital, continues unabetted. 



People homeless and hungry stumble down the steets with their carts of worldy possessions or sit on the corners begging for someone to help them. 



As these destitute and desperate souls look for some shelter, warmth, a place to rest, some clean clothes, medical care, or simply something to eat, they pass almost like ghosts throughtout the city. 



Most people running (late) to the office, seem to barely extend a glance as they sidestep and shuffle past these people, who I remember one unsavory colleague calling them, “human waste.”



But these are G-d creatures, down on their luck, and they could be any one of us!



Does the city and the people, the powerful of the nation, have the heart to help those in need? 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Can You Love A Robot

Lollypop
Pew Research reports that by 2025, “Robotic sex partners will be commonplace.”



While I certainly understand loving (new helpful) technology, actually making love to a machine is taking things a little too far.



Even with great advances in artificial intelligence (AI), a robot can be nothing more than an artificial partner…a humanoid is not a human!



Despite portrayals in the movie Her (2013) of a nerdy writer who falls in love with his life-like operating system, the reality of human and machine love is more a desperate call for companionship and understanding than a real connection of equals–physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. 



While a computer may be programmed to say the things you want to hear, to laugh at your jokes, and even to succumb to your advances, love cannot be programmed or even artificially learned. 



The complex dynamics between two real people locked-in the emotional roller coaster of life with its ups and downs, pulling together and pushing apart, of shared experiences, challenges, and conflicts, can only be met head on with a best friend, soulmate, diametric opposite, and at the same time congruent equal. 



Only another human being can love you and be your love.



A machine, however beautiful designed, charming, and learning of you, can be just a poor surrogate for the sad person screaming out for connection in a large lonely world. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Microsoft + Nokia = HP + Palm

Microsoft + Nokia = HP + Palm

Microsoft buying Nokia is a desperate play at mobile computing.

Unfortunately, the purchase doesn’t add up in terms of common business sense.

Remember, in 2010, when HP bought Palm for $1.2B?

Palm once held 70% of the smartphone market to fall to only 4.9% share at the time that HP bought it and committed to “double down on WebOS.”

Now, fast forward to 2013 and Microsoft is buying Nokia for $7.2B, with a mobile software market share of about 4% combined (compared to their prior Windows desktop operating system market share of over 90%) and ZDNet reporting that it was “double down or quit.”

When HP bought Palm, it was a hardware maker buying software; now with Microsoft buying Nokia, it is the software maker buying the hardware vendor.

But in both cases, it’s the same losing proposition.

In 2010, at the time that HP bought Palm, Stephen Elop was leaving Microsoft to become CEO of Nokia (and in 2011 Nokia made the deal for a “strategic partnership” with Microsoft).

Now in 2013, when Microsoft is buying Nokia, HP has thrown in the towel and just sold off the remnants of Palm O/S to LG Electronics.

Ballmer is right that Apple and Google do not have a permanent monopoly on mobile computing, but purchasing Nokia is not the answer.

Microsoft’s stock is down more than 5% on the day of the merger announcement…and there is more pain to come from this acquisition and Microsoft’s hubris.

Buy more outdated technology, and you’ve bought nothing, but change the culture to innovate, design, and integrate, and you’ve changed your organization’s fortunes. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

That’s Not Window Dressing

That's Not Window Dressing

I remember as a child, the nursery rhyme that went something like–“How much is that doggie in the window? The one with the waggly tail.”

Now, it’s not dogs or even mannequins in storefront windows, but people–looking for work.

The job market and people’s self-esteem has gotten so miserably low that they are resorting to displaying their jobs skills or just sitting and looking pretty in storefront windows in an attempt to get attention and get offered a job–or as my mother-in-law says in this humorous way, spelling out each letter, a J-O-B.

In the picture at the top of this post, you can see one guy in the storefront window of the art studio bending wire–presumably for that long artistic piece behind him.

However, it’s not even just starving artists anymore taking this up as a marketing opportunity, as the Wall Street Journal (8 May 2013) reports–regular jobless folks in professions from lawyers, to tax experts, and even former CEOs are having to bare themselves in public displays to try and land a job offer.

Those who have been unemployed for months and years are becoming desperate for work as one unemployed political scientist states, “I’m willing to try anything.”

Despite it being so degrading that he “feels like a monkey…in a cage as people walk by and just stare at me.”

Assuredly, it is a sad commentary on society when people looking for jobs and to earn a basic income are treated literally like animals in cages to be examined, made fun of, or even marveled at in a strange sort of way.

Historically, in red light districts, scantily clad women have been exhibited behind glass enclosures to lure customers and money, but as most people would say “That’s the sex industry!”–however, what starts off as okay for the such social vices ends up by extension as the new normal for our educated, white collar workers.

Never-the-less, some employers are taking notice–they see these window displays of professionals, not as loafers or weirdoes, but as go-getters and even sometimes highly creative based on the sophistication of their window displays–with them in it.

In the picture, the guy in the window with his feet up, glasses off, and soda bottle on the floor behind him is making a marketing statement about himself, but I’m not sure I would hire someone based solely on the callouses, corns, and bunions on their feet. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

When Desperation Turns Deadly

When Desperation Turns Deadly

It was shocking to read that suicide deaths in the U.S. have now surpassed deaths by motor vehicle accidents.

In 2010, there were over 38,000 suicides compared with almost 34,000 motor vehicle deaths (or 14.1 suicides per 100,000 people aged 10 and older versus 10.7 deaths from motor vehicles).

Motor vehicle deaths have been, thank G-d, declining since 1999, while suicides are unfortunately up by almost a third (31%).

Suicide for working adults were double other demographics (and highest for those in their 50’s), while for teens and the elderly, the rates stayed flat.

According to the Wall Street Journal (3 May 2012), for middle-age people 35-64, suicide is now the 4th highest cause of death after cancer, heart disease, and unintentional injury (e.g. drowning).

Suicide prevention efforts that have typically been directed to at-risk teenagers and the elderly are now being looked at for greater focus on middle-aged adults.

The article points to tough economic times (with the recession of 2007) as a potential factor in the increase.

I would assume also that the 10 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan have contributed to the increase as well due to posttraumatic stress disorder.

Yet, suicide is a very final act of escape for those acutely suffering from economic hardships, the horrors of war, and depression–and we can only imagine how much pain these people must be feeling to do the unthinkable.

I am familiar with teenagers and adults taking or attempting suicide–some have survived and others have died.

For those lucky enough to survive, they have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and try again, while those who didn’t make it, their loved ones suffer with the emptiness that was once a loving and caring individual, part of their lives.

I was taught in Yeshiva that suicide is a very grave sin and people don’t have the right to take the life that G-d granted them, but in my mind, those who suffer so as to attempt or commit suicide are probably not in a state of mind or in full control of themselves to be fully responsible.

It is worth thinking about that if 38,000 actually commit suicide a year, how many more attempt it, contemplate it often, or otherwise consider it occasionally.

People need help coping. I remember learning in English class in college that “all men live lives of quiet desperation,” and I wonder how many are out there suffering inside–at times desperate, but usually putting a smile on their faces.

We need to look beyond the surface of what people are going through, have empathy, have mercy, and give plentifully of your time, and kindness to all–you may just be saving a desperate life from taking that one last and unforgiving step.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)