The Humanity of Routine

People are creatures of habit. 


They form routines and function with relative comfort and efficiency within that. 


And for the most part, we can recognize our own patterns in life. 


Get up, brush our teeth, dress, daven (pray), go to work and so on. 


After a while, you can do it mostly in your sleep. 


We sort of become like automatons. 


Flip the switch and we go.


When routine and structure become so rigid that we can no longer improvise or innovate then we have a big problem in higher order functioning. 


But also when we break people’s structures and habits, we find that they can quickly lose their sh*t. 


People need to control their time and maintain their patterns of life. 


Therein lies a certain safety and comfort in that repetitive doing.


You know what you’re doing–you’ve done it before, so you can do it again.


If you strip a person of their control over their time and the structure of their behavior, they are truly naked and in much more than a physical sense.  (They articulated this in The Punisher, Season One, on Netflix)


All of a sudden they don’t know what to do or how to do it. 


Do they go crazy, breakdown, or tell you everything you want to know. 


Torture is not just physical, but also mental and emotional. 


It is not hard to take away something so simple and a person is no longer a full person anymore. 


People need solid coping as well as survival skills to deal with the unknown.


Finally, appreciate when everything is more or less under control, because that’s truly a blessing.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ocean of Words

I really like this phrase from a book that I’m reading called “Like Dreamers.”

An ocean of words and a desert of ideas.


Too often, we hear people who like to hear themselves talk, think very highly of themselves, show off, or just spout away. 


And while they say a lot…


There may not be a lot there. 


New ideas, thoughts, ways of looking at things, innovation, creativity, outside the box thinking–that’s like a desert!


In Yiddish (and it’s always funnier in Yiddish), we say:

A big, big mouth, and a tiny, tiny head.


Similarly, in Hebrew, there is phrase that translates to:

Say a little, and do a lot. 


Sometimes, the smartest people are the ones who use their words wisely, strategically, with depth and meaning, and when they really have something to say.


It’s at that time that you better be listening.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Being Jewish and Proud

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Being Jewish and Proud.”

With roughly 15 million Jews in a world of 7.7 billion people, we make up less than .2% of the world population. However, despite our small size, we’ve been recognized with over 20% of the Nobel Prizes for contributions to the sciences, medicine, literature, economics, and peace. Most Jews tend to believe not only in a strong core religious education, but in higher education and lifelong learning, and others excel even when starting out and innovating from their garages. From Abraham and Moses to Einstein and Freud, and even to today’s Jews leading the Technology revolution–such as Steve Ballmer, Sergey Brin, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg–the Jewish contribution is truly unparalleled.

Until Mashiach, there will always be some people that hate on us and want to destroy us–perhaps and unfortunately, that’s just who they are. But we choose not be anyone else but Jews, because that’s who we are–and there is every reason to be ourselves, maintain our faith of thousands of years, continue to make awesome contributions that benefit mankind, and be forever proud to be a Jew.

(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)

Face Vase

Thought this was a pretty cool Face Vase. 


If you add a digital home assistant to this (like Amazon Echo or Google Assistant) and make the lips move on this vase, it would be quite the futuristic home assistant!


I don’t think I’d feel comfortable living in my own house anymore. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Is Beer A Color?

So thought this was an interestingly funny flip chart. 


It’s titled “Colors”.


And it has the typical ones you’d expect: blue, red, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, grey, brown, and tan. 


But thrown into the mix is beer (and Summer)–maybe these go together! 


Perhaps, someone had a little too much beer when asked about colors.


On second thought, maybe beer is a color.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Are The Chances for IT Project Success?

So I was teaching a class in Enterprise Architecture and IT Governance this week. 


In one of the class exercises, one of the students presented something like this bell-shaped distribution curve in explaining a business case for an IT Project. 


The student took a nice business approach and utilized a bell-shaped curve distribution to explain to his executives the pros and cons of a project. 


Basically, depending on the projects success, the middle (1-2 standard deviations, between 68-95% chance), the project will yield a moderate level of efficiencies and cost-savings or not. 


Beyond that:


– To the left are the downside risks for significant losses–project failure, creating dysfunction, increased costs, and operational risks to the mission/business. 


– To the right is the upside potential for big gains–innovations, major process reengineering, automation gains, and competitive advantages. 


This curve is probably a fairly accurate representation based on the high IT project failure rate in most organizations (whether they want to admit it or not). 


I believe that with:

– More user-centric enterprise architecture planning on the front-end

– Better IT governance throughout

– Agile development and scrum management in execution 

that we can achieve ever higher project success rates along the big upside potential that comes with it!  


We still have a way to go to improve, but the bell-curve helps explains what organizations are most of the time getting from their investments. 😉


(Source Graphic: Adapted by Andy Blumenthal from here)

Gotta Love FANUC

I love FANUC industrial robots. 


They are made by a secretive company in Japan and they are #1 in workplace automation worldwide! 


They have over half a million installed industrial robots around the world.


Their robots are on assembly lines making everything from “cars and smartphones to beverages and drugs.”  They also are in Tesla and Amazon…so you know they are pretty much everywhere. 


FANUC has customers in 108 countries supported by 263 service locations. 


Their robots are made by…that’s right other robots…80% is automated


These robots are strong, fast, and precise, and they can do dangerous work. 


This company is the future of jobs, productivity, efficiency. 


But of course, people are still the brains behind the brawn.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Hyundai’s Great All-Terrain Concept Car

Very impressed with the Hyundai concept “Walking Car.”


It can drive, walk, and climb. 


I heard that this thing can even climb over walls and jump over gaps!


(Ah, I’m not going to say anything about border security with this–let’s just hope the bad guys don’t get this). 


This is the closest that we’ve come to Hollywood’s Transformers.


This is much more than a vehicle for search and rescue–this is ALL-TERRAIN!


Great job Hyundai–I’d love to test drive this beauty!  😉

Blood Libels Unabated

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel, called “The Jews Control It.”


Unfortunately, the anti-Semites continue their refrain of “The Jews control the world” from Wall Street to Main Street to K Street.


But what they are completely missing are the true secrets of Jewish creativity and thought.


I hope you will read the article to learn about Jewish values and our faith. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)