Living In A Big F-cking Interconnected World

on-and-off

So I can hardly remember a world without the Internet, television, or travel. 


Yet if the world, as created, is just under 6,000 years old, then we only have these critical interconnections with each other for the last 100 years…that’s only a tiny fraction of world history or less than 2%!


Pervasive and invasive communications and travel like the Internet (1990), television (1927), commercial airplane (1914), and mass produced automobile (1908) have expanded our personal universes. 


Hearing stories as a kid about how people rarely traveled more than 25 miles from their villages and barely got news from far beyond that, it is very hard for me to imagine such a small world to be confined to. 


Yes, some people look back with nostalgia yearning for the simpler times and “the good ‘ol days,” but they forget how on one hand, mundane it was and on the other, how unstable and violent it tended to be. 


Now with social media, smartphones, 24/7 news coverage, and world travel, connecting with people and events irrespective of distance or even language is taken for granted, and we are always on and expected to be (the last part is one downside for sure). 


Still yet to be conquered, but I am sure not that far away, is connecting outside of our own world and irregardless of time…reach forward or back and across the vastness of the stars–it’s all one. 


Frankly, I do not know what I would do in a world limited to just 25 miles and not being able to get connected online, anytime, anywhere…what a boring and small world that must’ve been.


In the same way, once we reach beyond our own world and routinely travel to and settle on other worlds, and can reach beyond the present into the past and the future, I think the next generations will be astonished at how small we too have lived. 


25 miles…what the heck!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Abraham Lincoln And Election IT Scandals

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This just seemed like such a fascinating photo.


Abraham Lincoln on a tie juxtaposed next to the guy using his smartphone and email.


This election cycle has been plagued with scandals from private email servers, “extremely reckless” handling of emails, Wikileaks disclosures of corruption and collusion from hacked emails, crude denigrating language online, politicians claims of they can’t recall and IT professionals pleading the fifth, and an overall lack of transparency to the American people and Congress.


Yet, isn’t this the diametric opposite of what our esteemed President Lincoln was all about in terms of being “a man of profound feelings, just and firm principles, and incorruptible integrity.”


Is it now the technology that somehow has caused us to perform questionable deeds or is it just an enabler of what is in people’s hearts and souls?


As the man holding and controlling what he does with the smartphone in the photo, it is we who control our actions with technology and what we chose to do with it.


If we use technology for good or for evil…for raising up and helping people or insulting and hurting people…for lies and deception or for truth and transparency…for communicating principles and directives that are just and upright or for selfish and corrupt ends…these are choices of integrity that we alone control.


Lincoln fought for the democracy and freedom for all Americans and the end of slavery, and to that moral end, for whoever wins the election, we should continue towards using technology as a means to extend justice and freedom for all and not for operatives and operations that can jeopardize it’s meaning and integrity for America. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Losing Patience With Tech Progress

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We’re so close yet so far…that’s my feeling as I grow ever impatient with the pace of technological progress. 


We have cloud computing, but still everyone has their own private computing setups everywhere. 


We have mobile computing, but still can’t get get reliable service in the Metro and all the other “dead zones.”


We have social computing, but still people are so cliquey and nasty and troll and bully each other online and off. 


We have the Internet of Things, but still things don’t really talk to each other regularly (except our smart meters).


We have robots, but still they’re relegated to factory assembly lines. 


We have natural language processing, but still can’t get a meaningful conversation going with Siri.


We have 3-D printing, but still can’t get dinner or a pair of Nikes to appear from the Star Trek like “Replicator.”


We have augmented and virtual reality headsets, but still can’t go anywhere with them without getting motion sickness.


We have biometrics, but still have to sign the check.


We have driverless cars, but still there is a driver inside. 


We have networks of information, but still it’s subject to hacking, malware, identity and data theft, and even big time EMP knockouts. 


We have immunotherapy, but still haven’t beaten cancer. 


We have nanotechnology, but still we travel through life loaded down with material possessions.


We have food and biotechnology, but still one in eight people are going hungry. 


We have space shuttles and stations, but still can’t get a colony going on Mars.


We have big data, but still information is corrupted by personal biases and politics. 


We have knowledge management, but still more than 780 million adults are illiterate. 


We have artificial intelligence, but still it’s devoid of emotional intelligence. 


We have bigger, deadlier, and more sophisticated weapons systems and smart bombs to “protect us”, but still are no closer to living in peace and brotherhood. 


All this technology and advancement is great, except that we’re left hungrier than ever for the realization of the promised technology land, and are really only halfway there, maybe. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Technology Hope For The Future

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Ok, this gives me tremendous technology hope for the future. 

This 4-year old kid is working diligently on her smartphone, while her mom is shopping not far away in the clothing store at the mall. 

She didn’t seem to care about the clothes hanging all around her or the fun in the mall or really anything else at all…she was content with her tech!

And while I certainly believe in work-life balance and in kids being able to really jsut be kids, there was just something so amazing about the promise of technology, especially for those who are now growing up with it. 

After all, it was very cute how intent this kid was with all the technology power right in the palm of her hands, and I could easily see a budding CIO in the making here. 

And of course, with even better and more capable technology in the future. 

Through technology and belief, we can find hope in the impossible. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Say It And They Believe It

Anti-Terror Device

This was pretty funny in Starbucks. 

This guy comes in with a briefcase and sets in down on the table. 

He opens it up and proceeds to take out an electronic device–turns out it’s his laptop computer. 

But on the briefcase, there is a label that says:

POWERFUL ANTI-TERROR DEVICE INSIDE.”

So everyone is looking like there really is something to this.

You can almost tangibly feel them wondering what the heck type of device is this that he is carrying…it must pack a real punch!

Then one person near me, bends over sideways, and whispers in my ear…”Does he really have a powerful anti-terror device inside?”

Like I look as if I’m in the know on these things!!! 

I lean back over in the other direction to the other person and whisper back, “No, I’m pretty sure that it’s just a gag…the guy must be looking for some serious attention.”

And all of sudden, it’s as if all the heads around me start to nod, like I stated some amazing insight here or perhaps that they somehow knew it all along. 

Anyway, it’s incredible what people will believe…if you just state it (in an official way, of course) on your briefcase, a badge, on your forehead or wherever, it’s got to be true, because we are so gullible and willing or wanting to believe. 

Yes, I believe! I believe!  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Equality Is Human Rights

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I was most impressed recently with the organization (including the marketing and branding) behind the LGBT movement. 


The new bumper sticker with the yellow equal (=) sign.


The people on the street in yellow “Equality” t-shirts wanting to talk and promote themselves.


The tablet computers they are carrying equipped with slide presentation on equal rights (and their association with the larger issue on their website for human rights).  


The on-the-spot electronic sign up for either monthly donations and/or petition for the Equality Act to amend the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation. 


Religious beliefs aside, and as long as you don’t hurt others, people are people and should not be discriminated against. 


All people should be treated fairly and protected from disparate or unfair treatment, bullying or worse. 

Equality really is human rights. 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Walking The Pink Carpet

Computer Bird

Only in Starbucks Florida…

Does Buddy the bird sing and dance inside the shop next to the coffee drinkers.

Here, my wife was doing some writing for the Federal Communicators Network.

And she is very serious about her writing–and don’t bug her when she’s into it.

But Buddy was a different story…

He proudly walked right over the iPad pink keyboard.

And then headed for another circuit around the table.

Picking up keys, ripping up the New York Times, hanging upside down, and playing with everyone who was only too happy to pay him attention.

When I asked Buddy if he liked Starbucks coffee, he started bopping up and down like crazy–it was hilarious.

As to my wife’s computer and writing, this was about the only thing that she would allow to disturb her. 

I was surprised she didn’t eat the bothersome bird, but even she had to laugh at his gall to step into her virtual world of writing, brands, and social media. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)