Anti-Semitism: Preparedness Can’t Be Blind

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Anti-Semitism: Preparedness Can’t Be Blind.”

As I’m standing there, I feel someone coming up behind me and then running into me. Of course, with anti-Semitic attacks prominent and growing, I may have been at a slightly higher state of alert, and I turn around ready for whatever or to give someone a few choice words…And then I see the cane from a blind person.

So even in these times, when there are gangs, drugs, violence, and anti-Semitism, and “we can’t be careful enough” (especially given our long, deep history of religious persecution), at the same time, we need to judge our fellow man favorably first and foremost, and still we must be prepared for, G-d forbid, the worst at any time.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Batsh*t Crazy

So have you ever dealt with these types of people?

They are what is commonly referred to as:

“Batsh*t Crazy!”

Some telltale signs in combination:

– Loud

– Out of control (off the spectrum)

– Exaggerated thinking/delusional

– Feelings of victimhood/paranoia/anger

– Gesturing wildly 

– Fingers tightly extended or clenched into fists

– Banging on the table/wall 

– Sharpening facial lines

– Clenching of the lips/teeth

– Bugged out/staring eyes

– Dark, hallowed-out eye sockets

– Disheveled hair/clothes

– Unkept/dirty/smelly

– In your face/space

– Potentially violent/dangerous

When you are dealing with batshit crazy…watch out!

You can’t reason with them. You can’t confront them.  You can’t evade them.  

They have you in their sights. 

Scary, right? 

BTW, I looked up the derivation of this term:

It come from “there is nothing at all going on upstairs”–such that the bells are no longer ringing in the church tower, and hence the bats are coming to rest there, and they have been there so long that the batsh*t has built up.

There is certainly a lot of batshit from what I can see! 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to geralt)

Chicken Big And The Asteroids

Chicken Big And The Asteroids

The story of Chicken Little running around yelling that “The sky is falling” has become the epitome of those who “cry wolf” about the world ending–falsely worrying about and predicting catastrophic events.

However, the reverse can be true as well–where people say, “The sky is not falling,” when it really is. This is a “Chicken Big” event–where people are afraid “big time” of admitting the truth and so they hide themselves and others from it. Sort of like saying “What I don’t know can’t hurt me!”

Yesterday was just such as Chicken Big–hide your head in the sand–moment.

Asteroid DA14 passed just 17,000 miles from the Earth–less than the distance from New York to Sydney! It was 140 foot long and 143,000 tons, and possessed the destructive power 700 times that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. According to the Wall Street Journal (13 Feb. 2013) it was able to devastate a region the size of the San Francisco Bay area.

While, thank G-d, this dangerous asteroid missed us, just a few hours earlier, a meteor about 55 feet long and 10,000 tons exploded over the Ural Mountains in Russia, with the destructive power of 33 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs injuring 1,000 people and damaging 4,000 buildings.

Of course, it is a frightening reminder of what could’ve happened had asteroid DA14 hit as well.

The Guardian reported that according to The European Space Agency “No link between the events is thought possible,” and the Wall Street Journal (15 Feb. 2013) declared that it “was just a coincidence”.

Interestingly, the Journal itself states that a meteor event such as that which exploded over Russia yesterday happens “every 100 years,” and even more, the chances of the asteroid that passed very close overhead actually hitting Earth occurs “once every 200 to 1,000 years,” with the next close pass over earth not expected again until 2046. Thus, these types of events don’t happen exactly every day, do they?

So what are the chances of these 2 events (one exploding overhead and the other a near miss) occurring simultaneously yesterday–just hours apart!

People need to know–deserve to know the truth about the dangers we face–not to cry wolf–but rather to help us as a society and civilization recognize the genuine dangers we face, so we can adequately take precautions and prepare ourselves.

Interestingly enough, the WSJ states, “We have the technology to deflect these asteroids” with spacecraft to impact into them and “gravity tractors” to change their trajectory–the one thing we need is “years of advance warning.”

Let’s acknowledge the meteor explosion yesterday in Russia and be grateful that it wasn’t over a heavily populated major urban area, where the effect could’ve been much worse, and of course the same with the near flyby of the asteroid–and resolve to invest in the monitoring, tracking, and defensive technologies to keep us safe from a future catastrophe where the sky really is falling.

Calling the two cosmic events yesterday a “coincidence” is a Chicken Big event–buck, buck, buck. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Sascha Grant)

>Bill Gates and Enterprise Architecture


On July 1, Bill Gates is stepping down from his day-to-day duties at Microsoft, but will continue to serve as Chairman. Bill Gates grew Microsoft into the worldwide software development leader with revenue of $51 billion for fiscal year ending June 2007 and 78,000 employees in 105 countries and regions.

As the prior CEO and chief software (and technical) architect it is definitely worthwhile to look at the legacy that Bill is leaving behind at Microsoft.

Fortune Magazine, 7 July 2008, provides four lasting imprints that Bill Gates is leaving on Microsoft and here are my thoughts on these as relates to enterprise architecture:

  1. Software can do anything—Gates has a “utopian view of software. He believes it can do anything.” Like Bill Gates, we need to believe in the mission of our organization. Such belief is critical in inspiring passion for and dedication to what we do. However, blind belief that any one thing can do anything is folly. For example, software without hardware is a no-go as is hardware without software. Both are non-starters without the people to innovatively apply them to our greatest challenges.
  2. Engineers rule—“Microsoft employees about 30,000 programmers among its 90,000 employees. In operating groups, engineers are involved in every major decision…Microsoft $8 billion computer science R&D lab is the world’s largest” Engineers are critical to solving our challenges, but you should not ignore marketing and sales either. Marketing and sales reach out and touch the people. You cannot ignore the human aspect to solving problems. Maybe it partially Microsoft’s obsessive engineering approach that has left it vulnerable on the people side, for example: “Apple’s biting ad campaign has successful painted Windows as uncool.”
  3. “Institutionalize paranoia”—“’It’s very Microsoft to prepare for the worst,’ says Gates…Bill and Steve (Ballmer) created what I guess I’d characterize as a culture of crisis,’ says chief software architect, Ray Ozzie. There’s always someone who’s going to take the company down.” Paranoia is a disorder, but fighting for competitive advantage is reality. Your competitors are not laying down to die; they are fighting for their professional lives, and you need to meet the challenge every day if you want to be the best out there.
  4. “Invest for the long term”—“Whatever the cycle is, we will keep investing through the cycle, because we know on the other side of whatever cycle happens, there is opportunity,” says entertainment division president Robbie Bach. The approach for long term planning is very enterprise architecture focused. However, the architecture planning without the good governance to administer structured, consistent, collaborative decision making is not very workable. Planning without effective decision making and enforcement falls short on the execution side. Again, perhaps here too, Microsoft could benefit from a less top heavy culture and a more open decision process, where all project and product stakeholders have a serious voice at the table. Then turning over the reins from Bill will not be as traumatic requiring approximately four years of preparation and turnover.

In the end, Microsoft is truly terrific company and Bill Gates is leaving a company that is nothing short of spectacular. Of course, even the best can get better with continuous learning and innovation and that is the next chapter for Microsoft in the world of the likes of Google and Apple.