Beautiful Virus, Huh?

So this is an image of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus.


Yeah, I never heard of it either. 


It is a virus that attacks and destroys tobacco and other plants. 


Viruses are ugly and evil in that they hurt and kill other living things


Yet in looking at this molecular image, I seriously hate to say it, but it is also beautiful in a way. 


The shape, color, complexity–the design and wisdom embedded in it–what can I say, but even this too is a miracle. 


Sure, it would be better in a mortal sense if there were no viruses to make us suffer and literally eat away at us. 


Yet, surely G-d has a plan even for these nasty virus molecules.  


Do they help us gain immunity to even worse diseases?


Do they help us to use ingenuity to discover, fight, and evolve to withstand their attacks and progress our society in larger ways?


Do they help us learn however horribly to turn to G-d, strengthen ourselves, and somehow try to cope with suffering and loss in life and death.


All sickness is unbelievably horrible and the suffering it causes is truly impossible to understand, and G-d should please, please have mercy on us. 


Yet, looking at this molecular image of even this virus, there is something comforting in the supreme intelligent design and creation of it all.  😉


(Source Andy’s photo of image by Visual Molecular Dynamics)

Advertisements

Don’t / Can’t – Turn Back Now

My father used to say a very wise thing:

You can only go forward.
You can’t go back.


Often in life, I reflect on how wise this is and he was. 


Sometimes, we are hesitant or afraid of what lies ahead, and we turn our heads back and reinvent history and creatively fantasize how wonderful things were before and maybe we should go back.


Like the Israelites thousands of years ago, who G-d redeemed from the servitude of Egypt, but with hundreds of years of a slave mentality, they were in a sense paralyzed with fear of going into the foreboding expanse of the desert. 

“If only we had died by the L-rd’s hand in Egypt. There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted. But You have brought us out to this dessert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (Exodus 16:3)


But we know that going forward is the only way to learn, grow, and progress. 


Just like the Israelites that went forward through the depths of the Red Sea on dry land and to receive the Torah on Sinai and for forty years in the desert to ultimately get to the amazing promised land of Israel. 


Thank G-d, they didn’t turn back–there really was no turning back.


Back is death.  


Forward is life. 


We have a journey that we need to complete. 


The destination is wherever G-d takes us. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Technology and Human Capital–They Go Hand-In-Hand

So there are some mighty impressive places to work that really shine in terms of the technology they use and the constant desire to upgrade and improve their capabilities. 


Usually, these are also the places that value and respect their human capital because they view them as not just human pawns, but rather as strategic drivers of change. 


Then there are the places that are “so operationally focused” or just plain poorly run that they can’t be bothered to think about technology much at all or the people that make up the organization and its fiber. 


In many cases, the wheel may be turning, but the hamster is dead: 


There is no real enterprise architecture to speak of. 


There are no IT strategic or operational plans. 


There are no enterprise or common solutions or platforms. 


There is no IT governance or project/portfolio management. 


Even where there are some IT projects, they go nowhere–they are notions or discussion pieces, but nothing ever rolls off the IT “assembly line.”


How about buying an $800 software package to improve specific operations–that gets the thumbs down too. 


Many of these executives can’t even spell t-e-c-h-n-o-l-o-g-y!


It’s scary when technology is such an incredible enabler that some can’t see it for what it is. 


Rather to them, technology is a distraction, a threat, a burdensome cost, or something we don’t have time for.


Are they scared of technology?


Do they just not understand its criticality or capability?


Are they just plain stupid? 


Anyway, organizations need to look at their leadership and ask what are they doing not only operationally, but also in terms of technology improvement to advance the organization and its mission. 


Look to the organizations that lead technologically, as well as that treat their people well, and those are ones to ogle at and model after.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

QC + AI = S

Quantum Computing (QC) + Artificial Intelligence (AI) = Singularity (S)


Quantum Computing – Computers using subatomic particles to superprocess atincredible speeds and with less energy–it’s similar to massive parallel processing, but in the case of Qubits, they can store more than just 1s and 0s (bits–a binary state), but rather can be both o and 1 at the same time (a “superposition”).  So for very large problems (“exponential scaling”), instead of processing (computing one step at a time), you can process all options simultaneously to find the very best (“optimized”) solution by eliminating all options that don’t fit the algorithm.


Artificial Intelligence – Computers simulate intelligence, using language, perceiving their environment, reasoning to draw conclusions, solving problems usually done by humans, being creative, and where they can actually learn and self-improve!


Singularity – A state of runaway hypergrowth from the attainment of computing superintelligence, where computers are able to autonomously build ever smarter and more powerful machines that surpass human understanding and control leading to unfathomable changes to human civilization. 


The Information Age is giving way to the Intelligence Age, and it is all ready to explode. 


We are getting to the point of no return…


(Source Photo: Screenshot from YouTube with attribution to the move, Lucy“)

1-2-3-4 Open Up The Government’s Doors

1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


     5-6-7-8 Let our nation operate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


     5-6-7-8 Fix our broken directorate



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s Doors


    5-6-7-8 Better for us to negotiate



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Get things done for Goodness sake



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 We have no more time to cogitate



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Get the employees back to progress the state



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Blaming each other only exasperate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Democracy means we must work it out



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Polarized politics destroys our clout



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors

   

    5-6-7-8 The people are sick and tired of this useless way



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Terms limits are needed to sway



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Dysfunctional government can’t continue unabate



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


   5-6-7-8 We’re sick and tired of ignoring realpolitik



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors

   5-6-7-8 Grow up and show some unifying leadership



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Finally put people’s needs first



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Stop playing with our country’s fate



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 National security and our economy depend on it



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 It’s time to get things done and not wait



1-2-3-4 Open up the government’s doors


    5-6-7-8 Serve the people and cut out the hate


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The View From Upfront and Behind

Thought this was a smart saying from a colleague:

“If you ain’t the lead dog, the view doesn’t change.”

What the dogs upfront and those behind them see are quite a different view. 

It’s important for the lead dogs to guide the other dogs in a good direction and stay clear from obstacles. 

We may not all see the same thing, but whatever our viewpoints are, we all have to work together and pull our hardest towards progress. 

It’s a race to the finish–and finish strong and together we all must. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Natalia Kollegova)

Never Ever More Vulnerable

Vulnerable.jpeg

So we have never been more technology advanced. And at the same time, we have never been more vulnerable


As we all know, our cybersecurity have not kept near pace with our ever growing reliance on everything technology.


There is virtually nothing we do now-a-days that does not involve networks, chips, and bits and bytes. 


Energy

Transportation

Agriculture

Banking

Commerce

Health

Defense

Manufacturing

Telecommunications


If ANYTHING serious happens to cripple our technology base, we are toast!


From a crippling cyberattack that disables or hijacks our systems, steals or locks down our data, or creates massive chaotic misinformation flow to a EMP blast that simply fries all our electronic circuitry–we are at the mercy of our technology underpinnings. 


Don’t think it cannot happen!


Whether it’s Wannacry ransonware or the Equifax breach of our privacy data or the Kaspersky Labs hidden backdoor to our top secret files or North Korea threatening to hit us with an EMP–these are just a few of the recent cyber events of 2017!


Technology is both a blessing and a curse–we have more capability, more speed, more convenience, more cost-effectiveness than ever before, but also there is greater vulnerability to complete and utter death and destruction!


This is not just a risk that life could become more difficult or inconvenient–it is literally an existential threat, but who wants to think of it that way?


People, property, and our very society is at risk when our cybersecurity is not what it must be.


It’s a race of defensive against offensive capability. 


And we can’t just play defense, we had better actually win at this! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)