Dirty Laundry Usually Doesn’t Get Aired

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The way to fix problems is to first identify and acknowledge them.


Only then can you focus on them, commit to them, really address them, and make things better.


The BIG problem though is fear. 


Usually dirty laundry doesn’t get so easily aired. 


Generally, people don’t want trouble. 

“The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.”

And who wants to be the one to get hammered flat and for of all things, doing the right thing?


We don’t encourage transparency.


And we certainly don’t reward transparency. 


As I once overheard:

“Uh, you better keep it in the family!”

So things get kept in the family, and the big burly husband is a drunkard bum and the wife is abused and the kids are abused, and the sh*t goes on. 


Shhh…


Open door policies, hotlines, and other mechanisms are helpful, but don’t go far enough. 


Bosses need to ask point blank and with full and honest assurance of confidentiality and non-attribution or retribution:

“Tell me what’s really going on here.”

When there is smoke, there is fire, and where there is skunk stink, there is skunk.


The only way to know the truth and make a difference is to get to the truth.


In life, is anyone willing to “do the dirty” and finally get to clean? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

DC Lights It Up – Just Physical or More

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Wanted to share these beautiful lights from around Washington, D.C. 


They are all sort of magnificent!


But even while I am marveling at them, my mind is tearing another way…


I am thinking, there is physical light, yet in so many ways the world seems dark. 


We have lots technological progress to be proud of, and yet there are big problems all over the horizon.


Nuclear and missile proliferation, and rising cyber threats.


– Rising global terrorism and potential for military conflicts


– Spiraling national debt and the trust funds for social entitlements running out


– Rising discrimination and associated hate crimes

– Family strains and the decline of marriage

– Challenges in confidence with organized religion 


World leadership at a crossroads. 


We need light–but not just the physical type. 


Transparency, enlightenment to solve big problems and a spiritual awakening to ensure good wins out over evil are all on order. 😉


(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Twitter BESTS Facebook

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Here are six reasons why Twitter bests Facebook and we ain’t seen nothing yet:


Unadulterated News & Messaging 

Twitter is where you can hear it from the President’s mouth or the Kardashians or anyone else for that matter with no media bias and filtering (their very mission is information sharing), while Facebook is often about reposting stories, pictures, and videos that we find of interest already on the web. What’s even more amazing is that anyone of us can tweet back to @realDonaldTrump or @SpeakerRyan…that is some unbelievable access we now have. 


Speed of Information To Market

Twitter is now considered the fastest way to get the latest (and greatest) on what’s happening.  From the US Airways jet crash into the Hudson River to up-to-the-minute updates on the Mumbai terrorist attackYou could even watch the election debates or the Walking Dead and get a real-time running commentary. 


Our Very Social Identity

Twitter is now part of our very social identity, so that everything from our blog writings to our resume has our Twitter handle. Mine is @AndyBlumenthal.  


It’s Populism As A Movement

Twitter, while not technically as popular in terms of number of users as Facebook, is more popular in terms of the cultural impact. Politicians are putting out policy debates online and fighting it out there too, while celebrities and athletes are sharing personal updates, and the world is truly communicating directly and succinctly in 140 characters or less what’s really important to them. 


Operating On A Global Open Platform 

Twitter feeds are open to anyone who follows them and tweets are searchable on the web as opposed to Facebook which is predominantly a closed system to the web and you’ve got to be “friends” to get the real scoop with someone. Whether the Iranian Green Revolution or the Syrians Being Bombarded in Aleppo it’s open and on Twitter. 


Get Your BIG Data and Feed Your Artificial Intelligence

Twitter has about 500 million tweets a day or about 200 billion a year.  Even pulling out the ridiculous “What I had for lunch today” tweets, there is still an unbelievable amount of data to mine for analysis and artificial intelligence. Talking about a potential treasure trove of information and sentiment from over 317 million users, and computer algorithms are already churning through it to make the big data intelligible and usable for decision making. 


Certainly Twitter (and Facebook) need to get their virtual arms around fake news and profiles, but the good thing about it is that others can call b.s. as soon as they see it in 140 characters or less. 😉


(Note: I am so impressed with Twitter’s prospects, I am putting my own money where my mouth is.)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Words Have Meaning

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People can be so careless and callous with their words. 


They say stupid and hurtful things. 


Sometimes, they may try to couch or sugarcoat what they are saying, so you need to put 2 and 2 together. 


Yes, that’s four…bang!


Whether it’s transparent or hiding behind a veil of political correctness or mischievousness, you get the messaging. 


Everyone has an angle, as they say in Hollywood. 


Is it benevolent or malevolent or perhaps just dopey does. 


Either way, words are very important.


It’s called communications and you send out messages verbally and non-verbally. 


Rule of thumb:

“Clarity, conciseness, and coherence.”

Often, the messaging can be confused…like the old game of telephone or just in-coherency of words or thinking. 


So which it it–there is no return policy to speak of or there are no returns allowed.


Tell me damn it! 


Why can’t the English learn to speak english? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

Getting Organized

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So I’m in this clothing store…


And behind the cash register is this closet. 


The cashier goes to the closet to get something and leaves the door open. 


The closet, especially compared with the rest of the upscale clothing store, is really a mess. 


But at the top, hanging is a yellow sticky note.


And the note says, “Keep Organized“.


The first shelf with some binders isn’t too bad.


But then as you get further away form the reminder to keep organized, it gets worse and worse. 


Office supplies, hand creams, napkins, sprayers, and more, all sort of thrown in there. 


I was surprised not to see someone’s leftovers from lunch. (lol)


And then on the door itself are all these taped up reminder papers and old used tape with papers long torn off still hanging there.


I don’t think this is the image or brand this store wants to convey. 


The funny thing is that out on the floor, the salespeople were working on all the fancy displays and using these corporate design books that show them exactly what to lay out, where, and how. 


Then again, what’s visible and skin deep doesn’t always represent what’s beneath the surface. 


Like politics, if you knew how the sausage was made, you’d probably never eat it. 


Maybe some things are better left behind closed doors. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Modesty And Privacy Of Body and Information

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So modesty and privacy is very important in terms of propriety and security.


Both are intimately connected. 


Already as children, we learn not to show or talk about our “privates” to others. 


And as adults, we understand that there are certain things about ourselves that we don’t just talk about or divulge to others indiscriminately. 


Not being discrete with these and showing either your private parts or your personal information can get you in a load of trouble by giving others the opportunity to take undue advantage of you. 


Both open you up to be ridiculed or even raped of your person or information identity. 


That which is yours to use with others in propriety is instead disclosed for taking out from your control and for use against you. 


Security demands modesty of body and of information, and if not taken seriously, then no amount of lame covering will keep that which is private from public consumption. 😉