A Sexless Generation

Sexless.jpeg

Oy vey, the statistics are not good. 


Sex in America is on the decline (and no, this is not an April fools’ joke)!


Based on this who can argue with President Trump that we need to “Make America Great Again”–and that should include sexual vitality along with military might, economic competitiveness, and social justice.


In the early 1990 and 2000’s , Americans had sex on average about 60 to 65 times a year.


Moreover, for married couples, who are at the high end of the sexual spectrum, this is down from 67 in 1989 to just 56 times a year now.


This is a reduction of 9 , which doesn’t sound like much–however that actually comes to 14% less nookie!


And geez, that’s less than once a week! 😦


What’s weird is that the statistics show that Americans working longer hours and watching more pornography actually is tied to a “busier sex life.”


To me the obvious answer is that people are living too much in a virtual world of loneliness and nothingness. 


And they have lost touch with each other in the real world and have become more selfish and less giving personally and sexually. 


So while some people are busy infighting and infatuated with reading and generating all the fake news these days, it seems like they are missing the real disheartening and unloving American news of the times. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Free Behind Bars

Free Behind Bars

Fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal about going to mock prison to get away from the stresses of life.

Ok, so you know your working too hard, when your only escape is to lock yourself up and throw away the key for a few days.

In South Korea, where they work 18% more than on average (2090 hours per year vs. 1765)–their is a great need to get away from it all.

There where life satisfaction rates a 4.3 out of 10, which is 34% lower than the average (of 6.6), putting yourself in prison is a quality of life thing.

A two-night stay in the makeshift prison for extreme relaxation costs $146–and there you can meditate to your hearts delight.

You can also attend “spiritual classes” and participate in “healing plays.”

Normally smartphones wouldn’t be allowed, but people freak out without them, so they get to check them once a day while on the inside.

Being locked behind bars is a punishment in most places, but here its time to think, reflect, and get back to yourself–most of all you don’t have to go to work on those days.

It’s funny, but one of the hardest things is generally for people just to stop and think–really stop and think–it’s much easier to drown ourselves in endless activity and never have to deal with what’s going on inside.

When we stop to let our thoughts catch up, to deal with our anxieties and fears, to confront ourselves and all the mistakes we make, and to let ourselves feel what can be an tidal wave of pent up feelings–that is a freedom that few can bear to make. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>Supercapitalism and Enterprise Architecture

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As a nation are we overworked? Are we just showing up, doing what we’re told, and making the same mistakes again and again?

Robert Reich, the former Labor Secretary and Professor at University of California at Berkeley, says that we are more than ever a nation of workaholics.

Reich’s book, Supercapitalism, talks about how we have to work harder to make ends meet for the following reasons:

  • Globalization—“our real incomes are under assault from technology and low-wage workers in other countries.”
  • Greater competition—“all barriers to entry have fallen, competition is more intense than ever, and if we don’t work hard, we may be in danger of losing clients, customers, or investors.”
  • Rapid pace of change—“today most people have no ability to predict what they’re going to be doing from year to year, and job descriptions are not worth the paper they’re written on because jobs are changing so fast.”

Reich says to temper our workaholic lifestyles, we need to “understand that the quality of work is much more important than the quantity.” Honestly, that doesn’t seem to answer the question, since quality (not just quantity) takes hard work and a lot of time too.

In terms of supercharged programs, I have seen enterprise architecture programs working “fast and furious,” others that were steady, and still some that were just slow and sometimes to the point of “all stop” in terms of any productivity or forward momentum.

Unlike IT operations that have to keep the lights on, the servers humming, and phones working, EA tends to be considered all too often as pure “overhead” that can be cut at the slightest whim of budget hawks. This can be a huge strategic mistake for CIOs and organizational leaders who thus behave in a penny-wise and dollar foolish manner. Sure, operations keep the lights on, but EA ensures that IT investments are planned, strategically aligned, compliant, technically sound, and cost-effective.

A solid EA program takes us out of the day-to-day firefighting mode and operational morass, and puts the CIO and business leaders back in the strategic “driver’s seat” for transforming and modernizating the organization.

In fact, enterprise architecture addresses the very concerns that Reich points to in our Supercapitalistic times: To address the big issues of globalization, competition, and the rapid pace of change, we need genuine planning and governance, not just knee jerk reactions and firefighting. Big, important, high impact problems generally don’t get solved by themselves, but rather they need high-level attention, innovative thinking, and group problem solving, and general committment and resources to make headway. This means we can’t just focus on the daily grind. We need to extricate ourselves and think beyond today. And that’s exactly what real enterprise architecture is all about.

Recently, I heard some colleagues at a IT conference say that EA was all bluster and wasn’t worth the work and investment. I strongly disagree. Perhaps, a poorly implemented architecture program may not be worth the paper it’s plans are printed on. And unfortunately, there are too many of these faux enterprise architecture programs around and these give the rest a bad rap. However, a genuine user-centric enterprise architecture and IT governance program is invaluable in keeping the IT organization from running on a diet of daily chaos: not a good thing for the mission and business that IT supports.

Organizations can and will work smarter, rather than just harder, with strong enterprise architecture, sound IT governance, and sound business and IT processes. It the nature of planning ahead rather than just hoping for the best.

>Workaholics and Enterprise Architecture

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How do you know when you are a “toxic” workaholic?

Fortune Magazine, 12 November 2007, identifies 4 “bad signs” of workaholism from psychologist, executive coach, and author Debra Condren:

  1. Marital conflict—“you and your spouse fight about your hours”; this goes beyond the occasional late nighter or weekend stint, when “the expectation is that when work abates, family will once again get top billing.”
  2. Child neglect—“your kids stop inviting you to their birthday parties. Eventually family members [especially the kids] learn not to count on [you].”
  3. Staff rebellion—“your employees sneak out of work. Toxic bosses make everyone around them feel bad about having a life.”
  4. In sickness and in health—“you work when ill. The worst cases think they are the only ones who can get things done.”

I’d add to this list that if you are feeling bad (i.e. overly stressed or burdened and not good about what your doing and how your living your life), your conscience is trying to tell you something.

I read a book recently that said no one at the end of their lives wished they had spent more time in the office, but often they do look back with tremendous regret at not having spent more time with family, friends, and at worship.

All this doesn’t mean to take away from having a full, meaningful professional life and being a productive human being. No one should have to miss out on the opportunity to challenge oneself and “give back” something to society—gratis is nice, but then again there’s the mortgage :)

The key is to be able to balance your personal and professional life. If you can’t do that then eventually it ALL falls apart anyway. So every person has to take control of their lives and live them to their fullest and that means taking care of what’s really important, including yourself and your loved ones!

I had a terrific boss in Enterprise Architecture who used to say, this is “best effort” i.e. don’t “kill yourself” over the assignment, just do your best. And that’s really “IT”, just do YOUR best. You don’t have to be superhuman or try to meet the often unrealistic demands or succumb to the ill-wishing of others. At work, just do your honest best, look out for the interests of the enterprise take care of your people, and the rest will follow.