The Youth Is Relational… If Your Plan Is To Influence Them, Talk To Them

The Youth Is Relational… If Your Plan Is To Influence Them, Talk To Them

I’m convinced about this. The youth is relational. if your plan is to influence them for the better in life, you must talk to them in a place where they feel comfortable speaking with you. My plan is to have a positive impact on them. I meet and talk to them in the school’s cafeteria on a daily basis.

And I love it. This semester alone, I’ve met 300 new students in the cafeteria alone and an additional 50 across the university. We have talked, shared, laughed, celebrated, cried and dined together. My level of “relatability” was pretty high before I decided to target them and talk to them on a daily basis. Now, the level of through the roof to a point of students screaming my name across campus for a return response.

This is what students like these days. People (professors, friends, family…) who understand their struggles, wishes and dreams, along with being able to bring them up when they feel down. Anxiety and depression is at an all time high in this country. Students comprise a large portion of this new age epidemic. 

Technology overuse is definitely a variable in the growth of anxiety and depression conversation. In fact, I predicted, back in 2013 that by 2024…the globe would reach a global anxiety epidemic. We are over half the way there, it seems.

The beginning of the anxiety pains have already started. No wonder why the youth wants to be relational with people, including you and me. So, this is what i think… if you want to have a positive impact on teenagers and young adults, be relational and plan time aside to speak with them.

That’s how this is done, I’m finding. Like you and I, the kids want to live a good life that is meaningful. Be a servant and speak with them! They are relational. You will influence them by taking this stance. Trust me.

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My Responses For The Harvard Business Review Magazine Lately

My Responses For The Harvard Business Review Magazine Lately

Much toxicity in the workplace is related to gossiping. Let’s not forget that like in Vegas, the house rarely loses. Eventually, gossipers are caught. Don’t do it.

In an economy of abundance with too much supply on the market, the only logical stance to take, it seems, is for subjects to leverage their uniqueness with the goal of becoming remarkable.

Smartphone technology in the hands of trained speakers/performers can become a voice of democracy and call to action, regardless of how algorithms act or react. A single video clip, in the hands of an influencer, will be as good if not better than a message pushed through a social media algorithm. I have empirical data to defend this former statement.

I Am, Therefore I Think. Be the voice of reason. The best ideas are often the simplest. Stop thinking and do it!

With all the respect HBR, we need to define what we mean by reading here. Scanning a book, or a few chapters, listening the book in speed isn’t reading in the true sense of how we define reading to be. To me, reading a book means reading every word in that book, from cover to cover… Perhaps underlying, and circling words and sentences for understanding. There is no way that a serious reader, doing all of the former and working full time, can read anything near 100 books a year. I would rather see people reading 5-10 books cover to cover (underlying content and practicing what they learned) than kidding themselves that they “read” 77, 85, or 100 books a year. No they don’t. I doubt that.

Complaining and blaming others for your misfortunes and lack of luck will not change the fact that we need to work with others in order to operate with distinction.

My concern: AI will hire resumes not the best people for the job, perhaps. If so, how is AI different from a biased human being?

Make the unknown known. Uneasy but only in the beginning. If you are afraid of conflict, read the 48 Laws of Power and Executive Warfare, immediately and engage in a conflict, even if you lose the battle. Embrace these challenges by facing them all heads on. It works. It changes you. It makes you a leader.

I hope that you don’t get offended by what I’m going to write in here because is so simplistic. Subjects learn essentially in only one way: They learn by receiving a stimulus of a sort from a source, responding to that stimulus… and receiving feedback from the source after that. There is room for technology to be a part of this model especially in the form of treatments.

How Excessive Competition Leads To Defeat.

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts For The Youth #1

Sunday Thoughts For The Youth #1

Some Sunday thoughts for the Youth…

  1. The message is clear. When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. I add to the former by saying that when Newton’s 3rd law is applied to people affairs, “an equal force equal in magnitude is excerpted in the direction of the first body either directly or indirectly.  It is naive to believe that unchristian like behaviors, when done constantly and overtime, will be always received by individuals without an equal degree of retaliation in the long run. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sometimes, the reaction is direct or indirect, coming from the left or from the right… up, down, from the east or from the west. Sometimes the reaction comes from nowhere. It’s impossible to predict where it will come from… but eventually it comes. Equilibrium is achieved, sooner or later making opposing forces balanced.
  2. Christlike behavior isn’t demeaning. Christlike behavior isn’t unkind. Christlike behavior isn’t self-centered. Christlike behavior isn’t ambitious to the point of isolating a Christian brother or sister for self gain. Christlike behavior is based on the figure of Jesus Christ and how he treated others above himself. If you claim to be a Christian, treat people with respect and don’t be partial. It is a sin to stop speaking with people because of what others may think (or do) to you. We need to be people with principles and character. Thankfully, there is hope against much adversity. In James 1:12, it is written, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
  3. The voices (and sounds) of the people are a trademark of what makes us human and there is no technology that will ever replace that. For some of us who believe in Christianity, our voices are also instruments that we use to glorify God. What are people thinking to believe that technology can replace labor in everything in life including music? I know, you know… we know. It is because of money or should I say greed. This new mindset of cutting human resources at all costs and replacing labor with technology is reaching dangerously absurd levels in American society and to a certain degree — reaching high levels of ridicule and greed.
  4. You are not better than me. We, however, are better than most. I say, “synergy.” A united people can never be divided. Everything you do, do in humility. Honor everyone and love your neighbor. Those who claim to be great, mediocre at best they are. Behaviors speak much louder than any words in this world. All we need to do is to take notes. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. Yesterday? Who cares. I will keep moving forward and thanking all the people who believe in my life mission of goodwill. We are all creatures of habit who enjoy reading tidbits of information to make us a bit smarter by the day. As technology permeates our lives in this new world we live in, not too many people have the time and resources to truly learn useful quotations these days.

Enjoy your Sunday!

I Am, Therefore I Think

I Am, Therefore I Think

Some of my thoughts for this Friday. Hope you like them as much as I do.

Use technology wisely: and if it makes your life better. If technology starts making your life worse, stop using it immediately. Let me illustrate this point — I am a professional photographer who is constantly capturing and editing stills for profit. Modern photography technology helps me tremendously with capturing great shots, editing my photos, storing and selling them. In fact, it helps me considerably, I must add. There is no question about that. I have learned that when I edit photograph for about an hour or so, my eyes and neck start hurting pretty bad. This is precisely why I don’t work in front of the computer for more than 30 minutes at a time. I came to realize that overuse of technology will make your life worse.

A gentleman does not spread rumors, I mean never: Under no circumstances does a gentleman engage in this kind of behavior because he knows that 10/10 times, these rumors cause hardships on others and eventually the other party finds out about the unfortunate event which can haunt them in the future. Only a boor engages in such behaviors. Schmucks love to talk about others behind their backs because they have nothing better to say or anything important to do. A true gentleman doesn’t put himself in the position of being a vermin. When asked to feed a rumor mill, a gentleman says no without remorse.

Read God’s word: Prayer is God’s secret to doing well in life. Don’t forget to pray. Pray daily. Believe, love God, and pray.” “Not everything that feels good or right is in fact good for you in God’s eyes. We need to life a moral life that puts God first and we second.” “God is a gift — pray continuously. The reward is worth the sacrifice. “f you dream and have faith… God will help you to achieve.” “Don’t be jealous of others because God’s people complement them. Be patient because your time of glory will come.” “Life is a miracle. This former fact, in itself, is worth celebrating the mercy and love of God.” “God takes care of His people by putting extraordinary people in their path. He also humbles us to make us different for our own sake.” “Listen carefully: Nobody is perfect in this life, not even you or me. Only God is perfect.

Elitism is alive and well: Elitism happens in America. It’s all that I’m saying. I think that our societal obsession with equality has made many blind to the obvious class favoritism  that we have in this country. To me, elitism is alive and well, even though many deny that it exists in our nation.

Last thoughts: 1) Accidents happen. No matter how cautious we are with our bodies, things happen beyond our control sometimes. I wasn’t negligent hitting my head this time, that’s for sure. 2) Life is short — Do what you love. Man, I got even closer to my wife and kids because of this incident. I went for a photo trip with them and decided to use the trip to rethink our future. Priceless. 3) We are all terminal. Live life to the fullest because time is gift. One day you have time to play with your kids. The next, you hit your head and don’t have time to think about playing with them. It’s life.

Peace.

You Can Call Me Dr. TechnoModeration

You Can Call Me Dr. TechnoModeration

Are you sick of working 60 hours a week, going to a restaurant and constantly seeing folks dining yet texting at the same time at the table? Maybe you believe that resting once in a while without being ostracized for being human by others is a normal activity? I certainly believe that. By the way, you can believe that too.

We are living in a very stressful world and frankly, I feel that the main reason we are so stressed out is because of being exposed to a ridiculously amount of technology every day, all day long. Have you thought to yourself, “Why are we doing this to ourselves?” “Is technology use all that important?” 

What is crazy about this whole conversation, to me at least, is that extreme uses of technology can in fact be quite detrimental to you and me yet we are celebrating its uncontrolled advancements if there isn’t a tomorrow. Do you now that unplugging from the machine can reduce feelings of jealousy? Do you now that 1 in 3 people feel worse by going to Facebook? What if I told you that most people probably go to social media when they are sad or bored?

What the heck is going on! Are we going mad? No, maybe we just don’t realize that technology is perhaps controlling our lives and turning us into technology itself! We must TechnoModerate. I am Mister TechnoModeration.

I feel pretty proud to say this publicly.

If you are from the position that technology should be used in moderation in society… Join the team, pay attention, investigate and disconnect once in a while. Get in touch with me! I would love to hear from you.

Why lose your life for the sake of technology, I say? It ain’t worth it, that’s for sure. Thoughts?

The Real Meaning Of Friendships — Not Facebook Friendships

The Real  Meaning Of  Friendships — Not Facebook  Friendships

What is a friend to you? Is it a person in which you can chat, share your concerns with, bounce ideas… A person who is going to be there no matter what. A person who you know will tell you the truth no matter if you are wealthy, poor, in control or wondering in life or trying to figure it out what you want to do? A friend is much more than a Facebook friend, don’t you think? A Facebook friend many times is a number. True friends are not numbers; they are just your friend.

Let me ask you this… Did you accept people you don’t know to be your friend on Facebook lately? Maybe on Instagram? Twitter? Tumbler? Let me ask you a better question — Did you clean your Facebook lately after doing a critical analysis of your “friendships” in cyberspace? My guess is that you probably did the first and didn’t do the second.

Well, I did the second about one year ago. I went back to my Facebook accounts (plural) and cleaned the crap out of folks who didn’t belong in there. The reason? Because they were not my friends. They were a number not a true friend. They were Facebook friends. A true friend, as least to me, is somebody I have some affinity with. As I wrote previously, a friend is a person in which I can chat, share my concerns with, bounce ideas… A person who is going to be there no matter what. If they don’t have these qualities… Maybe they shouldn’t be in my Facebook friends list no matter what the computer says.

I personally don’t get offended and frankly don’t care if my Facebook friends like my postings or not or put comments in my wall. A true friend has reasons to comment, be indifferent or simply be silent for reasons I don’t need to know. Not everything I post should be liked or have a comment by a friend just because it was shared in social media! What I am saying is that likes and comments don’t always equal friendships!  But in the American technopoly, likes and comments are “king,” as social media algorithms take into account “interaction” as a variable in calculating your influence on-line. How fake!

Clicking the like button or putting a comment down in one’s wall can have more connotations than simply linking what you posted or commenting on a great idea. Most human beings don’t really operate that logically. The illogical plays a large role in this whole process of internet communication. Look for trends. If “Facebook friend” John Jones is constantly praising you for your efforts in a genuine way — Premium him. If he is trying to gain something from you, you will know it. If you have a foe among your “friends,” unfriend him. It isn’t worth having the numbers if in the end, they are really not your friend. I’ver learned this the hard way. 

Remember that.

Technology Is Making Us Dumber

Technology Is Making  Us Dumber

It is making us dumber, yes, because it is conditioning us to use all these technology without reflecting on why we are using these tools resulting in the idea that we don’t really need to process all this content because it is accessible somewhere on-line. At least, this is what I think.

Some of us who hold a PhD in Instructional Systems Technology, where we are academically trained to implement computer technology and strategies for classroom delivery, have noticed that technology sometimes does more damage than good to learning. I can say with authority that implementing all these technologies in schools without doing a 360 degree assessment of the students and their life circumstances is simply irresponsible and can make them dumber, from the standpoint of Crystallized IQ.

Students will rarely choose to pay attention in class if they are given the opportunity to use technology freely.  They will simply go elsewhere on-line. Why? Well, because they are young and youngsters for the most part want to party and get their bodies in shape or have their persona being popular among their peers in order to increase their local and regional Q-Ratio. It is no surprising that students come to class (often late) and even after arriving in class, they start texting their friends as if they were still in their dorm rooms. Maintaining all these social media accounts takes time! They are “busy” doing precisely that! Folks, students are trying to post things on twitter to advance their own brands or going to Tumbler to speak with their friends in order to be cool! Do you think that using all these technology in the classroom will change that? Of course not.

Who are we trying to fool here? Let’s get real — When you were 19, did you prefer to do school work or to party? Did you prefer to get in shape and look good at 20 or do homework for your history 103 course? I am not anti-technology. Of course!

I am for truth and against error. 🙂

With very few exceptions, young adults would rather play than study regardless of the tools they are giving in class. When I was their age, I did the same thing. Didn’t you? Why is technology going to make it different somehow? It won’t be different, I don’t think. I honestly think that technology is dumbing us down and we are allowing this to happen with the believe that technology can solve every problem in our society. Technique will never solve all of our problems. The former, in fact, is a typical belief of citizens of a technopoly.

Lack of information processing through practice is in fact making us dumber as students perceive that the internalization of factual knowledge and principles for problem solving to be secondary to one’s abilities to find information on a search engine. Although the former is an important method of solving problems, the over reliance on such methods is dangerous and to a degree quite childish.

Can you imagine going to a physician and having him or her tell you back, “Oh… you have a headache? Let me check on google and see what is wrong with you.”

What I have seen in my career as a college professor is that no matter how much technology we adopt in the classroom… Students will always chose the easier route to get the “A” grade without wanting to do the work and enjoying all the technology we give them to update and advance their own images on-line. Technology is a distraction for them, for the most part. 

\Some argue that by engaging students with technology, the former argument is reduced. Obviously, these folks are either not teaching the millennial generation regularly or have other reasons for implementing all these technology in our classrooms.

Do you want to teach your kid to be a superstar? Make sure your kid understands that it is only through TechnoModeration that he/she will win in life overtime. The secret to success is having the ability to solve problems with technological tools and having the ability to internalize information along with it. A blank slate full of technology is like being a poet with a tablet without words.

We Live In A Society Driven By Technology

We Live In A Society Driven By Technology

We live in a society driven by technology. We see technology being used in churches, education, medicine, music, in banks, you name it. There is no question that people benefit from advancements in technology, including me. However, why are we so shy to talk about the flip side of technology? I tell you this, ladies and gentleman. The side effects of technology are many! We find the other side of technology when analyzing unemployment due to automation, the real cost of creating a successful social media campaign, or the unknown side effects of virtual reality systems. Churches are struggling to attract millennials and when we see them there, they are often texting. There are industries being pushed out of business due to what I like to call, “TechMania.” What a tragedy!

Artificial intelligence is a reality now. Fedora, the Russian robot that can shot a gun and drive a car is real. On-line bullying is still a big problem in America. Kids now are committing suicide at record levels. We are experiencing a wave of anxiety among our people to a level that we have never seen. We are now all tech gladiators.

Can you believe that kids these days are starting to have a difficult time reading non-verbal behaviors? Thank goodness we can still build influence off-line. Bots can now help writers like me to create stories for media consumption. Net bias is now a reality in the United States. We have no other way but to pay attention to the extreme views and opinions often generated by technology. This is the world we live in.

Be aware ladies and gents. Questions?

We Are Conditioned To Using Technology

We Are Conditioned To Using Technology

What is the first thing that comes to your mind after looking at the photograph displayed above? Some may say addiction others might simply state silliness but very few would say conditioned as in classical conditioning. There is little doubt that folks are addicted to technological devices today especially if we use the traditional and most accepted definition of addiction which is “An activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work…) as stated in psychology today. What if I told you we are beyond the point of addiction and are in fact conditioned to using these gadgets?

Classical conditioning can be easily understood if we break it down in distinct stages. The first stage is the stage prior to conditioning. In this phase, an unconditioned stimulus produces an unconditioned response. What is the world is that you might be asking! Ok, let me explain it in plain english. Let’s take the example of smartphones which I will define as a computerized device. Here we go — a computerized device (unconditioned stimulus) would produce a response of use (unconditioned response). In this phase, it is all there it to it. It is as simple as that.

After stage one we jump straight to the during conditioning stage. In this stage, the unconditioned stimulus (computerized device) which is neutral or simply understood as not producing any response as of yet starts (phase one) becoming associated with that stimulus and seeing signs of a conditioned stimulus pattern. Let me explain again! In this phase, the computerized device (unconditioned stimulus) might be associated (start showing signs) with use (conditioned stimulus). We start seeing evidence that whenever subjects are given a computerized device, they use it almost without too much thinking.

The last stage is referred to as after conditioning. In this stage, conditioning stimulus has been associated with unconditioned stimulus resulting in something called a conditioned response! What the heck is that! Let me explain — In this state, a subject who has been associated with a computerized device (unconditioned stimulus) now associates him/herself with automatically using that device (conditioned response), making him or her conditioned to using such devices overtime automatically.

Classical Example: As soon as you look at a smartphone… BAM! You use it! This is perhaps why a large number of people wakes up early in the morning, look at their smartphones and immediately start using it before doing anything else — Why? because they are conditioned to using the smartphone! Don’t you think?

Are we addicted to computerized devices? I think so. Are we conditioned to using the smartphone among other computerized devices? It appears evident to me especially from a classical conditioning standpoint.

Academia Can’t Afford TechnoHitlers Or TechnoPhobics Anymore

Academia Can’t Afford TechnoHitlers Or TechnoPhobics Anymore

Academia can’t afford TechnoHitlers and/or TechnoPhobics anymore. As operating budgets are being cut and the need for recruiting and to to give good student treatment increases, so is the need to TechnoModerate. The need to educate students with technology yet maintaining an acceptable level of emphatic communication behavior is indeed a pressing need in 21st century American education.

Professors who are anti-technology and believe that technology shouldn’t be implemented in schools might as well change their careers or simply retire. It would be a disservice to students and a poor allocation of both private and state funds to keep faculty members who are either knowingly incompetent or unwilling to adopt technique in their courses.  We don’t live in 1991 anymore, people. We live in the age where the Pads reign, where learning management systems can and indeed do make our lives easier (as long as they work)… a time in history where students can work at their own pace out of the classroom yet acquiring a college education. The new media revolution is here to stay. Embrace it or you will be left behind.

Wait a minute, TechnoHitlers. This doesn’t mean that we should replace faculty with machines, do whatever is required to make all our courses as technologically advanced as possible at all costs, or discourage anyone to deviate from printing a document on paper. This is unwise as good human communication not only help to recruit students — it is also critical to keep them! Communication is key! Empathy is key! How much technology one needs to use in order to be empathetic, by the way?

One more things technoHitlers… It is a not a good idea to impose technology use on anyone as too much technology can in fact backfire on you and cause eye strain, technostress, and in some causes clinical depression or anxiety. So, let me ask you this — How good is the “Let’s use technology at all costs” if your faculty members now have more medical problems to deal with due to technique?  Isn’t that going to make university’s health insurance higher? Do professors are more productive when they are healthy or sick? You might be saying — Yes but who needs professors if we have technology? Let me answer this question to you publicly. 1) Students. When students are passing though difficult times, they want to speak with an empathetic faculty member. 2) The university. Governance can’t be don without people. 3) Your stakeholders. Without faculty and staff, your town deteriorates. Don’t believe me? Take a look at Flint Michigan. Do you want more? Do you see TechnoHitlers, your extreme ideology is as toxic as the ideology of the TechnoPhobics.   

STOP TechnoPhobics tenured faculty members! Don’t come to me and say, “But hey, I am tenured and I have the academic freedom to do whatever I like in my classroom.” Hmmm… TechnoPhobic, you have all the rights to believe in whatever you like but you won’t work in a department I chair for too long. In fact, I bet you won’t last too long in the profession because in academia, especially these days, we are to do what is best for the students not necessarily what is best for you. Remember, a department without students isn’t a department. Avoiding technology is not only a mistake but a death sentence to any PhD these days. Adopt some or get out.

What is my proposal? As I always say, “Use Technology but in moderation. Be a TechnoModerator!” Embrace technology with reason. Why not use a Content Management System to help teach your classes? Of course this assumes that the tool you are given works. If your organization is having issues with it, create your own system. The former is too good of a technique to be ignored.  Develop tutorials, podcasts perhaps. These are overall good and moderate use of technology in the classroom. Don’t require all students to use everything “technology.” Some students read better on paper. Give them the option to read the course content on paper. Adopt socratic methods to help students to think critically. Ask students to work in groups and solve problems with a paper and pencil in their hands to help them to use group thinking as a means to produce once in a while. Encourage interpersonal communication in class!  Don’t make all the assignments dependent on using technology! Make some but not all. Moderation people. Is it that complicated to understand?

An Alternative To Smartphone Mania

An Alternative To Smartphone Mania

Today, I did what I always do. I used computer technology in moderation and enjoyed life. Was it complicated or difficult to do? Not really. If was quite easy, in fact. The good news is that you can do the same thing, if you wish, as well. You don’t need to be a slave to smartphone technology or anything electronic. What you need to do is to take control of your life and make the machine work for you rather than the opposite. Yeah right! You might be saying. You maybe be even saying, “This is good on paper but how should I do it? ” Let me share with you how. Are you ready? Here we go.

First, you need to change your mindset in regards to technology. Nobody should live life thinking technology is more than what it really is — technique. Believing that technology transcends its definition and application will result in dependency and could eventually result in you loosing control of technique overtime. Human communication is anthroposemiotics, or the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation done by a human being. Some of these signs and symbols can be interpreted by a human being when using emoticons or abbreviated TXT messages via computer mediated communication. I think that the current state of affairs of our society has proven that one can indeed communicate using modern social media platforms. I do it, you do it, and in fact, most people do it. But just because we do it doesn’t mean technology is a panacea to all of our problems.

However, just because we can exchange symbols via a Facebook newsfeed or chatroom with our smartphones doesn’t mean that this kind of communication should replace thousands of years of interpersonal communication evolution within the human species. Interpersonal communication helps the human species to connect emotionally and create relationships. You should engage in as much face-to-face interactions as you do on-line. Why? Because if you don’t, I bet you are going to get very sick — mentally sick.  You and I were not wired to live in isolation. SO, stop thinking that smartphone can fully replace human things well. Technique might replace labor but there will be serious consequences in the living system in which technique exists, if that occurs long term.

Second, use technology wisely and if it makes your life better. If technology starts making your life worse, stop using it immediately. Let me illustrate this point — I am a professional photographer who is constantly capturing and editing stills for profit. Modern photography technology helps me tremendously with capturing great shots, editing my photos, storing and selling them. In fact, it helps me considerably, I must add. There is no question about that. I have learned that when I edit photograph for about an hour or so, my eyes and neck start hurting pretty bad. This is precisely why I don’t work in front of the computer for more than 30 minutes at a time. I came to realize that overuse of technology will make your life worse.

Suggestion: Every 30 minutes of computer/smartphone use, get away from the machine! Go get coffee or chat with someone. Get away from the smartphone on a regular basis.

Lastly, make an effort to get out of the machine and visit the outdoors. There is something magical about going for a walk in the woods, I have to tell you. Just make sure that you don’t use your smartphone during your “outdoor walk” activity as this action would then defy the purpose of going into the woods in the first place. Take this opportunity to think and reflect on your daily life and make the adjustments accordingly.  I bet life will be different for you and your dependency on technology would decrease.

The Upcoming Rise Of TechnoGreed In Music

The Upcoming Rise Of TechnoGreed In Music

There is something magical about listening to a live group of church choir singers accompanied by real musicians playing real instruments on a Sunday morning. Their pitches, voice tones and expressions make the experience of listening to them one that everybody should experience at least once in life, especially if there is a bassist, guitarist and drummer near them. From the deep voices of a bass to the upper range of a soprano… along with talented musicians —  Music performances done by people make the machine “look dumb” against the sounds humans can produce together.

The former isn’t, of course, to say that orchestras shouldn’t use any electronic device to record human noise or amplify music instruments played by musicians. Of course we should use technology to record performances and help the audience to hear the musical abilities of the members of the orchestra. However, replacing choir members or musicians with technology doesn’t make too much sense as talent shouldn’t be replaced with technology. In my opinion, replacing singers/musicians with pre-recorded sounds don’t make too much systemic sense. Yet, there are folks who dare otherwise.

What in the world! Are people going mad? This new mindset of cutting human resources at all costs and replacing labor with technology is reaching dangerously absurd levels in American society and to a certain degree — reaching high levels of ridicule and greed. Let me ask you this, “Can your smartphone replace a talented tenor in a church choir? Of course not but that’s obvious. Are pre-recorded music instruments “being played” by a live orchestra elements of a live performance?

The voices (and sounds) of the people are a trademark of what makes us human and there is no technology that will ever replace that. For some of us who believe in Christianity, our voices are also instruments that we use to glorify God. What are people thinking to believe that technology can replace labor in everything in life including music? I know, you know… we know. It is because of money or should I say greed.

Ladies and gentleman… This is TechnoGreed! Let me define this term for you. TechnoGreed, according to technoModerator Luis is  — Definition: The act of using technology to increase one’s level of greediness in music. I know the former terminology is goofy and probably cheesy but at least you can’t say that I am unoriginal.

It will happen — It is coming… it is so predictable. The upcoming rise of TechnoGreed in music is coming to a city near you. Be ready to pay for seeing technology and clapping to robots. What a shame.

A Few Words I’ve shared With The Harvard Business Review Magazine And Its Readers

A Few Words I’ve shared With The Harvard Business Review Magazine And Its Readers

Here they are… Plain and to the point.

HBR Article

Harvard Business Review Stated: It is both a moral and economic imperative for companies to implement education programs to help safeguard the future labor force.

Dr. A Replied: HBR, I love your magazine and rarely disagree with you. Let me disagree with you on this one, if I may. Agreed! Automation will take away a lot of jobs in the near future. However, the responsibility for retooling lies in the hands of the workers themselves not the organizations. It is unwise, in my opinion, for any worker living in 2019 to wait on any corporate body to provide them with professional development opportunities in the age of YouTube, Edx… There is so much output on the market right now that workers can literally choose what and where they want to learn, often free of charge. I happened to have retooled on data science and analytics lately on my own. Of course! It’s the present. HBR, I won’t wait on any organization to provide training for me in any area. I read heavily and I’m always on the quest to learning something new and relevant.

HBR Article 

Harvard Business Review Stated: Failure hurts. But new research shows that it can sometimes lead to more impactful work.

Dr. A Replied: I fail, I get up… I fail, I get up… I fail, I win, I fail… I win… I fail less and win more. We all fail… Not everybody learns from their failures, though. Big opportunities come out of massive failures.

HBR Article

Harvard Business Review Stated: Boomers aren’t the only ones with skills gaps today. Younger workers also need to work to figure out which skills their career paths will demand.

Dr. A Replied: Great article. Things change, fast. It’s been 11 years since I graduated from Penn State with a doctorate degree unrelated to the field of business. 170 business books later, countless articles read from your magazine, many hours of YouTube learning and podcasts listened on the topic of marketing, too many conversations with industry leaders and my own master mind business group… Yesterday, I’ve learn a skill that will make our family a lot of money, finally. Students have to be obsessed with learning in order to figure it out themselves which skillsets they need to learn in order to help their careers. Students are different… It’s not a one-size-fits all quest, you know? The process is slow. It won’t happen fast but they must keep the course in order to learn the skill sets they need in life.

HBR Article

Harvard Business Review Stated: Skills like critical thinking are consistently valuable to employers — and still difficult for machines.

Dr. A Replied: Yes, of course. Critical thinking is valuable to any employer today as it was before… Our jobs will be automated, sooner or later unfortunately. Why? The globe should investigate what is happening in Shenzhen, China in order to see what will be the future of human business. Stores with no attendants, people not carrying a wallet… people using WeChat for transactions… an unprecedented push for innovation not seen in human kind history. Thinking about what machines can’t do is dangerous… Remember: We are in 2019. How are machines going to look like in 2034? Think about it.

HBR Article

Harvard Business Review Stated: Only 24% of the CEOs in this study had MBAs.

Dr. A Replied: Fact: Inheriting big messes call for strong leadership which can lead to presidency. “Everybody can hold the whelm when the seas are calm.” Syrus.

The Systemic Impacts Of Automation

The Systemic Impacts Of Automation

Let me ask you an elementary question — What will happen to our country’s infrastructure if we uncontrollably automate our macro systems and ignore our local needs, including our need to hire human beings so they can pay taxes and fix the roads especially here in the city of Jackson, Mississippi. A horrible thing will happen, right? Nothing! And nothing results in more lead in our water systems, more violence in our neighborhoods, drug problems, just to name a few.

Why are folks celebrating this uncontrolled automation at all costs ideology? Why are we cheering for the takeover by robots and artificial intelligence against us? What is so great about having families loosing jobs and being hungry because of technology? Hey you there who is celebrating this whole technology takeover!!! Do you think that robots will put food in your dinner table at night? One thing I do agree — Automated technologies will deliver food to you in the very near future but they won’t be able to pay you a salary. By the way, robots won’t pay taxes. Good luck paying for your public education.

If you think that the city of Jackson in Mississippi is full of holes, wait until the robots take over. The city will be a swiss cheese type of place… It will smell and be full of holes. As soon as that occurs, the people in the city will scream!!! Take these robots out of here! Bring what we have! We need jobs not more automation! Man, I am sounding like a luddite when I am really trying to just simply call for techno moderation. Here is what I really think…

It is impossible to adopt what I call replacing technologies, which I define as technology that replaces people, and and not have a significant systemic impact in the overall infrastructure of a town, small city, metropolis or a megalopolis. The systemic impacts of uncontrolled automation will make your life worse, hands down. How good is automation if it makes our lives worse? It isn’t! Why in the world are we so celebratory about implementing technologies that will make us suffer? You tell me.

Look, it will be a bad day in your neighborhood if you don’t have filtered water and energy. Right now, only Flint Michigan is showing its unintended consequences of automation or should I say the lack thereof and ho it impacted their water system. Automation is fickle, folks. Once they find a cheaper place that accepts their robots for cheaper, they will leave your city faster than a cheetah making your local economy screaming on its knees.  So your city then loses twice. First? Automation takes jobs away. 2) Once the jobs are gone, so is its economy.

Think twice before vowing for uncontrolled automation near you. Who knows, you might be the next unemployed poor human out there screaming for a place to contribute your talents to.

Technology As A Cheating Tool

Technology As A Cheating Tool

Let me share something with you that you probably already know. Our school system isn’t in alignment with the needs and demands of the 21st century, for the most part. We tend to solve problems today using technology as a cheating tool. The old (yet still important) model of asking students to memorize content in order to develop a higher crystallized IQ and demonstrate evidence of internal storage overtime is quickly being replaced in society with fluid IQ activities of acquiring content from the environment and using this content to solve problems without having to internalize the knowledge subjects found externally. No wonder why sites like youtube, google, and even Facebook are now being used as tools of problem solving. Are you going to these sites to find answers to your questions? I bet you are. By the way, there is nothing wrong with doing that, as long as some of the “old” stuff isn’t totally replaced by superfluous techniques.

So, yes — I have to agree that teaching college courses adopting computer technology serving as scaffolding and assisting students to work in their zone of proximal development is appropriate and necessary in the new age of information. We are just too ingrained with techniques and technological procedures in our so called American Technopoly to simply go back 100 years and ignore the wonderful advancements we had in technology. So in a way, technology is doing some good. I have to admit that. One could argue that technology however is serving as a cheating tool for the new generation which in itself assists to increase the new generation’s fluid IQ levels at the expense of its big crystallized IQ brother. The former is a shame in my opinion yet it is real.

Do I agree with such tradeoff? Not totally. Why? Because our dependence on technology can in fact hunt us later on when we need internal storage in order to solve unplanned and unexpected problems or stressful situations that transcend the use of iPads, smartphones or a microchip. Am I anti-technology? Of course not. However, constantly relying on technology as a cheating tool can indeed backfire in moments when you need it the most. Did you remember the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina? How did the citizens of New Orleans and Biloxi Mississippi communicated with each other? C.B. Radios.

Folks, put your smartphone aside for a few minutes and think about what would happen to your brain’s internal capacity if you were to be constantly solving problems with technology without having to consult your physiological internal hard-drive? Don’t do it! This is a mistake. Just because technology can be used as a cheating tool doesn’t mean that you need to cheat yourself in the process. This is perhaps why school systems should not totally give up “analog” processes and procedures completely. They still have value in the world.

The reality is that unfortunately, life throw curve balls on us when we are prepared the least. Thinking on your feet with internal knowledge can, in some circumstances, be the difference between living or dyeing in some situations especially when technology isn’t available. This is why developing Crystallized IQ is still so critical and relevant today and it should still be insisted in schools. It personally think that technology help pupils with processing quite complex content more efficiently but totally relying on cheating technology can be deadly. This is why I say, “TechnoModeration is key,” especially in education.

Hippocampus First GPS Second

Hippocampus First  GPS Second

GPS technology is, for the most part, a great tool that we can use in order to find unknown locations in our distant neighborhood or when going out of state to a friend’s or family member’s house for Christmas, thanksgiving, or spring break. There is little doubt that global positioning system technology helps us to find the unknown when we are at the mercy of our own understanding of the environment we are in a more efficiently manner than an old map. It is hard to argue against this undeniable fact.

From this position, GPS technology can serve us quite well. GPS technology should’t be used to guide us to go to the supermarket across the street, the health club across town, or that restaurant we go often in our neighborhoods at the end of the county or to go to work. My reasons are many but they can be mostly summarized in two: Physiological and technological.

The most obvious reason for why we should be careful about using GPS technology to help us to maneuver locally is because of the impact that this technology can can have in our hippocampus functions overtime. The hippocampus  is the organ in our brain that regulates our spacial navigation and memory — long term memory. In order to maneuver through life long term, we are going to need the functions of our Hippocampus to be working at its age capacity. This small but important organ located in the brain’s medial temporal lobe is an important part of our body’s limbic system. It’s connections with our emotions and memories are also at the core of its existence. Therefore, gambling losing important physiological functions of this small but important part of our body for the sake of technology seems irrational and to a degree irresponsible — yet millions of Americans today are dependent on GPS technology to maneuver themselves starting at an early age now. Big mistake, in my opinion.

The least obvious reason for why we should be careful about global positioning systems is ironically technological. Did you notice that sometimes GPS devices provide inefficient routes? Did you also notice that the recommended GPS path to a familiar destination reached before changes quite often every time we ask for the directions again? If you haven’t noticed that, pay close attention to it next time and you will realize that perhaps… GPS technology doesn’t want you to get smart about your surroundings. The question then becomes why! Well, this is rhetorical question in my opinion. Could it be that GPS technology was programmed by someone who is more interested in making a profit on your dumbness than to make you more oriented about your surroundings? GPS systems wouldn’t be sold well if you knew where to go! Think about it.

When I moved my family down South to work at Jackson State University,  I used GPS technology for two weeks in order to find myself around town. The device took me through three different routes every week in order to reach my destination, which drove me completely crazy. All that I wanted was one reliable route to reach my destination. Well, that didn’t happened. It took me a day to write down directions and memorize the path the old school way. Go figure. What is wrong with that method by the way? Nothing wrong.

The Amazon Junction… Shop Local Too

The Amazon Junction… Shop Local Too

Brick and mortar stores are floundering. Badly. Whether it’s a lack of adaptation to change or poor customer service, they are struggling. Let’s be reasonable. Not every store you see is red-lining or looking for government bailouts; however, an unprecedented number of stores are closing. Sears, (don’t panic, as far as I know, Indiana’s isn’t closing), is closing 300 stores, 128 Gamestop stores, 70 Coach stores are also closing, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Just because a company closes a brick and mortar store doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get their product. Companies are investing heavily in the online marketplace. Those online sales have an impact on our local and state taxes.

Think about this, Pennsylvania imposes a use tax to try and make up the deficit left by online sales. This particular tax is a self assessed tax on buyers of items bought out of state. So, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is struggling to collect the sales tax it needs to have a balanced budget.

What does all this mean? It means there are less jobs. It means less revenue for the building owners. It means less local taxes being collected from wages and sales. It means on an average a loss of about 30 jobs per closed store, depending on store size. It means a potential long-term financial hit to Indiana county or any county in the USA.

Indiana seems to be growing quite well by comparison. We just got a Super Shoe, a Salvation Army Thrift Store, a few new small businesses downtown and new stores and restaurants are on the way. This is great news that should be celebrated but what happens if you stop supporting these local businesses and start shopping primarily online?

The side effects of online stores have real life implications that can’t be ignored. I choose Indiana, PA over the mighty world wide web when I used to live there. To me at least, our local businesses create an integral framework that are the building blocks of this community. No one can live on Main St at World Wide Web, USA. Sterling Hills will never be located at Amazon Junction.  

I’m not saying you should never shop online that’s unrealistic. We as a community need to remember that there are implications to making purchases over the internet. You need to support your neighbors, your friends, your local business owners, large and small.

Shopping is inevitable. Online is convenient. Shopping local is necessary. As I always say, “Use technology [shop online] but in moderation.”

Without A Tax Base: There Will Be More Pot Holes

Without A Tax Base: There Will Be More Pot Holes

Today, I had a flat tire. Shortly after discovering this fact, I went back to my house and immediately called my car’s dealership service department to help me fix the problem. Fortunately, they were already operating and accepting appointments for the day. All of the sudden, my wife stops by and asks, “Luis, don’t you have to work today?” I replied, “Yep! But my passenger’s tire is flat.” She immediately says, “Oh yes. This is a normal occurrence here in metro Jackson area. A lot of folks complain about tire problems because of the city holes.” As soon as she finished describing people’s concerns, I knew I had to write a blog post about it.

Technology is everywhere even though this same technology (or should I say lack thereof after companies decide to leave the region after a while and take their technology with them) is a variable for why I might have had a flat tire this morning. Metro Jackson Area is dire for tax monies and one of the main reasons for this fact is because its industrial park isn’t strong enough to generate enough funds in tax dollars to pay for the fixing of pot holes all across the city. One of the possible reasons why is because companies don’t like to pay their fair share of taxes to the city of Jackson, based on the argument that, We are making our city more technological, your people are getting jobs, why should we pay our fair share of taxes?” If you are not happy with our terms, these companies say, we are going to leave you and move somewhere in Kentucky or Texas and take our technology away.

The other reason is because advances in technology have decreased the need for companies to hire more employees which in effect has an impact in the overall accumulation of taxes paid to the state to fix our roads here in downtown Jackson. Am I saying that technology is part of the reason why the city if Jackson is full of pot holes? This is exactly what I am saying loud and clear. Look, this isn’t difficult to understand. The less jobs a metro area has to offer its citizens, the less tax monies the city gets overtime. The more replacing technology is infused in society, the less likely companies will hire human technology to be able to pay for the overall infrastructure of a city. In the current employment landscape of the United States, where companies get too many tax incentives because of their technology, problems like flat tires will continue to occur and many others.

Every time we infuse a new part to an existing system (like technology), repercussions will occur. In reality, technology isn’t the only variable that affects a living system. There are others… The problem is that a substantial number of people don’t think that technology really have these consequences on us.  Well, this is why I write and talk about TechnoModeration in society.        

Let me say this again. I like technology, I really do. Thinking that technology will make our lives better at all costs without thinking critically about its consequences it has on us all is dangerous, in my opinion. Because of modern industries adopted so much technology, cities now don’t have enough of a job base to support the overall infrastructure of our cities, Jackson (Detroit, Flint…) included. Is it a good thing? I don’t think so. It is 9:11am and I am here… in my car’s dealership still waiting for my tire to be fixed. I would love to have been at work producing but hey… I do recognize that my problems are minimal in comparison to the water that folks have to drink in Michigan.

By now you already know what I am about to say, “Use technology in moderation!” Let me ask you to also THINK with technology in moderation. Let’s think about the overall consequences of infusing too much technology in society. Which side effects will uncontrolled technology infusion have on us if we don’t control it a bit? More flat tires? You tell me.

The Side Effects Of E-Skin

The Side Effects Of E-Skin

The research currently being conducted by Takao Someya, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Tokyo, is fascinating. The idea of creating a cyber glove is certainly cool and I worth an article on CNN showing its application and use in our society. Ultra-thin film, patches and sensors are just a few technologies included in his prototype “e-skin.”  I have some concerns about the technology infrastructure, though.

My main concern with all this kind of innovation, is that the skin, our real skin, needs to breathe. Don’t you agree? If you have a constant covering over it, the skin will get sores or start to rot like gangrene. Are they wanting to be like a patch or a total skin covering? This questions must be answered prior to Dr. Someya’s team move towards bet testing and eventually implement video clips in this story.

My other concern is how does the technology get it’s power? Is it getting power from the wear-er? Is it solar? Do you have to plug it in? Different forms of power can have different kinds of reactions to a body and sometimes they can be too risky. I can only imagine folks trying to use the e-skin, plugging into the wall jacket and being electrocuted. It probably won’t happen but hey… it is a possibility.

Another question —  How does the data transmit? Does it interfere with the body’s nervous system, as it is an electrical conduit? These important details presented in the article are not a part of the overall article but maybe they should. How great is this idea if we cannot judge its real impact on children and adults? It seems like a waste of time, don’t you think?

Is it going to give too much info and stress people out or overload doctor’s with unnecessary info. Will it be more like trying to figure out your symptoms from the internet or will it be more like visiting a physician? These are real and important questions to answer in the current landscape of the school system. I decided to take a lead and get some answers.

You know what I think? This e-skin sounds promising in that it could catch many diseases, illnesses or other ailments early but just like the e-skin is super thin so too is the blade on which this technology stands, more a double edged sword than a knight in shining armor.

Foreign Techniques Welcome — Always In Moderation

Foreign Techniques Welcome — Always In Moderation

Lack of technology can be devastating. Every time a small town decides to isolate themselves by ignoring the benefits of innovation for the sake of tradition — poverty, drug use, crime, and violence often follows right after.  There is just no other way to put it. The photograph you are seeing above is just a tiny example of what happens to a city when a community says no to technology (technique) overtime. Dinosaur communities make for great photo scenes but when it comes to wealth… they often come last if they finish.

Be sure to pay attention to the new technological trends of the new market and how these trends can be applicable in your town. It will be a big mistake to believe that one can live a good life without technology in the current state of affairs of the United States. Avoiding innovation in a highly technological world, even if these innovations come from systems overseas, is like trying to play golf against Phil Mickelson with wood clubs and no tees. Can you imagine the outcome of such endeavor? It wouldn’t be beautiful, thats for sure.

Be welcoming of new technologies provided by new people in your communities because these individuals have to think differently in order to earn a dollar to feed their families. When someone is hungry for food, they are often hungry for success as the former is the only way they can survive. What if they bring a new technology that you don’t know about? What if their techniques can help you to succeed and help feed your family?

Immigrants often bring technologies (techniques) that you can use to make your life better.  This is how the United States became the superpower it is today. I am not saying that we should allow every immigrant come to this country illegally for the sake of innovation or anything along those lines. I believe in the real path to the American dream — A legal path to citizenship with reason which include allowing immigrants to actually come to this country. It is worth talking about the techniques that immigrants brought with them overtime as an example of historical innovation success done by foreign nationals.

Think about the food industry for example. The Polish taught us about pierogi and how they can be cooked to perfection. Italians brought with them not just their Italian cuisine but more importantly their techniques on how to make their product the way they are. The Germans brought with them a system to make German sausage with a degree of precision and discipline. Today, a large number of Americans eat pierogi, Italian food, and sausage.  A number of communities sell these products and profit from. The consequence? The sale of these products generate American taxes dollars which are then used to sustain the various infrastructures of our communities all across the United States.

Foreign technologies, when used in moderation, are always welcome! See? There is much to learn from foreign national’s technological processes. In my view, we should continue learning from foreign processes in moderation. Be accepting of immigrants who want to contribute and hungry for success. Dinosaur community leaders, read this article and take notes! Your job is to help not damage your communities… You never know, foreign national technologies might be the ones that will hire and help your family to achieve and prosper in the future. Be kind to them.

Techno Moderation Releases Frazzle

Techno Moderation Releases Frazzle

If you decide to work like a maniac, or is being asked to work 70 hours a week without rest and make absurd deadlines with little resources, you will undeniably, sooner or later, break down. There is just no way that the human brain can handle this unhealthy combination of circumstances without resulting in Frazzle which is a fancy name for being in the state of constant stress, completely exhausted. The consequence? You work less not more because one just can’t physiologically focus on the task at hand as well, even when using technology.

So why are we still celebrating that folks work 70 hours a week and premium them for their robotic and unhealthy work behaviors? Well, this is because human beings today are robotic in nature and are in fact in the midst of what I call the human robot syndrome, a condition developed by the excessive exposure and frequency of computer use. This is my primary answer. The other reason is because we have created what I call the “Super Hero” effect which premiums this ridiculous idea that more hours at work equals being a better employee.

If you work 70 hours a week, stop! Nobody should be working like that. If you hear from your employer that if you don’t work like a maniac every day you are a poor employee — Look for another job. If all the jobs you get require that you behave in such manner, change your career. Your health is worth much more than the income you bring in from working like a mad man. Don’t be emotional about it, be logical. Don’t let your emotions control you. It is more important to be attentive than to be emotional, sometimes.  In fact, Daniel Goleman once said, Emotions take over attention.” 

Performance decreases whenever a subject reaches low or ultra high levels of brain activity. Too much cortisol or too much adrenaline is in fact detrimental to performance. Moderation in brain activity is key for peak performance. Perhaps, TechnoModeration in your daily life can help you reach the peak of your career!

Be smart, work hard but with reason. Get away from the machine once in a while to release frazzle, meaning stress. In the end, I bet you will be much more productive. Ensuring that you take breaks once in a while and get away from that computer screen that hunts your life so much in the modern era of technology, can do you good. Be rebellious! Be different! Be human.

Technology Taking Over Your Life

Technology Taking Over Your Life

“Computers are supposed to make our lives better,” I once said.

That’s when I believed computer technology could enhance our lives more than not. I am starting to believe that it is in fact the other way around. What if I told you that we are reaching a level of computer use in our society that just won’t allow us to live a good life?

No healthy human being is capable of memorizing 15 different complex user account passwords and manage thousands of media files (photos and videos) without experiencing some form of anxiety over the possibility of losing important personal and/or professional data, or afford losing direct contact with “the cloud” in this day and age. How would you feel if you lost the hundreds of photos and videos you took of your child last week? I would be upset.

I don’t know about you but I have an actual book with my account passwords written down in a secure location to reduce my personal computer information overload. The reality is that we are being asked to be 24/7 data processing machines while at work, when at home, and often during our vacations.

How can living with constant technology overload fit the definition of a “good life”? There was a time when we could choose to block computer technology overuse without resulting in us being socially/professionally handicapped. Well, I am convinced that we are way past that point.

Can you imagine yourself not using a smartphone or somehow not being connected beyond 5 p.m. in order to complete your work or update the dozens of social media accounts you have? I try, but in practice, I can’t.

All that I can do, in fact, is to regulate how much I use technology. As I always say, “Use technology but in moderation.” Literally.

Look, I know there are some folks here in Bradley County who really don’t understand why I am writing this article. They are probably users of twitter, Instagram, GPS technology, flickr, Facebook or even Tumblr. They are also the folks who can’t see that technology is controlling their lives.

We mortals living with the current realities of the workforce, in the age of the cloud and the ever-changing age of computer technology, can probably understand my reasons. The “good life,” I am starting to believe, will be based on the analog luxuries we once had. It will be based on the moments when we shy away from technology and embrace our inner humanity.

Technology in moderation is key to a good life, I am convinced.

Fight The Computer Face

Fight The Computer Face

“Everything in moderation,” I was once told. I am not sure about that. I would rather state, “Almost everything in moderation.” In my book, computers are to be used in moderation. Why? Well, because if we use computers excessively, it might give us a “computer face” and make us ugly. I don’t want to be ugly because of technology, do you?

According to Dr. Michael Prager, heavy computer users develop turkey necks, saggy jowls and deep-set wrinkles on their forehead and often around their eyes. Spending long hours in front of the computer can actually affect your beauty. Dr. Prager goes further to state that computer concentration and grumpy faces can actually make you older and uglier overtime. Can you imagine what our population will look like after two decades of uncontrolled computer use?

I can. Our beautiful population will just be plain ugly unless we stop our obsession with social media and extended computer use. I am pessimistic because we now can even buy computer watches to keep us more connected and therefore uglier. Would you like to sacrifice your beauty for the sake of technology? I really don’t.

Heavy computer exposure is affecting your looks, according to the Cosmopolitan. No wonder, especially because of the large amounts of bacteria that modern computer technology devices carry. A recent study indicated that our phones are dirtier than a public toilet and that if the device is near our skin, we are more prone to outbreaks.

And, it isn’t just bacteria that is making us sicker. Artificial computer light is also contributing to the epidemic of insomnia, which contributes to dark circles, which suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, making us uglier. At least, this is what was stated at the Career Addict blog.  I believe it, especially after using the computer for hours, prior to going to sleep. How can we get a good night of sleep by being connected prior to going to bed? 

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be uglier and sicker. I enjoy using the computer in moderation, looking my age, along with the prospects of living in good health. Just because technology is available and is good doesn’t mean we should consume without control. Even water, if drunk in excess, can make us sick and possibly ugly!

I once stated that the “Societies of the future will be based on the ideas of the past.” Perhaps, not having multiple computer devices per household could actually do us some good. “Almost everything in moderation,” I say. Reduce your technology time exposure, fight the “computer face,” and take charge of your life by living in moderation.    

The Mighty Smartphone…

The Mighty Smartphone…

There was a time in our society where we embraced the floppy disc, 64 gigabytes of hard-drive space, digital cameras, and the laptop.  Be prepared to say goodbye [if you haven’t already done so] to the former along with your regular keyboard, mouse, dvd players, and other dinosaur technology that is or will be soon, extinct.   

The mighty iPhone and the Android have hundreds of high quality media development applications available for free or at a low cost. Smartphone technology users now have access to highly sophisticated digital camera and camcorder apps, a wide variety of film filters, special effects, logo design and audio production tools. You can even create video games with your smartphone these days!

Let’s took at two game changers — smartphone detach lenses and the square. There was a time when our only option to taking top quality photographs was to spend a minimum of $400-500 on a DSLR body camera along with additional macro, telephoto, and wide-angle lenses. It wasn’t unusual for photographers to spend between $200 to $2000 dollars (if not more) in photo lenses alone in addition to the initial investment of nearly $500 bucks, and we haven’t even talked about tripods and external flashes!

What if I told you that today, you could buy four detach lenses for your smartphone for less than $200 and also buy quality smartphone tripods for a fraction of the price of top regular tripods? What if I told you that you can now buy a great camera app that simulates a DSLR for $2.99? I suspect that within two to three years, the DSLR will be extinct with amateur photographers. Some professionals may even question the benefits of their DSLR over the assets of the new smartphone technologies. Traditional digital photography technology is just too expensive when compared to the mighty smartphone. My opinion? Traditional digital photography technology will decline and eventually die. It is like a dinosaur straining to breathe in a flood.

The square is a wonderful tool that has changed the game of credit payments. Not so long ago, credit services included equipment rental, in-house internet service, bank charges and credit fees. Small businesses were suffering with the lack of payment options for their clients but not anymore. The square has revolutionized the credit payment world, a smartphone, free app and a square reader is all you need. Technology is changing the face of the world.

Even though, technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, don’t forget that we are always human. As I always say, “The overuse of technology has the capacity to distract you from important daily routines including exercising, family time, and church attendance. Use them in moderation!”   

Fast, Quick, Now… “I want the information now” mentality isn’t a healthy practice as time is a variable for success.

Fast, Quick, Now… “I want the information now” mentality isn’t a healthy practice as time is a variable for success.

If you type the phrase, “Get Rich Fast” on google.com, hundreds of millions of results will appear in 0.27 seconds. Sample topics include “9 ways to get richer quicker,” “How I became rich before 30,” or “Getting rich quickly.” Although the getting rich scheme isn’t a new concept, the internet seems to be the medium of choice to spread the get rich quick agenda. However, it distorts important work ethic values long ingrained in American culture – Hard work, time and effort.

Millenniums (and non-millenniums), perhaps because of heavy exposure and frequency of computer use, seem to be forgetting that technology doesn’t bring success… Hard work, time and sweat do. We even romanticized this notion in our culture with the idiom, “No pain, no gain!” Success isn’t achieved overnight despite what popular culture might believe. The internet is a great tool of discovery and should be used these days. The technological instant gratification propaganda, however, can do more damage than good.

The “I want the information now” mentality isn’t a healthy practice as time is a variable for success. Just because you might hear that a process can be attained quickly on-line doesn’t mean it would or is best. The dynamics of book and on-line reading is a great example to illustrate the former. When a person is reading a book, the brain works antagonistically to its nature requiring humans to make sense of unfamiliar stimuli through practice. The understanding process is unnatural, harder and takes longer. When we read on-line content, we scan material in a more natural way, as our brains seem to process scanning content more naturally. It is easier, quicker and faster.

We need to move beyond the instant gratification mode found in the age of technology. The “Fast, Quick, and Now” mentality might be financially costly in the long run. Why? Because we live in a society driven by expertise. Quality and success takes time and effort. In a competitive world driven by results, we can’t compromise the former for the sake of technology.

Rome wasn’t made in a day either despite the support you might find on-line somewhere. No wonder why a large number of students want to graduate college Summa Cum Laude, in two years, doing minimal work. “No pain, no gain!” Just because problems can be solved quicker on-line doesn’t mean they are real, safe, of any quality, or a good investment of your time and resources. Let’s go back to basics and reevaluate our values against technology. Technology is a good and a required commodity when used wisely and in moderation. It isn’t anything else other than that. Hard work, time and effort first… technology second.

Technology Is Stealing Jobs

Technology Is Stealing Jobs

In our society, we are conditioned to celebrate technological advancements almost blindly. A large number of Americans have celebrated technologies that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of agriculture, automobile production and maintenance, household goods and medicine. From the standpoint of “making things function quicker and more accurately,” technology has revolutionized and will keep revolutionizing the way of how we live and do business in this country. How can anybody deny that we drive safer, more efficient and more comfortable cars today than back in the 1940’s? Don’t we enjoy the many technological advancements that we have seen in the field of medicine? Thank God for antibiotics! Having the ability to share photos with relatives through social media 24/7 is pretty sweet, isn’t it?

But what if I told you that most (if not all) technological advancements have a life changing flip side to them. When we talk aspirin, we can bleed internally. Modern farm equipment has contributed to increases in environmental pollution leading to more allergens. The automobile has created “traffic” and is a major contributor of accidents — America’s 4th leading cause of death. The television, smartphone and video games can be quite addictive, can’t they? Addictions can be lethal. 

We are now celebrating automation and robots, or shall we say robotics, as if we should absolutely support everything they have to offer. We talk a lot about drones these days, don’t we? Look, I can see the immediate financial benefits of automation especially in the fast food industry — replacing waiters and cashiers with touch screen kiosks will save any fast food restaurant a large sum in operational costs. Perhaps, fast food restaurant owners will eventually use robots in order to help with hygiene as investing in machines will require less employees, consequently leading to lower levels of food contaminants. It is likely that we are going to see a mass adoption of robots automating production of fast food restaurants and warehouses in the near future due to the reasons presented above. In fact, robotic automation is already happening to a degree. What are the consequences of the former, though?

I wish that we could look at automation and adoption of robotics in isolation from society. The problem is that we just cannot. If we decide to celebrate technology to a point of mass adopting warehouse automation systems, at the expense of its labor force for example, the side effects we are going to feel in our society may be too drastic and irreversible. If you are what I like to call a “TechnoGroupie,” your foundations will be shaken simply because the side effects of such implementations are too much for any humane society to absorb. Let me elaborate.

Automating retail warehouses with robots and fast food ordering systems can have devastating impacts to our local economy. Replacing fast food restaurant employees with automated ordering kiosks might eventually cut fast food operation by 50%. The Wall Street Journal estimates that the use of robots will eventually cut fulfillment costs by 40%. How many of these retail jobs do we have in Cleveland? Technology is stealing our jobs.

What would that do to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s estimation of 700,000 new jobs by 2020 in the general retail sector? Isn’t the uncontrolled adoption of technology a threat to our national security? I might be going a bit too far with my assumptions but nobody can deny that the flip side of automation and robots is scary maybe irresponsible.

Blockbuster used to have 9,000 stores and 60,000 employees. Netflix destroyed them. Redbox introduces the kiosk movie rental concept using automated restocking machines. Redbox employs a fraction of the employees. No wonder why receiving a pay increase is becoming a utopia for many these days. When the supply of jobs decrease, its demand increase leading to jobs paying less many times not readjusting pay at all. You can partly thank the flip side of technology for your family members’ and friends’ frozen wages. It is economics 101.

Be careful with believing that technology is always good. Sometimes, technology has dire consequences. Maintaining local economic sustainability should be our goal not blind adoption of technology.

 

Technology Can’t Replace Media Professionals

Technology Can’t Replace Media Professionals

Technology is no substitute for media professionals.

Let me explain something. Whenever a new technology is introduced in any system, that system is then changed forever because of that technology infusion.

Since the democratization of the camera in smartphones, many people now can take photos as they wish and capture video footage with ease, which is a wonderful thing for many. However, professionals in communication have been affected by these advancements in cellphone technology because now everyone, technically speaking, has “broadcast” capabilities at their fingertips.

I am not saying everyone can now be a professional broadcaster and that photo and video professionals will cease to exist. What I am saying, however, is that many people now can broadcast their lives on social media without having to hire a professional communicator, which has impacted the field of communication forever.

One thing is for sure. The personal media market is gone, for good. See? A small part of what communicators used to offer can now be done without our assistance. You can do them simply by buying a smartphone!

Listen carefully to me and remember the following, compatriots. All these advancements in smartphone technology have had a tremendous impact in how we teach communication these days. The invasive nature of technology in a system, communication included, requires that system to significantly change the way it operates.

Not too many people realize that when an innovation is implemented by a critical mass of people in any society, the affected system often suffers significant consequences because of this new technology implementation. The systems that survive then need to adapt to the realities of the new technology and change accordingly. No technology advancement can be introduced to a system of any kind without fundamentally changing some of its parts.

Remember: Advancements in smartphone technology aren’t free, and this financial aspect will have an impact on what people do in Cleveland! Our community pays a price for not having more video and photo professionals in town.

These professionals of media buy groceries, eat at restaurants, buy houses and spend discretionary income in local shops. I am all for advancements in technology ,as long as people realize that they come with side effects. The field of media has been changed forever because of the smartphone.

I predict that in 10 years or so, most small-town portrait photographers will have a problem staying in business, because of advancements in smartphone camera apps. Only a handful of very talented photo and video professionals will exist in a small town near you! A “great eye” can’t be replaced by a microchip, yet.

Is the democratization of photo and video a problem for communicators? Yes, because many people now think that what we do is obsolete. In fact, nothing can be further from the truth.

The fact Americans can now capture video footage or take photos doesn’t mean they will have quality, or just as importantly, context. Video and audio professionals deserve a job because of what you can’t see.

Pre-production, which is a fancy name for preparation, is an essential part of what media professionals do. Is the average American now going to write scripts and draw storyboards for their productions? I don’t think so.

There is a lot of what we call post-production. Just because a person can capture video footage or take a photograph doesn’t mean that they will be able to make it look or feel good! You need a professional to make all of this work.

The threat, of course, is that many will be satisfied with capturing “good enough” media artifacts, which is where our field will be affected the most. The scary thing for us, however, is that many of you will take exactly this stance — which is likely to cause many media professionals to go out of business. This is precisely why departments of communication cannot afford to produce anything other than what is outstanding.

In sum, whenever a new technology is introduced in any system, that system is then changed forever because of that technology infusion.

Today, smartphone technology is having a major impact on our field of communication, due to the democratization of the device. Tomorrow, your field will be affected by it.

It is coming! The question: What are you doing to prepare for it?

The Best Way To Keep With Relevant News Is By Watching YouTube Videos

The Best Way To Keep With Relevant News Is By Watching YouTube Videos

I’ve learned the following by watching youtube videos.  I’m coming to the conclusion that the best way to keep with relevant news is by watching YouTube videos. As a communication professor, I wonder what is the heck is happening to the news media.

It is possible to find some of the information contained in this article in the news, sure. What is frustrating to me is to turn to CNN, for example, and see Trump being featured every other minute. The same goes to other news agencies in the United States. Shouldn’t we discuss events that matters to us the most on air once in a while? What the heck? I think so.

This is what you can learn by watching YouTube videos. I’ve learned the following from youtube videos lately, I must add.

Poland is the jewel of Europe these days and Turkey is now being considered by some an upcoming world power. China is doomed to implode in the 21st century and Russia is on the decline. The overall strategy of the United States is to control the seas. The US will fight anyone who disturbs such strategy. This is why a war with China is inevitable. In fact, war is inevitable in the 21st century. The smartphone we all use contain many cold war technologies, e.g., the micro ship, a digital camera, and GPS. At least, this is what geopolitic expert George Friedman states.

Finding the smallest viable market is the rule of the law for the upcoming entrepreneur,  the linchpin is the most desirable employee making the cog the most vulnerable one. It pays off to be empathetic to your tribe! Being weird and catering to the abnormal is the new normal for growth — it’s the “The purple cow” concept. Be authentic! Build trust with your customers. Advertising through word of mouth is more effective than than putting too much time on traditional advertising because we now live in an economy of abundance. At least, this is what 17 times New York Best Seller author Seth Godin states.

How is the world isn’t this knowledge being covered on cable television more often? Let me continue my research.

Johnson Atoll, Midway, Jarvis Island, Kingman reef, wake islands, and Samoa are part of the United States hidden empire. Do you know that? The US map that we see these days doesn’t show all the territories that we de facto have. The Star Spangled Banner doesn’t have the word America in it. Japan didn’t just attack Pearl Harbor during WWII. It attacked many other American territories (and British ones) at the same time in an attempt to gain control of the pacific ocean waters. Do you know that the damage that was done in the Philippines (an American territory back in the day) by the Japanese was as bad as the one dome to Hawaii during WWII? I didn’t know that and I love history. It wasn’t until I saw a YouTube video interview with Professor Daniel Immerwahr that I learned these things. Go figure.

Let me reveal one more thing to you. I read heavily and have daily conversations with my mastermind group about world events every day. I need to understand what is going on around me in order to strategize my next more. I need to be informed to make better decisions. It’s how I operate! YouTube video watching is a part of my strategy to be well informed. Ladies and gents, I’m coming to the conclusion that the best way to keep with relevant news is by watching YouTube videos.

As a communication professor, I wonder what is the heck is happening to the news media. It is time for he major networks (or at least one network) to put out relevant reports on things that really matter to people. Most Americans could care less about the government. Why are networks so fascinated with the former? I don’t get it.

My recommendation for you is to browse YouTube videos daily to get to know what is going on out there in the world so you can be informed. Poland is the jewel of Europe these days and Turkey is now being considered by some an upcoming world power. China is doomed to implode in the 21st century and Russia is on the decline. Romania is an American ally, Johnson Atoll, Midway, Jarvis Island, Kingman reef, wake islands are part of us.

I’m coming to the conclusion that the best way to keep with relevant news is by watching YouTube videos. Shouldn’t we discuss events that matters to us the most on air once in a while? What the heck? I think so. What do you think?

Is AI Going To Make Most Of Us Irrelevant?

Is AI Going To Make Most Of Us Irrelevant?

Check this video out. I bet that you are going to be impressed by what Microsoft will be introducing to the mass market in the near future. In my opinion, it is impossible to not be exited about this technology from a technological point of view. Do you agree or disagree? What I’m not sure is if these upcoming technologies will be very good for the common men and women.

Thing about it. If you can clone yourself into a hologram, you technically can clone your brand. What is as amazing is that you can clone your brand to speak in any language you desire with fluency with this upcoming technology. Although the former is a dream come true to established brands, I bet that it will be a nightmare for the upcoming ones. Let me explain.

With all things being equal, would you rather book Mark Cuban “Hologram version” to speak at your convention or a local speaker? How about distance education… Would you rather study at Harvard University “Hologram Campus” or your state college for the same price? Do you think that your kids would prefer to watch Jojo Siwa “Hollogramania” in their bedrooms or attend a local kid’s concert? Well, we don’t know exactly what people would do for obvious reasons but you know exactly where I’m going with this. People would thing about it, wouldn’t they?

If people do, the small breed small town (city) upcoming artist is in big trouble. Perhaps, for the first time in human history, we are going to literally be able to clone ourselves in a way that people will perceive that they are getting the real us. We have done this with video technology and podcasts but it isn’t the same because the message appears mediated. Holograms are a different ball game all together because of its undeniable realism.

I honestly cannot tell you if college students in 2027 would rather learn from me face-to-face in a brick and mortar college or from a professor at Oxford in Hologram format if the tuition prices were comparable. I would argue that the “Dr. A” experience comes with passion, care and much feedback. However, let’s be real — I’ve never worked for an Ivy League university.

Oxford administrators would probably say the following, “That’s true Luis, you have face-to-face access to students, is passionate, caring, and provides much feedback. We have our Oxford brand and some of the very best scholars in the world who can deliver content to students all over the globe in their own mother language asynchronously. Hmmm, interesting.

foresee the wealthy, the powerful, and the elite cloning themselves and gathering most of the world resources in the near future. I’m not sure if the middle class will be able to sustain itself with such a threat. Artificial intelligence will be the fuel that the few will use to extend their domination. Colleges and universities will be forced to reshape themselves for survival. I don’t know if the public will choose the average option 68% of the time, which leads me to believe that companies will prefer to design and develop technologies for innovators instead of the average consumer.

Maybe the “average consumer” won’t have enough money to buy these innovations in the future. It’s a scary thought, I must add. Who knows? I don’t know. I’m intrigued and paying attention to the trends. It’s interesting, that’s for sure.

Is AI going to make most of us irrelevant in the grand scheme of things in the future? Perhaps.

 

People Still Want To Buy Physical Books, You Know?

People Still Want To Buy Physical Books, You Know?

Ok. Let me just say this. Paperback books rose by 5 percent in sales last year and e-books declined 17% during the same time period.  The reasons for why traditional books rose in popularity is due to a number of variables that we will discuss in this blog post. At least this is what I think. So let’s maybe get started.

We still buy a paperback book because…

  1. You can hold a paperback book. I like holding mine! Do you like holding yours? It is easy to share the book with others too, if necessary. I love that.
  2. Not all reading is speed reading. I like reading books slowly, underlying words, writing in the book and not be distracted by links and stuff. Basic.
  3. E-books often hurt people’s eyes. Physical books are printed at 300 dpi. Ebooks are 72 dpi. No wonder why e-books are declining in sales in this country. Have you ever have a headache when reading books on your iPad? I have.

I don’t know if I’m the future we are still going to buy books in print like we are buying today. Only God knows what will happen in the future. What I also don’t know if there will be too many people who will read from these electronic devices in the future to be quite frank with you.

For now, paperbacks aren’t dead yet and millions of people still read them. Paperbacks are increasing in sales in this country. E-books are declining. I don’t know about you but I like underlining words in books, live without head and/or eyes pains, also.

The reality is that people still want to buy physical books, you know? Go figure.

 

A Chat About The Nikon P900 Camera

The Nikon P900 is a cool camera that I don’t plan to return to Best Buy anytime soon. The camera’s versatility and weight, it’s monster zoom range, and it’s capacity to produce pretty cool street photography shots makes me a fan of this piece of technology. I’m not saying, however, that this camera is a perfect fit for everybody or that you can get tack sharp photographs with this point and shoot camera. The camera is good for what it’s wort, I must add. .

It’s nice to go for a trip with only one camera bag, camera body and lens (with a 24-2000mm range), battery, and charger. The camera is light and allows photographers to hold the camera body steady even at 600 focal length without being tired in the process. What a treat!

This camera has a monster 2000mm range and it’s awesome. You can take a photo of the moon, It’s a fact. I recommend using a tripod for best results. The camera was introduced in 2015 but for the price, you can still do a lot with it even today in 2019. It’s street photography photo output is stellar.

Taking photos of moving objects can be pretty challenging with the P900. Since the camera is a point and shoot possessing a small digital sensor, image quality isn’t as sharp as a regular DSLR but advanced photo post-production can make P900 photographs look awesome to many.

The camera buffer is slow as well as the optical zoom. There is no raw photo option and the viewfinder is C grade. The auto functions of this camera are pretty good in the majority of settings. I’ve found the 1080 HD video to look really sharp and colorful.

Overall, the Nikon P900’s is a camera you may want to play with. I won’t return this one, as most of the shoots I do are for clothing photography making, digital art. You can do a lot with this camera, including getting photos that you otherwise won’t be able to get under normal conditions. It’s a cool tool to own it but just realize that image quality (tack sharp) isn’t always attainable with this camera. Nevertheess, Its worth buying, in my opinion.

Go See A Doctor — They Know What They Are Doing

Go See A Doctor — They Know What They Are Doing

 

Early this morning, I woke up with gunk all over my eyes, a headache and a coarse voice. It is Sunday. It is church attendance day for our family and choir performance for me. I thought about staying home and recovering from the numerous times I woke up during the night to sneeze and itch my eyes for a moment. Yeah… I forgot to take my Allegra D the night before and paid the price at 5:31am this morning. Lack of technology had an impact on me but it wasn’t enough to keep me home and not listening to the Sunday sermon. We were going, I told my wife.

As soon as we got there, I decided to stop at the food/drink desk, get a donut, and fill up my  water bottle for choir practice. I thought to myself… Crap, we left home without me taking the allergy medicine. This can be disastrous and I knew it. My voice gets scratchy every time I don’t take the appropriate allergy medicine.  Drinking water was my only option I had to attempt to control the allergy symptoms I was experiencing. Before the choir practice began, I decided to drink as much water as I could but my throat was still itchy. Oops, “this isn’t good news” and I knew it as singing with a scratchy voice can make me cough non-stop. Oh well, it was too late to go home and take my allergy pills.  Rather, I decided to go straight to singing.

As I begun singing church hymns in the Bass choir session, all I wanted to do was to cough. It took literally two songs for my body to say enough and feel the side effects of having no allergy technology in my body! I went ballistic on coughing right after. I had to excuse myself to get a bottle of water. What a terrible morning I had today. I paid the price for not using technology properly!   I am glad to be a TechnoModerator not a TechnoPhobic, that’s for sure.

As I was walking towards my Sunday bible class after choir practice, I passed through a number of good folks along the way. We exchanged both verbal and non-verbal communication clues until I reached my destination. The Study had started at 9:00m. It was 9:20am when I finally arrived in the meeting room. Sunday school lasted exactly twenty-five more minutes until the Sunday school teacher made a motion to adjourn the meeting followed by a prayer. Even though I was quiet during the entire class, my throat was still very itchy. All I wanted to do was to couch profusely and go home. In my way out of the door, our bible study teacher who happens to be a physician quickly stated, “Luis, I can see that your eyes are inflamed. You have allergies…”

At that point I thought to myself, “TechnoHitlers sometimes don’t understand that a trained physician don’t need technology in order to identify and prescribe a treatment to a patient… I left the room smiling and celebrating TechnoModeration. Although I had a rough morning due to spring allergies, today ended up being a great one as all the allergies I felt during choir practice didn’t affect me in the actual church performance.

Allergies exist are the are real.  Not sure about you but when it comes to allergies… I want to see an allergist in order to get medicine to alleviate symptoms. I trust a media doctor and their ability to diagnose an illness just by looking at a patient. I am not sure if I would be comfortable listening to health advice from a robot. It doesn’t seem right to me. Allergies Anyone? Go see a human doctor. They know what they are doing.

A Touch Of Humanity Is Necessary

A Touch Of Humanity Is Necessary

Eight out of ten small businesses fail within the first eighteen months in America. Who can deny that the odds of building and running a successful small business are totally against us, entrepreneurs. How can anybody create real change with these kinds of odds? It is very tough, I must add. Well lads, let me offer you a potential answer for this former dilemma. It won’t be exactly what you are expecting to hear but I hope you are taking notes. Are you ready? Here we go: In order for contemporary entrepreneurs to make things happen, they have to use technology combined with humanity.

Yes, you heard that right. You need to reinvent your craft by using both technology and human skills in order to survive these days, long term. Depending on peoples’ circumstances, people may be better off running a store on a truck, promoting their business through social bookmarking or hiring talented freelancers working on commission, I don’t know. Only by trial and error, we shall find out the answer but one thing is certain, our solution must involve technomoderation!

What I do know is that you will need to be different. Technology will be a part of peoples’ operations whether people like it or not; as well as, their ability to act like a fine human being exercising good judgement with others, building influential connections through meaningful conversations, and many times by getting involved in local affairs with passion and enthusiasm as a means to build goodwill with your fellow citizens.   

You need to be a river of innovation flowing towards an ocean of opportunities in real life! You can’t afford to be a dinosaur of ideas in a world driven by artificial intelligence. Stop! Don’t even start it. I am not saying that people need to be using their smartphones all the time or that life should be about being on the tablet all of the time. What I am saying is that the future of business is to be created by us all combining elements of technology and humanity with a touch of moderation.

Wow, I am poetic today! Do you like it? It reminds me of when I was a teenager, when I used to write poems for a fee for friends. Hey, entrepreneurship is nothing new to me! Anyways… let’s get back to the article.    

Listen to this middle age, foreign born, Brazilian-American citizen who loves to shop local here in Cleveland, Tennessee. This idea that technology in itself will solve all of our problems is overrated. What we all need to do today is to use social media wisely along with strong elements of public relations. As I said before, people will need technology in order to design and develop products and services. In fact, responsible social media work will be a necessity to advance people’s most intricate dreams along with tangible artifacts. There is just no way that entrepreneurs today can scale anything these days without a strong integrated media based method for positioning their brand driven by a strong message delivered by a human being.

Real differentiation in the market and client gain is now dependent on technology with a touch of human ingenuity. Remember: Maximization of human resources should definitely be a part of your business strategy innovators of Southeastern Tennessee. Don’t give up on the human element if you want to build a successful business in 2018 and beyond.

Let me leave you today with this: What used to work in 1975 doesn’t work today, for the most part. Department stores are closing their doors everywhere. Car dealerships now give 10K in rebates! Where are the librarians? People need to understand their local market and what they need locally, not globally. Use technology to help you build your brand but don’t ignore the fact that people, not technology, tell a resonating story to you audience. Your remarkable ability to communicate will be the differentiator. What I am saying is: Your humanity, as well as technology are the ingredients for success in 2018. There is no alternative.

How To Deal With Cyberbullying

How To Deal With Cyberbullying

An old U.S marine once told me that going to war is sometimes necessary. Despite all the advances in technology, we can say with certainty that human behavior is predictable and that cyberbullying will never be fully eradicated. If you love your child, you must train them to standup for themselves when a bully confronts them and tell them that facing a bully head on is okay. In the new age of information, we need to teach our kids more life skills than anything else.

Why so many parents are afraid to speak about serious matters with their kids is beyond me. Cyberbullying isn’t going to magically go away but teen suicide rates because of bullying can decrease. We need to help our kids to defend themselves face-to-face rather than making them believe that young and immature kids will stop bullying them especially behind the walls of a social media platform. Kids need to develop strong social skills at an early age and not doubt themselves by what others say on-line. Tell your child: You are so much more than what others say in these social media environments.

All this technology is handicapping our children socially and making talented young minds be scared for life because of cyberbullying. We need to do something about this issue in a meaningful way. Here is my solution. First, start communicating with your children early on about the importance of developing courage and the inevitable reality that they one day will face opposition in life. Explain to them that technology will never protect them from the dangers of cyberbullying or any other bullying. Make sure you tell them that in this world, what they do with technology, not technology itself, is what will help them to be somebody one day.

Second, develop a TechnoModeration strategy for your kids. Enable them to use technology for a few hours each day for educational purposes up to 5th grade. Don’t give your kid their own smartphone before they reach the age of 13 under any circumstances. Install and tell your kids that you have installed TeenSafe on their smartphones and that you will be checking on their smartphone activity once in a while because you are the parent, period. If they give you a hard time about it you tell them, “Ok. You won’t have a smartphone then because I am the parent.” Remember, you are not your kid’s buddy. You are their parent.

Third, when your kid reaches the age of 15, have a conversation with them about sex. Explain that in this life there are tons of predators who want to take advantage of them including those who will bully them for self gratification. Affirm to them that chances are high that one day, somebody inevitably will say something on-line that they won’t like. Give them the assurance that they can and probably should let you know when that happens. Make a vow with them! As long as they use technology moderately, you will pay for their smartphone bill. If you have a difficult time conveying your message to them when they reach puberty, ask someone you trust, a close adult friend, to intervene.

Lastly, before they turn 18 make a deal with them. If anyone attempts to cyberbully them, tell them to ignore the message and ask them to come home. Have a chat with them about the situation and remind them that sticking to themselves is okay. Help them if necessary. The goal is to train them that they, not technology or any other person, control their lives and that you are there for them if they need help. I bet that our indices of suicide in teens among those who experience cyberbullying would decrease exponentially.

Ladies and gents, we can make great strides in cyberbullying by being involved parents. Helping our kids with conquering these cyber challenges is part of our job descriptions as parents. Be ready to coach your son or daughter in this highly technological world we live in these days. Cyberbullying is a problem but we can fix it. All we have to do is to be a bit more involved and pay attention to the early signs of abuse.

An Unseen Problem: E-waste Is Piling Up

An Unseen Problem: E-waste Is Piling Up

Very few people can deny that electronics manufacturing is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world these days.

We are now producing tons of high-tech gadgets all across the world. People are buying these devices left, right and everywhere else, and it’s a trend that is unlikely to be shifted or rolled back.

The business of technology manufacturing is good, there is no question about it. However, all this excessive production of computer devices generates a lot of waste, or what a few of us call  “e-waste.” E-waste is electronic waste, including TVs, computers and smartphones, among others.

 Let’s face it. Our society’s technological turnover rate is staggeringly high, which causes too many of us to change our smartphones every year, even though our work wages have stagnated since the 1970s. People are now upgrading technology devices as often as babies’  diapers are changed.

One day you have an iPhone 6s. Six months from the time you got your brand-new iPhone, you are told your device is outdated and that it doesn’t give you the amenities of the new iPhone 7 model … only to later discover than the iPhone 8 just came on the market because hey, you need what is the newest and the most advanced technology on the market!

Why not release two new tech gadgets a few months apart in the name of innovation? Don’t worry, Android fanboys! You don’t need to be an iPhone user to buy one or two devices a year. There are Android gadgets all over the place for you to buy, many times over, every year if you desire.

Have you thought about what we do with the devices we don’t use anymore? I bet you haven’t.

Throwing away an electronics item is a big no-no. As the device corrodes, the chemical soup inside starts leaking into the ground, contaminating surrounding areas with toxins. Taking your device to an electronics store for disposal doesn’t always work either. Places can use the devices for scrap parts, but then some of the pieces are still thrown away or burned. Burning the device is just as bad. All those toxins are then airborne.

E-waste is a huge problem all over the globe. Waste generated from electronics range between 7,500 tons in Kenya to 60,000 tons in South Africa — all on the African continent alone. E-waste is a much more problematic issue in Asia where the volume of e-waste approached 12.5 million tons in 2015!

China now carries 6.7 million tons of e-waste. Hong Kong and Singapore have the largest e-waste per capita in East Asia, making e-waste a big problem there. What is the e-waste level of Cleveland, Tennessee? Do you know? I don’t, but I bet we have one.

Let me ask you this. Do you know how much future toxic waste you have in your house because you now own all these technological devices? I don’t know exactly how much, but I do know that most of us now have over 50 different types of chemicals and heavy metals in our homes, all because of our obsession with electronics.

Look, computerized devices are toxic and bad for your health. Don’t believe me? Listen carefully: Your smartphone contains heavy metals such as mercury, lead, brominated flame-retardants, polyvinyl chloride and, in some cases, polychlorinated biphenyls. At least, this is what was reported by the Daily Nation.

 Just because we have access to thousands of different gadgets each year doesn’t mean they are free from side effects. E-waste is a problem everywhere, and its consequences must be addressed accordingly.

What do we gain by acquiring all this technology if we destroy ourselves in the long run by contamination? We gain little, if anything.

As I aways say, “We are to use technology in moderation” — NOT completely surrender in our attitudes toward technology. Say “No” to the dangers of e-waste by saying “Yes” to moderation and reasonableness.

———

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info.)

Technology Is The New Pacifier

Technology Is The New Pacifier

Cabana is an activity I created to bring Sophia to spend time with me at night and calm her down during her terrible twos’ year. During the early stages of “cabana,” Sophia would come close to me and we would talk below the bed’s sheets. Initially, this activity worked out great as Sophia would then come to see me in the evening, play cabana, get tired and eventually ask to go to her room for nighty night. She would sleep like an angel the whole night. Everyday, my wife appreciated the activity as we both slept like an angel for almost six months straight. For a good while, the word “cabana” meant rest and play at night with daddy in our household. Not anymore.

Daddy! Cabana, Let it go? These are the new words that Sophia uses around 3:30am almost every morning after waking up three times prior to that from insomnia.  She also uses these words at 6:15am, after she leaves for daycare at 7:15am and when we come to get her at daycare at 6:00pm. She asks to play in the cabana at 8:00pm, and of course around bed time. Why are all these activities happening now, you might be asking? Well, it started happening after I allowed Sophia to watch a video on the smartphone while we were in the cabana one day.

I was trying to be a TechnoModerator but technology has back fired on me as now my kid can’t wake up in the morning or go to sleep in the evening without asking to have a smartphone video being played. Of course that in our house, technology isn’t played all the time, regardless of whether Sophia asks for a video to be played or not. But the fact of the matter is that she is constantly asking for technology to serve as a pacifier! At least, this is what it seems to me.

Do you know anybody who has a kid who is constantly asking for technology in order to be entertained? How do they feel about the use of technology in their household? What do you think will happen to the new generation of toddlers being exposed to all these technologies?