Blog #630 I smell

Psst (I smell ….)

https://www.everydayhealth.com/mens-health-pictures/top-hygiene-offenses-older-guys-should-avoid.aspx

This note came to me as an email.  Always nice to be reminded that hygiene is important!!!  (Maybe it is nicer to be reminded by email and not by somebody letting you that you stink!!!)

While it is for males, it is probably for all of us.  (I don’t really want to write about this, but, I guess one negative reminder a year is good enough).

-1 Body Odor

Hey folks – take a shower occasionally.  I find that it is hard to detect my own odor, so … taking a shower regularly is a solid suggestion.  The article suggests that some foods (like onions, garlic, and spicy foods) can make your sweat really smell.

(Of course, I do have an answer.  As a retired professor, I don’t ‘sweat’, I perspire!!!  

-2 Watch for dry skin

Use moisturizer on dry skin (not soap).  Also watch for dandruff and use an appropriate shampoo.

-3 Trim your facial hair.

Facial hair is ‘in’ (not with me currently).  But, untrimmed facial hair can look unkempt.

-4 Trim your nose hairs

I didn’t know of all the hair on my body, my nose hairs seem to grow the fastest.  One of my grandchildren has commented “Papa, there are hairs in your nose”. Yup, just one of life’s issues!!!

-5 Brush your teeth

Bad breath is also unpleasant.  Brush your teeth. I’m not a smoker, but some people have a strong cigarette breath.  Brush your teeth (and check in a mirror so you don’t have broccoli between your teeth – a common experience for me – so I carry a plastic toothpick in my billfold.

-6 Trim your nails

Like other items on this list, you should trim your nails.  (And, make them clean)

-7 Take care of foot odor

If you need too, use a talc product to suck out moisture in your feet.  (I find that I am backward – my feet smell and my nose runs!!!)

-8 (Okay, I’m only using the article) Watch incontinence

As people age, there can be problems with our various functions. (My parents when they go into their 90s occasionally had problems with that bodily function).  Ah, one more ‘joy’ of aging!!!

As we age, we sometimes do need these reminders.  

I will try to remind myself!!!  

Bruce

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Blog #629 DakotaCon presentation I

So, what am I doing in South Dakota?

https://dakotacon.org/

I am at DakotaCon.  Their materials say it all: South Dakota’s Premier Security Event  All in the Middle of a Cornfield

I am giving a presentation today (March 29th) at 9:00.  I think it will be streamed and/or saved.

My presentation is in five parts:

-1 My introduction (who is this old guy talking to you)

-2 A super quick history of computing (basically WWII needed data – for people and for weapons)

-3 The BIG changes coming – Artificial Intelligence, Huge Data, Internet of Things, Robotics, Cobotics, changes in transportation, changes in health care, changes in economic, changes in jobs.

-4 Some security issues

-5 Motivation – what do you want to be when you grow up?

Hopefully I can post the video link here after the conference.

But, let me look at some of the issues:

BIG CHANGES COMING:

Think back to about 1905.  The Wright brothers made their first flight in 1903.  Henry Ford (and a slew of others) were building ‘horseless carriages’.  Radio had been invented, but wasn’t a common thing until the 1920’s. In the United States, we had recently fought the Spanish American War and we were becoming a ‘Superpower’.  Then think of 1955 – fifty years later. We all had cars; airplanes were ubiquitous; radio was rapidly being replaced by television; computers were still new; almost all the United States had been connected with electricity; and the warriors from WWII were back at home.

Now, 2019.  Artificial Intelligence is the hot technology topic; robotics are starting out; cobotics (robots co-working with humans) is growing; automated vehicles are almost here; the next generation of telephones and instant connectivity is here; and computers are everywhere. Can you imagine the NEXT 50 YEARS?  “Beam me up Scotty”!!!

Life as we know it WILL be different!!!

SECURITY:

From my presentation: “In today’s world, every organization is digital by default. And, as many organizations have learned, it’s no longer a matter of if you’ll face a cyberattack, it’s a matter of when. Every asset in your organization is at risk.”

Trust?  Privacy?  The use of big data – for good or for evil?  Will we have a police state? Will it be 1984 and “Big Brother” be watching you?

MOTIVATION:

GIGO – Garbage in, Garbage out.  What goes into your mind determines who you are.  Be positive; be confident. Have a great attitude

From two weeks ago, from John Wooden’s philosophy – no whining, no complaining, no excuses.

And, finally “The sky is the limit”

I am extremely humbled and honored to be speaking at this conference and being able to share thoughts and ideas with a ‘new’ audience.

More later!!!

Bruce

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Blog #628 Cheating (or not)

The Cobots are Coming!!!

(https://www.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/tb/supplements/md/features/28809)

You:  Cobots?  Did you mean Robots?

Me:   No. I meant Cobots

You:  Help me out:

Me:  A cobot or co-robot (from collaborative robot) is a robot intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. This is in contrast with other robots, designed to operate autonomously or with limited guidance, which is what most industrial robots were up until the decade of the 2010s. (from WIkipedia)

You: I haven’t heard of collaborative robots!!!

Me:  I hadn’t either until recently.

Techbriefs say this:

“Cobots are designed to be used within a defined collaborative workspace with human workers, and typically have some built-in safety mechanisms to support this use. Cobots typically fulfill repetitive or injury-prone tasks such as machine tending or palletizing while the human worker performs higher-value upstream or downstream manual tasks. Cobots mimic human actions and carry out tasks at similar or slower speeds, with payload and reach that are also similar to a human’s.  

I am thinking about my summer job (too-many-years-ago) where I worked in a school supply warehouse.  The summers were our busy time as schools ordered all kinds of supplies for the upcoming year. I was an order filler.  As such, I filled orders (amazing how that works). Some orders might have both bulky items and small items. Maybe like 100 cartons of printing paper, but them smaller amounts of pens, pencils, rubber bands and paper clips.  I could have had a cobot at that time to help me load pallets with those 100 cartons of printing paper. The smaller items went to a another worker who filed the smaller items on the order and then on to a packer. A cobot could have helped with the packing and making sure all the items were organized together.  

Another article (https://www.axisne.com/2017/02/16/blogpost/5-cool-uses-for-cobots/) mentions these cobots:

-1 A camera that can capture images (like a race) by sensing the movement and relaying the content to the control room.

-2 Robot bartender that can ‘read’ labels and carefully pour drinks into glasses.

-3 Blood testing cobots can speed the blood analysis work with computer vision and arms to select the next vial and help with the analysis

-4 Cow milking machines.  With fewer people on farms (and still a demand for milk, cheese and other dairy products), cobots can milk the cows without hurting them.

-5 Robotic classmates can help in specific learning opportunities.

What seems to be happening is that small robot devices (not like the big welding machines that the automakers use) can assist humans in situations that may be tedious work (like loading pallets).

Some restaurants have experimented with robots (and cobots).  In my limited research I found a Japanese Restaurant (Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen) in Austin.  Maybe it is time to have some sushi that cobots have prepared!!!

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog 627 The Cobots are coming!!!

The Cobots are Coming!!!

(https://www.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/tb/supplements/md/features/28809)

You:  Cobots?  Did you mean Robots?

Me:   No. I meant Cobots

You:  Help me out:

Me:  A cobot or co-robot (from collaborative robot) is a robot intended to physically interact with humans in a shared workspace. This is in contrast with other robots, designed to operate autonomously or with limited guidance, which is what most industrial robots were up until the decade of the 2010s. (from WIkipedia)

You: I haven’t heard of collaborative robots!!!

Me:  I hadn’t either until recently.

Techbriefs say this:

“Cobots are designed to be used within a defined collaborative workspace with human workers, and typically have some built-in safety mechanisms to support this use. Cobots typically fulfill repetitive or injury-prone tasks such as machine tending or palletizing while the human worker performs higher-value upstream or downstream manual tasks. Cobots mimic human actions and carry out tasks at similar or slower speeds, with payload and reach that are also similar to a human’s.  

I am thinking about my summer job (too-many-years-ago) where I worked in a school supply warehouse.  The summers were our busy time as schools ordered all kinds of supplies for the upcoming year. I was an order filler.  As such, I filled orders (amazing how that works). Some orders might have both bulky items and small items. Maybe like 100 cartons of printing paper, but them smaller amounts of pens, pencils, rubber bands and paper clips.  I could have had a cobot at that time to help me load pallets with those 100 cartons of printing paper. The smaller items went to a another worker who filed the smaller items on the order and then on to a packer. A cobot could have helped with the packing and making sure all the items were organized together.  

Another article (https://www.axisne.com/2017/02/16/blogpost/5-cool-uses-for-cobots/) mentions these cobots:

-1 A camera that can capture images (like a race) by sensing the movement and relaying the content to the control room.

-2 Robot bartender that can ‘read’ labels and carefully pour drinks into glasses.

-3 Blood testing cobots can speed the blood analysis work with computer vision and arms to select the next vial and help with the analysis

-4 Cow milking machines.  With fewer people on farms (and still a demand for milk, cheese and other dairy products), cobots can milk the cows without hurting them.

-5 Robotic classmates can help in specific learning opportunities.

What seems to be happening is that small robot devices (not like the big welding machines that the automakers use) can assist humans in situations that may be tedious work (like loading pallets).

Some restaurants have experimented with robots (and cobots).  In my limited research I found a Japanese Restaurant (Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen) in Austin.  Maybe it is time to have some sushi that cobots have prepared!!!

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog #626 Positive and Negative II

Some differences between Positive and Negative people – Part I

https://www.lifehack.org/289959/15-differences-between-positive-people-and-negative-people

Are you a positive person?  (I hope so). This is a continuation of yesterday (where we covered eight of the ideas).  

-9 LET’S GO BIG!!!

Get the BHAG concept (big, hairy, audacious, GOAL).  Are you passionate about an issue? When Kennedy said the United States would put a man on the moon in the 60’s, it was a huge step for mankind!!!  You get one chance at life – be fair, be honest, but (in my opinion) go for it with gusto!!!

-10 Build people up.

Praise those that are positive and making great contributions to your team!!!  Inside most of us (or really all of us), is a small (or big) nagging thought that we just aren’t good enough.  Give praise, thank people. You can especially thank the small people – the janitors, secretaries, receptionists.

-11 Talk to yourself

You can be positive or negative in your self-talk.  I CAN DO IT is the positive person’s statement. (Somewhat funny – at age 71, I grew up with the Beatles.  But there is one song, I won’t sing along with. I don’t want the words to “I’m a loser” to come out of my mouth.  I try to build myself up by being positive (as well as build others up). No one needs to be labelled a loser.

-12 Watch your body language

Positive people stand up tall, firm and strong in the conviction that they are winners.  It is the negative of the example in #11 – it is “I am a WINNER”.

-13 Team work makes dream work

Working together on projects can be beneficial.  Two heads are better than one!!! No man is an island – despite what Simon and Garfunkel said “I’m a rock, I’m an island, and a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries”.

-14 See the silver lining

See the good in people, see the good in projects. There are two basic management theories Theory X and Theory Y.  Theory X says people are lazy, and you need to micromanage them to get the best results; theory Y says people are responsible and they will take ownership of their work.  

-15 You are SO GOOD

Positive people encourage others.  They compliment others!!!

So … two days of positive and negative ideas.  Be positive, be upbeat, YOU Can do it!!!!

What about you?  Are you positive?

Bruce

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Blog #625 Positive and Negative people

Some differences between Positive and Negative people – Part I

https://www.lifehack.org/289959/15-differences-between-positive-people-and-negative-people

Are you a positive person?  (I hope so).

The link today is from 15 differences between positive and negative people.  I think it is interesting.

-1 Failure is part of learning.

There is a statement that we learn by our mistakes.  A child who touches a hot stove learns (quickly) not to touch a hot stove.  As Edison was making the first light bulb, he made many mistakes – but with each one, he learned that option didn’t work. I just to kid (although not totally kidding “I’ve made so many mistakes, that I am brilliant!!!.  After you fall down, get up. Dust yourself off. (Maybe take a day to lick your wounds). Get back on your horse and get going again.

-2 I can do hard things

Positive people can get out of their comfort zone.  They want to be challenged. They want to learn and trying new and difficult things advances them.  (Do you get out of your comfort zone occasionally?)

-3 Positive people give their best.

With the concept from #2 (above), they want challenges.  Then they give their best. Half-baked ideas, half-baked work doesn’t go well with them.  Come to work early, stay late, give it your best.

-4 Get inspired

Get inspired by others.  Watch the ‘champs’. How did they do what they do?  Can you learn from others? I definitely learn from watching and reading about successful people!!  I like to read successful blogs and find ideas to share. Hopefully I’m able to pass ideas on (with my twist on them – of course!!!)

-5 What can I do better.

Feedback also helps us to improve.  Show me a new technique; a new way to do a task.  As a professor, I got (and used) feedback from my students.  I really wanted to learn how to do things better. I also shared that with the previous classes and my next classes to indicate I was working on improvement.  Sometimes, the feedback hurt (and like #1 above), I need a day or two to mope and have a ‘pity party’ – but eventually I did get up and make improvements for the next class.  I also found that I have thin skin and I can get frustrated by the feedback and that does hurt me. But, I have learned a lot!!!

-6 I focus on things I can change

There are things I can change and things I can’t change,  The Serenity Prayer goes: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.  There are things I can do. I can change myself, my attitude, my direction. But, I can’t really change others.

-7 People can change.  People can decide they want to learn and grow.  Don’t put labels on a person. (by-the-way, I am not a proponent of ‘labels’.  You can put a label such as conservative or liberal on a person – but that really is not true, it only is a snapshot of one facet of a person.  I have discovered through my life that I have changed my mind as I reasoned my way through issues. I also try not to judge – or at least until I have ‘walked a mile in their shoes’.

-8 Keep learning

Positive people say “I have a lot to learn”.  As an educator, I taught ‘lifelong learning’. There is the saying “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach him to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.  Much of what I learned as an undergraduate is passe. I know I need to keep learning. Learning something new every day!!!

We will finish this list tomorrow!!!  Come on back!!!

Bruce

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Blog #624 Cheaters never win

Cheaters Never Win

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201208/cheaters-never-win

So, how about looking at one of my former “idols” – Lance Armstrong.  

I loved watching the Tour de France.  I appreciate the announcers, the glorious scenery, the plots and plans of the riders and teams.  The teams have some generalists, and some specialists. Some are climbers for the mountains, some are sprinters – to finish off the various legs of the race.  

But, it is a grueling sport.  Riding a hundred miles every day is tough.  Riding a hundred miles every day racing with other riders – who want to beat you (and everyone else) to the finish line is tougher,  There are falls, broken limbs, scrapped up arms and legs. It can be cool in the morning, but hot in the afternoon. Pushing yourself up one of the higher mountains in the Alps with dangerous switchbacks – and then coming down that mountain at breakneck speed – you get the idea that the term ‘breakneck’ could really mean what it says as you could break your neck.

There is the old adage ‘do the ends justify the means’.  To get to the top, to win sometimes means ‘winning at any price’.  And, ‘winning at any price can mean finding ways to win beyond just human skill.

Bike racing has gotten a bad image over the years.  Some riders take performance enhancing drugs to get an edge.  Most of those can be detected in standard drug tests after a race.  “I need to win; I must win” becomes the only thing in a person’s mind.  And, if I have to cheat to win, I have to do that.

I’m not exactly sure how Lance Armstrong cheated (and was able to bypass the drug tests).  Seemingly after he had ways to cheat the testing system. Seemingly one of the tests was for testosterone.  While testosterone is a common element in humans (especially men), if you could get to the acceptable limit without going ‘into the red zone’ was part of the process.  Newer synthetic drugs were not detected by standard urine and blood tests (until recently).

Yes, the money and the fame goes to the winners, an Lance Armstrong was a winner.  Even with the performance enhancing drugs, I am amazed on his performances. They were epic (and ultimately an epic failure).

But, hey, isn’t a little cheating okay?  Like if you are playing cards – a little innocent look at your opponent’s hand as you walk behind him or her to get a sip of water – isn’t that bad is it?  If you are playing bridge and you see that the person next to you has a singleton ace of clubs, that might help you develop your strategy (instead of having to finesse or play the odds to find that card).  

Maybe a student has formulas written on his or her arm – and covered by a long sleeve shirt.  During a test where the student was not allowed to have formulas (and should have memorized them), the person could casually slide up their shirt to see the formulas.  Or, you could have historical dates and events written on a small slip of paper. There are many ways a student could cheat on a test.

While the methods can vary, the intent is to score higher through other than human means.  Recently the cheating to get into the ‘right’ college has surfaced. Do the ends justify the means?  To get a better job, I can lie on my application. (After all, who is really going to check that I graduated from XYZ University?).  

The concept that remains is that somehow, someway, a person sought a competitive advantage by cheating – through bribery, through drugs, even through spying on your competition and stealing concepts (and patents or copyrighted ideas).  

So, what goes through a person’s mind – some have a high tolerance for cheating – “I cheated, everybody cheats, so what?”.  And others have a low tolerance for cheating. “I just can’t do that”.

Maybe it all is down to ethics, to moral values, and even to group values.  Ethics are hard to nail down. Don’t cheat, don’t steal sometimes are less absolute to some people.

So, how about you?  Do you know of cheaters who got ahead by cheating?  

Bruce

(And, a story.  In her last years of her life, my mother lived in an assisted living home.  They would play bingo frequently and the price for winning as one of the little chocolate bars that you give out at Halloween.  My mother had macular degeneration and could barely see. She had memorized two bingo cards – so she didn’t need to search for specific values (by-the-way I was very impressed with that).  One day after a couple of hours without having a bingo (and without winning a tiny chocolate bar) she slipped a marker on one of her cards so she could be a winner. Maybe, just maybe, in that case, the end of a tiny chocolate bar justified a small cheat to win at bingo when you are 98 years old!!!)

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Blog #623 I want to be a Pollyanna

I want to be Pollyanna!!! (Or an ostrich )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollyanna_principle

“The Pollyanna principle is the tendency for people to remember pleasant items more accurately than unpleasant ones.]Research indicates that at the subconscious level, the mind has a tendency to focus on the optimistic; while at the conscious level, it has a tendency to focus on the negative.”

As some say “The World is going to Hell in a Handbasket”.  Recently we had seemingly a white supremacist shooting up two mosques in New Zealand.  There is widespread outrage by one political side against another; liberal versus conservative; good versus evil; greed versus love.  We find one significant person after another (generally men) with a history of sexual abuse. Illicit drugs are seemingly readily available (I haven’t tried to find them, but the news seems to find them for me).  The news showed injustice and corruption in all areas. Money Talks (so they say). Guns are readily available – and while some are good (I know many good people that hunt pheasants or deer), it seems as though a person can buy assault rifles as well.  (by-the-way, the phrase “the world is going to hell in a handbasket” came into popular use in the American Civil War)

The name Pollyanna comes from a 1913 novel, where an orphan girl “who plays the “glad game”—trying to find something to be glad about in every situation.”  

Like other motivational speakers, I believe (and promote) positive self-image and positive self-talk.  You CAN change!! You GET to CHOOSE your attitude. You can be a ‘gloomy Gus’ or a Pollyanna (or on the scale towards the Pollyanna end).  

It might be hard for a convenience store worker to think that the person walking  in the door with a mask over their face and a gun in their hand is having good thoughts.  It also might be hard to think the person who has broken into your house and is searching for money and jewelry is really a good person.  

So, today, I’m giving some radical thought – not my own.   This is from a guy who live some 2000 years ago.

Here is one thought:

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is

-1 true,
-2 honorable,
-3 right,
-4 pure,
-5 lovely,
-6 admirable.

Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  

Don’t worry about anything

And give thanks for everything

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another

I also said (in the title to today’s blog) about being an ostrich.  The old story is that ostriches put their heads in the sand so they don’t see what is going on.  “If I don’t see it, it isn’t there”. Maybe ignoring the evil in the world and focusing on the positive might help all of us get out of depression and love life again.

What do you think?  Am I too optimistic?  Should I allow more realism into my life?

Bruce

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Blog #622 Past the Salt Please

Pass the Salt please (… or maybe the salt substitute)
http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsit…/…/Home/Whysaltisbad

Okay, I’m a ‘salt-aholic’!! I am a direct descendant of Lot’s wife (who in the Bible was turned into a pillar of salt). My mother (in particular) was one who loved her salt (and she lived to 98 years old). Both my parents would sprinkle a little salt on their food before tasting it (knowing that it just wouldn’t be salty enough for them). My father would put salt on his watermelon (I’ve tried that and it is good!!)

The linked article says “The amount of salt you eat has a direct effect on your blood pressure. Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys, and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease. Also, eating too much salt may mean that blood pressure medicines don’t work as well as they could”

A link off that article says that too much salt can hurt the kidney function “Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water. The result is a higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys.”

Likewise, too much salt can put extra strain on the various arteries and blood vessels (hmmm – like the aorta problems I had two years ago).

And … don’t forget the brain!!! The arteries leading to the brain can become narrower (due to the salt) and may lead to a form of dementia (vascular dementia).

So … the basic solution to too much salt (and high blood pressure is to (are you ready for this?) “use less salt”!!! (Yes, I know that is profound!!!)

Unfortunately, that is not as easy as it sounds. Salt is in “everything”.

When grocery shopping, flip the item over and read the nutritional statement. Ketchup is definitely a problem – salt added, high fructose corn syrup added (sugar). Bread has salt, I know I have a choice between salted and unsalted butter (and I love the taste of salted butter). So be a smart shopper.

And, from another article “Processed foods and restaurant meals supply about 80 percent of the sodium consumed in the U.S. and are a bigger worry than salt from your salt shaker.” Yuck!!! Now, I can’t even enjoy a meal out!!!

Okay – fallout!!

Food just won’t taste right without salt. TRUE.

But, persevere. Eventually, it WILL taste right (at least according to this article). This morning as I prepared my boiled eggs, I didn’t use any salt – but used garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika for seasoning. Maybe not as good as a ‘touch of salt’.

Takeaways – I am going to really work on my salt intake. My blood pressure is generally high and worries me, so time to work on lowering my salt.

How about you? Are you a ‘salt-aholic’ too?

Bruce

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Blog #621 Cheating

Competitive Advantage (and Cheating)

Hey – I want a competitive advantage!!  Every company, every business who wants an increased market share, more success wants a competitive advantage.  

In sports, that competitive advantage might be the best quarterback in the league, the southpaw picture who has a jerky motion that is hard to hit, the fastest skater with the fastest slap shot in hockey.  

In cars, one company has the best gas mileage (or electric mileage); another whose cars can go from 0 to 100 in the shortest time; another company with the best safety record; and another with lower prices.  Every one of those can give a competitive advantage.

You also want the public to THINK your company is the best – brand loyalty.  “I always buy XYZ because they have the best products and service.”

But, sometimes getting a competitive advantage might mean using some (umm …) shady tactics.  A candidate for political office gets a boost from an ‘unnamed’ special interest group spending big bucks to get their point made.  Maybe it is the National Rifle Association with lots of campaign funds to help get gun supporting people elected to congress. Many organizations have lobbyists who visit lawmakers to make sure they understand the issues “in the proper way” (that is, the way the lobbying group views the issue).  

In politics, throwing mud is also a way to make the opponent look bad.  Innuendo as to an opponent’s voting record can be an issue, or that the opponent missed 40% of the votes in the last session.  Half-truths do come in. “Candidate X was on the important Ways-and-Means committee and missed 40% of all the meetings in the last session.”  That might be true – but what was going on in those meetings. Did candidate X have an aide there to take notes? Was the committee just doing fact-finding on an issue and candidate X was there are all of the meetings where important votes were taken?  

But, sometimes that line between competitive advantage disappears.  I want to call that ‘cheating’. Maybe it is something like “Ford has a new engine that is more fuel efficient and gives both better mileage and is more luxurious”.  So, Honda buys a Ford and dissects the engine to find out how it is better, and in a year or two; Honda has improved on the Ford engine as they have ‘stolen’ the concepts.  In most countries patients, trademarks, copyrights and more exist to protect idea, products and processes.

Now, I want my children to have a competitive advantage in life.  I want them to have the best grades, go to the best colleges, get the best jobs – and I will do what I need to do to get that to happen (such as bribe college officials to let my son be on the Yale fencing team – so he can be a Yale graduate.

I graduated from Winona State University in Winona Minnesota.  I had an excellent experience and worked very hard. It was a good fit for me.  I taught at Dakota State for eighteen years – and it also was an excellent campus with strong professors (like me).  I have a PhD from Nebraska, again another school with a good reputation. Some major universities have freshmen and sophomore classes taught by adjunct (part-time) or graduate students.  I remember an international graduate student at one of my colleges that was very poor in the classroom due to her lack of English skills.

We find industrial espionage – and even country espionage (call it spying) everywhere (so it seems).  My company, my college, my sports team, my life needs to be the ‘best’. So, I’m going to find a way to make it the best (even if it means stealing ideas and concepts from others in the same field).   

I guess it is part of life to be competitive and want to win – but we find “win at all costs” as an attitude that goes past the boundaries.  Step on others to climb the corporate ladder; cheat, steal, slander the others, and I look good!!! For me, I can’t quite do that. Maybe I still have some decency in me (and maybe I am retired and I’m not fighting that fight anymore).  

Did the Russians sabotage our elections?  Those bad Russians!! Are the Chinese stealing our technical expertise?  Those lousy Chinese!! (And, beyond my knowledge), I suspect my country doing some less than wonderful things to the Russians and Chinese.  

So, that delicate tightrope walk – I need a competitive advantage but I don’t want to cheat or steal to get it.  (But, maybe with enough money, I, too, can have my child with a degree from Harvard!!)

Bruce

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