Saturday, November 10, 2012

Zombie Effect: The Devolution of the Human Species

Regressively and counter-productively, what appears to be happening, and suggested by some researchers, human beings don't seem to be doing very well. That is, counting all human beings as a species, we're not evolving into a more advanced coherent, highly intelligent and communally cohesive species. From a global view, we appear to be backsliding. Sure, there are notable examples of brilliant individuals. Yet, that's a tiny group of people working very hard to change themselves and their surroundings. When taking a long observation of history, from the dawn of creation and until now, a good question might be, are human beings facing a de-evolution possibility.
Along with that, consider the constant metaphorical references to a "zombie apocalypse". As used by various public and private organizations, the "zombie effect" challenges the post-modern description of how people behave as individuals. Not only do we act "stupidly" from an individual basis, but also toward each other and within communal associations and societal organizations. By "stupid" as used here, humans appear to be less insightful, not very creative and consistently illogical in applied areas of critical thinking. Acting "stupid" suggests being unwise, thoughtless and irresponsible in private and public conduct. Silly, foolish and ridiculous come to mind too.
One could say, as suggested by some contemporary allegations of a so-called civilized world, people should be evolving past violent, selfish and larcenous behaviors. On the contrary, with some exceptions, we don't appear to be changing very much in terms of basic human nature. As such, the self-centeredness of violence and thievery include all manner of illicit activities contrived and executed by individuals, organizations, governments and so on. Well, in that regard, what does the available data say? Okay, taking a small glance of some of the selected research could be helpful.
Take the 20th century for instance, according to one researcher, it was the most violent and most theft ridden hundred years in comparison with previous centuries. That included major world wars, contrived social disorder by tyrants, premeditated killings of all kinds, and so-called "police actions". And, if using the F.B.I.'s Uniform Crime Reporting system, compare the decades from 1900 to 1999.
In the U.S., while violent crimes like murder have decreased over the past fifty years, larcenous behaviors of all types have increased. Well, that's progress. We've decided to control our thrill for the kill by stealing. Multimedia deceptions assert in the pretext of progress in overshadowing the reality of "zombie-like" social disintegration. And, within the typical organizational structure, one can observe similar tendencies by which most participants are excessively dependent on the group. They generally need this fixation on associational acceptance to feel "valued" in their subjective validation.
In the contrived collusive collectivism, the majority are typically motivated to empower their weaknesses in the simple-minded inclusiveness of conformity. Passive-aggressive, fearful and anxious, steeped in illogical assumptions, the crowd tends to punish the few outspoken ones who prefer facts instead of fantasy. Among the group adherents, independence, individuality and innovation are often stifled by narrow-minded insistence on submission and obedience to the status quo. Why change? If one or more persons use power to intimidate, control and dominate others, higher levels of thinking can be contained and discouraged. The majority acquiesce out of fear. Think about the reckless, injudicious and nonsensical interactions you hear about daily.
Does anything people do throughout the world really come as surprise? Consistency in compliance with the mutual accord of personal substantiation serves to give unreal animation to a range of emotionally obsessive desires. To influence the weaker ones to stifle critical thinking processes, and make stagnant investigative skill sets, entire populations can be stage-managed. No matter what the evidence shows, in spite of the proofs, we'll simply believe anything we want to believe. Most people willingly submit and allow their own seduction for the sake of self-gratification.
Most are unaware of hidden agendas that hide behind illusory cover stories. As such, human devolution continues its ravenous raging with insidious disrespect for logic, reason and rationality. Myth, magic and metaphor conspire to escape the societal obligations for civility, discipline, duty and truth. From a myriad of fallacies of inference, which lead to hasty generalizations and specious conclusions, organizational and communal decision-making devolves into a mire of counter-evolutionary processes. In fact, it's not decision-making at all. No, instead, the realm of the shared structural co-op usually relishes in mediocrity of simplicity in subservience.
Meanwhile, meekness signals docility while deference pays homage to the so-called "expert". Again, the con games run rampant. Conformity willfully appeals to the illegitimate authority of compliance at any cost. And this is done for the sake of belonging to the group or the "herd". Why be different? Why question anything? Such actions require hard work in the profound search within the depths of serious introspective thought. In the devolution or de-evolution, whatever you wish to call it, the human species does not appear to be ascending. On the contrary, global perspectives suggest just the opposite. Naturally, there are exceptions, as some work hard to transform themselves and prevail to evolve in their life-long quest for liberation. A few realize that no matter what their situation, they can strive to thrive no matter what.
By contrast to an elite few, however, the rest act out various phases of a "zombie-effect", or grotesque self-indulgent satiation of an abject nature. At the same time, they ignite a "zombie-apocalypse", which allegorically refers to the devolution of the human race. Their "cannibalism", or gross gluttonous consumerism for immediate gratification, as well as neglect of higher states of consciousness, contrives social decline. Yes, it's a symbolic reference for acting stupid, self-seeking and nonproductive within the social context with collective "tolerance". Meanwhile, the demise of the human species on its current course projects real probabilities for downfall and maybe extinction.
In response, what do the few do? Or, for that matter, what do the guardians do to safeguard and enforce safety and security for the few who strive to evolve? They simply do the best they can with what they have and the time they're given. Law enforcement and the military no doubt have been infiltrated and infected with the dim-witted aspects of politicians, pundits and political processes. Criminal justice systems and subsystems face absurd and asinine fights daily, in which their battles often come from within.
None the less, in their ranks, there are a few brave men and women who stand their ground, do their best and perform valiantly. They heroically persevere in their differentiation from the herded masses, and assert their zealousness to rise above the mundane and the superficial. Within their organizations, they resist the temptations of the devaluation of individuality. Instead, they never stop learning, training or enhancing the capacity for differentiation of selfless ness. Likewise, in commerce, science and industry a few others endeavor to be creative innovators in similar fashion.
Security forces are potentially over-whelmed by widespread stupidity of authority. Fueled by a "hunger" never quenched with over-fed political egos, mismanaged budgetary processes, and bloated social appetites for gross materialism and status, human social systems are dangerously weakened. Hyper intellectual vigilance, supported by proactive individualization in personal self-defense countermeasures, has become critical for those who labor better versions of their original selves. For those who seek immunization from willful cognitive robotic degeneration, the "anti-virus" comes in the form of courageous self-reliance and spirited resistance.
To assert freedom toward perfecting distinctive personalized individualism, infused with integrity, accountability and responsibility, arduous efforts demand sacrifices. Yet, for multitudes of the people out there in zombie-land, many will not risk any semblance of a sacrifice. That is of course, unless it is at the expense of someone else. Needless to say, countless numbers of us will continue their self-indulgent mode of personal deception in behavioral foolishness. In their devolution, emotions, desires and feelings willfully trump virtuous sanctification for enlightened rationality.
Rest of assured instead, people greedily foment dangerous ideations that invite mystical fallacies lathered in selfish thinking for personal gain. As usual, motivations remain tainted by the instigations of pride, envy, anger, arrogance, revenge and other similar manifestations from our past centuries. In ongoing investigative efforts, some remind us as to the productive historic influences that humans have had all over the planet. Through the unique assertion of intelligence, skill and foresight, some visionaries have heretofore created exceptional innovations. But, that was then.
By premeditation in self-absorbed vanity, stupidity and conformity, people crave any options to satisfy the pleasures of contrived hedonistic needs. At the same time, being irrational, prejudiced and unintelligent has seemingly become fashionable. Pop culture, in the promotion of superficial celebrity status, relishes in the shock and awe of uninhibited mediocrity for mundane, trivial and simplistic distractions. With a serious lack of strenuously healthy psycho-physical fitness efforts and energetically imaginative innovative pursuits, "zombification" infects the societal spectrum. Within this scope of collective communal and institutional interactivity, a majority will lack the ability to think effectively and ensure productive problem solving capabilities.
As one peers into the mirror of their own reflection, they cringe at the prospect of being like the other person. Ostensibly, no one likes the idea of being infected with the walking dead darkness of human nature. That duality of good and evil threatens to teeter from the delicate balance in favor of more primordial inclinations. As such, most want to avoid any error of misidentification with another, and so a person enjoys the thrill of feasting the other person's misfortunes and stupidity in action. Through subtle and overt means foolishly confabulated, people play the role of acting dumb. As Narcissus fixates upon the reflected self-image, a faint echo reminds us of our vanity in futility.
Unfortunately, like the rest of the human body, you either exercise your full potential or the component parts atrophy over time or eventually decompose. Intellectually, physically and spiritually, one must transform exceptionally. Yet, performing to what some call the "lowest common denominator", we can observe how "dumbing down" plays a detrimental role igniting the "zombie effect" or devolution of the public. Education, politics, movie making and news reporting follow contrived simplistic templates so the "lowest common denominator" can comprehend at least minimally.
As for the wise, prudent and valiant, he or she knows you must survive to thrive, overcome yourself and ascend higher spheres of thought. Regardless though, we are all potentially seduced by the darkness of our dull witted conceit. Temptations for mindless subservience are everywhere. Sometimes, even among those who know better, the psycho-babble comes across as "scientific", even when the superficiality of such is barely "pseudo-science". Take for example, from the field of criminology, the illusion of criminal profiling, as though one could really "get inside" the criminal mind.
Do you really think you can fully comprehend, with definitive specificity, the depth and reaches of the dreamscape in shadowy unconscious realms? Aside from that, suffice it to say the whole gambit of "why explanations" for criminality is rife with one-dimensional theoretical constructs. On a grander scale though, take the breakdown in human thinking to a global scheme. Suppose the freakish nature of obsessive titillations in religious extremism desires to take "mind control" beyond the Manchurian candidate fantasy. Let's say a biologic contagion is unleashed. As the spread of contaminated cerebral degeneration grows from local infection to regional pollution, social systems collapse. Panic ensues in similar ways as already experienced by natural disasters.
With bioterrorism for instance, or for that matter, any other type of international calamity, essential services disintegrate very quickly. In a very short period of time, those uninfected become prey for the "zombified hunters" who are infected by their own manufactured madness. As deterioration continues, defensive countermeasures breakdown and communal collectivism devolves to baser levels of primeval survival. With public services over-whelmed, food supplies diminished, water systems dried up, transportation routes shut down, and shelters are over-crowded, anarchy surfaces. Compound the complexity of a catastrophe with human stupidity.
There's no guarantee in any community disruption that people will behave in humane and civil ways. Okay, just stop and look around you. Think about past and present incidents of significant proportion that affected large numbers of people. Consider the fear generated by the press and politicians over something local that became international over-night. Don't forget, seemingly smart people are fully capable of performing stupidly. Since a few studies suggest that the population is more than sixty percent obese, whereas fat negatively affects the brain cells, most people are out of shape both mentally and physically. As such, many are ill-equipped to deal with any crisis situation.
Forget the terrorist scenario for a moment, despite the fact that is a very real probability. Now ponder the historical references of medical epidemiologists' research. Every hundred years or so, a newer form of an epidemic appears and produces catastrophic results for human population groups. The black death of the fourteenth century killed nearly sixty percent of the European population. After World War I, a flu pandemic spread over the globe and killed forty million people. Imagine the societal crisis, the human downfall and the infectious nature of illness.
As to the so-called walking dead, movies have their unique way of expressing the abject debaucheries of human beings. While screenwriters can be quite imaginative and creative, the real world is much more devious and dangerous. Nevertheless, the reality of a devolving world seems much closer to reality than many would admit. As the dead that walk, ancient prophecies have asserted a decaying existence whereby humans behave heinously toward each other. Hateful rebelliousness against lawful government authority, normal social conventions and racial diversity, among other deteriorating conditions, portend a frightful persistence in human regression.
With regard to the allegory of mythical foretelling, there could be "plagues" that bring about the strange nature and occurrence of the "walking dead"? Whatever the symbolic intentions, one might conclude social upheaval is very real. This means you have to be alert, prepared and ready to deal with disastrous outbreaks. Depending on the interpretations you accept in your beliefs, the storytelling provides behavioral warnings. It concerns the mysterious horrors of a "flesh consuming" existence, symbolically speaking more or less, that depict the grotesque lawlessness and selfishness of humankind. Also, such notions reflect a degeneration of communal collaboration whereby one fights another in various forms of unlawful conflict.
Still one wonders, as some might ask prophetically, why do you look for the "living among the dead"? Maybe you shouldn't be standing inside a "tomb" when you ask that question. Anyway, does it really matter whether the "sea gives up the dead" or you encounter early in the morning the "day of the dead"? Perhaps the night before, you discovered the evening of the dead. When people decide they are going to act stupid, there are no limits to the heinous and terrifying things they can do to each other. Selfishness has boundaries contained only by one's imagination.
Evil is within that region of fantasy that finds a psychic portal into reality. Short cuts to circumvent creative and pro-social thinking that accept faulty generalizations; so that one permits the devaluation of intellectual ascendency perpetrates toxic thoughtlessness. While a few aspire to be enlightened, evolved and differentiated from the hordes, the vast majority remain sheepishly content in varying degrees for the mundane, the superficial and the irresponsible. Many people across the globe are too self-absorbed in amative choices of personal pursuit for their own continuous self-importance. As a consequence, they don't pay attention to the necessity of individual transformation.
Simplemindedness by purposeful design relegates existence to the irrationality of collusive collectivism for communal devolution. Appeals to fallacies of inference negate the necessity of evidentiary authenticity. While the outer mask pretends a public display, the inner realms manufacture the deviousness of private proclivities. For the time being, awareness should be given to the ruthlessness by which people will endeavor to get their way. Foolish, discourteous, condescending and unlawfully aggressive behaviors infiltrate every level of society, from the classroom to the boardroom.
Individually, one must seek to transcend and transform their own psycho-physical journey in the energetic liberation of their own mind, body and spiritual essence. Personal self-defense measures and crucial planning processes and strategies for social survival are critically necessary under present conditions. In the consideration of significant human devolution, where only few endeavor to self-evolve provokes communal pressures of potentially disastrous proportions. As some would assert, life in a "type zero" civilization is on the brink of either transforming to a higher level, or degenerating to primordial self-destructiveness. This doesn't mean some aren't trying, but suggests most don't want to change and will be a problem of the others. It's still a very dangerous world.
Human nature still indulges in the savagery of its own self-proclaimed darkness. Sometimes, you don't readily see it, because the mask of myriad disguises is mirrored in so many illusions. Deceptions amatively inspire plots, schemes and scams throughout societal connections all over the planet. In the duality of good and evil, the malevolent appetites will always be unleashed for the immediate satiation of self-interests. We still relish in the rituals of myth, magic and metaphor for the promulgation of our desires for extreme beliefs in fundamental dogmatic simplicities.
Calculated into this caldron of willful selfishness comes the deadly probabilities for implementation of horribly drastic means. Nuclear, biologic and chemical weapons systems possess extraordinary potency to terminate life with global implications. And yet, for most people, piggishness consumption and blissful ignorance contrive to ignore harsh realities. From the self-seeking rapaciousness of many, world-wide criminality for instance, with many aspects, upper and lower levels, and collusive intricacies, manifest social disintegration. Hedonistic greediness cultivates devolutionary excesses.
Likewise, whenever emotionalism trumps rationality, and sensationalism overshadows investigative analysis, anti-social-narcissistic tendencies are encouraged. Nearly everyone shares to some degree counterproductive antagonistic "social pathologies". Metaphorically speaking and analogous to the imagery of biologic pathogens, which means self-induced "mind viruses". As such, divisive permissiveness, where personal boundaries are constantly violated, accepts abusive actions toward others. Psycho-physical regression in individuals, on the impact on neighborhoods and workplace structures, set the stage for continued manifestation of the "zombie apocalypse".

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Divergent Tale of Two Leaders

In 1982, James Burke, CEO of Johnson & Johnson was confronted with the news of seven poison related deaths caused by Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide. He looked the facts in the face and immediately understood the gravity of the situation.
Against the vehement opposition from his management team, he decided to go directly to the public. Backed with a $ 50 million product recall, he communicated a strong sense of concern, openness and accountability as he frequently appeared on the major television shows of the time.
This contributed to the restoration of public trust and saved the Tylenol brand. He was strong, bold and decisive and this built trust and confidence. He placed his personal stature and reputation on the line.
His proactive communications brought his message to the public, and by doing so controlled the crisis, expectations and protected his company's image and reputation.
Fast forward to 2010. Tony Hayward when confronted with the enormity of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill mounted a feeble public response.
Unlike James Burke, he didn't immediately grasp the severity of the situation. He didn't go directly to the public, but rather allowed a hostile media and government to filter his message, while they demonized him and politicized the crisis. He lost control, was hostage to events, and was perceived as weak and reactive.
Obviously it was easier for Johnson & Johnson to respond quickly with a total product recall, than it was for BP, which had to overcome extreme technical problems to cap a spill over a mile below the ocean's surface.
However, Hayward could have taken a proactive position, communicating and educating the public about the challenges, progress and shaping their expectations regarding the capping of the spill and the subsequent clean up.
His response was further complicated by aggressive legal threats being made against BP by the Department of Justice. Rather than openly communicating with the media and public, communications were effectively shut down.
At the same time Hayward was perceived as tone deaf with comments about getting his life back. He appeared disengaged in front of Congress and unconcerned about the plight of the Gulf Coast citizens, while he attended a yacht race in England. Hayward was unaware that his personal stature and reputation were on the line. Whether or not these interpretations are true, perceptions are stronger than reality.
When Hayward was ultimately ousted as BP's CEO, he complained about being demonized, victimized and vilified. Contrast that with James Burke's actions, which are hailed as a textbook response to crisis management.
The two different outcomes can be attributed to diverse leadership styles. Burke was deeply influenced by Johnson & Johnson's corporate credo, which stated that the "first responsibility" was to its customers and then to employees, management, communities, and stockholders. He reacted accordingly.
Hayward placed the crisis into the context of scale. He stated that in relation to the size of the Gulf of Mexico, the spill was relatively small. While that may be a factional response, it displayed a lack of empathy with the people affected by a potentially large environmental disaster.
He appeared indifferent to the pain and suffering experienced by these individuals. It shaped a perception of an uncaring executive motivated by profit. This was reinforced by the Obama administration, which was looking to shift the blame for its poor response. Hayward played into administration's hands, surrendering control and losing his emotional standing with his key constituencies.
James Burke understood the importance of his emotional standing with all of his key constituencies, because it was ingrained into Johnson & Johnson's culture. Tony Hayward did not.
Within a 100-day period, he destroyed his emotional bonds and standing with key constituencies. When BP posted a $ 17 billion loss, he lost his emotional standing and support with his board and stockholders. His reaction to the crisis unwittingly destroyed the trust, credibility and validity he needed to lead BP.
The lessons learned from Tony Hayward's actions and response are quite clear. Leaders must pay close attention to the factors that contribute to their validity and legitimacy. Trust, credibility and a balance of emotional bonds and standing are fragile. They take time to develop, sometimes over the span of one's career.
However, they can be destroyed, along with one's reputation in an instant. Hayward placed his reputation and stature on the line, as the face of BP during this crisis. He ignored these lessons at his peril. Both suffered due to his leadership and it will take time to restore them.
For more information on this topic, refer to Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It by Timothy F. Bednarz (Majorium Business Press, Stevens Point, WI 2011)
Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D. is the author of the 125 books included in Pinpoint Skill Development Training Series. He has also authored "Great! What Makes Leaders Great," which was selected by "Foreword Review Magazine" as one of the top ten career books published in 2011, as well as a finalist in the "2011 Foreword Review Book of the Year Awards."

Monday, October 29, 2012

A New Approach With New Attitudes for the New Year

Schools of the 20th Century always approached learning in the traditional sense which was based on the industrial model of teaching. But what exactly does this mean? Well, this meant that classroom space was arranged linearly, teaching was almost always done from the front of the room, and students were taught things in order to occupy jobs in an industrial based economy. This type of learning was predominately passive. However times have changed. As we continue to educate and prepare our students in the 21st century, many schools have not changed to reflect and accommodate how today's students interact and learn.
Where Schools need to be in the 21st century
The 21st century that we are living in a very different world and schools are populated by a very different student. Today's students are conversing through email and texts, using the internet as their news forum, and communicating with students residing other states and countries via Skype. School's need to create learning spaces to support the new generation of students. They need to create spaces that elicit social learning in lieu of passive learning. Because, active learning is how our students of today better themselves as capable members of a team and community.
How can this be done
Take your stationary classroom and make it mobile. Adding casters and power to desks and chairs takes the traditional linear classroom into a flexible learning space accommodating all different learning styles and course topics. Lightweight mobile classroom furniture allow quick transitions from row to circle to curved layouts. Elicit socialized learning within the cafeteria. Rid your students of institutionalized rows of tables. Round tables, high tops and booths bring active learning to the cafeteria. Provide school logos on table tops and trash receptacles promoting school pride and a continued sense of school community. New chemistry lab tables, lockers, bleachers, and more can do more than just replace old fixtures. They too can help to rejuvenate a school. Kids will get a kick out of seeing bold new lockers the colors of their school, or when telescoping bleachers are retracted they spell out the name of their mascot. There are a lot of possibilities available, and both kids and teachers will be proud and delighted at a fresh look.
Ready to Help, All The Time
There are times when not every school may have the immediate funds for a lot of renovation, and we understand that. That's why we work with a quality financing company that may be able to help the process along. Our skilled technicians and staff are ready to help make a school's renovation a reality so that kids and teachers alike can develop in an environment fit for the 21st century. Contact us and see how we can transition your space!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Making Sense of Social Media Advertising

Should I advertise my business on social media? That's a question many small businesses are wrestling with today. The answer is - it depends. Specifically, it depends on your target audience and your marketing goals. Most small businesses can benefit from a well-designed social media advertising strategy. The key is to make sure that you use the right social media platform for your customer base.
Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages and people use them for different reasons. For example, people who regularly use LinkedIn may not be on Facebook and vice versa. Also, options for targeting paid ads are different for each platform. So don't make the mistake of adopting a "one size fits all" social media advertising strategy. Instead, research your customer base to find out which social media platforms they use and how they use them. Then figure out how advertising on those platforms fits in with your overall online marketing plan.
Facebook advertising can be a great way to grow your Facebook fan base. During the vetting process, many people will check out your Facebook page, and when people "like" you on Facebook, it helps to build your credibility. For example, if you have hundreds of "likes" and your competitors only have a few dozen, it makes you look more connected and more entrenched in the community.
Another advantage of Facebook is that it allows you to target people based on age, relationship status, interest, or geographic region. Keep in mind, however, that Facebook tends to be more casual and personal relationship oriented, and Facebook users don't want or expect a hard sell. To get the best results, keep your ad simple, make your product or service stand out, and have a clear call to action.
Twitter tends to be faster-paced and more news/current events oriented. It's important to curate compelling content, as it positions you as a thought leader. Twitter ads allow you to draw attention to your thought leadership and promote your account to others who have similar interests. You can also pay to promote specific tweets to people who aren't following you. Currently, people can't access your website through Twitter ads, which is why it helps to use Twitter in conjunction with other social media platforms. However, you can get a lot of bang for your buck by getting people to retweet your Twitter posts.
Two points to remember with Twitter: people will only follow you and interact with your tweets if they're interesting and relevant, and there's no value in advertising on Twitter unless you're actually using your account.
This is probably the best platform for B2B advertising because people are more ready to do business when they're on LinkedIn. It also allows you to target individuals based on the companies they work for, specific job titles, or positions. Plus, targeting by job title allows you to narrow your ads to exactly the people who would be most interested in your B2B products or services.
Another benefit is that LinkedIn has its own self-service ad network, called DirectAds, with options for display ads and sponsorships. To use LinkedIn most effectively, target your audience carefully, and create short, relevant ads with a specific call to action.
YouTube offers a unique advertising opportunity in that your ads can appear within videos or alongside them. Because the ads combine video and sound, they can be more engaging than other advertising platforms allow for. YouTube provides many resources to help you advertise more effectively on their site.
But be aware that viewers have short attention spans. If you advertise with videos, keep them short, to the point, and entertaining as well as educational. Be sure to deliver your key messages early, as viewers tend to tune out after only a few seconds.
Regardless of which platform(s) you use, remember that social media ads should never send people to your home page. Instead, have a landing page that clearly shows visitors what you want them to do next. Always include an option for providing their contact information so that you can build your email or social marketing list.
Jeremy Durant, Business Principal at Bop Design
Bop Design is a San Diego Web Design and Marketing Agency
Bop Design is a boutique marketing communications firm. We express your business' values through branding, advertising, print design and custom web design and development. We also help attract your ideal customer through affordable seo services and search engine marketing. Our focus is on small businesses that want an external team of marketing specialists to help give their brand an edge in the marketplace.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Are Our Elections and Threats of Sequestration Hurting Our Defense Industry

It has always been noted that the US government needs to do all it can to keep our defense industry strong, therefore we can ramp up production very quickly in case of a war. Of course, if the defense contractors and defense industry becomes fat, dumb, and happy due to the free flow of money, then all we will have done is made them weak, and given them too much political clout and power. We know this happens because we know how the lobbyist system works in Washington DC, and we realize the system is broken, and it hardly matters if it is the defense industry, education industry, computer industry, academia, or healthcare sector.
Okay so, nothing new, no new information, and we already know all this correct? Sure, but we still need to help our defense industry and keep it running because we could need it in the future. Anyone who doubts this doesn't study their history, or isn't watching what China is doing right now as they are spending more and more money on their national defense. China has no challengers, why would they do that? Because we could be a potential challenger as they push their political will against their neighbors as they have recently with disputes over territorial waters.
There was a reality based article on Military and Aerospace News on October 31, 2012 titled; "Military business slows to a trickle; now a matter of how hard things will get," by the Editor John Keller. Now then if you do not know of this publication I suggest you get acquainted, because he and his publication have been bull's eye spot on from my experience. In his most recent piece he noted;
"We've been hearing for a long time about hard times coming for the military and aerospace business. In fact, I've been hearing about a defense downturn since long before President Obama even took office. Still, the beginning of federal fiscal year 2013, which was the first of this month, has left me with little doubt that the hard times no longer are coming - they are here!"
When President Obama was a member of the Illinois legislature, he was interviewed and he said he wanted to gut the military. You can see the YouTube video by searching that site. It's hard to say if he still believes that or not, he's obviously a lot more grown-up today. But that sits in the back of my mind and it makes me worry about the future of our country, and our need to remain strong to maintain peace in the world. We are sending a terrible message to our allies, and visions of opportunity to our enemies over this sequestration talk, and the severe budget cuts in the future when it comes to our military.
It's not that we do not wish to have our defense contractors running in an absolute Six Sigma strategy, we do. We also want our military to run as efficiently as possible, and therefore free-flowing money isn't a good idea either, that just makes us weak. Still, by putting everything on hold, and putting the pause button on the industry and our military we are making it very difficult to do long-term planning.
That's something else the Chinese are very good at. I feel we are making a mistake, and if I were running this country that's not something I would do. Peace through strength, always and forever. Please consider all this and think on it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Breast Cancer Screening Saves Lives

There has been a lot of debate in the last few years on the benefits, risks and limitations associated with routine breast exams. Some of the reports out today are confusing for women who are undergoing regular screenings.
The NHS's National Cancer Director in the UK has issued a review that reveals good news for women. Despite the reports of over diagnosis, the report shows that routine breast screening does save around 1,300 lives a year in the UK alone.
This significant number is because a diagnostic mammogram detects cancer at an early stage before other signs and symptoms are noticed. The sooner cancer is detected, the more effective and successful treatment will be.
The review has reported that some women who have cancer detected will be over-diagnosed. This is due to cancers that are detected but will not cause harm to that woman in her lifetime. Critics argue that such women will undergo treatment that is not necessary.
It is important to note that there is no way to know which cancers will grow and become deadly and which won't. Therefore, all women will be offered treatment. Statistics show that some women are over-diagnosed but not which individual it will happen to. Some women will have their lives saved. For others, early detection will allow them to avoid more aggressive and invasive treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation.
It is also important to note that over diagnosis must not be confused with misdiagnosis.
Misdiagnosis is when someone is told they suffer from a disease that they in fact do not. Over-diagnosis in regards to breast cancer is when women are correctly diagnosed, but it is believed that the cancer will not progress if left untreated.
It is important that women understand the risks and benefits associated with routine breast imaging so they are able to make an educated choice about attending their appointments. Women should discuss all concerns with their doctors and local screening service.
Although breast affects older women at higher rates, it is important that younger women who do not receive a routine mammogram to be breast aware. This means knowing what their breasts look and feel like normally, looking out for any unusual changes and having them checked regularly by a doctor. It is important that women understand what the results mean for them and that they have access to clear and unfiltered information regarding the pros and cons of breast screening.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Careers In Civil Constructions

The civil constructions sector is among the most dynamic fronts of the national economy. As the world recovers from the financial downturn felt in the past several years, the engineering industry is largely expected to take in a surging demand for domestic, private, and public constructions. This is certainly good news for those planning a career in the civil works industry.
An army of skilled workers
The industry employs a wide variety of people with vastly different professional and technical backgrounds. It is often compared to the military, which also hires people of different professional backgrounds. As in the military, the workforce consists of the rank and file laborers, up to higher-echelon engineers and scientists, some of whom never even go near an actual construction site. But as in any other industry, the work and skill requirements is highly regulated both by the government and by the industry itself, and is increasingly becoming professionalized, even for the trade and operator type of jobs.
The nonstop and ever-increasing adoption of new technology in the civil constructions sector is the main force behind the need for a skilled labor force. Unlike in the past, when brute force and practical experience were all that is required of workers, modern constructions now mostly rely on sophisticated equipment and precise techniques, so much so that operating these machines and performing these tasks need a certain level of proficiency.
A career in civil constructions
How much does a career in the civil works sector pay? Of course, this depends on the type of job and the skill set required for the task. In Australia, for example, a qualified Road Constructor could net $60,000 - $110,000 per year; a Pipe Layer could fetch $60,000 - $120,000; a career path in Human Resources could get $95,000 - $120,000; a Foreman's yearly earnings may range from $60,000 to $120,000; and a Civil Engineer could earn from $80,000 up to $120,000.
There is a continuous need for a new workforce in the industry as the older employees retire. The sector is traditionally known to seek the younger and latest entrants to the labor force, as most of the jobs in the industry require the agility, dexterity, discipline, and alertness of a younger worker.
There are three general pathways for entering a career in civil constructions in Australia -- from a university (for example, civil engineering); a diploma or advanced diploma from a Technical and Further Education institution, or from a trade entry option.
As in other industries, successful careers start at the lowest levels, but this is even truer in the civil constructions industry where the practical knowledge of manual work is highly valued in senior management roles.