On Making America Great Again, Trolls, Invective and Progress

A few thoughts:

  1. Regardless of how one feels about President Trump, Democrats or Republicans, flailing about invectives isn’t going to get us anywhere. I know of no one who’s change their stance on any issue because some troll called them “idiot” or “snowflake” or “nazi”.
  2. It’s quite interesting to me the role that the internet has played in degenerating the stuff talked about in point 1.
  3. On “Making America Great AGAIN”: that’s one that I’ve thought quite a bit about recently. Simply, the MAGA folks seem to look backwards to when “America WAS Great”. Progressives look forward to Making America Great FINALLY. Seeing potential, the strengths of diverse communities, economies and cultures. But the distinction between the two mind-sets hit me hard recently.
  4. Somehow, we need to find a way to embrace dignity in our public discourse. However, I’m totally at a loss about implementing that.

There’s more to talk about considering holding to a long-view. However, that will need to wait.

“How We Broke Democracy (But Not in the Way You Think)”

“How We Broke Democracy (But Not in the Way You Think)” @TobiasRose https://medium.com/@tobiasrose/empathy-to-democracy-b7f04ab57eee

The piece above helped cement some ideas they’ve been floating in my head for some time.

  • We live within echo chambers, information and idea-wise. Algorithmic newsfeeds drive this with vigor. It’s hard to break free
  • Humanity seems drawn towards comfort. Comfortable ideas, thoughts, foods…and resist variations with vigor.
  • With that, our culture keeps moving towards ease of offense. Exposure to conflicting ideas elicits very strong fears, and, thus rage. Most don’t like this sensation and respond by retracting into their data bubbles.
  • Sadly, this behavior is counter to what needs to happen for community to grow.
  • All this helps explain the intense shock felt upon Trump’s election.

Good insights in the article. It’s well worth the read.

Thoughts on the Election, Politics and Government

There’s a huge amount of emotional energy around last week’s election. I’m starting to explore some of the issues surrounding the event; trying to go deeper into just “why did Trump win?”

Today’s Meditation: Gratitude

I need to reclaim my focus on gratitude and service. It’s so easy to lose sight of this, with our focus on the individual, on entitlement. I see so much energy on getting what’s deserved we lose sight of what we can do. Who can we serve? What can I do to make the world better? 

I’m grateful for my family, for that kind of love. It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges, though, and forget that all things fade. What’s here, right now, relentlessly shifts to memory. Keep the mind here; don’t miss this. 

Far too easily I mentally wander into entitlement. Resenting other’s gifts, successes, and foci. Sadly, looking back, I spend far too much time in this soul-robbing state. Wallowing within misery, losing touch with my gifts, my talents. So easy too sink into resentment, where mindfulness and focusing on contribution bring joy. Seeing what I can do, and fo well brings a far happier and effective mental state. 

Living gracefully

So easy to lose myself 

Gratitude focused 

Thought of the day: discipline

​Discipline is not about deprivation, 

Rather, it’s about focus and control 

Distilling the important from the buzz

Of distraction by manufactured want

And knowing our dreams and goals

Then driving towards them with passion 

Some Thoughts On Gratitude

I spent the past few hours processing the acquisition of a new bank owned property for my real estate company. Nothing terribly unusual about that except for the way it was assigned.
The previous agent was fired by the asset management company. Assets get reassigned all the time. But agents don’t generally get all their stuff reassigned. This situation, though, the agent argued with their client; a seasoned asset manager. I don’t know the gory details beyond that. But the arguing part struck me.
I try to live a live based on gratitude. I’m hardly perfect, but I feel solid about the way I live. That’s the opposite, though, of arguing with your client. Perhaps failing to see through our own ego, perhaps caught up in their knowledge so much they can’t see other ways to do “the work”. I just don’t know.
But engaging with grace, disagreeing respectfully, these are key to my view of “professionalism”. And my view of being a decent human being. Though not perfect, I do try. Which, perhaps, is more than many. Sadly, I guess.

Lessons of a Martial Artist

  • ​There’s more to personal growth than intellectual, book knowledge 
  • Training is mental, emotional and physical: encompassing mind, body and spirit 
  • Sometimes getting better is learning something new 
  • Sometimes it’s refining motion – building precision 
  • Sometimes it’s pushing yourself further, expanding strength, flexibility or endurance
  • Sometimes it’s pushing your heart; holding focus through frustration, fear, disappointment – persevering and holding firm, trusting in those who’ve mastered before you  
  • There is always something new to learn, more precision to control, more strength to grow, or endurance to cultivate
  • Perfection is an aspiration, a direction, not a destination 
  • Always remember: perseverance and continuing to train is the path of mastery. 

Star Wars, Geek Culture And Visioning The Future

I’ve spent the evening troubleshooting stuff on my son’s computer, and binge watching Star Wars stuff on Youtube. This got me thinking: Star Wars, Star Trek and all such stuff really are envisioning the future. Geeks are all about loving, and creating the futures we envision.

It’s really fascinating to me how these myths play out and inspire us, challenge us towards a tech-centric future. Inspiration, building and growing drive. A critical element for this future building I’m so enthralled with.

With that, here’s the Rogue One trailer. The Star Wars universe is a buzz with speculation building out of this and the reported leaked script for episode 8.  It’s been a delight to play in this space. I adore this stuff deeply. What about you? Let me know.

The Olympics, costs and benefits

Though I love the Olympics, the institution faves a major problem. The massive costs of hosting a Games almost never balance out against benefits.

This article considers the financial impacts upon cities which host the Olympics.

A fitting postscript to my post yesterday.

After considering such details as infrastructure investment, marketing and meeting the expectations of the International Olympic Committee, most often the Games cost more than they earn. In some cases the loss is massive.

My first thought: the IOC must start considering the long-term impact. With that, they must seek to mitigate the effects of over-enthusiastic boosters. They struggle with a perception of boondoggle. Several cities’ citizens shut down bids for games.

I feel it important to note that LA actually pulled s profit from the games. Utilizing their existing infrastructure, the cost control worked nicely. The article actually notes several hosts who successfully navigated development and execution. Key considerations for anyone desiring to host a Games.

I see an Olympics as several months of headache with little upside. Most of the promised benefits never materialize. I’m not alone. Seattle’s few attempts to garner support to bid to host a Games failed miserably. And that’s happened elsewhere, too.

Anyone wanting a Games near me must account for this study before I give my support. And I love the Olympics.

Abandoned Olympic Venues

I adore the Olympics. Pageantry and drama, magical moments brought out by ages dedication, training and sacrifice. I love stories of humanity resisting adversity. None better exist.
Counterbalancing this, images of waste, neglect, rotting decay. These images tell another story of the Olympics. A sadder story.
Often hosting the Games gets presented as this transformative event. Great economic rewards heralded. I wonder how often such manifests. How much positive actually happens, and how much of the investment crumbles into dust.