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Sony Trends

Issues & Ideas

Bill Gates' Annual Letter

Getting Back to the Grand Bargain by Thomas Friedman

Rich / Poor Gap, and the Influence of the Rich

Equality as part of an American Creed - 

Equality under the law

- recent questions about the Supreme Court / Bush Election / "Corporations are people" / " Money is speech"

- rulings of the Supreme Court favoring the will of the US Chamber of Commerce

- Corporations are people.....Gilbert & Sullivan......"Limited" Liability


Equality in terms of fairness / Justice

- reducing the disparity through education

- reducing the disparity through fairness

- reducing the disparity through application of religious principles (Christian, other?)

Achievement Gap & The Influence of Poverty

Hans Rosling & The Washing Machine

Balancing Three Big Issues

Quality Of Life / Pursuit of Happiness


Ecology / Environment

The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman

We are introduced to Friedman’s interpretation of the ten influencing factors that led to globalization and world flattening, the first being the falling of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which tipped the balance of power across the world towards democratic free market and away from authoritarian rule. A second flattener is identified as our ability to not only author our own content, but to send it worldwide with the 1995 launch of the Internet. Subsequently, free workflow software was developed, allowing people from around the world to collaborate and work together on projects using a shared medium. As Apache and Wikipedia came into play, we became able to develop and upload web content and community collaboration became another flattening force. Preparations for Y2K required resources beyond those available in the United States and as a result, we see that India became responsible for a huge portion of these preparations. Offshoring, using the Chinese manufacturing sector as a prime example, has forced other developing countries to try to keep up with their low cost solutions, resulting in better quality and cheaper products being produced worldwide.

The seventh flattening factor is our introduction to supply chaining, which is discussed in much greater detail later in Chapter Fourteen. Rounding out his list with insourcing, in-forming and “the steroids”, Friedman examines his flattening factors, their origins and the effect they will have on the way we do business in the future.

List of Ten Forces

  1. Collapse of Berlin Wall--11/89: The event not only symbolized the end of the Cold war, it allowed people from other side of the wall to join the economic mainstream. (11/09/1989)
  2. Netscape: Netscape and the Web broadened the audience for the Internet from its roots as a communications medium used primarily by 'early adopters and geeks' to something that made the Internet accessible to everyone from five-year-olds to eighty-five-year olds. (8/9/1995)
  3. Work Flow Software: The ability of machines to talk to other machines with no humans involved. Friedman believes these first three forces have become a “crude foundation of a whole new global platform for collaboration.”
  4. Uploading: Communities uploading and collaborating on online projects. Examples include open source software, blogs, and Wikipedia. Friedman considers the phenomenon "the most disruptive force of all."
  5. Outsourcing: Friedman argues that outsourcing has allowed companies to split service and manufacturing activities into components, with each component performed in most efficient, cost-effective way.
  6. Offshoring: Manufacturing's version of outsourcing.
  7. Supply-Chaining: Friedman compares the modern retail supply chain to a river, and points to Wal-Mart as the best example of a company using technology to streamline item sales, distribution, and shipping.
  8. Insourcing: Friedman uses UPS as a prime example for insourcing, in which the company's employees perform services--beyond shipping--for another company. For example, UPS itself repairs Toshiba computers on behalf of Toshiba. The work is done at the UPS hub, by UPS employees.
  9. In-forming: Google and other search engines are the prime example. "Never before in the history of the planet have so many people-on their own-had the ability to find so much information about so many things and about so many other people", writes Friedman.
  10. "The Steroids": Personal digital devices like mobile phones, iPods, personal digital assistants, instant messaging, and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).


Trump & Trumpism: What we know and what we must do...

Organizational trends - Learning and Imagination as organizational traits seem to be replacing the factory strengths of earlier times.....So, how to foster these?  Why are schools trending the opposite way?


What Makes Us Happy?

Why Those Who Feel They Have Less Give More



Gun Control - 'Our Moloch - Guns' by Gary Wills

Incarceration - US (more people in 'correctional supervision' in America than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin, more black men in the criminal-justice system than were in slavery)  Jan 30, 2012 New Yorker

When the Good Do Bad - David Brooks NY Times 3 20 2012

Make the Punishment fit the Cyber-Crime - NY Times 3 20 2012



A 'Culture of Honor' 2.0 A Nation of Financial Honor

Becoming a Nation of Bourbons.... LIFE Feb 9, 1959 p.31



Hans Rosling and 'Gapminder' - With special attention to China and the US


Please see 'The World is Flat' at the bottom left of this page....

Coming Financial Crisis - US Dollar loses status as world reserve currency

Wealth Gap 2

Rousseau's obsession with the psychic consequences of inequality seems even more prophetic and disturbing.....

Why taxes aren't as high as they seem

Aftershock - Future Economic Problems

Economics - Heilbroner


Do we really have less tax than in the last 50 years.......How do we compare with other nations of high quality of life for all......?

Should the cut-off be $250,000 or $500,000?


Mirror Neurons


Ethical Issues & Trends

Cheating On Exams


Net Lingo / Symbols


The comma in the 2nd Ammendment

The comma in legal ruling on labor contract

Reasonable Person Standard


Warning Pictures of Packs of Cigarettes Why can't the more effective pictures used in other countries be used in the US? (A submission to the F.D.A. by R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard and Commonwealth Brands, the second, third and fourth largest United States cigarette makers, said the nonfactual and controversial images were intended to elicit loathing, disgust and repulsion about a legal product.)

College Sports & Health Care - Common Problems - Peter Block

Virus Hunters

World Too Complacent on Bird Flu by Robert Gatter

Mental Health

Cognitive Behavior Therapy: a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. By exploring patterns of thinking that lead to self-destructive actions and the beliefs that direct these thoughts, people with mental illness can modify their patterns of thinking to improve coping.

1 in 5 Army Recruits had Mental Illness: Depression, Panic Disorder, ADHD


Scientific Thinking

The Science that Donald Trump Denies


Was Duomo in Florence the first Dome?  What about the Pantheon in Rome?


Philosophical Trends

Rousseau Predicted Trump


Bush - Reverses himself on carbon emissions, after lobbyists influence him.....

Bush - Prescription Drug Bill....Prohibits negotiations with drug companies

Balancing Freedom & Security

Super-Rich Pay Less Taxes - Warren Buffett

Voter Suppression in Georgia


Misguided U.S. Supreme Court - "A person is not a corporation" In Daddy Longlegs with Fred Astair....view first minute or so....

Government & Politics - 'Wingnuts' & Civic Responsibility...

What Makes People Vote Republican?

Moochers Against Welfare! (Atlas Shrugged!)

A Conflict of Visions by Thomas sowell (Pair this with the above - Why do people vote Republican?)

Peter Jennings on the Spread of Democracy

Norman Rockwell & Political Views

Dr. Seuss / Theodore Geisel Political Cartoons


Penn State, and more - Peter Block


Peter Jennings: Cold War Chronology

Arab Spring

Why do they hate us?


Papers Under Development

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