Week In Review – 21 Jan 2018

This week started cold but ended hot, and I am referring to not just the temperature.

The end of the week signified the End for the U.S. Government.  It is shut down for now.  Amazing as it might seem, the process happened in a democratic fashion. America, the world’s only superpower, demonstrated its political strength.

As I watched via C-SPAN while the senators casting their votes on Friday night, it downed on me that like many others I was witnessing history in the making.  I was there virtually in the U.S. Senate Chamber participating in the process thanks to technology augmentation.

The shutdown is a result of no compromise.  A political decision no doubt.  But gutsy for each senator as their votes represented hundreds if not thousands of constituents. How is the story the senators have to to explain, first in their own mind?

Have a good week.

 

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To Compromise Or Not?

Look up the word “compromise” and you will get definitions including descriptions like settlement, concession, or less than desirable.   Let’s face it. Compromise by definition is lose-lose.  Each side loses something from what is desired.

Sure, we don’t always get what we want in life.  And compromise yields something. Albeit, something less. It is easy to compromise on things one cared little. Especially on trivial and non important matters.

But when it comes matter of great importance, things we care, should compromise be an option? First or last? Not at all?  And why? Is it because the alternative is too hard? too unpopular, too insurmountable (i.e. not worth the fight), or maybe all the above?

What can not be compromised for each one of us spells our principle and character.  We stake our pride on it.  If you can’t think of any that’s worthy of such struggle, ask yourself the question:  Do you want a compromised life?  Where do you draw the line?

When do you not compromise?

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Government Shutdown?

The headline says, “U.S. Government Shutdown Looms . . .”

Being so close to the Capital, I have the dubious honor of a front row seat to observe the world’s greatest deliberative body’s (the U.S. Senate) frantic efforts to prevent the embarrassment of a government shutdown since 2013.

Two hours before the clock strikes midnight (the deadline when government funding runs out), a vote is scheduled in the U.S. Senate to limit debate. The flair for drama maybe admirable, but if and when the inability of sixty senators to reach an agreement is not.

Surely, there must be a better way for our government to operate. But until then, this is Reality TV at its finest.

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Emotional Potential

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Emotion like an untamed animal roams through our lives, if unchecked.

It can tear our facade, ignite our feeling, and hasten our action.

In its purest form, emotion is electric charge travel through our nerves.

Like an electric storm,  its rage surges and recedes at speed of light.

But the damages is shocking, regrettable, and yet unavoidable unless . . .

We harness the energy and channel it toward constructive means.

 

What emotional potential have you experienced?

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What Augmentation?

When we compare, we judge (not a value statement but a fact).  Are they the same, different, and by how much?

Before crossing a street, we ask, in our own mind: is it safe to proceed?  We evaluate the traffics based on data from some prior standard and decide.  Judging is an essential and learned skill.

As experience grows, our standard improves and our judgement becomes better. Through feedback and lessons learned, we continue to refine our decision making process.

Believe it or not, the same is true with computer.  Computer can compare and judge remarkably well, especially with large (and repetitive) quantities.  This is the basis for automation.

Moreover, the computer can improve its decision making process through machine learning.  Chiefly, with data and pattern recognition.  This is the basis for Artificial Intelligence.

The marriage between the human and computer decision making processes is augmentation.  The computer will augment our capability.  Google search is a case in point.  It will yield search results more & faster than we alone can ever achieve.

Augmentation has such a potential that the sky’s the limit.

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It All Depends

What’s your story?  Asked Person 1.

Well, that depends. Who wants to know? Answered Person 2.

Is the Person 2 being disingenuous? . . . Not necessarily.  Same story can be told differently and yet genuinely depending on a host of factors.

For example, four witnesses to an accident will yield four versions of what happened.  Each accounts for his or her own perspective, and each witness will swear by it.

Then, there is the story itself.  Is the glass half full or half empty?  One plus one does not always equal two (ask any parents).  Or how about – did s/he inhale or not?

Besides the perspective of the story teller and the complexity of the story, audience is another consideration.

Telling dirty joke to a crowd of families with mixed company and children is not only faux pas but also not understanding the audience.

So, it all depends.

What do you think is the best way to tell a story?

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Hypothermia

This morning, for the first time, I got a taste of hypothermia while running.

It had been cold the past few days with temperatures staying below freezing.  Grounds was dry, so was the air.  Ice had sucked away any moisture.  And the sun provided a respite only to the eyes.  It was deceivingly cold.

Even a hypothermia alert from the local government did not deter me from getting a run in, because the forecast for snow tomorrow.  So I bundled up before heading out for a 6 mile run.  As it turned out, I was over ambitious.

Typically, my extremities (i.e. fingers and toes) would get numb from the cold run but my core stayed warm which is crucial.  That wasn’t the case this morning.  I actually felt my core temperature dropping as I got near mile 5.  And the thought of hypothermia worried me.

Further, I was gasping for air.  The condensate from my breath met the cold air and frosted the inside of my scarf that was covering my face. This made breathing difficult.  At that point I recognized my mistake but managed to stay calm, slow down, and finish my run before any real damage occurred.

Any cold weather running advise?

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Week In Review – 14 Jan 2018

Know thyself is the common thread in my posts this week.  Pure luck or me being cooped up inside from the cold has something to do with it?  Either way, it is a subject I would never exhaust.

Your thing is about knowing our strength – what we are good at.  This knowledge opens options for us and brings our unique contribution into the mix.

Pursuit of happiness is what we aspire to. But how many actually make it due to our circumstances? Do you know what level are you and why?

How we spent our time says about our priorities. If something is really important make time for it.   An example of mine is the post, my meditative struggles.

Don’t blink, the digital age is here.  Technology has changed the way we live, and this trend will continue.  To keep up, knowing our purpose will be our best guide.

Lastly, Karen Beth’s article gives personal insight to Renee Brown’s saying, “Hope is a function of struggle,” how hope and struggle relate,  and why “without hope, there is no “need” to move through the struggle.”

Have a nice week.

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“Hope Is A Function Of Struggle”

Karen Beth’s piece below better illuminates the phrase, “hope is a function of struggle” by Renee Brown.  Better because Karen’s own struggle with sexual abuse as a child makes the phrase more personal and meaningful.

Her interpretation of hope that “pushes us through to move into the struggle, be with the struggle, understand the struggle, and overcome the struggle” spells out the the link between the hope and struggle in clear steps.

Moreover, as a purpose, hope is the something “on the other side of that struggle that you long for, that you see, or know that beyond the hurt and the pain – there is grace and beauty!”

Well said and so applicable to many things in life.  Enjoy.

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Yesterday in session my Therapist told me that he was listening to a podcast of  an interview of “Brene’ Brown” and “Krista Tippett” on his way into the office, and ho…

Source: hope is the function of struggle – Finding The Grace Within

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Working With Digital World

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Digital world, not to be confused with virtual reality, is in our everyday life.   We interact with it through calling, navigating, reading, writing, etc.  And the list goes on.  The digital world is definitely real.  In fact, for many of us, life could turn quite inconvenient without these tools.

Because the digital world moves at speed of light (as in fiber optics), question arises as to whether it will overwhelm or over-run us?

A fair question.  And the answer is yes ONLY if we allow it.  Examples like inbox overflows, unanswered messages, or me seeing the size and selection of the buffet when visiting Las Vegas happens if we don’t know what we want (to eat in my example).

The digital world is designed to augment our lives.  If desired, it can remember our favorites, passwords, preferences, or all of the above.  As capable as it may, a tool’s potential lies in our intended use. When the digital world becomes overwhelming, chances are the root cause can be traced back to us.

What is your outlook regarding the digital world?

 

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