Monthly Archives: August 2015

EU emission laws will impact US as well. In a good way.

For example… BMW sees the future vis-a-vis tough emmisions regulations in the EU and is moving more and more towards electric and plug-in hybrids. This will clearly impact the cars they offer in other parts of the world, and will also influence other automakers.
http://m.nasdaq.com/article/bmw-all-models-electric-within-decade-20150629-00597
(By way of Paul Graham https://twitter.com/paulg)

I realize that the cars will only be as “green” as the electricity they use, but here is a US map that analyzes how green the electricity grid is when used for an all-electric car:

“… Below is a map of the updated regional estimates for global warming emissions for the 26 electricity grid regions across the US. Compared to our previous analysis, nearly every region of the country has improved emissions for EVs. ”

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Filed under car, erik-green, future, green

Patty McCord at Netflix — The Queen of the good good-byes and the future of work

This is an amazing story about the culture of Netflix and it’s clearly the future of (creative) work for better or worse. No set hours, unlimited time-off, etc. But “ruthless” (or simply more “real”/”honest”) in hiring/firing. Depends on your perspective! “A for effort” doesn’t count.
http://podcatch.com/pages/2233.html (19 minute podcast from NPR’s Planet Money)

NETFLIX: “We’re a _team_, not a family” (Slide 23 of 124)

This reminds me of Byron Katie in “Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life” (BTW, I really recommend the audio cds.. really great!) where in Chapter 6 (pages 84-85) she talks about a boss firing an assistant because she wasn’t doing a good job even though they had been working together for many many years.

“People usually fire themselves when they realize what’s going on.”

IOW, it’s best to be clear and truthful about what is happening with the company — a person’s performance or the lack of a need for them (because of a change in technology or because the company has pivoted in some way)

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Filed under contrarian, evidence-based, future, talent vs skill, technology, uberification, work, work-life balance

Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for college

Excerpt from an interview with Ran Prieur at Boing Boing:
http://boingboing.net/2011/05/27/interview-ran-prieur.html
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Avi: What advice would you give to a smart kid in high school right now?

Ran: My first advice would be: Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for college. This is a point about college that some people don’t understand. And that is, the main thing you learn in college is how to think and act like an educated person.

If your parents both went to college, then they raised you, then you already know how to think and act like an educated person. You don’t need to go to college to learn that. If you come from a lower class family and your parents did not go to college, then college is much more beneficial to you.

People who’ve been to college and learn to think and act that way get a lot more respect in the dominant society. Just the way you say words, the way you carry yourself. So that’s a big benefit of college. You don’t necessarily have to pay tuition to do that. You could learn that by osmosis. Hanging out in a college campus.

When I was in high school, I was completely unmotivated. I did not know how to motivate myself at all. I was just going through the motions. So I went to college because college was the thing to do. It was a lot cheaper back then in the late 80’s when I went to college. My parents had some money saved up so I didn’t have to go on debt for college.

But, boy, I would not want to be a smart kid in high school right now because unless you’re tremendously good at self motivating, it can be hard for you to quit high school and not go to college and find something to do and not just crash and burn.

Maybe I would say go to community college to get your basic stuff out of the way or hang out at a college campus. If you could get a staff job at a college campus, then you can kind of get the college experience, and even take a few classes.

I don’t know. I would not want to be a kid in high school right now. The generation that is coming up now is going to have a really tough time. Be adaptable, that’s the advice I’d give.

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Filed under advice, alternative education, college, person: Ran Prieur, raising kids / parenting, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

It doesn’t matter if your kids love you or not. It’s not their job to love you. It’s your job to love them.

On the character Greg’s line: “It doesn’t matter if your kids love you or not. It’s not their job to love you. It’s your job to love them.”

Cody: That became kind of a mantra for me at a point in my life. It came to me when I was off shooting a different movie a few years ago, and my eldest son was 1 [year old] and he was so angry with me when I would come home — he wouldn’t come to me for a hug. He was genuinely clearly resentful of the fact that I had been gone. And it was gut-wrenching for me because I was a new mom, and it was not what I had pictured my life as a working mother to be like.

And so I just had to think of a way to remind myself that it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t come to you. That’s not what this is about. This is about you loving him and making him feel secure, and not vice versa. So that got me through a hard time, and then I wound up just popping it into a script later on.

From an interview with Diablo Cody about her new film “Ricki And The Flash” with Meryl Streep
http://www.npr.org/2015/08/09/430345434/straight-from-diablo-codys-life-ricki-and-difficult-families

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Filed under raising kids / parenting, unconditional love

Reporters, Journalists. How about this for your election coverage?

http://archive.pressthink.org/2010/08/15/citizens_agenda.html

The Citizens Agenda in Campaign Coverage
Jay Rosen, August 15, 2010

“The idea is to learn from voters what those voters want the campaign to be about, and what they need to hear from the candidates to make a smart decision. So you go out and ask them: “What do you want the candidates to be discussing as they compete for votes in this year’s election?”

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Filed under news, politics

NYTimes: You can do better. Sanders deserves equal coverage

Yeah, NYTimes, I’ve been complaining about NPR, but that is some pretty sparse coverage yourself! Last linked “Bernie Sanders” article is from July 25? http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/bernard_sanders/index.html

So I dunno, equal coverage seems reasonable. At least for the top 4 candidates per party. No? Otherwise, what is this … advertising the leader? … regurgitating press releases? Or what?

What else are you not providing fair and balanced coverage of?

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SEE ALSO:

1) Dave Winer: They forgot the readers
http://scripting.com/2015/08/02/theyForgotTheReaders.html
“PPS: The Times really needs an editor to rep the interests of readers. They don’t have one. Margaret Sullivan is repping the NYT internal line. ”

2) Jay Rosen: “How dumb should an ombudsman assume Americans to be?
NPR’s Jeffrey Dvorkin forces us to ask that. His answer: very dumb indeed.”
http://archive.pressthink.org/2003/11/05/npr_opinion.html

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Bernie Sanders on NPR — followup with data from NPR’s search tool

(A quick follow-up to my post:
https://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/fact-npr-blackout-of-sanders-882015-what-else-are-they-not-reporting/
)

Thanks to sesto from the comments section at the link below for this breakdown of the NPR data (as far as what they make available to the public)
http://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2015/08/07/430363570/feelin-the-bern-sanders-devotees-speak-out-about-npr-s-coverage

And another good commenter:
“This is a lame response, starting right out from the title labeling Bernie supporters as “devotees.””
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sesto • 20 hours ago
If you want a flat-out comparison of NPR’s bias and relative avoidance of Sanders, check out their candidate pages at NPR:

Bernie Sanders: 14 stories in 2015
Hillary Clinton: 76 stories in 2015, 13 just since July 1.

That 542% more for coverage of Hillary. Need more proof of bias?

Here are some numbers to demonstrate the uneven coverage, taken from NPR’s search page.

Includes “Hillary Clinton”: 236.
Includes “Hillary Clinton”, excludes “Bernie Sanders”: 188.
Includes “Bernie Sanders”: 66.
Includes “Bernie Sanders”, excludes “Hillary Clinton”: 13.
Includes “Hillary Clinton” and “Bernie Sanders”: 48.

Of NPR’s recent coverage of Hillary, 80% of it excludes Bernie Sanders. Of NPR’s coverage of Bernie Sanders, only 20% of it excludes Hillary Clinton. Interestingly, when you limit results to only what was heard on air, the percentages are the same, but the numbers are even worse:

“Hillary Clinton” heard on the air: 113.
“Hillary Clinton”, without “Bernie Sanders”: 91.
“Bernie Sanders” heard on the air: 27.
“Bernie Sanders”, without “Hillary Clinton”: 5. (and only one of those is specifically about Bernie Sanders).

It seems clear that NPR is all but incapable of discussing Bernie Sanders without bringing up Hillary, but they have no problem doing the opposite. The imbalance in coverage is quite clear. If they truly consider themselves to be impartial, they must grant equal time to all candidates, regardless of what the polls say about who’s “ahead” in this fake horse race. They’ve got some catching up to do.

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FACT: NPR blackout of Sanders – 8/8/2015 – what else are they not reporting?

Dear NPR,

You have lost my support FOREVER unless there is a quick and dramatic turnaround in your almost complete blackout of mentioning Bernie Sanders’ candidacy for President. This makes me wonder how often this happens on any number of topics every single day. I want ALL the news!

The facts:

I just listened to WAIT WAIT DON’T TELL ME (“the NPR news quiz”) on 8/8/2015 and who did they mention as someone who could live up the Dem race? BIDEN! And NO mention of Sanders (who is already running and in many polls is equal to Clinton) Peter Sagal and his guests… and no one utters the Sanders name. One said something to the effect that Biden could be the anti-Clinton? How about the actual candidate who already could be seen as the anti-Clinton? This coverage is appalling. Shocking. Frightening. Yes, I understand that the gist was maybe supposed to be that Biden is funny like Trump is funny, but if so, it didn’t really come across, at least to this distracted dad making breakfast while listening to NPR.

Yes, I saw this link from your ombudsman: Feelin’ The Bern: Sanders Devotees Speak Out About NPR’s Coverage http://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2015/08/07/430363570/feelin-the-bern-sanders-devotees-speak-out-about-npr-s-coverage
But… several times it mentions “they feel NPR has ignored Sanders”. Feel? NPR has all their stories in databases and can probably tell me exactly how many times and for how long each candidate has been mentioned across any or all programs.

Please show me the info (perhaps a URL) that shows me the stories you have done mentioning Sanders so I can be proven wrong. I haven’t seen them or heard them. From what I can tell, the last time Sanders was mentioned directly in an NPR headline was 7/16/2015 — more than 3 weeks ago. This one:

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Tout Small Donors; Here’s The Math
http://www.npr.org/2015/07/16/423605177/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-raise-millions-through-small-donations

Here is the google search I used: https://www.google.com/search?q=site:npr.org+%22bernie+sanders%22+intitle:sanders&es_sm=93&prmd=ivns&source=lnt&tbs=qdr:m&sa=X&ved=0CA8QpwVqFQoTCJSy9_7omccCFcpXPgodf_8KsA

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UPDATE: Here is a link to some stats a commenter pulled up: LINK

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Filed under news, npr

The Uberification of Society

The Uberification of Society: Empowerment or Race to the Bottom?

There was a great program on ON POINT RADIO recently (6/1/2015) on the topic
http://onpoint.wbur.org/2015/06/01/uber-for-everything-on-demand-economy

First, my overall take on this topic in Summer 2015: the uberification overall will be an equalizer or “race to the bottom” depending on who you are and industry you work in, and your place in it. Yes, it will mean some interesting choices for consumers, and some workers will feel free/empowered, but this will be outweighed by the overwhelming effect that quality of life, standard of living will drop.

Why? The big ticket items in life are:
– housing
– food
– healthcare
– college
– retirement

All of these are getting more expensive. So having a new gadget (in the form of a smartphone or GPS or an Uber-like-service) is not going to come close to outweighing the negative impacts on a huge reduction in stable long-term and full-time employment with benefits coming from your company. In countries where there are already strong gov’t programs in place for health care. And strong laws in place giving people time-off, they might be better positioned. But even time-off seems very employee-centric and won’t apply when you are self-employed. So we’ll see what develops.

This topic is also connected to other current memes that weren’t mentioned during the show:
– work being tied to getting the work done as specified, not hours worked
– telecommuting and software that allows people to work from N different offices (or their homes)
– flextime / flexitime https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flextime
– Virgin calls it “flexible working”. In the news is how they offer “unlimited time off” http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/in-focus-the-rise-of-flexible-working
– employee-owned companies (coops got a quick mention but a company is a little different) e.g. http://www.southmountain.com/
– unions
– sabbaticals
– working smarter not longer
– overtime
– 4-day work week – “Slim is the owner of Telmex, an American phone company, and has actively and enthusiastically embraced flexibility in his organisation. He has instituted programs for workers eligible for retirement to opt to work four day weeks on full pay. He has also controversially suggested we should all be working a three day work week”
– forced-retirement — some organizations (like the UN) force people to retire pretty early, like age-60, before many are ready/willing/interested to retire
– job sharing. 2 people splitting one job

================================

OK, some tidbits from the radio show:

HUGE list of “uber-like” apps beginning at 6:40. Crazy!

point repeated being made that we need safety nets to not be attached to specific jobs.
– healthcare
– time off (vacations, sickness, maternity and paternity leave)
– pensions
– 401ks
– what else?

Example: google empowering website owners to make money via advertising.
(34:40)
Already 20% and 10-15% moonlighting. In a decade: more than 50% freelancing.
(At roughly 36 minutes in… talking to Arun Sundararajan)

“The basic building blocks of capitalism are being revolutionized…” (26:00)
No employees and no assets. Owns as little as it possibly can. (26:30)

Why now? Kozmo (1998) failed, but technology and economy are different now. Ready for it.
– coincided with technology (everyone has smartphones/GPS. not special equipment)
– people are desperate for work
– good for students
– good for consumers options in certain segments. “Live like kings and queens?”
– If you’re a middle-aged man or woman with bills to pay, you’re in trouble

What needs to change? (39:00)
– many european countries are much more ready for this new economy because of luck. bad luck for US (39:40)
– STATE needs to be responsible OR – obamacare is a step
– (40:30) OR platforms (uber/lyft/etc) will step up to give benefits to prevent employees from switching to a different one (or be required to)
– OR drivers will form coops — collective “uber” (41:40)
– peers.org — platform for safety net (41:10) — health insurance/workers comp — REF: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_27062833/peers-unveils-products-workers-sharing-economy)

– quoting Tom Goodwin in Techcrunch
http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/03/in-the-age-of-disintermediation-the-battle-is-all-for-the-customer-interface/
“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.”

– “Companies want to get down to 0 if possible. It’s the capitalism of nothing… zero commitments to people longterm.” – Adrian Wooldridge (at 42:50)
– marketmakers. Only an algorithm. Employ spare “capacity” (unemployed people, free homes, cars, etc.)

– “Sounds like a present, and certainly future in which we’re all going to have to be very Zen to flow thru all this marvelous fluidity… if indeed it’s marvelous.” — Tom Ashbrook

A commenter: “A floating slave workforce in the land of the greedy just waiting around to fan the pharoahs.” (37:00)

“A hard time for workers in general. A lot less income stability over time.”

“If you are a middle-aged man or woman with a family and bills to pay, mortgage to pay, you’re suddenly projected into a much more uncertain world” (38:30)

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Filed under uberification, work

Shel Silverstein rockin’ the SVS vibe

The Voice
poem by Shel Silverstein

SVS-shel-silverstein-the-voice

Sudbury Valley School and Sudbury Model Schools
http://sudval.org/

The Voice

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that *this* is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

― Shel Silverstein

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Filed under Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School