[I haven’t watched these but I am a big believer in getting people to learn as much as possible about taking care of their bodies and each other that I believe you can select out (or in) those elements and items that will work for you where ever you are.
I was an EMT and EMT instructor a very long time ago and, during that process, the best decision I ever made was to marry a trauma nurse.
She became a certified case manager who’s been managing my case for a long time now, with time out for having and raising two kids who are now professionals raising their own kids. She spent hours today training our new Labrador retriever/hound puppy who, at age six months, stands 30 inches high. He is already proven to be a good watch, alert & protect dog.]
From page 1: “We can all perceive disintegration of our nations in terms of day to day, personal experiences…. [The] moral, material, cultural and intellectual decay that we are witnessing helplessly every day across the globe is not accidental …. but a deliberately-induced social crisis….”
Then there are the sections on television and cybernetics… deeply-depressing stuff, but enough to get folks away from the screens, enjoying and celebrating friends, family, pets, and life.
Ed.: Progress, albeit slow, is being made on the book. Two new sources have been added, one of which is being read now, and slowly I am annotating stuff I’ve read before, stuff I bought and set aside for reading, and more.
39 Books have been fully annotated and re-shelved
31 Books have not been annotated
3 Books need to be read and annotated
6 Books have not been read and may not be of value
1 book has not yet arrived
1 book has not yet been ordered
I’ve done enough highlighting that I had to go out and buy two more of the yellow things today.
[Would some one please package them in a square tube format so they won’t roll off tables when you put them down?]
And I think I just discovered the tool and technique that will allow me to boil all that down into a detailed and focused read for an audience that could stretch out and last across decades and generations.
There is a five-part condensation of performance psychology which you can adapt to anything that is in your future, and it goes like this.
First, set your goals. This is a choice as to whether you will focus on outcome goals, or process goals. Everyone wants the best outcome, of course, but the way to the best outcome over the long haul is to focus on your process goals, in other words, those things that you will want or have to do to achieve the outcome you want. Surely you can practice more, work harder, etc etc., but presumably you have been doing those things all along. Your goals should be immediate, short-term, positive, achievable (but challenging), time-limited, measurable, flexible and adaptable. The ancient Chinese wisdom about moving mountains a few rocks at a time still applies. Crisp and renewed clarity of intent is critical.
Relaxation is a major element. For athletic or movement-related items (these can include dance, music etc.), use progressive muscle relaxation (active and passive). Stretch; stay loose. Relaxation techniques can also include some for of autogenic training, meditative-based approaches, body scanning, mindfulness and breathing. Knowing how to maintain a consistent approach to deep and relaxing breathing as you go through your event is a key.
Self-talk is critical, using affirmations, cue words, reframing your thoughts, and using the STOP technique when you find your thoughts straying away in the wrong direction. If you tell your sub-conscious “I am the ____”, soon enough you will be the ____.
Imagery, especially when combined with self-talk, is equally critical. Used in learning and skill acquistion, for mental preparation and rehearsal, for reinforcement and correction, the use of imagery involves vividness, duration, ease, control and can also include auditory cues.
Lastly, concentration on the task at hand is the tip of your performance psychology spear.
“In this article, we argue that non-rigorous patenting standards and ineffectual policing of both fraudulent marketing and anticompetitive actions played an important role in launching and prolonging the opioid epidemic. We further show that these regulatory issues are not unique to prescription opioids but rather are reflective of the wider pharmaceutical market.”
Thefreethoughtproject.com reports: Researchers follow with a primer on the rise of opioid prescriptions and how pain became “the fifth vital sign.” By the 1990s, doctors realized that chronic pain was often ignored, and pain management became a hot topic. Physicians were urged to make greater use of opioids, with experts in the field downplaying the potential for misuse and addiction – a view largely based on experience with morphine.
But this was before OxyContin came along.
Purdue Pharma, recognizing that this newfound view of the medical establishment could be exploited, worked to develop an improved synthetic opioid. Their golden ticket was found with the extended-release oxycodone pill known as OxyContin, patented and approved by the FDA in 1995.
However, Purdue’s exclusive patent was based on corporate fraud and government ignorance.
“Purdue was able to patent extended-release oxycodone in the United States despite the fact that its constituent elements—the active ingredient oxycodone and the controlled-release system Contin—had been developed decades earlier…Oxycodone was used in clinical practice in Germany as early as 1917, and was first introduced in the United States in 1939.”
Purdue’s angle was to develop a controlled-release version of oxycodone, banking on its success with the patented MS Contin for morphine. Here’s where the feds stepped in to help.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) initially rejected Purdue’s patent request for extended-release oxycodone, citing the combination as “obvious.” But Purdue responded with a statistical falsehood – which the company knew was false – and the patent office made an about-face, granting the 20 year patent for OxyContin.
As the Harvard study notes, “low patenting standards” and “a history of tepid enforcement” provided incentive for Purdue to embark on a massive, fraudulent marketing campaign. With the guarantee of no competition provided by government, Purdue spent obscene amounts of money getting American hooked on their newly-patented product.
“Between 1996 and 2000, the company more than doubled its U.S. marketing team…In 2001, Purdue paid forty million dollars in bonuses tied to extended-release oxycodone…Purdue also invested heavily in analytics, developing a database to identify high-volume prescribers and pharmacies to help focus their marketing resources…Patients were offered starter coupons for a free initial supply of extended-release oxycodone, 34,000 of which were redeemed by 2001…Finally, Purdue hosted forty all-expenses-paid pain management and speaker training conferences at lavish resorts. Over five thousand clinicians attended, receiving toys, fishing hats, and compact discs while listening to sales representatives tout the alleged benefits of extended-release oxycodone…Purdue elevated the stakes, spending an estimated six to twelve times more promoting extended-release oxycodone than its competitor Janssen spent marketing a rival opioid…
Purdue’s efforts paid off. Between 1996 and 2001, extended-release oxycodone generated $2.8 billion in sales. From 2008 to 2014, annual sales exceeded $2 billion.”
It gets even worse.
As the patent expiration for OxyContin approached, Purdue developed an “abuse-deterrent formulation” of the drug, for which FDA granted a patent in 2010. Not satisfied with a simple new patent, Purdue filed a “citizen petition asking the FDA to refuse to accept generic versions of the original extended-release oxycodone formulation on safety grounds.” Incredibly, FDA also granted this to Purdue, “effectively preventing the marketing of low-cost, therapeutically equivalent products that might undercut Purdue’s incentive to continue to widely promote its new abuse-deterrent formulation.”
While thousands of Americans die under a campaign of deception and greed, official Washington pretends to care with the occasional fine levied against pharma companies, including for false marketing by Purdue.
But no one ever goes to jail; no one in top management is ever held to account. The persons in “personhood” conveniently disappear when corporations get in trouble. And the fines? Mere pocket change compared to the revenues already made from the drugs involved.
“Rather than deterring fraudulent marketing, the penalties simply became a cost of doing business.”
The Harvard study provides much more insight into the fraudulent marketing practices of Big Pharma, the patent schemes enabled by federal government, how generic drugs are routinely stifled, and possible ways to address the injustice.
Some of the more sinister effects of the system include “hard switches” which force patients to go from one costly patented drug to another instead of generics. The use of “citizen petitions” by pharma corporations to slow generic drugs and keep prices high is a particularly insidious scheme.
The study notes that today, “Over four million Americans misuse opioids each month” at a societal cost of $80 billion annually. 300 million prescriptions were written in 2015 in the U.S., which has a population of 323 million. This is reflected in the fact that 80 percent of the world’s opioids are consumed in the U.S., which has 5 percent of the world’s population.
The misuse of opioids is a not a simple issue, and personal choice is of course involved. But the above numbers point to something much bigger going on.
As the Harvard study confirms, Big Pharma has exploited the enormous addiction potential of opioids to prey upon the American populace for decades — made possible by a federal government with blatant disregard for the well-being of citizens.
The Pennsylvania Dutch, in whose bosom I nested from infancy until age nine, have an expression “the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get”.
The actual source is debatable, it being attributed to Satchel Paige, Lewis Carroll’s white rabbit and who knows who.
I was already behind from the beginning. I’m now way behind and priority tasks are still stacking up.
I’ve taken to asking friends and family to e-mail me some more time.
On top of that, Mrs. Blogger finally broke down and “rescued” a six-month Labrador-beagle male, we had a grandchild sleep-over, and today finally a long list of chores needing daughter’s assistance in doing were finally done. Eight-year-old grandchild #2 recorded a video on how to throw a four-seam fastball, nine-year-old grandchild #1 just came back from a diamond mine richer than I am, and seven-year-old grandchild #3 is going through dental woes.
But the tavern sign is now mounted, the dog goes for his well-puppy visit tomorrow and I passed muster with my primary nurse-practitioner.
Stacking up on my reading/study side-table are the following:
Professor Ashton Nichol’s 12-disc CD course on Emerson, Thoreau and the transcendentalist movement;
a 346-page grandmaster’s textbook on chess so I can teach those grandkids a game to which they’ve taken;
three small puzzle books that teach three kinds of thinking (logical, quick and creative);
“The Art and Science of Staff Fighting: A Complete Instructional Guide” by Joe Varady…
I have the staff, my six-foot walking stick cut with proper indigenous sanctity and respect from a New England rock maple, the bark removed, dried, sanded, shellacked and varnished; I have the gi, along with videos of the related aikido kata; I have the dojo (a partially-shaded stone and grass patio with fire pit, waterfall, shower, and surrounding garden;
an audio course of eight 45-minutes lectures on jazz, its history and more by Bill Messenger, who “studied musical composition, on scholarship, at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University under Louis Cheslock. He attended a master’s class in 1963 with Nadia Boulanger, the teacher of Roy Harris, Virgil Thompson, and Aaron Copland. Professor Messenger has two master’s degrees, both from Johns Hopkins University. He has done additional graduate work in musicology at the University of Maryland.
Professor Messenger has taught composition, music history, and music theory at Goucher College in Baltimore and a number of community colleges. He regularly lectures on American music at The Peabody Institute and Towson State University Elderhostels.
Professor Messenger is the author of several books, including The Power of Music: A Complete Music Activities Program for Older Adults, which has been called “a landmark in music activities.”
His musical career includes studio work on many early rock ‘n’ roll recordings. He has accompanied many nationally known performers during his years in the music business, including Lou Rawls and Cass Elliot, and he worked as an opener for Bill Haley and the Comets. He was also a pianist with the acrobatic rock’n’roll group, The Rockin’ Maniacs. As a jazz pianist, he has played in ragtime ensembles, swing bands, Dixieland bands, and modern jazz groups. In 1983 he was voted Baltimore’s best piano player by Baltimore magazine.”
Not forgotten and essentially still on the front burner, simmering, is the book I will be writing. I’ve brought to paper the points I will take from 37 out of 69 selected books, though I keep finding books and ordering them; three are on my “to do” list. Many of these books I need to re-read again; I’m finding what I annotated when I first read them is not necessarily what I want to pull out of them for this project. They are interesting to read, having learned a lot as I have moved on. I have much work to do before I will actually do the writing.
Much of the material will gravitate out to a blog rather than go into the book (be patient). One example I found is interesting to say the least.
Along with that and the latest Occurences, I’ll leave you with this:
JUNE 2, 2017, 8:49 AM| Award-winning author Michael Ruhlman has been writing about food for 20 years. [Got food?] He’s collaborated with professional chefs on cookbooks and written about the basics of cooking. Ruhlman joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss his new book, “Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America” and how our relationship with food has evolved.
Chain grocery retailing was a phenomenon that took off around the beginning of the twentieth century, with the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (established 1859) and other small, regional players. Grocery stores of this era tended to be small (generally less than a thousand square feet) and also focused on only one aspect of food retailing. Grocers (and most of the chains fell into this camp) sold what is known as “dry grocery” items, or canned goods and other non-perishable staples. Butchers and greengrocers (produce vendors) were completely separate entities, although they tended to cluster together for convenience’s sake.
Clarence Saunders’ Piggly Wiggly stores, established in Memphis in 1916, are widely credited with introducing America to self-service shopping, although other stores (notably Alpha Beta in Southern California) around the country were experimenting with the idea at about the same time. Self-service stores came to be known as “groceterias” due to the fact that they were reminiscent of the cafeteria-style eateries that were gaining popularity at the time.
The Chain Store Explosion (1920s):
It was not until the 1920s that chain stores started to become a really dominant force in American food (and other) retailing. Small regional chains such as Kroger, American Stores, National Tea, and others began covering more and more territory, and A&P began moving toward a more national profile, operating over 10,000 of its “economy stores” by the end of the decade. Most of these stores remained small, counter service stores, often staffed by only two or three employees, with no meat nor produce departments. Some still offered delivery and charge accounts, although most chain stores had abandoned these practices.
In 1926, Charles Merrill, of Merrill Lynch set in motion a series of transactions that led to the creation of Safeway Stores, when he arranged the merger of Skaggs Cash Stores, a chain with operations in Northern California and the northwestern United States, with Los Angeles-based Sam Seelig Stores. In 1928, the new chain bought most of the west coast’s Piggly Wiggly stores, and later acquired Sanitary Stores in the Washington DC area as well as MacMarr Stores, another chain that Charles Merrill had assembled. Growth by merger became common in the late 1920s and 1930s, and led to numerous antitrust actions and attempts to tax the chain stores out of existence.
The Supermarket (1930s and 1940s):
As early at the 1920s, some chain grocers were experimenting with consolidated (albeit still rather small) stores that featured at least a small selection of fresh meats and produce along with the dry grocery items. In Southern California, Ralphs Grocery Company was expanding into much larger stores than had been seen before in most of the country. Los Angeles was also seeing the beginning of the “drive-in market” phenomenon, where several complimentary food retailers (a butcher, a baker, a grocer, and a produce vendor, for example) would locate within the same small shopping center surrounding a parking lot. These centers were often perceived by customers as a single entity, despite being under separate ownership.
In 1930, Michael Cullen, a former executive of both Kroger and A&P, opened his first King Kullen store, widely cited as America’s first supermarket, although others have some legitimate claim to that title as well. King Kullen was located in a warehouse on the fringes of New York City, and offered ample free parking and additional concessions in a bazaar-like atmosphere. Merchandise was sold out of packing cartons and little attention was paid to décor. The emphasis was on volume, with this one store projected to do the volume of up to one hundred conventional chain stores. The volume and the no frills approach resulted in considerably lower prices.
The supermarket, as it came to be known, was initially a phenomenon of independents and small, regional chains. Eventually, the large chains caught on as well, and they refined the concept, adding a level of sophistication that had been lacking from the spartan stores of the early 1930s. In the late 1930s, A&P began consolidating its thousands of small service stores into larger supermarkets, often replacing as many as five or six stores with one large, new one. By 1940, A&P’s store count had been reduced by half, but its sales were up. Similar transformations occurred among all the “majors”; in fact, most national chains of the time saw their store counts peak around 1935 and then decline sharply through consolidation. Most chains operated both supermarkets and some old-style stores simultaneously for the next decade or so, either under the same name (like Safeway, A&P, and Kroger) , or under different banners (such as the Big Star stores operated by the David Pender Grocery Company in the southeast).
Suburbs and Shopping Centers (1950s and 1960s):
By the 1950s, the transition to supermarkets was largely complete, and the migration to suburban locations was beginning. Some chains were more aggressive with this move than others. A&P, for example, was very hesitant to expend the necessary capital and move outward, retaining smaller, outdated, urban locations for perhaps longer than was prudent. While the company tried to catch up in the 1960s, its momentum had vanished, and the once dominant chain eventually became something of an “also-ran.”
The 1950s and 1960s were seen my many as the golden age of the supermarket, with bright new stores opening on a regular basis, generating excited and glowing newspaper reports, and serving a marketplace that was increasingly affluent. Standardized designs, in use since the 1930s and 1940s, were refined and modernized, creating instantly recognizable and iconic buildings such as A&P’s colonial-themed stores; the glass arch-shaped designs of Safeway, Penn Fruit, and others; and the towering pylon signs of Food Fair and Lucky Stores.
Discounters and Warehouse Stores (1970s):
As changing tastes and zoning boards forced exteriors to become more “subdued” in the late 1960s, interiors began to compensate, with colorful designs evoking New Orleans or the “Gay 90s” or old farmhouses replacing the stark whites common to many stores of the 1950s. Other new touches included carpeting, specialty departments, and more. Kroger’s new “superstore” prototype, introduced in 1972, was perhaps the peak of this trend, with its specialty departments and its orange, gold, and green color palette.
Many shoppers, however, wondered what the costs of these amenities might be, and something of a backlash developed. This backlash was answered in the late 1960s with a new trend known as “discounting.”
Numerous stores around the country embarked on discounting programs at about the same time, most of which centered around the elimination of trading stamps, reduction in operating hours, and an emphasis on cost-cutting. Lucky Stores of California simply re-imaged their current stores and kept using the same name, while others opted for a hybrid format, with some stores operating traditionally and others (such as Colonial’s Big Star stores and Harris Teeter’s More Value in the southeast) open as discounters under different names.
A&P, as was its custom at the time, arrived somewhat late and unprepared for this party. It attempt at discounting, WEO (Warehouse Economy Outlet) was something of a disaster, plagued by distribution issues and by the fact that its numerous smaller and older stores were not capable of producing the volume required to make discounting work (but were converted anyway). This was one of several factors that preceded A&P’s major meltdown of the mid-1970s.
Upscale Stores, Warehouses, and Mergers (1980s and 1990s):
The market segmentation we see today grew out of the discounting movement as amplified in the 1980s. The middle range began to disappear, albeit slowly, as mainline stores went more “upscale” and low end stores moved more toward a warehouse model, evocative of the early supermarkets of the 1930s. Many chains operated at both ends of the spectrum, often under different names (Edwards and Finast was an example, as were the many A&P brands, from “Futurestore” to “Sav-a-Center”). Others eliminated one end of the market completely, like Harris Teeter in North Carolina, which abandoned discounting entirely.
The re-emergence of superstores, featuring general merchandise and groceries under one roof accelerated this trend. Many such stores had opened in the early 1960s, some of them operated by chain grocers themselves. Only a few survived, Fred Meyer in Oregon being a noteworthy example, and “one stop shopping” seemed a relatively new and fresh idea when Kmart and Walmart tried it again, with considerably more success, starting around 1990.
The other big trend during this time was toward mergers and leveraged buyouts. This affected almost all the major chains. A&P was sold to German interests. Safeway took itself private in 1987 to avoid a hostile takeover, and lost half its geographical reach in the process. Kroger slimmed down somewhat in 1988 for the same reasons, while Lucky was acquired by American Stores the same year. Another round of mergers in the 1990s placed American Stores in the hands of Albertsons, reunited Safeway with much of its former territory, and greatly increased the west coast presence of Kroger, making these three chains the dominant players in the industry, along with Walmart.
All of which brings us to the present, which is not what this site is about, so I’ll leave any further mention of big box retailers, new players like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and subsequent mergers to future historians, and invite you to continue exploring the past at Groceteria.com.
In Shanghai, a prototype of a new 24-hour convenience store has no staff, no registers, and the whole thing is on wheels, designed to eventually drive itself to a warehouse to restock, or to a customer to make a delivery.
The startup behind it believes that it’s the model for the grocery store of the future–and because it’s both mobile and far cheaper to build and operate than a typical store, it could also help bring better access to groceries to food deserts and rural areas.
“The biggest costs to have a store are the place itself to rent in a central city.” [Photo: courtesy Wheelys]
For consumers, it’s designed to be an easier way to shop. To use the store, called Moby, you download an app and use your phone to open the door. A hologram-like AI greets you, and, as you shop, you scan what you want to buy or place it in a smart basket that tracks your purchases. Then you walk out the door; instead of waiting in line, the store automatically charges your card when you leave (Amazon is testing a similar system). The tiny shop will stock fresh food and other daily supplies, and if you want something else you can order it using the store’s artificial intelligence. The packages will be waiting when you return to shop the next time. When autonomous vehicles are allowed on roads, the store could also show up at your home, and the company is also testing a set of drones to make small deliveries.
In a dense urban neighborhood with high rents, the low-cost system could make it possible for a group of neighbors to launch their own local grocery. “The biggest costs to have a store are the place itself to rent in a central city–it’s ultra-expensive–and then staff is really expensive, and we’re removing both of these at the same time,” says Tomas Mazetti, one of the founders of Wheelys, the Sweden-based startup that is developing the store along with China’s Hefei University and Himalayafy, an offshoot of Wheelys focused on the technology inside the store.
Wheelys already makes small mobile coffee carts designed to help young entrepreneurs compete with chains like Starbucks when they don’t have the funds to rent space for a standard cafe. It envisions that its new mobile markets could similarly be purchased and used by almost anyone, anywhere. The company also plans to mass-produce the stores, making them cheaper to build than traditional local construction (the company expects that it may be possible to build a store for $30,000; on top of any markup, store franchisees would also pay a small “community fee” to get support from the company on logistics). Solar panels on top of the store are designed to power the vehicle’s electric motor and all of the equipment and lighting inside.
“Now a village can team up and buy one of these stores. If the village is really small, [the store] can move around to different villages.” [Photo: courtesy Wheelys]
For the startup, the new product seemed like a logical step. Cafe customers were already beginning to ask for larger stores. “Apart from the size, the basic construction is not that much more complex than our biggest mobile cafes,” says Mazetti. “The university provides us with access and a technical edge in some areas such as self-driving tech.” In 2016, the company acquired Näraffär, a Swedish startup with technology for a staff-less store, and a staff-less (but not mobile) store operated in Sweden until the company began the project in Shanghai.
In rural areas and small towns, the design could replace main street stores that have disappeared. “I grew up in the countryside in Northern Sweden,” he says. “The last store closed there in the 1980s sometime, and after that, everyone just commuted into the city, but that takes an hour. A little piece of the village died. Now, suddenly, in a place like that, the village can team up and buy one of these stores. If the village is really small, [the store] can move around to different villages.”
When autonomous vehicles are allowed on roads, the store could also show up at your home. [Photo: courtesy Wheelys]
The system is also designed to restock itself automatically. In a city, one Moby could self-drive to a warehouse to replenish itself while another takes its place (the current model can be controlled remotely or driven by a human; the designers are still finalizing the autonomous technology, and it’s not yet legal for it to drive itself on Chinese roads). Stores could also help replenish each other, avoiding longer trips. “It’s common in stores that one store has run out of milk, another has run out of eggs, but both of them need to have a truck go back and forth to a warehouse,” he says. “We can ship these products in between, so we don’t need to go back and forth these long distances to rural areas to do this.”
While the store has a limited selection, focused on day-to-day needs, the designers think that it represents what’s coming in retail. “I think 7-11 is the store of the future, combined with online retail,” says Mazetti. “There’s no point in the things in between. Because if you need a printer, or a spare part for your vacuum cleaner, or even a turkey, it makes more sense to have that delivered.”
In the beta tests, the company will continue to test the app and staff-less tech in the store, along with online ordering, how consumers merge in-person shopping with digital orders, and other aspects of the shopping experience, such as the fact that only three or four people can fit inside the tiny store at once. It will also test the store’s ability to restock itself (it will be driven to a nearby warehouse; in the future, it will be able to drive itself farther away). The company plans to quickly add more features. “Of course there are many actors on the market with deeper pockets than us, but deep pockets can weigh you down,” says Mazetti says. “We are nimble and fast and have been able to stay ahead in this field for a year. Regardless, someone needs to lead the way, and we’re convinced that this, or a similar system, is the future of retail.”
After the beta tests in Shanghai–a city chosen because it’s a world leader in mobile payments, because Wheelys has an assembly plant ready there, and for its Bladerunner-like futurism–the company will continue to tweak the design. “It feels like we’re building the first car in the world and that it still looks a little like a horse cart,” he says. “I think we need to calibrate stuff, and get some things right, like how many people can be in a store at the same time. And what exactly we should sell–we don’t know that yet. We need to test it more.”
By 2018, Wheelys expects to be ready to produce and sell the stores, and help franchisees compete with other coming retail outlets like Amazon’s new brick-and-mortar stores. “I want these to be bought by families or groups of people, so that it’s not one person that owns every store in the world,” says Mazetti. “Instead of working at a warehouse for Amazon, you can own your own little store.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world’s largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley. More
b) Pressure re: their performance (negative store comps and negative trending sales per square foot) and lagging stock price from Private Equity and other shareholders
and market disappears.
c) John Mackey remains as CEO (for now).
d) The only national retailer of organic, natural and specialty (and arguably most well-known and respected brand) just joined forces with the most innovative, disruptive and respected international brand in online retailing – and arguably
retailing in general – not to mention one of the preeminent providers of web services and masters of fulfillment.
e) WF can now operate under the consolidated statement of Amazon (if Amazon chooses to do so) rather than having to report as a separate company and thus escape scrutiny from market and competitors re: financial performance and
f) Expansion of market share overnight by plugging into Amazon Fresh customer base.
g) Able to leverage Amazon expertise as the leader in logistics and fulfillment and one of the most significant players in data services, analytics, online technology and customer interface.
How the deal helps Amazon:
a) Early on I had conversations with Tesco N. American leadership re: their Fresh and Easy concept, which was having trouble almost from the get go. They made a number of critical mistakes (which I tried to point out) with one of the major ones being that they tried to introduce a new retail brand and launch a new concept at the same time in a fairly big way (a concept that to make matters worse was not perceived as either Fresh or Easy by the consumer). They would have been much better off to have acquired a conventional chain with a respected brand and with an
established and viable store base, learned about the differences in doing the supermarket business in the U.S. vs. other places in the world and about the U.S. consumer while leveraging their experience and prominence as conventional supermarket operators, and then used that base from which to develop and launch a new, fresh-convenience concept.
Amazon has been in the beginning stages of developing their grocery business, after a number of years of prototyping. That development has moved slower than they would have liked. Amazon came to understand that the fastest way to become a
major player in the food business was through partnerships and acquisitions – not by building that business internally and incrementally. Amazon has the ability to dominate entire retailing segments by leveraging their brand and IT, customer interface, data analytics and logistics infrastructure. Speed pays dividends – as reflected in their stock price after the WF acquisition – by which they created a larger increase in their valuation than the price they paid for Whole Foods. This shows how the market views the power and potential of this alliance and the leverage it will now bring to Amazon. Conversely, the rest of the industry lost about $40 Billion in market valuation. Equally telling.
b) Wal-Mart became the largest grocer in N. America within a decade of when it made the decision to get involved in groceries. Why did they go after groceries? Because food represents increased shopping frequency over hard and soft goods.
They doubled the frequency of shop at their superstores when they added food. Aldi showed meteoric growth in the UK market when they added fresh and specialty food to their stores. Costco recently surpassed WF to become the largest purveyor
of organic groceries in North America. Amazon believed that by being able to offer food to their customers that it could
increase frequency as well. But just as importantly, food is a critical component in their drive to become the primary shop and first “stop” for every household – for everything!!! They now will enhance their ability to become Wal-Mart before Wal- Mart can become Amazon.
c) Amazon has been prototyping various approaches in their drive to develop their own food retailing channel – predominantly under the “Amazon Fresh” subsidiary – which has gone through several iterations as well. It now has the opportunity to develop a more coherent and comprehensive strategy, offering and branding around food, and unify, clarify and synchronize the food retailing initiatives represented by Amazon fresh, go, pickup, pantry, prime and prime now.
d) When I was working with Morrisons in the UK, I tried to convince them not to try to develop their own home delivery infrastructure to compete with the offerings of
Tesco and Sainsbury that were well established, but to partner with Amazon, who was just entering the non-grocery retail market and was also looking for a quick pathway into groceries as well. After spending substantial time and money trying to
develop a home delivery IT and logistics capability themselves, Morrisons decided to partner with Ocado, who was also supplying delivery services for a competitor (Waitrose). Morrisons paid big money for the privilege as well and missed at the time what was a natural partnership that could have made Morrisons money from the get go with Amazon in charge of home delivery fulfillment and Morrisons as Amazon’s grocery and fresh food supplier – especially since Morrisons, unlike other UK retailers, had an extensive, proprietary food manufacturing and processing
infrastructure of its own, which it maintains today. Several years later, Amazon has become the major force in retailing in the country, and a major factor in food retailing; with Morrisons as a primary supplier . In North America, with the acquisition of Whole Foods, that primary supply partnership has been defined for the future. Perhaps in the UK as well.
e) Whole Foods has about 464 locations (about 5% of which were outside the USA in Canada and UK) with some 90 in development (1/10th of Wal-Mart’s store base).
They also have 11 distribution facilities and 3 seafood processing and distribution facilities and one facility dedicated to specialty coffee. Amazon has over 60 DC’s, undoubtedly more effective than those operated by WF for the distribution of nonperishables
by the piece. Amazon is paying just under $30M per store – most of which are leased by the way, and about 17x WF’s free cash flow. Not unreasonable just as an acquisition price per se – without the strategic considerations.
f) Amazon generates about what it is paying for WF in free cash each year. If it pays cash, it will use about 50% of the value of its current cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities for the purchase. So this represents a significant investment. They are serious about becoming a major player in the food business, fast!
g) Amazon will get an insiders view of UNFI and Instacart – with whom WF currently has strategic and contractual partnerships. It is interesting to contemplate the effect on the industry if Amazon also acquired these organizations.
h) I have often told retailers I have worked with that Google, Facebook and Amazon have much more comprehensive data about their customers than they do. What these players don’t have is the in-store POS transaction data to close the loop. I have
suggested to a number of retailers that they would be much better off partnering with these players than trying to develop their own card-based loyalty program, – players who would be anxious to do so I believe for a look at their transaction data,
if nothing else. We are about to see what happens when one of the premier players in the virtual and data world gets transparency of the transactional data of one of the premier players in the retail food bricks and mortar world.
The WF shopper demographic is highly skewed to urban, higher income and higher education – naturally synergistic with Amazon’s Prime and Prime variants present and aspiring customer base.
j) Amazon just added 460+ pickup locations overnight.
k) As reported by Becky Shilling re: the recent United Fresh convention in Chicago:
The future of fresh isn’t Amazon. That was the overwhelming sentiment during a panel of Gen Z Chicagoans at United Fresh’s Fresh MKT…. The idea of ordering fresh grocery
food from Amazon did not appeal to these customers, who said they felt food ordered from Amazon Fresh would be “too handled,” “not ripe,” “not the best quality” or “might
The key factor to building a vibrant Fresh business is building trust. Few organizations are regarded more highly by customers than Amazon – but this is mainly around selection, speed and accuracy of delivery, and price. Fresh is a different story. So as much as customers trust Amazon to provide what they want, when, how and where they want it at a price they can afford (often the best in the marketplace), that doesn’t mean they will trust them to be their merchants for Fresh. Whole Foods has had challenges over time with trust factors and vendor relations as
well. But if you can merge the value and fulfillment proposition offered by Amazon with the food credentials of Whole Foods, and make yourself worthy of people’s trust around Fresh (customers and vendors), you can dominate the world of food
retailing. And I think that is the plan – and also the opportunity this merger represents.
And a special comment for Solari subscribers that you probably won’t seeelsewhere: It is my personal belief that the major telecom, entertainment andinternet powerhouses would not be thriving unless they cooperated with theintelligence agencies as requested and in turn by default, with the Deep State. TheAmazon and WF deal represents the first merging of one of the primary providers ofIT and data infrastructure for the Deep State and the most highly regarded Fresh,Organic, Natural and Specialty Food retailers of national scope. Gives new meaningto the need to go local, support your local farmer and perhaps grow your own.
All sorts of cards can be played from the bottom of the deck.”
When Amazon boss and billionaire Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013, he also had an ongoing $600 million contract to provide cloud computing services to the CIA. That meant the Washington Post, which already had a long history of cooperation with the CIA, renewed their wedding vows with the Agency and doubled down on the alliance.
By any reasonable standard of journalism, the Post should preface every article about the CIA, or article sourced from the CIA, with a conflict of interest admission: TAKE THIS PIECE WITH A FEW GIANT GRAINS OF SALT, BECAUSE OUR NEWSPAPER IS OWNED BY A MAN WHO HAS A HUGE CONTRACT TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO THE CIA.
Now Bezos and his company, Amazon, have bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Whole Foods is the premier retailer of “natural” foods in America.
The degree of profiling of Whole Foods customers will increase by a major factor. Amazon/CIA will be able to deploy far more sophisticated algorithms in that regard.
It’s no secret that many Whole Foods customers show disdain for government policies on agribusiness, health, medicine, and the environment. Well, that demographic is of great interest to the Deep State, for obvious reasons. And the Deep State will now be able to analyze these customers in finer detail.
At the same time, the Amazon retail powerhouse will exercise considerable control over the food supply, since it will be selling huge numbers of food products to the public. Amazon will have new relationships with all the farmers Whole Foods has been using as suppliers.
Perhaps this disclaimer posted on every Whole Foods item is now in order: KEEP IN MIND THE FACT THAT THE OWNER OF WHOLE FOODS, AMAZON, HAS A VERY TIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CIA. USE YOUR IMAGINATION.
Then there is this. The CIA has its own private company, called In-Q-Tel, which was founded in 1999 to pour investment money into tech outfits that could develop new ways to facilitate “data collection,” and service other CIA needs. In-Q-Tel, Jeff Bezos, and Amazon are connected. For example, here is a 2012 article from technologyreview.com:
“Inside a blocky building in a Vancouver suburb, across the street from a dowdy McDonald’s, is a place chilled colder than anywhere in the known universe. Inside that is a computer processor that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the CIA’s investment arm, In-Q-Tel, believe can tap the quirks of quantum mechanics to unleash more computing power than any conventional computer chip. Bezos and In-Q-Tel are in a group of investors who are betting $30 million on this prospect…”
Nextgov.com described the deal this way: “Canadian company D-Wave Systems raised $30 million to develop quantum computing systems. Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment company of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and CIA venture capital arm In-Q-Tel participated in the latest funding round, the firm announced. The company’s quantum computing technology seeks to speed up data-crunching. If successful, the technology could aid automated intelligence gathering and analysis.”
Yes, automated intelligence gathering and analysis are exactly what outfits like Amazon and the CIA need for profiling the public. Other companies who have purchased products from D-Wave Systems? Goldman Sachs and Lockheed Martin. Let’s see: Amazon, CIA, Goldman, Lockheed—a formidable collection of Deep State players.
“Buy your food from the purest natural retailer in the world, the CIA.
I’m 75 pages into the book, and I paused to give you a taste of this gem so I won’t give away the the deeper gemstones in it or the conclusion. You can use the link above to find a version that works for you. You can also use it as an impetus to diving back into my e-book, which I’ve considered updating and upgrading. We know a whole lot more about the human brain now than when I started it (or finished it) or finally got around to getting into shape so it could be shared.
I had to chuckle with delight as the first two pages are focused on the architecture of deep work; Newport talks about Jung’s Bollingen Tower and other examples of how people configured their space and their tools for their own deep work. I am about to enter the second year here in this little bungalow on the edge of a small river and a forest, close to the roadways and locations necessary to the rest of life. My workspace has three locations (one primary with two desks and three tools, and three secondary seats, each wide side chairs and tables). Oh, and blank paper, lots of pens and two computers. The main one is on the lower floor in my office corner; the second is in an open space kitchen/living area with laptop or out on the deck overlooking the garden or even on the patio in the garden.
Let me now race through some excerpts from the book so you can decide whether it has application in your world and your life. I’d like my son to get into this book; he dropped away from athletic pursuit (save on the golf course… he came in third in his club championship last year), and into his professional career, now two decades old. He built the flagship for a regional golf equipment retail chain and drove its sales through the roof, then left for the wholesale side of the game. He’s now a regional sales manager for a golf apparel company in a company in which his people are currently ranked 1, 2 and 3 in their salesman of the year contest.
Deep work, says Newport on page 3, are “the professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes cognitive capabilities to their limit in a hard-to-replicate manner, thereby creating new value and improved skill. “We now know from decades of research in both psychology and neuroscience that the state of mental strain that accompanies deep work is necessary for improvement in cognitively demanding fields.”
I’ve seen it at work on those times when my daughter would retire into her internal mental space and emerge to perform at levels that won her national ranking despite her apparently small size; the coach from one major recruiting school got back in her car and drove off when she saw my child from a distance of ten feet and then read about her selection as the All-Region Player of the Year four years later. The coach from a California powerhouse university whose performance consultant was a nationally-recognized expert in peak performance asked her counterpart from the Northeast snowbound school who that little girl was who’d hit the two 3-run home runs and just exactly where on earth did she come from?
Cal Newport isn’t focused on fastpitch softball, though; he is focused on the world of software, networking, social media and digital communications when he talks about missing out on massive opportunity when he says to his readers that “you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things”, that “to succeed, you have to produce the absolute best stuff you’re capable of producing” and that that output will be valuable in a world where someone with a better product that can be found easily and which is now being readied for the marketplace. Deep work is both scarce and valuable and is a key currency in a world that can also easily produce a lot of something else to distract you. Who is having your lunch today?
Newport talks of “fierce concentration”, minimizing in your daily life and space that which is shallow and increasing, with greater intensity, those times of uninterrupted and carefully-directed concentration.
If you want to thrive, you have to learn how to master hard things, and you have to produce, in terms of both quality and speed, at an elite level. You have to master the foundational skills — think of my e-book “Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind …” as your elementary school.
On pages 33-36, Newport again mentions the new field of performance psychology and mentions K. Anders Ericsson (whom I first heard about during a presentation by Leonard Zaichkowsky, Ph.D.: see the attached pdf Becoming a Champion in Sport and Life), who says in Deep Work on page 34,
“… the differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.”
The concept of deliberate practice is addressed in the sections on mindfulness in my e-book and especially within the books written by Ellen Langer.
The core components of deliberate practice are defined as follows:
your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve (or an objective you’re trying to achieve) or an idea you’re trying to master; and
you receive feedback so you can correct your approach and keep your attention exactly where it’s needed or will be most productive.
The first is central to Newport’s book. I regard the second as also of vital importance; it’s simply “the other side of the coin”. Feedback comes from competition, or at least scrimmage and free play, and perhaps from simulation and/or dialogue.
The footnote on page 34 describes how Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea of deliberate practice in his book Outliers which generated attempts to poke holes in Ericcson’s theory, answered by Ericcson in his article “Why Expert Performance is Special and Cannot Be Extrapolated from Studies of Performance in the General Population: A Response to Criticisms” [ http://www.progressfocused.com/2013/12/anders-ericsson-responds-to-criticisms.html ].
Focused attention requires deliberate practice.
“Let your mind becomes a lens, thanks to the converging rays of attention; let your soul be all intent on whatever it is that is established in your mind as a dominant, wholly absorbing idea”, said Antonin-Dalmace Sertillanges, a Dominican friar and professor of moral philosophy in “The Intellectual Life” .
The new “science of performance argues that you get better at a skill as you develop more myelin around the relevant neurons, allowing the corresponding circuit [ of neurons ] to fire more effortlessly and effectively. To be great at something is to be well myelinated…. The repetitive use of a specific circuit triggers cells called oligodendrocytes to begin wrapping layers of myelin around the neurons in the circuit, effectively cementing the skill.”
“.. the type of work that optimizes your performance is deep work. If you’re not comfortable going deep for extended periods of time, it’ll be difficult to get your performance to the peak levels of quality and quantity increasingly necessary to thrive professionally. Unless your talent and skills already dwarf those of your competition, the deep workers among them will outproduce you.”
What type of work that you do requires you to go deep?
Buy the book. Get busy. The world needs your best work.
I’ve been keeping notes and files since I was on the ‘net twelve years ago (my current desktop machine has a terabyte of memory and it isn’t full yet). Last week I started collating my previous annotations from 52 books (and re-reading them as I go). Boiling that all down will be like making a fine whiskey.
Previously, I’d assembled a small clutch of about 25 books on how to write, including media programs from two top-level college programs; one of the most recent books is entitled “The Craft of Research (4th edition)”. Another is an old edition of “The Mansion of History”. Stephen Pressfield’s works enjoy their slots on the bookshelf, as does “Tempo” by Venkatesh Rao. At the top of the list is “A Way of Working”, edited by Dorothea Dooling; I paid 99 cents for that one, but it’s priceless.
My wife bought me two large pegboards so I can play the Post-It Note and push-pin game. [$2.50 at the consignment shop.]
I bought a 32gb encryptable jump drive so I can use either my desktop in the basement or the laptop on the deck. There is nothing secret here; it’s all open source. But nobody reads books anymore; most people are caught up in TV, social media and the chase for income. There are few people who’ve heard of most of these books, and even fewer who’ve read them. I’m going to cull out “the juicy bits”.
I’ve only just begun. I wouldn’t even venture a draft thesis at this point. I think I know what I have, but I have to verify it and update it.
The internal codeword for the project when I started it a decade ago was “mega”. That had to do with the concept of overview, not size.
The current code phrase has to do with understanding what is hidden and obscure.
My high school yearbook noted that a goal was to write a book. I might get there before my 55th reunion.
I want to get this right. I can’t even yet see how big the thing will be. It will be a hard-core history synthesized from multiple sources, about which I must still labor to maintain research and writing integrity, along with personal credibility and personal responsibility for what I say. My intent is thorough references with extensive footnoting with maximized flow and ease of reading. Hopefully, its abrasive edges will be sanded, hand-rubbed, stained and polished. The process will involve at least three waves of editing and re-write.
I’ve set a lofty goal. Pray for me, and cheer me on. This is my personal answer to the five questions I’ve previously noted about peak performance, especially this one:
What is it that I, and only I, can do which, when it is done well, will make a real difference?
I will try to provide progress reports that don’t include spoilers.
“… The idea that we informed people, who can see behind the curtain of the power elite, as well as all peace-loving people who feel intuitively that there simply is something wrong in the world, can recognize each other, talk, exchange ideas and encourage each other, seems very uplifting and joyful. To me it is thus not simply a matter of “flying a flag”, but to be able to better interconnect also in real life….
I launch something.
Neighbor Gabriel has put me the idea.
The white flag is swung in wars, and who waves the white flag, sais: I have laid down my arms. I want peace and I am ready for a dialogue.
All the world is full of white flags.
I was at a Monday meeting at the Brandenburg Gate [note by Chaukeedaar: In Berlin and 50 other german cities there were public meetings for peace every monday night for the last couple of weeks, mainly initiated by people from the truth movement and alternative media, see one of the great speeches of Ken Jebsen]. It was full of people there who want to change things. The people stood there and waited for things to come. When Ken Jebsen put his concise words, they clapped enthusiastically.
That’s good, that’s okay. And it is not enough .
The same people go home and feel alone with their concerns…..
Imagine. In Munich, cars are driving with white flags. In Washington, white cloths are hanging in the windows. When shopping you will see a fellow-man with a white bracelet.
Everywhere is white. White contains it all. It needs no explanation. I know: This guy flags. She shows white. I can talk to him about anything even remotely related to the world situation, to politics, to monetary problems, to corruption.
And, more importantly, I can talk to him about everything that has to do with a joyful, healthy, creative life.
Please imagine that vividly. Through the means of a simple symbol a massive concentration of forces can be achieved.
In the house of joy, winter fades away not only because of hope, or dreams, or the determination to follow a new path, but because for a hundred thousand years people have been, through gesture and word, transmitting to one another the idea that joy exists.
No matter what the present moment suggests—any present moment—that idea has been passed from hand to hand and mind to mind.
The odds don’t matter, the “score” doesn’t matter, the conditions don’t matter; the idea lives.
If this doesn’t say something about the human race, nothing does.
Problems, mistakes, tragedies…and still the idea is never eliminated.
There is more than the transmission—there is the invention. Joy is invented and reinvented time and time again—as if it were a secret that must be maintained. And so it is.
As children, we found it every spring. The winter was devastating. It wiped out all life. It froze life. How could anything come back? Impossible. But, just as now, outside my window, spring always made a return, unstoppable—sometimes it came back in the space of a few days, and we couldn’t see it happening until it had happened. Spring waited until you and everyone else weren’t looking, and then it broke through. Spring knows how to play a game.
For some reason, trees don’t seem to care about newspapers or television news. They’re on their own timetable. They set their own pace. How many branches on all the trees in the world are there? They all know what to do and when. They don’t have to wonder or plan or consider. It’s time for leaves, for green. Now.
Here they come.
When we feel joy as we’re in the middle of green, we could conceal it and bury it and go off in a dozen directions, but we never do. Not entirely. We stand on a road or a street or a field and when we meet another person, we make some gesture with our hands or we say a few words and we both look out and see the trees and we know.
We’re in the house of joy. We’re there. It’s not hard to understand.
We’re in a kind of game, and we have a new chance of winning. In this game, no one is ordered or destined to lose.
Isn’t it strange?
In these moments, we don’t have to have an ironclad plan. All we have to do is stand and look.
Tickets weren’t printed. There isn’t a box office.
And then, yes, there are the hopes and dreams and the determination to take a new path, but for this short space of time, we’re looking at the house of joy.
Deep work: as described by Cal himself, deep work is professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.
One to two hours a day, five days a week, of uninterrupted and carefully directed concentration, can produce a lot of valuable output.
As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill of going deep, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.
There is a way to incorporate deep work and escape the constant distraction. Here are a few strategies you can use:
The easiest way to start deep work sessions is to transform them in to a regular habit. Set a time and a quiet location used for your deep tasks each day.
2. Allow yourself to be lazy. Regularly resting your brain improves the quality of deep work. So when you work, work hard. But when you’re done, be done.
3. Schedule in advance when you’ll use the Internet, and then avoid it altogether outside of these times. Write it down on a notepad and record the next time you’re allowed to go online.
For a novice, somewhere around 1 hour a day of intense concentration seems to be the limit, while for experts this number can expand to as many as four hours.
The video was left on autoplay for more related videos
“… People are waking up and swimming to the surface through layers of deception. They’re returning to themselves. They’re recognizing group-ism for what it is: a meltdown into self-sabotage. The artifact is the collective. The self is real. Power, choice, and freedom never go away. They may hide, but they can be resurrected. Then the whole fake game crumbles.”
By Georgios Petropoulos, a resident fellow at Brugel with extensive research experience from among other things, holding visiting positions at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Banque de France in Paris and the research department of Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto. Originally published at Bruegel
As new technologies yield humans with much longer battery lives, killer apps and godlike superpowers, within the next six decades, if Harari is right, even the finest human specimens of 2017 will in hindsight seem like flip phones.
I find it bewildering that a brilliant mind like Dr Siegel is sharing scientific information that has such transformative implications for health and well being is speaking to an audience where a large percentage of members are multi-tasking on their laptops instead of paying focused attention.
I saw this mesmerizingly-superb movie, “The Music of Strangers”, when my household cable carrier gave me a gratuitous peek at HBO.
I borrowed a two-CD set of Asian music at the library years and years ago and have been hooked ever since.
The YouTube channel is linked below so you can sample the music in-depth at your leisure.
There is a lot of focus in the movie on Yo-Yo Ma (why not, since he’s a well-known name and entity) but the stars of the movie are the other people, especially the story of the founder pictured here, and — of course — the very nature of music itself.
“… I have a friend, Charlie Lehman, who teaches 6‐year‐olds design technology and he says he has these 6‐year‐olds come into class every morning and they sit down and they center together and he says to them, to these kids, he says, “Children, if you learn what to pay attention to and what to focus on, you can be anything you want in life.” And so that’s what we’re practicing here. We’re practicing choosing what we pay attention to.”
“Not all that long ago I touted a warning that I felt was about to plague social media in a way the social media complex itself never bargained for. That warning? When advertisers suddenly become “spooked” about where and how their content for advertising gets distributed across the web.
What that warning entailed was not so much how the providers would react e.g., the social media platform providers such as Facebook™, Twitter™, Google™, et al. But rather, how the advertisers would react. e.g., The ones that actually pay for that placement…..”
AT&T and Johnson & Johnson, among the biggest advertisers in the United States, were among several companies to say Wednesday that they would stop their ads from running on YouTube and other Google properties amid concern that Google is not doing enough to prevent brands from appearing next to offensive material, like hate speech.
The companies made the moves, which did not extend to Google’s search ads, amid boycotts of YouTube by several European advertisers that began in the last week.
On Tuesday, Google had outlined steps it would take to stop ads from running next to “hateful, offensive and derogatory content” on YouTube and websites in its display network. While Google pledged to improve, brands wanted to hear there would be zero risk that their ads would appear near content promoting things like terrorism, said Brian Wieser, a media industry analyst at Pivotal Research.
“They’re saying they’re trying harder — that’s insufficient,” Mr. Wieser said of Google. “They don’t seem to understand the scale of the perceived problem.”
Years ago, I encountered a series of ads in a major national newspaper for which I once applied to be a proofreader. (I think they’re still laughing out there in Chicopee.) The newspaper has changed in a number of ways since then, particularly in ownership, but the emphasis on numerical accuracy is still required. The ads were clearly written by people who were advanced professionals in the art of communicating and were about — among other things— literate writing and clear thinking. I was so struck by the overall quality of the series that I wrote and, although I had to wait for a while for the answer, apparently was eloquent enough in my request that it was granted. One day in the mail a large packet arrived with quality 8×11 photocopies of every one of the ads ever done. They were published by a major corporation that used the ads not to advertise its products, or even itself, but to spread ideas that were in keeping with its philosophies about society. Today that might be called “terraforming” or social engineering.
I preserved that packet in a bulky file folder for years until finally I couldn’t truck it around with me anymore. The WSJ Blogger, coincidentally, is doing and has done the same thing. Follow that link or use your search engine links above and you may discover that it is slowly being brought to the digital world through Pinterest and LinkedIn.
One of the ads that made a lot of people sit up and take notice was the one that admonished corporate executives to stop using the phrase “I’ll have my girl call your girl.” It went on to explain that “the girl” in question has a name, is a real person with real skills and is a bona fide part of the success equation for the exec and the company.
Another one, one of the most memorable for me, is the one in this pdf: Keep It Simple
[Ed.: I don’t know yet what to make of Dan Siegel (a child and adolescent psychiatrist) and his venture into “interpersonal neurobiology”. I thought I’d explore the possibility of buying a couple of his books. Feel free to share your impressions via the “contact” page.]
For further reading on interpersonal neurobiology, please see Norton’s professional series which was founded by Dr. Siegel and includes over twenty texts. See also Dr. Siegel’s books, including The Developing Mind, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, The Developing Mind, 2nd Edition: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are and The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind!
At the Garrison Institute’s 2011 Climate, Cities and Behavior Symposium, Dr. Dan Siegel of the Mindsight Institute discusses the neurological basis of behavior, the mind, the brain and human relationships in the contect of cities. He explains one definition of the mind as “an embodied and relational emergent process that regulates the flow of energy and information,” and describes the role of awareness and attention in monitoring and modifying the mind. He recommends using the notion of health as a means of linking individual, community and planetary wellbeing. To learn more about the Garrison Institute’s Climate, Mind & Behavior Initiative:
I have the annoying and life-long aggravation of not being able to remember people’s names. It’s not related to an ability to recognize a face; I just can’t remember what’s-his-name more often than not. Kicking around on the world wide web for some understanding, I discovered brainblogger.com whose home page immediately coughed up /the-science-of-raising-a-friendly-psychopath/.
[Ed.: As a former EMS administrator with an intense interest in both mass casualty incident management and emergency management, I can attest to the nature and accuracy of this article. I used to think the way forward was to enhance our ability to save lives but clearly the more lucrative career path was the one that specialized in how to destroy them.]
We have mastered the act of killing. Now let’s master the joy of living.