Should We Have Seen This Coming?

While history is made everyday, in the , there was at least a bit of foreshadowing. During these elections, the was the highest it has been since 1938 – when FDR was President. Much of the ink printed around the midterm elections was focused on the prospects of . While that is also an important issue, the pressing matter of today seems to be what is happening in Wisconsin and whether or not it will happen in other states like Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, and Michigan.

I remember when the numbers were rolling in, and the state legislatures began to flip (from Democrat to Republican) such that , that it may prove to be ominous. While I may have thought it to be a foreshadowing of things to come, never could I have predicted (nor do I think others could have) the . Not to mention the kind of national spotlight that has been thrust upon the issue(s) at hand.

I’m wondering, though, if the political arena should have seen this coming when all the state legislatures flipped in November (of 2010)? Like I said, in my non-exhaustive search, I didn’t find anyone predicting it and I suppose you really can’t blame anyone for not predicting it. Who could have, given the data at hand? Nonetheless, it’s quite breathtaking to flip on the TV and see thousands of people gathering together for what they believe.

During my time as an undergraduate, I had a with what it takes to hold and organize a rally at a state legislature. From this experience, I can say that what is happening in Wisconsin is truly remarkable. I was only involved in a rally of about 1000 people for a few hours — these people have sustained protests of more than 50,000 people for nearly two weeks.

While someone, somewhere, may claim to have been able to predict what the Wisconsin State Legislature is doing, I would be highly suspicious of someone claiming to have been able to predict the public opposition in the way of . Citizens have voiced their opinions on issues before, but never in my lifetime have I seen it happen like this. The most interesting thing to me is the context for which this is happening.

I’ve talked about some of the recent world events and how that ,  but I think the protests in Wisconsin may not be happening the way they are if there weren’t already the massive protests in Tunisia and Egypt. The fair majority of Americans stay current in the way of the news of the day and because of technology, the news of the day is something that can become the news of this minute or the news of this second. I think with Americans being exposed to the possibility of protests and more importantly, protests working, it might have given hope or purpose to those in Wisconsin who saw fit to stand for what they believe in.

Are We Missing Something?

In following up on what , had a small bit on her tonight talking about all of the different parts of the Middle East that are experiencing seemingly revolutionary events. I think it’s quite amazing just how many different countries are going through similar unrest. I can’t imagine that anything like this has ever happened in history before.

A couple of weeks back I had the chance to catch a few scenes of . I had already seen the movie before, so it was less about ‘watching a movie’ and more about remembering what the movie was about. As I was watching it and experiencing having “ultimate” powers with the main character, I was struck by how narrow-minded the character was. The character (Bruce) was so focused on improving his immediate life and not exponentially or anything, just the ‘next’ promotion.

He thought that all he needed in life was this promotion and he worked his butt off (even with super powers) to get it. Eventually, the main character realizes that there’s more to life than getting that job that he thought he wanted. However, this is not quite what I’m interested in talking about today.

The character was so focused on what was in front of him that he was missing what was around him. His girlfriend at the time, played by Jennifer Aniston, had been anticipating a marriage proposal. When she thought she was about to receive the proposal, the male protagonist had called her to dinner to tell her that he had finally got the promotion that he was after. Heartbroken, she leaves him, but eventually, things all work out happily in the end.

In the world right now, there is so much happening. There are numerous reforms happening in the Middle East, there are happening all around the globe, there is political unrest in Wisconsin as the in the state that created them, but most of all, the needle of time continues to move from left to right. I wonder, with everything that’s happening in the world in here and now, what are we missing in the grander picture of Earth. What is it that we’re not seeing because we’re so caught up in what’s happening right now?

Revolution, Revolution, Everywhere!

I recently was lucky enough to bear witness to what is likely to win a number of awards at this year’s Oscars — . While the writers of the film did their best to maintain , of course, some dramatic liberties were taken. Nonetheless, I thought it was a rather smart movie and really allowed the audience to peer behind the curtains of what it was like for King George VI in the earlier part of the 1900s.

One of the things that surprised me in the film was when one of the character’s pointed out that if England were to go to war with Germany, it would mark the second world war that some of the citizens of the country would have witnessed. I can’t imagine being alive at a time such that I would have been able to see not just one world war, but two! Regardless, it reminded me that the state of our world is still not quite where I’d like it to be — peacefully — that is.

I suppose that with each passing day, something is learned, or at least I hope that’s the case. Why else would we be seeing the that we are seeing in Egypt and Tunisia? And now, countries like Bahrain and Libya are seeing what happened in nearby countries and want to stand up and be heard. I think it’s great that we are living in a time where the actions of one group in one country can affect the actions of another group in another country — instantaneously!

Without the internet and the speed at which news can travel in our modern time, I doubt that Egypt (or even Tunisia?) has the success that it did in the peaceful demonstrations. The miracle that is the internet is allowing to succeed without literal “close contact” and instead, it is close contact through social media. Things are happening really fast nowadays, wouldn’t you say?

It was only just about a month ago that the riots started happening in Tunisia. Since then, we’ve already had reform in Tunisia and an uprising and reform in Egypt. As mentioned earlier, now countries like Bahrain and Libya seem to be joining the fray as candidates for reform (although the governments of these countries, and , might not go down without a fight).

So adults living at the time of King George VI got to say, although probably not felt as a privilege, that they witnessed their country enter into two world wars. Adults living today get to say that they’ve been able to watch the fall of two governments in just under a month with the prospect of others to follow. The year 2011 is still quite green… I wonder what else oh-eleven will bring us.

Same News, Different Perspective

The 2011 trade deadline for the National Hockey League () is nearing and with that, the propensity to move players from team-to-team has increased. Late last week, there was a particular trade that sent one player, , from the to the in exchange for a couple of . While this seems a bit like inconsequential news in the scheme of things, I found it absolutely perfect to illustrate a point about how the same facts can be talked about in different ways in the media.

We have a fact: Mike Fisher was traded to the Nashville Predators. It would seem that there really isn’t anything more to this story than one team is trading a player and one team is acquiring a player, right? Well, that’s what most people would think, at least. But, it just so happens that Mike Fisher is married to a very popular female in the country music business and… it just so happens that Nashville is the “seat of power” for country music.

Quickly, the news that became To the sports world, it mattered that it was , and to the entertainment industry, it mattered that . It’s of no surprise that news can be important to different people for different reasons and as such, the news will be reported in different ways to different people.

I find this fascinating because it’s the same piece of news being reported on differently. The NHL is of seemingly little importance to the political arena, national security, or education reformation, but these are all different areas of news that can be reported on in just the same way. Meaning, there are going to be different angles on the same piece of political news (the angles reported to the Democrats and the angles reported to the Republicans are the angles we hear the majority of the time).

In my research of collecting articles/links for this post, I noticed that one of the articles I found actually spoke to both of the angles in the same article. That is, , addressed that Mike Fisher was traded to the Predators and that Carrie Underwood’s husband was traded to Nashville. While the trade’s importance may not be of global importance, I was still happy to read that the author was reporting on more than just the sports-angle or the entertainment-angle. I wish that all news was reported in this fashion, with at least an acknowledgement to the implications of the facts from more than one perspective.

Keith Olbermann joins ‘Independent’ News at Current TV

Earlier today, made his choice to join . Just about every news agency in the world has an opinion on this story and without a doubt, they are going to spin it every which way. The ‘facts’ of this story are that Olbermann has decided to join Current TV. He has also been selected as the Chief News Officer. I’m not quite sure what a Chief News Officer is and a quick Google search only turns up results of today’s news. Nonetheless, these are the facts of the news, but I think it’s interesting to see all the different ways that the story is spun, depending on the bend of the news agency. If you have a minute, check out the NYT, or the WSJ, or HuffPo, or FOX, or Yahoo, and see just how many different stories are written about the same story.

Olbermann said his choice of Current TV was because of its “.” While that may be the case, it’s hard to think of any news agency as a model for truth seeking. It’s not that I have a particular vendetta against news corporations, but given the ‘demand’ for 24/7 news, it’s easy to see how the severity of a story can be escalated, eschewed, and exaggerated. His choice of Current TV, no doubt, will give the CurrentTV website a bump in traffic that they weren’t expecting. As well, I would expect to see a bump in the ratings for CurrentTV (tonight?), but most definitely when Olbermann hits the air in .

While its interesting that (and still does) in starting this media company, I think it’s interesting to note that Comcast has a . I’m sure you’re all well aware of the recent that took place in January. While Comcast’s stake is only 10 percent, I wonder if that stake will increase at all in the next year. Keith Olbermann will undoubtedly bring ratings to CurrentTV and consequently, more profit. Maybe Al Gore will want to sell his stake when CurrentTV is on an upswing and who better to swoop in and take Gore’s shares off his hands. . .

Another interesting perspective on this situation is the . It was not publicly known as to exact details of the deal that was made, but I wonder if it might have been as . When I say limiting, I mean to say that the talent may have been very limited in their choice for their next venture. Maybe it was that Olbermann agreed that he wouldn’t go to another ‘major’ news corporation like CNN or CBS. I don’t know that Olbermann had any desire to join one of these organizations and given his statements about media conglomerations, it would seem not. However, many of the people in our society today are motivated by money. If Olbermann really had a choice between money and independent news, then I applaud him for siding with his conscience.

The Superbowl and Twitter

Earlier today, I took the time to watch the . While I watched the Superbowl, I also followed things on Twitter — something I have never done before. I currently do not have a Twitter account and so the ‘‘ is something that is quite foreign to me. I do find myself onto Twitter from time-to-time, to read various updates about things, but I am by no means an expert on the social networking site.

I think part of this is because I currently do not have a cell phone. For some reason, to me, Twitter goes hand-in-hand with a blackberry or an iPhone and just seems a little odd to be tweeting solely from a computer. But really, what do I know?

Anyway, as I was following some of the things happening on Twitter, I was treated to a number of good laughs. The Late Show writers were jokes throughout the whole game. Some of them were quite funny. I also noticed something that is probably known to most people who use Twitter: . “Top Tweets algorithmically selects and retweets some of the most interesting tweets spreading across Twitter,” (straight from the bio page for Top Tweets). I found many of the ‘top tweets deserving of an “lol” as I watched the game and followed the tweets.

As the game wore on, I noticed that as a player would perform well on the field or something would happen, almost immediately, it would become a trending topic on Twitter. There are nearly (or maybe are now), 200,000,000 users on Twitter. For things to be immediately trending so quickly, it’d mean that quite a few of those users would have to tweet that topic.

I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone the popularity of the Superbowl around the US. People gather at parties all across the nation whether they enjoy football or not. The Superbowl has become one big social event and as such, it shouldn’t be a surprise that things that happen during this ‘massive social event’ would be ‘revealed on Twitter’ — instantaneously. I can’t help but think of the possibilities for using Twitter for “good.” As some have written about, for their ‘revolutionary’ actions. I’m thinking beyond one country and thinking globally.

What if we used Twitter to organize a worldwide day of silence or mass meditation? I’m sure I’m not the first person to have come up with this idea given how long Twitter has been in popular culture, but I think that it would be, downright awesome if something like that could happen. A day organized through Twitter where everyone meditated at the exact same moment. I like how has a domino effect, but I think it’d be cool if there were a day where there was also a simultaneous event. Something that is positive and contributes to the greater well-being of our planet.

Egypt – Taking a Closer Look

I wrote about how some of the things happening in Egypt are not necessarily new occurrences. These things that we’re seeing happen have happened before (). I argued that what is happening in Egypt is something that has been playing out in history in different ways for quite some time. Today, I’d like to take a closer look at some of the implications of what is going on in Egypt and how we might be able to mitigate some of the possible conflict.

I work with organizations to more efficiently allocate their resources and optimize their production. Right now, as I watch what seems to be the deterioration of equilibrium, I am struck by how this could have been avoided. When the protestors first began their charge, things seemed to be very peaceful — on both sides. As time went on, and it was clear where things were going to have to go in order for the demonstrations to end, things slowly started to take a turn for the worse.

First, we heard about or reporters being told that in the country. Then, we started to hear about the escalated violence in the streets. Pretty soon, now we’re hearing reports of deaths as a result of this situation in Egypt. Like I said yesterday, I won’t begin to say that I fully understand everything that’s going on and maybe what’s happening couldn’t be avoided, but I can’t help but wonder if this is not the case… especially with the kind of work that I am capable of providing.

It seems now that the government is in the midst of a transitional period from the old regime to the new powers that be. While this may seem like a ‘victory’ for the protestors, I wonder if this may be causing more harm than good. Particularly, I’m interested in how effective a new government can be walking into this kind of a crisis situation. Not only that, but the energetics of the situation. That is, I wonder if the people who are leaving their posts early shouldn’t be leaving their posts early because of the energetic relationships that they were maintaining, consciously or subconsciously, which was serving to keep the situation stable.

Every living thing in the world is dynamic — organizations included. The structure of an organization is forever changing with the people who move through the various positions. If one of those people happened to be the symbolic holder of the masculine energy (think: The Godfather) or feminine energy (think: Grandma), and the person who entered that position (or someone else in the organization) was not seen as fit to carry that energy, the organization can tumble into an awful downward spiral.

I wonder if part of what is happening in Egypt is because the energetic relationships within the Egyptian government were not healthy. This is not something that we’ll ever actually be able to cognitively evaluate (from the outside), but given how things have slowly fallen apart, I can’t help but wonder if having someone like me working with the government could have prevented the inevitable fallout.

News Today — Gone Tomorrow

With the , it has made me stop and think about what’s going on in the world today. I’m not well steeped in history nor am I particularly interested in knowing who did what to whom and when. However, I do find it interesting to reflect back on some of the more important events in history. The is a rather important part of US history and human history. I would also say that the was pretty important, too.

My interest lies in how these events are viewed well after the fact. People still learn about the civil rights movement in school and they also still learn about the JFK assassination, I’m sure. I don’t know, however, if they learn about some of the other perspectives of these major events. Not that I’m advocating one side over the other, but I think it’d be interesting to be teaching children not just about the civil rights movement, but about those who opposed it and more importantly, why they opposed it. I think it is important to learn about the differences of opinion.

How come? Simply because it seems to me that many of the issues that are present in the world today are not brand new issues. I won’t begin to pretend that I completely understand what is going on in Egypt and anyone who tells you they do is probably lying, but it seems that there’s this age-old archetype playing out where one side is not playing fairly with the other side where the sides are reflected in pro-Mubarak and pro-reformers.

It doesn’t seem like we’ve come to understand that living on this planet needn’t be a competition for the natural resources. My point is that this is not a new issue. This is something that our ancestors have been playing out for centuries through wars, invasions, and raids. I am not condemning war nor am I condoning it — merely taking a closer look at some of the reasons it seems to happen.

With the speed of our evolving world increasing at an alarming rate, it’s not clear to me just how this situation in Egypt will play out and more importantly — how it will affect other countries. Some would say that what is happening in Egypt is a result of . I’m more inclined to see happenings in the world as correlational rather than cause-and-effect. Who knows: maybe the movement in Tunisia spawned the movement in Egypt. I wonder, though, what will be spawned as a result of the movement in Egypt. Will it be more sparring and jockeying for position? Will a calmness overlay? Something tells me that situations like these usually get worse before they get better.

What if we were all Telepathic?

Consider for a moment that everyone on the planet is . No, really, I want you to consider what it would be like living in a planet where everyone was able to know everyone else’s thoughts. Walking down a crowded street, people no longer have the feeling of anonymity. Every other person walking near them would be able to ‘hear’ their thoughts. Having a conversation with a significant other and ‘leaving out’ details would no longer work as the significant other would just ‘hear’ those miscellaneous details that weren’t mentioned.

If we think about how this human ability has been reflected in film, we needn’t look any farther than the 2000 film, . In it, our protagonist, played by Mel Gibson, is electrocuted and as a result, has the ability to hear the thoughts of women around him. Initially, he uses this skill to his advantage. He unwittingly manipulates his co-worker and boss, in an effort to get ahead at work. Eventually, he gets what he thought he wanted – a promotion. When he does get what he thought he wanted, the promotion, he realized that he had been treating his co-worker very poorly and he regretted his actions.

While this is just a film, I think that it shows an interesting perspective on what it might be like if we were all telepathic. Yes, in the movie, Mel Gibson’s character was the only one that was telepathic, so he could use it to his advantage, but I think initially, that’s what many of us would attempt to do if we were telepathic. We would use this skill, just as we would any other skill, to help us get what we want. It’s not that we’re not thinking about other people, it’s just in our nature to be concerned with the well-being of ourselves.

So, if you could read my thoughts and I could read your thoughts, that would change some things on the planet, don’t you think? No longer would there be ‘idle’ chit-chat among people. Awkward hello’s and goodbye’s could be infinitely more awkward. Keeping secrets from people would become increasingly difficult. Business transactions would have a whole other minefield to navigate. It’s an interesting possibility to think about, isn’t it?

Telepathy isn’t really a skill that’s altogether ‘out there’ either. I’m sure you or someone you know has had an experience where they were talking to someone and they had a thought, an impression, or an idea about what the person they were talking to was thinking. Quickly revealing this to the other person, they confirm that their inkling was true. I know I’ve had more than a couple of these instances and I’m sure you have, too. These instances are not random.

Statistically speaking, skeptics will tell you that these times in your life where you had ‘telepathic experiences’ are random. They’ll tell you that, by chance, eventually, one will be able to ‘fluke’ their way into having a telepathic experience. While at some point, yes, there are times when these experiences are fluky, I can’t help but be persuaded by the overwhelming evidence presented by Dean Radin in and . In these books, Dean Radin addresses many parapsychological phenomena from an objective standpoint – presenting the research from both sides – and leaving the reader left to decide for themselves. After picking up one of these books and seeing the countless studies conducted that support the evidence for telepathy, it’s hard to disagree with him.

Figure Out What You Love – Then Do It

“Our work is how we create and contribute and it’s how we make the biggest difference with our lives.” – Mike Dooley

Often times, I hear about people who don’t enjoy their chosen career. They get up in the morning, realize it’s a work day, and immediately, their attitude about the day takes a downward spiral. They clean themselves up, eat some breakfast, and head off to work. On their way to work, all they can think about is how much they’d rather be spending their time doing something else. So why don’t they?

Maybe the role models in their life were such that they thought they had to live through jobs that they didn’t like. Maybe they witnessed their mother or father coming home after being at work all day only to complain about how much they completely abhor their job. Maybe they didn’t have any role models at all and they are just modelling what they have seen their peers do or maybe… they picked it up from watching movies and/or TV.

While where they learned this habit is an important factor, I think it’s more important to note that their continued usage of this habit when presented with stimuli to the contrary.

There are lots of feel-good stories out there about people who change their careers midstream from something they despised to something that they love. There are oodles of books on the shelves explaining to people how to leave their current job and go work in a job they love. I’ve read quite a few of them and many of them seem to start with the same premise:

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU LOVE

This may seem obvious, but authors wouldn’t continue to make money through books aimed at people who don’t like what they do.

There are lots of excuses that you’ll hear bandied about by people who are in jobs they hate, but believe they can’t leave their job because of the money or some other reason. For those people, those reasons are absolutely true – because they believe them. They think that if they quit their job and try to find a new one, they’ll lose out on money they could have been making.

This seems to be a fair point, but I wonder if those people consider the price at which it is costing their mind, body, and spirit to continue to work at a job they don’t like? They spend all day in a ‘low-energy’ vibe and then come home only to need to ‘relax’ by watching TV or doing something completely mind-numbing, only to get up the next day and do it all over again.

If, instead, those people made 20% less money and worked in a job that they loved, they’d be ‘excited’ about the day and enjoy their time at work. They’d come home happy from what they’d accomplished and not need numb their senses through TV or some other form. This positive cycle would continue day after day, rather than the other version of people continuously getting worse and worse.

The jumping off point, for some, contains lots of fear. How will I make money doing something I love? Is it possible? Where will I find this job? All valid questions, but all questions that are based in fear. I believe there is an element of trust in this scenario. When someone trusts that doing something they love to do will reward them – it will. It’s a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy, I know, but again, there are many examples of people acting in this way and being rewarded.

When it comes to career, the only clear choice is something you cherish doing that will make you happy regardless of the size of your check.