Archive for July, 2011
Congrats to Japan on World Cup win!… if any team is to beat awesome USA it should be Japan given their countries’ “year from hell”
I have been hovering at an arms length distance over the “debt ceiling” debate and unfolding government-inaction-by-paralysis, observing there is too much ideological positioning and not enough practical thinking and doing.
With the national debt ceiling deadline looming (and all the hand wringing catastrophic prognostications a default would bring,) coupled with high unemployment, waning consumer demand, midway through 2011 feels like capitalism death-spiral for sure.
Our founding fathers gave us the mandate and opportunity for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” in the form of a democratic capitalistic society. This means citizens must consume goods and services and businesses must bloom to create the goods and services for consumers. Businesses employee the citizens, and those citizens are supposed to consume the goods and services. This dosey-do dance is how our country is supposed to work, and sometimes (like right now) the delicate balance between the interests important to business and the needs important to consumers gets out of kilter.
The United States of America is the greatest “startup” ever created on Earth. All the right initial ingredients were put in place to let citizens pursue happiness, and thus go forth and consume. But over the past decade consumer demand to purchase sufficient goods and services to propel economic growth has stalled. The stall is for various reasons, but we are purchasing less stuff today than we did 2001.
For example in the automobile industry, advances in design, lubrication, and quality allow our cars to last twice as long as cars just fifteen years ago. We’re buying 25% fewer cars now than before.
Unless we make some fundamental changes in the fabric of our society, the stall will become a vicious cycle as consumers stop buying, business lower output and reduce employees, and then there are fewer people with the means to purchase the already reduced business output.
As a society we need to start to plan for the fact that rapidly advancing technologies gives us tremendous benefits, but at the same time are displacing people form jobs. We need to plan for a day not too far off where we need less workers to create the goods and services for our consumption based society.
I can appreciate Google+ Circles feature to allow segmentation of content and sharing between the different “natural” audiences we all serve and follow. I’ve been dutifully cataloging my new Google+ connections into what I hope are the right circles. At first I was amused and concerned some connections may take offense if I put them in “Following” as opposed to “Friend” or “Acquaintance.” But as the old adage goes, life’s to short to sweat the small stuff.
A couple years ago, about the same time I started this blog, I created my own version of “Greg+ circles.” Family and close friends see one version of me. Business acquaintances, casual friends and the Internet in general see another view. It’s just natural the way any of us want to control “who knows what” about ourselves. [n.b. I'm a bit horrified as I watch 20-something year-old family members "max share" every minute of their life on Facebook. I don't get that, but I'm nearly twice their age.]
I created “Greg+” circles with several different web services, and they all aggregate here at this blog.
Facebook is strictly family and close friends. Sharing photos and links and updates. Feels very close and intimate, just like in real life.
Twitter, LinkedIN and Flickr are strictly “business casual.” Updates, photos and conversations with my professional life occur over these networks.
I’m going to give Google+ Circles a real chance. I want Google to be successful with the whole suite of “Plus” services, but last night over dinner conversation with a friend discussing our mutual Google Plus ramp-up, I realized that I had already created my own version of circles and hadn’t thought to call attention to this until now.