🎧 Episode 121 Preparing Leaders for Complex Change | Human Current

Listened to Episode 121 Preparing Leaders for Complex Change by Angie CrossAngie Cross from HumanCurrent

In this episode, Angie talks with human-centric leader, futurist and CEO of Toffler Associates, Deborah Westphal. Westphal shares the history and legacy of Toffler Associates and provides insights into their mission to help organizations understand the dynamics of change, plan their way to the future, and then adapt. Westphal also explains four macro-drivers that are causing uncommon disruption and influencing everything we know about organizations. She explores very important questions and assumptions about power structures, technology, and societal values and advocates for leaders to focus on people, rather than processes or technology.    

This episode feels a bit like the interviewer is selling me something instead of enlightening me. I do appreciate here emphasis on human-centric approaches however. This episode focuses a lot on philosophy and approach rather than science and direct examples of applications. Meh…

🎧 Episode 120 The Social Impact of Intelligent Systems | Human Current

Listened to Episode 120 The Social Impact of Intelligent Systems by Haley Campbell-GrossHaley Campbell-Gross from HumanCurrent

In this episode, Haley talks with Dr. Mihaela Ulieru, a scholar of distributed intelligent systems, Founder and President of the IMPACT Institute for the Digital Economy, and a Fourth Industrial Revolution champion at the World Economic Forum, where she advocated to include Blockchain among the "Top 10" in 2016. Ulieru talks about the interplay between society and technology and its effects on our humanity. She shares many paradoxical examples for how technology, like artificial intelligence and blockchain, can help us transcend our limitations while also preying on them. Ulieru also urges leaders to educate themselves on the ways blockchain can streamline their business, stating it’s now “a matter of survival”.

Sometimes I get the impression that our hosts in this series can be a bit too credulous when they don’t have the technical background to push back on their interviewees. This episode is a prime example.

While Dr. Ulieru may have some of the technical background to talk about blockchain, I think it’s a bit irresponsible for her to be evangelizing it the way she is without more concrete and successful examples. This interview falls into the trap of many conversations about blockchain and evangelizing it without enough push back on its long term potential.

About 30 minutes in she mentions the Sapien Network as a replacement for social media using blockchain. I’m curious to dig into it a bit to see what it is and how it actually works. Is it or could it be IndieWeb friendly? I don’t have high hopes, but I’ll try to take a peek shortly. Again here she simply evangelizes that it’s the solution to our problems without any discussion about why except to say “but blockchain!”. At present their site says they have 5,800 users.

At about 34 minutes in she also mentions a YouTube replacement on blockchain called Snacked (perhaps I misheard her?), but I was unable to track down such a site with the functionality she mentioned. Here again she states a reasonable problem, and simply states the solution as “blockchain!” without any direct specifics about why blockchain is a good solution and how it works to make a marked improvement.

“For any business that can use blockchain (to improve their processes) and is not using it now, I think it’s a race against time right now, so educate yourself because it’s a matter of survival for your business. Especially educate your leaders.” — Dr. Mihaela Ulieru
Statements like this can be deadly for businesses when they’re done in this sort of evangelizing fashion without any supporting reasoning below it. There is too much blockchain FUD out there, particularly when the technology is over a decade old, and there are very few, if any, real success stories and lots and lots of vaporware.

🎧 Episode 118 Practical Applications for Interconnected Nonlinear Systems | Human Current

Listened to Episode 118 Practical Applications for Interconnected Nonlinear Systems by Haley Campbell-GrossHaley Campbell-Gross from HumanCurrent

In this episode, Haley talks with systems thinker, entrepreneur and pragmatic implementer, Tanuja Prasad. Prasad shares details about her relationship with complexity, including how it has shifted her perspective about life, work and science. She beautifully describes the complex, nonlinear nature of systems and explains many practical concepts and applications for people working with and living within systems. Prasad also shares her passion for complexity science applications within the social impact sector.

An okay episode here. I far prefer the ones that go more towards the hard sciences. Though the discussion about the area and the overarching philosophies can be helpful in defining the area as things progress.

🎧 The Daily: Bribing Their Way Into College | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Bribing Their Way Into College from New York Times

A major college admissions scandal has laid bare the price of entry for some wealthy families — and the cost for everyone else.

🎧 The Daily: How ‘Medicare for All’ Would Work (or Not Work) | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: How ‘Medicare for All’ Would Work (or Not Work) from New York Times

As the idea gains traction in mainstream circles, we look at its roots in progressive American politics.

🎧 The Daily: Part 3: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (the Mueller Report) | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Part 3: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (the Mueller Report) from New York Times

A conversation with Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, about how Congress is preparing for the results of the special counsel investigation.

It was kind of refreshing to hear the general calmness, demeanor, and complete logic coming from Nadler on this topic. I wish the Republicans could talk about issues in such a straightforward manner without bending over backwards to weaponize their speech and pushing rhetoric over general principles.

Republicans should be acting in a manner as if they actually believed in the Golden Rule as they’re soon going to be wishing they had done the same while they were in power.

🎧 The Daily: Part 2: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (the Mueller Report) | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Part 2: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (the Mueller Report) from New York Times

We look at three possible outcomes of the special counsel investigation, which is believed to be wrapping up soon.

🎧 The Daily: Reckoning With the Real Michael Jackson | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Reckoning With the Real Michael Jackson from New York Times

The pop star’s legacy has been shadowed by sexual abuse accusations for decades. Wesley Morris grapples with why the world has, for so long, looked the other way.

I was just watching footage of a Michael Jackson interview in a documentary about Studio 54 recently and it was relatively striking to see him prior to all the body modification. It was also striking to see him in the midst of one of the few places on the planet at the time that was generally accepting of homosexuality and alternative culture even though many who were there were still on the DL.

🎧 The Daily: Promise and Peril of the Green New Deal | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Promise and Peril of the Green New Deal from New York Times

The controversial proposal to combat global warming and economic inequality is transforming the political calculus around climate change.

Hopefully a major shift in the game theory will draw us at least to the left of center on this issue so we can get back to potentially reversing the effects of climate change. The sad part is that we likely will need something as drastic as this to make the requisite dent…

🎧 Lecture 14: "The Chinese People Have Stood Up!" | The Fall and Rise of China by Richard Baum

Listened to Lecture 14: "The Chinese People Have Stood Up!" by Richard Baum from The Fall and Rise of China

Explore features of Mao's new regime and its program to rebuild China's shattered economy. Also, learn about the Communist Party's delineation of "enemies of the people," its policies of ideological "thought reform," and its national campaigns of land reform.

Album cover of lecture series with brown background, title, and photo of a Chinese pagoda

🎧 The Daily: Silicon Valley’s Military Dilemma | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Silicon Valley’s Military Dilemma from New York Times

Should Big Tech partner with the Pentagon? We examine a cautionary tale.

Some great history and questions about ethics here.

I’m surprised that for it’s share of profits that Down didn’t spin off the napalm division to some defense contractor?

Of course some tech companies are already weaponizing their own products against people. What about those ethical issues.

🎧 The Daily: Part 1: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (the Mueller Report) | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Part 1: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (the Mueller Report) from New York Times

The special counsel is said to be preparing to deliver a report on the results of the Russia investigation. What happens next?

🎧 The Daily: Why the North Korea Deal Fell Apart (Again) | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Why the North Korea Deal Fell Apart (Again) from New York Times

Despite the unlikely courtship between the leaders of the two countries, neither the United States nor North Korea wants to be the first to compromise.

🎧 The Daily: The Testimony of Michael Cohen | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Testimony of Michael Cohen from New York Times

In an extraordinary public hearing, Donald Trump’s former lawyer — once known for being unflinchingly loyal — became the star witness against him.

A great synopsis of the testimony. I can’t believe how inured we are to what a horrible person Donald Trump is. If it were any other politician the country would have burned them to the ground at this point.

🎧 The Daily: A Fraudulent Election in North Carolina | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: A Fraudulent Election in North Carolina from New York Times

The investigation into a congressional seat narrowly won by a Republican reveals a detailed playbook for how election fraud can happen in the United States.