Social media’s business model is not about advertising. It is about changing behavior, and they gladly sell that massively powerful service to everyone including all the bad actors of the world:
any person or organization that wants to manipulate people to
legitimize a lie
win an election
incite a mob, or
make a buck.
I quit Facebook and recommend you consider it too, not only to escape the propaganda, deep fakes, and potential hacking of your account, but to regain all the time you spend scrolling your wall and put that time to better use.
How do we insure that our political system elects a president that serves the majority of American citizens, and not just half?
I believe the dysfunction we observe in politics is driven by our two-party construct. It has created a “Hatfields vs McCoys,” us vs them battleground behavior that repeats and repeats and the cycle cannot be broken, oftentimes at the expense of good ideas.
For a politician to survive and move up over time, they must “get along to go along” even when they know something is just not right by their own set of values and principles. At times they sacrifice their values-based instincts to the will of the Party. Politicians routinely flip-flop their positions in plain sight in a shameless attempt to curry favor with the Party and/or President. I suppose we all do this to some extent in our jobs, in our churches, and all social settings to protect our respective positions in our tribes.
I believe in and vote for ideas, principles and character, not a party, because our two-party system — fueled by tribalism and fake news — has devolved into a poisoned institution that is like a badly divorced couple who demonize each other at every turn.
The Party campaigns backed by enormous capital have become killing machines that are not past doing anything to scuttle a candidate and the other party’s ship. They mirror the overall problems we have with BIG BUREAUCRACY — governmental and corporate — with too much unchecked wealth and power, and when and where that happens, waste, cronyism, corruption, and fraud fester in the shadows.
We can solve this by doing several things:
Abolish lifetime professional politicians with Term Limits.
Abolish the electoral college and return to
1 person, 1 vote, and
majority rules, may the best person win.
Abolish plurality voting and adopt approval voting.
Our current system of plurality voting means we vote for only one candidate: either that Party A’s candidate, or Party B’s candidate. A system of approval voting would provide open access to the political arena for all deserving parties and independent candidates. An approval voting system would allow people to vote for several candidates for an elected position, and the candidate with the highest number of votes is declared the winner. It’s simple, and we all understand it!
Approval voting can become a check-and-balance against the cumulative abuses of the two-party system which is whipsawing our democracy in a destructive, mean-spirited fashion.
That said, the reality is it’s hard to create an ideal governance system that works for everybody when humans are at the controls because humans will always game systems to optimize their selfish personal advantage.
Reporters have been disclosing that the Trump administration has ordered the suppression and redaction of any mention of climate change in government reports, policies, and procedures. This kind of covert action is representative of the kind of message control classically employed by fascist and totalitarian regimes.
Fascism creeps up on society like a slowly-leaking faucet that eventually overflows the sink: drip, drip, drip…
Dystrumpia might dismiss this as either fake news and/or of no significance, but they might consider the hypothetical 2020 scenario with the election of a new non-Trumpian secular administration that might not want any mention of Christianity, the Bible, Jesus, God, or prayer in government documents; and following Trump’s strategy, have these words secretly and systematically redacted from all government documents and policies. I doubt Dystrumpia would be happy with that!
Reasonable and lawful content should not be secretly and arbitrarily redacted from government documents just to suit an administration’s bias. If a report has been properly researched, vetted, and produced by a government agency, let that report be made public. American citizens have a right to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions and decisions without being deceived and manipulated by insider zealots who say they are called by God. Surely their better angels are not at work here.
Presidents Vladimir Putin (Russia) and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey) began their assaults on democratic norms and institutions by demonizing the opposition. Then, with a combination of threats, purges, and appointments of cronies, they clipped the wings of their judiciaries and bureaucracies, enabling their subsequent, more complete power grabs.
Sport plays an important part in the lives of many business leaders. Nothing can make the juices flow like sinking a 30-foot birdie putt to win the match or setting a personal record in the local 10K run. Risking, winning and losing, playing, pushing personal limits – all are tonics for the chief executive, but they require “getting in the game.”
For Dick Jorgensen, Red Cashion, and Tom Dooley, getting in the game was a way of life. During their days as NFL Referees, they were chief executives of successful corporations, but on the weekends they exchanged their business suits for “zebra suits” to become NFL referees. Whether on the field or off, these CEOs shared an uncommon passion to perform their best.
Dick Jorgensen: Banking on the Blitz Dick Jorgensen had the distinction of having been the head referee for 1990’s Super Bowl XXIV. It was the pinnacle of a 22-year career as an NFL referee when one considers that the officials on Super Bowl Sunday are voted the best at their position by the NFL.
When he was not watching Joe Montana fade back for the bomb, Jorgensen was president of Marine Bank in Champaign, IL, a banking affiliate of the Marine Corporation with over $1 billion in assets. The bank always supported Dick’s other life as an NFL referee, as banks generally support the active community involvement of all employees.
At 56 (in 1990) and coming off recent back surgery, Dick moved a little slower than he did as captain of the University of Wisconsin’s basketball team. He was concerned about his upcoming annual NFL physical and stress test, but he was determined to pass. He daily stretched, swam, and lifted weights – whatever it took to ensure he would get another shot at a Super Bowl. Having participated in Super Bowls VIII, XV, and XXIV, he didn’t want to pass up another opportunity to be part of “the immensity of the game.”
The rewards of a Super Bowl experience, however, aren’t without cost. The pressures of balancing a banking career and an active family life while on the road for the NFL were substantial, especially for the family left behind each weekend. “But once the kickoff comes and I get into the flow of the game,” asserted Jorgensen, “all the pressure is off. It’s exhausting, but mentally refreshing.”
Tom Dooley: Constructing a Game Plan Tom Dooley, former CEO of R.T. Dooley Construction, says his 14 years of working out problems on an NFL football field helped him work out problems in business. “On the football field,” he observed, “you have a set of rules and a solution.” Dooley was proud of the fact that in all his years as CEO, he never had to retain an attorney to solve a legal problem!
“Nothing is black and white in business,” continued Dooley. “Everything is a compromise. On the football field, it is black and white. I can flush out every thought in the world when I’m on that field.” And like Dick Jorgensen, Tom Dooley got that same physical exhaustion but mental freshness after each game.
To make it possible for Tom to work weekends for the NFL and keep his business under control, he surrounded himself with “people smarter than I am.” And what was good for the boss was good for the troops. Business shut down every day at 11:30 am so employees could get in a vigorous noon workout at the local YMCA (the company paid every employee’s membership fee).
Dooley believed strongly in being “the best you can be.” After a lifetime of setting goals and achieving them, he still had one in his sights – to work a Super Bowl as head referee. He had a taste of Super Bowl action as a linesman at Super Bowl XV, Eagles vs Raiders, in 1981. But characteristic of every NFL referee, Dooley wanted a shot at the No. 1 position.
Red Cashion: A Variable Life On April 21, 1990, Texas Independence Day, Red Cashion had the honor of being keynote speaker at Texas A&M’s “annual muster,” following in the footsteps of the mayor of San Antonio, the governor of Texas, and Ike Eisenhower. For a Texan, especially one that lived and worked in College Station (Aggie country), this was as big an honor as being referee at Super Bowl XX, Bears vs. Patriots, in 1986.
Speaking before students, athletes, and business people went with the territory for this NFL referee who was also chairman of ANCO insurance which he co-founded in 1966. The challenges and lessons of business and sport were inseparable for Cashion, helping him develop what he called “presence.”
Red enjoyed “being in the center of the action.” It took him 20 years of refereeing in junior high through college ranks before being accepted into the NFL where he officiated from 1972 – 1996 (25 years).
Obviously, the pressure of officiating wasn’t a problem for Cashion, having been at it for so long. He enjoyed keeping himself in shape through competitive handball. “Frankly,” he says, “I enjoy the annual NFL physical and stress test.”
The greater challenge for Cashion was making the right decision under pressure. Being an NFL referee helped him develop confidence in himself and his decisions, a quality employees respected.
When he returned each Monday following an NFL game, football was the topic of the day. Employees always greet him with questions about the game. Although Cashion admitted that “after a while, you forget which city you were in,” he will never forget being head referee in Super Bowls XX (1986, Bears vs. Patriots) and XXX (1996, Cowboys vs. Steelers).
Note from Scott Pickard: “I wrote this feature article under assignment to Chief Executive magazine and it was subsequently published in September, 1990. Sadly, Dick Jorgensen passed away in October, 1990. He was a well-known personality and highly-respected leader in Champaign, IL.”
I think of robotics as the application of artificial intelligence (software) to the creation of a physical robot that solves a problem and/or completes a task(s) in the most efficient way possible. But for the survivability of our species as we rush to create robots of every conceivable kind and flood the zone with venture capital, we had better put as much thought and investment into what robots can’t and will never do so we can figure out the new jobs of the future for the millions of workers displaced by ai/robotics.