How did we get so big? When I was a kid there were local shops where I bought school clothes. Even the larger department stores were not in every city. You could tell an area by the uniqueness of its small businesses. Not every town or city looked the same, like it does now.
“Sequestration” went into effect in America this week, reducing U.S. government spending by $85 billion.
What does it mean? It means that the United States has accepted “Austerity.”
It’s not the end of the world. The vast majority of U.S. government spending will continue as usual. The government will not grind to a halt, at least not because of sequestration. It’s still possible that Congress could force a shut-down of government sometime in the future, but not likely this year.
Failure of Government Decision-making
Most interestingly, Austerity was NOT imposed by the normal processes of legislative or executive action.Continue reading →
The Super Bowl has come and gone, and Groundhog Day as well. And what do I have to show for the winter?
It’s been, first of all, a lazy winter. That would be an objective report.
However, I prefer to look at it as a winter of reading, thinking, planning. I haven’t done as much blogging as I’d like. On the other hand, I’ve finally joined Twitter, and I’m even beginning to see its usefulness. Feel free to follow along on Twitter @BJohnHayden.
I’ve joined the local gym, and I’m showing up on a regular basis. That’s important, because I’m now beyond denial. I recognize that if I want to do any useful work in the years I have remaining, it’s imperative that I exercise and conserve my health.
At Le Web 2012, I chatted on stage with my friend Matt Mullenweg. We discussed a variety of topics, but the conversation kicked off with our growing disgust with the un-customer centric approach of social networks. In their bid to become dominant platforms, they are sacrificing the needs of Internet users, and perhaps that is why it is time for the Internet entrepreneurs to think different about how we build the future.
Philosophy of the Web 101. I think everyone who's interested in where the Web is and where it's going, or in the evolution of social media, and the rise of mobile media, will want to hear this 20-minute conversation between Om Malek and Matt Mullenweg. Is the age of the laptop coming to an end? Here comes the touch-screen future. What comes after that? We'll think about it next year. -- John
POST-ELECTION BLUES – It’s part of life. Comes with the territory. You go to college four or five years — You graduate?!Get a steady job — Laid off?!You get married — Maybe you get divorced?!Work like a maniac on the big project — Suddenly, finished.An election focuses your attention – Over, done, results are in. Letdown, big time! We might need a few days to catch our breath, figure out where the heck we are.And what to do next? – John
Let’s think seriously about “apocalypse.” Stay with me. This will be brief. The dictionary definition is:
“noun, the complete final destruction of the world, esp. as described in the biblical book of Revelation; an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale: a stock market apocalypse / an era of ecological apocalypse.”
However, I’m not thinking of “apocalypse” in the biblical sense; or in the nuclear-annihilation sense.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy this past week provided us with a vivid picture of how the apocalypse of modern civilization might go. The suffering of the people of New Orleans, New Jersey, and New York could be widespread in the not-too-distant future. (Any city or state with “New” in its name has reason to be frightened.)
Did anyone notice the color of the carpet on the debate stage? It was an almost blinding shade of bright red? Unusual color to see anyplace but on a fire truck. Don’t believe I’ve ever seen a carpet of that color before.
The logical explanation is that the debate planners didn’t want you to see the blood on the floor.
Yes, I recused myself from criticizing the debate performance of President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. But I have to say I’m appalled by the state of American political discourse in general. Maybe we should skip the debates and select the next president by mixed martial arts in a cage. Or if that’s over the top, maybe an old-fashioned fist fight with civilized rules and a referee.
Being “Freshly Pressed” is the best thing that can happen to a blogger, short of going viral. (But it doesn’t put you in a class with Adrianna Huffington or Matt Drudge.) Human beings thrive on recognition and affirmation.
Freshly Pressed focused my attention. It prompted some overdue housekeeping around the blog, clean-up and improvements that are hopefully invisible to the reader.
It also reminded me of the largeness of the digital world. One little blog is like a star in a galaxy, or sand on a beach. Though insignificant in the grand scheme of things, one blog can shine light in the darkness, or – like a grain of sand — irritate the complacent and powerful.
We used to have the upper class, middle class, lower class, working class. Most of us in America pretended that class wasn’t an issue.
Retired folks living on Social Security and pensions were in a separate category. As elders and retired, they were deemed “entitled” (gasp) to the Social Security and pensions they received. They had, after all, worked long and hard to earn those Social Security and pension checks. Continue reading →