Reflecting on Om Malik’s article “Silicon Valley Has An Empthy Problem”

​”Silicon Valley Has An Empthy Problem”

It’s very hard to break free of our focus bubble, seeing the impacts of our technological creations. Whether Uber, Amazon, Bitcoin , or any of a huge number of disruptive changes. People’s lives, and livelihoods are hugely impacted. We lose sight of that at our peril. 

i agree quite heartily with Om here. Tech needs to add empathy into its DNA. A simple elementary possibility: add empathically oriented checks in the project mapping. Ask “who’s hurt by this product”?

It’s a start. An important one. Or, perhaps, a critical one. 

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Thoughts on Casey Neistat’s Vietnam Notebook

I’ve been enjoying Casey’s work for sometime now. It’s really a 2016 discovery; one I’m happy I made. I get ideas of things to film, someday, that mythical someday when I have plenty of free time. 

Moleskine junky that I am, I really love what he did with his notebook. Cutting out/adding in tickets, maps, key details, blah blah. Things I wish I’d done with my trip to Yellowstone Grand Tetons this summer. 

I think it’d be fun to craft some videos like this, too. My son is going deep into videography. He really wants to collaborate, and I really want to embrace that. 

Lastly, Casey makes note about nothing drives home how fast time passes than watching kids grow up. And I’m really feeling that this fall. We’re preparing for highschool, talking college, cars,and well, being grown-up. I’m so damn glad I made the time to be here, to be part of his childhood. So many men I know regret missing this, and feel pain as they try to connect with their grown children. Trying to find a place in these lives that were filled in their absence. 

There’s nothing I’m more proud of than my simple integration with my son’s life. He’s a great kid, and an amazing young man. I’m very happy. 

Quote of the Day

Was just emailed this one: “Failure is the price of Legendary” ~ Robin Sharma

I was thinking about these sorts of things over the long weekend. A key moment was while watching “A Chef’s Life” on PBS. Vivian (show’s main focus) was struggling with anxiety around her life. With her book deal, as well as a next managing chef, her life has changed dramatically. She’s in unfamiliar ground, and not sure where she stands with things.

It makes perfect sense to feel this way: she’s never done anything like “this”. This is part of the lot for innovators. Doing the new and unique means you’re in uncharted territory, often without anyone doing anything even close. Living a life without roadmaps ensures “failure” lurks.

In order to really innovate, to achieve something Legendary, you have to stretch well past the comfort zone. Well into the potential to fail. So, in the end, the only road to success is through failure. With each failure, stand up, brush off, learn the lessons and move forward. That’s the only way to Legendary.

A Veteran Reflects on Veterans Day

​It seems so very long ago, when I was in the Navy. So much has changed, yet so very much remains the same. I grew up in a Navy household, so I knew what I was doing when I enlisted. And I had no idea. The lessons I learned on that journey deeply inform who I am now. 
I served with a diverse group of people. I experienced the complexities of America first hand. This was my first real interaction so much of the American experience. Blacks, the amazing blend that gets labeled “Latino”, Muslims, Native Americans…with so many more. I served with farmboys from the midwest, Cajuns from the Bayou, city kids from New York, some from the Virgin Isles, Hawaii, Alaska, and, the oddest of all, people from my town, who even went to my high school. I served with gays and lesbians (and I was in when being such meant automatic expulsion). A dizzying expansion of my worldview, from the suburban micro-culture that was Lynnwood in the 80s.
I’m struck by the responsibility put upon such young shoulders. I operated and maintained nuclear reactors. Other teens and early twenty-somethings work with weapons of massive scale, from tanks to aircraft to nuclear weapons. It’s very sobering, in reflection, how much responsibility I had. I see, now, that I could’ve impacted lives with my actions. Or, rather, that I did. Fortunately, not for ill. 
After getting out, I was privileged to volunteer with several organizations serving veterans. It humbled me to see so many of my colleagues damaged so deeply by their time in the military. And that troubles me to this day. Their stories haunt me, and drive me. 
Veterans Day brings out a complex blend of feelings. All reside within my heart, now. So I remember these men and women, hold them in my  prayers. This blend of everything America is, good and ill, beautiful and destructive; remember us. We are you. 

Talent vs Non-Talent


Came across this image the other day. It makes me think: “am I being the best I can be?”

Am I pushing myself? Do I seek challenges to rise to?

Well, often I do. However, it’s not always easy and, sometimes, it’s easy to slide back into the non-talent mindset, waiting for someone else to come save me.

When I catch that, though, it annoys me and drives me to snap out and move forward.

What about you? Where do you fit in this puzzle of life?


Thoughts upon this evening 

​It was lovely day, by my standards, at least. Yeah, a bit wet in the morning, but the afternoon turned out nice. Well, not pouring down. 

Got a walk in after lunch. Still haven’t made my 10,000 steps, though. Ah, my sedentary life! My fitbit drives me forward to a more active life. Helping me clear my mind, enabling me to focus better, to be more present, not all lost, in my head, dealing with some random element or another. 

Spent the evening talking with some friends, and the daughter of one of them. It was quite a charming hour. Reminded me of the “plan” all those many years ago to have a second child, ostensibly a daughter. 

I was struck, as I considered time, how intensely short it is from diapers to adulthood. Talking with this girl, it hits me that she’s existed only a tiny fraction of my life. And yet she’s clever, witty, bright and engaging. Full of ideas, knowledge and life. 

This is why I work so hard to be in the “now” of life. It’s so fleeting. This girl will soon be in middle school, driving, off to college. As will my son. It’s fleeting. I must savor this moment, as it will waft away, watched or not. Once gone, it’s dead. 

I see this as the ultimate manifestation of love. To be here, be aware of the now, fully engaged in this moment, with these people. Now. It’s all we got.