The.Voices


Today on my O’fieldstream Facebook account, one of my long-time friends and colleagues in the outdoor art and writing field, Bob White, posted the following quote of the day:

“What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away, you keep forever.”~ Axel Munthe

This is a truth that cannot be stated enough.  Especially in the light of today’s dog-eat-dog business clime.  There are far too many today who believe – not just think – but believe – that they only way to get ahead it to do everything in an aggressive manner; in the face of everyone else; doing whatever it takes to get ahead and make your mark. There is no mention of sharing or cooperative action – outside of ‘doing so to get what you want’.  So, where’s the sharing in that?

It’s not there. And so is something else much more important and precious: Self Respect.

During the mid 70’s, as a fledgling sign painter I came across a group of very talented, if not alternate-current sign painters who were members of an equally fledgling group called the Letterheads. I learned they were out to, ‘… change the world of sign painting…”.

Thankfully, for all us who have followed the – call of the brush and eventually computer – they did succeed!

Had they not succeeded, the world of sign painting would be a lot less vibrant than it is today.  In fact their very actions literally saved the sign painting industry from extinction as it was known.

Why I bring the Letterheads into this comment is to reveal a KEY to their success – and it ties directly into Bob’s quote selection.

The Letterheads had determined, amid a century-and-a-half of sign painting tradition, that – despite the ‘established dogma’ of there being a multitude of secrets in the trade and art of sign painting, that – in fact – there was but ONE TRUE SECRET.

Yes that’s correct.  ONLY ONE.

Even though the vast majority of the Letterhead members were young, hippy-like, free-spirit types, there were found among the neophytes, several ‘sign artists’, who had many years of practical brush-pushing, business savvy behind them.  They’d paid-their-dues … and they were not pleased with the returns.  The most unpleasant item was the veil of secrecy that oozed from the shops of the established sign-painting community‘.  Collectively they knew what was touted as the juju of the sign painting world was nothing more than contrived and touted hooey.  They saw it as a smoke-screen for the older guys lack of keeping up with technology and product changes. Not to mention a rapidly changing marketplace.

Looking it all over, considering all the facts, in the face of a very uncertain future, the Letterheads had determined that the ONE TRUE SECRET in sign painting, also had seriously deep roots throughout the universe.  Which, rather quickly, they deduced had to include ALL businesses: not just sign painting.

Yes, they did all of this about the time Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were just being introduced.  Long before Steve’s – ‘realizing that everything in the world is made from people no smarter than you.’ – revelation.

Realization of this TRUTH is not new.  It’s only NEW TO YOU when you FINALLY SEE IT.

And once you hear why – you’ll likely agree.

The ONE TRUE SECRET is this:

There are NO SECRETS.  There is only knowledge that is either shared or not shared.

Those who choose not to share their knowledge become locked into a closed mindset of cloaking, hiding and secrecy. Fear becomes their motivator. Everything and everyone become their enemy: their competition. They then slowly die from a lack of growth. They are mistrusting and mistrusted.  They have no allies: no real friends; at least in business.  They do not change.  CHANGE is the key basic requirement for growth.

On the other hand, those who choose to share – openly and freely – grow beyond their greatest expectation. Their growth comes from a lack of fear. Their willingness to be open and to share, opens their opportunities and their lives.

Those who share understand this simple fact: those to whom they pass knowledge, go on beyond their mentor’s abilities – it is realized – would have done so anyway.  But it would have been with the help of others and not themselves.  Such short-sightedness is seen a missed opportunity, not business savvy.

The Letterheads began to realize that stepping up and helping out, created three positive, wholly unexpected and current-industry-mentality defying, rewards:

  1. QUALITY levels are higher in the business field
  2. COOPERATION is built among businesses
  3. COMPETITION  becomes oriented toward Quality work, employees and customer service, rather than Market-share pricing

Instead of the customer-base having control of the business; playing company-against-company, shopping for lowest price, fastest service and deals, business was now – back in control.

Now businesses cooperated on pricing structures; focused on individual strengths instead of trying to ‘cover every base’; had the time, energy and vision to develop the education of the customer about the values of product, service and needs.  The sharing business knows, and understands, that the client whom is well educated about the products and services becomes a better partner for business.

Coming to this point was not easy.  It took the Letterheads nearly 15 years to become a large enough force that the rest of the Sign Industry (brush, electrical and the newly arrived computer elements) – had no choice but to listen.  Yet once the discussion began, it was not hard to demonstrate the value.  Because of the effects  – already in-play and used by – many of the small, medium and large companies were already successful, allowing them to enjoy financial success.  Hard sell was not necessary.

This notion has not remained solely in the Sign Industry; not at all.  Every company on earth has been affected  -one way or another- by the implementation of the knowledge of the One True Secret.  Yet, very few know the real story of how this came to be.  Even fewer truly understand it’s simplicity.

But that would not be you.  Because now YOU know the ultimate KEY to success in the Universe. Now, go out and tell others. It will only do you, your business and your industry good.

That is ALL GOOD.

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Article in Mashable on Laptop Wi-Fi and Sterility in Males

This is one of those little journalistic ditties that just puts a twitch in your eyebrow and should ignite a spark in your cogency.

We’ve heard for years from the ‘voices in the shadows’ about the dangers (oh, sorry … potential dangers!) of the use of cellular devices (ie, phones) – for extended periods of time – in near adhesion to the sides of our heads.

Financial interests in selling phones, devices and air-time have screamed ‘foul’ at each turn when such concerns have been raised.

For those who wish to ignore any potential danger in lieu of accessing their inner-technology-lusts support the screams-of-foul by tapping deep into their easy access to techno-smack.

The rest of humanity is made up of those who:  

a) feel something just doesn’t seem right;

b) don’t know and don’t care;

c) those whose lives have been forever altered by the so-called, ‘impertinent-apocryphal-warning’s most painful reality;

This report, of possible WiFi spermicide, will no-doubt be ballyhooed as a Chicken Little moment, by those with financial and lustful interests.  But there will be no value in egg-on-face moments – IF – in the near future – we find entire pockets of the human race empty due to a lack of fertility.  

OK.  I’m a technologist. I have been for the better part of the past 25 years. I use technology to the hilt. I have WiFi routers, my laptops are all actively using WiFi and I’ll soon be adding both Pad and Smart-phone technology to my techno-toolbox.  Is this in-the-face of what I just wrote?  No.  Not at all.  Here’s why.

  1. I am 59 and will not be fathering anymore children. Period. So, sterility is not an issue for me.
  2. I don’t use WiFi – in my lap, in my pocket, or within 10 feet of me, all the time.
  3. I realize the potential danger and take measures to mitigate the majority of the adverse (or, potentially adverse) side-effects.  
  4. I work smart within the parameters of the technology curtain.

Deeply concerning is the potentially damaging element underlying this report; a ‘hole’ that could be found wanting in the future of humanity.  

This hole won’t likely be found among the lower DNA-imbuing-ignoragrunts of humanity.  The ‘holes’ will be found in the brighter; potentially beneficial, elements of the human race.

Essentially, the intelligent people may be, in very unintelligent fashion, writing their own script for a version 3.0: Island of Dr. Moreau

So, a visit to Common-Sense land may well be a very intelligent forward-thinking effort to preserve the future viability of humanity..  

Keep the WiFi enabled/activated device

  • off your lap
  • out of your pocket
  • and if you need it to be on and plugged-in – shield yourself – for at least the majority of the time.
  • otherwise, just treat this warning like the dozen or so stickers found on the average step ladder.

You know those little ladders with all those stickers, containing warnings to not misuse the step ladder – like DO NOT STEP HERE – on what everyone calls the ‘top step’ – but it’s NOT a step, it’s the top of the step ladder. Those same warnings, ignored to the tune of an annual average of 160,000+ emergency room injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. – of which most occur at heights of 10 feet or less.

Can you spell – step ladder?

Can you spell – unnecessary?

Can you spell – stupid?

Can you?

Well, maybe you can. But, if you keep that laptop, pad, smart-phone or other electromagnetic broadcasting device – in your lap, pocket, or within an unshielded 10 foot perimeter of your body – your would-be-future-kids won’t be.

Period.


My comments and those of my Circles are also available on my G+ J.Leslie Booth – net500cg; if you have a G+ account and wish to read all comments – add me to a Circle; if you don’t have a G+ account, get one and get further connected: http://plus.google.com/

The Digital LaunchPad

In the digital world voices all sound the same: bits, bytes, hums and whirs. There is no human voice here, only the sound of electrical charges and discharges. But just the same there is a language. A growing and important form of communication, greater – more powerful – than anything ever devised or visioned by mankind.

Yes, it could be our downfall. But so, too could have been – and was – said of the printing press. In some senses, it did bring down many. In other more profound ways it provided the power necessary to bring literacy and education to millions upon millions of humans who would never have known it. In this the downfall was the seeds for the greatest expansion of knowledge ever in the history of mankind.

A Matter of Perspective: Is It Not?

Technology is cursed – and blessed – with being a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways: Good and Bad. However, it’s not the sword that initiates the cutting – not the initial energy needed. No, the sword is merely an instrument that must be guided to have influence – we are that influence, it is us – humanity, whom swings the sword: or stops it.

So.. how we weild this new ’sword’ will tell a lot about our future as living organisms; as community; as spirits. The power we now have is so mighty – that it pales the pen of yesteryear. The digital world will control our every being…. or at least as much as we afford it control.

And that’s the key isn’t it: Personal Responsibility … or in another word: Choice. We make the call, as it were, and live with the decisions. Nothing has changed in that scenario. Only now we engage a choice and feel the outcome much faster. A powerful club to wield.

How well we choose, determines the character behind the choosing. How well we live with the errors we make, that will be determined by the level of Personal Responsibility each of us assumes under our own control.

BLOGSTROM: the term

The term blogstrom is a term of my own creation. A lot of other names have been attached to this incredible tool since making it’s public debut back in the early days of 1990. Back when the only thing people knew of the forthcoming Internet … were the few bulletin boards (BB’s) making the rounds on the new-fangled personal computers coming out of the likes of IBM, Dell, Sony, Apple and others. Such names as CompuServe, Prodigy and the scurge that is still with us, AOL.

Dave Winer, former owner of Userland Software, creator of the first powerful, computer resident blogging CMS tool, Radio, began calling the arena in which blogging was taking place – or would be taking place – as the blogosphere. A good name. But I thought it more accurately described the ‘area’ – and not the action taking place. Thinking about that is what led me to refer to the ‘happening’ as the BLOGSTROM.

Blogstrom was inspired by the word maelstrom. The site Answers.com – one of my favorite resources! – defines maelstrom as the following:

 

  • A violent or turbulent situation;
  • A whirlpool of extraordinary size or violence.

I believe this very aptly describes the ‘happenings’ going on inside – and outside – the blogstrom.

The Blogstrom is violent: in both much of what is said and done and it’s definitely turbulent. The Blogstrom is also a ‘war zone’. Old media are falling right and left – along with the long-held belief that only the ‘knowing professionals’ can – or even have the right – to dispense news or thought provoking information. This is nothing short of a social coupe! That is a radical change and change is violent in its nature.

The Blogstrom is a violent and turbulent place. Does this mean it’s not safe?

Well, yes – in some sectors that is true. Just like that same truth applies to certain areas on planet earth: not all are human conflict generated, either. Walking up to a feeding predator – such as a grizzly bear, tiger, lion or hyeana – will grant you a very large opportunity to be the viande du jour! Undoubtably a violent environment. But as well, there are many places where one can be within dangerous proximity of such natural violence and yet remain safe: distance, vehicle, containment – in some way you can be near, but not in danger. See the violence – even experience it a bit – but, without experiencing damaging results.

The Blogstrom is also a whirlpool of immense size and violence; there’s that word again!

A whirlpool – the physical characteristic of water, not the appliance manufacturer! – is, according to Answers.com…

 

  • A rapidly rotating current of water; a vortex.

    • Turmoil; whirl.
    • A magnetic, impelling force into which one may be pulled.

Once again, a perfect description of the ‘happening’ within the Blogstrom. It’s not quiet in here! We the bloggers who make up the Blogstrom, cause a great amount of uproar, noise, stir and general all-around commotion! That’s what we are. It’s who we are as well.

The Blogstrom is a vortex. Answers.com again provides us definition for the word vortex:

 

  • A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it.

Many of us take great delite in ‘playing’ in the very eddies of its fateful vortices. Staying but moments from disaster; daily. That’s the Rush! the Thrill! the Reason… we continue on dancing the step of dare with the ebb and flow of the Blogstrom.

Eventually, everything will be sucked into this ever expanding vortex until we’re all absorbed by it. From the looks of things today, we may not be too far from that time and place.

But are we talking of something bad here? Depends on to whom you pose that question. Some feel the Blogstrom is the worst blight to hit the human race. Others see it as a miracle cure for the disease of knowledge exclusion. Again, it’s the case of the double-edged sword. Which way it swings depends completely on us.

This blog is about that swing. The, as Dow Chemical has now coined, the “Human Element”. We are the maelstrom at the center of the vortex I have termed the Blogstrom. It is humanity that has the power of which way the winds of this change agent will blow.

Will we step up and guide with wisdom the swing of the blade? Or, will be carelessly loose concentration and let the blade swing wildly where it may?

Listen in as Voices From the Blogstrom sifts the bits and bytes of the digital hum for whom the blade shall toll next.

VFTB