|Will workers return to oil, gas jobs?||PITTSBURGH — Zach Scott was a year old and his brother was still in the womb when their dad got laid off from Halliburton in 1986, the year after oil prices tanked and ushered in the largest industry downturn until, some argue, the current one.Within two years, 20 percent of the workers in the oil and gas industry had lost their jobs. Many of them did not return and they discouraged their children from going into the industry — creating a generational gap that is now [...]|
|Technology and Generations|
A couple of days ago I came across a story talking about how NASA was interested in helping to interest the next generation of students in science and technology careers (the so-called STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields). Itâs been one of the greater mysteries in technical circles about what caused such a massive fall-off in the number of people pursuing technical degrees in the early 2000s as compared to the 1990s, and most of the obvious explanations (the tech recession in 2000 for instance) have always seemed rather facile to me. I actually think the reason is deeper, and if Iâm right then this may in fact be the perfect time for policy makers to be investing in STEM related educational programs.
Recently, I had a chance to thoroughly read the classic work The Fourth Turning, by Strauss and Howe. For those not familiar with their theories, the core idea is that there is a societal cycle called a saeculum (from which we derive words like secular) that roughly spans 80-90 years. Each saeculum consists of four generations, each of which tend to have similar values, motivations and philosophies, and each of which interact with the other generations in a clear and distinct pattern. As each generation moves through the various stages of life (youth, adulthood, middle age, senescance) each of which tend to be 18-20 years of length as well, they also tend to have very different concerns, expectations and desires. As prior and succeeding generations are also moving along those same stages but offset, this means that there are distinct configurations that describe the psycho-social characteristics of these generations.
I believe that the current drought in STEM interest (except in certain very specific areas) may actually be generationally driven, and both points to the likely characteristics of the incoming generations and gives a road map that educators and policy makers should pay attention to closely.
A good reference point to show this is to look closely at the Baby Boomers and how they ended up shaping both business and society. The Boomer generation (born from 1943 to 1961, using what I think is a realistic ethical rather than demograph division), for the most part, were not engineers or scientists, though there were several notable engineers and scientists in that generation. It was the GI generation that built the space program, created the first computers, built much of the highway and electrical infrastructure of the country. The Boomers were marketers, managers and salesmen. They were the corporate warriors, and as they moved into the workforce, the engineering ethos of the previous generation was replaced with the marketing ethos of this one.
The GenXers (born from 1962 to 1981), on the other hand, were engineers of sorts, but their playground was not space, but computer technology and biotech. They did the bulk of the programming, designing, engineering and analysis work of the Internet and of the Biotech revolution. Whatâs interesting is that as the Boomers retire and the GenXers begin to replace them on the other side of the generational gap, the focus of management, of education, and of policy is going to shift increasingly towards problem solving - not âHow do we make the most money doing this?â but âHow do we solve the problems weâre facing in the most efficient and elegant manner we can?â
Iâd argue that this represents a radical shift in thinking in society. Itâs hard for a 60 year old C-level manager whoâs uppermost thought during the day is âHow can we improve the share price of our company?â to understand the motivations of a 42 year old senior engineer whoâs looking at finding the optimal solution to building a software system. More significantly, when that 42 year old becomes the 60 year old CEO of the company nearly two decades later, her motivation is not enhancing share price, but building the software products that meet the greatest needs of their customers, with shareholder value far lower on the priority chain. The company structures will be different, the valuation systems will be different, EVERYTHING will be different. They will be focused on SOLVING PROBLEMS.
The Millennials (1982 to 2000), on the other hand, are media people. They grew up in the silver age of Social Media. The Internet had reached a point of complexity that it could start supporting a number of different kinds of media, and the communication aspects of the Internet are far more important to them than the technical aspects. For many of them, there was never a time where the Internet didnât exist. The oldest of the Millennials are now out of college, they are intensely anti-marketing (this is the generation under which media deconstruction hit its high point) and they are highly genre savvy. This is the generation that will a hundred years from now be seen as the artistic giants of the twenty first century.
However, it is the next generation, what I call the Virtuals (born 2000-2018) that will be the bringers of the next wave of technical innovation (outside the media space). This is a generation that will have high capacity gene sequencers, big data cloud infrastructures and semantically aware computer systems, mobile sensor networks, near-earth commercial space travel, LEDs and memsistors and high voltage solar âfabricâ and all the things that are emerging largely from the work of the GenXers (who are now going into research rather than management) before most of them are out of high school.
The oldest Virtual at this point, is twelve years old and is in sixth grade. The youngest will not be born for another six years. The Virtuals are not like the Millennials. I have two children - one born in 1993, the other born in 2000. The elder of the two is a classical Millennial - sheâs into cosplay, animation, computer graphics and computer games, and social media. Sheâs entering college in media arts, and I fully anticipate that sheâll find herself very much caught up in a world where creatives are very much in demand and where the rules of society are rewritten daily. Sheâs a social deconstructionist.
My youngest was born in 2000, and she is what I believe many Virtuals will be like. Sheâs more literal than her sister, was programming game levels by the time she was seven (and taught herself how to read off the Internet), and is rather scarily good at finding the information that she needs to educate herself. Sheâs a technical synthesist. She has trouble with school though, because school doesnât work the way she thinks - she can find information, but sheâs having trouble learning strategies for synthesizing that information. Of course, the schools themselves havenât really caught up with this fact - theyâre just starting to come to grips with the fact that the Millennials exist in a world that is global, is more engrossing than school, and is mediated by networks - and many of those Millennials have already graduated.
As not so much of a diversion here, I think education is a critical part of any society, but I rather despair at the educational system in the US. The content of it is designed by values-conscious Boomers determined to put a stamp of morality and jingoistic patriotism (while minimizing the importance of science in many parts of the country), implemented by technical GenXers who chafe under this system and despairing about the Millennials who all seem like ADHD candidates permanently wired to their smart phones and who for the most part are more interested in video games and cosplay than in IMPORTANT THINGS (even as they themselves wonder whether what theyâre teaching is worth anything). And of course, STEM (science, technical, engineering and mathematics) courses of study have seen a massive drop in participation. Weâre becoming a nation of gamers and idiots.
Except Iâm not so sure thatâs really the case. The Millennials are the counter-stroke generation to the Boomers - interested in art and literature, philosophy and media, architecture and music. They are communicators first and foremost, but they really have in the aggregate comparatively little interest in the technical except as it relates to these areas.
The Virtuals, on the other hand, will be technical synthesists. The GenXers have built the scaffolding and infrastructure that the Millennials use for communication and social bonding, but they have also built the scaffolding and very early infrastructure for the Virtuals to build on in combining bio-engineering with information management, for building and designing specialized energy aggregators and generators, and for integrating all of these together into a cohesive technical superstructure of applications (one that reengineers the human body all the way up to the height of the human noosphere). They will in fact be the ones that rebuild the technical underpinnings of society, quite possibly as the world that the Boomers built finally collapses under its own weight.
The GenXers started entering into college (the start of adulthood) in 1982 and its noteworthy that the number of students graduating in STEM technologies started picking up dramatically by 1986. It hit its peak in 1995, four years after the GenXer population peaked (and four years after they entered college). By 1999, even though the tech field was still hot, STEM graduates were declining again. Where were the (now) Millennials going? New media, gaming, communications, web design, graphics, as well as a noticeable pick up in theatre arts, writing, photographer and similar fields. Certainly the technologies were now coming online to make this field attractive, but its worth noting that the place they werenât going into - not just STEM (except for technology related to the communications revolution) or medicine but also law, finance, business or even the more humdrum aspects of marketing and sales, in places where, ironically, the tools and technologies were just as well developed.
The Millennials are now coming out of college - they hit their peak in 2009 and thereâs some evidence to indicate that the number of graduates in the media arts arena is leveling off, consistent with a graduation peak of about 2013. Itâs also worth noting that most generations have somewhat different characteristics pre- and post- peaks. Pre-peak generations have shadows of the previous generation that colors their attitudes and beliefs. Post-peak get âpremonitionsâ of the next generation, sharing more and more of their values. At the cusp points between generations, you often end up with people who are generalists, not necessarily strong in any one generation but often being renaissance characters that donât easily fit into any generation.
If, as I suspect, the Virtuals end up being technological synthesists (as opposed to the GenXerâs role as technological analysts), then 2013 will also mark the trough of STEM graduates, and the trend should turn around. However, their focus is going to shift - alt-energy vs. geologist engineers and chemists, distributed AI construction (possibly with robots and telepresence) vs. business applications, life-form engineers vs. geneticists and oncologists. As a generation they will be very utilitarian and focused compared to the previous generation (whom they will consider as being rather frivolous and perhaps overly indulged). The mid-point in the trend will occur around 2022 with the generation peaking in 2031 in terms of STEM graduates.
Of course, this also brings up an interesting conundrum. The Millennials are for the most part community oriented, though that community is defined virtually rather than physically. This means that their optimal learning style (all other things being equal) is one where learning takes place via interactions with their peers, and social awareness is considered of greater value than technical competence. There, the principle role of the teacher is very much that of the mediator and director, shaping the conversations towards the completion of communal projects.
Virtuals, on the other hand, are already showing that they respond best to autodydactic approaches to learning, where they learn by doing, research what they need when they need it, and generally find traditional teaching methodologies to be confusing at best and counterproductive at worst. As it turns out, this is in fact the best way to learn science, where the role of the teacher is primarily that of advisor rather than authority. The students also tend to gravitate to an apprenticeship model, where you have a master with a limited number of apprentices and sojourners (the pairing of a GenXer with one or more Virtual is a particularly effective combination), especially as the GenXers will be entering Senescence at this stage in their own lives, when their principle role is to be teachers and advisors rather than decision makers.
Thereâs been a pendulum swing towards anti-intellectualism that seems to be reaching its peak in the US, but we may in fact be near the end of the pendulum swing. The Boomers entered into the period of senescence starting around 2000 (these things tend to be fuzzy +/-3 three years), and the Boomers have generally been the generation of the salesman. In conjunction with senescence this has meant that the Boomers have been focused on physical and financial security, mortality, maximization of financial assets. They also have tended to push conformance to the status quo, which, given the demographic size of the group, has generally meant THEIR status quo, and in old age this has tended to result in dogmatic uniformity, ideological rigidity and a move towards centralization.
By 2009, the peak of the Boomer generation entered senescence (and out of a decision making capacity). By 2018, the Boomers will be completely within senescence, with the GenXers fully invested in the decision-making âMiddle Agedâ bracket. Since societal direction tends to be determined largely by this bracket, this again hints at society beginning to shift towards more pragmatism, more focus on problem solving rather than profit maximization, and more of a need for (and respect of) scientists and technicians. Just as with the rise of STEM graduates, society itself is beginning to move back towards a mode where the problem solvers, rather than the empire builders, are coming to the fore. Personally, it couldnât happen soon enough.
One final note. The one area where I break with Strauss and Howe is in their designations of saecular titles. In the fourth turning (the one weâre in now, extending from 2000-2018 +/- a few years) the Millennials are âHeroesâ while the virtuals are Artists. I believe that a perhaps more accurate way of thinking is to see Millennials in this phase as Social Deconstructionists (with the Boomers being Social Constructionists, promoting the status quo and GenXers being Technical Constructionists, building technical infrastructure). This means that Virtuals would be Technical Deconstructionists - they will be the mix and match generation, crossing technical disciplines, questioning the technical status quo.
Deconstructionism in literary terms is the process of identifying literary tropes (cultural assumptions), and deconstructing them in an attempt to understand how they work, why they work and how they can then be reconstructed to more closely model the world. Technical construction effectively builds on existing infrastructure to create new works, while technical deconstruction is the process of re-examining those core assumptions, discipline boundaries and underlying physical constraints and create whole new directions with them. The OWS movement is fueled largely by early cycle Millennials (just as the Tea Party is primarily made up of early cycle Boomers). GenXers largely were tool builders, Virtuals will be tool users.
Okay, THIS is the final note and a pet peeve. GenXers have generally gotten a bad rap compared to the Boomers - introverted to the Boomers extroversion, indifferent to material success compared to the Boomersâ avid capitalistic streak, perceptive and slow to make judgements or decisions compared to the Boomerâs decisive leadership and charisma, pragmatists to the Boomersâ idealism. Yet it was the GenXers who were mostly responsible for the creation of the web, probably the single most important invention of the last century. The Internet was initially a construct of the GI generation, while the web was conceived by a late cycle boomer (Tim Berners Lee, born in that incredible technical banner year of 1955, the same year that both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were born), and implemented for the most part by GenXers (Marc Andreesen, Linus Torvalds, Dan Connolly, Roy Fielding, many others).
|053 - Scrappy Intrapreneur Transforming Customer Experiences with Kyle Nicholas McCray|
In this episode, Kyle Nicholas McCray, Director of Innovation at American Pacific Mortgage Corporation, joins us to discuss his experience as an intrapreneur and innovator within an established financial business. We cover with Kyle his early career at Apple, his time as an entrepreneur and how that led him to set up Scrappy Labs, an innovation lab within APMC dedicated to exploring new and innovative products and services to revolutionize the relationship between the company and a new generation of homebuyers.Â
What Was CoveredÂ
Key Takeaways and LearningsÂ
|Adam Lambert talks with GLAAD about the Live Proud campaign, cultural change, and touring with Queen|
Since publicly coming out following his appearance on American Idol, singer Adam Lambert has been one of pop music's most visible LGBT figures, and earned himself a loyal and passionate fanbase in the process. Lambert has certainly used his fame for good, working with organizations like the Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, and GLAAD on behalf of the LGBT community, and youth in particular.
Now he's once again partnered with AT&T on their "Live Proud" campaign and sweepstakes, which asks users to share memes expressing why they're proud for a chance to meet Lambert himself. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to do so through the campaign's Facebook page or over twitter using the hashtag #ATTLiveProud while tagging @ATT or @adamlambert. The campaign contest closes this Sunday, August 10th. Check out the campaign video below.
Having just wrapped the North American leg of his tour with the rock band Queen, Lambert took a few minutes to speak with GLAAD about what he likes about the AT&T campaign, how he sees culture and the music industry changing, and his upcoming third album:
GLAAD: First off, this is the second year you have taken part in the AT&T Live Proud Campaign, correct?
Adam Lambert: Yeah, it's such a great campaign because it is encouraging people to be who they are. There are plenty of types of empowerment campaigns out there but I like this one because I think it's creative. It's a lot of fun people that come up with social media memes, and it's a competition that were putting out there and anyone can enter. [Participants] put in some kind of slogan with an image with some kind of clever lettering or wordplay, and I like that it's empowerment but it's fun.
GLAAD: So I take it you have had a good experience working with the campaign?
AL: They're great. They're really, really great. It's definitely a collaboration where we put our heads together and make it work.
GLAAD: And this isn't the first time you have done some advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community. You've worked closely with organizations like The Trevor Project and you were a participant in one of GLAAD's Spirit Day campaigns. Where do you see the LGBT movement now?
AL: I think it's really interesting that were in a place where there is kind of a generational gap in the LGBT community where there are activists from days before like the Stonewall generation that fought so hard to get us to where we have gotten and we owe them such a debt of gratitude and it's been an uphill battle. And now, I feel like we're getting to a point where it is starting to tip and it's really exciting. There is still a lot of work to do but you can see how we are becoming more mainstream. Now what is happening is that the new generation coming up has a much different perception of who they are and what they are, and anyone who is not an LGBT person also has a different perception of who we are and what we are. So it is interesting because it's almost getting into this post-gay type of generation where it might not end up being as loud and proud as generations before. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing but it's definitely changing.
GLAAD: In a lot of ways, you're kind of a perfect spokesperson for a campaign for the AT&T campaign since living out and proud has been very much a part of your public persona following your time on American Idol. In fact, I think a lot of people would accredit you with helping to bring about a major cultural shift in the music industry. From your own position inside the industry, have you noticed those types of changes as well?
AL: Definitely. I think people are getting to the point now where it doesn't really matter—it's kind of an afterthought. Which is what I always wanted and I think that's one reason why I was so outrageous in some of my choices years ago when I first started. I felt like on a mainstream level, you didn't see a lot of that. I don't think I consciously did it, I just think I was rebelling against some of the conventions within my industry. Some of it worked to my advantage and some of it might have been questionable but I did it because I felt like I needed to and it was instinct. And now, I feel like we have found a tipping point and maybe it doesn’t have to be as outrageous. Maybe now it's in pride. What is beautiful is that now we're getting to a point where its backstory and not part of the forefront of what we're all doing. If you grew up parallel to the civil rights movement in the 60s, one of the things that has happened over so many decades is that we have become sort of [color]blind and we were encouraged with political correctness to not recognize the differences but to recognize the similarities. I think that's how we progress and move past racism in America and many similar issues. I think we could be on a similar path.
GLAAD: You've been touring as the front man for the rock group Queen which is of course the group previously fronted by singer Freddy Mercury. What was it about Queen's music and Mercury's own musical legacy that made you want to take part?
AL: The music is so genius. They borrowed from every genre imaginable, which I love because I love all music, so I felt some parallels there. It's really fun to sing and some of it is incredibly emotional and dramatic and some of it is completely ridiculous and campy and I like goofing off on stage and being over-the top. You know, wearing some leather fringe. They're rock royalty. So to be asked to be a part of their outing this summer was a huge honor. It's a dream collaboration and I have been having a great time hearing so many stories from the past, from the golden era of rock and roll. And the audience has been amazing. They have ranged from dads to moms to teenagers to boys to girls. It's a very diverse crowd which always makes me really, really happy.
GLAAD: And has that tour wrapped yet?
AL: The North American leg is up. We're about to go South Korea and then were doing two shows in Japan and they heading down to Australia and New Zealand.
GLAAD: After the tour, what do you have planned next?
AL: I'm working on my third album. I've already put in a good amount of time in the studio and I'm going to continue and finish it. I'm very excited. I think it's going to be really great, with stuff on there that is a slightly different direction [from what I have done] before, which I'm really looking forward to because I don't like repeating myself. I am working with some amazing producers and I think people are going to be in for a treat.
August 6, 2014
|GeForce FX Series|
|Re: Video games, art and noise|
Finding a voice between pop and counter-culture.
4+ years ago, when I first launched TheStarrList.com as a Tumblr blog, I sought to explain underground and often dismissed media to the average reader. I donned the blog's subtitle with "Making Sense of the Media Around You" and filled it with weekly album reviews, DVD to Blu-ray comparisons, and "best of" lists.
I poured my energy into a "Top 100 Albums of the 2000s" post filled with 100 miniÂ album reviews; ripped and analyzed The Sound of Music Blu-ray vs.Â DVD, projecting the comparison to an audience more concerned with post-hardcore music and Star Wars (though, I compared that too). There were even experiments with video game reviews from Uncharted 3 to Limbo and micro-movie reviews during Oscar season.
In 2012, I switched from Tumblr to Wordpress format to focus on longer-form writing with a bit more structure and professionalism. To my surprise, the blog saw incredible growth, at least byÂ my standards. TheStarrList.com wasÂ now a much richer and dynamic experience.
Two years later, I findÂ myselfÂ wondering whatÂ itsÂ primary theme is as it's beginning to feel like a catch-all for my scattered thoughts.
Art and Noise
Required reading:Â Video games, art and noiseÂ |Â The Guardian
When I woke to The Gaurdian's "Video games, art and noise" by Keith Stuart, a lightbulb switched on. Stuart'sÂ arguments about loudÂ yet uninformed "minority output" broadcasting to millions, discounting entire mediums and genres had my memory zipping back to my Tumblr blog.
Even with grand-scale digital publishing and hashtag/retweet filtration, there still remains a large population not savvy to the cultural trends of millennials and their collective, connected views of technology's impression on art. Suddenly it became clear why I had written pieces on Blu-ray remasters of classic films and a defensive forÂ Skrillex.
In my line of work, a sliver of my time is spent curating niche content and broadcasting it to a large audience. Though popular consensus informsÂ us that heavy-hitters will continue to rise to the top, I find more validity in the little guy. Generations will always include masses discounting change and evolutionÂ (queue Patton Oswalt on home birth), unwilling to invest the time and effort to understand what makes WhatsApp a worthy investment or dismissing replay rules in professional sports. Cultural relevance is the reason I continue to educate myself on topics I don't fully understand (and hopefully never will). I fear the day I will fail to understand my children.
In defense of Sarah Kent, I understand backlash when taking a hard stance on something I have either strong bias for and/or ignorance of. (See my discourse with @ryanruppe regarding Salon writerÂ Jeff Bryant'sÂ "Common Core propaganda fails") Hopefully Keith's piece sparks re-evaluation of video games as art; with outreach to millions, simply writing-off an entire medium/stance/genre is extremely damaging. Raise questions. Avoid absolutes.
All told, when I read Keith's piece, I found my voice. I simultaneously felt his passion for a discounted and controversial medium that is globally enjoyed by hundreds of millions (potentially billions) and understood why I feelÂ the need to disperse nuggets of pop culture into pieces about demographically discounted art. (Queue Glenn Close's "Devil Wears Prada" cerulean sweaterÂ monologue)
It should go without saying that today's technology is ripe to educate on topics previously left abandoned in generational gaps succinctly. However, we are shown time and time again that there is need to challengeÂ generationalÂ qualms and societal push-back.Â It is these generational gaps that keep me finely tuned to the video game industry and passionate about explaining its impact and relevance in the pop culture space.
At an early age, unlike sports or academics, I learn that I could best my parents at video games. It wasÂ a participatory and wondrous medium imbued with both technology and art that empowered me to level adult vs. child, teacher vs. studentÂ playing field. With that, I sign off referencingÂ links to my reviews and opinions on games that may have been overlooked by the larger audience yet areÂ criticalÂ to popular culture; the solitary theme that runs through my blog.
Thanks to Keith for opening my eyes to my writingÂ through-line.
Humanity in Hearthstone:Â How BlizzardÂ is changing the diversity game.
Monument Valley - A Review:Â The beauty of brevity. The pleasure of paradox.
Why Game?:Â An ode to the impact of early console gaming.
Journey: 1 Year Later:Â Celebrating this generationâs most important work of art.
Originally posted on Kyle's personal blog, TheStarrList.com
|Comm 385: Generation GAP (week 7)|
Not the jeans.
Seriously, this will have nothing to do with GAP jeans, and theÂ propensityÂ of teen girls to cry desperately to their mother to buy them this particular brand of clothing. MaybeÂ I am out of touch however, since my last image of this was 19 years ago while I watched my two sisters nearly pass out in hysterics over this issue. Maybe now its Abocrombie and Fitch. Maybe Old Navy. I just don't know.
But I am going to be talking (writing) about a 'gap' (notice the lowercase, and lack of any trademark). Why is it important that I distinguish between this, I mean, 'gap' has always meant or been defined as a break or hole in an object or between two objects'. Not always has the word beenÂ associatedÂ with a midrange clothing store. But today I am discussing an interview with three different friends of mine... and the word 'gap' isÂ goingÂ to be very important.Â
The intent was to interview three age groups. Without getting into specifics: young, middle-aged and old. Why no specifics - because there is a difference in mindset which does not necessarily translate based on age alone. It would have been a matter of triviality to find someone in each given age group who thought and used the internet (our topic de jour) in ways purportedly of another age. Good friends slightly older, hitting that middle group who areÂ fascinatedÂ with each piece and parcel of onlineÂ connectivity, young people tooÂ distractedÂ by hormones to care what aÂ blinkingÂ box does... no, IÂ separateÂ not by the actual age, but by their general age group. Someone who identifies themselves as middle aged, someone who thinks (and is) far too young for their own good, and someone who considers youth a thing long past. That, and besides the youngest interviewee, nobody wanted their age mentioned. Natch (slang for naturally- I picked it up from, of all things, Frosty the Snowman as read by Jimmy Durante).
The youngestÂ ofÂ the trio, a late teenish friend from OSU. To her, the internet is her lifeline. Far from home, the internet is her communication tool for maintaining relationships across the country. Daily she chats withÂ herÂ mother over Skype, teases her boyfriend over IM, and updates her friends via MySpace. Like a "personalÂ assistant", her computer serves her every need - from classwork to shopping, from friends to entertainment; her trusted Dell works through it all. It is on at all hours, and her most frequent companion whenÂ runningÂ around town or class. "If I don't have my laptop, it's like my world is much smaller". She also finds that she is not sure she would have come all the way out to Oregon if it weren't for the internet - she only evenÂ appliedÂ to OSU due to finding it online.Â
Without the same enthusiasm, the internet is greeted by my 'middle aged' friend, who found being labelled middle aged far moreÂ disturbingÂ than the potential loss ofÂ internetÂ access. "It's a tool... plan and simple. I use it alot (sic), but don't trust it necessarily". Much more embattled, he indicates that the internet is very easy and straightforward to use, but that he justÂ doesn'tÂ see the need to use it for everything. "A phone call is better" he explains, (which doesn't explain why I had to email him these questions). He indicated he shopped a lot, used email heavily but rarely chatted online, and didn't bother with social connectivity sites. When asked about his level of comfort using the internet, he wrote back a fairly long diatribe about user interface design and people making things unnecessarilyÂ complicated.Â He then lambasted me a bit (in good fun) for not specifying which application,Â sinceÂ the internet is a global connected computerÂ infrastructure,Â and not a specific tool one would use. He never actually answered, but based on his technical skills, I would say pretty comfortable.
Lastly, I asked an old timer here at work. Forced to use the internet due to the demands of modern educationalÂ infrastructure, he wasted no time at all complaining about the lack of personal connection, theÂ inefficiencyÂ of email and the idiocy ofÂ thinking that everything one sent out on the internet would always arrive. He told tales of people who would call, asking 'Did you get my email' which had been sent just a few minutes ago. He also complained loudly at the requirements to do so many things online nowadays, lamenting when taxes used to be so much simpler to file. "What in the heck has happened to stamps!' he quipped at me several times. Now, to be fair, I chose him to interview because I know how much he dislikes the "damned paperweight on my desk". So, much of this I expected. But I think he is a fair example of someone who had done a job for 35 years before having the paradigm of operation change on him virtually overnight. Only one door down can be found the next generation of scientific researcher - office cluttered with multitudes of powerful computers. The aged researcher complains of the noise and heat generated, and heads down to get more coffee, his email unread in the background. I sit around for a bit before I realize that he isn't coming back all that quickly, and leave - noticing that he has gotten into a debate about space usage with the Director out here, and indicating that he had no intention of trying to send a map of his lab space via email. He retires in a few months, so I think my boss is fighting a losing battle.Â
Three age groups. I can't help but thing of those who had horses at the early part of the 20th century. Doomed by the advent of the modern automobile, their children would consider horses but a farm tool... to their grandchildren, a pet...Â while to the last horsemen it was their essential means of travel and a trusted companion. So too has the internet changed our society. Age has little to do with the barrier of connectivity, but it could be said that the propensity to learn new things versus the comfort of tradition influences participation online as much as anything else. My father sends me photos, but can't seem to write more than a word or two via email. My mother, younger, a bit more but it falls to my sisters to actually communicate online with me from time to time. I imagine my daughter will grow up in a world where snail mail is becoming a distant memory, where email is the tool of the 'older' generation, and direct video conferencing via Skype or its replacement is the common paradigm. She will never understand the hesitance of phone calls due to long distance charges, never not be exposed to up to the minute' video recordings of major news events catalogued in massive searchable databases. Even TV, long a staple of defined dates and times is now falling - swept aside by the on demand video and time-shifting recording devices. I realize only now, she will never have seen a dial knob on a TV. Weird.
I make my living supporting technology. I live and die with online innovation - Apple saves me months of frustration, Vista loses me those same months. In my lifespan, I have seen the emergence of the home computer market. I was born near the same time as Apple and Microsoft... with them I have clothed myself, fed myself and bought many a pastel fruit drink guys are supposed to be embarrassed to buy. I see the generational gap (finally, I use the word again) defined so clearly from age to age. Each individual defining their age differently, yet each individual fitting so neatly into a usage category - each defined by not only how, but why we are online. The 'net pervades our lives now. From taxes, to shopping, to dating, to relationships and connections. The flow of data from one point to another finds a path of least resistance among us all. For some, this age will nearly pass us by... for others, we are drowned in the electronic noise. Is it fair to say one group stereotypically defines usage?Â ...No, but we can point to trends. Younger people have grown up with these tools being the only known way of communicating, so for them it is essential. The older generation have been shown another way, yet move to the point of most effectiveness individually.Â
Lastly, some of them just think its too damned annoying and want us to get the internet the hell off their lawn. Yes... yes... yes... sorry, it was just a wifi hotspot. :-)
|User Review: Samsung Note 3 from Apple iPhone 4|| |
Phonephan44 submitted this review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (GSM):
Overall rating: 4.5 (out of 5)
Now yes, I realize that there is a generational gap between these two phones, however, I did test the iPhone 5s before making this purchase. I found that Android does everything that Apple doesn't. The only thing Apple has on Anroid is Siri, it out performs S Voice and Dragon, I have yet to find a digital assistant I like that's free. Almost all the apps I had paid for on the Apple Apps store were free on Google Play, I found free and legal music downloaders as well.
(Follow link to rate this review or report it to us as inappropriate.)
|One Hardcore Gamerâs Take on Pokemon Go||An inside look into how Nintendoâs popular mobile game is bridging generational gaps and keeping you outside through the lens of one avid gamer. This piece originally appeared on GamesBeat.|
|How to Bridge the Generational Gap at Work?|
If you look around your workplace, you will see four various generations born in different eras, each with different mindsets and work ethics. A distinct set of experiences plays a major role in shaping the generations and influence their work styles.
Understanding the types of generation, which generation your employees fall into, and how other generations may view their behaviour is vital in bridging the generational gap.
Here are four generations work side by side:
Traditionalists (1945 and before) – (70 or older):
Traditionalists, also known as "Veterans” have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and have good respect for the rules and authority. They are the generation who did not grow up with mobile devices or computers and influenced by the great depression and Second World War. Traditionalists are disciplined, self-sacrificing, & cautious.
Baby Boomers (1946– 1964) - (51 – 69 years old):
They are the children of traditionalists and influenced by the post-war social changes. These first TV generations are workaholic, optimistic, self-driven and team-oriented. Baby Boomers are positive about authority and hierarchal structure, for them work is an exciting adventure.
Generation X (1965–1979) – (37 – 50 years old):
They are also called The Latchkey generation. Those from this generation are typically self-reliant and well-educated generation so far who have also adapted well to technology. They are intolerant of bureaucracy, critical, and hardworking.
Generation Y/ Millennials (1980- 1995) - (20 – 36 years old):
Generation Y comes from an era of technology. This group enjoys teamwork and can be very loyal to their work. They are highly socialized, loyal, optimistic and needy by Generation X managers. This generation uses digital media to interact with their friends, families, and colleagues.
Depends on a different set of experiences, each generation has its own distinct views of world, values, and perception of work. This creates a new challenge in the workplace. A manager/leader should know how to manage each generation to drive teamwork. Research shows that the cause of many workplace conflicts is generation gap.
In my former blog post, I discussed managing different personalities at work. Now, don't let generational gap affect your workplace.
Employers must make workplace arrangements in order to create a productive environment for their workforce, regardless of generation.
Here are some guidelines to address this issue and to create an effective workplace culture:
Adopt Effective Communication Techniques:
Communicating with your workforce regularly can go a long way in bridging the generational gap as methods of communication between these generations vary a lot. Employees of each generation work in their own unique way based on their work ethics. Older generations prefer face-to-face communication while younger generations are more comfortable with web-based communication. Communicating everyone, in the same manner, will not be effective. Always try to listen more than you speak. Lack of communication in person can make older generations feel unappreciated. It is not a nice idea to have a discussion between generations on sensitive topics.
Support and Learn from each other:
Every person in your workplace is unique and you have something to learn from each generation, watch them and analyse what they do and why. Each generation has something to contribute and it’s all about your attitude and perspective. Appreciate employees of each generation as it can have a direct effect on their productivity and it also makes your colleague feel valued.
Build a strong workplace culture:
Building a strong workplace culture can have a big impact on business success and a proper framework to work within. The set of shared values, goals, and experiences from each generation can contribute to the success of an enterprise. It’s easier to build a culture when you can manage employees regardless of their generation. Changing an existing culture is not an easy task, it requires a lot of communication and countless follow-ups. By understanding and accepting these generation gaps, you can build a strong workplace culture.
Bridging the generational gaps isn’t rocket science. Rather than focus on these differences, as a leader, think, how you can get the most out of each generation.
For instance, if you are a Generation Y in the position of managing a Baby Boomer, understand their set of strengths and weaknesses and approach accordingly.
Now share your observations below!
|Top 15 Tips to be a Successful Administrative Professional|
Are you graduated with a degree and passionate about being an administrative professional? Choosing a job that best aligns with your professional goals can be the most important decision you make, right out of college. Kudos to you and your decision.
This career is both challenging and rewarding. You are the support system for your office.
It is the duty of an administrator to keep the office running as efficiently as possible.
A successful administrative professional never stop learning and they are always in search of better ways to perform their role efficiently. Excellent communication, motivational, and presentation skills are the key qualities of an administrative professional.
This profession requires an orderly approach. Not all administrative jobs are created equal, it all depends on the industry you are employed.
With over six years’ experience in a corporate office as an office administrator, I've compiled a list of tips to become an effective administrator.
Follow these tips to be the perfect fit for the role of administrator. Reading my blog post on role & responsibilities of an office administrator will be of added help.
Good Luck on getting your dream job.
Stay tuned for more detailed office administration tips.
It is my pleasure to hear what you think. As always, thanks for reading!
There are few things quite as irksome as watching someone type “www.google.com” when they can just search from the address bar. It’s like counting out a hundred pennies to pay for a pack of gum. Why would you do that?! My internal monologue screams.
My grandparents and parents approach technology in a fundamentally different way than I do. When personal computing became mainstream, they had already reached adulthood. In their formative years, computers were something that very smart scientists and engineers built for large institutions. Knowing how to operate a computer was closer to rocket science than to auto repair, for example — and to some extent, I think this mentality still sticks with them today.
Anytime my father asks me how to do some new tech-related task, I write out step-by-step instructions on a piece of paper. My grandparents are the same way. They need those instructions written down like a recipe because they want an authoritative source of information.
If for some reason my instructions don’t anticipate every scenario — a dialog box that I failed to account for, or a software update that changes the layout of a page — they are reluctant to experiment. They’re not likely to google the problem, nor are they keen to click around and see what happens. Fear of pushing the wrong button prevents them from taking a guess.
In a way, this generational gap in computer literacy is similar to learning a new language. Immerse a child in Russian, and they’ll absorb the language as they learn and grow. Teach Russian to an adult as a second language, and their learning is skewed by the structure of their native tongue.
I’m not saying that everyone over 40 is a luddite. My dad actually adopts new technology faster than I do — he’s really excited about his new seven-inch phone-tablet hybrid while I hold onto my QWERTY Blackberry for dear life. My grandparents use software to edit photos and map out our family’s genealogy, and they subscribe to a PC power user magazine to keep themselves up-to-date on the latest trends in tech.
As I think about the generational differences in the way we approach technology, I realise that in some cases, the aptitude gap goes the other way. My 78-year-old grandfather has no trouble driving with manual transmission, but I wouldn’t know where to start. He also has a fascinating low-tech solution to encrypt the PIN codes for his various payment cards. It’s basically a cipher that he keeps in his wallet on a piece of paper the size of a business card. I would never have thought to secure my data in this way, but it works — and it’s far from the prying eyes of the NSA.
Indeed, I have my own mental ruts and preconceived expectations when dealing with new technology. I still hunt for a save button when working in Google Docs, and I’m sure that other innovations will continue to trip me up down the road. I may have come of age at the same time as the Web, but it’s evolving faster that I am. How long will it take for me to feel like I’m really out of my element?
|What Would Queer Life Be Like If AIDS Had Never Happened?|
If they had lived, who would we be? Thatâs the question driving the Fatherâs Project, a crowdfunded video-based art project by the Mexican activist and filmmaker Leo Herrera. When we think about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its impact on the LGBTQ community, itâs easy to focus on the numbers of lives lost, especially at the height of the dying in the 1980s and early â90s. But those deaths also took with them a generationâs worth of knowledge and creative potential, leaving the next generation poorer, searching for role models and cheated of their rightful queer cultural inheritance. Herrera and his collaboratorsâ project takes the daring leap of imagining that this void never formed in the first place, that our âfathersâ lived long and productive lives and that queer culture remained an incubator of innovation rather than a site of incomprehensible tragedy.
Because Herrera is currently at work on the project, we donât yet know exactly what this âqueer utopia,â as he calls it, will look like, but the tone is something akin to âCruising meets Black Mirror meets Beyoncéâs Lemonade.â I emailed with Herrera about his aims and process as he was en route to film in Provincetown, Massachusettsâa fine example of what he calls queer peopleâs talent for âcarving utopiasâ if there ever was one.
Youâve described the Father's Project as a sci-fiâlike imagining of what the world would look like if the AIDS crisis had never happened, particularly in terms of if a generation of queer men hadn't been cut in half. What was lost with them, beyond life?
HIV has been immensely greedy in what itâs taken from us. Weâll never measure the loss of ideas in art, science, and politics from the height of the epidemic to today, where it continues to bleed us of resources and lives, especially in communities of color. The loss is truly unfathomable.
How did you first come to feel that loss in your own life and work?
If AIDS was our Hiroshima, then its aftermath mutated generations to come. Iâve seen friends self-destruct after sero-converting, and the stigma does damage we still donât fully understand. Anyone whoâs felt the inherent confusion of being LGBTQ has felt the loss from AIDS. The folks who died took with them stories and life lessons that could guide us today. Instead, we have a huge generational gap and so many questions of who weâre âsupposedâ to be.
What sorts of stories or figures are you featuring in the film? Why did you choose specific ones, such as leather men?
The first wave of queers were both captains and infantry. The trans women of color who started riots, those who flaunted their sexuality through leather, or who broke away from gender norms by building Radical Faerie sanctuaries were hit the hardest. Digging for these stories through research of living and dead folks is the driving engine of my creative process.
Studying queer history has this way of making one feel like we are repeating ourselvesâthe same kinds of debates over inclusivity, assimilation, and terminology, for example, have been cycling since the 1950s, if not earlier. I know you often complain on social media about queer infighting: Do you see the Fatherâs Project as some kind of corrective for that cultural amnesia?
Fathers isnât here to correct, but to remind and educate about what was and is still possible. Our infighting comes from a deep insecurity about our place in the world and while Fathers doesnât shy away from the darkness of our culture, itâs really about resilience and the healing power of listening to one anotherâs stories.
Tell me about your creative process: Who are you collaborating with? What kind of research are you doing to inform the work?
The same diversity we apply to the dead, we apply to the living. Weâre reaching out to established artists, like Justin Vivian Bond and Jake Shears, but also to emerging queer artists of color, like Franky Canga from New Orleans, or Banjee Report from Brooklyn. Our research spans the California Historical Society to the Leather Archives in Chicago to Visual AIDS and the Gay Menâs Health Crisis in New York.
Edmund White has written, in effect, that AIDS took the most interesting queer people and left us with âdull normalsâ (many previously closeted) who then took over the mainstream movement and culture. What's your view of the arc of gay history before and after HIV/AIDS?
The optimist in me has to believe the AIDS crisis also made folks blossom. At this very moment, there is a latinx trans woman in Queens putting on her face to go out and educate the children on PrEP ... would she still be helping folks if it werenât for this catastrophe?
Trauma from HIV/AIDS has been invoked a lot recently in discussions around PrEP, barebacking, and a budding return to â70s sex culture. What role do you think trauma plays in the lives of queers today?
Queer folks have known trauma from the first moment theyâre harassed for having too good a time, yet history has proven that weâve always existed as parade and funeral, of finding joy and sexuality in the darkest of situations. Trauma plays a role in every queer experience, and can propel us to our most powerful selves.
What do you think about the idea that, in a way, the loss, anger, and grief of the first decades of the AIDS crisis were, if not âgood,â maybe productive for gays? After all, our greatest activism came out of that era, not to mention profound art and arguably the paradigm of visibility/outness we live in today. Is erasing that, tempting as it might be, really something we should want?
Fathers is about the complex questions every culture deals with. Were Jewish people strengthened by the Holocaust? Will Mexican and Middle Eastern immigrants thrive through the trauma of our current America? Do I think putting up with bullshit strengthens a culture? Absolutely. The ways in which it does so is what this project is about.
Is there one value or lesson that you think queers need today that the Fatherâs Project could help restore?
Weâre currently filming scenes of joy and celebration all across America for our gay president storyline and if thereâs a lesson in this process itâs that queer people are masters at carving utopias, no matter how unwelcoming the terrain. Iâd like Fathers to remind folks that these ideals of acceptance and love of a chosen family are our legacy.
You can support the Fatherâs Project by donating directly. Donations are tax deductible and benefit the GLBT Historical Society and Museum in San Francisco.
|370: Brad Szollose | Liquid Leadership and Bridging Generational Gaps|
Baby Boomers and Millennials think in opposite ways.
"Millennials are your new customer and your new workforce. They don't think, behave, buy or romance the same."-Brad Szollose
The Cheat Sheet:
It seems like every generation thinks the generation after them is markedly different and is unrelatable. But our guest for today says Millennials really ARE different than any generation before them, and he cites the reasons why and how we can bridge the gap between ourselves and any other generation we're working with.
Brad Szollose is the author of Liquid Leadership and an entrepreneur who specializes in understanding how Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials can all work together and get along. We talk about that and much more on episode 370 of The Art of Charm.
More About This Show:
If you're a Baby Boomer or even a Gen Xer you've heard and may have experienced the different working styles of the youngest generation in the workforce today: Millennials. Before you fall into the trap of thinking all Millennials are self-focused and entitled take note of what Brad has to say on the matter.
For over 35 years Brad has been an entrepreneur. He was part of the first dot-com company to go public on NASDAQ. He has seen and successfully navigated the behavioral and technological disruptions and changes that have happened during his entrepreneurial career.
In fact today he runs a company that helps other companies create bridges among their generation-gap workers. He finds ways to help people connect with each other and work well together, no matter what generation they're from.
When looking at the Millennial generation Brad cites the 3 reasons they seem to have developed and now act so markedly different from previous age groups. Those three reasons are:
1. Science fiction became mainstream. Sound crazy? Not really if you think of it like this: Star Wars was the top movie of 1977. Before that, no other film from the genre had quite that level of impact. Star Wars was the first really BIG American film to have a global influence. To add to that, it started a string of popular sci-fi films like Back to the Future, Terminator, etc.
Why does that matter? Because in all of these films the hero is a young person using technology to save the day, not adults. So everyone born from 1977 on grew up seeing young people as heroes, heroes who embraced technology and used it to solve problems.
2. Video games came home. Again it may sound off-the-wall until you realize Nintendo game stations in the home weren't commonplace before the late 1970s. But kids who grew up playing video games learned how to multi-task, they learned to take risks and learn as they went. Video games are not about following the rules, they're about risking it all to get great rewards.
3. Child-centered parenting went mainstream. Public schools started teaching child-centered learning, they believed our problems were caused by low self-esteem. Parents started doing the same and began raising their children as part of the household. Kids were no longer there simply to obey their parents, they were there to at least be mentored by, if not befriended by, their parents.
When you look at those three reasons it's easy to see why Millennials now walk into a corporate culture and call the boss by his or her first name, why they find the most efficient ways of doing anything and then implement them (typically before getting the boss' approval). You can see why Millennials seem to behave like entrepreneurs, even if they aren't running their own businesses.
On today's episode Brad addresses how Millennials can use their natural predisposition to bring value to any corporate culture, while still respecting the people they work with. He gives specific ways Baby Boomers and Gen Xers can better utilize Millennials in their workforce and how to understand their thought processes and actions.
Brad shares plenty more on today's show, tune in to hear all of it! Then join me in thanking Brad for being here and as always, thank you for joining us. We'll see you next time.
THANKS BRAD SZOLLOSE!
If you enjoyed this session of The Art of Charm Podcast, let Brad know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter:
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|A Widening Generational Gap Within Christianity?||Are we seeing this up and coming generation ushering in ideas principles that will change America and the professing Church in a very profound way? Jeff Strommen of HopeNet 360 joins us for a discussion on "generational differences."
We're also joined by Tim Chaffey of Midwest Apologetics to look at making certain when we "stand up for the truth" that we are standing on what the Bible says and not what we think it says.
Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and...|
[More on standupforthetruth.com]
|A Widening Generational Gap Within Christianity?|
Are we seeing this up and coming generation ushering in ideas principles that will change America and the professing Church in a very profound way? Jeff Strommen of HopeNet 360 joins us for a discussion on "generational differences."
We're also joined by Tim Chaffey of Midwest Apologetics to look at making certain when we "stand up for the truth" that we are standing on what the Bible says and not what we think it says.
Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.
|Road Trip||I'm off today on a Road Trip with my 2 sisters, and Very Psyched. Although we've done tons of family vacations together, its never been just the 3 of us, so this should be really cool, and totally interesting. My sisters are 16 and 14 years older than me, so because of the generational gap, I've always felt a bit out of the loop, but I think this trip will be completely awesome.|
And you'll never guess what we're doing.... We're headed up to Mohegan Sun to see Aerosmith! Yikes! I was never a fan, but they should rock -- let's hope.
|Comment on iHipHop Exclusive Video Interview: Torae Talks The Generational Gap In NY Hip-Hop, 9th Wonder vs. Khrysis, and More by @iHipHop (@S_Dot_Com) Interview: @Torae||[…] iHipHop.com caught up with Coney Island's own Torae at the Rock Steady Crew's 35th Anniversary show in Lincoln Park, NJ to discuss a variety of topics. In this exclusive interview Torae talks about the generation gap in New York Hip-Hop, getting respect from the older generation of MCs, his upcoming EP "Off The Record," whether he prefers 9th Wonder or Khrysis on the boards, and who he'd like to collaborate with. […]|
|A Twitter Hashstorm: The Alt-Right Controversy at the Southern Baptist Convention|
The Southern Baptist Convention first rejected then resurrected a resolution against the alt-right and white supremacy. This occurred at their annual meeting held in Phoenix, AZ, a couple weeks ago in June, 2017. Click here for a sequence of events. There are many different ways to understand this process, and it stirred quite a controversy.
An Outsiders Perspective
It was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. I stand not as a member of the SBC but as a very interested observer from the Catholic Church who cares deeply about race. My colleague (a Roman Catholic priest) and I attended the Convention as representatives of the US Catholic Bishops in Christian friendship.
I spent much of the Convention glued to my Twitter feed, and I'm not typically an avid Twitter user.
News of the proposed resolution against the alt-right and white supremacy broke before the Convention. Twitter was chock full of some of the nastiest, most vile messages against it. Yet, I sensed something was awry. SBC pastors and leaders, as well as most church folks, are some of the most polite people I have ever met. They have a very Southern way of being indirect about grievances and disagreement. While they are also not shy about engaging in debate, what I saw on Twitter did not match the tone or timbre of what I have come to know as the SBC.
I suspect the #sbc17 hashtag was being rigorously trolled by alt-right activists. The vile, pornographic language and level of aggressiveness in the tweets signaled the work of outsiders. The language was so consistent in these tweets, actually, that it could have been the work of just a few (or even a single individual) using continuously new, anonymous accounts making it seems like the outcry was bigger than it really was.
However, there were also few voices competing with these, before the Convention started. The glaring silence of others in the SBC worried me. Were there no contrary opinions? Were feelings against racism too weak or afraid of the alt-right to speak out? Was the SBC so weary from backlash against repudiating the Confederate Flag last year that it no longer had will to stand up to white supremacy this year? I wondered.
A lot has happened in one year. The campaign of Donald Trump has been associated with a significant increase in violent actions and rhetoric along racial lines. Trump received 81% of the white Evangelical Christian vote--which would soundly describe most SBC members. In the wake of Trump, many in our culture--like myself--were left wondering where do white Evangelicals--like many in the SBC--really stand on racism? Were all the apologies in the past just lip service? Most Americans understand that voters had only a couple choices for president and complex political issues had to be boiled down to a single vote. We get that. But what has been noticeably absent is white Evangelicals holding Trump accountable since the election. They could be saying to Trump: "Yes, we voted for you, but that was in spite of--and not because of--the racist rhetoric, and we condemn that rhetoric." That outcry has been pretty minimal from the white Evangelical community, which comes across as an endorsement.
When the alt-right resolution failed to be brought to the floor on Day one of the two-day Convention, and when the messengers failed to keep any semblance of it alive after that, Twitter just blew up. It blew up in a way that raised my spirits.
I was so wound up I could barely sleep that night as tweets poured in.
I was so encouraged by the groundswell of support. SBC members simply did not want to leave Phoenix with the world unsure about where their denomination stands on the alt-right and white supremacy. It wasnât just one Twitter account leading the charge, although there were key leaders in this effort. It was dozens and dozens of formerly silent Twitter accounts erupting all at once. At least one group organized a meeting to draft a new resolution with the resolution's original author, Texas pastor Rev. Dwight McKissic. The Resolutions Committee itself sought to find a way to remedy this. Russell Moore, president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, had a hand in drafting the revised version.
I was grateful to witness this. It was a pure blessing to see both the Twitter messages appearing one after the other in rapid succession and being part of conversations in the convention center hallways. Dozens and dozens of pastors and SBC members entered the fray.
It will be hard to walk away from SBC 2017 without at least a shadow of a doubt as to where the membership stands. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Seminary, remarked that the SBC has indeed gotten a "black eye."
Yes, the SBC stumbled and fell here. It may be hard to wash all the dirt off. But the stumble created a moment that allowed the SBC to mobilize to make it right. That movement was pure blessing to watch. I am not a voting member, but as a fellow Christian who cares deeply about what happens here, my heart was with the SBC every step of the way. I am optimistic about the health of the SBC after this.
My assessment: Those who want to put racism behind them are sincere and passionate. There is also a gap between SBC leadership and the membership as well as a generational gap among pastors. When the SBC messengers voted last year to repudiate the Confederate Flag, once person spoke on the Convention floor that it was a fine resolution for pastors but it may be difficult to explain to churchgoers back home. A lot of people want to believe that the SBC has put its racist past behind it, but its rank-and-file membership seems divided as to the necessity of these resolutions and the relevance of symbols like the Confederate Flag.
Some members of the SBC were upset with the headlines coming out the Convention. Those headlines may--or may not--have been unfair. Still, I would urge the SBC not to spend a lot of energy feeling like victims of sensationalistic journalists trying to exploit a controversy for juicy headlines. The hesitation of the SBC over this issue opens real wounds and makes real people wonder where the SBC really stands. I saw African-American pastors and families shed tears on the Convention floor in shock over what they thought would be a routine denouncement of racism that was instead killed in committee--at a time when our nation cannot afford to be neutral on race. These are sincere questions that deserve answers.
While I believe SBC senior leaders are sincere in wanting to put racism behind them, they may be guilty of tone deafness here. They underestimated what message it would send by avoiding this topic. Case in point: Alt-right groups were initially declaring this a victory for white supremacy. Perhaps SBC leaders simply wanted to avoid a difficult topic, but sometimes the best way to attract controversy is by attempting to avoid it. Still, those fighting passionately for racial equality and reconciliation are an impressive bunch, and they give the SBC a bright future.
|Comment on The Social Network by Roy||Hi guys, first time listener. Found this blog via a link from the Wikipedia page of The Brothers Bloom.
Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for the great podcast on The Social Network. I think, as well as the interesting critique, the thing that I enjoyed most is the fact that neither of you seemed to be championing it as much as everyone else is. As someone that is a huge fan of this film, this gives me a fantastic chance to defend it.
I'll try to be brief, though I feel as though I could write a dissertation on what makes this film great (that might be an exaggeration), and I'll focus first on one point that I feel you misread from the film and that I think really coloured your opinion of it.
I don't think this film skips over the fact that there were other networking sites before this one. I also don't think it tries to portray Facebook as "the one that succeeded because it got there first". The thing that set Facebook apart from the rest in the beginning was EXCLUSIVITY. This is a point that I feel is the backbone of this film in many ways.
Zuckerberg didn't steal the idea of a social networking website from the Winklevi (as you and he himself point out, Friendster and MySpace have been there and done that), what he stole was the idea of keeping the site EXCLUSIVE.
Zuckerberg's conversation with his girlfriend at the start is all about how he feels like he is being left out of the upper echelon of the Harvard experience (the final clubs), and his desire to join it. The rest of the movie isnât about Facebook the website, but how Mark treats the creation of Facebook itself as a final club (remember how he auditions new programmers?) and as it's leader he gets to decide who is in this club (Sean Parker, Saverin) and who is out (The Winklevi, Saverin).
After getting the idea from the twins, he discusses it with Saverin outside of the lame Caribbean party that their lesser club is throwing (further cementing the fact that the two of them are outsiders that are excluded from the cool clubs). The point that really hooks Saverin is that, by making the site exclusive, he'd essentially be making a final club online and he could be in charge of it. Zuckerberg decides to team up with Saverin instead of The Twins because, like him, Saverin is an outsider and this creation is a chance for the outsiders to be cool by deciding who is allowed into their club and who isnât.
Zuckerberg then meets Sean Parker and finds another outsider to join their club. The fact that Zuckerberg likes him but Saverin doesnât (and the fact that Saverin has been let into one of the final clubs but Zuckerberg hasnât) shows that these two friends arenât quite on the same wavelength anymore and soon their relationship will suffer as a result. Saverin is no longer an outsider in social terms (by getting into a final club) and he isn't an outsider in business terms (trying to make money from this idea is not the primary objective, taking the idea as far as it can go is what Zuckerberg and Parker are more concerned with.)
Saverin mentions a couple of times in the film how he is trying to make his dad proud of him and that the tangible success of (i.e. making money from) this idea will do that. The Winklevoss twins come from money and feel as though they have been cheated out of a lot of it by Zuckerberg. On the other hand, Sean Parker was sued by the entire music industry and is currently homeless, but everyone thinks he is the coolest guy around. Zuckerberg came up with an app that Microsoft wanted to buy for big bucks, but he gave it away for free.
Zuckerberg mentions at the start of this film that Saverin made $300,000 in one summer. His girlfriend is wildly impressed by this but Zuckerberg says this still wonât get Saverin into a final club. The fact that Saverin does get into a final club shows that Zuckerbergs' idea of cool is different from (and, to him at least, more important than) the traditional one.
By illustrating the differences between the two sides in this movie, I think the theme of exclusivity becomes clear. To Zuckerberg, excluding the uncool kids is the most important thing to him because it means he can stay in control of his idea, which in turn will mean he remains the coolest and most important person, regardless of the consequences.
I could go through the whole movie talking about how this theme ties it all together but Iâll spare you wading through all of that. Also, it is 9am where I am as I type this (I started at 7) and I havenât slept yet so thereâs a good chance that all of this might not make as much sense or be as profound as I think it is. Anyway, I shall essentially skip to the end and tackle the big issue of this film.
I think people are calling this âthe movie that defines a generationâ because of the following:
Never mind Facebook, what the internet as a whole has done is help to level the playing field. People no longer have to kowtow to traditional methods to achieve their dreams. Whether your band gets discovered on MySpace, your blog gets you writing for a magazine, or your YouTube video gets you a record deal(Justin Bieber)/movie (have you heard of âFred â The Movieâ?), the internet has created a shortcut that some people utilise (and accept) more than others.
The âSean Parker Variety Hourâ (as Saverin puts it) that takes place at the restaurant discusses this fact. He was the head of a huge multi-million dollar company at such a young age (without going to college) that his much older and old-fashioned colleagues as good as take offense to this and see to it that he is removed. Also, the fact that his getting fired from his previous companies may have actually been of his own doing shows that skyrocketing from high school nerd to CEO has its drawbacks. These drawbacks are another important theme to the film.
The tangible air of disapproval between the âkidsâ and âadultsâ of this film further illustrates this schism. The kids think that the skills they have are of monumental importance, the adults think the kids are merely being arrogant and need to be put in their place (see the first court hearing between Zuckerberg and the staff of Harvard). The attitude of Zuckerberg in general throughout these court hearings clearly defines this generational gap.
Another point that this film raises is the idea that â in this digital age we live in â influence is more important than money. The ability to garner millions of views for your website gets you more cool points (which are more important) than earning money from it. When the Twins hear about Facemash getting 22,000 hits in a few hours, one of them makes the amusing comparison that drug dealers couldnât sell that many drugs to people in such a short time. Once upon a time you needed money to have influence in the first place, but thanks to the internet this is no longer the default method.
Of course, the only people that actually consider influence and cool points as more valuable right now are the most forward thinking people in the film and the ambassadors of this new generation â Zuckerberg and Parker. The fact that Zuckerberg has just been made Timeâs Person of the Year, and that Facebook is worth billions, says that things have changed. Instead of money bringing influence, influence brings money.
I hope that this essay makes sense â sorry that it is of essay length â and I would love to discuss this film further with you or hear if my points have changed your opinion or whether a repeat viewing of the film has got you to see it in a new light.
To sum up: the stellar script, bitchinâ soundtrack, flawless acting and subtle yet effective directing, and the conversations that this film creates, make this a very good film worthy of all itsâ praise and awards. The points Iâve tried to raise are why I think this is a great film that does indeed define a generation.|
|BWW Review: THE NICETIES at CATF|
Featuring a tour de force performance from its' two female stars, cutting dialogue and presenting the strongest of both social questions and CATF performances this summer, The Niceties is a show not to be missed.
A modern day intimate drama. The Niceties occurs in the office of an American History professor at an unnamed elite Northeastern liberal university. Professor Janine is reviewing a paper with a promising young student, Zoe. The mundane office hours visit soon turns into a high stakes game of victor and victim as the student questions the professor on the issue of race in both history and present day society and takes a drastic course of action when Zoe reveals she plans to publish their private conversation on social media.
As the college professor Janine, Robin Walsh gives an incredibly nuanced and relatable performance. Walsh has mastered the more mature mannerisms and her educated, though unintentional, snobbery is evident in most of her delivery and stage presence. Walsh has the audience support throughout most of Act I, until a dramatic twist, and her ease at interactions with Margaret Ivey as Zoe is natural.
As an African American college student there to eventually provoke the professor during office hours, Margaret Ivey gives an equally standout performance in her complicated role as Zoe. Ivey begins as an eager, hardworking student who suddenly reveals a very passionate and aggressive nature in regard to her support of social justice and racial equality. Ivey has the more difficult job of keeping an audience's sympathy and support in the more unlikeable role of the pair as the character sometimes comes off as an entitled or whiny millennial while campaigning for her causes. Ivey shows an impressive versatility in her character shift from Act I to Act II.
Walsh and Ivey share an exceptional chemistry throughout the show. Their scenes together are electric onstage, crackling with the generational gap conflict and strained racial relation conflict at the heart of the drama. Both actresses have incredible comedic timing and deliver rapid fire arguments and deadpan witty delivery on many one-liners or sly humorous references.
Brought to life by the exceptional performances is the true star of the show, a phenomenal script by Eleanor Burgess. Similar to Mamet's Oleanna, with the conflict focusing on racial tensions this time as opposed to sexual, Burgess' script is astounding, with a constantly shifting balance of power between teacher and student. The conflicts of modern day technology in education and the differences in generational responses to events cleverly set the stage for the hot button issue of debate onstage; the under-representation of African-Americans and other ethnicity groups in modern day American History courses, and the systematic underlying racism present in higher education opportunities in the present day.
In a play focusing on language and debate (with multiple sparkling grammar and language jokes to satisfy the hardcore grammar nerds in the audience), the differences in language between Janine and Zoe serve to highlight not only their character differences, but enormous generational gap and their polar opposite personalities as well. The physicality of both actresses nicely contrasts the heightened focus on language. As one female or the other gains the upper hand throughout the office visits, their physical stances often expand or shrink to make it absolutely clear where the power balance is shifting next.
The Niceties continues to run as one of the six plays in rotating repertory at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. The Niceties performances occur in CCA 112 on the campus of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. The final performance occurs July 30 at 12:00 PM. For more information about the show schedule, the 2017 season or to order tickets, please visit www.catf.org.
|Who Plays Which Games? And What Does That Say About Our Culture?||The Joan Ganz Cooney Centerâs new Digital Games and Family Life Infographic looks at the game genres and titles that kids and their families play. Not surprisingly, there seems to be a generational gap. There is also a curious gender distinction. (Photo by Jordan Shapiro) When it comes to age, puzzle/strategy games, [...]|
|Comment on Digitalism â Destruction of Music Taste or Exploration of New Genres? by Gary Fontana||It's funny how things change. When cell phones first came out they were the big new thing. Now, they're just an expected part of life. Likewise, when music steaming first came out it was the big new thing, and now having immediate access to pretty much all music is an expected part of life. People coming of age now don't know any other way so the idea of buying music, or full length albums, or the controversy over streaming aren't well understood. It has created a fully different way of experiencing music. As an older guy I have an appreciation for the way things were, as well as an acceptance of how they are. I buy albums when many do not, but I also use a number of streaming services from Pandora to Torch music. I guess at some points there's always going to be a generational gap, and as we get older and things change we are eventually outdated by the big new thing.|
|On the "neoliberal rhetoric of harm"||I was disappointed to read Jack Halberstam's recent essay on trigger warnings and the "neoliberal rhetoric of harm." I agree with Robin James's assessmentâ that there's a real problem that JH is putting |
Where it goes off the rails is the suggestion that people engaged in social justice work need to, so to speak, "man up":
In a post-affirmative action society, where even recent histories of political violence like slavery and lynching are cast as a distant and irrelevant past, all claims to hardship have been cast as equal; and some students, accustomed to trotting out stories of painful events in their childhoods (dead pets/parrots, a bad injury in sports) in college applications and other such venues, have come to think of themselves as communities of naked, shivering, quaking little selves â too vulnerable to take a joke, too damaged to make one.
In short, an ostensibly feminist blog post about how feminists are humorless and need to lighten up is a little hard to take. No, having a pet parrot join the choir invisible is not as bad as lynching, but is that really what people are saying when they say they are sad about their parrot? Can we not have compassion for small griefs?
I have two basic observations to make about this, one about feminist critiques of neoliberalism and one about generations.
1. Neoliberalism and feminism
As Keguro Macharia pointed out, Halberstam's polemic can easily be read as a call for resilience, the neoliberal virtue par excellence. Indeed, Halberstam literally "call[s] for accountability," that language of counting and accounting that, as John Pat Leary has so brilliantly explained, takes as its baseline the belief that everything that matters is accountable. Halberstam's polemic, with its belittlement of college students as "naked, shivering, quaking little selves," is plagued by a bigger problem: how to mount a feminist critique of neoliberalism when neoliberalism operates through hypertrophied forms of femininity?
As misguided as Tiqqun's Theory of the Young-Girl is, it is symptomatic of the gendered realization of neoliberalism: what Karen Gregory calls "hyperemployment," and what Robin James, following Michelle Murphy, calls the "financialized girl." Such critiques, as well as formulations like Jodi Dean's "communicative capitalism" and Corsani and Lazzarato's "feminization of labor," demonstrate that, often, neoliberal exploitation succeeds by ramping up and extending the ways that women have typically been exploited under earlier forms of capitalism: in care work, emotional labor, unpaid labor, collaborations ("teamwork"), etc. (I'm mentioning just a few sources, but there's an enormous literature on this.) Importantly, innovations that began as accommodations for working women—"flex time," telecommuting, teamwork— became normalized or hypertrophied (as e.g. freelancing) as ways of reducing overhead and making employees interchangeable (disposable), to the point that a paean to nonstop work like Lean In could be marketed as feminism.
The forms that Halberstam critiques—safe spaces and trigger warnings, specifically, but also psychologization and subjectivity—really are forms through which neoliberalism can operate; indeed, maybe they are primarily modes of individuating harm and defusing structural critique. But they are also deeply feminized, as Gayatri Spivak pointed out in a famous reading of Freud's line, "a child is being beaten," and have the double-edged power of interiorizing (rendering unavailable to structural critique) and acknowledging women's psychology as complex. When neoliberalism takes feminized forms, it is difficult to attack neoliberal forms (here, subjectivization, safe spaces) without being flatly sexist. And the form that Halberstam's critique takes seems to me to succumb to that difficulty.
2. Generational relationships to history
There's another strain to Halberstam's polemic that pits professors against students on generational terms. Here is one generation who fought hard for queer rights; who never had a Gay/Straight Alliance in high school or a way to grow up both queer and normal. Who made careers out of queer studies while they watched their administrations professionalize and their faculties casualize, who teach at universities that cost $44,000 a year to attend.
A representative of this generation calls another a bunch of babies. (So they are: their infantilization has been enforced by the privatization of public goods, by debt, and by the destruction of good jobs. Reaching puberty earlier and earlier, likely due to environmental factors, they achieve financial independence later and later, if ever. All their own fault, no doubt.)
Halberstam kind of makes a big deal of this generational gap, pointing to the "friendly adults" who erroneously install "narratives of damage that they [the youth] themselves may or may not have actually experienced." It's as if young people are stealing an earlier generation's trauma, claiming it as their own when really they have it so good. In this bizarrely counterfactual linear temporality, the past is not only past but also dead, and you do not have the right to be traumatized by historical memory, only by things that have literally happened to you—even if you are eighteen and it's all—all—news to you. We (the older generation) were there, and are over it, and so you (the younger generation) should root yourselves entirely in the ameliorated present* and get over it, because it is over.
The result is an odd polemic against coddled millenials and their too-sensitive feelings, as if it were somehow ridiculous to be young and too sensitive, or for that matter, old and too sensitive. This cross-generational call to "get over it" is an example of what Sara Ahmed has called "overing": "In assuming that we are over certain kinds of critique, they create the impression that we are over what is being critiqued." It's particularly perverse to demand that young people be "over it," when they have perhaps only just left their parents' homes, and have perhaps only recently come to any political consciousness at all. There's a very good reason college students aren't "over it"; they just got there. Have you met a college student? It's all, all new.
It is its own kind of shock to learn about how you have been historically, rather than personally, hated. It is not about "trauma" but about developing a political consciousness that is also historical, a fundamentally utopian impulse to exist in solidarity with the dead. There is, to be sure, a fine line between identifying with the past and appropriating it, but I think we can allow our students some leeway in figuring out where this line is, and not getting it right every time. Certainly grown-ups need the same leeway.
And finally, it is particularly odd to issue a generational call to turn to environmental concerns instead of LGBT activism:
What does it mean when younger people who are benefitting from several generations now of queer social activism by people in their 40s and 50s (who in their childhoods had no recourse to anti-bullying campaigns or social services or multiple representations of other queer people building lives) feel abused, traumatized, abandoned, misrecognized, beaten, bashed and damaged?
In the words of a famous owl: O RLY?
"Don't worry about safe spaces because we 'friendly adults' already fixed that for you (whether you feel it or not); do worry about climate change because we really fucked that one up."
Well, yes we did, but maybe it's therefore our job to do the heavy lifting on that one.
I think reasonable people can disagree about trigger warning policies per se. But I don't know how any adult dares be intellectually ungenerous with the young, considering the world we've collectively brought them into. My students can take a joke, and make one. They're hilarious. And they also care about one another and try not to make those jokes at one another's expense. They're not "over" anything because they're just getting started. I'm glad they are.
^Although I was not aware of a preferred pronoun and had been given to understand that Jack Halberstam does not explicitly prefer pronouns of either gender (source), two commenters have suggested that masculine pronouns are preferred. Thanks to these commenters for the correction.
*I'm granting for the sake of argument that the oppression of queer (whether "really gay" or not) youth is really the non-problem that Halberstam claims it is, but in reality this claim seems to me to be premature.
Thanks to Robin James for a helpful discussion of this piece.
Your regularly scheduled BeyoncÃ© posts will return soon.
|More on BP and Driscoll||Ed Setzer responds to the Article on his blog.|
Some of what Ed says:
Southeastern has commented because Mark spoke at Southeastern last week. The usual folks have complained about his presence, but I agree with Johnny Hunt, our SBC President on the issue. Johnny and I discussed this on Tuesday-- and he was a bit surprised (and concerned) of the complaints leveled at Southeastern. To quote Johnny, "It's a seminary! We often bring in people even when we disagree with some things."
And, yes, some people won't like frank talk about sexuality (or they will think it is too frank). And for them, that in itself is sinful. And that is a fair conversation.
SouthEastern have written about there view on the article here.
Alvin Reid weighs in on the matter.
And Baptist 21 gives thoughts on the generational gap within the SBC.
|Young consumers over twice as likely to share data online than older generations|
As the government takes further steps to give people greater control of digitally-stored personal information, a new study has revealed a generational gap in attitudes towards sharing data with brands online.
The post Young consumers over twice as likely to share data online than older generations appeared first on Business Advice.
|Comment on Staring Into the Generational Gap: Munichâs Panel Discussion âJunior Researchers, Publishers, Libraries, and Open Access. Contemporary Publishing in the Humanities,â 11 February 2014. by Weitergedacht | Konferenzblog RKB||[…] ist auf reichlich Interesse gestoÃen und fand viel Nachhall, z.B. hier,Â da, […]|
|Comment on Staring Into the Generational Gap: Munichâs Panel Discussion âJunior Researchers, Publishers, Libraries, and Open Access. Contemporary Publishing in the Humanities,â 11 February 2014. by Weitergedacht | Rezensieren â Kommentieren â Bloggen||[…] ist auf reichlich Interesse gestoÃen und fand viel Nachhall, z.B. hier,Â da, […]|
|Post #5||As discussed in class today, I feel that there really is a strong digital divide. The thing is, it is not just between the generational gap, but it is also between those that need to learn how to use technology and those that need to teach it. Within the No Child Left Behind Act for technology, there is a goal to have all eighth graders computer literate by graduation. There is also the purpose and goal to give professional development for the teachers to teach the students how to use the technology. The problem is very clear. There are too many schools that do not have the resources available, there are too many teachers who do not want to learn or do not know how to teach different technologies, and there are many who feel that they already know all that they need.|
I see this a lot with students and with teachers. They feel that if they can e-mail and IM, they are good to go. Yet there was a time when the printer was not working properly in the library. A student decided to e-mail herself. Under the circumstances, I said it was fine to do so. A minute later her hand is raised asking how she can e-mail the article she needed for a project.
The reason why I feel it is important to discuss this further is because as a librarian, it has to be my duty to educate. But is that as far as it can go? When will the divide come at least closer together. In class Joy mentioned approaching businesses and discuss this issue with future workers. I understand that children learn when they are IMing and using social networks, etc. The truth is, students and adults need the basics as well. The sad reality is that this digital divide will not change or go away anytime soon. We can only try to help it close the gap. It is a slow process, but that is what this profession is about.
|Episode 234 â Valerie Grubb â Clash of the Generations||Valerie Grubb (@valgrubb on twitter) discuss her new book Clash of the Generations with host Craig Price. Craig is no stranger to generational issues. He speaks on the subject himself (notice the complete lack of link to his own programs!!) so he's eager to discuss how other speakers view the subject. Thankfully, Valerie wrote an entire book on it called Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality. The two discuss, who's really to blame for this generational gap, Â if it is harder for a seasoned veteran to be managed by a younger person or for a new worker to be managed by a seasoned veteran set in their ways and they even give a little glimpse of what the mysterious Generation Z (no, not zombies) has planned for the near future. Most importantly, Valerie has given Craig two books to give away for free! Listen to the podcast to learn how to win a copy!
Clash of the Generations explores this new and increasingly common workplace phenomenon, and provides strategies to help managers navigate this ever more complex maze. Traditionally, older workers would retire and make room for the next generation; instead, Baby Boomers are now prolonging their time in the workplace, yet the successive generations are still coming in. Senior leaders are now left to manage a blended workplace comprised of up to four generationsâeach with their own ideas of work ethic, work/life balance, long-term career goals, and much more. Management is challenging at the best of times, but the new prevalence of generation gapsâsometimes even layeredâadd an entirely new dimension to an already complex responsibility. This book presents case studies and interviews with representatives of companies with age-diverse workforces, detailing innovative strategies for smoothing out the bumps and helping everyone work together.
You can learn more about Valerie atÂ http://valgrubbandassociates.com/|
|WSLP09: WSELP - Generational Differences|
Course Number: WSLP09
Description: Join us for a very informative and entertaining presentation that will help you understand and find ways to recognize generational gaps and what it means to work in multi-generational work teams.
To register, click here then Search by Course Number WSLP09
For enrollment assistance, please contact the HR Front Desk at (509) 963-1202 or email Central Learning Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To this day, I still get e-mails about Kurosawaâs Ikiru and I never tire of talking about that film. Itâs been nearly 10 months since Iâve seen that movie and yet the emotions, the imagery, and Kurosawaâs impeccable craftsmanship haunts me still. This is a film so powerful that Ebert wrote: âI think this is one of the few movies that might actually be able to inspire someone to lead their life a little differently.â
I have to share this with you. I discovered a recent, phenomenal, two-part analysis of Ikiru at Offscreen by Aryeh Kaufman. My meager notes really didnât do the film justice and this extensive analysis opens the film up so beautifully. âIkiruâs focus on the great loneliness of the individual and the struggle to achieve meaningful encounters with others,â Kaufman writes, âproves relevant to all.â
To appreciate how groundbreaking the film is, you first have to understand its context in the cultural and social history of Japan at that time. This film was quite revolutionary. From Part One:
Ikiru, meaning âto liveâ or âliving,â was directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1952 under Toho Productions. Kurosawa, with the help of Hashimoto and Oguni, wrote the screenplay for the black and white film at age 42. The film, widely recognized as one of Kurosawaâs masterpieces, must be understood within its historical and cultural contexts. Ikiru emerged during Japanâs postwar reconstruction, as the country sought to adapt to its newly inherited capitalism and democracy. Calling for forms of cultural upheaval and self-scrutiny, the film may be viewed as political cinema. Specifically, Ikiru affirms the pride and power of the individual. It promotes breaking traditional ties to larger social groups, such as family and company, for the sake of personal achievement.
Quite powerful, too, was what Kaufman wrote about Watanabeâs broken relationship with Mitsuo, his son:
Ikiru explicitly reveals the unworthiness of family, and questions the importance of communal bonds generally. Most illustrative is the father-son dichotomy. Palpable distance exists between Watanabe and Mitsuo, increased by misunderstandings and a generational gap that recalls Turgenevâs Fathers and Sons. Mitsuo first mentions his father by calling him a âpetty bureaucrat.â Respect is absent in his claim that âeven Pop wouldnât want to take all that money to his grave.â Watanabe hides in the corner of his sonâs room, most likely intending to disclose to Mitsuo the fateful news of his cancer, until hearing Mitsuo and Kazue discussing him and his savings. He leaves claiming that nothing is wrongâhis son is too selfish to consider alternative causes to Watanabeâs sadness aside from his eavesdropping and hearing their discussion. In fact, Mitsuo fails to take notice of his fatherâs agony and never learns of his illness. He is more interested in whether Watanabe squanders his savings. Ironically, through a chance misunderstanding, Mitsuo concludes that his father has taken a young mistress in Toyo, played by Miki Odagiri, and scolds his father for his âdegenerateâ behavior. Once again, such remarks prevent Watanabe from explaining to his son the true cause of his suffering.
Viewers learn, through Watanabe, that 30 years of continuous work and significant time spent unmarried as a widower were for the sake of his son. Still despairing from his recent lay-diagnosis, Watanabe hears the laughter of Mitsuo and Kazue upstairs. This worsens his despair, as it appears they laugh at him. Suddenly, Watanabe hears the call of âDadâ twice. Music stops before Watanabe climbs the stairs to his beckoning son, only to receive an order to lock the front door. Watanabe descends with head lowered; all hopes of reconnecting with Mitsuo have vanished.
A series of flashbacks demonstrates how far father and son have grown apart. These flashbacks prove to be the visual equivalents of Watanabeâs freely associated thoughts. A baseball bat used in locking the door to the house leads to the memory of Mitsuo playing baseball and hitting a single. Watanabe shouts âMitsuoâ in congratulation in the stands before the film cuts back to Watanabeâs room for a close-up. Here, âMitsuoâ sounds twice though Watanabe fails to move his lipsâthe call is internal and in Watanabeâs choked voice. Returning to the baseball diamond, Mitsuo is called out in a run-down. As Watanabe sits down in the stands we return to his room as he shrinks down into sitting position. The camera, however, moves upward, providing a greater sense of his descent. Immediately, Watanabe recalls his adolescent son on a gurney in a hospital lift, similarly descending as the camera climbs. After informing his son that he cannot remain with him for the appendectomy, Mitsuo is wheeled away. Cutting back to Watanabeâs room, âMitsuoâ sounds twice again. Mitsuoâs being wheeled away lends itself to the flashback of Mitsuoâs train-departure for war. Son holds father before jumping back onto the moving train. Now, âMitsuoâ sounds nine times, echoing off in a final call. These images, so varied and freely instigated, show the breadth of memory father holds for son. Though these memories hold meaning, they emphasize the absence of successful communication.
âI have no son. Iâm all alone,â Watanabe explains to Toyo, the young worker who becomes quite important to him. âMy son is somewhere far, far awayâjust as my parents were when I was drowning in that pond.â
I daresay this film possesses the best use of flashbacks ever.
Even more interesting for me was the way Kaufman illustrates how Watanabe fits the mold of a hero as defined by Joseph Campbell. This comes to us from Part Two:
Joseph Campbell explains the following:
Everywhere, no matter what the sphere of interest (whether religious, political, or personal), the really creative acts are represented as those deriving from some sort of dying to the world; and what happens in the interval of the heroâs nonentity, so that he comes back as one reborn, made great and filled with creative power, mankind is also unanimous in declaring.
Certainly, Watanabeâs transformation from servile worker to active public servant represents one significant âdying to the world.â âThe mummyâ has finally been laid to rest. In this sense, creative acts, encompassing the volitional drive to create the playground, recreate Watanabe. The act of creation not only results in something new being formed but also in the essential recreation of the creator. Furthermore, Campbellâs statement may be applied to Watanabeâs physical death. Watanabeâs ânonentity,â his absence between the first and second divisions of Ikiru, results in his spiritual return to those at his wake, in the form of his portrait, his hat, the toy-rabbit, and even a wind-up clock, all which have been transformed by Watanabeâs deeds.
And then there is that marvelous break in the structure, which I wrote about in my Ikiru article. I love these paragraphs:
Kurosawa further prepares viewers to internalize Watanabeâs life as an example by depicting various coworkers deliberating the meaning of Watanabeâs final days, his behavior, whether he in fact knew he was to die, and whether he âcreatedâ the playground himself. Viewers want the misunderstanding mourners to think as they do, to believe that Watanabe did in fact accomplish a worthy goal and transform his life and that without Watanabe the playground would not have been. Viewers are prepared to argue and preach to these mournersâto do so with forceâinfluenced by the knowledge and insight gained from the first part of the film, which now stands as absolutely real. We understand Watanabeâs situation and that he suffered from the knowledge of his terminal cancer. The mourners know the events immediately leading up to his death but not his inner mind. Kurosawa depicts drunken mourners disparaging the bureaucratic system, usurping credit for the playground from Watanabe, and finally claiming superficially, âIâll work at it like Iâm a man rebornâ¦sacrifice the self to serve the many.â However, the next scene presents a mirror image of the opening scene: the chief officer, sitting in Watanabeâs place, passes off a potential project to the Engineering Department. One man stands up in silent protest, only to be submerged behind stacks of paper. Such an explicit failure to internalize and act on Watanabeâs lesson provides the strongest incentive to viewers to avoid such similar fate.
The perspectivism of the wake scene serves not only to inspire viewers to actively support Watanabe but also to grasp the ultimate incommunicability of enlightenment. Everyone views Watanabeâs life and death through the lenses of their own particular life and belief system. Mitsuo believes his fatherâs behavior is attributable to his overhearing talk of savings and pensions; Watanabeâs brother believes his transformation is due to a mistress; the Deputy Mayor claims most of the credit for the playground for himself. Rashomon forces viewers to question the veracity of conflicting perspectives. Ikiru, however, provides viewers with flashbacks that are literal and accurate in the wake scene. Mourners respond jointly to the flashbacks as if they too were watching them on screen. Therefore, Ikiru may be interpreted as building upon Rashomonâs perspectivism. In Rashomon, viewers must choose to believe either that no single truth exists, only perspectives, or that one view is more appropriate or truthful than others. The latter view implies an active engagement with the film that is similarly featured in Ikiru. An omniscient narrator serves as a teacher of Watanabeâs lesson to viewers, who, though perhaps differing in terms of interpretations of what exactly transformed Watanabe, accept the heroâs version of events as opposed to those of the erring bureaucrats. On balance, in addition to supporting one perspective through the demonstration of alternative perspectives, Ikiru develops Rashomonâs perspectivism by promoting the moral approach that one must necessarily detach from others to find meaning in life. Personal enlightenment and transformation cannot be achieved through the complex differences inherent in alternative perspectives. Such a view conforms to Campbellâs theory that detachment from interpersonal bonds and social groups is essential to personal transformation. âThe hero has died as a modern man, but as eternal manâperfected, unspecific, universal manâhe has been reborn,â claims Campbell. âHis second solemn task and deed thereforeâ¦is to return to us, transfigured, and teach the lesson he has learned of life renewed.â Watanabe, through his creative deeds, returns to society after despair and isolation reached a peak. His creative action helps form meaningful interpersonal bonds; however, his return does not entail submission or acceptance of social mores and guidelines. This is one of the key lessons of his life. Watanabe struggled with and threatened to undermine office culture. He defied the Deputy Mayor thereby âchanging city hallâ and brought meaning to his public servant position through such an overthrowing.
So check it out: Part One and Part Two, thanks to Aryeh Kaufman.
|The Digital Transformation: A Primer for Mexican Consumer Companies|
Spencer Stuart recently met with several consumer goods and retail CEOs in Mexico, and we discussed the challenges of leadership in a world that’s undergoing a sweeping digital transformation. As a result of this discussion, the Spencer Stuart team has suggested four key takeaways for consumer company leaders:
Bridging the cultural and talent gap
Participants shared some of the challenges they face in their own digital transformation, including:
Clearly, it’s difficult to find professionals who are prepared to tackle the most advanced issues of digital transformation. But based on our discussion, we learned the cultural disruption may be a bigger problem for many organizations.
Bringing the innovation core closer to company leadership
To promote a climate of innovation, some companies have begun to build teams that are responsible for challenging the status quo and creating new ways of doing business:
From these examples, we can conclude that digital transformation initiatives need to be brought close to company leadership in order to succeed. We also learned that teams in charge of innovating need the freedom to truly modernize, with little commitment to the company’s existing legacy. Lastly, goals, timeframes, follow-up routines and clear success criteria must be established to make sure there is a real return on investment.
Defining the CEO’s role
As if the CEO’s job was not complicated enough, it now includes aligning the organization’s entire culture to seek out more opportunities for learning and experimentation. And it has to be done while maintaining the ongoing effort to generate value in the company’s core business, as well as supporting and motivating the leaders who drive the day-to-day results.
Spencer Stuart and culture
At Spencer Stuart, we believe an organization’s culture can help or inhibit the results of the most brilliant strategies. This is a lever that many leaders find difficult to manage, but boards and executives can build on their company’s value if they understand the existing cultural aspects and actively strengthen the traits that support its strategies — particularly when the company is need of profound transformation.
Spencer Stuart’s proprietary culture model and diagnostic tools help business leaders define how to support their strategic imperatives and strengthen them within the organization. Spencer Stuart’s clients have successfully applied these elements in turnaround situations to boost growth, bring about a radical change in leadership and integrate cultures following a merger or acquisition.
|Truck Driver Shortage: Is a Generational Gap Between Truckers to Blame?||In a time when the trucking industry is experiencing an acute truck driver shortage, the cultural gap between younger drivers and old-schoolers only seems to be widening. Industry forums reveal that the internal industryÂ discontent is rising. Rookie truckers see the more experienced ones as condescending, technology-inept, and refusing to lend a helping hand when needed. […]|
|What I Learned Wednesday-5/1/13|
The girls are polar opposites at times. The weather is starting to get nice here and they have been outside a lot. One loves the outdoors and will explore and run around, while the other is literally frozen in one spot out of fear. I think next time, I'll park my chair next to her and have her hold my drink.
There are generational gaps all over the place. I don't know if I'm just at that age where it's a middle ground or if I'm just that out of touch with those who are younger and older than myself. Case in point: If I were to say "This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S", a bunch of youngin's would say "That was my favorite song in 4th grade". Gahhh. The opposite of that? I was driving with my mom and told her the song on the radio was my favorite. She asked who it was and I said "The Black Keys". "Oh! The Black Eyed Keys?". Not quite.
I'm enjoying the subject of generation gaps so much, I think it'll be my next post. Stay tuned!ï»¿
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