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). It’s 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 I’m 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. What’s 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 “How do we make the most money doing this?” but “How do we solve the problems we’re facing in the most efficient and elegant manner we can?”
I’d argue that this represents a radical shift in thinking in society. It’s hard for a 60 year old C-level manager who’s uppermost thought during the day is “How can we improve the share price of our company?” to understand the motivations of a 42 year old senior engineer who’s 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 didn’t 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 “fabric” 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 - she’s into cosplay, animation, computer graphics and computer games, and social media. She’s entering college in media arts, and I fully anticipate that she’ll 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. She’s a social deconstructionist.
My youngest was born in 2000, and she is what I believe many Virtuals will be like. She’s 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. She’s a technical synthesist. She has trouble with school though, because school doesn’t work the way she thinks - she can find information, but she’s having trouble learning strategies for synthesizing that information. Of course, the schools themselves haven’t really caught up with this fact - they’re 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 they’re teaching is worth anything). And of course, STEM (science, technical, engineering and mathematics) courses of study have seen a massive drop in participation. We’re becoming a nation of gamers and idiots.
Except I’m not so sure that’s 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 weren’t 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 there’s 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. It’s 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 “premonitions” 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 don’t easily fit into any generation.
If, as I suspect, the Virtuals end up being technological synthesists (as opposed to the GenXer’s 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.
There’s 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 “Middle Aged” 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 couldn’t 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 we’re in now, extending from 2000-2018 +/- a few years) the Millennials are “Heroes” 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 Boomers’ avid capitalistic streak, perceptive and slow to make judgements or decisions compared to the Boomer’s decisive leadership and charisma, pragmatists to the Boomers’ 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. 

What Was Covered 

  • Why Kyle decided to set up Scrappy Labs and the purpose of an innovation lab within a traditionally ‘small i’ innovation organisation 
  • APMC’s approach to ‘institutionalizing innovation’ and its focus on how it communicates with its customers – the foundation of a services business 
  • How Kyle acknowledges generational gaps between the company and its customers and how he responds to and leverages new trends and changes 

Key Takeaways and Learnings 

  • The importance of pivoting, responding quickly to changes in communication and technology, and bridging the gap between older and younger generations of staff and consumers 
  • How nurturing a culture of ‘scrappiness’ has been essential to reducing the risk that new innovations are rejected when they come out of the ‘lab’ and are integrated into the wider organization 
  • The importance of understanding the different communication ‘styles’ of team members how this common language helps to limit conflict and maximize the results of the innovation process 

          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        

The GeForce FX or "GeForce 5" series (codenamed NV30) is a line of graphics processing units from the manufacturer Nvidia.

Nvidia GeForce FX Series
GeForce FX logo
Codename(s) NV30, NV31, NV34, NV35, NV36, NV38
Release date 2003
Entry-level GPU 5200, 5300, 5500
Mid-Range GPU 5600, 5700, 5750
High-end GPU 5800, 5900, 5950
Direct3D and Shader version D3D 9.0a, Pixel Shader 2.a, Vertex Shader 2.a


  • 1 Specifications
  • 2 Marketing
  • 3 Delays
  • 4 Disappointment
  • 5 Competitive response
  • 6 GeForce FX models
  • 7 Issues
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


    Nvidia's GeForce FX series is the fifth generation in the GeForce line. With GeForce 3, Nvidia introduced programmable shader units into their 3D rendering capabilities, in line with the release of Microsoft's DirectX 8.0 release, and the GeForce 4 Ti was an optimized version of the GeForce 3. With real-time 3D graphics technology continually advancing, the release of DirectX 9.0 ushered in a further refinement of programmable pipeline technology with the arrival of Shader Model 2.0. The GeForce FX series brings to the table Nvidia's first generation of Shader Model 2 hardware support.

    The Dawn demo was released by Nvidia to showcase pixel and vertex shaders effects of the GeForce FX Series

    The FX features DDR, DDR2 or GDDR-3 memory, a 130 nm fabrication process, and Shader Model 2.0/2.0A compliant vertex and pixel shaders. The FX series is fully compliant and compatible with DirectX 9.0b. The GeForce FX also included an improved VPE (Video Processing Engine), which was first deployed in the GeForce4 MX. Its main upgrade was per pixel video-deinterlacing — a feature first offered in ATI's Radeon, but seeing little use until the maturation of Microsoft's DirectX Video Acceleration and VMR (video mixing renderer) APIs. Among other features was an improved anisotropic filtering algorithm which was not angle-dependent (unlike its competitor, the Radeon 9700/9800 series) and offered better quality, but affected performance somewhat. Though Nvidia reduced the filtering quality in the drivers for a while, the company eventually got the quality up again, and this feature remains one of the highest points of the GeForce FX family to date (however, this method of anisotropic filtering was dropped by Nvidia with the GeForce 6 series for performance reasons, and then re-introduced with the GeForce 8 series).[1][2]


    While it is the fifth major revision in the series of GeForce graphics cards, it wasn't marketed as a GeForce 5. The FX ("effects") in the name was decided on to illustrate the power of the latest design's major improvements and new features, and to virtually distinguish the FX series as something greater than a revision of earlier designs. The FX in the name also was used to market the fact that the GeForce FX was the first GPU to be a combined effort from the previously acquired 3DFX engineers and Nvidia's own engineers. Nvidia's intention was to underline the extended capability for cinema-like effects using the card's numerous new shader units. The result was instead to confuse people who simply wanted to know if this card was better than other competing cards.

    The advertising campaign for the GeForce FX featured the Dawn fairy demo, which was the work of several veterans from the computer animation Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Nvidia touted it as "The Dawn of Cinematic Computing", while critics noted that this was the strongest case of using sex appeal in order to sell graphics cards yet. It is still probably the best-known of the Nvidia Demos.


    The NV30 project had been delayed for three key reasons. One was because Nvidia decided to produce an optimized version of the GeForce 3 (NV 20) which resulted in the GeForce 4 Ti (NV 25), while ATI cancelled its competing optimized chip (R250) and opted instead to focus on the Radeon R300 (which would be released as the Radeon 9700) which had been recently acquired from ArtX. This enabled ATI to take the lead in development for the first time instead of trailing Nvidia.

    A second reason was Nvidia's commitment with Microsoft. Many of Nvidia’s best engineers were working on the Xbox contract, developing a motherboard solution, including the API used as part of the SoundStorm platform and the graphics processor (NV2A). The Xbox venture diverted most of Nvidia's engineers over not only the NV2A's initial design-cycle but also during the mid-life product revisions needed to discourage hackers. The Xbox contract did not allow for falling manufacturing costs, as process technology improved, and Microsoft sought to renegotiate the terms of the contract, withholding the DirectX 9 specifications as leverage. As a result, Nvidia and Microsoft relations, which had previously been very good, deteriorated. (Both parties later settled the dispute through arbitration and the terms were not released to the public.)

    Due to the Xbox dispute, Nvidia was not consulted when the DirectX 9 specification was drawn up, while ATI designed the Radeon 9700 to such specifications. Rendering color support was limited to 24 bits floating point, and shader performance had been emphasized throughout development, since this was to be the main focus of DirectX 9. Microsoft's shader compiler was also built using the Radeon 9700 as the base card instead of Nvidia's offering. In contrast, Nvidia’s cards offered 16 and 32 bit floating point modes, offering either lower visual quality (as compared to the competition), or slow performance. The 32 bit support made them much more expensive to manufacture requiring a higher transistor count. Shader performance was often only half or less the speed provided by ATI's competing products. Having made its reputation by providing easy to manufacture DirectX compatible parts, Nvidia had misjudged Microsoft’s next standard, and was to pay a heavy price for this error. As more and more games started to rely on DirectX 9 features, the poor shader performance of the GeForce FX series became ever more obvious. With the exception of the FX 5700 series (a late revision), the FX series lacked performance compared to equivalent ATI parts.

    Finally, Nvidia's transition to a 130 nm manufacturing process encountered unexpected difficulties. Nvidia had ambitiously selected TSMC's then state-of-the-art (but unproven) Low-K dielectric 130 nm process node. After sample silicon-wafers exhibited abnormally high defect-rates and poor circuit performance, Nvidia was forced to re-tool the NV30 for a conventional (FSG) 130 nm process node. (Nvidia's manufacturing difficulties with TSMC spurred the company to search for a second foundry. Nvidia selected IBM to fabricate several future GeForce chips, citing IBM's process technology leadership. Yet curiously, Nvidia avoided IBM's Low-K process.)


    Analysis of the hardware

    Hardware enthusiasts saw the GeForce FX series as a disappointment as it did not live up to expectations[who?]. Nvidia had aggressively hyped the card[citation needed] up throughout the summer and autumn of 2002, to combat ATI Technologies' autumn release of the powerful Radeon 9700. ATI's very successful Shader Model 2 card had arrived several months earlier than Nvidia's first NV30 board, the GeForce FX 5800.

    When the FX 5800 finally launched, it was discovered after testing and research on the part of hardware analysts that the NV30 was not a match for Radeon 9700's R300 core.[3] This was especially true when pixel shading was involved. Additionally, the 5800 had roughly a 30% memory bandwidth deficit caused by the use of a comparatively narrow 128-bit memory bus (ATI and other companies moved to 256-bit).[3] Nvidia planned to use the new, state-of-the-art GDDR-2 instead because of its support for much higher clock rates. It couldn't clock high enough to make up for the bandwidth of a 256-bit bus, however.

    While the NV30's direct competitor, the R300 core, was capable of 8 pixels per clock with its 8 pipelines, the NV30 architecture was unable to render 8 color + Z pixels per clock.[4] It was thus actually more easily categorized as a 4 × 2 design capable of 8 Z pixels, 8 stencil operations, 8 textures, and 8 shader operations per clock.[3] This limited its pixel fill-rate in the majority of 3D applications. However, in games with heavy use of stencil shadows, such as those based on the Doom3 engine, NV30 did benefit from its 8 pixels/operations per clock capabilities, because the engine does a Z-only pass. This was not a typical rendering scenario, however.

    The initial version of the GeForce FX (the 5800) was one of the first cards to come equipped with a large dual-slot cooling solution. Called "Flow FX", the cooler was stunningly apparent in comparison to ATI's small single-slot cooler on the 9700 series.[3] Not only that, but it was very loud and garnered complaints from gamers and developers alike. It was even jokingly coined the 'Dustbuster'[5] and graphics cards which happen to be loud are often compared to the GeForce FX 5800 for this reason[citation needed].


    With regards to the much-touted[peacock term] Direct3D 9.0 shader model 2.a capabilities of the NV3x series and the related marketing claim of "cinematic effects" capabilities, the actual performance was quite poor.[6] A combination of factors combined to hamper how well NV3x could perform these calculations.

    Firstly, the chips were designed for use with a mixed precision programming methodology.[4] A 64-bit precision "FP16" mode would be used for situations where high-precision math was seen as unnecessary to maintain image quality. In other cases, where mathematical accuracy was more important, a 128-bit "FP32" mode would be utilized. The ATI R300-based cards did not benefit from partial precision because they always operated at shader model 2's required minimum of 96-bit FP24 for full precision. For a game title to use FP16, the programmer had to specify which effects used the lower precision using "hints" within the code. Because ATI didn't benefit from the lower precision and the R300 performed far better on shaders overall, and because it took more effort to optimize shader code for the lower precision, the NV3x hardware was usually crippled to running full precision full-time.

    The NV3x chips also used a processor architecture that relied heavily on the effectiveness of the video card driver's shader compiler.[4] Proper instruction ordering and instruction composition of shader code could dramatically boost the chip's computational efficiency. Compiler development is a long and difficult task and this was a major challenge that Nvidia tried to overcome during most of NV3x's lifetime. Nvidia released several guidelines for creating GeForce FX-optimized code and worked with Microsoft to create a special shader model called "Shader Model 2.a". This model leveraged the design of NV30 in order to extract greater performance and flexibility. Nvidia would also controversially rewrite game shader code and force the game to use their shader code instead of what the developer had written. However, such code would often result in lower final image quality.

    Valve's presentation

    In late 2003, the GeForce FX series became known for poor performance with DirectX 9 shader model 2 vertex & pixel shaders because of a very vocal presentation by the popular game developer, Valve Software.[7] Early indicators of potentially poor pixel shader performance had come from synthetic benchmarks (such as 3DMark 2003). But outside of the developer community and tech-savvy computer gamers, few mainstream users were aware of such issues.

    Then, Valve Software came forth with their experience using the hardware with their upcoming game, Half-Life 2.[7] Using a pre-release build of the highly anticipated game, powered by the Source engine, Valve published benchmarks revealing a complete generational gap (80–120% or more) between the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra and the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. In shader 2.0-utilizing game-levels, Nvidia's top-of-the-line FX 5900 Ultra performed about as fast as ATI's mainstream Radeon 9600, which cost approximately a third as much as the Nvidia card. Valve had initially planned on supporting partial floating point precision (FP16) to optimize for NV3x, but they eventually discovered that this plan would take far too long to accomplish.[7] ATI's cards did not benefit from FP16 mode, so all of the work would be entirely for Nvidia's NV3x cards, a niche too small to be worthy of the time and effort. When Half-Life 2 was released a year later, Valve opted to make all GeForce FX hardware default to using the game's DirectX 8 shader code in order to enable adequate performance from the Nvidia cards.[7]

    It is possible to force Half Life 2 to run in DirectX 9 mode on all cards with a simple tweak to a configuration file. When users and reviewers attempted this, they noted the significant performance loss on NV3x cards. Only the top of the line variants (5900 and 5950) remained playable.[6] Later, there were two "fan-patches" to make Half-Life 2 run better on the GeForce FX cards. The first was a method of using an application called 3DAnalyze to force partial precision (FP16) on all shaders on the GeForce FX cards while running the game.[8] This method allowed users of lower-end GeForce FX cards (such as 5600 and 5700) to run the game acceptably, while significantly improving performance on the FX 5800 and 5900/5950 series graphics cards. This method brought along an image quality degradation in several areas throughout the game. However, later a patch was developed by a fan using the Source SDK, which re-ordered and re-arranged the shaders to better suit the GeForce FX architecture, and also added partial precision hints to most of the shaders in the game (in contrast to the earlier method which would force partial precision).[9] This patch brought about a similar (and significant) performance increase for the GeForce FX 5700/5800/5900 series of graphics cards, and also did not have any image quality loss.

    Questionable tactics

    Nvidia's GeForce FX era was one of great controversy for the company. The competition had soundly beaten them on the technological front and the only way to get the FX chips competitive with the Radeon R300 chips was to greatly optimize the drivers.

    Nvidia historically has been known for their impressive OpenGL driver performance and quality, and the FX series certainly maintained this. However, with regard to image quality in both Direct3D and OpenGL, they aggressively began various questionable optimization techniques not seen before. They started with filtering optimizations by changing how trilinear filtering operated on game textures, reducing its accuracy, and thus visual quality.[10] Anisotropic filtering also saw dramatic tweaks to limit its use on as many textures as possible to save memory bandwidth and fillrate.[10] Tweaks to these types of texture filtering can often be spotted in games from a shimmering phenomenon that occurs with floor textures as the player moves through the environment (often signifying poor transitions between mip-maps). Changing the driver settings to "High Quality" can alleviate this occurrence at the cost of performance.[10]

    Nvidia also began to clandestinely replace pixel shader code in software with hand-coded optimized versions with lower accuracy, through detecting what program was being run. These "tweaks" were especially noticed in benchmark software from Futuremark. In 3DMark03 it was found that Nvidia had gone to extremes to limit the complexity of the scenes through driver shader changeouts and aggressive hacks that prevented parts of the scene from even rendering at all.[11] This artificially boosted the scores the FX series received. Side by side analysis of screenshots in games and 3DMark03 showed noticeable differences between what a Radeon 9800/9700 displayed and what the FX series was doing.[11] Nvidia also publicly attacked the usefulness of these programs and the techniques used within them in order to undermine their influence upon consumers. It should however be noted that ATI also created a software profile for 3DMark03.[12] In fact, this is also a frequent occurrence with other software, such as games, in order to work around bugs and performance quirks. With regards to 3DMark, Futuremark began updates to their software and screening driver releases for these optimizations.

    Both Nvidia and ATI have optimized drivers for tests like this historically. However, Nvidia went to a new extreme with the FX series. Both companies optimize their drivers for specific applications even today (2008), but a tight rein and watch is kept on the results of these optimizations by a now more educated and aware user community.

    Competitive response

    By early 2003, ATI had DirectX 9-compliant products spanning the mid-range and high-end portions of the video card market. They had also recently launched a new high-end refresh, the Radeon 9800 Pro, and the mid-range Radeon 9600 Pro. Nvidia's only initial part, the GeForce FX 5800, was intended as a high-end part and not surprisingly was too costly to meet with the price requirements of the lower tiers of the market.

    In late April 2003, Nvidia introduced the mid-range GeForce FX 5600 and budget GeForce FX 5200 models to address these segments. Each had an "Ultra" variant and a slower, cheaper non-Ultra variant. With conventional single-slot cooling and a mid-range price-tag, the 5600 Ultra had respectable performance but failed to measure up to its direct competitor, Radeon 9600 Pro. The GeForce FX 5600 parts did not even advance performance over the GeForce 4 Ti chips they were designed to replace. In DirectX 8 applications, the 5600 lost to or matched the GeForce 4 Ti 4200.[13] Likewise, the entry-level FX 5200 did not perform as well as the DirectX 7.0 generation GeForce 4 MX440, despite the FX 5200 possessing a notably better 'checkbox' feature-set.[14] FX 5200 was easily outperformed by the older Radeon 9000. The utility of the DirectX 9 pixel shader 2.0 performance of these parts was questionable at best.

    Also in May 2003, Nvidia launched a new top-end model, the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra. This chip, based on a heavily revised NV35 GPU, fixed many of the shortcomings of the 5800, which had been quietly discontinued. While the 5800 used fast but hot and expensive GDDR-2 and had a 128-bit memory bus, the 5900 moved to slower and cheaper DDR SDRAM, but it more than made up for it with a wider 256-bit memory bus. The 5900 Ultra performed somewhat better than the Radeon 9800 Pro in everything not heavily using shaders, and had a quieter cooling system than the 5800, but most cards based on the 5900 still occupied two slots.[15]

    In October 2003, Nvidia brought out a more potent mid-range card using technology from NV35; the GeForce FX 5700, using a new NV36 core. The FX 5700 was ahead of the Radeon 9600 Pro and XT in games with light use of pixel shaders.[16] In December 2003, Nvidia launched the 5900XT, a board identical to the 5900, but clocked slower and using slower memory. It managed to more soundly defeat Radeon 9600 XT, but was still behind in a few shader-heavy scenarios.[17]

    The final GeForce FX model released was the 5950 Ultra, which was a 5900 Ultra with higher clock speeds. The board was fairly competitive with the Radeon 9800XT, again as long as pixel shaders were lightly used.[18]

    The way it's meant to be played

    Nvidia debuted a new campaign to motivate developers to optimize their titles for Nvidia hardware at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2002. In exchange for prominently displaying the Nvidia logo on the outside of the game packaging, Nvidia offered free access to a state of the art test lab in Eastern Europe, that tested against 500 different PC configurations for compatibility. Developers also had extensive access to Nvidia engineers, who helped produce code optimized for Nvidia products.[19]

    Windows Vista and GeForce FX PCI cards

    Windows Vista requires a DirectX 9-compliant 3D accelerator to display the full Windows Aero user interface. During pre-release testing of Vista and upon launch of the operating system, the video card options for owners of computers without AGP or PCIe slots were limited almost exclusively to PCI cards based on the Nvidia NV34 core. This included cards such as GeForce FX 5200 and 5500 PCI. Since then, both ATI and Nvidia have launched a number of DirectX 9 PCI cards utilizing newer architectures.

    GeForce FX models

    Card Model Codename Core Design Clocks core/mem Memory Bus Architecture Information
    FX 5200 NV34 2:4:4 250/200 64 or 128 Bit Entry level chip. Replacement for GeForce4 MX family. Quadro FX 330, 500, 600 is based on the GeForceFX 5200. The GeForce FX 5100 is an uncommon cutdown FX5200 available in 64 and 128 MB sizes, it was available only in AGP, and used a lower clocked nv34 core. Lacked IntelliSample technology. No lossless color compression or Z compression. PCX uses AGP to PCIe bridge chip for use on PCIe motherboards. Has 2 pixel pipelines if pixel shading is used, but a "fast" 4x1 mode exists as well. Each pixel pipe = 1 FP32 ALU handling 2 TMUs + 2 FX12 Mini-ALU (each one can do 2 MULs or 1 ADD or 1 MAD)
    FX 5100 NV34 2:4:4 250/200 64 Bit
    FX 5200 Ultra NV34 2:4:4 325/325 128 Bit
    PCX 5300 NV34 2:4:4 250/200 64 or 128 Bit
    FX 5500 NV34B 2:4:4 270/200 64 or 128 Bit
    FX 5600 NV31 2:4:4 325/275 64 or 128 Bit Midrange chip. Sometimes slower than GeForce4 Ti 4200. No Quadro equivalent. Actually has 3 vertex shaders, but 2 are defective. Has 2 pixel pipelines if pixel shading is used, but a "fast" 4x1 mode exists as well. Each pixel pipe = 1 FP32 ALU handling 2 TMUs + 2 FX12 Mini-ALU (each one can do 2 MULs or 1 ADD or 1 MAD). Two 5600 Ultras exist; the "flipchip" version used a new production process common to the 5900 series, allowing higher clockspeeds.
    FX 5600 Ultra NV31 2:4:4 350/350 128 Bit
    FX 5600 Ultra Flipchip NV31 2:4:4 400/400 128 Bit
    FX 5600 XT NV31 2:4:4 235/200 64 or 128 Bit
    FX 5700 NV36 3:4:4 425/250 128 Bit NV36, like NV35, swapped hardwired DirectX 7 T&L Units + DirectX 8 integer pixel shader units for DirectX 9 floating point units. Again, like NV31 and NV34, NV36 is a 2 pipeline design but with a special 4x1 mode for some situations. Quadro equivalent is the Quadro FX 1100. Later models were equipped with GDDR3, which was also clocked higher than the DDR or GDDR2 modules previously used. On Ultra, RAM speed of 475 MHz also seen. PCX uses AGP to PCIe bridge chip for use on PCIe motherboards. Has 2 pixel pipelines if pixel shading is used. Each pixel pipe = 1 FP32 ALU handling 2 TMUs + 2 FP32 mini ALU (each one can do 1 MUL or 1 ADD or 1 FP16 MAD).
    FX 5700 LE NV36 3:4:4 250/200 64 or 128 Bit
    FX 5700 Ultra NV36 3:4:4 475/450 128 Bit (GDDR2/GDDR3)
    PCX 5750 NV36 3:4:4 425/250 128 Bit
    FX 5800 NV30 3:8:4 400/400 128 Bit (GDDR2) Production was troubled by migration to 130 nm processes at TSMC. Produced a lot of heat. Cooler nicknamed the 'Dustbuster', 'Vacuum Cleaner', or 'Hoover' by some sites; Nvidia later released a video mocking the cooler. Due to manufacturing delays it was quickly replaced by the on-schedule NV35. Its Quadro sibling, Quadro FX 1000, 2000 was somewhat more successful. Double Z fillrate (helps shadowing). Each pixel pipe = 1 FP32 ALU handling 2 TMUs + 2 FX12 Mini-ALU (each one can do 2 MULs or 1 ADD or 1 MAD)
    FX 5800 Ultra NV30 3:8:4 500/500 128 Bit (GDDR2)
    FX 5900 NV35 3:8:4 400/425 256 Bit Swapped hardwired DirectX 7 T&L Units + DirectX 8 integer pixel shader units for DirectX 9 floating point units. Introduced a new feature called 'UltraShadow', upgraded to CineFX 2.0 Specification. Removed the noisy cooler, but still stole the PCI slot adjacent to the card by default. Quadro equivalent is QuadroFX 700, 3000. PCX uses AGP to PCIe bridge chip for use on PCIe motherboards. Double Z fillrate (helps shadowing). Each pixel pipe = 1 FP32 ALU handling 2 TMUs + 2 FP32 mini ALU (each one can do 1 MUL or 1 ADD or 1 FP16 MAD).
    FX 5900 Ultra NV35 3:8:4 450/425 256 Bit
    PCX 5900 NV35 3:8:4 350/275 256 Bit
    FX 5900 XT NV35 3:8:4 400/350 256 Bit
    FX 5950 NV38 3:8:4 475/475 256 Bit Essentially a speed bumped GeForceFX 5900. Some antialiasing and shader unit tweaks in hardware. PCX uses AGP to PCIe bridge chip for use on PCIe motherboards. Quadro equivalent is QuadroFX 1300.
    PCX 5950 NV38 3:8:4 350/475 256 Bit

          Re: Video games, art and noise        

Finding a voice between pop and counter-culture.

dearesther// Dear Esther

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 mini album reviews; ripped and analyzed The Sound of Music Blu-ray vs. 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 by my standards. TheStarrList.com was now a much richer and dynamic experience.

Two years later, I find myself wondering what its primary theme is as it's beginning to feel like a catch-all for my scattered thoughts.

"Need help honing my blog. What content (if any) do you enjoy reading on TheStarrList.com?" - @_kylestarr, 5/10/14

Art and Noise

Required reading: Video games, art and noise | The Guardian

"It matters to me that on Monday morning, seven million Today listeners heard games being dismissed on the basis of a tiny minority of the annual output. It matters how consensus develops around new artistic forms." - Keith Stuart, The Guardian

7870.1404071-limbo_esrb_t_720p30_st_6300kbps_53 // Limbo

When I woke to The Gaurdian's "Video games, art and noise" by Keith Stuart, a lightbulb switched on. Stuart's arguments about loud 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 for 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 informs 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 evolution (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.

Journey-Screen-One // Journey

"You would never debate the artistic potential of cinema by focusing solely on mainstream Hollywood films." - Keith Stuart, The Guardian

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 writer Jeff Bryant's "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.

My Voice

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 feel the need to disperse nuggets of pop culture into pieces about demographically discounted art. (Queue Glenn Close's "Devil Wears Prada" cerulean sweater monologue)

"The education system is starting to realize, we feel like we're competing with this barrage of entertainment that's around kids, nonstop, all the time. I think initially that was shocking to them. TV is the enemy. Heavy metal is the enemy. Video games are the enemy. They're starting to ask, what if we could harness that instead of making it the enemy? So it's actually a parallel maturation." - Erin Hoffman, GlassLab

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 challenge generational qualms and societal push-back. 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.

mv_1 // Monument Valley

At an early age, unlike sports or academics, I learn that I could best my parents at video games. It was a participatory and wondrous medium imbued with both technology and art that empowered me to level adult vs. child, teacher vs. student playing field. With that, I sign off referencing links to my reviews and opinions on games that may have been overlooked by the larger audience yet are critical to popular culture; the solitary theme that runs through my blog.

Thanks to Keith for opening my eyes to my writing through-line.

Humanity in Hearthstone: How Blizzard is changing the diversity game.

Monument Valley - A Review: The beauty of brevity. The pleasure of paradox.

Why Game?: An ode to the impact of early console gaming.

Journey: 1 Year Later: Celebrating this generation’s most important work of art.

Originally posted on Kyle's personal blog, TheStarrList.com

Kyle Starr is the writer of TheStarrList.com. For freelance inquiries, feedback and/or questions, please contact Kyle at @_kylestarr or TheStarrList Contact Page.

          Comm 385: Generation GAP (week 7)        

Not the jeans.

Seriously, this will have nothing to do with GAP jeans, and the propensity of teen girls to cry desperately to their mother to buy them this particular brand of clothing. Maybe 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 been associated with a midrange clothing store. But today I am discussing an interview with three different friends of mine... and the word 'gap' is going to be very important. 

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 are fascinated with each piece and parcel of online connectivity, young people too distracted by hormones to care what a blinking box does... no, I separate 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 youngest of 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 with her mother over Skype, teases her boyfriend over IM, and updates her friends via MySpace. Like a "personal 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 when running 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 even applied to OSU due to finding it online. 

Without the same enthusiasm, the internet is greeted by my 'middle aged' friend, who found being labelled middle aged far more disturbing than the potential loss of internet 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 just doesn't 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 unnecessarily complicated. He then lambasted me a bit (in good fun) for not specifying which application, since the internet is a global connected computer infrastructure, 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 educational infrastructure, he wasted no time at all complaining about the lack of personal connection, the inefficiency of email and the idiocy of 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. 

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...  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?  ...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. 

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.

1080p HD 5.7 inch screen
Better apps on Google Play
13 MP camera, printed pictures match my point and shot Cybershot
NFC-yes I use it (not true for iPhone w/o $80 case)
USB 3.0
Battery Life
Micro SD (also not true of iPhone)
Much Louder than any iPhone
User replaceable battery (almost all manufactures have moved away from this)

Samsung bloatware in annoying and almost completely useless.
Back plate is flimsy and I had to buy an Otterbox to properly protect my phone.

I don't see any way Apple could win me back ever.

(Follow link to rate this review or report it to us as inappropriate.)

          One Hardcore Gamer’s Take on Pokemon Go        
An inside look into how Nintendo’s 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?        

Generation Gap

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        

15 tips to be 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.

  1. It is important to do some study about the organization and understand what drives success and profit.  If you are familiar with what’s happening in your organization’s each department, you are doing your job well.
  2. Know how to deal with multiple personalities and bridge generational gaps at the workplace.
  3. Being a great communicator is a big opportunity to get promoted and recognized in your career more frequently.  Make sure you never dominate a discussion because great communicators are great listeners too.
  4. Knowing when you’re most energized, will help you to concentrate on your works and to be most productive.
  5. Make a list of the tasks you need to perform each day because getting your job done will be what your performance is judged on at the end of the day.
  6. Be active on social networking sites to improve your professional relationships.
  7. Keeping yourself up to date with technology will help you stand out from the crowd.
  8. Appreciate your colleagues, it makes them more productive and brings a positive team environment.
  9. Your organizational skills will help you to complete tasks on time and make sure each day runs efficiently.
  10. Your decision-making skill matters.  Make fair decisions quickly that benefit your organization and its employees.  Solve internal conflicts professionally.
  11. Establish and maintain an efficient filing system, it will be easier for your colleagues to find the documents and information they need.
  12. Speak gently, honestly and in a professional way to your colleagues.
  13. Developing a fruitful relationship with the key people in your organization will strengthen your position in no time.
  14. If you can perform multiple things at a time without being distracted, you are a perfect fit for this role because you are proficient at multi-tasking.
  15. Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint will help you perform better.

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!

          Generational aptitude        

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? That’s the question driving the Father’s 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, it’s easy to focus on the numbers of lives lost, especially at the height of the dying in the 1980s and early ’90s. But those deaths also took with them a generation’s 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 collaborators’ project takes the daring leap of imagining that this void never formed in the first place, that our “fathers” 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 don’t yet know exactly what this “queer utopia,” as he calls it, will look like, but the tone is something akin to “Cruising meets Black Mirror meets Beyoncé’s Lemonade.” I emailed with Herrera about his aims and process as he was en route to film in Provincetown, Massachusetts—a fine example of what he calls queer people’s talent for “carving utopias” if there ever was one.

You’ve described the Father's Project as a sci-fi–like 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 it’s taken from us. We’ll 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. I’ve seen friends self-destruct after sero-converting, and the stigma does damage we still don’t fully understand. Anyone who’s 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 we’re “supposed” 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 ourselves—the 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 Father’s Project as some kind of corrective for that cultural amnesia?

Fathers isn’t 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 doesn’t shy away from the darkness of our culture, it’s really about resilience and the healing power of listening to one another’s 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. We’re 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 Men’s Health Crisis in New York.

Edmund White has written, in effect, that AIDS took the most interesting queer people and left us with “dull normals” (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 weren’t for this catastrophe?

Trauma from HIV/AIDS has been invoked a lot recently in discussions around PrEP, barebacking, and a budding return to ’70s sex culture. What role do you think trauma plays in the lives of queers today?

Queer folks have known trauma from the first moment they’re harassed for having too good a time, yet history has proven that we’ve 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 “good,” 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 Father’s Project could help restore?

We’re currently filming scenes of joy and celebration all across America for our gay president storyline and if there’s a lesson in this process it’s that queer people are masters at carving utopias, no matter how unwelcoming the terrain. I’d like Fathers to remind folks that these ideals of acceptance and love of a chosen family are our legacy.

You can support the Father’s Project by donating directly. Donations are tax deductible and benefit the GLBT Historical Society and Museum in San Francisco.

Read more of Outward's Visibility Issue.

          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:

  • What's the one question to ask when learning a new technology or latest trend?
  • 50% of NASA scientists say the reason they became a NASA scientist was either Star Wars or Star Trek: true or false?
  • In the last 35 years of the top 10 most popular movies how many were sci-fi? And why does that matter?
  • How old is the average TV viewer and why has that changed so drastically with the Millennial generation?
  • What are the three major influences that shaped Millennials?
  • And so much more...

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.

Click Here to Support The Show and get 10% off Onnit!

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.


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:

Click here to thank Brad on Twitter!

Resources from this episode:

Brad Szollose's web site
Brad Szollose on Twitter
Liquid Leadership, Brad's book
The Art of Charm bootcamps


You'll also like:

-The Art of Charm Toolbox
-Best of The Art of Charm Podcast

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If you dug this episode, please subscribe in iTunes and write us a review! This is what helps us stand out from all the fluff out there.



Hit us up with your comments and guest suggestions. We read EVERYTHING.

Stay Charming!


          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        
from: http://www.sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc17/photo/271/
"Southern Baptists overwhelmingly pass a resolution June 14 condemning
the racism of the alt-right movement. Photo by Adam Covington"

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 wasn’t 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 isn’t 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 isn’t. Zuckerberg then meets Sean Parker and finds another outsider to join their club. The fact that Zuckerberg likes him but Saverin doesn’t (and the fact that Saverin has been let into one of the final clubs but Zuckerberg hasn’t) shows that these two friends aren’t 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 won’t 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 I’ll spare you wading through all of that. Also, it is 9am where I am as I type this (I started at 7) and I haven’t slept yet so there’s 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 “the movie that defines a generation” 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 “Fred – The Movie”?), the internet has created a shortcut that some people utilise (and accept) more than others. The “Sean Parker Variety Hour” (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 “kids” and “adults” 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 – in this digital age we live in – 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 couldn’t 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 – Zuckerberg and Parker. The fact that Zuckerberg has just been made Time’s 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 – sorry that it is of essay length – 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, bitchin’ soundtrack, flawless acting and subtle yet effective directing, and the conversations that this film creates, make this a very good film worthy of all its’ praise and awards. The points I’ve 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 only imperfection in the play is the stark shift in tension from Act I to Act II. Extremely similar to the Act I Finale of Sondheim's masterpiece Into the Woods, which nicely wraps up the first act story line and left original audiences bewildered that an Act II even existed, the second act of The Niceties almost seems unnecessary. After ending Act I on a powerful dramatic punch, Act II never seems to meet the same level of dramatic intensity as Act I. While it almost serves as a nice footnote to find out what happens to the two ladies in the aftermath of the shocking Act I cliffhanger, the extra time spent on the second office visit never reaches the same crescendo as the arguments and drama in Act I.

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.

Photo Credit: CATF Media Gallery

          Who Plays Which Games? And What Does That Say About Our Culture?        
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s 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 – 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 assessment— that there's a real problem that JH is putting her^ his finger on, namely the potential for the language of trigger warnings (or, as second-wave feminists would have seen it, the language of "offense," as opposed to "oppression") to psychologize and individualize harm and render it unavailable to structural analysis. Moreover, such psychologization risks flattening all harm into the subjective experience of harm, making it difficult to distinguish between more and less crucial targets of critique. So far so good, and not so different from what many feminists already believe.

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 – 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?


Let’s not fiddle while Rome (or Paris) burns, trigger while the water rises, weep while trash piles up; let’s recognize these internal wars for the distraction they have become.

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 Beyoncé 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.

However, I think frank talk on sexuality is essential. I am not going to defend everything Mark says about it, or how he says it, but I definitely believe most of our churches need to teach more on the subject.

Mark Driscoll is a friend who labors for the glory of God, the health of the church, and the redemption of the world. I am grateful for my brother, and am praying for his continued usefulness for the Kingdom of God today.

One post script:

A LifeWay employee is mentioned in one of the articles. I work at LifeWay, I think it is important to note that Bret Robbe (quoted in the one article) was commenting on handling delicate subjects. He was not commenting on Mark Driscoll. And, his comments are right on. Thanks, Bret.

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: Munich’s Panel Discussion “Junior Researchers, Publishers, Libraries, and Open Access. Contemporary Publishing in the Humanities,” 11 February 2014. by Weitergedacht | Konferenzblog RKB        
[…] ist auf reichlich Interesse gestoßen und fand viel Nachhall, z.B. hier, da, […]
          Comment on Staring Into the Generational Gap: Munich’s Panel Discussion “Junior Researchers, Publishers, Libraries, and Open Access. Contemporary Publishing in the Humanities,” 11 February 2014. by Weitergedacht | Rezensieren – Kommentieren – Bloggen        
[…] ist auf reichlich Interesse gestoßen und fand viel Nachhall, z.B. hier, 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 – Valerie Grubb – 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,  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 generations—each 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 gaps—sometimes even layered—add 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 at http://valgrubbandassociates.com/
          WSLP09: WSELP - Generational Differences        

Course Number: WSLP09
Session Number: 0002
Location: SURC 137A

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 cla@cwu.edu.

          â€œIkiru” Revisited        

To this day, I still get e-mails about Kurosawa’s Ikiru and I never tire of talking about that film. It’s been nearly 10 months since I’ve seen that movie and yet the emotions, the imagery, and Kurosawa’s impeccable craftsmanship haunts me still. This is a film so powerful that
Ebert wrote: “I think this is one of the few movies that might actually be able to inspire someone to lead their life a little differently.”

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 didn’t do the film justice and this extensive analysis opens the film up so beautifully. “Ikiru’s focus on the great loneliness of the individual and the struggle to achieve meaningful encounters with others,” Kaufman writes, “proves relevant to all.”

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 “to live” or “living,” 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 Kurosawa’s masterpieces, must be understood within its historical and cultural contexts. Ikiru emerged during Japan’s 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 Watanabe’s 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 Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons. Mitsuo first mentions his father by calling him a “petty bureaucrat.” Respect is absent in his claim that “even Pop wouldn’t want to take all that money to his grave.” Watanabe hides in the corner of his son’s 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 wrong—his son is too selfish to consider alternative causes to Watanabe’s sadness aside from his eavesdropping and hearing their discussion. In fact, Mitsuo fails to take notice of his father’s 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 “degenerate” 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 “Dad” 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 Watanabe’s 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 “Mitsuo” in congratulation in the stands before the film cuts back to Watanabe’s room for a close-up. Here, “Mitsuo” sounds twice though Watanabe fails to move his lips—the call is internal and in Watanabe’s 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 Watanabe’s room, “Mitsuo” sounds twice again. Mitsuo’s being wheeled away lends itself to the flashback of Mitsuo’s train-departure for war. Son holds father before jumping back onto the moving train. Now, “Mitsuo” 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.

“I have no son. I’m all alone,” Watanabe explains to Toyo, the young worker who becomes quite important to him. “My son is somewhere far, far away—just as my parents were when I was drowning in that pond.”

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 hero’s nonentity, so that he comes back as one reborn, made great and filled with creative power, mankind is also unanimous in declaring.

Certainly, Watanabe’s transformation from servile worker to active public servant represents one significant “dying to the world.” “The mummy” 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, Campbell’s statement may be applied to Watanabe’s physical death. Watanabe’s “nonentity,” 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 Watanabe’s 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 Watanabe’s life as an example by depicting various coworkers deliberating the meaning of Watanabe’s final days, his behavior, whether he in fact knew he was to die, and whether he “created” 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 mourners—to do so with force—influenced by the knowledge and insight gained from the first part of the film, which now stands as absolutely real. We understand Watanabe’s 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, “I’ll work at it like I’m a man reborn…sacrifice the self to serve the many.” However, the next scene presents a mirror image of the opening scene: the chief officer, sitting in Watanabe’s 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 Watanabe’s 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 Watanabe’s life and death through the lenses of their own particular life and belief system. Mitsuo believes his father’s behavior is attributable to his overhearing talk of savings and pensions; Watanabe’s 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 Rashomon’s 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 Watanabe’s lesson to viewers, who, though perhaps differing in terms of interpretations of what exactly transformed Watanabe, accept the hero’s 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 Rashomon’s 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 Campbell’s theory that detachment from interpersonal bonds and social groups is essential to personal transformation. “The hero has died as a modern man, but as eternal man—perfected, unspecific, universal man—he has been reborn,” claims Campbell. “His second solemn task and deed therefore…is to return to us, transfigured, and teach the lesson he has learned of life renewed.”
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 “changing city hall” 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:

  • Rethink consumer relationship building using digital channels,
  • Commit to innovation and be prepared to try new ideas,
  • Stay curious and continually learn about technological change and consumer behavior, and
  • Be aware of the challenges that come with guiding an organizational culture toward innovation and digital cooperation.

Bridging the cultural and talent gap

Participants shared some of the challenges they face in their own digital transformation, including:

  • Identifying and recruiting the right talent to lead the decision-making process, given the large amount of data available. It’s difficult to find executives who can process this data using advanced mathematical tools, while at the same time developing forward-thinking business recommendations.
  • Bridging the generational gap within boards, where some members may not have much digital experience. As a result, they may not understand or support innovation initiatives, even on a small-scale basis.
  • Convincing work teams — which may have built up considerable experience and performance on the traditional side of the business — that innovative digital solutions can further leverage their results. It is common for such teams to have already developed strong work processes, as well as their own culture, and they may feel threatened by changes they can’t control.
  • Remembering that the pressure to provide prompt responses to clients, consumers, retail partners and other stakeholders could lead to sacrificing “exact” for “immediate.” Consequently, executives must learn to tolerate a level of uncertainty or ambiguity in the decision-making process, which makes many leaders uncomfortable.

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:

  • One major retailer hired a team of new executives, with a variety of backgrounds and ages, and put them in charge of developing innovative solutions. The CEO set one rule for the team: they were free to generate ideas and experiments, but they had to set up businesses that provided a return on the team’s total expense. In less than a year, the team had begun a mobile customer loyalty program, bypassing loyalty cards and other more traditional methods.
  • A leading international beverage firm has brought together a group of millennials who work throughout the organization and report to the CEO every month with innovative digital ideas. These workers are responsible for concept or pilot testing of new initiatives, as well as presenting results to help decide whether to proceed with an investment.
  • A retailer with various divisions hired a few mathematical analysts (sometimes called “quants”) to review their databases using Big Data concepts. One of the business unit directors, who has a background in engineering and business, works directly with this team, pinpointing questions through analysis and interpreting the responses from the quant team. This led to quicker and more relevant conclusions for the business as a whole. It took up time he could have spent on his division’s operation, but in the bigger picture, it extracted maximum value from the company’s available Big Data.

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 industry 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!

          Pop Loser No. 72: This Great Obsession for Saving Time        
Pop Loser No. 72: This Great Obsession for Saving Time


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This Great Obsession for Saving Time

Sorry for the delay. I had a column due and then the baseball playoffs started, which requires a slight adjustment of priorities. I’ve also finally started watching Stranger Things, which I know you can appreciate since I am the last person to see it. (Bonus: I finally get several of the jokes you’ve made on Twitter recently—funny stuff, y’all).

More baseball: Some guys from my Baseball Slack and I made fake baseball cards and they are pretty great. 


Remember when we used the phone to talk to people?

Not entirely of the past, of course; phone conversation lives on in roughly the same way that swing dancing lives on, or Latin declension, or manual transmission. You can still find it, but you have to look a lot harder, because it’s no longer a way of life.

Now let’s do a compare and contrast. First, from that piece I just linked to:​

The phone call always was an invasive form of communication, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that as soon as a plausible substitute presented itself we grabbed it. What was the very first phone call, on March 10, 1876, if not an urgent human demand? “Mr. Watson,” said Alexander Graham Bell, “come here—I want to see you.” That Thomas Watson, situated in the next room, would comply was a given, because Bell was his employer. For the next hundred years, phones continued to boss people around. A loudly ringing telephone demanded its owner’s immediate attention because you never knew who it might be. It could be the president! Or news that you’d inherited $1 million from a relative you’d never heard of! Or (God forbid) your teenager wrecked the car and was in the hospital! Octogenarians still tend to respond to a ringing landline with terrific urgency, risking hip fracture as they lunge to answer it.

Now from that awful Andrew Sullivan thing I linked to a few weeks ago:

Think of how rarely you now use the phone to speak to someone. A text is far easier, quicker, less burdensome. A phone call could take longer; it could force you to encounter that person’s idiosyncrasies or digressions or unexpected emotional needs. Remember when you left voice-mail messages — or actually listened to one? Emojis now suffice.

I have two points here. 1) While things have changed a lot, it has never even occurred to me to miss talking to people on the phone. 2) Of all the things my iPhone can do, it’s weird that “phone” is the bit they stuck in the name.

Malcolm Gladwell had a zine in high school.

In his interview with Klein, Gladwell explains the zine for young readers who came of age in the era of political blogs as well as how he and his buddies used it for a youthful rebellion against “Canadian left-wing dominance.”

“We were imagining: ‘If William F. Buckley were a 15-year-old Canadian in rural Ontario and had a zine, what would he say?’” says Gladwell, who is now nobody’s idea of a Buckley-ite conservative. “We had gone to the used bookstores in Toronto and collected every William F. Buckley column and memorized them, and tried reproducing them for our tiny audience.”

In other words, Malcolm Gladwell was exactly the sort of teenager you thought he was.

The music industry is making money again. Well, it’s always made money, but it’s making more money. They finally beat Napster, I guess.

If the numbers hold, 2016 will be the first time the music industry has seen its revenue increase year over year since the late ’90s.

The best way to lose 20 pounds is to gain 40 first, but that probably means you’re still fat.

The industry is reluctant to declare victory. Annual sales have hovered around $7 billion for six years, down by half from the 1999 peak, according to RIAA data. Meanwhile the labels are still negotiating new contracts with Google Inc.’s YouTube and Spotify, two of the largest purveyors of free music in the world.

It’s important to always be mindful, especially when reading an article about mindfulness.

Take a moment to really notice the screen on which you’re surfing the web. Is it dirty? Cracked? Feel the brightness of the blue light against the rods and cones of your retina.

​Requiring your employees to be happy is awful.

Companies have a right to ask their employees to be polite when they deal with members of the public. They do not have a right to try to regulate their workers’ psychological states and turn happiness into an instrument of corporate control.

And: Team-building exercises are also awful.

Team-building exercises are pointless and even insulting to your team members, because they suggest that if only your team members spent more time doing silly things and solving group problems together, climbing trees and rolling around on the floor, they would work more effectively together the rest of the time.

​Travelling the world through the Yahoo Weather app.

I never linger on Los Angeles. Instead, I swipe right, which takes me to one of the other locations I’ve added to the app: New York; Santa Fe; London; Paris; Hong Kong; Jerusalem; Moscow; Evansville, Indiana. The combination of the crowdsourced image and the temperature gives me an instant impression of how it would feel to be in one of those distant cities. Google Maps can take me to virtually any street corner in the world. Yahoo Weather tells me whether I’d need sunscreen or an umbrella.

​No Man’s Sky and the generational gap in video games.

But it’s like what Douglas Adams said. When my kids are playing No Man’s Sky, or Lego Batman, or Minecraft, or FIFA, that’s just how games are. That’s their baseline for what games are, and what games can do.

In thirty year’s time they’ll see a picture of a vintage PS4 and that, for them, is going to be the nostalgia burst equivalent of me seeing Pong or Space Invaders or an Atari. I hope they’ll look fondly back on exploring space with their dad.

The Uber economy is similar to the pre-industrial economy.

While companies like Uber have been hailed as modern conveniences for consumers, they are proving to be just the opposite for workers. App-based services rely on income inequality and may well be perpetuating the divide between capital and labor. They are also reverting economies to pre-industrial ideas about work.

Also: Uber reviews of literary journeys.

Driver: Ayn Rand
“Waited until Surge to pick me up.”

​This interview with Leonardo DiCaprio’s real estate agent is just the best.

Movie star Leonardo DiCaprio’s Malibu dream house hit the market on Friday, listing for $10.95 million. Leo purchased the midcentury California bungalow (can you still call something a bungalow when it costs more than $10 mil? The jury is out!) back in 1998, and the three bed, two bath home is a beaut. It’s on star-studded Carbon Beach, the views are killer, and the interiors are gorgeous.

But the truth is, life is probably meaningless and there is a strong chance that we all die alone. Could buying this house change any of that? Is it possible that life at 21844 Pacific Coast Highway, with your own private hot tub and large ocean front deck, could actually offer a reprieve from the agony of being a human in the world? Or, is it certain that “we cannot escape anguish, for we are anguish,” as John-Paul Sartre once put it? Great question!

A few weeks ago, we learned people are still reading paper books and people are

The New York TimesThe New York Times has been a leading source in amplifying the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in the past few months, and their recent coverage of marriage is no exception. By including the impact of marriage equality on young people in its coverage, The Times continues its trend of increasing the visibility of youth in the LGBT community. We encourage you to listen to the overwhelmingly supportive voices of 18 straight and bisexual youth in New York in last week’s piece, “Young New Yorkers Speak Out on Gay Marriage.” This audio piece gives a diverse group of young people the opportunity to voice their thoughts on marriage, whether they plan to marry themselves, and how their backgrounds influence who they are today. “For the Sake of the Children” is a New York Times piece highlighting the impact several couples’ children had on their decisions to marry. One couple, two fathers who have been together for 25 years, was motivated to wed as a way to announce their family as legally recognized and protected for their children – who served as best men in the wedding.  Another couple explains that their daughter will not be in attendance at their ceremony, to prevent exposure to potential protestors—but that they “hope to fill the room with children” at a later party that will include their friends, most of whom are parents. Similar themes ran through the Op-Ed column “2 Dads, 2 Daughters, 1 Big Day” where two fathers explain their daughters’ involvement in their plans to marry. Additionally, in “Portraits from the New York City Marriage Bureau,” The Times explores the diversity of couples who wed on Sunday and features a portrait of Amanda Mason Johnson, 20, and Da’Onna Johnson,18, a newly wed couple.  Listen as they share their story of what marriage, faith and family mean to them. Finally, the Times also covers what might be in store for LGBT young adults as they enter their 20s. With the passage of marriage equality in NY, some couples are finding that the pressure to marry might look a lot like the pressure their straight peers face. “Ready to Wed? No, Mom” tells stories of couples in their 20s who are facing additional pressure from their parents to wed now that marriage is an option in the Empire State. The Times has highlighted major LGBT youth issues such as bullying, coming out, and homelessness in the past few months. Its emphasis on youth voices regarding marriage is integral, as there is a demonstrated generational gap in opinions about marriage equality, and makes the Times exceptional in its coverage. GLAAD will continue to follow national and local media coverage of LGBT youth issues and urges you to share your story about what marriage equality means to you.
July 27, 2011

          Comment on Looking to a Furry Future by Two-holed Monotreme        
Back in 2005, when I was 35 years old, I ghosted Further Confusion to meet up with a furry friend of mine who I hadn't seen in several years. I was struck by how white, male, and most noticeable to me, young, the crowd was. It's certainly not the case that I was made to feel unwelcome, but the generational gap made me feel out of place. To those of you who do attend cons, is the crowd on average getting older? The furry phenomenon certainly has grown over the last couple of decades, but are the older furs who were furrying out even before the advent of the internet still involved in the culture? My perception of the fandom is that, even as it grows, the median age of your typical con attendee is stuck somewhere in the very early 20's. So what will the fandom look like in five years? Hopefully a little more grey in the muzzle, a little more grown up, and generally more diverse. I'm not particularly furry myself and won't be stepping into a fursuit or a cuddle pile anytime soon (my interest is in the art, NSFW or otherwise) but I'm considering hauling my grey whiskers down to San Jose and visiting Further Confusion 2016 for a day to check out the dealers' room. Maybe things have changed in 11 years? I guess I'll find out...
          Five Things I Am Into Right Now, October 2014        
So I have to accept the fact my kids are not going to be into the Peanuts. I truly see the generational gap there. While I can write a post dissecting the interworking genius of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (which I did do here), my kids would rather watch something else. Actually, my … Continue reading
          Blurring The Lines That Matter: New Study Reveals No Generational Gap In Values        

A new study by Queendom.com comparing the ideals and principles of Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers reveals that these seemingly contrasting cohorts actually have very similar values.

(PRWeb August 05, 2017)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/08/prweb14572489.htm

          Jacob Morgan: How to Become the Future Organization        

In a connected world, organizations must rethink how work gets done and there are 5 trends that are shaping the future of work: new behaviors, globalization,mobility, millennials and changing demographics, and technology.  To be ready for the future of work, companies need to embrace a new type of culture that empowers employees. How confident are you in your organization’s ability to attract and retain top talent? Are you, like most people in the world, struggling with information overload? How do you solve that problem? Is your organization able to close the generational gap? Are you thinking about reverse-mentoring programs? Some of your best and brightest employees are leaving with all their knowledge, experience and skills after they retire. Do you have a strategy in place to capture and retain institutional knowledge inside of your organization? Companies all over the world are spending time and money investing in internal social networks and collaboration technologies but oftentimes employees don’t use these technologies. Does your organization have a strategy in place to actually get employees to use these new tools and technologies? In this videocasts collection, Jacob Morgan provides a structured framework and key principles to help your organizations chart a path to success for tomorrow. Watch the program intro: Discover the 7 videocasts: Videocast 1: Reverse mentoring closes the generational gap As employers look for ways to better manage their increasingly age-diverse workforce, reverse mentoring just might be the answer. Jacob Morgan gives you 4 tips on what your organization can do to be successful with reverse – and even mutual – mentoring programs. Videocast 2: Don’t let knowledge and expertise escape! When employees leave, they take all of their valuable knowledge, skills and assets with them right out the door. Many companies fail to retain those critical skills, which ultimately leads to deteriorating productivity and effectiveness. In this videocast, Jacob Morgan highlights the importance of knowledge retention and reveals 3 strategies on how firms can retain and avoid critical institutional knowledge losses. Videocast 3: Connectivity doesn’t mean availability As we move towards an even more connected world, the separation between connectivity and availability is becoming increasingly difficult. For many people, taking breaks from technology is a real challenge. In this videocast, Jacob Morgan talks about 4 strategies that employees and managers can use to help manage the information overload at work. Videocast 4: When it comes to corporate social networks, strategy comes first! We all use social technologies in our personal lives. But why is it so hard for employees to use social networks inside of organizations? Based on the striking example of Unisys, Jacob Morgan reveals 5 top strategies to make your team members definitively adopt your internal tools and collaborative platforms. Videocast 5: Start thinking of your physical work environment as a person The workspace of the past is gone. In this videocast, Jacob Morgan elaborates on the importance of designing your space in a way that reflects the values of your company. Jacob gives valuable insights on how employees’ engagement and pride can be leveraged by attractive work environments. Videocast 6: Think of your organization like a lab, not a factory How can your organization thrive in a world that is changing as fast today’s? In this videocast, Jacob Morgan explains that if your organization thinks of itself like a factory and not like a laboratory then it will die. Jacob gives you 4 strategies to rethink how managers lead, how employees work, and how organizations are structured. Videocast 7: Work experiences matter just as much as personal experiences Talented people need organizations less than organizations need talented people. The concept of the Employee Experience has only recently gotten the attention that it deserves. For most organizations, this is still unchartered territory. In the war for talents, Jacob Morgan’s tips and tricks will provide a helpful roadmap to motivate your company’s most valuable asset – people.

Cet article Jacob Morgan: How to Become the Future Organization est apparu en premier sur Crossknowledge.

          Move over Millennials – Generation Z Is Here        

Today, we think in generational boundaries but generational differences will become less transparent in the next years as our generational thinking disappears. Kimberli J. Lewis, talk show host of Leadership Beyond Borders on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel, (https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2671/leadership-beyond-borders), will explore how generational barriers are breaking down with featured guest, Dan Keldsen, Co-Author of “Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business” (http://www.thegenzeffect.com) on August 1 at 3 pm PT time. The show is also available on demand any time after August 1st.

Phoenix, AZ -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/02/2017 -- Today 50 is the new 30, and 70 is the new 50. We have CEOs that are barely out of university, we have teenagers inventing new technology and by 2020, we will have five traditional generations in the workforce at the same time. All of these changes are forcing us into post generational thinking and technology is one of the driving forces behind this. Technology is pulling us forward and closing the generational gaps.

Over the past years, we have put so much emphasis on understanding generational gaps like "how to manage the millennials" but this kind of thinking has become obsolete. As Generation Z enters the workforce, their behaviors are different and they are stemming from forces that influence of all us. These behaviors are making us change, and as we change, we all become part of The Generation Z.

Kimberli J. Lewis and Dan Keldsen will explore how we are breaking down these generational barriers and the forces that are going to create this new generation, of which we are all part of. Kimberli J. Lewis, author of "Ponytale Tale, It's all about You, Winning career strategies for women" will actually take the Generational Z test and talk to expert Dan Keldsen about her results and how she can move herself into Generation Z.

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/move-over-millennials-generation-z-is-here-842873.htm

Media Relations Contact

Jeff Spenard
Network President
Telephone: 480-294-6417
Email: Click to Email Jeff Spenard
Web: http://www.voiceamerica.com/

          No Generational Gap In Values        
When I read the following that came to me as a press release from Queendom.com, I found the results of the survey quite interesting. From one generation to the next, we curmudgeons have often said there is no hope for those that follow us, but there is actually a lot of hope. I knew that […]
          Children and Video Games + an Introduction        

I've been torn for a while as to where I should start when blogging about gaming, but this (sometimes controversial) topic seemed like not only a great start to a discussion but also a place to share my own start as a gamer.

Not long ago, I experienced a surprisingly heartening moment during a cookout with some family friends. A buddy of my father's had brought his two young boys along, and they wandered over as I killed time on my Xbox 360 while the steaks cooked. Much to my surprise, they strolled away bored soon after despite many a flashy alien death. Eventually, I reached my own intake limit on sci-fi military shooters for the night, and popped in Tomb Raider: Anniversary. I was surprised again when the boys came back and plopped themselves down, watching intently as I tooled around Croft Manor. Their father made me laugh as he strolled by with a burger, telling the boys they could watch so long as they didn't annoy me about the puzzles. I was actually somewhat touched by their questions about what a particular object's history was, or when they would jump and point if I ran past one of the books on podiums in the manor without having Lara read the snippet of history within.

Many people have whipped themselves into a frenzy over the question of how violent games are affecting our children. I would instead posit a different question; why do so many children find only violent games appealing?

A less pleasant experience continued my musing on this subject. While in a voice chat session with a few friends, some of their acquaintances began to join the group through a friend's profile, and so on, until we had a rather large group with several degrees of separation as well as a generational gap. I tried to remain optimistic about the company, but it was hard to maintain when the conversation devolved into a foul mouthed exchange over Kill/Death ratios. When someone mentioned my own K/D spread and insults from kids 10 years my junior began flying thick and fast, I thought to diffuse the situation with a joke about how all I cared about was my Science Collaboration Points in Portal 2. The friends I initially began the party with got a good laugh out of this, but were quickly cut off by a vitriolic stream of hate directed at myself, Portal 2, and any game that was not part of this child's favorite franchise of military shooter (I'll leave you to guess which one).

While no one on the Internet can escape people's complaints about why they may dislike a certain product or genre, this unbridled hate left me wondering what inspires a person to act like this, and why I'd never behaved such a way myself.

First impressions are hyped up so often among, but few people consider how they effect experiences and the adoption of hobbies. So how did I become the gamer I am?

I have a good smattering of memories centered around struggling to get a view of our Amiga as my sister played Marble Madness and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, but my first real gaming experience I can take ownership of was actually playing through the original Myst when I was eight years old. Originally sitting down to play it as a family, I was the only one stubborn enough to finish it (the rest of the family gave up at the Mazerunner, for any fans out there that recognize the blasted thing). In its day, Myst was a beautiful, mind bending, and fascinating game all at once. Heart-pounding MIDI Maze LAN sessions would never compare to the time spent wandering and admiring the gorgeous scenery or the rush of solving a puzzle that had tormented me for hours. The game even managed to break the barrier that the screen placed between player and world through the simple mechanic of puzzles difficult enough to encourage note taking; seeing my neat piles of maps and diagrams on the desk was sometimes enough to solve a problem before I'd even started the machine back up. The other aspect of the experience that stuck with me even as I moved on to other games was the genuine interest I had in the story, something hard to find in games at the time… yet this first impression on a naive young gamer built a expectation for them. I honestly wanted to know about Sirrus and Achenar as they begged for help, about their brilliant father who had left so many tomes of knowledge behind, and even the mysterious Catherine who was constantly mentioned but of whom there was no sign. I even got permission to read Myst: The Book of Atrus as part of my elective reading in elementary school.

Myst was a great first impression for my father to give a kid, and it set a different standard for games with me.

Adventure games remained my go-to genre for many years, and the many Myst sequels as well as series like Syberia and The Longest Journey made it easy. But there were more than enough hours in the day to branch out, and many different genres of games made their way onto the hard drive, as well as ones of much different ratings.

It's worth mentioning that my sister and I had our first foray with Mature-rated games with our father's permission. American McGee's Alice would likely get pegged as Teen these days, but a rating is a rating, and I respect my father for taking the time to make an informed decision before letting his daughters loose in a twisted version of Wonderland especially since I was barely coming up on 11 at the time of its release.

A few years later, Neverwinter Nights grabbed ahold of me, and RPGs have never left my heart since. BioWare's work cemented gaming in my mind as something that could go beyond the time sink many people were still writing the hobby off as and transcended it for me into a medium that could entertain on more levels than any other. It also yielded one of the best anecdotes I can offer on parental involvement in their kid's gaming habit.

Part of what made Neverwinter Nights so special in its time was the ease with which mods could be built for the game, extending the experience and keeping people playing between official expansions. One of my favorites was Elegia Eternum, a mod by the talented writer Stefan Gagne. It was all at once creepy and heartwarming, with a story that even now I'd still recommend to those that can play it. Needless to say, my 13-year-old self was bursting with excitement when its sequel, Excrucio Eternum, was released. My father played it first and when I asked to start my own playthrough... he said no. I was far from happy, but when you're young and the computer is bursting with things to distract yourself with, you can forget such indignation fairly quickly. There also isn't much of a fight to be had when the computer belongs to the parent and they can password it. Unfortunately for my father, about five months later I forgot what “ee2” even stood for while clicking my way through a list and looking for anything I hadn't played yet while he was at work. Once I'd started? Well, you try putting down a good book right in the middle without finishing.

Months even further onward, I forgot I'd even been banned from the module at all and, in a conversation about such games, I ended up reminiscing on great plot line moments from Excrucio. To my father's endless credit, he didn't yell, scold, or ground me off the bat. He talked to me about the content. Without spoiling too much of the storyline, you are trying to escape an asylum where the owner is actually making a number of the inmates forcibly insane to feed on their pain. To distract him at a key point, his apprentice offers to help you. The entire reason my father didn't want me playing this game at 13? To secure this character's help, you have to deliver a young and defenseless inmate to the apprentice to be brutally tortured. What my father discovered in talking to me about it? He'd raised me better then he thought. I was so disgusted by the thought of hurting “Songbird” that I'd found the obscure and more difficult alternate path players could take to resolving that quest.

There were plenty of multiplayer matches at friends' houses in the following years, but early experiences colored my attitude toward them. Friendly competition was always fun, but a neighborhood boy growing so frustrated at being beat as to slap the controller from my hands? Obviously, he wasn't playing for the same reasons as I, or he would have still been having fun with friends all around even in defeat. Another friend waiting for me to come over before continuing her new JRPG so we could debate options, discuss the story, and laugh at the horrible voice acting together? Priceless childhood memories. Not to mention all of the endless talk, talk, talk between my father and I over the newest releases, what we should pick up next, and what we were taking away from each title.

Since growing up, acquiring a job, and being able to obtain a console all my own, I've expanded my collection extensively. I still have a soft spot for adventure and puzzle games, and RPGs still take up plenty of shelf space, but I have a large selection of first person shooters (given how many good ones are on the market). I have even overcome my contentious relationship with platformers and strategy games on occasion. My father and I made a family affair of the upcoming Republique, backing it on Kickstarter together with high hopes. He is awaiting Guild Wars 2. I'm cautiously optimistic over Halo 4.

The soundest advice I can offer to a parent? Make sure your kid's first experience with games is positive. Instill a good sense of sportsmanship in all competitive play. Encourage exploration and experimentation with new genres and game types. Share a game with an engrossing story as freely as you would a storybook in their younger years. Be aware of ratings, content, and exactly what your kid is playing, and don't be afraid to say no; you are the parent, and you can take away a game, a console, or computer access. Above all though (particularly as they get older) talk to your kids; they are going to be exposed to anything and everything eventually, and might have been already without your knowledge. Be less afraid of kids catching wind of a controversial concept and more afraid of them forming irreverent attitudes toward it due to your lack of input.

Parting thought: I was never even interested in the romance subplots in BioWare games till I was almost 16. I do wonder if I was younger... would I have even known about the controversy around Mass Effect before Fox broadcasted it? Or would I have been too busy shooting things? Food for thought.

Now pardon me as I go remind my father which button brings up the power wheel because I got him hooked on Mass Effect.