• THREE SIMPLE CORE ‘RULES FOR MAKING DIFFICULT DECISIONS’ according to Richard Branson head of the Virgin Group companies are: (1) Don’t act on an emotional response; instead take time to settle down and collect data before taking action; (2) Look at the big picture, short and long, and how your action will affect other priorities; (3) Carefully consider the downside of your action and first protect to limit possible losses.  [BUSINESS INSIDER.COM.AU – Oct 8, 14]
  • THE ROLE OF HUMANS IS NOT SO CLEAR IN TODAY’S ‘2ND MACHINE AGE.’ “The industrial revolution was when humans overcame the limitations of our muscle power; we’re now in the early stages of doing the same thing to our mental capacity – infinitely multiplying it by virtue of digital technologies… automating and augmenting mental power and cognitive work… Machines and their learning-based algorithms have leapt forward in pattern-matching ability and in the nuances of interpreting and communicating complex information… As machine learning progresses at a rapid pace, execs will be called on to create the innovating new organizational forms needed to crowd-source far-flung human talent that’s coming online around the globe… The role of senior managers in a deeply data-driven world is going to shift, and the job will be to figure out ‘Where do I actually add value, and where should I get out of the way and go where the data takes me?’ – which means a very deep rethinking of the idea of managerial ‘gut’ or intuition”… as artificial intelligence meets the C-suite.” [McKINSEY QUARTERLY – Sept 14]   For a great, though distressing, commentary on how robots are permanently replacing human knowledge work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfMGyCk3XTw 
  • TWO-THIRDS OF VOTERS BELIEVE “AMERICA HAS SPUN OFF ITS AXIS AND IS OUT OF CONTROL,” according to the latest Politico poll. Recent examples of the absurdities which validly prompt such concern are: (1) current Contract bidding “to care for the illegal immigrant children coming across the border… Stipulations require guarantee of 3-meals/day with second helpings, taking account of health, religious observance or vegetarian diets”; and (2) disclosure that, for over sixty years, Nazi war criminals have been, and some are still, collecting Social Security benefits after agreeing to voluntarily leave the U.S. before deportation. According to an Associated Press investigation, recipients include “SS Troops who guarded camps where millions perished, and a rocket scientist who used slave labor for research.”  [LEVINE BREAKING NEWS – Oct 20, 14]
  • WHAT CONSTITUTES ‘PRIVACY’ VARIES AMONG INDIVIDUALS, GENDERS AND CULTURES. It’s “loosely defined as freedom from being observed… and research in both online & offline environments has shown that just the perception, let alone the reality, of being watched results in feelings of low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, with people inclined to conform and demonstrate less individuality & creativity so their performance of tasks suffers, with elevated pulse rates and levels of stress hormones.” Globally, people continue to share more and more personal details on social media “because they’re afraid of being left out or judged by others as unplugged and unengaged losers, but their cycle of disclosure is often followed by feelings of vulnerability and general dissatisfaction.” This psychic toll stems from two causes, according to a three-year German study: (1) “Dissatisfaction with what they get in return for giving so much disclosure – informational support like a tip or link to an article versus the kind of emotional & instrumental support that leads to well being… and (2) Since personal info is like currency, with the amount spent on a person signifying how much the relationship is valued… So it feels like theft when someone tells your secrets or data-miners piece together your personal history and sell it.”   [NEW YORK TIMES – Oct 4, 14]
  • ENJOY THE ‘PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’ finale from its 25th-anniversary show, with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sarah Brightman, Michael Crawford (the original phantom) and others who have performed the parts over the years. PHANTOM is generally considered the best musical ever written. A wonderful video: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/qpzz6NvOXqM?hl=en_US&version=3&rel=0
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Just one more factor in America’s dumbing down:  According to the newest study of college curriculums by American Council of Trustees & Alumni,  less than one in five schools now require a single course in American history or government, and only 3% require even a single course in economics for graduation. 

   Online daters are 28% more likely to split from partners in the first year and, if they do marry, are three times more likely to divorce than those who meet face-to-face, according to a Michigan State      University study of more than 4,000 couples.

                                                                       DCG: PROVIDING GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE FOR OPTIMAL STRATEGIC, FINANCIAL, OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT