• HUMAN JUDGMENT GETS CLOUDED BY PITFALLS IN OUR DECISION-MAKING PROCESS, most notably: (1) Halo Effect – when first impressions about others are formed and more heavily weighed (to the extent of ignoring) later information. Psychologists call this phenomenon “exaggerated emotional coherence” which essentially means that once we like/dislike another person, we tend to like/dislike everything about them; (2) Directional Goals – are a “form of motivated reasoning that cause people to evaluate info selectively and search for evidence that justifies their desired conclusion… This unconscious nature is such that just being aware of another person’s opinion may bias us toward that position”; (3) Ego Depletion – involves exhaustion of finite self-control resources as the day evolves, basically energy consumed just from everyday decision making. “In fact, people are more likely to be dishonest or engage in cheating later in the day,” after exerting mental effort or self-restraint. Understanding these weaknesses can help avoid poor decisions and mistakes. [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – June 16]
  • ‘DISABILITY’ LAWSUITS KEEP PROLIFERATING, based on often obscure technicalities, to the detriment of business owners. In California, a handicapped person who claims “difficulty, discomfort or embarrassment” can be awarded up to $4,000 for “each time he/she visited or wished to visit an offending business… So small businesses typically pay settlements of $15,000 to $20,000 – a bargain compared to cost of a court fight.” Recently on retailer was ordered to pay over $100K “because its website didn’t accommodate screen-reading software used by a blind plaintiff… and the federal DOJ is currently supporting a lawsuit against Harvard for not subtitling or transcribing videos & audio files posted online.” Hundreds of pages of technical regulations & requirements result in lawyers only needing to “show that a violation once existed – a bathroom mirror, stall partition, sign improperly positioned, or handicapped parking stall marked with faded print.” Another crazy impact of federal do-good-intent without regard for consequences (even if unintended) and impact on business and employment.  [THE ECONOMIST – May 28, 16]
  • TECHNOLOGY PACE UPDATE: (1)A robot surgeon has been taught to perform a delicate procedure – stitching soft tissue together with needle & thread – more precisely and reliably than even the best human doctor… outperforming its teachers in tests involving living pigs.” [M.I.T. TECHNOLOGY REVIEW – May 4, 16] (2)  A functional 2,700 sq.ft. office building has been 3-D printed. The Dubai project used a massive printer (120’L x 40’W x 20’H) which took 17 days to complete – roughly a third of conventional construction time and half the cost. [THE WEEK – June 3, 16]  (3)  NanoRobots are here: “miniaturized machines with huge amounts of info encoded in miniscule spaces… which can build just about anything, including more of themselves… Because building takes place on an atomic scale, ‘nanobots’ can pull apart any kind of material (soil, water, air) atom by atom and reconstruct just about anything,” including self-replication. (Nanotechnology is the field of science/engineering/technology conducted at a scale of below 100 meters – smaller than the length of a virus or wave of light; it takes 100,000 nanometers to roughly equal a speck of dust and a million to reach the length of an ant). Nanobots can “swim through the bloodstream delivering drugs to targeted cells or manipulate stem cells to direct growth,” are finding applications in medical imaging, information storage, energy systems, super-strong materials development, smart windows & walls, and will eventually “connect our biological nervous system to the Cloud.” The next decade will transform most of what we know and how we work & live today.  [PETER DIAMANDIS REPORT – May 15, 16]    
  • IN OUR WIRED ENTERTAINMENT WORLD: Every 60 seconds on average, Google gets 2.4 million search queries; YouTube plays close to 2 million videos; some 150 million emails & 350,000 tweets are shared; over 100,000 hours of Netflix video or Spotify music are played; between WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram & Tinder, another 23 million connections flow; and the Apple store transmits over 50,000 app downloads.   [COMPUTERPOWERUSER.COM – June 16]

       George Carlin on the true pollution in our lives – “our ticket to the freak show”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ERFBg2Uh1c