• IN TODAY’S DIGITAL-SPEED BUSINESS WORLD, PERFORMANCE REVIEW ON AN ANNUAL BASIS is being increasingly recognized as both inefficient and ineffective. Professional and Service organizations in particular are converting to more frequent data-gathering and direct feedback programs, including ‘future-focused’ discussions which align work-team objectives and priorities on a monthly and even weekly basis, with quarterly individual career-development meetings. Objectives are aimed at “ensuring investment of time in the right activities… by focusing on what employees should keep, should stop, and/or should start doing,” all with reference to the company’s  Along with this process, annual periodic quantitative and subjective evaluation which measures employee self-perspective against management expectations is also still important – particularly to optimize coaching for future leaders, ensure that top performers are not “at risk of becoming disengaged,” and because employees know that quantitative, analytical measurement is correlated to appropriate compensation.   [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – Dec 17]
  • “THE FUTURE OF SECURE AUTHENTICATION IS VOICE PROFILING,” now close to supplanting DNA or fingerprinting as the key measure of what defines individuals. Research at Carnegie Mellon University has, using Artificial Intelligence, now “generated a 3-D image of a speaker’s face, simply by analyzing a voice recording… It turns out your voice picks up micro-signatures which offer hints – more than the human brain can conceive – about not only facial features, but also mood, social status, upbringing, age, ethnicity, weight, height and information about the environment around you.” Beyond authentication, A.I. may facilitate voice technology which can tele-medically provide early identity of medical conditions.  [FORTUNE – Jan 1, 18]
  • AND THE FUTURE WILL SOON ALSO SEE A.I. TECHNOLOGY THAT “DETECTS DECEPTION FLAWLESSLY” based on image and facial recognition. Researchers at Univ. of Maryland have developed a system to “autonomously detect deception in courtroom trial videos… by classifying micro-expressions (such as ‘lips protruded’ or ‘eyebrow frown’) and by analyzing vocal patterns …significantly better than common people.” [FUTURISM.COM – Jan 9, 18]
  • NATIONALISM – THE CONCEPT THAT A SELF-DECLARED ‘COUNTRY’ IS “INDEPENDENT of all sovereigns save its people and constitution – is embedded in global politics more completely and successfully than any of the more celebrated Enlightenment legacies, including Marxism, classical liberalism and industrial capitalism.” While the philosophy & principle of national self-determination underlie the U.N. structure and international law, modern nations have evolved as “imagined communities where people who are drawn together who have not met and never will… but maintain deeply rooted feelings in stories of past history, valor & suffering.” And these feelings (spurred today by forces including ‘America First’) are jeopardizing alliances based on “democracy, the rule of law and open economies… as bureaucrats obsessed by Political Correctness give immigrants jobs, houses and places in local schools, while citizens loyal to the nation are rewarded only by sneering & disdain… resentful that their hard work (real or imagined) goes unrewarded while self-serving elites and the minorities reap privileged wealth & power.” Today’s reality is that the global community “have entered an age of insecurity – economic, physical & political – where populist politicians exploit such insecurities thru social media, which then amplify the outrage.” [THE ECONOMIST –  Dec 23, 18]
  • VISION PROBLEMS ARE THE LATEST ‘SCREEN TIME’ DANGER FOR SCHOOL-AGE KIDS – not because of electronic screen emissions, but because kids who spend as little as four hours weekly indoors on screens, versus outdoors in sunlight, become near-sighted. “Almost 90% of 18-year olds in the U.S. and Europe now have Myopia, a condition which prevents light from focusing directly on the retina, making distant objects appear blurry.” AND NOISE POLLUTION IS ANOTHER INCREASING DANGER TO BOTH KIDS & ADULTS, “causing hearing loss, hypertension, insomnia, and inducing stress which can cascade into worsened immune systems, heart problems, increased anxiety and depression.” The danger level for human hearing (temporary or permanent) is prolonged exposure to anything over 85 decibels. The major contributors are diesel trucks (generating 90 decibels at 50 feet away), jet engines, construction sites, trains, loud traffic, rock concerts and boom boxes. [THE WEEK – Jan 19, 18]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: California has the “highest poverty rate in the country.” According to the Census Bureau, factoring in the cost of food, clothing, housing and non-cash government assistance, nearly one in five residents is “poor” – pathetic in a state where per-capita GDP has increased by double that of the U.S. average over the last five years.

      Uh Oh – caution about using the drinking glasses in hotel rooms: https://biggeekdad.com/2014/01/hotel-room-drinking-glass/