• TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS US TO CONSUME FIVE TIMES MORE INFORMATION TODAY THAN A FEW DECADES AGO. But, by spreading consumption habits too thinly and “letting the headline tides pull us along… we’ve become less productive learners.” Techniques for reversing that trend include: (1) Since filtering information that is irrelevant is critical in order to perceive, remember and make decisions about new info, reading and viewing needs to be focused on and limited to select topics; (2) Since it’s easiest to retain new information by associating it in a structured, repeatable way with what we already know, it should be put into ‘frameworks’ which act as the internal architecture for our brains; (3) then, by synthesizing the new info with your prior database, perspective is broadened, and solidified by reviewing the composite material and literally asking yourself ‘what are my key takeaways’ from this new information.”  [HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW – Jun 5, 18]
  • FLAWLESS MANIPULATED VIDEOS – photorealistic superimposed faces, movements & voices – can now be translated into any altered video, by an artificial intelligence-powered system usable on any home computer, where it’s almost impossible to tell fake from real. Reality is that ‘deepfake’ videos are starting to be used for smearing politicians & political parties or shaming someone, and fears are growing that they could be used to “create international incidents by showing soldiers committing atrocities, or world leaders declaring war on another country and triggering an actual military response… It will only take a couple of big hoaxes to really convince the public that nothing is real… Soon we won’t be able to trust our own eyes.” [THE WEEK – Jun 15, 18]   Meanwhile, check out how tough it is to “trust our own eyes” even with simple pictures:  https://biggeekdad.com/2017/06/8-photo-illusions/
  • ‘PSYCHOGRAPHICS’ IS WHAT THE CURRENT FACEBOOK CONFLICT IS ALL ABOUT. “Beyond demographic data like age/gender/race, its focus is on customer emotions/values/attitudes and other psychological factors… by using massive datasets which group people into psychological groups. Referred to as the “dark arts of marketing, psychographics is at the cutting edge of digital marketing, and could transform how marketers influence decision-making.”  [CBINSIGHTS.COM – Jun 7, 18]
  •  THE HOMELESS POPULATION IN SAN FRANCISCO – “the richest city in America by median household income” – has surged to over 4,300 people, generating over twenty thousand complaints about “shit in the streets, as fresh human excrement and discarded needles lie scattered on the streets of the Tenderloin district just a few blocks from 5-star Union Square hotels.” The problem continues to increase as new jobs have outpaced new homes by eight times and housing demand greatly exceeds supply, while “city councilors use zoning laws (among the most restrictive in the country) as a negotiating tactic to extract fees & taxes from developers… creating regulatory capture & artificial scarcity all across the city.” Despite wide-ranging rent control (nearly half the rental units), monthly rent for a typical one-bedroom flat now approaches $3,500. [THE ECONOMIST – Jun 2, 18]
  •  SUMMER TRAVEL WARNING: BEWARE OF HOTEL POOLS. In recent years, “nearly a third of disease outbreaks linked to recreational water facilities occurred in hotels/inns/lodges.” Around 60% were caused by the Crypto parasite – which can survive for days in even well-maintained pools & hot tubs and which, from just swallowing a mouthful of water, “can make otherwise healthy kids and adults sick for weeks with watery diarrhea stomach cramps, nausea & vomiting.” Another 30% were felled by bacteria responsible for hot tub rash, swimmers’ ear, or pneumonia. CDC advises showering before swimming. [THE WEEK – Jun 8, 28]
  • BY REQUEST – A RECOMMENDED SUMMER READING LIST: Heavier Eye Openers: Origin – Dan Brown; Sapiens – Yuval Harrari; The Art of War – Stephen Coonts; The Fourth Turning – Wm Strauss; Educational Fiction: The First Immortal – James Halperin; The Eight – Katherine Neville; Replay – Ken Grimwood; Night Film – Marisha Pessl; Shibumi – Trevanian
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Incredible U.S. Navy power! A rare occasion when three aircraft carrier groups are in the same hemisphere long enough for a photo op: http://jwvsw.org/carriers.pdf

      “Donald Trump is America’s first wartime president in the Culture War… Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do.” For a reality-based perspective on today’s media battleground: https://townhall.com/columnists/evansayet/2017/07/13/he-fights-n2354580?amp=true

     “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King