We’ve waited decades for the presumed ‘end of the world’ forecasted from Viruses, but somehow survived.  2001- Anthrax, 2002- West Nile, 2003- SARS, 2005- Bird Flu, 2006- E-coli, 2009- Swine Flu, 2014- Ebola, 2016- Zika, now 2020- Corona.       It’s fear of uncertainty fed by profiteering media & power-hungry politicians which may more likely destroy us. Turn off the media; avoid large groups in confined areas – especially those populated heavily by travelers; best-avoid touching other people, public fabrics and metals; wash hands regularly, and live a sensible life.

  • ‘BURNED OUT’ EMPLOYEES ARE COSTLY – over 60% more likely to take sick days, and over 2½ times to be actively seeking another job, a 7,500-person Gallup poll found. But “burnout is preventable – it’s about the workplace created, not the peculiarities of people,” and leaders need active steps to manage the work environment. Helpful tactics include: (1) Reality-checking that expectations for productivity don’t override employee welfare, like relationship-building, time for health, exercise & work-life balance; (2) “Combatting fatigue before it happens by encouraging flexible hours, manageable workload, using vacation, etc.; (3) Practicing regular communication and asking employees what’s NOT working to catch issues before they become large hurdles, ensuring they have adequate resources to both perform their jobs and also to make their environment most comfortable – all demonstrating that their opinions, efforts & well-being matters. [ENTREPRENEUR – 3/2/20]
  • ‘PORCH PIRATES,’ WHO STALK DELIVERY VANS or just scout for doorsteps with packages, now steal over 90,000 internet-ordered products daily in New York City alone. Amazon and others are testing DeliveryDrones which could leave packages in safer spots but “worry that will open a different sort of piracy – Hijacking – since a well-aimed stone, baseball or similar missile is enough to bring a drone down, permitting its payload to be purloined.” So far, the best defense system being tested is ‘DopplerDodge’ a device which “harnesses sound waves to give the drone a tenth-of-a-second’s notice of an incoming missile to move itself out of the way.”  [ECONOMIST – 2/29/20]
  • MILLENNIALS ADMIT THEY’RE HELPLESS IN REPAIRING & MAINTAINING THEIR HOMES, needing assistance with the simplest of tasks. A survey of some 2,000 young adults found 87% admitting they first search Google, and 30% check social media. Then, over half call dad, mom or brothers for help, and four-in-ten usually just call up a repairman.  A quarter claim they don’t have time or patience, but the rest basically don’t trust their skills with tasks as tough as “fixing a loose screw… Unbelievably, some respondents even admitted to simply leaving a dead light bulb in place for more than three weeks before finally mustering up the courage to ask for some help… The quintessential handyman has become a thing of the past” as most of an entire generation lose yet another survival skill[LBN EXAMINER – 3/8/20]
  • “SMART SPEAKERS ARE CREEPY RECORDING DEVICES THAT EAVESDROP on unsuspecting people” especially those, like owners of Amazon Echo, who forget the devices are always there with potential to listen. University of Chicago professors have now developed a “wearable jammer which emits ultrasonic noise, inaudible to humans, that interferes with the mike’s ability to record from multiple directions including those hidden out of sight.” [MASHABLE.COM -2/14/20]
  • “A TUG OF WAR BETWEEN BIG TECH AND GLOBAL GOVERNMENTS attempting to enforce Privacy Action – along with seeking ways to boost their revenues via taxation & fees” – is now underway and will consume the next decade. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) already requires companies to process ‘impact assessments’ before launching a product in Europe. California’s CCPA (Consumer Protection Act) now regulates businesses which earn more than $12.5M that comprises half their revenue from selling consumers’ personal data. As technology has become a critical dimension of everyday human life, the level of legal conflict will be expanding globally. [CALIFORNIA CPA – Mar/Apr 20]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Eight of the ten most commonly polluted plastic items are currently unrecyclable, and 90% of plastic waste in the U.S. ends up in an incinerator or landfill, reports the L.A. Times.

       “Human nature can’t be denied. The world is so complex that the average person is no longer able to understand it and, in the face of that, can be counted on to retreat into tribalism and Nationalism.  People need something to hate in order to reinforce their own identities. And it’s the internal threats – the people they interact with every day – whom they hate and fear most.” [Kyle Mills]