• MILLENNIALS ARE SUDDENLY LOOKING MORE LIKE A GENERATION OF INDIVIDUALISTS THAN COLLABORATORS. Priorities and work-habits of the Y-generation, now aged 15 to 35 and the largest group in America’s workforce, are pretty consistently conjectured as collaborating team players, allergic to being managed or evaluated (except for praise), and focused primarily on social responsibility in their workplace. But newest surveys contradict much of this stereotype. A 90,000 person quarterly poll (by CEB Consulting) finds nearly 60% saying “competition is what gets them up in the morning… and they consistently compare performance with peers… 37% say they don’t trust their peers’ input at work… and 33% put ‘future career opportunity’ among their top five reasons for choosing a job.” Another 5,000 person poll (by U.S.C. and Centre for Creative Leadership) found over 40% of millennials agreeing that “employees should do what their Manager says, even when they can’t see the reason for it,” and 90% say they “want performance evaluations to discuss career plans face to face.”  [THE ECONOMIST – Aug 1, 15]
  • “HUMAN-IN-THE-LOOP INVOLVEMENT IN ALL DECISION MAKING IS RAPIDLY BECOMING IMPRACTICAL… Today’s cutting-edge technology already allows businesses to predict behavior or outcomes in the future.” The next more critical phase is “prescription – not just predicting what customers are going to do, but why they are going to do it… The unmanageable volume and complexity of ‘big data’ that the world is now swimming in have increased the potential and need for machine-learning…unconstrained by preset assumptions of statistics to yield insights that human analysts do not see on their own.” The evolution of machine-learning technology should, within 25-years, reach “cultural invisibility (as did the steam engine, electric motors, etc) and with it the fading of computers from sight.” Does this mean that Automation will replace humans in the long-run? Yes, to a degree. Artificial intelligence will certainly be soon able to carry out set objectives autonomously. However, ”no matter what fresh insights computers unearth, only human managers can decide the essential questions, such as which critical business problems a company is really trying to solve—based on experience, judgment and domain expertise… Without ‘Strategic Vision’ as a starting point, machine-learning risks becoming a tool buried inside a company’s routine operations – providing a useful service, but with long-term value probably limited to an endless repetition of ‘cookie cutter’ applications.”  C-level Execs will need to accept/exploit machine learning as a tool to craft and implement strategy.  [McKINSEY QUARTERLY – June 15]
  • GOOD NEWS IN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY – the ‘operating room of the future’ is outpatient treatment for all types of tumors with non-invasive ultrasound waves instead of surgery and hospital recovery: http://www.safeshare.tv/w/DTAINyElxY
  • BAD NEWS IN AUTO TECHNOLOGY – a bug in onboard software which allowed security experts to take remote control of a Jeep Cherokee, apply the brakes, kill the engine, control steering over the internet, and crash it into a ditch… The hack was also demonstrated on a Toyota Prius and a Ford Escape using only a laptop and mobile phone.” The software is installed in hundreds of thousands of autos, designed only to “remotely start, unlock doors and flash headlights using an app.” [THE GUARDIAN – July 21, 15]
  • BUT AT LEAST “HYPERLOOP” IS NOW ACTUALLY UNDER DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION – the transportation system conceived and proposed by Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX and Tesla) which is “a cross between a Concorde, a rail-gun and an air-hockey table and can be built at 10% the cost of high-speed rail… When it works, it will be able to transport people and cargo at speeds faster than a commercial airliner (over 700mph) with record energy efficiencies.” [PETER DIAMANDIS BLOG – June 28, 15]
  • CAMPUS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS CONTINUES TO OUTDO ITSELF. University of New Hampshire has issued a ‘Bias Free Language Guide’ which mentors students with wisdom including: ‘American’ is a “problematic term, assuming the U.S. is the only country in North, South or Central America” – recommending ‘U.S. citizen’ instead. The Guide also warns against using “gendered terms” like rich, poor or mothering just in case someone might feel offended.  Only in America…   [THE WEEK – Aug 7, 15]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes – including you.”

Try to imagine LA intersections without any traffic controls?  Check out how that works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Vehicles and pedestrians navigate the seeming chaos with amazing grace:  Www.youtube.com/embed/UEIn8GJIg0E?rel=0

The California Voter Registration Application form now has a box which says: “My language preference for receiving election materials is (check one): English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Japanese, Hindi, Khmer or Thai.”