Valentine’s Day

Charlie BrownAll you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. Charles M. Schulz

Happy Valentine’s Day

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How We See Things

illusion-and-truthSeth Godin’s post provides an important insight (pun intended) to understand why and how we see things. It is important because it influences our mindful and autoplay responses to life circumstances.

If you google autoplay you will see that I am using the word in a new context. Here is the Godin post in its entirety. See if you think it is as important as I do.

What do you see?
A better question might be, “what do you choose to see?”
If I take four professionals to the Whitney:
The architect sees the building, the sight lines, the way the people and the light flow.
The framer notices the craftsmanship and taste in the way the paintings are framed and hung.
The lighting designer can’t help but comment on the new LEDs.
And the art dealer sees the names of each artist and marvels over career arcs.
When you read a blog post, or see a successful project or read about an innovation, what do you see?
Do you see the emotions and the fear and the grit of the people behind it?
Do you see the strategy and high-level analysis that went into it?
Or do you see the execution and technique?
Some people are willingly blind to metaphor, viewing each example as a special case. Others manage to connect the dots and find what they need just about anywhere.
You might not need more exposure to the new. Instead, it might pay to re-see what’s already around you.

Segments and CategoriesWorkplace Hidden Opportunities is about bringing these divergent views of the workplace and corporate real estate into a platform where both their commonality and differences can be appreciated and celebrated. If you look at the categories of Ecosystem Participants in the right-hand navigation, you will get a glimpse at the variation of views.

Inherently, this makes your view not only important but vital to the whole.

Winter OlympicsThis infographic about the current Winter Olympics illustrates my filter and interest in information management. It would be fun and insightful (there is that word again) to us all if you would post you’re a comment with a link to an image you would like to share from the South Korea Olympics.

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Super Bowl LII – It’s a Wrap

All things considered, I’d rather be in Philadelphia. WC Fields

Super Bowl LII EaglesAn amazing game captured by the NY Times. One door closes and another opens. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat . . .

 

Super Bowl LII Stadium. . . in an artistic stadium that is worthy of continuing scrutiny in light of important infrastructure needs as highlighted by Seth Godin . . . 

WC Fields. . . while remembering WC Fields.

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Nashville Transit Plan

Nashville Transit Plan

Nashville has experienced unprecedented growth over the past several years. With that growth comes challenges, many of which can be categorized as infrastructure issues. Cities have been dealing with these issues since ancient times. With the global population explosion and all its repercussions, we would be well served to address this issue as the new normal and not some unanticipated event. Amazon’s inclusion of Nashville to its recent short list of twenty for HQ2 has heightened the focus and raised the bar for crafting solutions. Please click the images to enlarge.

Workplace Hidden Opportunities (WHO) is an intelligence network, platform, and forum where thought leaders, pundits, and students gather to share and learn about the evolving workplace and its corporate real estate physical assets; including forming teams and advancing projects. The forum establishes a distinct place for deep discussion threads about topics requiring iterative thought development, exploration, and collective experiences. To ensure that level of intentionality the WHO network requires a membership subscription. Whether your interest is a single issue like the Nashville Transit Plan or includes broader based workplace issues, the memberships are designed for your short-term or long-term involvement. This post has been waived from exclusion for the next seven days to allow you time to decide if you want to become a member of the network and join this or other discussions.

Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships are two of its global focal points. WHO recently announced nominees for the W100 2018. Included in this list are leaders experienced and focused on these particular issues of civic health and well-being.

The $5.2B Nashville Transit Plan has now moved into the broader public arena and is likely to become an increasing lightning rod for discussion and debate. If this search for positive alternatives achieves a higher standard of reach and inquiry, it can not only benefit Nashville but countless cities confronting the same challenges.

I reached out to Stan Curtis, a WHO colleague from Portland, OR, and asked if he and his cadre would weigh in. His key points included some pithy input.

Portland Lessons Learned is a good summary from Houston, Dallas, Louisville, and Rochester. Portland is thinking about widening freeways; other cities show that doesn’t work.

The Portland Plan is a good comparison with The Green Loop at its urban core. With the growth projected for Portland, the Green Loop can help us gracefully evolve into a world-class city — that attracts global attention and investments — while still preserving and accentuating the things that make Portland livable, unique and special. It’s a transformative investment in our low-carbon ethos and an iconic symbol of a city that values and supports all people: residents, workers, students, and visitors. The Green Loop is destined to become Portland’s version of New York’s High Line, Miami’s Underline, Chicago’s new 606 or the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

Look for an announcement after Feb 6th when OPENcommons.org will go live with a major upgrade, endorsed by NIST Global Cities Challenge Team.

SmartCities vendors were featured at Consumer Electronic Show recently where USDOT Secretary Choi, a keynote speaker, shared that more governments were incubating public/private “share” economy (consumer-driven markets and jobs)!

Regarding Nashville’s plan density-matters! (Atlanta v. Barcelona). Carol Coletta, a native of Memphis and friend of Richard Florida, knows Nashville. Be sure the Mayor’s plan is for people, not cars!

You are invited to come visit us in Portland on Jun 21st when URBANsystems will host a global workshop on SmartCities w/Hong Kong and our EU partners. Try out our last mile choices.

Stan Curtis is a co-founder of OPENcommons & URBANsystems. A family story is featured in an HBO documentary, This intimate and poignant film about the impact of Oregon’s 1994 Death With Dignity Act, won the Grand Jury Prize in the U. S. Documentary Competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
stan.curtis@urban.systems  503.708.1177

I am posting this to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter where some discussion is already underway and tagging some who I know the subject is top of mind. If you are connected with related subject matter experts who would contribute to this exercise in collective intelligence, please invite their insights.

Here’s to our creativity and communications!
Join the WHO Network

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Lunar Trifecta

Supermoon 1.31.18The Jan. 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit — known as perigee — and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”

Dates and times for viewing plus more . . .

For those of you interested in numerology, astrology, and some soothsaying check out this video.

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Civility and Truth

Hidden Agendas and Clear Intentions X

Context

Some thoughts following the US Government shutdown at Midnight, Saturday, January 20, 2018, and band-aid reopening this week.

CivilityCivility is about more than just politeness, although politeness is a necessary first step. It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements. It is political in the sense that it is a necessary prerequisite for civic action. But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s is ignored. And civility begins with us. The Institute for Civility in Government

TruthTruth is most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or standard. Truth may also often be used in modern contexts to refer to an idea of “truth to self,” or authenticity. Truth is usually held to be opposite to falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on a logical, factual, or ethical meaning. The concept of truth is discussed and debated in several contexts, including philosophy, art, and religion. Many human activities depend upon the concept, where its nature as a concept is assumed rather than being a subject of discussion; these include most of the sciences, law, journalism, and everyday life. Some philosophers view the concept of truth as basic, and unable to be explained in any terms that are more easily understood than the concept of truth itself. This discussion proceeds at Wikipedia.

Over the past two decades, national political and civil discourse in the United States has been characterized by ‘Truth Decay,’ defined as a set of four interrelated trends: an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information. These trends have many causes, but this report focuses on four: characteristics of human cognitive processing, such as cognitive bias; changes in the information system, including social media and the 24-hour news cycle; competing demands on the education system that diminish time spent on media literacy and critical thinking; and polarization, both political and demographic. The most damaging consequences of Truth Decay include the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation and disengagement of individuals from political and civic institutions, and uncertainty over national policy. Read more and download the free ebook

Observations

The paths of civility and truth, in times of peace, seem to run in more or less parallel harmony. During more contentious times including war, these paths rarely seem to intersect. In fact, the visibility of these paths erodes leaving only a memory like a mirage.

The four interrelated trends from ‘Truth Decay’ warrant repeating.

  1. An increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data;
  2. A blurring of the line between opinion and fact;
  3. An increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and,
  4. Lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information.

Equally important are the four causes discussed.

  1. Characteristics of human cognitive processing, such as cognitive bias;
  2. Changes in the information system, including social media and the 24-hour news cycle;
  3. Competing demands on the education system that diminish time spent on media literacy and critical thinking; and,
  4. Polarization, both political and demographic.

Sometimes problems persist because we don’t know what to do. Other times the problems persist because we are too lazy to make the effort. Address the causes and the resulting trends will change.

Closing

TrustAccording to the latest edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer, the United States has experienced a significant 37 percentage point drop in trust across its institutions while at the opposite end of the scale, China experienced a 27-point gain. When it comes to government, one of the most important trust indicators, China leads the way. Edelman found that 84 percent of people in China trust their government, the highest level worldwide and an eight percentage point increase on 2017. Read more.

The United States Founding Fathers got it right about democracy. We the people . . .

That was at a moment in time and circumstances have changed; and are now in a state of accelerating, exponential, and perpetual change.

Democracy is not inherited, it is created. We are wise to ask, ‘Are the agendas hidden and the intentions clear.’

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Muckraking Redux

Stormy Daniels and Ya Got Trouble

I asked someone recently if they were aware of the extent to which they complained. Their response was measured and thoughtful. ‘It makes me feel better.’ So there you go. One person’s joy, another person’s sorrow.

Two sermonettes found me on my laptop this morning. A pastor friend of mine told me that one of his teachers in divinity school shared the maxim that if a sermon failed to make at least one person laugh and one person cry, then the sermon had failed. See if these two pass muster with you.

Line and Feather

Muckraking TargetsHistorians have long looked to a few key criteria in evaluating the beginning of a president’s administration. First and foremost, any new president should execute public duties with a commanding civility and poise befitting the nation’s chief executive, but without appearing aloof or haughty. As George Washington observed at the outset of his presidency in 1789, the president cannot in any way “demean himself in his public character” and must act “in such a manner as to maintain the dignity of the office.”

New presidents also try to avoid partisan and factional rancor and endeavor to unite the country in a great common purpose. In line with their oath of office, they dedicate themselves to safeguarding and even advancing democratic rights and to protecting the nation against foreign enemies. They avoid even the slightest imputation of corruption, of course, political but above all financial. They Were Bad. He May Be Worse.

 Line and Feather

Now On StageAnd so it was — on the anniversary of the inauguration; with a government shutdown consuming the capital; with cities across the country, including this one, hosting women’s rallies condemning President Trump as an emblem of misogyny — that this national moment delivered a glut of customers, journalists and a notable adult film actress to a perhaps inevitable fate.

The music came on. The clothes came off. And an airport strip club claimed its piece of the American presidency. Now on Stage, Stormy Daniels: A Strip Club and a Presidency Meet After Dark

Line and Feather

Muckraking is in high cotton at present – an informative overview at Wikipedia provides some entertaining historical insights. The musicals of the 1960s were and are a favorite of mine. This video clip from The Music Man seems an appropriate closing anthem.

In the spirit of the order of service, here is where we send forth with blessings on each and all.

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