Categories
For The Good Life

Golf 2020

Really into golf this year. The pandemic has injected a renewed interest in the game. Most courses I’ve played have been packed and I see a lot of young players.

John M & Me at Randall Oaks Golf Club

A few years back, it seemed the sport was dying. Who knows, this could save the industry?

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For The Good Life

Us

There are good humans
There are bad humans
White, black, brown, tan, orange, whatever color
There are people with irrational beliefs based on some tragedy from years past
There are people with mental issues and chemical imbalances
There are politicians

There are soul-less people and there are amazing generous people
Politics can’t solve every issue.

Your vote can solve some public issues
Your heart can solve the real issues.

Categories
For The Good Life

Remote Work and Learning

As a software professional, my work has mostly been done remotely for many years. I’ve had a daily routine that really didn’t change when this pandemic hit. But as I talk to people, I am definitely in the minority. So many people were in the habit of commuting to an office as their “hub.” My hub has been my house for about 5 years.

As many are saying, companies have invested to properly outfit the tech to get their employees productive at home. This new reality is going to be a paradigm shift for just about any business that is office-centered. I think what we’ll see is a 50/50 model, where employees work from home half the week. This shift will likely change the commercial real estate requirements, but maybe not for another year until the new norm is played out. Of course, there are side benefits like lower emissions, less accidents, better quality of life.

The same pattern goes for e-learning. The school paradigm was designed in the industrial era when kids needed to be occupied outside the home for 7-8 hours. There’s never been a better opportunity to change the school paradigm. My thought is 33/33/33. About 33% of the week in a classroom. 33% collaborating out of the classroom (or sports) and 33% at home. Not only will this help the child learn in a modern fashion, it will help with overcrowded schools. There is a enormous opportunity to teach kids self-discipline. A routine that they need to be accountable for themselves 33% of the time. This pattern will develop organizational and time management skills, which is one key area a lot of kids lack.

I’ve felt the benefits of working remote and being responsible for a productive routine and it’s helped me immensely. I believe we can drive a long-term positive outcome from this Government-mandated quarantine.

Categories
For The Good Life

The Monster of all Tradeoffs

I hesitated to write about this publicly. I’m not one to publish my opinions about current events, political issues or fake news. Usually, I stick to music and after reading this you might agree.

What’s happened since January is a once-in-a-generation event. It’s so monumental, we probably won’t be able to get proper perspective for another year or so. When the news was announced that there was an “executive order” to close down most of America, I had an extremely bad feeling. I didn’t fear the virus at all, frankly. I feared having to start from zero again – for the 3rd time (dot-com bubble, financial crisis).

I’ve been working with a software startup for about a year now. We are just starting to see some light at the end of the launch tunnel. Now, the light is very dim. Our staffing division was chopped in half, pretty much overnight. My wife was put on furlough and needs to collect unemployment. There is a chance (hopefully small) that our income goes to $0 in June.

My son who went through fire trying to get a winning season at his high school had an excellent chance at his final baseball season. Now – it’s history and we’ll never know. Four years of preparation, elbow surgery, thousands of dollars for travel baseball and hundreds of games. Even though we enjoyed those times (other than the broken elbow), the hope was leading up to this final season of his senior year in high school. He has paid a large toll to “save lives” and I’m sure he hasn’t fully grasped that yet.

I get it, we need to distance and slow the curve, but I think we went too far. People’s businesses and perhaps their futures have been burned to the ground by an executive order. No vote. Just a bunch of “smart” people telling our politicians what to do. Did we save lives? Yes, for sure. However, the mortality rate for humans is still at 100%.

I believe we could have taken precautions without destroying the economy, families and our government. This bailout is 3x the size of 2009, but it’s worse because we’ve derailed several industries that were perfectly fine. We’ve artificially created a depression that might take another decade to recover – who really knows.

People are so scared of this virus, that there is an enormous amount of irrational behavior going on. Behaviors that may never change. My grandma used to sweep the front porch every day until the day she died. She did that out of habit from the effects of the dust bowl in 1930. 60 years later. People will probably wear masks for decades. Some people will be afraid to shake hands forever.

By taking such drastic measures to slow the spread, certain types of people will be changed forever. Was that all absolutely necessary? No one I know has (or had) the virus. Of all my family, friends and neighbors, I’ve heard of one person who got it – and he’s recovered. Lockdown, mission accomplished? What happens when it starts spreading again next Fall?

Categories
For The Good Music

Time Stand Still

Absolutely epic. This was one of my favorite Rush songs of that era. This group has captured the essence of this song in such a beautiful rendition – without drums.

Categories
For The Good Life

Willpower < Mortality

We’ve heard stories of people who “lost the will to live.” And that’s really sad of course, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. As we get older, it becomes apparent that we are in a battle with our bodies to stay healthy. Unchecked, most bodies will deteriorate over time (some faster than others) and die.

When we are young, it’s pretty easy for most people. Eat, sleep, drink whatever – and you just keep ticking. After age 45 though, it seems to all change. Digestion changes, memory changes, joints, etc.. At age 50, or thereabouts, we are in a daily battle with our bodies. It takes a real plan to combat the ultimate breakdown of our systems.

So what can we do to optimize our battles? Well, I think it starts when we are young and we have to be nice to our bodies. The harder we are on them ages 13-40, the harder it will be to do battle when we are 50. However, when the battle starts, it can be a very motivating routine. I find that scheduling time to take walks, do yoga and weight lift actually gets me motivated to work and play!

The reverse is also true. If you get lazy, it’s very easy to slip into zombie-land. This becomes very dangerous as you get older since this routine is deadly.

So, activity + motivation + willpower = true health.

Categories
For The Good Music

The Music Modernization Act has been signed into law!

MMA has been signed with a unanimous vote from House and Senate.

The bottom line for the MMA is a single source of truth with a single database (blockchain anyone?) for all mechanical licenses. This is a major change in copyright treatment and a giant step in the right direction for songwriters and collaborators. Digital streaming services can now use a single master license for all music.

Producers and Engineers are also able to get compensated directly by SoundExchange now as the AMP Act was part of the new law.

Read more on SoundExchange…

Categories
For The Good

#netneutrality For real?

Forgive my skepticism.  I’ve read this press release several times from the FCC.  What’s the problem?

Media Contact:
Mark Wigfield, (202) 418-0253
mark.wigfield@fcc.gov
For Immediate Release
FCC ACTS TO RESTORE INTERNET FREEDOM
Reverses Title II Framework, Increases Transparency to Protect Consumers,
Spur Investment, Innovation, and Competition

WASHINGTON, December 14, 2017 The Federal Communications Commission today voted to restore the longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that has fostered rapid Internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years. Following detailed legal and economic analysis, as well as extensive examination of comments
from consumers and stakeholders, the Commission reversed the FCCís 2015 heavy-handed utility-style regulation of broadband Internet access service, which imposed substantial costs on the entire Internet ecosystem. In place of that heavy-handed framework, the FCC is returning to the traditional light-touch framework that was in place until 2015. Moreover, the FCC today also adopted robust transparency requirements that will empower consumers as well as facilitate effective government oversight of broadband providersí conduct. In particular, the FCCís action today has restored the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission to act when broadband providers
engage in anticompetitive, unfair, or deceptive acts or practices.
The framework adopted by the Commission today will protect consumers at far less cost to investment than the prior rigid and wide-ranging utility rules. And restoring a favorable climate for network investment is key to closing the digital divide, spurring competition and innovation that benefits consumers. The Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order adopted by the Commission takes the following steps to achieve these goals:
Declaratory Ruling
– Restores the classification of broadband Internet access service as an ìinformation serviceî under Title I of the Communications Actóthe classification affirmed by the Supreme Court in the 2005 Brand X case.
– Reinstates the classification of mobile broadband Internet access service as a private mobile service.
– Finds that the regulatory uncertainty created by utility-style Title II regulation has reduced Internet service provider (ISP) investment in networks, as well as hampered innovation, particularly among small ISPs serving rural consumers.
– Finds that public policy, in addition to legal analysis, supports the information service classification, because it is more likely to encourage broadband investment and innovation, thereby furthering the goal of closing the digital divide and benefitting the entire Internet ecosystem.
– Restores broadband consumer protection authority to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), enabling it to apply its extensive expertise to provide uniform online protections against unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive practices.
Report and Order
– Requires that ISPs disclose information about their practices to consumers, entrepreneurs, and the Commission, including any blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, or affiliated prioritization.
– Finds that transparency, combined with market forces as well as antitrust and consumer protection laws, achieve benefits comparable to those of the 2015 ìbright lineî rules at lower cost.
– Eliminates the vague and expansive Internet Conduct Standard, under which the FCC could micromanage innovative business models.
Order
– Finds that the public interest is not served by adding to the already-voluminous record in this proceeding additional materials, including confidential materials submitted in other proceedings.
The item takes effect upon approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the new transparency rule that requires the collection of additional information from industry.
Action by the Commission December 14, 2017 by Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and
Order (FCC 17-166). Chairman Pai, Commissioners OíRielly and Carr approving.
Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel dissenting. Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn,
OíRielly, Carr and Rosenworcel issuing separate statements.
WC Docket No. 17-108
###
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
ASL Videophone: (844) 432-2275
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC
www.fcc.gov/office-media-relations
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order
constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

Categories
For The Good Ideas Startups

How Does Blockchain Work?

Blockchain could be the most important innovation since the Internet. We are reeling from the Equifax leak. There is a huge trust problem on the Internet. Blockchain solves these problems, however it will take time for each industry vertical to gain the full benefit.

These two videos provide a great crash course in understanding Blockchain and some real world use cases.

 

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Entrepreneurship For The Good Growth Social Media Startups

Must Listen: Noah Kagan Podcast